I like Zu Essence best for that price point. Very easy to drive (can do so with as little as 3-5 watts), dynamic, great tone, and no sub required if properly set up.
the revels are great but need a ton of power--you won't be able to drive them with your avr, so i'd probably opt for the more efficient devores. (i personally haven't heard the pioneers, which get great reviews; i'd be intrigued to hear them as well).
If you can find the KEF 203/2 for $3K used, I think they are fabulous speakers. I can't tell you how to choose between the 205s and the 203/2, but the KEF reference speakers I've heard are smooth, detailed, and very involving.
I haven't heard the others, although I did once hear a really bad demo of the Devore 8s. I think there was something wrong with the setup at that dealer, since every speaker I heard there sounded like crap. So, I don't count that demo.
FWIW, I recently upgraded to a pair of Ohm Walsh 2000s, which sell for $2800/pr new. I am very happy with them, and IMO make ideal speakers for a combo music/HT system. They do respond well to bigger amplifiers, however.
Thanks everyone for the feedback
Zu,Devore is you want t good sound and to keep and budget down.
Tyler Acoustics Linbrook monitors - you can save 1k, and they are speakers that work really well with any amplification AND are easy to place (without bass issues). They go loud without strain and sound fantastic at low levels. Very musical speaker, and flat to 35Hz.
I don't mean to start a debate, but I must say I owned the Tyler's before and found them dynamically compressed and overly polite sounding. Fit and finish was very poor as well. Just want to share this.
I sold my Essence for $2500 in the fancy jet black finish. You should be able to find some deals. They would be great for movies, but I couldn't handle the ribbon tweeter for long listening sessions.
Ar first I experienced what Bjesien did with the Zus. But once Zu set them up properly the fatigue factor disappeared. (Not saying that was Bj's issue, just relating my experience.) Setting these up properly is very important. Improper toe-in did sound piercing.
Have you found a place to buy the Pioneers??
Hi, not to hijack, but Rockadanny, what did Zu do to the setup and toe-in that changed your mind? thanks
I think the devores are too nice to be used for a 5 channel system.
thanks everyone. Devore's are too nice? There are people using Wilson, Magico, etc.. Are the Devore's not good for 5 channel?
Have not found a place for the Pioneers yet.
...the Devores are too good....
Tyler Linbrook Signature Systems. Currently $2549 for a used one from Upscale Audio. With $200 for shipping, it would be hard to beat for the price.
I heard the Devore 9's recently and thought they were great. One of the best speakers I had heard in my search for new speakers. you would be lucky to find those second hand at all, and for $3000.
I like Zu too, but found they need the right amp. abit strident with the wrong amp.
Another one to consider, Acoustic Zen Adagio's. They look and sound very good and a lot around2nd hand for the price you are looking for. Not as good as the Devore's or the Daedalus Da-R Ma's I eventually went for, but still very good value
how come no PSB Sync ones mentinoed here? Around $3K here from time to time. Lots of threads indicate them as very good units.
how about Monitors?