I think the Revel M20 should be on your list also. Excellent midrange, used price is close to what you want to spend and they are a great value. Stereophile has a review online.
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I second the M20s. I love mine. Good stands, will cost you, though. Stands are a fundemental extension of your monitor, regardless of the brand. A very significant consideration with regard to sound and price. Read my review of the Sistrum Mini Monitor Platform system. These little babies (M20s) have an incredibly deep extension. Have had mine a year and am still in love. peace, warren
Reference 3A MM De Capo. The De Capo is considered to be one of the best monitors in the world. They also provide excellent bass in addition to all of the other things that great monitors provide. I use mine without a sub and never want for more bottom end. That is something I can not say about any of the other monitors I've owned.
For me, the Ref. 3A De Capo is one of the best all-around speakers I've heard.
The ProAcs go well with my Aleph 3 and subwoofer. They've got the midrange you're looking for but might give up a little to the Maggies in high end delicacy. Perhaps the following forum might be helpful, if you haven't seen it already: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?cspkr&1039755509. Good luck.
My room is 11.5 x 22 x 8 h
I'm using ATC SCM10 passives driving with 55Watt/ch tube gear. Very clean, sweet, fully bodied and yet good punchy bass (tks to the non-ported enclosure.) No wonder many studios has choosen the ATC as their studio monitor speakers. I personally do not like ported speakers as much because the bass is less solid feel. However, the ported speakers are more efficient.
ATC are very well known for its drivers. They make one of the best nearfield speakers.
You definitely need a good stand (Target R4/R5 or Atlantis 24XL) for any monitor speakers. The stands would set you back $300 to $400 in used market.
The current model is SCM12 with 1/2 inch larger cone.
Also, the SCM10 is the smallest size in its class. A good amp is required.
The bigger brother SCM20 has more bass.
For all your responses. I meant to say Green Mountain Europa's - I followed the thread on them and they sound very interesting, especially for, I think, $880 pair new.
I heard the M20's at a salon with Jeff Rowland front end and they sounded a littl analytical- maybe it was the gear- I'm not sure. I kinda wanted to stay away from metal domes,
but maybe they are improving, they always seemed to fatigue me. I have'nt seen the De Capo's selling for the price range I'm considering but I'll keep an eye out for them.
I'll check out the Living Voice's as well.
Tyler Acoustics look interesting as well.
I have heard great things about the ATC's but thought they were out of my price range.
You guys are great---keep up the information sharing; it only makes us better/more informed individuals.
- "Right On"
I have owned Totem 1, Tyler Ref Monitors and now the Quad 12L. I never got the Tylers to work well in my system. Detail always seemed a little highlighted compared to the others above and to my back up Swan 1 speakers. The Totems and especially the Quads are head and shoulers above the Tylers as far as fit and finish go. I still dont have the best stands for the Quad 12Ls but Im very pleased so far with the sound. I know what you mean about the wasteland, Im in Charlotte too.
Since you already have a subwoofer, I would recommend auditioning the Spendor S3/5. The only limits of these speakers are that they cannot play loudly by themselves and they are inefficient so they will sound a little dull at low volumes. But aside from that, they will likely have the sound you are looking for.
First of all I would add the ProAc Tablette Sigs, J M Reynaud Trente and Sonus Faber Signums to your list. I have not heard the Epos or the Quads from your list but I find the SF Concertinos to be quite veiled relative to some of the others you list. The caveat is that most monitors like to see more power than you have on tap. This doesn't mean that they won't work, just that you won't get the most out of them.
Got an email from a guy about some horns, Loth-X Ion 4's
I have owned several types of speakers but no horns since the late seventies; just before my ADS L810 series II. I discounted them because of the memory I have of the sound- cupped hands, midrange emphasized. Do horns still sound that way? Maybe it was my ss gear at the time. Should this be a design I should keep in mind or does anyone have any recent experience with horns? No crossover, point source wave launch and single driver (instead of multiple drivers with different wave patterns and transient responses- speeds) sounds very tempting. Another route may even be Spendor 1/2e's- spoke to a guy about these. I noticed there are quite a few 1/2e's for sale right now though- does that mean something? The reason for considering the Spendors are the large front baffle wave launch. I remember my ADS L810's had a very desireble sound - just not as detailed as I would have preferred. Now most speakers are designed with a narrow front baffle for better dispersion and better imaging characteristics-but they seemed to have lost something in the process.
I feel that the ProAc Response 1SCs and Tablette 50 Signatures I currently own have the qualities you're searching for. They're detailed but not analytical. Have a wonderful midrange and are very involving. And they soundstage very well. Wide, deep and with precision. I will say that I think they benefit by having tubes somewhere in the chain otherwise they can be bright. The tubes reveal their sweetness.
I did own Sonus Faber Concertinos which I liked, but just as a previous poster mentioned, I felt they were veiled and less involving than the ProAcs. Very musical and organic though.
I borrowed a friend's Pass Aleph 3 for a month and the ProAcs sounded beautiful with them. Guitars sounded better with this amp than with any other I've tried, and sound staging was very deep and layered. Narrower than my Blue Circle BC22 and BAT VK200 though. I think the Aleph 30 you own shares the same qualities of the Aleph 3 with one advantage. The Aleph 3 had a very low input impedance which made it a poor match with my preamp. Dynamics were a bit anemic, and bass wasn't well controlled. The 23K input impedance of the Aleph 3 was doubled to 47K in the Aleph 30 which should help it to mate with more preamps.
I have not had the chance to audition many of the other speakers you're considering, however I did hear the Spendor S3/5s at this past CES and liked them. They were smooth and musical, and you should know they make a more revealing version called the S3/5se. I heard both with Talk Electronics gear and preferred the standard S3/5.
Now, I'll have to go out and listen to the Green Mountain Audio Europas!