jbl studio series- inexpensive but very dynamic- great for madonna or hendrix.
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Along with the already excellent recommendations, I'd like to throw in offerings from ATC and PMC. Other great options would come from the entire Mark and Daniel product line. They are a little known company whose main focus is building loudspeakers that do exactly what you are looking for. Lastly, there is an even lesser known company down in Australia called Lenehan Audio. They produce a marvelous bookshelf speaker called the ML1 that is worth looking into.
Good luck on the hunt!
Klipsch RB-5's. Pound for pound, you will be hard-pressed to find a more rocking and dynamic bookshelf speaker out there. I demoed a mahogany pair I found on C-list a few weeks ago and was totally blown away. Here is an ad from A-gon classifieds. No affiliation.
I have been using Totem's Mani 2 for the past 6 mos. and these babies rock. Important- they must be properly powered to really open them up, light weights need not apply. I am powering them with a 250 wpc Bryston amp and they have been spectacular with Led Zep, Floyd, Steely Dan, Sabbath, etc. Incredible bass that will have you looking around for where the sub is hidden. They can be finicky to set up but once there they will put a smile on your face. I have the original stands from Totem that are rock solid 4 posters (fillable). You can get a used set with stands for under/around $2500-.
I have also demoed the Green Audio Calisto and was very impressed. They won't make the bass of the Mani2's but are otherwise a magnificent sounding speaker. Not as difficult to drive either. I could easily live with the Calisto, very impressive.
Of course, as with any speaker, room dimensions, treatments, set-up and cabling are half the battle and need to be seriously addressed.
Good luck, zen
I have a pair of Paradigm Signature S1's in piano black. I have them hooked up to 220 watts per side RMS. I have Synergistic Research biwire Tesla accelerator speaker wire and a S. R Hologram D and a D3 digital RCA to my DVD player. I have played these as loud as my ears can tolerate sitting about 15 feet away in my 23x18 room. These tiny sealed speakers can handle 110 db very cleanly. I am just amazed. Best I have heard.........bar none.........
I can also vouch for the Lenehan ML-1s after hearing them at Monarchy Audio during a test session. Mr. Poon had them hooked to a NM24 and two of his SE-100 amps (mono blocks). Playing my jazz test CD (movie sound track from Miles Davis) sounded like the quartet was in front of me. Very impressive speakers with a true clean sound. They're out of my current budget, but I'll be keeping an eye on what Lenehan produces.