Speaker help please for $2000 US

I am in rural Alaska and 450 miles from a shop. I will not be able to listen to my next purchase. I know that is stupid. I have a Parasound 1500A 2ch amp. I have an older Paradigm sub, the PS-10. A large listening room with a vaulted ceiling. I listen to acoustic folk. I am new to the hifi stuff. Please give me some names and models of speakers that I should be looking at on the net please. I like active quick sound. Big base is big not a big need as I am not into the home theater stuff. Any insight you could give me would be appreciated. I have only listened to the Paradigm Studio 100's v2. Thanks
Try the Magneplanars 1.6Q. They need a room like yours, and have the nicest midrange for jazz ensembles, small quartets, and folk music. Nice soundstage if not fantastic. Vocalists sound as if they're in the room with you. These speakers are capable, but do require some moderately powered power amp. Check to see if yours is sufficient. They're about $1,650 new, or used for $1300. Good luck.
Thanks Mtnsteve. I will look into them. I appreciate your help.
I would suggest 1.6Q's too!
I currently own the Maggie 1.6QRs (well, for a couple more days anyway), and can also recommend them as very enjoyable sounding speakers. While they do require a fair amount of power, your Parasound should be up to the task. I would suggest considering the Dunlavy SM-1 speakers as well. As extremely neutral speakers they aren't to everyone's taste, but I found the Dunlavy's a compelling improvement over the 1.6QRs (or anything else I'd heard). They list for $2k, but can be found slightly discounted at various dealers and you can sometimes find used/demos for about $1500.
I haven't heard these, but the reviews of the following commented on thier speed: Joseph Audio, Triangle, Innersound's Isis (electrostatic), and as above, the 1.6qr. I'm not sure how well the parasound can drive electrostatics, but you might want to check out Martin Logan as well as Innersound. I personally think the Aerius sucks because their highs are so muted and boxed in, but the SL3, which is great, can be bought used for around 2k. I like Monitor Audio too. Thier silverline series is pretty damn good and i bet would go well with you amplification. Those speakers are fast, pretty neutral, less colored than a lot of others in this price range, and have a large sound. Good luck
I think Olga is looking for little bit more "musical" speakers than mentioned above.
If you are willing to buy used speakers, you should consider a pair of Vandersteen 3A's (MSRP is $2800, but you can find relatively new, used version for about $1800). At the used price, the Vandy 3A is an outstanding buy, with excellent range (down to about 28 hz), good soundstaging and transparency, fine balance for acoustic music, and they work quite well with virtually all decent amplifiers. I owned a pair of Vandy 3A's, and now have the 3A Signatures, and I recommend them highly.
I just replaced my 1.6's with a pair of Newform Research R645's. Both sound phenomenal with acoustic music. John at Newform is a great designer and I would recommend calling or emailing him. The 645's are $2265 delivered and you have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee (5 year warranty). The smaller 630's are $1516; he also has blems and demos for less sometimes. Both speakers are unbelievable performers and one would be hardpressed to find this level of sound with comparably priced box speakers. Email me if you'd like any more info/comparisons. Mike
hi olga,

check out newform research's r645 on their www. also check out the user-reviews on audioreview, accesable from newform's site. these can be had for $2265 delivered; w/a 30-day in-home trial - if ya don't like 'em, yure only out the shipping charges to send 'em back. take note of the quality of the ancillary equipment used by the reviewers, & the quality of the loudspeakers these are compared to. also, john meyer, newform's owner/designer *is* a great person to deal with.

no, i don't own these - yet! i *am* going to get a pair, tho. and, this from a cheapskate, who almost *always* buys equipment used - better value! (i have invested ~$12k into my stereo over the years - retail is ~$35k). :>) in this case, i believe that this will be the best value for my $2265, even compared w/what's awailable used for this amount of money.

regards, doug

I replaced Studio 100 with Soliloquy 5.3 Small, but heavy. Seem much more musical, better image and soundstaged than Para. Underwoodwally sells "B" for $1400 pr. that I can't tell from perfect. Great in price range. Very efficient. May want to check 6.3 also. Wally is always glad to talk. I have replaced 2 speaker setups w/ the solos
Take a look at accessories4less.com. They are the authorized Internet liquidator for Acoustic Research. I purchased a pair of AR302's for $250 + $75/shipping (list $1000) and have teamed them with ADCOM power & pre-amps & a SONY ES CD player. I am using 8" glass blocks as stands. Sound is smooth; detailed; ... pretty fantastic. My acoustic folk musical tastes lean towards Bill Staines; Nancy Griffiths; etc. They also sell the AR1's (Stereophile Class B) for about $1200 a pair. Good luck.
Olga, this poses a real problem. I think that the speakers could suffer some damage on the dog-sled during a 450 mile trip, and of course there is always the possibility that the alpha-husky will relieve himself on the cargo. I have found most folk to be acoustic, even when they prudently should not be, but it's nice to hear that someone listens to them. Of course, the real problem is your vaulted-ceiling. This is a novel idea, keeping the igloo warm by vaulting the ceiling? Isn't there a possibility of condensation on the audio equipment potentially causing an electrical shock? Of course, you use a generator as your power supply, but doesn't that create a sound pressure problem? You could overcome that I suppose simply by increasing the volume on your amplifier so that it is louder than the generator. Well, one thing is certain, you do not have to worry about the equipment overheating and the sound of Joan Baez blaring over the speakers will scare away the polar bears. As to which brand of speaker will work well in your location, it's clear that any of the ones that use antifreeze should do the trick. Of course you like *active, quick sound* because if it were any slower it would freeze as it travels the distance from the speakers to your ears. However, I have always found Joan Baez voice to be somewhat chilling anyway. Good luck, and keep us posted as to the progress you make in your search for hi-fi in the tundra.
Olga: I just got a pair of Silverline Audio SR-17's. Absolutlely smoked my Paradigms straight out of the box (no break in time then, near on 24 hrs already of steady, verrrrry happy listening). These little guys not only make magic with classical, but they can ROCK! And since you mentioned it - the first cd I played was Joan Armatrading - or was she really in my living room? So far, I can say that their "soft dome" tweeter can hit notes I probably can't hear, and the ones I can are as smooth as a new tube. And bass - my gawd the bass! (Well, ok, I had been deprived to an extent - Paradigm only went to about 46hz, these guys measure down to the mid 30's) Still - the bass is a joy! Believe me when I tell ya, the extremes are only the beginning - the mid range is where these speakers really excel, but I'm running low on superlatives here. The only caveat (and I'm beginning to believe this is may be true for all "good" speakers) is that they absolutely tell the truth about your equipment, but your Parasound shouldn't be a problem. At the dealer, this was obviously not an issue (He set up top end Conrad Johnson gear throughout (Transport, DAC, Pre & Power, J. Michel Orbe(?) tt with $8500 SME arm & cartridge - oy, if only I had Bill Gates checkbook!). Me, pending my new tube amp and passive pre, I'm still using my oldish NAD AV713, and NAD 515 CD - and it still sounds miles away from my Paradigms. Just for the record, I've been hunting for speakers with a 2k price cutoff for a while, and have auditioned on my system Spendors (yuck!) and Phase Techs (not significantly better than the Paradigms at significantly more money). Like you, however, I am limited in what I can audition locally - I originally went to this dealer to audition Meadowlark Kestral Hot Rods & Silverline Panatella IIs - but he had NO stock of any Meadowlark products at all, and the SR-17s were all he had in the 2k range for Silverline (luckily for me, as it turns out). This is the only Meadowlark or Silverline dealer within 2 hrs one way, but I have no other option except the dealer I got the Spendor and Phase Techs from (who also carries Pro-Acs, but ....no stock. Seems to be a trend - become a dealer, but don't stock any product. At least my Paradigm dealer keeps the full line available on site, and generally is a willing lender for demo's!) Ok, I got excited, I'm sorry. May I simply say I recommend the Silverline SR-17 to you? chas
Hi Olga, consider Thiels, maybe 1.5's, or 2 2's since you don't need a lot of bass even though both these speakers have a very satisfying low end. The ultimate would be 3.6's, IMHO, the best speaker under 10K. I have found Thiels to have the most open, natural sound for a dynamic speaker, especially acoustic guitar. However, these speakers will rock also. Your price range is a fit for used, the 3.6's are an 8 year old design so you can find them for sale around 2K. Good luck.
Olga, I have to suggest the Martin Logan SL-3's. They are the direct competitor with the Magneplanars mentioned above. I bought them because I got a good deal on them locally, otherwise I would have had to drive to Chicago to audition the maggies. Either way acoustic music (my favorites are Clapton:Unplugged and James Taylor's Greatest Hits) sound incredible. I don't think you can go wrong with either speaker. Good Luck.
I want to thank all of you for your help and insight. I have spent many hours on the net looking at you suggestions. Thanks for not making me feel like an oaf. The sun returns to us here in 6 days. It will be a welcome sight. I should have my mind made up by then. This is a great resource for someone like me. Thanks to all...well almost all. Minus40, I appreciate your sense of humor but I would have appreciated your genuine input even more. Peace,
Olga - You definitely need some great speakers to get you through those long dark winters!
Olga, look for a pair of Vanderstein 2CIs or 2CEs with SoundAnchor Stands. Martin-Login Areius loudspeakers are also a great bargain and match well with just about any electronics.
Hi Olga: I will put in a late plug for Reynaud speakers. I use the Twins (retail is around $800.00) and would also suggest the Trentes as well if your budget is a bit over $2K. The Twins kill on acoustic music and eveything else that I have thrown at them a well. I have run them with a 75 watt/channell SS amp and a 7 watt/channel tube amp and they have worked well with both. They do not have a deep low end, but they will handle the low "E" on a Fender Jazz bass which is all that I ask and they are one of the most "musical" speakers that I have owned. They are easy on space and the eyes as well.
Please listen to RGH.