Speaker advice: $1200 budget

hi everyone.

i'll soon be in the market for a pair of new loudspeakers, and once again i ask for you advice and consultation. My system:

Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 CD Player
LFD Mistral LE Integrated Amplifier
Clarity Labs Emberglow Interconnects

Right now i have a pair of old Beovox S45s from the late 70's w/fairly cheapee Monster Cable speaker cables. The room is about 12 x25, with hardwood floors and two windows (a rug someday soon, speakers first)

I listen to every concievable kind of music from Afro Cuban drumming--to very heavy/dubby DJ stuff--to Coltrane--to Brahms.

I have $1200 and will buy used gear. looking for full, rich, and involving sound---for a big improvement on the current speakers. (looking actually to have my mind blown, if i may be blunt).my system now sounds a touch bright, but i suspect its because my new (and VERY beautiful) LFD amp is only about 50 hours in. Good, tight low end is very important to me (not bloomy bass), even though my downstairs neighbor is plotting at this very moment for my complete and total downfall.

Thinking about Totem Hawks, Spendor, maybe Dynaudio.

what do y'all think?


I like your system, but it lends itself not towards heavy bass material. For great detail, quickness and soundstage;

Spendor and ATCs will work well here. I love old Totems like the Sttaf which can be found for $1200/pr. used and will deliver decent bass. Good luck.
I also like the Totem line of speakers. I have a pair of their Model 1's (biwired) in my audio room (matched up with a REL Strata III sub) and a pair of Arro's for my den. The Sttaf, Hawks, and Forest speakers are also very nice but the model 1's matched with the REL give you the same midrange and upper freg sound of the Totem floor models but the REL gives it more foundation than the floor models. Good Luck!
You might want to consider a pair of Hales Revelation 3 speakers. Very good, tight, controlled bass. Excellent all around. I believe there is a pair for sale right now on Agon.

Good luck!
The Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures are well within your budget, and if you are willing to spend another $100-200, you could get a used pair of Vandersteen 3A's (which could be upgraded at some future point to the 3A Signatures). Given your stated listening criteria, the Vandy 3A's would be a fine choice.
Do a search for soliloquy on A'gon. The 5.0's are beautiful speakers for $750/stands included. The 5.3's are going for $1100-1200.
Not sure the Spendors will whomp you enough. Their midrange is to die for at the price, though. Maybe used Vandersteens or big Paradigms are more up your alley. But if you treasure a great midrange get the more efficient (88-89dB/w) Spendor 3/1p (6.5 + 3/4)) or SC3 center channel (5+ 3/4 + 5) turned sideways, rather than the low-efficiency 3/5 or new S3. Have fun auditioning. What about the new JMLabs Chorus? PSB?
Best Budget speaker on the market used Vandersteen 2ce signature now going for 900 to 1200 used. But They like a bit of power and tend to be a bit hard on Amps due to its a four way disign
Again..Vandersteen...not the tightest low end or at high volume..but very "spacious" and musical...I like Spendors too...but they are pricey for what one gets...
I've had a pair of Kef Q5 floorstanders for about 5 months and I've been very pleased. The bass performance is not what I'd call "slamming", but it is tight, well defined and has good presence (I prefer a balanced approach across the frequency spectrum). The slightly bigger Q7's present more body in the lower frequencies thanks to a larger, oval-shaped bass driver, without sacrificing the overall balance, so I'm probably going to trade-up.

The mid-range on the Q5's is great and placement is relatively easy due to the Uni_Q driver, which is mid-range driver with the tweeter installed in the centre. This design helps generate a bigger than average sweet spot so placement is not as critical as with other designs.

Good luck.

I would recommend a pair of Hales Concept 2 speakers, in your case. They are exellent fullrange floorstander 2-ways in a large, heavy, sealed cabinet. I've seen them on Agon for just over 1k several times. The driver compliment is a metal dome tweeter and an 8" kevlar woofer.

These speakers can do serious bass (tight, deep, musical), but do not sacrifice imaging or resolution to do so. It helps that they are GORGEOUS, but the Concept 2s were only made for 3 years or so. The cement (no kidding, cement) front baffle weighed a ton and was cost prohibitive to manufacture. This lead to the modle change, I believe. The current equivelent would be the (mentioned above) Revelation 3s.

Any way, happy listening/hunting.
I'm in similar situation...On top of my list, I have the new Quad 12L...I already auditioned them at the dealer and was pretty impressed...Now I'm going to borrow them...Depending where you are located the price might differ...Here in Belgium, a pair of 12L is 700 Euros..
I'm ProAc monitor fan myself, but I think for your taste and application the Vandy 2CE is a good recommendation. Full range sound on the cheap and you may not need a sub.