Green Mountain Audio Callisto mounted on sand filled 24" stands. These are bottom ported and sound fabulous with small or large amps. These throw a huge sound stage and play all types of music. Roy Johnson is a genious and great company to work with. You can also home demo these and see for yourself. Good luck!
Von Schweikert VR-2 is a good moderately priced speaker. Very particular about room placement but with the variable "ambiance" tweeter in back and the ability to over stuff the port with material of choice you can make them sound however you like. Also lead/sand fillable via bottom access cavity. Solid performer given proper placement.
Used Micro Utopia is difficult to beat at around $2000 !
I second the Micro Utopia suggestion but also suggest you take a serious listen to the Revel M20's. I have heard them in several setups and have been impressed not only by the soundstage and focus, they have dynamics as well. Good luck!
First let me qualify that I am a dealer on the side for VMPS. I'll let you read the reviews and do the research on their planar hybrid speakers that have received great reviews from professionals and users. I've been recommending them for years and have been a dealer for about a month so I truly do believe what I'm saying. They're a must listen in their prospective price classes. It's bargain city here. The most important thing for anybody is to auditon all speakers that they can. One of the reviewers did replace a pair of about 7k dollar speakers with the 626R's which can be had in your price range. Here's some reviews: http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/viewtopic.php?t=13112
I'm sure the Von Schweikert recommendation is also a good one. There's also a list of owners of VMPS speakers around the country that will let you audition their speakers even if you aren't interested in buying any here: http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/viewtopic.php?t=10789
That said you can get Dunlavy's SCIII or IV for about two grand. They sound great and are also a bargain for the sound. Vandersteen 3a's should also be auditioned. These three recommendations are all great for the money but they all sound different so go listen. Good luck to you on your speaker search.
Check out the Talon Khite. They are front ported, so they can get back close to the wall without suffering like some speakers might.
After checking out your system I would like to share my thoughts as I have a dedicated audio room of similar proportions (11X12) to yours. My experience follows. I tried several stand mounted monitors but was never satisfied with their sound. By audiophile standards Dynaudio Audience 52s and Von Schwiekert VR-1s were probably the best. The monitors I preferred however were Acoustic Energy Aesprit 300s because they produced the best bass.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that a pair of floor stand speakers don't really take anymore room than monitors and if chosen properly wouldn't overpower the room.
I have used five models: Paradigm Studio 60V.2s, Vandersteen 1Cs, Vandersteen 2CE Signatures, Meadolark Audio Kestrel Hot Rods and Meadowlark Audio Shearwater HRs.
Although they are well below your budget, I would suggest the Vandersteen 1Cs. They worked very well in my room. The Shearwaters are what I liked best but I wouldn't recommend them as Meadowlark Audio seems to be defunct.
If you're still with me the point is a pair of floorstanders don't take up any more space than monitors on good stands and can provide full range sound with outstanding imaging. Good luck.
I am a fan of single driver/crosoverless designs, and would suggest a pair of the very fine Omega loudspeakers, some of which can be found at good prices here, in Audiogon.
This genre of loudspeakers can produce marvellous music in small rooms, where a subwoofer would overwhelm the room, and the small dimensions of the room can actually enhance the interface between the speakers and the room, making a sub unnecessary for many applications.I hope this helps.
Some good suggestions here already...I would add the following:
Aerial Acoustics Model 5 - excellent focus and punch, and will not cheat you on quality low end response.
Martin Logan CLS IIz - can be magical in a small room with the right amps.
Wilson Benesch ARC - very intriguing stand mount monitor at the top of your price range, used.
Energy Veritas 2.1 or 2.2 - excellent value and a very good sounding speaker, drivers integrate very well.
I am getting a pair of Green Mountain Audio Callistos next week, and would be happy to share thoughts with you on those, though it will take a while to break them in.
I was in a similar situation to you recently. I had been using a pair of Monitor Audio MA700 Gold monitors......very nice sound, but wanted to updgrade after about 9 years and wanted a little more low end extension. I ended up going with a pair of North Creek Music Borealis speakers. They are floor standing 7" two-way speakers. They are a kit....and are somewhat similar to Proac 2.5's. Someone earlier said that a smallish floorstander doees not take up any more space than a stand mounted monitor, which is true. You ought to check out www.northcreekmusic.com. you can buy completed cabinets and the full component kit for a total of something like $1600 and end up with a $3k speaker. North Creek uses very high quality componenet that you will not be able to match in your price range. The only issue I am dealing with is that these speakers like to be several feet away from the rear wall, which is a challenge in rooms like ours. Any way, enjoy the search. Sometimes I can get so darn wrapped up in an intense search that I start to not enjoy the process.....which is just crazy. I also think you can hardly go wrong with teh Vandersteen 1C's. They are great speakers for teh money.
I see some great suggestions here for me to follow.
The Green Mountains and vandy's keep popping up here and in the forums and have struck my curiosity. Although I thought the 6db slope crossover was not a very good idea for nearfield position. In my small room speakers are 3' from front wall and chair is 2' from back wall leaving about 5-6' from speakers. I have no preference to stand or floorstanding speakers as far as space restraints go since I currently am using Maggie 1.6s.(worlds largest headphones in my room).
do you plan on using those in a nearfield setup? I would be very interested in hearing your results if so.
Thank you all for your Ideas.
My room is larger than yours, but I don't have the space to pull the speakers way out into the room for imaging, so I built a pair of North Creek Eska towers. Right now I have the rears 6" away from the wall, and I've been playing around with positioning. These are designed to be close wall speakers and there is huge difference in sound compared to regular speakers. The midrange is perfect on male voices, and I've not heard a better dome tweeter at any price. This is an amazing sounding unit so far, and I'm not done tuning. Check out their Okara series also for the ability to go close to the walls.
In my small room the listening postion is between 7 and 8 feet depending on recline angle. This is the minimum distance Meadowlark recommended in the owner's manual. It sounds fine o me as did the Vandersteens. The 1Cs regularly sell for less the $500 used on Audiogon. At that price you could give them a try and sell at minimal loss if not happy.
doesn't need to be played L O U D to sound alive!
can be placed flat up to the wall
increadable detailed sound
Carolina Audio JTM's
I am extremely happy with my Totem Arros in a 9x11x8 listening room! I highly recommend them!
4 (699) or 5 (899) monitors would work nicely in your small room, and fit into the lower end of your budget. I compared the Design 4 against a pair of Totem Rainmakers driven by Sim Audio separates. The Rainmakers throw a slightly larger soundstage, however the Rainmaker's highs are not as natural sounding as the Design 4's, and the bass has more of a ported sound compared to the more solid bass of the Design 4. The Design 4 also has a more focused soundstage. The ERA Design speakers were designed by Michael Kelly of Arial Acoustics. Build quality is excellent btw. I'm considering the Design 5 and matching center for my HT.
Thanks for all of your suggestions. Although my chioce was not one of your suggestions it got me looking at speakers from sources other than the big guys and big prices. I decided to try a pair of Usher compass series RW-729
. After heavy break-in these have proven to be much better in my room with my sytem then the beloved maggy 1.6s. I will try to do a proper review shortly on these.
Again thanks for your suggestions.