For quality monitors w/bass, get a pair of B&W Nautilus 805's ($1600-1700 used) or even better, a pair of B&W Matrix 805's (pair new in box selling now on Audiogon for $899, other ads have also had them for around $800). I had the Matrix 805's for several years without a sub and really couldn't tell I was missing any bass. Once I added a Rel Storm III, I saw that I was, but really they were that good that the sub was not necessary. Just icing on the cake.
One of the best speakers for the Sim Moon I-5 is the Totem Tabu ... I believe this is the speakers used by Sim's designer in the voicing of the I-5. I am not familiar with the Paradigm speaker, but the Totems have excellent bass for what is a relatively small monitor.
Check on Sonus Faber. The best monitors I ever heard.
For your price range i would get the totem tabus not the model 1s or get the PMC LB1s. With a good amp the LB1s are some of the best you'll hear. Lastly if you can some how find a pair of talon khites for around your price, GET THEM!!! Not only are they really easy to drive, unlike the totems, but they sound much better than any of the aformentioned speakers and have bass rivaling many floor standers. I know they are a bit more than whay you wanted but most people prefer the khites to Sonus Faber Electa Amator IIs so maybe this will prove what sorta caliber they are. I hope this helps.... - Ian
I just got a pair of Mini Triumphs from Coincident for one of my systems and am amazed. The Triumphs are a step up and claiming to go down to 50Hz flat for $1100/pr. The cabinets are stones and the crossover work is tight with polypropylenes, air core and all the necessary stuff.
Very quick, excellent soundstaging, much like Spendors and Rogers.
Small Canadian company doing their thing.
I do also very much like the older line of Totem as they image well and provide very solid bass for their size.
I would second the Talons as an option but only if you prefer somewhat rich and forgiving tonal balance albeit dynamic and fast. The Khites are great speakers but if coupled with overly warm electronics and cables the mids can get too thick.
A pair of khites just came on. I would buy them without any hesitation. Worst case scenario if you dont like them you could always sell them again, for what you paid for them, but i assure you that they are head and shoulders above all of the other speakers mentioned. I would say that the PMC LB1s can compete and are a must buy at any price below 1200.00 but the talons are the real thing. I really hope you take this advice.
I had great results with my B&W Nautilus 805s. I upgraded to Audio Physic Virgo - the bass and soundstage is better, but on vocals, the 805s were better. Also, the Nautilus range keeps its value well and is super easy to sell if you want to upgrade later.
Monitors.... I personal favorites are the Tannoy professional series. System 15 is quite good, and I think it's discontinued and replaced by System 1500 or something.
You could try Silverline SR17s. I demoed these against the 805s and thought they were more accurate and imaged better. Meadowlark also makes a fine monitor thats worth considering.
Look for a pair of used ACI Jaguars. Hard to find, but well worth it. Their $1200 new Sapphire III LEs walk all over my Sonus Concertos. The Jags are reported a big step up over the Sapphires which have often been very favorably compared to Naut 805s. Sometimes ACI has demos with full money-back warranty etc.(they sell new for $2600). Last week they had a demo set up for $1500 but they were gone like a day later.
Castlesteve beat me too it - The Silverline SR-17s replaced Paradigms in my house, and they are marvelous. I did the obligatory head to heads with competitors (some mentioned in this thread, some not) and just thought these were musical without losing a bit of accuracy. They're also very smooth throughout the spectrum - bass is crisp, full and fast, highs are strikingly natural. I've found them fairly forgiving of placement, but when properly set up they give a fine and detailed soundstage. I guess I like them.
Acoustic Energy AE1 Series II
Not sure how well they'd mate with the Sim, but I'd recommend the Tyler Acoustics Ref. Monitor around $1200. Second the recommendation on the ACI Jaguars above too.