In your budget range, you should definitely consider the Vandersteen 2Ce. It is a nearly full-range speaker with excellent mid-range and excellent low-frequency reproduction. It should also match nicely with the equipment you already own.
I think used Martin Logan Aerius's would match well.
You may want to give the Axiom speakers a try(www.axiomaudio.com I think). Said to have very good midrange and detailed but not overly bright highs, and something like their M60? floorstanders should yield decent dynamics while still meeting your price target. See reviews on Soundstage, etc.
If you're open to monitors the Soliloquy 5.0 yields respectable dynamics for a stand mounted speaker, has a very smooth and full midrange, detailed and airy yet refined highs, and will throw off a huge 3D soundstage while completely disappearing in the room. If you've got a dealer nearby they're worth a listen and they look fantastic too. Should work great with the Stratos too. See www.solspeak.com. Best of luck.
I would say give PSB Bronze/Silver a look. I've noticed
quite a few ads at quite reasonable prices. Vandersteens/
ProAc would also merit consideration. Buying pre-owned should save you quite a bit and if you were to decide to
resale, you shouldn't be out too much. Bill
Vandersteen 1C's or the 2CE's would be a great match
I'll second the Axioms. They are amazing and with so little hype. I've purchased for friends (and held onto for a short time) the M3Tis and they are wonderful. Took awhile to get used to the thought of metal drivers but they really do their thing. The model up is supposedly smoother. I purchase from audioshop.on.ca because they have offered better prices. Talk to Mark and get the black because the Boston cherry is Beavis ugly.
I just picked up a pair of Triangle Titus speakers for a graduation present for my brother. While the Titus speakers are small monitors below your price range ($500), they also do some others closer to your range--e.g., the $1200 Zerius. I was pretty amazed at the sound, very fast, very transparent, and very musical. You might want to get an audition of those. Requisite disclosure, I'm *not* a dealer. To the extent my own speakers bias/calibrate my taste, I own ProAc RS2s for my home office and Martin Logan Prodigy speakers in my main setup. I'll recommend the speakers I've heard from both those companies as well, but I thought the Triangles offered considerable bang for the buck.
Thanks for the replys. I will give recommended speakers above a look at. Some e-mailers recommended Monitor Audio Silver 5i [$600 used] and Wharfedale 8.3[$500 new] also NHT[$800 new] any thoughts?
I think I saw a used pair of Epos ES14s on Agon. These are great standmount speakers ... good imaging, dynamics and very good bass for a standmount.
For your tastes, room size, associated gear and budget, you simply cannot do better than a used pair of Vandersteen 2CE or, if you're patient, even the Signatures. (A pair was just listed today for $1,000 exactly.)
*Disclaimer, I don't own, sell or in any way benefit from promoting Vandersteen products.
There's a lot to like about the Vandys and little to dislike or find fault. You get a true full range, dynamic, smooth, airy and best of all, musical speaker for very little $$.
While I agree with those above who recommend Vandy and I also happen to think they are fantastic speakers, the reason I did not mention them is that one of the attributes Trip was looking for was a "crisp" sound. Crisp is definitely not a word I would use to describe Vandersteens. While I think everyone should hear Vandys before they buy speakers because they do so many things so well and represent such an incredible value, I tend to doubt in this case that Trip will find them to his liking given his tastes. Just a thought...
Look at Paradigm, psb, and also listen to Klipsch RB5's. You should not have any problems with you Budget getting into a good pair. The Klipsch's are about 850.00, The Paradigm 7's about 800.00.
Also what is your feelings on the Cambridge CD player you have? I am looking at that and the T500 Tuner. Thanks
Try the NHT 1.5. They are excellent speakers.I own a pair, and, as they are now discontinued, can be had for $299 via mail order-a great buy.
If your amp can handle the impedance load, perhaps the small to mid size Thiels might be the "crisp" alternative to Vandersteen.
Epos M12's. See the blurb at signals.demon.co.uk. But if in the US you can buy from Joe at jmsound.co. (I do not own these speakers.)
After hearing the new Meadowlark Swift (retail 995) at the NY Show last week, there is no contest.