Speakers for a first-time separates system?

In a parallel thread, many of you have offered helpful suggestions as to which new/used amp+pre-amp combinations would be great for someone starting out in separates.

Meanwhile, I have been auditioning speakers and have narrowed the choice to three models, with one line a wildcard. These are all roughly the same price, new or used:

Paradigm S2
Dynaudio Contour MK 1.3
Spendor 3/1

The wildcard is Tyler Acoustics: there are several models in my price range, but I cannot listen to any of them since the showroom is in KY.

My hard price limit is $1800.

Any insight regarding these for manufacturer's products (these four only) would be great!

It's your ears so in the end it's what makes you happy.
The only speakers on your list I've heard are the Spendor's and as a satisfied ex-Spendor owner my opinion is biased.

One thing you HAVE TO take into consideration, particularly as a newbie, is resale value. The odds are you'll, sooner rather than later, upgrade.

It's now my opinion (wasn't always) that speakers by a small margin are the most important part of a system. So get the best you can afford.
The front end follows very closely. Garbage in/garbage out.
Speakers are (in my opinion) the most important link in the chain and the most personal. Yes the pre, amp, source, etc does matter but the speaker is the only component that actually makes sound (ideally). Those who like horns are not often into mini-monitors and those who are into electrostats are not often into horns.

The Spendors you chose are awesome speakers that hold their resale value about as well as anything else out there. They are forgiving without limiting detail. Chances are they will not be the first thing you want to upgrade when the bug strikes.

Good luck!
Hi Ivy,
I'm not familiar with the Spendors, but am completely with the Paradigm and the Dynaudio models mentioned, and recommend you play your "wild card" and check out the Tyler Acoustic Linbrook monitors. They are pretty amazing!
You can usually pick up a used pair here for around your budget price. If your timing is right, I've seen them go with the matching stands for less than $2000, depending on condition.
Good luck!

Disclaimer: I have NO vested interest at all with Tyler Acoustics, nor any for/to sell. I've owned a pair and Ty is a GREAT guy to deal with!
I have a friend that just bought a pair of Tyler's. And they do sound great. And the build quality is excellent. He also had nothing but great things to say about the customer service. I just might have to look into a pair myself.

Yeah, I've pretty much knocked the Dynaudios and the Paradigms off of the list as of tonight...The Spendors are on it because they were the first speakers that I found, out of my entire list (about 14 speakers) that did what I wanted, when I wanted...

I had a conversation with Ty today: what a fantastic experience. Nice as can be and so informative - and real.

So, the revised list is as follows, in no particular order:

Tyler Taylo Reference Monitor
Spendor 3/1
Tyler Linbrook Reference Monitor
Try Totem Rainmakers if they are available in your area.
I have not listened to the Dynaudios, but the Tylers and especially the Paradigms are extremely fine speakers. I love the S2, and think that it is an incredible bargin. Why would you eliminate the Paradigms? I don't know anyone who has heard them, who did not love them.

Good luck.
Don't forget to match the speakers with right amp.
This is very critical.
Those EVOs are a good starting point at $250. Dynaudios are generally 4-ohm spkrs and as such require an amp with some cojones to coax the best sound from them. A little more fussy in placement and wire choices. I was never ga-ga over Paradigms; Energy/Mirage and PSB offering much better values, imo. Spendors will probably give the greatest satisfaction over time, and you may avoid chasing the sonic dragon with upgrade-itis. I finally learned that the ultimate luxury is wanting what I have, not what I want. That was a big $$ journey, but the lesson is priceless. The Spendor S6 avoids stand issues and they will look good and play great in nearly any room. Best of luck in your quest.
If you can find a pair of used Tyler Linbrook Monitors in your budget range, go for it. These sound much 'larger' than your typical small two way speaker but image just as well. These ARE high end speakers - the quality of sound is such that you will be able to go thru a lot of electronic's changes without needing to up-grade your speakers unless you are looking for more bass. Even though they are not 'bright' in any sense, they are highly revealing of sources and you will hear the benefit of quality electronics. With their efficiency they are easy to drive with medium powered amps.