Used speakers for $3k? Oh the confusion


Audio speakers, HiFi speakers, studio loudspeakers....
I need help. My first pair was Altec Lansing 510's. Those things could rock and image very well. They were a little shrill, but otherwise very nice. I went to ProAc Response Ones which I thought were even better at everything except dynamics, so off with them and onto kit building starting with Dyaudio drivers. Too much work and then to a North Creek Rhythm kit which was already designed, much easier. Sold them and purchased Merlin VSM-M. These didn't do anything for me so sold them and have now Tyler's Linbrook Signatures. These are very cool, but don't image like the proacs so I just built a pair of Proac Response 1SC clones. Again very nice but lack dynamics for some rock.

I know electronics play a big part. I am using a Audio Mirror PP1 with some mods, a pair of custom EVS 350 watt mono class D UCD amps with a massive power supply. My cd player is a NAD T585.

I am tossing around, used only, VR4jr mkII, Genesis V, Dunlavy SC-IV, Aerial 10 T and Talon Raven. I tossed around Maggies and a few electrostatics, but don't want only one tight sweet spot. Cliffhanger Bulldogs, with a sub, are at the top of my list, but impossible to find.

I need good imaging and good dynamics at a low price ($3000.00-$3500.00). Used is the only way to get a $7K and up speaker for $3k ie. Genesis V.

My electronics are not bright and a little laid back.

I like good old Genesis from the early 70's Gentle Giant, Pink Floyd and some newer rock like Alice in Chains. Head music is my favorite. I want speakers that can disappear into a room and are easy to set up and can play loud. I also want good bass and don't have a problem using a sub.

I know it's allot to ask, but maybe there is a speaker like Neat Acoustics that I am not familiar with or Salk that will be perfect for me.

I need good suggestions from owners that have gone through the same thing and now very happy with their choice.
stereo
I would try to listen to all demo's you can at stores or friends homes if possible for starters. You have gone through a lot of speakers. Everyone has a different opinion on what they like. I would suggest Dynaudio Contour 3.4's and depending how far you can stretch you budget maybe the 5.4's. The 5.4's have the esotar2 tweeters and a little more bass.

I have the Confidence C1's and the soundstage is huge - the depth is great along with the imaging. Dynamics are also great. In my opinion they do need a sub and I do have a REL B3 (had it before the C1's). The Rel although very musical dont seem to have the response as the lower end of the C1's. To me it sounds slow. I would love a dyn sub but you need to have a sub-out from your pre which I dont have to intergrate properly.

Just another idea.
Hello Stereo,

I was a Cliffhanger dealer, and yup the Bulldog was killer! A classy little three-way in an league where virtually everything else was a two-way, and Ian did a superb job with the crossover.

Nice to come across someone who appreciates it. Wish I knew where you could find a pair.

Duke

dealer/manufacturer
"My first pair was Altec Lansing 510's. Those things could ROCK" "ProAc Response Ones which I thought were even better at everything EXCEPT DYNAMICS" "built a pair of Proac Response 1SC clones. Again very nice BUT LACK DYNAMICS for some rock." "HEAD MUSIC is my favorite...don't have a problem using a sub." (Stereo)

Not knowing your room, setup, acoustics, etc, (you did mention, besides being a bit of ahead banger, that you want to be able to move around the room, and still hear quality sound), I suggest looking at both active speaker designs, multiple drive designs with good efficiency (yes, larger Dappolito designs), traditional designs with good efficiency, with larger bass drivers, and also designs with powered subwoofers built in. And, lastly, you could do somekind of descent efficiency Dappolito (woofer-tweeter-woofer design) higher end speaker, crossing over to a subwoofer or two!!
Yep, you've got options.
Without getting to much into all those options, and what all is out there to cover those options, and adress your needs, you might strongly consider looking into a used pair of Infinity Prelude MTS full range speakers! (including active 2500 watt 12" powered subs attached to each tower)
At $8k a pair, new/retail, these offer the advantages of powered subwoofers (like a superbly well integrated sub/sat system, but better), with multiple upper/mid-bass/mid-range drivers (like 4 of them per speaker, plus a midrange/tweeter combo, sanwiched between all of that) - These are very high quality, high-end speakers, with a very clear, transparant, deatiled, un-colored design! They are slighly foreward to neutral in pressentation, and mate SUPERBLY with the kind of electronics you have (well balanced, slightly laid back).
Anyway, I think this is an attractive, well build solution (plus the woofers are not only detachable, but come with a parametric EQ to help placement - very good stuff indeed.
While no speakers are perfect, I think these would offer you the best advantages, SUPERB DYNAMICS and extension, while still offering a very detailed, coherent, un-colored, hi-end sound!
Anyway, I can think of nothing right now that would do you better...
Good luck
"My first pair was Altec Lansing 510's. Those things could ROCK" "ProAc Response Ones which I thought were even better at everything EXCEPT DYNAMICS" "built a pair of Proac Response 1SC clones. Again very nice BUT LACK DYNAMICS for some rock." "HEAD MUSIC is my favorite...don't have a problem using a sub." (Stereo)

Not knowing your room, setup, acoustics, etc, (you did mention, besides being a bit of ahead banger, that you want to be able to move around the room, and still hear quality sound), I suggest looking at both active speaker designs, multiple drive designs with good efficiency (yes, larger Dappolito designs), traditional designs with good efficiency, with larger bass drivers, and also designs with powered sub-woofers built in. And, lastly, you could do some kind of descent efficiency Dappolito (woofer-tweeter-woofer design) higher end speaker, crossing over to a sub-woofer or two!!
Yep, you've got options.
Without getting to much into all those options, and what all is out there to cover those options, and address your needs, you might strongly consider looking into a used pair of Infinity Prelude MTS full range speakers! (including active 2500 watt 12" powered subs attached to each tower)
At $8k a pair, new/retail, these offer the advantages of powered subwoofers (like a superbly well integrated sub/sat system, but better), with multiple upper/mid-bass/mid-range drivers (like 4 of them per speaker, plus a mid-range/tweeter combo, sanwich'd between all of that) - These are very high quality, high-end speakers, with a very clear, transparent, detailed, uncolored sound. They are slightly forward to neutral in presentation, and mate SUPERBLY with the kind of electronics you have (well balanced, slightly laid back).
Now, on their own, they don't have a super deep sound stage - in fact, it's a bit flat/2 dimensional, to be critical. But mated with your electronics, and good acoustics/setup, this could be balanced out and improved, I think.
Overall, the speakers offer razor sharp imaging, and the ability to set em up "WIDE" (unlike other single woofer/tweeter designs), for a huge sound-stage, potentially.
Anyway, I think this is an attractive, well build solution (plus the woofers are not only detachable, but come with a parametric EQ to help placement - very good stuff indeed.
While no speakers are perfect, I think these would offer you the best advantages, SUPERB DYNAMICS and extension, while still offering a very detailed, coherent, un-colored, hi-end sound!
Anyway, I can think of nothing right now that would do you better...
Good luck
ATC SCM 35 and Bryston 4B ST (both second hand of course) will set you back $3K. This will play Pink Floyd quite well and very loud. Alternatively - horns - Klipsch for example - but I read that you are concerned about a "shrill" sound? Anyway - if you want loud but clean sound then ATC fits the bill.
Check out VMPS.....plays loud, great bass, no sub needed and will work well with laid back gear......these hybrid soeakers are fast, detailed and real world priced outstanding performers.
Have you taken a look at the pair of Genesis V that are for sale here on the GON? I have not heard them but they do look interesting. Check em out.
My personal favorites are the Meadowlark Osprey and Thiel 2.4, although the Thiel need power, room and maybe a too narrow window for what you want. The Osprey, if you can find a pair, are fantastic speakers.

Chuck
Trying everything possible would be the way to go. I don't have any friends into audio like I am into it. Maybe some retail stores in Philly. I always had a fondness for Dynaudio speakers. This is why I purchased the VSM-M. Those Esotar tweeter were supposed to be awesome.

I read allot about the Bulldog and I want them. Those things never come up for sale. I think they would be perfect.

I always thought the Dappolito designs would be superior. The North Creek Rhythm were that way. Proac moved away from that design with some of their newer designs. I am not sure why. I'll check out the Infinity Prelude MTS reviews. Thanks! I am not too much of a head banger. I hate the 80's rock and mostly stick with '65-'78 rock and some jazz. Once in a while some later stuff interests me like Alice in Chains and Ozzy.

I've looked at the ATC speakers the good ones are expensive even used. The reviews are very good and they might work well for me. I like dome midrange drivers over a cone. I think there is more speed to a dome the Altec 510 were this way and so is the Bulldogs.

VMPS always interested me too. I've read mixed reviews. They seem to rock well.

The Genesis seem the most interesting for the money. Some seem to think they are too bright, but I have a mellow system. I am not sure.

Meadowlark...I've look at these too. The Blue Heron with that tweeter...I'd love to hear a pair of those, but support is now gone. I'm not sure about Thiel. Maybe I'll take a listen to some.

Thanks for the comments so far you have opened up my eyes to some more options.

The new Proac 1SC speaker clones I built sound really great, but too laid back and the dynamics are not up to the level I'm looking for., but they can really disappear.
Highly recommend looking into even for new prices the Klipsch Reference like the RF83's for around 2000 a pair... Rarely you will find used pairs on the market, or the older heritage series like the new herseys or Cornwalls people will argue are still better, mostly with tube gear however...

They are all pretty smooth, have dynamics that are not nearly as "Nasal" sounding as much of the other dynamic drive speakers you list above without having a really good amp.. You can go and audition most of these locally as well. You can look at K-horns as well klipsch big ones, but need corners open to optimize them, and buying used for 3000 you will most likely not get to hear them until you buy.

The other good thing with the klipsch is you can rock with 50 watts or less of power in most cases and beat out the frequency response and output of most of the other speakers like most above that have 88db to 93db efficiency using a 100 to 200 watt per channel amp.
Stereo,

Tough question, there is so much out there used at this price. You are correct that the Bulldogs should be high on your list, they are special, but do need the power which you seem to have, except I'm not familiar with the sound of class D amps. Although I have never heard any of Duke's designs (Audiokinesis) the Jazz modules if available used might be worth looking into. As Duke answered above he used to sell the Bulldogs he would be the one to ask. Another speaker that might meet your requirements could be the Daedalus line, again I have not heard Daedalus but forums suggest they may be to your liking.

Good luck!
Jim
I've never considered horn loaded speakers. I'm gonna have to give a listen.

My class D UCD module amps were built by Rick at EVS. 350wpc into 8 ohms and 700 into 4. They are smooth. I had Ampzilla's, Melos MAT-180 and a Karan amp. The monos I now own have the best quality's of all of my others.

I've heard of Daedalus, but never looked into them.
Stereo,

I saw where you mentioned stores in philly. David Lewis audio has the Thiels along with many others that he advertises selling.
Wilmington DE. has overture audio and HI FI house that may carry some lines you could here, (Audio Physics, Aerials, Sonus Fabor, Wilson, Krell, among others.
I currently own Thiels, Von Schweikerts, Aerials, Audio Physics, and some others all are much more dynamic then the ProAc 1sc including the Bulldogs, but will most likely not disapear like them, however the sound is huge compared to the ProAc so it becomes a matter of taste.
My opinion of the speakers that you are tossing around, although against popular opinion I favored slightly the Aerial 8b,s over the 10t with the type of music you mentioned plus ease of set up. I have not heard the vonSchweikert jrs. but own the VR-4 Gen iii and prefer my other speakers mentioned above. Dunlavy SC IV, nice but big and concern of driver availability. Thiels disappear well but are harder to drive and set up, but my CS6,s are very nice, maybe not the best for head music at high levels, but will nail the Jazz. The bulldog sound is not as large as the big Thiels, or Aerials, but do extremely well considering their size, but the tone and clarity, purity of the music in some ways are the best I own.
It also depends greatly on the size of your room they will be used in.
I,ve proably just added to your confusion, but alot of times that goes with this hobby half the fun is the search.

JIM
This is an easy one...Legacy Audio Focus 20/20. There is nothing out there that can touch this speaker for under 3k...NOTHING! If anyone disagrees they have never heard/owned a pair. PLEASE do yourself a favor a look into them before you buy. They must be the 20/20's though, not the original Focus or the Focus HD's. They are extremely efficient so you won't need crazy power, and they can play down to 16hz! At 185 lbs a piece you won't be disappointed.
I am not familiar with the 8b's I'll need to look into them too. I am also tossing around Gershman Acoustics Sonogram speakers and Reimer Wind River. My Tyler Linbrook Sigs are like these and may resemble their sound. I was considering Legacy Focus 20/20 but read mixed reviews.

It's the dynamic slightly in your face, but not bright and disappears like magic I am looking for.
I would look into highly regarded Emerald Physics ( you need another amp though)
or
SP technology Timepiece 3.0 - used might be in your price range. You amp is more then adequate to drive these power hungry speakers. They love the power and when satisfied - will rock the house like no other. Especially with your kind of music.

Mariusz
There isn't any Aeriel 8B for sale. They seem to be hard to come by. I haven't found any specs. yet, but a few good reviews.

I am ruling out horn and single full range driver speakers. My amps are ready to drive some power hungry speakers. Not that they would be too much, but aren't these high efficient speakers better suited (or designed) for low wattage tube amps?
SD or Horns, do very well with OTL and SET amps - in most cases.
Besides - SD might not be the best choice for Heavy Rock ......at least non in your budget.
Horns on the other hand are capable but again , not in that price range.

EP & SP Tech should do it. EP has in home free audition. I am not sure about SP Tech, but 5.5 K might be out of you reach.
Not easy to find used.
I must disagree with the previous poster that horns are out of your price range. In fact, many great used or new horn speakers can be had for half your figure or even less. I got my Klipsch Cornwall 2's here on audiogon for $600, for instance. They sound fantastic.
Learsfool might be right.
My statement is based on my taste and expectations. YMMV.

Regards
Mariusz
Maybe I am a little afraid of horns. I heard some sub $1k Klipsch years ago and they just screamed at me. Never got any closer to see if they image great or not.

I am also looking at Gemme Audio Tanto and AAD 2003. These are getting some good reviews too especially the Tanto.

I don't want to wind up with the same sound as Merlin VSM-M's. I want to explore all in my used price range.

I am planning to go to a local retailer soon and I'll check out some horns there too.
AADs are also nice. I own 2001s monitors. Using them in my second system - that is voiced for heavy Rock and Metal.
You should also look into Zu speakers like Druids.

Best
Mariusz
You can drive horns to ear-splitting levels if you are not careful, that's one reason why they are usually matched up with tubes. A friend drives a single Klipschorn in mono with an SET amp that puts out just half a watt. I am currently driving my Cornwalls with the PrimaLuna Dialogue 2, so I get a choice of triode or ultralinear mode. You might give horns another chance, Stereo. No other speakers can give you so much dynamic difference (on the soft end as well as the loud), and they image fantastic. They also create bigger and more realistic soundstages, and resolve instrumental and vocal timbres better than any other type. Since I listen mainly to full-scale orchestral works and opera, these things are very important to me. However, they also sound great when I listen to a jazz combo as well. I just listened to the Oscar Peterson 6 Live at the Montreaux Festival (from I think 1975?) the other day, and you could clearly hear EXACTLY where each musician was placed on the stage, almost as well as if I had been there.
Familiar with most of your list except the Talons and Bulldogs. Although they are all capable of both dynamics and bass, they are quite different. The Vandy is the understated. SCIVA is precise, sometimes to a fault. Genesis smears some vocals in exchange for dipole ambience. The 10T, nevermind, it was probably broken.

Both the Genesis and Dunlavy are fairly needy as far as placement and room but are good used bargains. Between the two, it's a choice between a concert and a studio.
Hi Stereo, I had a pair of Klipsch Fortes years ago, and while they do rock on not a lot of power, I could never get them to do the "disappearing" thing. Tried all sorts of differing placement, room treatments, spikes, cones, cable...never happened. I also found acoustic instruments to have a distinct lack of body and richness to them, which may not be a big deal for you if you favor Genesis, Giant, and Pink Floyd. Just my two cents worth.........Mrmitch
I just purchased Gemme Audio Tanto v1. They should arrive next Wednesday. I can't wait. I will report back.
have you considered the eminent technology lft 8b ?
I read good reviews on the lft 8b. I am just not to sure about planer, electrostatic and ribbon speakers as being dynamic. Some that I've heard have a narrow sweet spot. The Tantos have a huge sweet spot (so I've read) and pretty good dynamics. According to a review I read on the Tantos they will disappear as good as or better then $12k and up speakers. I am sure they aren't as dynamic as those speakers, but these fell into my budget well. I'll report back when I listen to them next week.
I received the Tanto v1 speakers last Thursday. They weigh about 76lbs each unpacked. I listened to them for about 2 hours total and so far I am very impressed. The bass is very good (easily betters the Merlin VSM-M with BAM) The top is very extended. The speakers are fast and have very good dynamics for their size. Tyler Linbrook Signatures dynamics may be slightly better, but very difficult to say for sure. They work great with 70's rock and roll and jazz is awesome too. The speakers disappear like no other speaker I have heard. To me they are much better then the Merlin VSM-M with Battery BAM and the Tyler Linbrooks that I've owned. They image slightly better then my Proac response ONE SC that I also have. These speakers are great to listen too off axis as well. When I sit in front of the left speaker, I can still hear plenty of music from the right speaker to still create a good image. These speakers would be perfect for home theater front speakers too. I am going to do some more listening so to be able to comment on the timber, detail, and sound stage.
Stereo, please give us an update on your Tantos. Would love to hear what conclusions you've made from more extended listening.
You will get all the dynamics you need. Imaging in spades. Biggest tip. Bi-wire.
sory forgot to mention the speaker B&W 801's
Update: I still have the Tantos, but found a problem with the crossover in the ProAc1SC kit. I made the change and the ProAc clones came alive. I still haven't had allot of time with the Tantos. The clones with some tweaks are amazing.