My friend has the Proac D48r. I don’t think you would go wrong with them. They are outstanding! BTW, there is a demo pair listed here from a Proac dealer for $8,750.
Most if not all the speakers in that price range will and should have excellent sound across the entire frequency range. To retrieve the sound or put more or less emphasis on certain portions of that range will greatly depend on the amp/preamp combination. For example, a traditional sounding tube preamp could put more emphasis on midrange when compared to a more neutral SS preamp. Same with amps, tubes vs. SS.
Ultimately the system synergy is what makes all the difference in the sound quality.
@woofer72 you can get hundred feedback with suggestion,--My speakers which are using now is the best for detailed midrange.
Try to find and listen . first-only 3 way loudspeakers , Midrange is
preferable 8" or more with extended . wide range driver with
no crossover in more critical region. We make this, If you close to NY
or NJ you can get chance to listen
Look for speakers that use drivers that are actually pistonic throughout the midrange (and treble, too). Price no object, Vandy 5 and 7mkii, as well as most of the Vivid Audio stuff.
It is likely that the new Paradigms with the beryllium midrange are pistonic, but I'm not sure (and haven't heard them...they seem to bit a bit divisive based on comments I've seen here).
It’s probably going to be a three way speaker, as the given two way speaker will have some minimal issues of some sort in the frequency range you specify.
That the frequency range you specify is almost the exact full covered range of a given average three way’s midrange driver.
It is also, for some basic acoustic and technical reasons.... the hardest part to get right.
This is the big money range, where the mid driver, if done as best as possible.... might start to touch $1k or more in costs.
It’s just plainly, a brutal set of incongruent requirements, a set of mechanical, magnetic, and electrical complexities where the pairing of that with acoustic issues, all fight against one another and individually within themselves.
That’s a midrange driver.
It makes tweeters and woofers look easy. And they’re not.
How far did they have to go to get close?
It’s a standard high end loudspeaker designer’s dilemma: Walking through the endless desert, begging, crying, looking for ---a perfect midrange driver.
“It is also, for some basic acoustic and technical reasons.... the hardest part to get right...”
My experience as a listener is very different. I find even very moderately priced 2-way speakers have little trouble reproducing the so-called midrange sound. Of course without specifics, e.g., frequency range, etc., “midrange” means different thing to different people but sounds like human voice reading a book or even middle octaves of an instrument can be reproduced quite well by just using a decent single driver full range speaker system. I think it’s the transients in music like going from low to high and visa verse that will require multi-way speakers.
Every so often I put away my shop bought things, and pull out my home-made Dallas II rear-loaded horns. Couple hundred bucks of construction ply, glue, wire, and mahogany stain, and the best Fostex 8” drivers I could afford.
Yeh, I eventually miss the bass; but the mid range you get from a well built, wide range, cross-over-less, horn loaded driver is a beautiful thing.
I have heard a number of dynamic speakers with extraordinary detail through the midrange but none that have sounded musically correct to my ear. They either have a very forward presentation and/or provide an unbalanced perspective and/or have incorrect tone. I'm not sure I could live with a speaker that emphasizes midrange detail at the expense of other sonic parameters. I'd much rather have slightly less information but a balanced presentation that gets the tone throughout the mids correct. Speaker design is all about tradeoffs....
Different designers have taken different approaches to dealing with what might be the greatest problem faced by all box speakers - the internal pressure behind the cone.
Some go for ported designs like Harbeth with their proprietary radial cone material.
Some go for sealed boxes like ATC with their highly acclaimed midrange unit.
Others, like the fabulous Kerr Acoustic K320s I heard a couple of months ago feature transmission line loading. As do the highly regarded PMC brand.
And then there's some who go for partial or total open baffle designs. There was a lovely sounding model from ProAc a few years which had nothing behind the midrange. It's difficult to think of any popular open baffle designs but the Linkwitz LX521.4 and the previous model the Orion must be in the running also.
Just want to thank everyone that answered my question and actually suggested specific speaker models. I didn't want to disclose it initially in order to avoid biasing responses but I am seriously considering a pair of ATC SCM50SL (passive). I'm quite familiar with the ATC midrange, as I used to own a pair of SCM100SL. Just was wondering if anything out there can rival the amount of information these speakers produce but in a smaller enclosure. I've been searching for a rival for years with no luck. I have no horse in the race for ATC as I'd much prefer something smaller, but I just can't go back to smeared/obscured audio reproduction after having ATCs.
dodgealum- May I ask what speakers you've heard that have the extraordinary detail that you refer to?
First-order crossovers is a good start. (Less phase shift.) Dynaudio does a nice job with their midrange drivers, and use first-order.
Another thing that drew me to Dyns is their dynamic sound at low levels. You don't need to crank them up to hear the music, although they don't induce Listener Fatigue at 85 - 95 dB.
This has much to do with overall speed, ability to reproduce an accurate impulse response in the lower registers (ie no out-of-phase bass ports), and aligned mf/hf phase coherence by avoiding all sorts of interpolation issues between drivers at the crossover. Some less savvy mfgr's even intentionally wired the woofers out of phase with the rest and you certainly don't want that.
These are reasons speakers designed for no to minimal crossovers or simply using single drivers are more coherent for less $, however they're also usually ported so limited at building an accurate foundation to a musical event, which I believe reduces perceived coherence (unless you only listen to clarinet recordings or sthg). Certainly pistonic driver motion is a requirement, also. Flex creates phase distortion. All of this is why truly great full-range speakers are so expensive.
So we're talking about things with highly evolved crossovers and multiple drivers (yet no port). This is it, in an expensive nutshell. All this also, unfortunately, makes the speaker larger. So we have a large, expensive nutshell.
I'd recommend Evolution Acoustics. Secondarily, Magico. Thirdly Vandersteen (Treo CT and up). Possibly also an honorable mention in the budget category.. the Elac Adante (tower). I've spoken with Andrew Jones and he seems to know what he's doing.
If you're budget constrained beyond that, but have the space then i'd recommend finding some well-cared-for second-hand Dunlavy's. Freight may cost as much as the speakers, hwvr.
..or if you’re looking for small and cheap, not minding limited LF, i’d recommend a pair of vintage NEAR 10m’s, which are a rare little two-way with proprietary spider-less drivers. I preferred the originals (silver woofer caps and smaller tweeters). I’ve had three pairs of these at various times in my life and they are great cheap little near-field monitors and certainly decent otherwise. Very transparent, revealing. You might have to get the woofers serviced but the original designer, Lewis Athanis, might be able to offer some assistance. He’s helping me restore a pair of the larger NEAR 50’s. The suspension ferro-fluid he uses is a special sauce and he’s got quite a creative mind regarding audio if you happen to chat with him.
Under 12K, in my experience, Hands-Down the Paradigm Persona 3F at 10K per pair: 99.9% pure beryllium mid-range is extremely fast, so much so that it can do intensely detailed sounds with soft edges to them; very well balanced across the audio spectrum with its high sensitivity; extremely well-reviewed.
I second Evolution Acoustics. I own the Micro Ones and they are fantastic for midrange detail. Pair them with two subs and they become a powerhouse. The thing that make these spectacular though is what electronics you put behind them. The company only uses Dartzeel to showcase them, but I’ve heard them with various quality electronics. You can’t go wrong with these little gems.
IMHO, as an very happy owner of their junior model (KCIIs), I highly recommend Emerald Physics 2.8s. I am told the imaging is phenomenal (as are the KCIIs) and they are 98 dB efficient
EP has a pair on sale for < $5K delivered
Have had a lot of great speakers over the years from JBL (4312,4311b) Snell (K2, A3i, C4,C5) Omega (Compact Hemp, Alnico 6 Monitor, Alnico XRS 8, all paired with Deep Hemp Subs) Shelby and Kroll monitors and subs, and various project OB speakers.
The best most engaging midrange, highs, and bass I have ever experienced are the Charney Audio Tractrix Horns. I own a pair of Maestro with Omega RS7 drivers that sound great with SS and tube amps.
At your price point the Companion Voxativ AC 2.6 would be the way to go!
If your in the PA, NJ, NY, CT region it would be very worth your while to stop by and audition a pair. Beautiful works of art that deliver in sound quality and leave all box speakers in the dust!
I currently own KEF105/2 Reference speakers, B&W 801Matrix Series 2 with the crossover mods they used in the series 3's, the series 2 crossovers had transformers that induced signals into each other, and all electrolytic capacitors have n ml been bypassed with Audyn True Copper Max capacitors, and any resistors in the audio path replaced with Mills non-inductive wire wound resistors. I also have Thiel CS-7s, untouched crossovers as shortly after I bought Audio Nirvana AN15 ALINCO drivers and haven't looked back. As for Vandersteens, unless they have drastically changed their speakers, the mids are lovely, bass too, but the highs sound like someone tossed a towel over the tweeters. I couldn't believe everything David, the owner of Audio Nirvana, said. Frankly I was sure that I would be returning the speakers under his 30 day return guarantee, but the instant I first heard them, the immediacy of the vocals mesmerized me. Don't get me wrong, just about everything else about the speaker sucked, but I knew that they needed a good 100 hours break in. Once they were broken in, I realized how badly crossovers, even with V-Caps and Mundorf Silver Golds, as in my KEFs, effected and muffled the sound. Thiels are famous for detail, the AN15's spanked them. You'll either have to have a local custom kitchen cabinet maker, a friend, you yourself build cabinets, but you won't be disappointed, shocked, but not disappointed. They will force you to upgrade if you have anything upstream that is less than adequate.