The Guaneri Homage is the most amazing small speaker I have ever heard. The B&W Silver Signatures were also a very special speaker but I have only heard about half of the speakers on your list.
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Red Rose Model 3. I have not heard all of the speakers on your list, but have heard quite a few that are not. The Red Rose speakers were, for me, the most amazing book shelf speaker I've encountered. Properly set up they produce a soundstage that you would expect from much larger speakers. The synergy that Mark Levinson has acheived with the ribbon tweeter and dynamic bass driver is also pretty incredible.
The Talon Peregrine X will IMHO best all of the others on your list, however, I wouldn't quite call it a bookshelf speaker either. Don't forget about the Talon Khite, as you may be surprised at how it compares to the other speakers listed, it is Talon's true "bookshelf" (I have heard all of the speakers on your list except the JMR Trente).
I bought the Peregrine Xs. The guaneris were my next favorite and then cmae the confidence threes and then the extremas. These four speakers plus the Mini Utopias and the Krell LAT 2s are all so good it is really impossible to make a bad descision. Each one can do one aspect better than the other. In the end it almost boils down to a matter of taste.
I've heard the R3s and they dont really compete in this class. They are good speakers for 3500.00 dollars but considering that i was comparing it with speakers mostly 2.5 X their price they really were not in the same league. Also in my oppinion the Totem Mani IIs are wonderful speakers for 4k but also do not really compete with the other speakers mentioned. The Dynaudio Craaft I believe in my oppinion is the best deal in bookshelf speakers. Its almost a confidence 3 at half the price. Anyways let me know if you think of any other speakers.... Thanks
How about the following:
atc SCM 7-an incredibly accurate, shoe box size speaker w
with astounding bass given its dimensions
Triangle Titus-Can't believe no one mentioned this bargain
(less than $500)
Harbeth Compact 7-Another extremely accurate speaker, but
unfortunately hard to find in USA, but
available direct from the distributor in
These are all far less expensive than many of those mentioned-the Harbeth is the most costly at about $2,400-yet deliver performance so good that you'll have a lot more to put into other parts of your system, or, better still, into what really matters: LP's and CD's!
Gentle people, youngsters most of you must be, dollars for dollars spent, go find a used pair of Rogers LS 3/5a's. Find out what midrange,depth, and focalazation can truly sound like for less than $1k, take the money you save and buy a good front end and a sub. Feel good in the knowledge that 5 years from now, the Rogers will still be worth what you paid for them along with being worth listening to. Few of the others will be able to make that claim, though Suretyguy is right about the Harbeth. And I own none of the above. Proac ain't bad either.
Sonus Faber Extrema's, modified to bypass the internal crossover, using external crossover, driving it "active" bi-amp with world class amplification!!!....WOW!!!..WOW!!!
For most all practical purposes, I garantee you worlds, no light years better performance all around than anything you just named!! Not only are we talking world class resolution and tranparancy, but dynamics and realism (from rock to instrumentals) so hard hitting and powerful, you'll swear it's live, live, live!
Simple passive speakers are really no match in dynamics and that "you are there" beleivability, presence and DYNAMICS!...ALMOST HURTS with the right music!..I swear!
That Esotat tweeter and Dynaudio Woofer can take more power than you can immagine!..just gotta go active bi-amp to find out! the drivers are a simple blend, and no trick crossovers are needed. SOUNDS AMAZING! Detail is as good as it get's, and the bass is simply world class (competes like this with full range, no problem.)
Immagine everything you've come to read about the Extrema's (class A out of the box, etc. ), X5!!!!..it's mind blowing really. I will NEVER need anything else EVER FOR MUSIC!!!..ever!
now home theater in certain instances, that's a different story in some applications. Just depends on you're room, and set-up. speakers like the Wilson Cub's (though not as listenable for all typs of music over periods of extended listening, as is, in my view, are superb HT speakers! Drive em actively, and you're talking world class Home theater performance that is incomparable.
GO MODIFIED BABY!....IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO FLY!
>i did have a listend to the $4000.00 totem bookshelf speaker driven by an pair of 60 watts HK tube power amp and preamp for a liitle wgile wiht both entry level phono and digital at a customer apartment.
>came home and wandering that all the year that i thought i know what hi-fi was all about.
>boy I was so wrong.
>high frequency energy is so much more ... came from those samll bookshelf.bass is tunefull with impact.
> I stop worry that i don't have to spend more drivers and bigger cabinet to have vgood sound.
I owned (or have owned) 3 of the speakers above and heard most of them as well. I have to say they all have their strength and weakness (surprise?). I like the Extrema's dynamic and transparency, I also like the Confidence 3's openness and dynamic, and surprisingly AE1 Signature has even better midrange than both. But award goes to Guarneri Homage for overall coherence and design aesthetic. How many manufacture can produce the same model speakers for 10 years without major modification? None. That is because it blends art and science in such a small package that will not offend anyone. There might be better speakers out there, but define better? If you want truth, Confidece 3 will probably give you the most truth among the group. But if you want art, Guarneri Homage really has no equal.