Paradigm is on the low end of cost for good actives. NHT has some that a thread on AVS said were great.
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You do know that Paradigm Actives are discontinued, right? So, you'll be looking on the used market. They pop up every now and then on the Gon, but unfortunately are still quite expensive due to their popularity. They are absolutely wonderful and worth it, however. I have a pair of Active 40's, which are fantasticly smooth, and bass reproduction is strong so you can live without a sub. I hope to eventually move to ATC's as they are very well regarded as Lazarus wrote, but they are very spendy, and I think Meridians ain't cheap either.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
I'd like to keep it under $1500, preferably closer to $1000. Ideally used. I think the Meridian and ATC stuff go way beyond, even used, no? Yes, I do realize the Paradigms are discontinued. If there were a pair of 20's available here, I'd probably jump on them.
But since they're so hard to find, I was looking for some alternatives. How do nearfield studio monitors compare in this regard?
At the budget you have, you might want consider any one of several very good studio monitor type speakers that work equally as well in mid-field environments such as the Event Studio Precision 8.
Alexis and Mackie also make reasonably priced active monitors. As long as you live in a reasonably sized town, one of the local pro-sound/guitar center/musical intstrument type stores should have them available for audition.
I like the SP8 because it is sufficient in low frequency reach that you probably don't need a sub. There is also the SP6 which is a little smaller. Still pretty good frequency reach too - so you may not need a sub.
Anyway size should be a fairly easy compromise to make knowing that you will be getting a quality low priced active monitor that is almost full range.