Speaker Advice

I'm looking for a intro to hi-fi speaker pair. Just sold off my NHT Super Zero setup to do the upgrading. My budget will allow for about $700-800 worth of speaker, new or used (preferabbly used in great shape to get more for the $). So far I have been considering these speakers. NHT 2.5i's, Vandersteen 2Ce's, Definitive Technology BP2004, Thiel 2.2 (missed out on a bitchin' deal), Monitor Audio 5's, Paraidigm Monitir 7's (new), and some others. I will be driving them with 2 Marantz MA-500 Monoblocks and be using sources such as my Toshiba 3108 DVD player, and Marantz 67SE CD-Changer. I listen to an equal mix of movies and music and I'm really looking for something nice. Something with a good soundstage and nice bass response with out getting sloppy (no subwoofer for a while). This has been eating away my brain for a while now. I really like the sound of the NHT's but I want something more forgiving, something not so directed to one listener. I'm open for suggestions. I really wanted in a pair of VonSchweikert VRT-2100 (VR-3 for Home Theater use), but some one beat me to it. Anyhow, let me know. Thanks.
Only speakers i heard, out of the one's that you mentioned, were Vanderteen 2Ce, they are balanced on the "warm" side, great bass, ond over-all superb tonal balance. With the rest of the equipment you have, you can't go wrong.Go for Vandersteen 2Ce. Good luck!
I'd second the advice on the Vandersteen 2CEs. Used, you should pay no more than $750. There's a pair on auction somewhere else on this board now. Right now the price is up to $500. I'm going to upgrade from mine sometime later this year, ( or I'd offer mine now) and to make a significant improvement at all I'm going to have to pay at least $3000. The 2Ces are definitly the best bang for the buck in that price range. Jim
Do yourself a favor and try to audition the Totem Model 1's
I have owned Vandersteen Model 2C's for 10 years and 2 years ago bought a pair of NHT 2.5i's which I am currently using. I absolutely loved the 2C's but they never worked well in the room after I moved and I became bored with them. The NHT's on the other hand are what you said unforgiving on bad material and can be absolutely relentless with poor system matching (a bright moving coil cartridge). I have not heard a speaker in the 1000-2000 range that I like better than either of those speakers. And they are both so different, figure that one out. I haven't heard the signature but I'll tell you that if you have the right room Vandersteen speakers are the best value in the group. I still like the NHT's but I would never say they are better, just different enough to appeal to certain listeners. Steens do very well matched with good electronics. You can't spend too much. You have to play around with them. I have heard them over the years with ARC products and they can sound absolutely stunning. I think based on your comments that the Steens are for you, but listen to them in your room before you buy if you can.
I have to agree on the vandersteens. I have a pair of 1b's and they sound great. The room is important but once you lock them in your set. I payed 250 for mine (used) and might be looking to upgrade to the 2ce. Good luck