It would be helpful if you provided your room dimensions. What are your priorities?
55 responses Add your response
Eggleston Andra-II go on sale for $7K-$10K and having owned them they are
both world class and truly full-range. I never played my pair super loud but
they can be used that way if you're one of the Krazy people out there.
B&W 802 Diamonds are also pretty great by most accounts.
Something by Sonus Faber would make music (Amati Homage).
Aerial Acoustics makes some terrific speakers (7T).
Revel speakers are highly regarded.
needless to say you want a very clean amplifier with 100 honest to goodness watts per channel to mate with a very good quality speaker system.
I would have to say Vapor Audio's Joule, the components alone are worth 2 or 3 times as much as the components in some other speakers in this price range, RAAL, and two custom audiotech woofers. I have heard it at a few audio shows and it has blown me away every time. I think I have seen the same audiotech midrange in some 50k plus models from other larger companies. I have heard the B&W diamonds a few times as well, as far as build quality and fit and finish they are pretty hard to beat and they have a pretty phenomenal sound, but for pure sonic bliss, I've gotta give the edge to the Joules.
It looks like the amp you have in there is more built for home theater than music, but it should be plenty of power 5x160W.
OHM Walsh 3000 should be up to the task for a room that size at $4000. There are larger models but only of value if room size warrants. Very unique compared to other designs and worth a look if you are not familiar and have any interest in omnidirectional sound and/or Walsh drivers. That would be my choice.
BTW $4000 is the price for new OHM 3000s. Same drivers in refurbed older cabinets is often offered as an option for even less if interested in saving some money to apply elsewhere as needed.
One of the thing with OHMs is they are seldom ever cited as the bottleneck to better sound in a system. They generally respond to most any improvement made upstream. Whether one takes to the unique design and sonic presentation they offer is the main thing. Also omnis may not be the best solution for use in some rooms where room acoustics are excessively lively to start with.
Speaker selection is very personal. It depends on the kind of music that you like and your sonic taste. Speakers which are great for classical may not be good for rock. People who like more laid-back sound will prefer a different speaker than someone who like upfront ultra transparent one. If you can provide more details, you might get better suggestions. But whatever suggestions you get are just a starting point, nothing can replace an audition in person. Just a thought.
Proac D-28. Very rich warm sounding speaker with excellent full midrange bloom and echo decay. Outstanding dynamics. Smooth as silk. Will play down to 20 hertz in the right room. Crossover design is excellent. I consider Stuart Tyler the best speaker designer in England. Proac's best selling speaker. A remarkable value for $6K.
I've been searching some time for a full range replacement for my Dyn's, looking in the 8-10k range. I had been thinking that used would make more sense, why not let somebody else take the hit on resale. I still might buy used, but right now I'm leaning toward the Vapor Joule after hearing and seeing them at RMAF. They were incredible, exactly the sound I want. And from my months of research seem to offer more parts quality, and build quality than anything I could get used for that price.
I'd say take a look at them and contact the manufacturer. They've been very patient answering my many questions. Might not be what you're looking for, but worth looking into. -Alecs
Hey guys, this has been great - thanks for the recommendations. Gives me fun research and reading time. This is not exactly within the spirit of the question I asked, but does anyone have an opinion about the MBL 126s? I've found MBL in my research, and they just look awesome and sound pretty high-tech. I'm going to have a lot of fun auditioning speakers in my future.
Another comment: I went and heard the high-end MartinLogans yesterday ("Montis") - along with some of the lower-end models. I have to say, I was highly impressed with the higher-end ones. I tend to value dimensionality highest in audio - for example, my favorite headphones are the HD800s. The sound coming out of the MartinLogans was huge, and really took me there. I notice a conspicuous absence of the mention of these speakers in this conversation. Any comments or thoughts?
I was on a Taves show and heard Montis setup by ML people. I do not remember the amplifier in the setup but the sound was so dry that I left the room running. Before I run out I asked for the Montis price and they told me $11k. That is a shame since few years earlier I've heard ML Source at a dealer's setup with Parasound A23 which sounded much, much better than this Montis?!
Metalphoenix,the people love or dont like ML's at all, so depends on yor personal taste. I like some aspects of their sound, but never bought the pair because it seems they are quite a bit fussy to set up, need lots of space, big amp, panels last a limited time, and they sound diffrently depending of weather. All of this are experiences from a friend of mine, who has them, and loves them, despite all. We live near the sea, and there are climate changes, must add.
Audiowoman, another friend of mine has Avalon Ascedents,with new Ayre Ax-5 integrated, together with Ayre dac.Cables are Audioqust, top of the line. I am not sure if Ayre and Avalona are good combination, maybe he needs to put all Cardas cables in system. If I were looking speakers to hook with your amp, I would certainly try Sonus Faber models
...and I've found that in each area of life or hobby, there are gems available that might not carry the most popular brand name - or be the latest fashion - but that do deliver the best performance for the money.
If, if, if, you can find them used, AudioKinesis (a bit less than your budget used), Daedalus, and Eficion might well end your search.
I am rephrasing your question to:
Given my room size & gear-esp amp, what is the smartest move up in speakers to give me world class performance, reveal the benefits of any other upgrades I make and provides "tremendous value?"
Revel Salon 1.for ~$5000. Well below your budget ceiling.
You now have money for some power conditioning and perhaps some better i/c's and speaker cables. These will also give you the best bang for the buck if you buy wisely. I am sure many will share some thought on those, myself included. Cheers!
The Revel Studio speakers are very good, especially for the money. (I
owned them for about five years, and sold them for about $4,500 a few
years ago.). They do everything very well, although to be honest they are
not truly great in any one area. The salons are very similar but with even
deeper base response, (and in this category they do achieve great bass
response). The Studios, and especially the Salons, need a fair amount of
power. (I used a 100 wpc amp and that was not enough power so I
upgraded to 200 wpc amplifiers. That was with the Studios and I've heard
the Salons need double that.)
I upgraded to the Eggleston Andra II speakers a few years ago. They truly
are an upgrade in all aspects. The treble response is much more refined.
The bass response is deeper than the Studio, (and as good as the Salon).
They are more transparent than the Studios and they completely disappear
from the soundstage. The imaging is about as good as I have ever heard.
100 wpc amps will work but 200 wpc works better. Used they run around
My two cents worth.
Good luck in your search.
Another idea for a "world-class" used speaker in this price range is the Avalon Ascent Mk II. I confess I haven't heard a pair for a very long time but I'd put them in my top 4 along with Vandersteen 7, TAD Ref 1, and Vivid Giya. A man who owns the Ascents told me he thinks they're every bit as good overall, even better, than the TADs. That's high praise!
One problem tho': they rarely come up for sale.
I second the revel. Get the original studio or salon or studio. Build quality unsurpassed. Love the look too. Screaming bargain. If you want to spend about double, get the Avalon eidolon vision - can be had for less than $10k used. I had both, Avalon is overall the better speaker, but you can't go wrong with either one. Come to think of it revel salon may work better in your relatively large room.
There are several good speakers listed above, and the list is devoid of real losers. Funny, the lists for really expensive speakers have many more losers than I see in this list. Are the carriage trade items more prone to being overpriced ripoffs or are those well-heeled folks more easily sucked in by fancy looking but deeply flawed speakers?
I'll vote for a standout speaker, one that is not just "good for the price", which is faint praise in my book, but rather one that is just outstanding in many ways and extremely versatile: The JBL 1400 Array. Smooth, detailed, DYNAMIC, subtle, can play softly and sound great, and can scream and sound great. Lastly, deep deep bass that has great tonal qualities at all bass frequencies to go along with the depth.
It's just a little out of the $10k range but it's close....