Speaker advice

Ok... so I am pretty new to the whole high end audio setup and had a couple questions. Please keep in mind that my budget is fairly limited and my expertise is on the elemetary end. So, I'm looking to you guys for help.

It appears that each time a friend or relative gets new speakers/surround sound, it sounds more amazing than the last person's. For instance, My uncle has a Klipsch RF-82 setup with surround sound etc. I thought it sounded absolutely amazing. My buddy is rocking Focal Electra 927 limited edition... which are awesome. My questions is, with my budget of about a thousand dollars, am I better off with low end Klipsch (RF-35) or saving up a little more and trying to score a used set of Focals (obviously not 927's)? My absolute max would be around $1200 as I can't justify any more spending... not having a great familiarity of what I'm buying (opposed to what I'm hearing). Any advice would be appreciated and sorry about the wordy post.
FYI... this would be for music (jazz, classical, rock) and home theatre, as well. I would pick up the remaining surround sound components as my budget allows.

i would lppk at some of the internet brands............ axiom, hsu and the like that offer potentially better value and offer a thirty day trial in home. make sure you can try at home due to the uniqueness of your space. make sure to move the setup around to see what different locations sound like. make sure your electronics are the best you can afford as well, but imho the speakers should represent at least 50% of the total, if not more. look at the power and current of your amps and how they might match up to any speakers. do the best you can to get used, the opportunity to get the discount allows for better quality.

do not be afraid to start with a 2.1 setup and move up later, stereo with a sub can produce great home theater.
After looking at a few other posts, I should probably give a bit more information. The speakers are going to be setup in the basement (~23x12) and the components that I currently have are a Pioneer Elite receiver and a hand me down Hafler amp.

Used options are many but I wouldnt go low end Klipsch. Internet sellers are an option so are Vandersteen, Def Tech, and too many more to list.....what you need to do is get out and demo more models if possible then members can maybe steer you in better directions but if I were to start with that budget I would seriously look into the current DCM speaker as its really great for the cash.
in that room I would find some Definitive Technology BP7004's and a DefTech CLR2300 center channel, all used here on Audiogon. That would be your $1200 and would include the subs which are built into the BP7004's. If you liked the other systems you mention, this will blow your doors off.
If you liked the RF 82's buy a pair of Klipsch RF7's. I know of a pair locally that has the Dean Westscott crossover modification. You will love them and they should be better than the RF82's (more the equivalent of the RF 83's).

Klispch Cornwalls are also below your budget and will outperform many speakers that are much more expensive. I am a B&W 800 series fan but in your price range and since you already like the RF 82's, stick with Klipsch's better offerings.

Email me if interested in the RF7's (their previous flagship speaker) and I can make contact with the local person.

You can see from my username that I started with Klipschorns.
Although I'll not be able to say for sure what will 'send you' by way of speaker choice... One way to approach this if indeed you want to wind up with an HT system is to go with a nice pair of smaller speakers & very nice sub now.

Later on these smaller two way speakers can be rotated to act as surrounds or rears while being replaced with larger or better main speakers.

I've owned Phase Tech, Canton, B&W, Monitor Audio, Silverline and several others in various itterations. Large, small, and middle or the road. For me in music and HT it's about the blend of the sub and accompanying speakers and space.

Phase Tech offers a great value and very good performance. Canton does as well. Atainnig the proper blend is important and contributes much to your satisfaction. Many good loudspakers makers out there will do what you want... go listen to things you haven't heard yet and see... If nothing you preview floats your boat, the in home 30 day trials are a very good way to find out too... in spite of the hassles of shipping. At least that way isn't a total shot in the dark.

Good luck
Biggest bang for the buck in high quality used speakers is the Vandersteen 2C series of speakers. These can be had for well under your budget requirements. Plus Vandertseen remains in business. Parts and service or advice only a phone call away and thats imprortant for new folks coming into the high end arena. Richard Vandersteen built this company with excellent products and service to match. Very hard to do better price wise or service wise. The sound great with most all genres of music.
Ferrari nailed it. Do keep in mind that (at least IMHO) the Vandy's are very room sensitive, for point source dynamic speakers.
Vandy's also won't play very loudly. They are a wonderful speaker, but my guess is that if our friend from Indiana is looking for something with more slam, that is not Vandy's. I have had them, they are great, I would go as far as to say the 5a is the best speaker I have ever heard, but if he wants to rock out, they are not the best solution, especially in a big room. With his budget I would reiterate the Def Tech suggestion, and maybe add the Paradigm 100's.
I'll second the sub/sat approach. SVS sells a sub for $600 that -on paper- provides astonishing performance. The informed sub crowd on this forum, Bob Reynolds, Shadome and Drew Eckhart among others can provide more detail if you decide to go this route. Bob, in particular, is a fan of SVS.

One main speaker to consider is the small Magnepan MMG ($600). Like the SVS sub, it's sold factory direct with a money back offer. I sometimes use an MMG/sub set-up, and can assure you that at $1200 this combo offers terrific performance. As Blindjim noted, it allows HT in the future. It will also allow you to add a Velodyne SMS-1 sub controller in the future. This device allows you to analyze your room, and optimize the bass - it's very effective for app $500-$600.

Good Luck

I don't know how powerful your amplifier is, but for $1000 plus shipping you could audition a brand new pair of Ohm Micro Walsh Tall speakers. They're omni-directional, throw a huge soundstage, and produce amazingly robust bass. They're a time-honored brand that now sells only direct, and you get a 120-day, money-back home trial. http://www.ohmspeakers.com . John Strohbeen, the President, answers the phone and will be glad to give you personal advice.
Kef IQ9's from audio advisor on blowout for less than $800/pair...read the reviews, especially Hi Fi + product of the year issue! You will have serious sound on a budget.
if HT is definitely in your future, i second the advice about monitors and sub. get them used and 1200$ will get you a very nice set up with plenty of slam for rock and movies. advice... shy away from monitors that rely too heavily on sub for normal deep bass reproduction. sub is best used for deep deep bass and harmonics or it gets tricky to fine tune. jmo. dont forget the room treatments or it is all a waste of effort!
Big10 - before I can offer you any advice, I'd like to know a little more about your system and your preferences.
1. Which Hafler amp do you have and how is it being used?
2. Is the Elite being used as a preamp in your system? 3. What other sources do you have and is your $1200 budget solely for speakers?
4. You listen to jazz, classical and rock but at what kind of sound levels?
5. You have a fairly nice sized room - is it a very live room (hardwood floors, hard surfaces, etc) or a dead room (w/w carpeting heavy drapes) where sound gets absorbed as opposed to reflected off of surfaces?

Since you like a lot of different types of music it comes to reason that you would be most happy with a speaker that is very neutral sounding and presents all types of music in an authentic even-handed manner as opposed to a speaker that emphasizes the bass or treble. Also, since you wish to try to integrate this into a home theatre system, to get the best bang for the buck, I would suggest a 3 piece system - a subwoofer/satellite system.

This type of arrangement has the advantage of being much smaller than large floor standing speakers but has the same full range sound as a floor standing speaker. To me, this makes the most sense and there are many, many options to choose from.
I'm tellin ya, check out the Kef IQ9's on blowout or the new IQ90's which are still only $1600 new...they are great, refined all around speakers. READ THE REVIEWS AND AWARDS!!

That's the last thing you should do.

Go listen for yourself. Speakers are the most personal and subjective component in any system.

There's far too much muck, mud, and dirt in reviews.
I bought a pair of Silverline SR 15s for around $700. I also bought a pair of Canton 220s for much much, less. About $200. Both need a subwoofer to present a full range sound.

both are enjoyable. For Music, the SR15s have the nod.... for HT it's a toss up, with the Silverlines having a better tweeter... both were used as surround/rear speakers in the HT setup. Meaning one doesn't hafve to go crazy spending tons of $$$ for non main or center loudspeakers.

In HT the sub is IMO, more important than the pheripheral speakers.

The Cantons will likely replace the SR15s as rears, and the 15s will move into the actual surrounds if I decide to use the two extra ch's of my 7.1 HT. I use only 5.1 now.

My point here is that initially, or right now, the addition of as good a sub as you can afford is going to be a better place to put your money than into monitor speakers which ultimately are going to wind up as non main channel info speakers. Buying just good there is going to be quite sufficient. until you are ready to cross that bridge at some later date, I assure you having good/nice monitors and a very good sub will be quite enjoyable.... for music and HT.

This way too, you can likely afford some nice stands for them as well.

Enjoy. Regardless your choice (s).
I own Wilson speakers but I'm tuned in to a great bargain when I see one...contact Audio Advisor and skip all the personal experience crap. Hi Fi + gave the IQ9 product of the FREAKIN YEAR right next to the MAGICO's..hello, opportunity knocking!! Oh, and you won't need a sub since they go down to 28hz.
Okay, how about these at $550 delivered:


Then, wait for a deal on a sub or buy this one listed in the classifieds:


Should this setup not please you you could probably sell it at 80% of what you paid with little effort.


several others in this price range are also reviewed, and compaired to each other... do look also at the associated gear list in the side bar.

What drives the speakers is important too by many accounts.