Energy c-5 monitors...around 4-$500
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IMO, put aside ~100 for good speaker stands; these are always useful (i.e. not short-lived, more like keepers). The Energy's above are nice, used LS3/5A are also a legendary speaker (& a keepeer). Used Sonus Faber could also be the ticket. Last, you may want to check out products from nOrh. They have unusual speakers in the $400 range, new. Good luck & have fun!
I agree with Gregm about the stands if the speakers are monitors. Go listen to Acoustic Energy, AE-three. These are $700/pair new. These are floor standing speakers. Their sound is excellent, if you can find them used they would be that much cheaper. Use the rest for a good pair of cables, or music. This speakers are mdf with vinyl, not wood veneer, but the vinyl is as good a quality as you can get.
For $600 you can easily get a pair or Vandersteen 2 series, 2ces or 2 cis. They sound good with a variety of electronics and sources, assumming you have room for them. Usually sold with Sound Anchor stands. You will need bi-wire cables to get the most out of them, but you can use jumpers to start. Maybe too big ofr a bedroom, but if youhaved room for floorstanders, these are a good way to go.
Paradigm Studio Reference 20 monitors are a good value and sound great with NAD gear. Someone is selling here on Audiogon. Also B&W make nice monitors 601-602 series 3. These will all have good resale value. Think ahead. Are you going to be living in a dorm in a couple years? Would you bring your stereo? Another solution might be the Aego 2 sub sat system that you can hook up to your computer.
I have given my 2 teenage sons each an HK330B in good condition. They compete quite well with today's low-power NADs, IMO, and were a lot cheaper. Note the 330B has screw-down speaker connectors.
One son will be getting a used pair of Paradigm Titans, the other will be getting used PSB Alpha Minis. These would be too vulnerable on stands so they will be wall-mounted (on a side wall, not the back wall because both models are rear-vented).
Start now by calling yourself an audiophile. Nothing about ownership or non-ownership makes you "pre" anything (aside from more broke, once you start spending!) You have the sound in your head and heart, that's what it's all about.
BTW, I N+1 the Acoustic Energy recommendations. For a monitor, the AE Aegis 1 is a closeout item, having been replaced by the AE Aegis EVO 1. Expect to see new non-EVO Aegis 1's for $200 and under. Fantastic speaker, fantastic bargain.
The Aegis 3 / Aegis EVO 3 is a floorstander, and quite fine (I own a pair doing rear-duty in a $10k setup, and have heard them as fronts in a $2.5k setup, and they are a fantastic speaker.) Expect $575 for used Aegis EVO3, and down to $350 for new-to-used Aegis EVO3. Ebay and Audiogon both have regular listings for these, with the older (closeout) non-EVO models appearing in frequency about 10-to-1 over the newer EVO models.
Wait for the right deals - the market will never be fairer - you should be able to make some serious strides in this climate.
Good suggestions above, but given your space considerations, my rememberances of myself and AC/DC concerts at 16, etc. I think the Vandersteens would be too big and perhaps overload your room and the LS3/5A's would be a bit "warm" (I own Spendor LS3/5A's in a second system and love them BTW), so maybe look at Totem.
Nice vocals, very good soundstaging, can rock, are made very nice with good wood etc.
The newer Totem's are nice, but if it were me, and I could find an amp to push about fifty watts minimum, I might try to pick up one of the older Model Ones. You know, before the Signature model biwire. Or even, throw in a little more, $800 used, and try to scam a pair of Signatures here on audiogon.
The Totems Sigs would carry you through an amp and CD upgrade later. And then a wire upgrade after that, so you would have plenty of use out of them even while your system improved. Also, even if you went to sell them in 3-5 yrs or so, you should still be able to get $500/pr for them, which means that you would have had very good speakers for five years at about $75/yr. Not bad considering that you can also grow into them in the coming years and not feel like you need something else (and, er, if you've found this sight at 16 and are going NAD with Totems, it, well, won't be your last time asking these questions, right guys? My condolences on you burgeoning addiction).
What do you think guys on this reasoning?
Can't argue with Asa's approach (BTW the LS3/5A *are* warmish). Especially, buy something nice now -- which will probably keep even as audiophilia nervosa expands with time. The Totem sounds good -- hadn't thought of that. The older models seem to have a more "staccato" sound, the newer ones more mellow (so, for rock the older ones could be the ticket).
How about Triangle (titus & the like) -- anyone have these & can comment?
Woops, I didn't read this post carefully, thought I was hearing from a father not a son. 600 bucks eh ? I like Asa's idea of buying something to carry you through later upgrades, and I like the Totem and Triangle suggestions. The Totem Ones are _much_ harder to drive than the Triangles though. Maybe one could get lucky and find a used pair of Meadowlark Kestrels ?
However I run a Linn LP12 and I say source first. I have always wanted to spend more time with a system whose source was superb but whose downstream stuff was not, than vice versa. My advice would be to look for speakers that you will love for $600--Totem, Triangle and Meadowlark might be right, keeping in mind they are not equivalent and need different electronics--but do this only if you already have a great source.
When I was in your shoes I found a pair of paradigm 9semk3's for 350! and they absolutely rocked. I used to listen to them for hours with a big smile on my face(up to that point I had never heard anything close to their performance) and for 350 bucks!! what a steal. Dont waste your time paying full stroke for some bookshelf speakers that will lose half of their value as soon as you walk out of the door with them and wont have any bass extention at all. Buy used from a seller with good feedback, you will get a hell of a lot more speaker for your money. Ive seen the paradigm monitor 9's going for $500 and the 7's for even less. The 7 and 9 semk3 were the models before the monitor line came out and they sound just as good. Now those are some serious speakers for the money. A decent outboard amp is a must too. Find you an older b&k or acurus for a few hundred dollars.
Wow! Thanks a lot for all the feedback, I finally have some good starting places. I'm wishign more and more that I had a good store in my area! What would be some good integrated amps to go with these speakers?? Keep in mind for the next 10 years (finish high school+college) these speakers will be in a small room. I definetly want to buy used, because it just seems that you get a drastic amount more for your money. Thanks for answering all these questions, and hopefully over the next few monthes I'll procure a system that will fully allow me to discover my collection of music. For now the only two things I want to get are int. amp and speakers becuase I've recently inherited a great old sony (I know, not the brand of choice) cd player. I was shocked, but this player sounds great hooked up to a friends HK amp+infinity overture system. So can anybody suggest an amp to go with the speakers they've suggested? Also, I hear great things about the magnepan mmgs...and it'd be sweet to have something a little "different". How much amp would I need to push these things, do they really need as much power as others have said to sound the best they can? Thanks again for any responses!
Welcome to high end audio. That's a good age to start.
Second the recommendation on the Paradigm Studio 20's. For $350-400 (stands included), they're an enormous bargin on the used circuit.
If you can afford to stretch a bit, go for the Studio 20 actives (~$700-800). With the amps built in, it's a great, simple package. Get a Citation 7.0 pre-amp (~$300-400) and you're SOLIDLY in the high end.
I agree with chris, those paradigm floorstanders are about the best bang for the buck ive ever heard. Go to audioreview.com and read the reviews on the 9semk3 or the monitor 9's. I wouldnt worry too much about space, your room seems plenty big enough. 25x15 is not small, are you sure you measured right? My room is 13.5x18 and I have Dunlavy 4a's which are 6 feet tall, and besides, dont you know, being an audiophile means you might have to throw out the couch to make room for your speakers. hehe