Well Rounded Speakers $2500-$3000?

I live in Memphis TN and really don't have a lot of availability in terms of "high-end" stores to audition speakers.

I've been looking for a pair of speakers in the used $2500-$3000 range such as the Eggleston Fontaine II's, Von Schweikert VR4Jr's, Vienna Acoustic's Beethovens, etc...

I listen primarily to classical and jazz but they also have to be able to pound out some Pink Floyd and Zeppelin. My front end is currently an Audible Illusions M3 pre, Odyssey Khartago mono blocks, pro-ject turn-table, and lexicon sacd player.

Which of the speakers I listed would you choose? Other speaker suggestions or places to audition these speakers in my area are welcome! Thanks for the help guys!
My current speaker system is:
1 Pr. Ohm 100s @app $1700 (direct from Ohm)
Velodyne SMS-1 subcontroller @app $450 (from AudioAdvisor.com)
1 Pr. Rythmik Audio 12" subs @app $700 X2 (direct from RythmikAudio.com)

Total cost is app $3500 (NEW), and all can be returned if in-home performance proves unsatisfactory to you. In my room, performance has been absolutely terrific. I should add that I use an NHT x-2 ($300, raising the total budget accordingly) as a low cut for my mains because I don't like the low cut in the SMS-1, but you can achieve substantially the same result - and save a fair bit of money - by ordering the satellite version of the 100s from Ohm. These speakers are rolled off below 80hz (where you'd probably cross them, anyway) and would bring the cost of this system down so that it's right in line with your budget.

The Ohms are omnidirectional speakers which have a dedicated following on this forum - see the long-running Ohm Micro Walsh Tall thread. I'm 100% sure that they're not for everybody, but the Ohms definitely win over a fair number of those who give 'em a shot. Similarly, I found digital room correction (SMS-1) with good subwoofers pretty addictive once I tried it. The system allows for easy, seamless integration and smooth bass response via optimal placement of the subs and, where necessary, EQ, all aided by video readout.

There may be somthing else out there in your price range that you prefer, but I certainly haven't heard anything that I prefer.

Good Luck,


PS You can substitute a single sub or use SVS subs (I haven't heard 'em, but they're highly regarded) and save a few hundered dollars (or more), as well. The return policy still applies, and it's nice to have that in your back pocket.
I own a pair of Fontaines (originals, not the II's) and they are superb for jazz, and lite-classical, but for full orchestra classical and rock they need LF assistance. With a (or a pair of) sub(s) and a pair of Jim Goulding's felt tweeter pads they become excellent for classical and rock. They are outstanding speakers in that they are very durable (do not get congested or compress) and are neutral yet highly musically involving.
Look for used Joseph Audio Rm25si MkII's.
They will be outstanding for type of music you listen to, work well with your amplification and not need subs.
Very easy to place in room, large sweet spot.
Extremely difficult to make sound bad.
I have not heard anything in a box speaker under 10k that i would trade them for.
Salk speakers
songtowers with ribbon tweeters or stretch a little for VT2s

these are really incredible speakers without all the fancy mark up, and the cabinets - glorious

Check out Audio Physic Virgo lll
We have the same listening habits and sending limit. I'm happy with my Gallo 3.1 purchase and happily recommend them for your listening pleasure.
If you like the Gllo's you'll really like them.But I think two companies with really good value are Usher (because they have D'Apolitto make the bon x-over and infringing on copyright of best drivers like Scanspeak) or try the Totem Forrest.Totem is a great sounding speaker.The Virgo's are good German speakers but best suited dispersion wise on a long wall if that your room layout.Can't knock what you've mentioned but think bang for buck Gallo,User,Totem offer more.
I'd say these, but you might want to get a second pair of Khartagos. These were $7500/pair speakers. Also available at that price in black.

Otherwise, I'd go for something like the PSB Imagine T at $2k/pair retail or see if you can find a deal on PSB Synchrony 1 towers.

All these speakers scale up and down really well for classical and jazz, and have a deep, tight bass and transparent, fast midrange for rock and pop.
Hey Johnnyb53,

It's BobbyB46,

I'm really really thinking about ordering
these tomorrow. (OMD28's)
Those or the NHT XD system. Help Meeeeeee!!!


I was tempted by the NHT XD system a year ago when NHT was folding, too. Since I was looking for speakers for an analog front end, I wasn't too keen on the idea of digitzing everything to go into the speaker system.

But if you are all digital, it should be great. I think it was full-range Stereophile Class A when they reviewed it.
OK, I am going to talk my book here, as everyone does, but Magnepan 3.6R's are a sublime speaker, one of the best reviewed of all time, and for good reason.

You can get a set in your price range, the only caveat is the age old truism with Magnepan's about amplification. You need a lot of it, and it should be good.

I have tried many other speakers and always come back to these.

My next favorites in your range would be the Vandersteen 3A sigs, or a wonderful pair of Klipschorns.

good luck.
The NHT Xd processor only takes analog inputs, so it doesn't matter if you're system is all digital or not (unless you upgrade to one of the DEQX processors with digital inputs. You'd also need to add 4 channels of amplification for that upgrade).

Not having heard the Xds with anything but the stock electronics, I can't say if the additional A/D->D/A causes a problem, but I don't think it's ever gotten in the way of my enjoyment of these speakers.
Oh, and by the way, NHT is now selling the Xds with the dark finish and *two* subwoofers for $3k.
There are many really great $2500-$3000 speakers out there. It is, in my opinion, the price point where everything after becomes a diminishing returns purchase. Many good suggestions out there. My suggestion is to go with speakers that have survived the test of time, the Vandersteen 2CE Signature II's. They are very easy to drive and they retain their value well. They also work well with all kinds of music. I used to have a pair of the previous 2CE Signatures and they were very nice. They will sound great with your current system.
06-27-09: Daverz
The NHT Xd processor only takes analog inputs, so it doesn't matter if you're system is all digital or not ...
I understand, but since I had just laboriously returned to an all analog signal chain after 20 years of digital, I didn't want the signal chain to terminate with digital speakers. It's not that 24/96 digital sounds bad; it's just that I can tell it's not analog, and when I listen to analog I want it so sound analog.

So for me, in a primarily analog system I'd get the Mirage OMD-28s, but for a primarily digital rig I'd go with the NHT XD.
B&W CM9s have been getting great reviews.
There are many good suggestions here but I have to second Drewfidelity's recommendation. IMO, anyone shopping in the sub-$5K category has to consider Vandersteens, either the 3A Signature or the 2Ce Signature II. I went with the IIs because they sound very nearly as good as the 3s while being more affordable, easier on the eyes due to being 8" shorter, and a bit easier to drive.
I would add these great speakers to your shopping list:

Dynaudio Focus 220 II
Epos M16i
Usher Be-718 (small but great)
Acoustic Zen Adagio (used)
Devore Gibbon 8 (used)

I really like the Totem Forest, Vienna Acoustic Beethoven Baby Grand - both are just above your stated price range new.

By the way, how do you like the Khartago amps?
In addition to the numerous great suggestions above, I would add:

Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand
Silverline Audio Allegro

Happy Hunting!
Can't get much rounder than Gallos.
I'll second the suggestion for Salk SongTowers. I've got a pair with the optional ribbon tweeters (right in the middle of your price range) and they are incredible sounding with all sorts of music. I listen primarily to classic rock like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rush, and even some metal at times. The SongTowers sound great with these genres, as well as with more mellow acoustic folk and jazz. With 88dB efficiency and a smooth 4-ohm load, these speakers are easy to drive with tube or solid state amplification. Jim Salk provides exemplary customer service, and you can order any of his speakers in virtually any real wood veneer you can think of. The SongTowers are tough to beat in this price range, in my opinion.
I'll add the following speakers to your search...

The Von Schweikert VR-4Jr's

The.....hmmm, nah just get the VR's and you'll never look back, They are that good and a steal for what they go for on the used market at around $2k.
Tyler Acoustics work for me.
I own the Paradigm Reference 100 V3 and I love them. They replaced my Dynaudio Audence 72 which are still really nice speakers. Klaus at Odyssey said that the Khartago mono amps were a perfect match for the Paradigm speakers. The Paradigm 100 V5 retails for $3,300.00 new. I have seen them used for $2,300-$2,500. The Paradigm Bass is tight the imaging is exc. very natural sounding.
If you're in the $3k range, add about $300 to your budget and look at the Focal Twin 6 Active speakers. Then sell your power amp to recoup the $300 (or more depending on what you've got).