Try the Bohlender Graebener Radia X3's. They're ribbons and lightning fast, so he'll get much if not more than he got from the Maggies in terms of dynamics. They're also great looking speakers (especially in Cherry) with a more traditional footprint that the Maggies. High WAF!! List price is something like $3,000 but I bought a "new in box" pair on Ebay for $700 inclusive of shipping from Hawaii.
Check out diva by swans a think they are a great looking little speaker, many here feel they are a great value(sound wise) as well. They seem to have a good WAF as well. I believe AV123.com sells them-they are only available online. On the audiogon home page just search diva and they will come up. Happy hunting
Reviewer Dick Olsher is a speaker designer, but his reviewer status gets in the way of his promoting his products. His speakers are sold under the brand "Samadhi Acoustics"; see www.blackdahlia.com.
Dick and his wife Lesley collaborated on a little speaker called the "Magic Cube". I would be a dealer for Samadhi and sell this speaker (which retails for $1395), except that you can order it factory-direct for dealer cost ($695). I would feel like I was taking advantage of people to try to charge them more than the $695 that's only a mouseclick or two away, so I don't sell 'em.
The Magic Cube excels at human voice and at creating the feeling of a live musical event.
Here is where you'll find the $695/pair factory direct price: http://store.hifiauthority.com/speakers.html.
Shriram, I think this is a speaker that can make your friend and his wife very happy.
Take a look at the Meadowlark Kestral. You probably won't find the "hot rod" version for that price, but the "stock" version can be had in the $600 range. They're beautiful to look at (most are finished in rosewood), have a very small (WAF friendly) foot print and sound terrific.
Try the Apogee Stage (with stands). Considerably more interesting looking than the Maggies and certainly more interesting sounding. Who knows, maybe she'll like them. If not, I can certainly recommend a pair of Paradigm Studio Active 20's. They will have the warmer sound of the Maggies, are excellent on vocal material, suitably dynamic & transparent and should have a considerably high WAF as the amps are contained in the speakers. They go for about $750-850 USD here. Good luck
B&W CM-2 is a very small two way that does a pretty good job. It can't rock, like most 2-ways it's size. But the midrange and top end are good. They sold 900 new, so a used pair is going for like 600-700 I think. They haven't been out long, so you may not find a used pair.
Paradigm Studio 20 would also be another great pick. Version one or version two. Version one can be had for about 400 used. A brand new version two with out the wood grain can be had for 650. It's a very nice speaker.
You also may want to take a look (listen) to the monitor audio line.
...from Meadowlark...one of the great deals in the audio industry!
Triangle line is very fast, like maggies, and transparent. I have owned Kharma Ceramique 2s, JM Lab Mini Utopias, and Sonus Faber Guarneri and sold all that stuff off to reduce system. I went months without and am just building an entry level system to start back up. I have spent months looking into options for all the equipment and here is what I settled on for speakers.
I bought a pair of the Titus XS, $499 retail, monitor and good 28 inch stands ($200 retail). It is remarkable how much they provide compared to the other speakers listed above. The others are better of course but they also cost $8200-$11,500. I get 90% of what those other speakers did.
Now they only go down to around 60 but on most of the music I listen to I never miss it. The bass that is there is right, tight, and tuneful (if you want more by a sub later). These things just disappear and because they are efficient (90db) then I can use almost anything on them. I have heard them on a lot of gear and they aren't picky. Even so, I would lean toward solid state with warmth (like Audio Analog) or tubes if you like them. I am using another audio miracle, a Blue Note integrated (solid state 30 watt, $600). They work so well together I would love to audition them for everyone so they can see what a couple of bucks can get you these days.
I have had Totem (Forest) and Theil (1.5s) in my house before and these cost way less and are just as appealing. Now the most important part…when I brought these home, my wife said, “Finally, a speaker that fits our house, I like them.” My wife does not like my hobby so this is saying a lot. They sit in our living room (10.9 by 19 foot) and I take up prime real estate so you can understand her frustration.
Triangle is a neat company making their own drivers and having some unique ways of approaching speaker design. Stereophile’s Sam does not exaggerate when he talks about these speakers. The $500 Triangle uses Triangle’s newest top end tweeter … titanium dome, set in a horn, with a phase plug that disperses sound and smoothes out the top end. Even with this said the magic is in the midrange. They don’t cross over until 6 khz to avoid some key trouble areas and the results are special. One note however, they take quite a bit of time to break in and sound a little tight right out of the box. Sam mentions them improving some around 25 hours but my experience says they need 200+ hours before they really begin to bloom. This is because the midrange driver is very stiff and needs some extended play to break in. I have maybe 150 hours on mine and even though I know they will improve I could easily live with them just like this.
Long winded I know but I hope this helps. You should buy a pair of Triangle’s you got nothing to lose and everything to gain. You and your wife will be happy.
Which Meadowlark? They don't have anything in the $500 range do they? Now the Kestrel has had great reviews and I am sure it is a great speaker for the money but it is $1695 which is more than 3 times the Titus. Isn’t their smallest speaker the Vireo at $1095 twice the price of the Titus? Maybe you had something else in mind but lets compare apples to apples.
If they wanted to spend $1500 to $2000 the discussion would change drastically. Many good options, almost too many but still I thought the discussion was around $500-$700 (including stands). Now that narrows the field quite a bit. I have heard some gear I thought was a great value and there are a number of good honest companies out there but the Titus may represent one of the top 10 best values in audio today. Now with the continuing trickle down this may change but for today, the Titus definitely redefines what a speaker can do for $500.
If you like the Meadowlark line, I challenge you to buy a pair of Titus just to see what all the fuss is about. Give them a fair hearing, break them in and use reasonable electronics, and if you don’t like them, call me and I will buy them back from you at what you paid for them minus shipping (assuming they aren’t damaged in any way and you show me original receipt). I am not saying replace your favorite speaker, I am just saying give them their due. If you are ever in the KC area, let me know and I will set up and audition.
Whoa Tuna! The question was USED speakers for $600-700, not NEW speakers for $500-700 as you suggest.
The Kestrals (non hot-rod) are $1295, but can easily be had for $600-700 USED, as specified by Shiram.
It's obvious that you're a BIG fan of the Titus. That's great. We're all just giving some recommendations, not necessarily knocking others recommendations.
We're all friends here. Now let's join hands and sing Kumbaya.
Spica TC50 or TC60 should be to his taste. Not too expensive used, but do require some distance from the rear wall. The reason I suggest the spicas is that many people say they have an electrostatic sounding midrange and imaging, so maybe they wouldn't sound like a step down from the MGs. As for looks ... they look OK to me.
Oh, "used", I guess it would help if I read the original posting a little closer..."never mind"
Danheather, I got the tune, I feel the warmth of the fire and the voices lifted in song...
Yes I am a fan of the Titus but only as far as it goes. There are a lot more options in the $600-$700 used range. I agree with the Meadowlark in this price range. A couple of bucks more could get you Thiel 1.5s (maybe Thiel's best product – around $900 to $1000 used). I have had several pairs in my house; very high wife approval.
Totem is good, especially the Forest, but I believe they are 3k new so maybe $1500 used? Too much, and the smaller Arrow (I think) is good but they aren't anything like the maggies. However, because they are so slim (cute) they would have a high WAF.
Someone also mentioned the Dali, my dealer friend just got the Dali line in and he has the Grand Coupe' a real nice looking and sounding monitor. However they are 85dB so they need some juice to drive them. Again, not like maggies sound wise but I think they would have a decent WAF. These retail for 2k but will be hard to find on the used market because they aren't well distributed/known yet.
Triangle has the Zerius ($1000 retail...92dB) and the Antal ($1600...91dB) retail both of which would fall within your budget. However if you could scratch up a little more cash, there is always the Celius which is truly a cut above already fine line.
[By the way, I get nothing for hyping Triangle and there are other lines I like just as well or better. For instance I love the JM Lab Utopia series but I am not ready to own those again for a while. The Verity Audio Fideleo is one of the finest speakers I know and a 10 on the WAF scale but they are way too much money]
If I think of others I will pass the ideas on.
The smell of roasted marshmallows wafts in the air and the sound of happy voices carries softly through the trees…