The Charney Audio Concerto Lumaca with AER BD3 drivers $85k. Full range single driver horns designed on the Tractrix theory. Engaging 3D sound with off the charts imaging, soundstage, highs, mids, and deep articulate bass. The artists are with you in the room. So engaging you get a deeper understanding of the artists intent.
i’ve liked Vandersteen Sevens every time i’ve heard them at shows. a fine speaker and i think worthy of it’s price tag. i owned a similarly configured speaker, the Evolution Acoustic MM3’s, for 6 years (2006-2012), and maybe slightly preferred them.
since 2012 i’ve owned a twin tower speaker system, the Evolution Acoustic MM7’s, which you can see on my system page. it does cost more than $50k.
when you get into MM7 territory, there are a number of really good speaker systems, but the room and set-up will become the limiting factor. to get the most out of those type speakers is a huge task. you cannot just plunk them down and expect magic. speakers with big very dynamic sound requires a finely tuned room to harness it. therefore; hearing ’mega’ speakers in an audio show only allows for a hint of it’s capabilities.
try and find a mature system with those type speakers to get what they can do. it will take effort to find a system like that to hear. and just because someone owns big expensive speakers does not mean they have them optimized.
There are so many amazing options in that price range. My personal preferences in this range are:
Raidho TD3.2 or TD3.8. Love Raidho's sound. The soundstage they deliver is immersive and engaging in ways few other speakers accomplish. And the drivers deliver amazing detail. These are wonderful speakers.
Marten Coltrane Tenor 2s are incredible. Big step up in cabinet tech when you get to the Coltrane line and these smaller foorprint Martens are to die for. Unbelievable imaging from a box speaker.
MBL Radialstrahler 101E Mk.II loudspeaker - I have heard these at a couple shows and my god do they sound good. My 7yo son was blown away by how they sounded. Definitely not for everyone aesthetically by holy crap are they awesome speakers.
For dynamic speakers the Vandersteens are excellent. When it comes to other dynamic speakers in that price range it is not better or worse. It is a matter of what flavor you like best. My own taste left dynamic speakers a long time ago. I do not like enclosures, analog crossovers and point source speakers. The only place for me where a dynamic driver is useful is in subwoofers. Regardless of how much money I inherit I am only interested in 8 foot tall one way ESLs. The only one on the market these days is the Sound Labs 845 and I am chomping on the bit to get a pair. Yes, they are friggin huge and in most domestic situations butt ugly. Your wife will divorce you, your dog will howl and the ghost of Stanley Kubrick will haunt your house thinking you stole the Monolith. But,it is all relative. When my wife first met me I had a set of Magneplanar Tympani's. Hearing the Sound Labs with a great system is a life changing experience.
The Classic Audio Loudspeakers model T-1 falls into this category. Its easy to drive (98dB and 16 ohms) is very fast, smooth and detailed; owing a lot to its field-coil powered midrange driver, which is a beryllium diaphragm with a Kapton surround, which has its first breakup at 35KHz. But the woofers are field coil powered too- a forward firing 15" and a downfiring 18", crossed over at about 250Hz.
People often comment on its ESL-style speed, but of course this is why you go field coil, as the magnetic field in the voice coil gap does not sag when current is applied to the voice coil; its the only way to get that sort of speed without going ESL and for the same reason that ESLs are so fast- there's a power supply that powers the motor. The nice thing about the efficiency of course is that with many manufacturers, their smaller amps sound better and you get less thermal compression.
A second great speaker in this category is the Majestic from Sound Lab. This is the state of the art in full range ESLs bar none.
@patricdowns ya man, i am blessed. took a LOT of risks in my thirty year career and lucked into this.
to the OP, Mikes comments are spot on about dialing it in to the room. Anybody can buy good gear - extracting the max out of it is another matter. I will say, 11 bands of analog bass EQ per speaker in the powered Vandersteen models allows you to place for best image and slam and then tune low bass below 120 hz for the room.
You can always add an Eminent Technology TRW-17 True Subwoofer to your speakers (and "non-true" subs ;-) to reach $50k. If you don't yet know that Bruce Thigpen is a genius (or at least a very clever fella), check out the TRW-17. TRW stands for Thigpen Rotary Woofer, and it was designed to reproduce 20Hz and below, flat to 1Hz! Not cheap, but hey, you got $50k to play with, right?
If you're not in a hurry, you can always wait for the (possibly) upcoming model from Magnepan: the "30.7 for Condos". Midrange magnetic-planar drivers, a ribbon tweeter, and OB/dipole subs. If you can't wait, get the 30.7 and multiple GR Research/Rythmik OB/Dipole Subs. Oh, and the ET TRW-17. ;-)
OP: I understand your question, and it is interesting, but who would equate $$ with "good?"
Better yet, go listen to everything you can and pick what you like. I guarantee you that much less costly Magnepan speakers reproduce music better than any box speaker regardless of cost.
Having typed that, I say go for it. There are several companies that box-up drivers in beautiful cabinets and sell them for hundreds of thousands of dollars that are probably decent sounding to some.
Enjoy the music!
I understand your question, and it is interesting, but who would equate $$ with "good?"
Lots of people. Once you start measuring things in terms of arbitrary fiat units created from nothing its only one small step to fantasy posts equating the meaningless digits with sound quality.
(Having no listening skills makes the slide so slick you can't believe.)