I'm only replying because a.) I'm a relative newbie too, b.) my music is all digital, with a growing number of Apple lossless files (akin to FLAC), played through a DAC, and c.) my speakers are $1500 towers.
They are B&W's latest, the 683s. I think they sound pretty great. They use a similar midrange driver to that of their flagship 800 series. With my current setup, (Rowland Capri preamp and 102 amp) I wouldn't exactly describe them as warm. I'd say they run pretty uncolored. However, before I got the preamp, I was using them with only the Rowland 102 and an Arcam preamp, and the sound was definitely warmer.
Here are some suggestions from the classifieds for speakers that may fit your bill.
Onix Strata Mini (well received by many)
Rega XEL - possibly- Rega is known for warm speakers
Totem Forests $1500 obo- you might get for less than your budget
Totem Sttaf- since you like the Totem sound
Tannoy Eyris 3
Onix Rockets are a true bargain in your price range. Sold direct from av123.com
The other obvious choice is Vandersteen 2ce or older 2ci. Search the archives, they're the #1 selling audiophile of all time, and w/good reason. They do everything pretty well, and err on the warm side, so they are a bit more forgiving of less than stellar electronics(such as Adcom -- no slam intended, but you should eventually consider upgrading those).
Totem Arros are nice, sorta like the Forests, but belong in smallish rooms. Keep that in mind. Cheers,
www.mayaudio.com they are selling out there castle harlechs for under 1100 bucks....they were a steal even for a retail of over 2300 bucks. heirloom quality in furniture, and sound as good as anything in the 3 to 5k range. a classic british loudspeaker
I always liked the several years old NHT speakers; am using the ST-4 in one of my systems and like them a lot; they were also generally highly rated and they look great. Since they were popular, it's easy to find a used pair; there are couple of pairs now on 'gon.
Vandersteen is a speaker line you need to listen to!
If you can tolerate used speakers (it sure didn't bother me [smile]), it'd be hard to beat the Gallo Ref. 3s - see them on Audiogon for $1450-$1800.
Vandersteen is a good recommendation.
But if you want really "warm" sound, look for a used pair of Vienna Acoustic Mozarts -- like buttah...
Thanks for your responses.
Going back to the Totem's. I think my description of them was poor as I do not have the vocabulary quite right. What I experienced was a great separation of the instruments (that is called soundstage, right?)& a closeness to vocals.
The Vandersteens seem pretty large in scale. Although will seek to listen.
Vienna's seem interesting.
Used/broken-in seem to be the only reasonable option.
Upgrading components can't be on the radar at this point as purchasing the dac and digital server top the list after finding speakers.
What about Dali's?
Alpha T1 Tower
Aperion Audio Intimus 633-T
Zingali for 1500? Those are pretty big and expensive horns I believe, and really to get big and "Warm" sound its gonna depend on how well the speaker you choose will work with Adcom equipment.. I have owned some of Adcoms best, and they are brute and power, but not always so much finess, so this will have to be factored into your warmth and organic sounding desire.
that was stupid.
your description of Totems is good . . . and they would be at the top of my list. Used Hawks, maybe Forests fit your budget. I had a pair Sttafs that I bought new (for $1500). I A/B'd the Sttafs extensively vs the Vandersteen 2ce and chose the Sttaf because they were equal (at least) in sonics, but more compact.
Another speaker you may want to consider is Von Schweikert VR2.
I'm running Totem Mani-2s in one of my systems and Von Schweikert VR4 Gen IIIs in another . . . so you can see I have a little bias.
third vote for vandersteen - when properly set up they're special
You could probably get Soliloquy's for a steal...
Another vote for Vandersteen.
There are more used Vandersteen 2 2ci & 2ce out there than all 5 others you mentioned combined. There's a reason for it, too. Most have been sold when folks upgrade to speakers at 2-3x the price. They are a bargain.
FWIW, Thiels are anything but warm. 3.7s are well out of your price range, anyway. Cheers,
Check out the Salk Song Tower review on Enjoy the Music.
I am auditioning a pair of Salk Songtowers and I would not categorize them as warm. I am running them on a SS system using a Rega Jupiter cdp as source. The mid range is very detailed and the upper frequencies will give you almost studio monitor type of clarity and crispness. So, if you want warmth these may not be the speaker for you. However, if your going to feed them with tubes then they may get warmer.
Confused about Vandersteen. (2-3 series price range) Everyone seems to agree they are warm. There seems to be little agreement on bass.
Some say there's all you need, others say the strengths lie elsewhere. The fact that some people add a sub tells me it's most likely the latter...
Some people are bass heads, and would add a sub to anything. Not to say teh Vandy's can't benefit from a sub, but don't go by the fact that some people stick one on.
Go listen check out quad 21L or 22L
I wouldn't call the Quad 21L or 22L "warm". I am surprised no one has mentioned the Revel F12, dual 8" woofers for some real bass! They sound great for the money. I have owned the Vandy 2ce sigs, they have decent bass and throw a good soundstage. Unfortunately, the mids were not as refined as other speakers in it's class. I believe the Sig II are better in that regard but the price is higher.
Rotarius, I call the quad warm based on my listening experience in my room, as always ymmv.
To compare speakers I have owned over the years, I could oversimplify certain speakers the following way and classify with: warm/neutral/cool
NHT 2.5i cool
Von scheikert VS 1 neutral
Quad 12L warm
Quad 22L Warm
Mackie hr824 active neutral
ACI sapphire III warm
Maggie MMG neutral
BG 520 neutral
Talon Raven warm
After the NHT I knew I did not care for cool! I may be misguided, but I relate the emotional connection a speaker provides to being warm to me. I am a big fan of quad line and hope to recieve a new pair of 12L active today! I am hoping it will give me benefits of active design that Mackie had with a more involving musical experience.
vocals and blues and a warm rich natural sound? hmmmm, consider tube amps, they will make most speakers 'warm up' in the mids quite wonderfully. sounds like what you want is really something that knocks the 'dry edges' off of digital recordings in the critical mid range. just a thought. enjoy your quest! fwiw, audition tubes vs ss at a dealer with same spkrs and see if this sounds right.