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You've got a lot of choices for $6k used. If you can stretch your budget just a bit more -- say $7500 -- you can probably get a used pair of Vandersteen Model 5's, which are a terrific speaker. If you need to stay under $6k, you should consider the Coincident Technology Total Eclipse or Super Eclipse; the Magneplanar 3.6's; the Martin-Logan Prodigy (used) or Ascent (new); Meadowlark Heron Hotrod; Vienna Acoustics (can't think of the model, but it's one step below the top-of-the-line Mahler); and Dunlavy SC-IV's. I'm sure you'll get other good recommendations to go with these.
Not only do you have the coolest name I've seen (Tubegroover's bumped from the top!) You have common sense and gave great advice!!
Now for my .02...... How anyone could listen to B&W speakers and an amp as bright as Bryston (yes, I'm sure many will attack me for this, but it's what I hear in this setup!) Get a smoother amp and less harsh speakers!
Outlier: You can't do much better than the B&W N802's. Those babies just sing, and the only step up would be revel's, but the N 802's just look sooo cool. I sound like the guy above me I know but read the reviews---#1 and #2. You could use your 805's for your center, or rears in surround sound. Good luck, I think you would love the 802's.
I like the Maggie suggestion, but tubes may not be the order of the day with them(they need current). I got my hands on some Meadowlark Kestrals and never looked back. They have been powered by tubes(Anthem amp 1) and SS(Aragon 4004,Marsh 200watter,) and the kestrals sung with both. I would think the other models of Meadowlark would bring the level up a tad. As suggested audition everything and go with what makes you happy.
Two suggestions for you. First, upgrade the MSB to their Platinum unit. The upgrade is well worth the incremental dollars. Second, whatever speaker you chose, buy it in combination with the "down the road" amplifier. The synergy between power amp and speaker is too important for them not to be considered as a single unit. If you want a big, ugly speaker that won't impress any of your audiophile friends and doesn't have much "sound", consider the Spendor S100. It's much more neutral as well as natural sounding than the B&Ws. The DAC upgrade and the Spendors will give you a better bang than only going with a higher priced speaker.
Whatever you do, don't take it too seriously. It's not a reflection on your manhood if you make a mistake. Remember, this shit's supposed to be fun.
The Talon Khorus speakers need to be on your short list. They can be had used for under $6k. They may not look as cool as the N802's, but they're an attractive speaker nonetheless. Check out their website for professional reviews and more info at www.talonaudio.com. Note that they've recently modified the look and weight of the cabinet and now call it the Khorus X.
Kennyt, I agree with your assessment on the bryston/B&W
combo, that may not be the best match, but he is using a tube pre and cardas cables. That stuff is warm. The kimber will cause it to sound bright. I would avoid them in this case. I'm a box man myself, Transparent amd MIT. Thats what works in my system. I had planned a couple virtual systems,
put them together at my dealer, auditioned them, and bought
the components piece by piece untill It was complete. Of course I am constantly upgrding but that is the nature of this quest.
You didn't describe your room...nor listening geometry.
My setup required nearfield (7.5' triangle) 10' out from the front wall. Nautilus simply doesn't cohere in the nearfield. I ended up blowing the wad on Parsifal Encores
(truly amazing), but for less than 1/2 their demo price would have bought Revel F30 new ($3k) over Nautilus, Aeriel 7b, 8, Thiel 2.3., if my wife and I could've lived with their California-moderne look....
I cannot emphasize enough the requirement to listen IN YOUR ROOM. Frequency response issues, bass-loading, and geometry of listening position are overwhelmingly determined by the speaker/room interaction. Buying a speaker to match a previously-chosen amp is completely ass-backwards.
Get the transducers right first: speaker, then source, then electronics, finally cabling.
Good luck! Ernie
While I'm in line w/ Ernie, above, I've had wallet-busting experience relating to "transducer" choice. I have purchased "great sounding" speakers in the past (A Physic Medea) -- great sounding with other amplification, that is. For "other", please read 3x the price and current capabilities of my resident amps. Result was great speaker, sensitive enough, room OK -- but I couldn't really drive it to greatness, now, could I? (The answer is I couldn't & didn't).
Whatever tickles your fancy, getting the transdicers right means, in my book, within reasonable limits of your driving capability, including projected amp upgrades.
Thanks everyone for the good advice. I'm thinking I will have to upgrade both my amp and speakers now. I may go with the amp upgrade first as it's a bit cheaper to do. The Coincident Total Eclipse sounds like a great speaker, but my room is not that big (about 18x15 feet). I think I may lean toward the Revel Studios - I have heard such great things about them I suspect they'ld match my tastes well - I should audition though :-) On the amp front, despite my yearning for tubes, I may have to get a good solid state amp to drive them. I've had the Levinson 335 recommended but it's rather expensive (over $5k used). Hence, I may consider the BAT VK500 - supposed to offer some of the warmth of tubes, and it should be far more refined than my Bryston (and half the price of the Levinson used). Anyway, I'll let you know what I end up with. Thanks again for all the good advice. Cheers,
If I had 6000.00 to spend I would use it to upgrade your source.You can buy an Audio Aero Capitole Cd Player new for that price.Its a 24-192 unit tube output.Then use the Money you get for you DAC/Transport and 805 and buy a used pair of Super Eclipse.The Cd player will blow you away.
If you can look for a local dealer and audition one in your present system.
I am a big beliver in the SOURCE being your most important piece.
Garbage in Garbage out.
at that price-range, i'd strongly consider the vmps ff3/sre - there's a pair on a-gon currrently for $4300. or the vmps ff1/sre, adwertized fo $6k on a-gon. the ff1 mite be overkill in yer room, tho... as ewe will need another amp to drive these, w/the ff3 at $4300, yule have some spare cash for a nice toob-amp for the hi-pass... ;~) wish *i* had the scratch...
regards, doug s.
Guys, Just wanted to mention that I've made three upgrades, one of which is the speakers. I replaced the Bryston 4bst with Blue Circle BC2 hybrid monoblocks - a very nice addition, bringing less brightness, more transparency and a sweeter more open soundstage. I then got a Rel Strata II sub to beef up the bottom end as the Nautilus 805s are a little lacking there. Now the system is quite robust. Finally, I'm expecting delivery of a new pair of Audio Physic Virgo IIs to replace the Nautilus 805s. I got a great deal on them, but I hope I'll have enough power (75wpc) to drive them well. They operate at a 4ohm speaker load. Anyway, we'll see. Next upgrade is CD player...........it never ends....
I have owned most of the speakers out there, C5 is a very special speaker even Temptation will admire as C5 use some very exotic soft midrange dome which cost over $800 a pair. The midrange is incrediblly fast and transparent, put some electrostatic to shame sometimes. Problem is they don't work well with tube (I tried them with SF Power 3 and they clip all the time), so mate them with a Pass Lab or Plinius.
you may regret it. These are some of the finest 2-way speakers you can buy at any price. Stunning. All music forms sound excellent on the Arcus which responds well to a solid 50wpc and above, SS or tube. I auditioned many of the speakers listed here before buying the Arcus and haven't looked back. They, like other Avalons, have had excellent reviews. Suggest you check the AvalonAcoustics.com website for more information. Good hunting!
Djlackey - you were right. I don't need the sub with the new Audio Physic's. They more than perform in that area. Hence I'll be selling the sub soon. Also I upgraded one interconnect to SPM refernece, and got a YBA CD1a. Both upgrades were amazing. I'm so happy with the system now. Just some more cable upgrades and I'm set....... for a while :-)