What are your favorite monitors?

I'm interested to hear what your favorite monitors are, both for general reasons and specific reasons. There seem to be a lot of quality monitors out there and it's an easy size to deal with. I'd like to become more familiar with more of them.

For the more specific reason. I'm going to be able to set up a small system in a small room using a modified SS Blue Circle integrated amp and RA Opus 21 CDP. Right now I have a pair of Spendor S3/5 speakers that are very good and this is the approximate size box I'm interested in, but larger are fine too. For this small system are there other monitors that you might recommend, that perhaps have a synergy with BC electronics? With so many monitors available and few available for local demo I would appreciate your critiques of the speakers you like.

I use Audience Au24 speaker cables. My music preference is for mostly classical (not a lot of orchestral), jazz, space music, bluegrass, finger picking acoustic guitar, and some rock music (but don't expect to rock out). I don't like bright speakers. The speakers may not be able to be too far out from the wall; consider this near-filed listening. Since the majority of monitors are not terribly expenisve I'm open to most suggestions price-wise. Thanks.
I will not try to answer your questions(s) in regards to the best for your setup, but will answer what my favorite is, B&W Signature 805. (Because I own it. (wink)) I agree that there are a number of very good monitors available.
You'd be hard pressed, and would have to spend a whole lot more money to find a better monitor than Green Mountain Audios' Europa. All one need do to verify this is listen to them. Then make up your own mind. Following the Europa though, for another monitor must be what following Hendrix was like to other guitarists.
Where is WarrenH when you need him????????..........................

Hall monitors. Somebody has to keep those kids from running at school.
Warrenh will be here soon enough to proclaim the royalty of his babies, fwiw.
Komodo Dragons!

Scariest damn Monitor Lizards on Earth!

They got saliva that'll kill ya!
In all seriousness Budrew, I was using ProAc Response 1SCs with a Blue Circle BC21 in the mix in relatively small room. I also have Audience AU24 speaker cable as part of the system.

The 1SCs are great little monitors [I also own Tablette 50 Signatures] that create a big yet focused image and they sound great with acoustic instruments and vocals.

The 1SCs have a character that can change greatly depending on what electronics are mated to it. They seem to really shine with tubes somewhere upstream, because valves seem to unlock the organic nature of the ProAc sound without compromising their detail.

One drawback to using newer ProAc monitors is the use of rear ports, so they need to be away from rear walls which could be difficult to achieve in a small room. But, ProAcs are very good for nearfield listening, and properly set up they can absolutely disappear and create a holographic soundfield in front of you.

I've heard the Spendor S3/5s, but that was at CES with Talk Electronics in front of them, so I can't make any direct comparisons. But I did compare the Sonus Faber Concertinos to the Tab 50 Sigs and thought they were very different. Both sounded organic, and while the Concertinos had a woodier, earthier sound and created a wider soundstage, I ended up keeping the ProAcs because of there sometimes scary and realisitc soundstaging ability.

I still own the Tab 50 Sigs and have been mostly using 1SCs for the past two years. Both are excellent. If I had to contrast them I'd say they were the same "person", but at different stages of their life. The 1SCs are that person at age 35, whereas the Tab 50 Sigs are that person during their college days. Does that make any sense?

I just got Response 2.5s last week and have been greatly enjoying them, even in my small room.
Totem Tabu, something about that 'capacitor-less' design just draws me in... excellent monitor IMO.
WARREN WARREN WARREN...*crowd goes wild*

I am 6 days new to the Europa gang, and I just can't stop listening to them. They sound perfect. I have felt my ears being tickled to the point of laughter (probably mild tinnitus, I know, but still, it feels good!). My new system w/the Europas sounds so good.

Note: I completely restructured my system. I didn't just change speakers, so I can't attribute all the new sonic benefits to the Europas.

*runs to stereo to listen*
Budrew, what is your price range?
I was loaned a set of the Spendor 3/5's for 5 weeks while my spkrs. were having some cosmetic surgery & although they imaged well & had a nice tonality, the lack of bass was a sticking point for me.

Although I've not auditioned in my house, I've listened to the VR1 & the little Rega Ara & would pick a monitor in that order.
Alright if Warren won't show I'll do it for him. Harmonic something or the other Caravelles. They are the best speaker since sliced bread. Just ask Warrenh, he'll tell ya!
Tetra Model 305s
Totem Mani-2s driven by a McIntosh MC-252.
JM Reynaud, Focus Audio, and Harbeth all make excellent monitors and are often seen paired or sold with Blue Circle gear.
Tyler Acoustics Lynbrook's are wonderful.
Budrew,If you are liking the Spendor character then try out
the FL-6,now out of production. 'Elegance' Series same as your S3/5 i think.It is not a monitor,but a small imprint floorstander.I couple them with a Von Schweikert VS-1 mini-sub and is a super combo.
I use them now nearfield as they are front ported.All the newest Spendor line are rear ported so they won't work for your set-up.
These beauties go down to 45hz and even a little lower depending on the room .I use Maggie 1.6 for my regular listening room. Hey, your gear is great by the way.
Per Warren...he must have the flu today...the Harmonic Precision Caravelles are audio nirvana and that no other monitor could go round for round with them...I believe his words were as such...supposedly they are better than anything else out there and that you should just stop looking and buy a pair for the low low price of only $4000. I'm not sure how many people out there have them, but I think there are AT LEAST TWO of these *fabulous speakers out there...if there are more, I do not know because there have only been 2 people on audiogon talk about them in the countless number times they have plugged them. Me...I like B&W's I have the CDM1nt's but would love a pair of the N805sigs.

just my 2c

Damn man, the bait's in the water. Where is he?
The bait's in the water but perhaps he's a smart fish...
What, still no Warren yet? No Caravelle this or that? And the stands? Warren, your letting us down :>).

I agree about the Europa's, it is a fine monitor.


PS - Maybe he is a devoted Republican and is glued to the Prez speaking on TV, or is watching re-run's of it for fun.
Warren is without a doubt more concerned about sittin down to a good hard critical listening to his caravelles than to sit here listening to all you folk banter on and on.
Slappy, I imagine you are right. Sorry, i just couldn't resist having a little fun.
Plus, I think there were a number of other owners suppoting the Caravelle speaker. Hey, I haven't heard it. Would like to.
Warren's coming down from a bad trip. Someone lent him a pair of tube monoblocks and tube pre and he's still reeling in the realization of what a huge mistake he's made in sticking with the SS rig of his. Probably he's just embarrassed and ashamed to confess it to all of you, and now that I've outted him he'll just deny every word of it. Give him a break guys.....let him recoop and figure out how he's gonna' offload that boat anchor of an SS amplifier annonymously to replace it with the real deal. Probably won't be needing those inefficient speakers anymore either so one of you other poor sots with big hat and no cattle can pick'em up cheap. Watch for those sales under the new member ID "SerenityNow" :-p

My favorite monitors of those I've heard are Silverline SR17. Imaging champs, efficient, sounds so low comin' out of em' you'll think they put a subway underneath your floor. OK, that last part is an exagerration, but you look at these tiny gorgeous little things and wonder where the heck they get a voice like that. Not bright in any which way whatsoever. They are rear-ported though and need some breathing room to bring up that low end so I don't know if that eliminates them from consideration. Did I say they were gorgeous? I want them to have my children! Yeah, that rear port's looking pretty sexy right about now!

Here I be...my fellow audiophools... you've made my day...lol...thanks for being so gentle.....peace, warren
Ensemble.. Chario.. Spica
Any time phase aligned monitor with solid build quality and first order crossovers will be a good monitor and superior to most other designs. These include the green mountain audio europa (I own and love them), Vandersteen, Theil, and Dunlavy.
Stax Lambda.
Hehehehe.......Warren and the Caravelles.....myself and many others with the GMA Europa's. One has to wonder if anyone has listened to them side by side? I'd personally love to and will this summer if I visit Colorado. Anyone heard the two neck and neck? Huge price difference...
Hey Songwriter, after you AB these two babies which do you think?

Well I've got to say, Warrenh was dead on, about the Caravelles. To think, I, as well as many of the Europa owners verbally beat that poor guy up. Everything is just as he said in his review and more. Top to bottom, one amazing monitor speaker. My Europas were humbled, but then again, the Caravelles do cost 4 times as much, so price wise the Europas are still a good deal. If I had the bucks, I'd go for the Caravelles in a jiff.

or this?

well I finally heard those "babies" that Warrenh, the shill, has been rambling on about, adnauseam, for months. Hey, they're great speakers, but they cost $4k, and that's without the stands. They better sound better for that kind of money.

or this?
I don't know what Warrenh has got in his ears, but the Europas blew them away. To think that they're trying to get $4k for a speaker that cannot hold a candle to my under $1k Europa. True, the Caravelles phase coherencey is drop dead amazing, and the bass goes where no monitor I've ever heardl; goes, and the upper end?-- Wow. But the Euopas, still, go beyond the beauty of the Caravelles. I know that's hard to believe that an $800 speaker can do that, but hey, they're better than the MG 20s, and the Jmlab Altos. What can I tell ya? The Europas for my money are the deal.

or this?
don't worry...I'm over...couldn't sleep, so I figured I'd ramble on a bit 'til I got tired. good night my fellow audiophools.

If you like the S3/5 I strongly suggest you find either a pair of s3/1p (6.5" woofer, vented) or, interestingly, a pair of the now-discontinued SC3 center channels set on edge as a l/r pair (TWO 5" woofers flanking that tweeter, vented). Both these designs have a full +5 to 6dB increase in sensitivity due to the bigger/more drivers, and far better bass extension than the baby S3/5. Thus you won't have to get a bigger amp. I use the 1p as a stereo pair with the SC3 as a center as a front trio in my secondary HT system, and the stage is completely seamless. Either setup lists for $1400/pr, not much more than the S3/5, and are a MUCH better choice than the new lower efficiency S3 SE (too bright!).
Currently, I am running the Diapasons - adamante's. They go down into the 30's and image very well. Depth is also outstanding. I have replaced the stands they come with, to the sistrum stands which was a big improvement. But for everyone out there....I have a pair of Caravelles on order. I will let you know how they stack up. I have owned..spendors sp-100's, Hales ref 5's, maggies 3.6, tesla's, and of course now the diapasons. I have VAC equip. upstream. It will be a while until I can get you a review or feedback as I will be out on business for a couple of weeks. But after they have broken in I will give feedback on them. Probably late June at the earliest. Feel free to email me as well with questions...I can tell you this. The sistrum stands have made a very big difference in the total sound of my system. If you really want a full system upgrade I would try the stands, both speaker and racks.

But, until I review the Caravelles, I would have to say for monitors the Diapasons are really nice.

Scotty, I await your review. The 'gon does too. They are sick of me and my Caravelle rap. I'm sick of me. Please, I beg of you. Be fearless. After your Caravelles have broken in, and your tympanics have gone wild, please get on the 'gon with your honest impressions. I know what you're going to be hearing. Also, don't mention anything about the Europas unless you have plenty of KY. It'll be lonely and dark in the barrel. I'll try and save you, but the ubiquitous Green Mountain Europa following is tenacious and thin skinned. Don't rave too much. You don't want to be called a shill. Starsound gives a good kickback, however, so it might be worth it. lol..... You're in for a real tympanic treat....peace, warren
Ky. is my home state..What are you trying to get at now Warren?... 21.5 feet wide and 9 foot high is the visual stage presented to me by my Caravelles that replaced my almost still Dunlavy SC4's. I sometimes suffer from whiplash while listening to these monitors..my minds eye tries to focus on the instruments, voices and air that travel in boundless yet coherent 3d form. These speakers are an extension of the Sistrum concepts. Its almost spooky, the visuals that is. Tom.. I am happy to be a Starsound dealer.
You're quick Tom...love your sense of humor....
Just thought I'd let you guys know. Spoke to Robert over at Starsound. They are going to exhibit, in the Fall, at the Chicago Audio Society,( in September) and at the Rocky Mountain show in Denver, in October. Will be a chance for many of you guys, if you're geographically situated, to hear the Sistrum lines, the Caravelles, and their electronics, as well. Can't wait to hear the buzz...and there will be one.....
Well, Revels M20 are out of luck today...
Hey! I hear good things about the GMA Europa!!
reference 3a mm decapo
Cabasse iO with the Thor sub, firing straight ahead powered by Diva electronics. I quote a friend who heard this combination :

"Now I'm thinking of changing my speakers after listening to the Cabasse. The mid-range of that pair of speakers is still lingering in my mind. It's got such amazing depth, clarity, speed and presence. The technology in those speakers is another great engineering marvel to relish."
I ended up deciding on the Reynaud Trente's based on a number of comments and reviews. Based on my experience with Spendors and comparisons of Reynaud monitors to them the Trentes should be just what I'm looking for. I also disccovered that Bob Neill at Amherst Audio now owns the rights to the design of the Reynaud stands and is having them made by a local woodworker.

Thorough out your demo experience did you audition the focus FS-688 prior to you deciding on the Trentes
Reference 3A etiher the MM DeCapo II or the Royal virtuoso
No, never demo'ed the Focus speakers.
Another vote for the Reference 3a MM Decapo I...ahh what a speaker :)
Diapason Adamantes II
Jayctoy, when you're at the audio show in Chicago, hopefully you can give a good listen to the Harmonic Precision Caravelles. I can't wait for you to get back to us (the 'gon) with your tympanic impressions. Put your order in, at the show, for a pair with the top of the line dedicated stands, so you won't have to wait too long for the sonic bliss I've was raving about adnauseam. lol.. peace, warren
Thanks Warrenh.Peace be with you.
Audix Niles 5 (by the manufacturer of Audix mics). This is THE studio monitor that many top recording execs and studios use in L.A. I've taken these around to a number boutique high end stereo places and they blow away the competition. Custom Scanspeak drivers, front ported and the bass is stronger than most including Revel M20s.