There, of course, is no "absolute best" speaker. A lot of how well a speaker will work for you depends on your room (large or small) and the amplification it's used with. So what's your system now, how big is your room, and what type of music do you listen to? If you give that sort of information, you might get some well-considered recommendations of what to audition.
I would vote for the JM Lab Alto used for $8000.
If your room isn't too small, used Dynaudio Confidence C4 is right in your price ballpark.
I guess our answers could be a poularity contest,as many of these threads are. My vote goes for the speakers I own: Sophia,series 2. Not any series 2's 4sale,yet. I had the originals and they qualify. Worth a listen,rather than assuming others' 'votes' match your prefereces.
I don't know how big your room is and I don't understand your $8,000.00-$10,000.00 unless that's just a "I want a really good floor standing speaker".
The reason that I bring that up is that I believe that the Thiel 2.4 for around $4,000.00 new is a very good speaker that you might consider.
Thiel's may be very demanding on the quality of your equipment, but being that accurate isn't necessarily a bad thing. With your extra money you could even upgrade your other equipment.
I hope that you'll at least give them a listen, I'd take them over the B&W 803 D's that I've heard without a second thought. That's nothing against B&W, eight months ago I finally replaced my B&W Silver Signature's that I had for the last nine years. I didn't get the Thiel 2.4's because I have a small room, 10x12, and the Harmonic Precision Caravelle monitors worked better.
I would vote for the Nautilus 800N because it has a wide freq. range. And it had the best look of all the speakers in this range. I can give the right proportions of voices and instruments. It gives a very good image of a recording. Just take a change to listen to them. It is one of the few "big" speakers who is capable of giving the intimacy of a very good small monitor. When you listen to recording with only a few instruments it can blow away almost every speaker. I done this tests with many popular speakers in this range. Listen and you'll understand
With a really good system in front of it. IMO Eidolons are hard to beat at any price.
I'll second Chris #1's vote for the Avantgarde Duo's....... I'm loving mine.
Thank you all for your recommendations. Room size is around 20 x 30 and music is mostly soft rock, adult comtemporary and jazz.
I absolutely love female vocalist like Celine Dion, Diana Krall, Patricia Kass and Norah Jones are just some of my all time fav.
The closer and the more intimate I can get to the artist recording and that is my ticket to audio paradise.
Hard to beat Merlin VSM-MX for voice and acoustic. They have avery tight low end down to 30Hz or so (w/the BAM unit) You would think the room might be too big, but you would need to speak with Bobby at Merlin - he'll give you the straight scoop.
Zu Definition will get you there. Check out the new reviews on 6moons
There are a few but B&W Nautilus 800N is a steal under $10K preowned. One of the world's best speakers out there, regardless of price. I even prefer the B&W Nautilus 800N over the brand new 800D. Just a matter of taste at this level between the two. No weakness in this speaker. Just need an equal high quality system to receive full potential.
only one's you can audition
Avantgarde Duos again - just spend some time setting them up properly - when done well, they're great, when done poorly, you'll wonder why you wasted 10k!!
I second the recommendation on the JM Lab Altos.
I gotta second the Zu Definitions. AND, that's a big AND--you can have them for $9k in a choice of colors brand spanking new with a 60 day money back guarantee. Can't beat that with a stick. Check out their website as well as the archives....fasten your seatbelt: this list will get very long and very different. It's the nature of your question...good luck. Let us know what your decide on...peace, warren :)
You could definitely get the Dunlavy SC-Vs for that or perhaps the SC-VIs. They are huge speakers, but really have no sonic equal at this price point( but it does require enough room space to let them breath).
Is the B&W 802D not better than the 800N? I have not compared the two but the 802D with the diamond tweeter has to be heard before buying something else. I agree with the reviews which say the highs come from a perfectly black background and match the mids perfectly, below that the speaker is a little warm (IMO) but certainly worth a listen.
For that oney, I would get the Revel Salons, one of my absolute favorite speakers. Some don't like them, but for me... they rule and they can do all the different musical genres you like.
I have to stand behind trcnetmsncom. For 10k you should be able to get a good pair of used Eidelons, they do everything you're looking for, really well, if you have the right gear to go with them.
Not one of my personal favorites but given your stated preferences I would suggest the Theil CS6
With which amp?
What size room?
For what kind of music?
Merlin VSM-MX! You would be doing yourself a disservice not to consider them, they have all the qualities you are looking for!
Very subjective ....do you want great sound or an elegant speaker with a gorgeous wood veneer in a cool shape? There is a mix of suggestions already in both camps.
Well I don't know what the "absolute best" is either but let me toss out something for you to consider.
I presume that you plan to sit fairly far back to listen in that large room of yours. In that case, the reverberant field response will strongly dominate the tonal balance. So a speaker that performs well in a much smaller room may sound colored at what would be the normal listening distance in your large room. Several of the speakers mentioned above would have a significantly degraded tonal balance under those conditions. In a large venue (and your room is certainly larger than the average home listening room) smooth power response is more important than smooth on-axis response.
Your requirement for excellent imaging places a premium on a fairly narrow radiation pattern and minimizing diffraction. Good impulse response generally correlates well with good imaging also, though there are speakers with what looks like poor impulse response that image quite well.
The Avantgardes are indeed a good suggestion, and will in my opinion outperform most speakers in a room like yours. Historically getting the powered woofer section to "keep up" with the horns is a challenge, but a large room is conducive to smooth bass which should make it easier to get a good blend between the two. Just don't set the bass level too high, as that will result in a subjectively sluggish bass presentation.
If you might consider a new or demo pair of speakers well within your price range, I have something whose characteristics are in my opinion well suited for an application like yours. E-mail me if you'd like details.
Best of luck in your quest!
Anyone here have any experiences with Avalon Eidolon as I have heard great thing about them.
Though rarely for sale here at Gon., must be quite an speaker for people hold on to them so dearly. Thank you all.
I have not heard the Eidolon model but Avalon make great speakers The drivers cost about $1600 retail in total which is pretty expensive compared to what many manufacturers use (you would be shocked at the low cost of primary components in some very expensive speakers). The cabinetry is also beautifully done and hard to make because of the angles...so you would get some good workmanship for your money.
However, you should definitely audition these at home as they have an unusal baffle and this may make the dispersion quite complex...room interaction and your listening position might be quite important compared to other speakers. My guess is that the sweetspot will be small but imaging will be very precise.
Nothing will touch a pair of Vandersteen Model 5s properly installed by a dealer. For your money you can get a pair of NEW Qautros too. I assure you they will make you think before buying anything else. They're amazing for the money.
Have fun and good luck!
What kind of equipment do you have at this moment? Because when you want to buy a loudspeaker of this amount you will need the right stuff.
My current amps is Krell 350MCX, Ayre K-5XE with a Esoteric DV-50S.
Planning to get a pair of Pass Labs X600.5 along with an McIntosh C200 pre. and the ayre C5-XE.
Cable is AZ Silver Ref. II and Hologram II but plan on upgrading once the speaker choice materialize.
A few recommendations (very nice system, by the way):
Zu Definitions. How can you turn down a 60-day trial?
Tyler Woodmeres. Used or demo (call Ty) will be in your budget, and they will fill that room.
Silverline Bolero. Made for the music you like, and work well with Pass amps. Refined, resolving, they sound 'right'.
EgglestonWorks Andra II. Maybe $500 over your budget, amazing speakers.
Best of luck.
Boa2, I'm contemplating on the Andra II. From the Stereophile review it look like one of those rare one that does everthing just right.
Any could share some info. on this speaker with me. Thanks again.
Ny suggestion would be Legacy Whispers. Very open, revealing and true to the source. A "you are there" speaker, if that is important to you.
I would like to add: Martin Logan Summits or Wilson Sophia or BW 802D.
Andra's can be difficult to place, but sound amazing when positioned well.
I would go for Andra I.When position right, they
are one of the best.Assuming you have the right
How would you like a custom hand made pair of speakers using only the finest drivers, crossover components, etc. in the world, and built to suit your tastes in music? All components in the speakers matched to rediculously tight tolerances, including drivers, hand wound coils, etc. Oh, yes, and your choice of wood accents, cabinets, etc.
I just days ago took possession of my Chapman Audio Systems T-77's, which are the speakers I'm referring to. I already own two pair of T-7's, which are very highly regarded in the used market. The T-7's are still being made, but for your needs, the flagship T-77 is what you want to pursue.
Stuart Jones is known on the West coast as an excellent speaker maker. He has gone into custom home installs (SERIOUS custom installs) but is still working one on one with people to build them fantastic speakers. He is a perfectionist and obsessive about the quality/sound of his speakers. They are truly quality speakers! They are the only dynamic speaker that I have ever been satisfied with. They are good enough that they easily drew me away from planars.
If you email me, I can send you pic of my T-77's. Here's Stuarts' phone number 206-463-3008 The T-77 will be right in the zone you specify for cost.
JM Labs/Focal Alto Be.Hi's to die 4.
Knowing some of the above mentionned products I would STRONGLY recommend listening to the Ayon Falcon S speakers if you like extreme transparency, soundstaging, detail retrieval, speed and neutrality. The Ayons are pretty dynamic but no real bass-wonders like B&W 800 or the Sophias but exceed these particular products in ALL other areas. Far better and more dynamic and engaging than Avalon Opus Ceramique.
A speaker to last a life time. Hope this helps.
You mentioned a preference for female vocals/jazz. Diana Krall "The Look Of Love" won a Grammy for Best Engineered Album in 2002. I believe it was mastered by Doug Sax on ATC SCM 100ASL's. These speakers are currently listed on audiogon used for $7500 obo.
Not necessarily the "Absolute Best". Seriously, can any speaker claim that title when so much depends on room acoustics and aesthetic needs?
Given you plan to spend that much money, these speakers have a heritage in pro use that should give you more confidence than the all too common glowing audio magazine review or web testimonials from people you don't know.
I would also recommend the Ayon Falcon S. The only drawback is that it is available only new with a current wait time of three months and I seriously doubt that anyone who has it would sell it.
I´ve just exchanged Avalon Opus Ceramique with Falcon S - a HUGE upgrade.. Kens, you are right: under normal circumstances you´ll have to wait until march 07` - but it´s def. wortn waiting for it although retail is 13.000,- which is approx. US $ 16.500,00..
Thiel 7.2 , at the Munich Audio show, the audience liked them more than the WA Alexandria and JM Lab Grande Utopia BE.
All speakers were in the same room/equipment.