speaker recommendation 2500 or less small room

I am new to the high end audio world and need some advice. I am a law student so money is a big issue and more than likely I will be buying used. Currently I have a set of Infinity IL60s that have blown the amps several times and I am tired of dealing with Infinity. I would like something that is well put together. I normally don't listen to my music loud. I am set up in a small room with only about 8' to the speakers so I need something that will not be picky about placement as they will be close to the back wall as well. This is also the room where I study so a speaker that has a spacious sound would be a big plus, I don't normally stay in the "sweet spot" to terribly long. I like the sound of the B&W CM7. I mention this to indicate what kind of sound I am looking for. Basically if there is anything that anyone can recommend that meets this list of hopeful options I will be very grateful. There is not really not a big selection to listen to around here so if anyone could suggest something that is for sale on this forum that would be seriously awesome. Sorry for the long post, but I have spent a great deal of time reading reviews and opinions and feel more lost now than I did a few months ago.

My current set up

Harman Kardon AVR 325 for the pre amp
McIntosh MC 300
Sony ES cd player
Usher 6311s are a great value. If you live near Ft Lauderdale you can come hear mine
How small is your room? Monitors might be the way to go.

Also, it might be possible to get better overall sound by spending less on used speakers and upgrading from the HK A/V receiver as preamp while you are at it. Like getting these Dk Design LSA-2 for ~$1.6k or B&W CDM 9nt for ~$1,500 and this Joule Electra LA-100 mkII preamp for $1,100. Or, this Audible Illusions Modulus 3A preamp for $1,150.
I find B&W's overpriced...however...if you like that sound you have to be happy. ..just for the heck of it, listen to one of the Vandersteen offerings. I think they are very cost effective. Good luck with the Bar. My wife, brother and best friends are all lawyers and making very nice money. Be sure you are at the top of your class and win the Law Journal competition.
ohm micro walsh..the fullrange good life, on a budget
I am dedidedly biased, but the I feel one of the best speakers for your setup and budget would be the Gallo Ref 3s. There are usually several pairs here for sale from $1300 up to the mid 2k region. They are not placement fussy and deliver a big soundstage even as you move about the room. Read the reviews, they are well-deserved...

Take a look at the Decware website and check out the Radials.
You may consider the Dali Helicon 400
Hi, i'm not going to sell you anything, recommendations are the way we will go.

I've worked for twenty years in the industry and have had my own store in recent past but i've been into this for longer.

I agree with the first person replace that Harman Kardan receiver. It's going to be the weak link in any chain because even if you through in some fabulous speakers, you will still be missing out on the ability of conveying music.

Here's some used pre-amp recommendations that won't break the bank and offer balance to your system. Note: Models no more than 3 to 4 years old as these will generaly offer updates : Rotel, Exposure, Arcam, Consonance, Monarchy Audio, MSB Technology, Opera Audio, Prima Luna, Rogue.

These brands provide some of the top values for a well intgrated system. Some are pre-amps are solid state and others use tubes to add some in most case musicality. The solid state in this price point you can afford looks closer at the detail end of the spectrum.

For now I would be inclined to sway towards a hybrid/tube design because of your front end(Sony CD Player),. I've listened to a few pre-amps and you want to match well. This is where i've seen people start flying through money and products.

This is a big part of the problem; often voltages are mismatched between pre-amp and amplifier and no synergy. Keep in mind that all. Other than that listen, ask and read between the lines.

If you have heard speakers you like this is a good start; however, listen to a few more so you don't find yourself regretting the next week or month. Someone mentioned Usher and they are newer to North America but have had one of the best known speaker designers involved with their products. You can find awesome deals on-line used on both the book shelfs and smaller floor speakers. They have also been one of the best reviewed speakers in the last four or so years. Oh ya! Looks to die for in your price range.

Have a listen to Dynaudio, why? They have some of the very best components in their speakers period. Dynaudio introduced a new line in their speakers above the Audience line. You will find now that the Audience speaker line reduced and this makes them one of the hottest buys out there today period. Although the tweeter is not the Dynaudio Esotar it is still very smooth and once broken in the mid-range is tops period in the price point.

If your goig witha book shelf do not rule out a powered sub, now or down the road. If you sub is of good quality it will integrate and open a massive sound stage and boogie factor. The internal amp in the sub will take the load off other amp and put it's responsibility on the mids and highs. Now you won't have to tax you amp so hard with the main speakers and this gives more sense.

If you move you can still take the sub and adjust for the next room. Some recomendations for subs: SVS, Def Tech SuperCube I, HSU, James Loudspeakers, Rel and Velodyne. Go above the Velodyne entry level stuff, it's more musical; as I find the entry leans more towards home theatre rumble and not as musical.
Note: If you can get a remote with it great, it will save time going to the back to make adjustments. Easier to tell how it will sound from your seat without going back and forth. Don't give up the musical sub though because this will make great to awesome.

I'm sure on your side of the border you will find one the mentioned brand pre-amps for around $500 used. For the sub with taxes $800 with taxes and the speakers that leaves $1200 for the speakers. Focus on that for now and don't worry so much about the CD being updated for now, or the amp. Things should turn up a few notches as you will see.

Last bit, keep in mind the wire being used as you are listening to other systems or components. Short list what you like in the reasonable price range and when can afford, ad it.


The list is endless. I have a pair of Celestion sl700s in a 10x12 foot bedroom; they are not placement fussy, sit near the back wall, and sound great. You might also consider the smaller Audio Note speakers. There is one used pair of sl-700s for sale now; the Audio Note speakers come up for sale quite frequently.
New pair of SP Technology Timepiece Minis. You probably won't need a sub.
You must look at the Mirage Omnisat v2 FS (floorstander) at $1K plus perhaps the Prestige S8 sub to flesh out the bottom octave. I've lived with the first-gen Omnisat satellites for 3-1/2 years, and they make the entire listening space a sweet spot. You still get decent imaging and soundstage depth if you have to put them against the wall. I know, because sometimes I wall-mounted my satellites and they still sounded room-filling and engaging without suckouts or hot spots.

Although the FS model is floorstanding, they occupy less space than most minimonitors on stands. They're 40" tall, but only 5.5"w x 5.9"d. It has an 8"x8", rather thick glass bottom plate with feet or cones to provide a wider, more stable platform. The enclosure is made of thick extruded aluminum, and is as free of boxy resonance as a panel speaker. It's sensitivity rating is 93dB at 1w input, yet can handle up to 175w, so it doesn't take much to drive it and it can play loud. The omnidirectional pattern energizes the entire room, imparting the feel of live music, and makes the entire room the sweet spot just as you get with a live performance. Even if you're sitting to the left of the left speaker, you will still hear the entire L-R stereo image.

The FS extends down to 55 Hz. If you want that last octave, add their very compact Prestige S8, which is about a 1' cube and goes down to the mid-20s.

One more thing: Even though they're $1K/pair, the Omnisat v2 FS is competitive with your max budget; these things do great image presentation spiced by excellent clarity, inner detail, pacing, and air.
First I would like to thank everyone for there response. Secondly, I would like to know what to expect from an upgrade to the pre amp. And sense I am using a Mc solid state, would I be better off choosing a tube or solid state. Will a smaller speaker sound better at lower volume than a very large speaker.

Please explain "This is a big part of the problem; often voltages are mismatched between pre-amp and amplifier and no synergy."

Also the amp is new so it will not be replaced for a long time to come.
Hi, sorry for not explaining more and on my part. Sometimes when the input sensitivity between amp and pre-amp is not equal the products won't act in sync.

I have a friend who purchased and tried several pre-amps with his modified ss amps. I was wondering why when he tried Edge, Linear, my previous Bel Canto Pre3 pre-amp he was not getting the results he wanted. I felt for him and told him what I was thinking and he later found something; however he almost gave up in anger and frustration not to mention a shit load of money and time.

Often matching manufacturers pre & power eliminates these issues and then there are other times you will find a manufactures equipment will blend equally, as well, with others, as with it's own. Check the voltage between the two if your not getting the desired result.

One more example: Reviewer recommends product "A" that works with his equipment and he is in awe of the experience.
Person can't listen to that item anywhere around him so he purchases it. He get item "A" shipped to him plugs it in with his gear; not impressed. Gives item "A" some break in ; still no fire works! Panick and buyers remorse settles in and makes a couple calls and listens, yet same results. This is a lot more common than you think and is system matching; avoid the marry-go-round.

This was mentioned in the best interest of not falling into this senario. Some extra ammunition in case some thing comes up.



Energy Veritas 1.8 used - great value.
Energy Veritas kicks butt! Linear, fast, wide dispersion, musically involving, devoid of boxy resonances. I agree. One of the Veritas floorstanders got pretty high up on S'phile's Recommended list, but they all should have been there.

For what it's worth, have a look at this humongous thread on "budget," small-room speaker recommendations that I started a couple of months ago. There's quite an education to be had there! :-)

Good luck!

ATC 7 or 11s
Thanks again everyone, I just ordered a set of the Gallo Reference 3.1s and they should be here in about a week and a half. This was the first speaker that overwhelmed me, and didn't feel like I was making a compromise. Now that just leaves the matter of the pre amp :]
The recommendation of the Gallo's was wonderful. Switching from my IL60's I had no idea what I was missing. I am in heaven and they are not even close to broken in. Nice to fill the room with wonderful sound to study by.
I am honored that you acted on my suggestion. I am thoroughly thrilled with my Ref. 3s. They love high-current amps, keep that in mind when mating them up to your front-end. Let us know how they work out for you...

Can anyone give me a suggestion on how loud I should have these to break them in, I have had them turned up fairly loud sense a bat problem has forced my neighbor to vacate for a few days, but I have not been rattling the floors or anything. What exactly is a high current amp, I would assume that Mc I have was but after spending a few days reviewing "high current" amps I am not certain. (on a side note I am now a big fan of bats)

I am also no using a Mcintosh C28 pre amp and Mcintosh MCD 7000 cd player. Picked them both up cheaply because they need some minor work. It is amazing to me what people will through away due to small problems.
Wow, I also just realized how badly I need to proofread.
Usher BE-718. Used can be had here on AG for $1700-$2000. Can probably be had from a dealer for $2400-2500 new if you can talk them down from $2795 retail. Superb speaker for the money. Monitors aren't going to get much better in this price range IMHO.
The Mac is a fine amp for those speakers. Play them loud for 100-150 hours. Loud is 95+ db...

Merlin TSM, or one of the smaller Harbeth or ProAc "bookshelves".
hey gixer, I hope you are protecting your ears whilst on your hyper intergalactic ballistic missile, otherwise it won't matter what speakers you purchase,lol
ROSSIni fan.
Lol Rossi, the only way it shall damage my hearing now is if it somehow returns to life and navigates its way back from the junk yard. It and I are both in much better and safer places now.