Can't go wrong with Vandersteen 2Csigs or Von Schweikerts used in that range.
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I have had both the Virgo II's and the Virgi III's... I love the Virgo II's... but as I got more into kayaking I pulled some money out of my syetem and now use Meadowlark Audio Kestrel Hotrods on Symposium Svelte Shelves. THey really are great the Hotrod's are $1695 new but there sometimes a used pair out their. They are more focused than the Vandersteens and a little smaller and eaiser to live with. I have been very happy with this set up for a couple of years and have no plans on changing.
The Svelte shelves allow the Kestrels to really sing with deaper tighter bass and takes away any remaing congestion in the midrange..
I have never owned Virgo's. However I have spent time auditioning them from time to time. Recently I have auditioned several varieties of Totem speakers. Especially there less expensive models.
I thought they came very close to the sound of the Virgo's. Note that the Totem's are designed, like the Virgo's, with a very narrow baffel. The image beautifully, like the Virgo's, and are very musical as well. Check them out. There are very inexpensive models that will fit your price range.
Best of luck-Richard