Not sure what sound qualities you're looking for, but the Silverline Minuets are great.
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To Mofimadness: Thank you for the recommendation but I think you got the model number wrong of the Pioneer speaker. The model you cited is a center channel speaker.
There are many good budget speakers out there, but even a $150 a pair speakers can't achieve impossible performance. The PSB Alpha 1 comes up repeatedly in TAS as product of the year, and they retail for $299. However, as we all know, at this price range, the quality of speaker components has to be compromised to hit a certain price target. Unfortunately, since the inception of the so-called "improved" format on AG, there seems to be less chances of finding one of the speakers recommended in this thread. Both Polk Audio and Dali have produced good sounding monitors for under $500 retail, but I have not seen either so far on this site.
A little over budget, but Epos Epic 2, an $800/pair monitor for $600 asking price.
Disclaimer: No affiliation or knowledge of the seller.
Stereophile review, which says in part:
What most impressed me about the Epic 2 was how much of a floorstander's bass extension and dramatic high-level dynamic performance it had. Of the several dozen affordable speakers I've reviewed for Stereophile over the years, most have been easily categorizable as either a bookshelf or a floorstander: Each category has its own, unmistakable presentation. However, had I listened to the Epic 2 blindfolded, I'd have bet a considerable amount of money that I was hearing a larger, floorstanding speaker.
MO. Thank you for the link to the Stereophile review. I know you are a connoiseur of overachieving components, but have you heard Music Hall's Marimba speakers. Unfortunately, Bob Reina did not review them, but Sam Tellig did and offered little useful performance info about the speakers. He wants everybody to run out and buy a pair $6700 Harbeth monitors (See December's Stereophile)
Jim, while you mentioned Totem, have you considered (or could you)making use of a small sub backed out of the mix to add a touch of foundation and going with a set of Dreamcatchers?
A fellow out West has a set and also owned a set ob ProAc Tablette II's. He says they are quite similar, but the Totems are a touch less picky about placement off axis with their imaging and the mids are a touch less analytic.
There is a set advertised here for 450 used and there are all kinds of subs around.
Is this something you would consider?
Even the reviewer loved them, save for the bass.
My system was a Canton passive sub with a Crown D150 (of which I might have used 1/4 of). I used to run the levels on the amp about 1/3 open to just add a touch of foundation. The inexpensive nature took nothing away from my system because of this. Even a small powered unit adjusted in this way would be helpful.
What is the rest of your gear?
Gummy....Good suggestion regarding the Totem Dreamcatcher and a subwoofer versus Totem Arro. However, I have never been a fan of subwoofers. The theory makes plenty of sense, but the sound is often unpredictable, that is boomy in small rooms
There are several other small monitors I considered. Dali's Sensor 1; the Pro-AC SC-1 and Tablette. Though, I often wonder what all the fuss is about these speakers. I decided to buy the Music Hall Marimba speakers....they seem to have a very wide frequency response unlike the Wharedale 10.1 which I tried, liked, (but not enough to make them keepers) and sold.
I will audition MA's for a while; and, if they are not musical. I will sell them. The other gear in my system are: Red Dragon digital monoblocks; Bel Canto PRe-3 line stage, and a Rega Apollo player
Yes, I could easily put the Music Hall "cans" in orbit with 250 RMS Thanks, Jimbo
If you took a pair of Tab's home for a week and went through your collection, you would understand.
They are the most invisible mini I have ever owned.
I wish they filled my current room.
You are right about the sub integration. The trick is not trying to get a set of minis to sound like a set of big boys.
It is still a compromise.
I wish I could hear your amplifiers on my Sequerras...
Gumby. I am sure the Tab's sound great, and there is a pair of Signatures for sale on AG right now.
It is good to hear that Sequerra is still in business. Without getting teary-eyed, it really brings back the grand old days of 1970's audio (Maybe not so grand in retrospect) With the recent death of Jim Bongiorno of Ampzilla, there are fewer of the pioneers of 70's audio remaining.
As far as the Red Dragon M-500 digital blocks, they are very good considering their discounted price, but they may not be the last word in resolution.
However, I think I fall subject to "they did not cost enough crowd" Call me crazy, but I am considering (again) downsizing to a integrated amp. like the Sim Moon I.5.3 currently on sale. Jim