Have you considered the Revel F30 or the smaller M20 speakers?
Both are good, the F30 is full range and the M20 is smaller and has decent bass, but not really full range.
The F30 used goes for about $2-3K, and the M20 used goes for about $1,500.
You might want to give them a listen. Good sound and good build quality.
Good Luck in your search.
I agree that the M20 is a fantastic speaker. I've owned it twice. I'm sure the F30 is good as well, although I haven't heard it. I would personally recommend the audio physic virgo. Used they can be had for about 2200 and will have the bass you are looking for I think.
If you like large scale classical then the Shahinian Arcs or Obelisks are perfect for you. Richard Shahinian designs his speakers specifically with classical in mind. The speakers are hand crafted in Medford New York. Richards loudspeakers are known for their deep bass so a subwoofer would not be required. I own the Shahinian Diapasons and love them to death. Last I knew the Arcs were $3200 and the Obelisks were $4000. You mighy even be able to buy the highly rated Shahinian Hawks with what you can save on electronics with the Shahinians. The Bedini 100 watt/side mono amplifiers are only $1500 per pair and do an excellent job driving my huge Diapasons. Richard designed the Shahinians using Bedini amps so they work very well together. You can find a review of the Hawks on the AV guide web site. Several of the reviewers from the big hi-fi mags have Shahinians as their personal speakers.
Sorry, but you really need to make this decision. It's kind of like asking 'what kind of ice cream should I buy' IMHO. It will depend on your musical tastes. I like my Vienna Acoustic Strauss, I used to own Beethovens and liked them also. My friend has a pair of Dynaudio Audience 82's, I also have a friend that has a pair of Dynaudio Contour 3.4's. They both sound good to me, but my VA's are a little warmer, to my ears, which I prefer. They think my speakers sound good, but they like the Dynaudio 'sound' better. I know of others that swear by their Vandersteen's.
I would recommend you audition them in as similar a setup as possible, and pick the flavour that you like best, instead of the flavour that someone else likes best.
The only speaker on your list that is both time and phase coherent is the Vandersteen 3a, if those features are important to you. They certainly are to me. Also check out Thiel 2.4, also time and phase coherent.
I personally would go with the Vandersteen in that list too.The F30's are also an excellent choice. Though dont do it because they are "phase and time" correct. Phase and time correct speakers dont equal a better listening experience or better soundstaging for that matter. If our listening rooms didnt have reflective surfaces then this may be something to be worried about, but real world accoustics prove otherwise. But before you buy any speakers, audition them in the room they plan to be setup in first.
Well, you asked to narrow it down and got about 10 more speakers to consider.
Try to find some to audition at a dealer. If you already have, and think they all sound great and are still having a hard time deciding, then score some brownie pionts and ask the wife. see what she thinks as well.
Its been my experience (when i least need it) that women have a far superior sence of hearing.
uh oh.. i think shelby just heard me type that.
Have you considered Soliloquy? I have the 6.3 floorstanders. They have exceeded all of my expectations. They are around $3200 new, but can be found used/demo in the $1500-$2000 range. Also, their flagship 6.5 speakers, which new are around $6500, are in the $3-4K range used/demo. I cannot comment on the sound of my 6.3s with large scale orchestral music, but from jazz to blues to rock, electric and/or acoustic they are very strong contenders.
I second a look at the Revel F-30's. They're quite good, but note that it takes a while to "dial 'em in". They're very sensitive to placement, and seem to me to be very revealing of upstream component and cable changes. They will image very well once set-up properly, and do an amazing job of "disappearing" for a rather large unsightly box.
Though they're certainly not perfect, they do many things very well, and I've grown fond of mine.
Billw, I own both the VR2s and the Vandersteen 2ce Sig. and love bot of them. All and I mean all the Vandy threads at this forum have stated that the jump from the 2s to the 3As is jaw dropping, but i haven't heard them. i listen to mostly classical piano, either solo or in concerto and with tubes for the VR2 and SS for the 2ceSig. At the moment......(subject to change!!) the VR2s are ahead. But I have a feeling when I can afford tubes for vandy it may be a new ballgame. John
Well, at least everyone likes what they bought. No ego gratification, justification here. HA!
Here's a question: Is it more important to be phase and time correct electrically, or at the point of the listener?
That is, coming out of the speaker, or at the point where the listeners ears are: if so why, then how do you do that? Then, what is the result? Then what speaker does that, (or speakers).
Phase and time correct electrically may not matter if the listerner hears a sound which has terrific lobing problems in the room. Just a thought.
BTW, most of these are decent speakers by most people's level of expectation.
I would consider VMPS which is one speaker I would really like to hear. Innersounds are another manf. I have heard great things about for Electrostatics panels that have been able to pulloff intergration between Panels and a Dynamic Drivers.
I cannot comment on all of your contenders but I can say with confidence that the VA Beethovens have a big sound that can fill a large room. In fact a review I have by Michael Gindi of the now defunct Ultra Audio mag said that he felt that their sound could fill a multiplex. I own these speakers and I would agree with his observation, I have a friend who use to have the Beethovens in a exteremly large room and they sounded great. Ironically my friend swithced out the VA's for Martin Logan Prodigy's which are much larger and and cost twice as much.To his suprice the ML's could not compete with the VA's in this large room so he sold them and bought the VA Mahlers, and he was able to recover and of course improve upon the big sound that the VA's are known for.
You owe it to yourself to include both the Legacy Focus 20/20 and the VMPS 40 Sig. in your above list to audition.
If you can squeeze another $2K out of your wallet, there is a pair of used Hales T-8's for sale on this site. They will blow away anything mentioned so far and are a steal at $6K. I have the T-5's and they are superior IMO across the entire listening spectrum to the Revel M20's.
FOr your tastes...Vandersteen...they sound HUGE...and with orchesral pieces...fughettaboutit!...they also plenty of low end....I wish I had your problem!
ANother sleeper...Spendor makes some awesome floorstanders too...