If you like B&W (and particularly if you can get a deal on them) consider a pair of S805 with a REL sub. While I haven't heard any of the S line, I liked the N805 + REL combo better than any other B&W setup (especially the N804).
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First you did not tell us your musical preference, the sound you are looking for, what your system sounds like now and what you are trying to improve. I could recommend monitor size speakers or floor standers, but I do not have a clue to what you are looking to do with your system. IMO speakers should be selected first and then find an amp that mates the best with them.
Your rotel amp will mate well with Vandersteen spekaers and you can always find a pair of Vandy 3As for sale here, buy them and see if you like them and then resell for no real cost to you if you do not like the sound. They are slightly warm sounding but very musical. The are not rock and roll speakers but overall are a good value and a good starting point to see what you like and dislike about them. The B&Ws will also work well with the amp. Talon Audio Raven C spekaers are another good choice as they are very fast, have deep bass, extended highs, etc. They can be had for $3K used.
Some of the other speakers recommeded are good speakers but are harder to hear in your system and resell IMO.
"JM Lab Electras would be a good match if you like B&W sound."
Except that they sound MUCH better. B&W's have a tweeter that seems like it is trying to rip my ears right off of my head whenever I turn them up enough to get adequate mid-range. Just one man's opinion, and one man's ears, however.
A wonderful speaker in this price range on the used market is also the PMC OB-1. Significantly harder to drive than the JM Labs, but your Rotel gear has plenty of umph, so not an issue.
Actually several of these were in my initial list. But some interesting additions too. I thought the Von Schweikert VR4Jr, the Thiel CS2.4, and the Dali Helicon 800 would show up in the suggestions, but they didn't. Do you guys see these as lesser speakers? They've got very good reviews, and some at audiogon are adamant about the VR4Jr.
Which JM Lab Electras do you guys recommend? Do you guys know a dealer? Their website wasn't fantastic, really.
Thank you guys!
I posted earlier about the Gallo's and I actually went from them to Dali Helicon 800's, and though I barely had time to get used to the Gallo's, I think I can speak for both.
The Dali's are incredible speakers, but are more sensitve to the upstream equipment, and thrive on transparent components. They are another great option but you will likely be happier with the Gallo's if you do not plan on upgrading electronics, just my opinion.
The Gallo's don't seem to need as much power, and are less revealing in the highs making it less fussy about the components, especially CD players. They throw a huge soundstage and have excellent bass extension for such a small speaker.
FYI I am using Bel Canto components through the whole chain and running a bridged Evo 6 to the Helicons at 380 wpc and they really open up with lots of power.
B&W owners rarely like Vandersteens. B&W's (at least from my limited experience) have a much brighter and detailed sound, whereas the Vandys are more subdued and laid back. They are nearly polar opposites on the speaker continuum IMHO.
As Bigkidz pointed out, you didn't say what you did or did not like about your B&W's. If you like your B&W's, I don't think you'll like the Vandersteens. If you find your B&W's to be fatiguing, then give the Vandys a shot. If you find these to be too laid back, try Focal-JMLabs, Spendor S8e or Audio Physic Tempo.
In all honesty, I think people spend way too much on speakers and not nearly enough for amplification. If you generally like the sound of your B&W's you may be surprised to find out how much *more* you'll like them with the right amp/pre-amp. With $4K, you can get quite a big boost in quality if you buy used. Just my $.02.
Yes, I agree JM Labs are much better than B&Ws in general - I was just suggesting they are somewhat similar family of sound.
Which model depends on your room size. If it is greater than 270 sqft or so, I would say the 936. If less, the 926 (which is what I have in my 14x15 room) will have much better bass delivery and imaging. You could also check out the 927Be and 937Be which were limited edition and have the same tweeter as the flagship Utopia Be. All are great if you match them to your room size.
yuor ears, your music, your personal taste! I have tried to like offerings from B&W, life would be easier going with the masses. Our differences in taste should void any suggestions I would make so maybe use this list in reverse?
I settled on Vienna acoustics Beethovans $3000.rosewood paradigm sm100 supposed slayers were eliminated $2100.
dynaudio audience 80-82 close, real close. as a matter of fact if you favor R&R try these!!!$2700. AAD floorstanders forget model $5500.the sound was good enough, I'd just never heard of them before. Coincedence super eclypse? price around$4500. AWESOME in showroom with tubes, kind of monotone with solidstate. aeriel acoustics 7b $4500. these probably would have won with a more fle$$ible dealer, rock solid.
Intuitive Design Summit Loudspeakers retail for about 3500 dollars. The stands are something like 1400 to 1500 dollars. These speakers sound phenomenal. They are ABOUT 90 dB efficient, as far as I know.*
*I've reviewed them here on Audiogon. Mine also have four sets of Stillpoints with inverted risers at 400 dollars per set, for a total of 1600 dollars extra on top of that.-Bill
I settled on Vienna acoustics Beethovans $3000."Another good idea. Also, don't forget about the Odyssey Audio Lorelei's. Here's a link to a review of those:
Odyssey Lorelei Review on Audiogon