Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 ($349) or 10.2 ($449)with Sanus all steel stands will be less than $500. I have the 10.1 and am very happy in a medium room. The sound is full, rich, extended with more bass than you expect and life-like voices and strings and shimmering but not bright highs.
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Thats a speaker I haven't looked at yet but will do!
Two more speakers I forgot to add is the quad 12l2 and possibly the clue.
And again, I would like some good looking speakers with high quality drivers, crossovers and nice solid cabinents. I am not against buying used at all.
Thank you again!!
I picked up my smaller pair of OHM Walsh speakers (100 series3 drivers in refurbed Walsh 2 cabinets) for $600 used here on Agon a few years back.
They are my favorites in general of all I have tried in my various sized rooms, especially for the price.
Any variation of older OHM 100 series 3, series 2 or current OHM 1000 or 2000 models should perform similarly and might come up here from time to time, but not all that often.
There are some good deals on the Focal Chorus speakers right now as they are being phased out. 705v, 706v, and 806v are likely in or close to your price range. I love Focal speakers myself, but not everyone agrees. Music Direct has the 30 day return policy that I think would apply to the speakers...
I don't know, those swan d1.1 and d2.2 look beautiful, get great reviews, are cheap, look to be built well with good parts...
Those warfdales look nice also, and I also like those full range speakers that don't use crossovers...i'll def conside those also, thanks!
Keep the input coming please! Got a week and a half before I get something :-)
I have two suggestions, based on recent auditions and a purchase:
Instead of stand-mounts (and sorry, they're a couple hundred bucks more but don't need stands), but the Focal 714V impressed the hell out of me in all the things you're looking for--clarity, midrange purity, air, detail, room-filling sound and ambience, nice tight bass. They're very petite--about 36" tall x 8"w x 11.5" deep. These speakers immediately disappear when the music starts. Normally $1200/pair but marked way down for MusicDirect's moving sale at $719 with free shipping and return privileges.
Second, after auditioning a bunch of stuff, I came home with some Magneplanar 1.7s. Too big and too much for your stated needs, but you can get the MMGs factory-dierct for $599. They're so thin and light you can tuck them up against the wall and then bring them out just to play the music. Maggies are magic. No boxy resonances or noise floor. Music and a well-defined soundstage just floats out into space. You don't listen *to* Maggies so much as listen *through* them.
Still, for maximum transparency and room-filling sound for minimum floor space, those 714Vs are hard to beat.
The Sjofn HiFi - The Clue - speakers for sale here for $500 used are a real bargain and are still a real bargain at their retail price of $999.
I have no connection to the seller but owned a pair for awhile and was constantly astonished at how good they were at so many things. I bought them on impulse out of curiosity after reading so many rave reviews.
I sold them only because I couldn't justify keeping both them and my DeVore Fidelity Super 8's. The Clue didn't quite have the refinement of the DeVores but it was remarkable how close they were at 1/4 the price.
2nd time in two days that I wrote a long response only to have it get deleted....
So, I've been interested in maggies and kind of forgot about those so I'll check them out. I see them come up here locally for sale so I'll check c-List and report back (denver c-list if anyone wants to help!).
Good to hear that the clue was like- thanks!
So I went and looked at b&w, sonus faber, focal, golden ear this morning.
I actually really like the b&w cm5's, but a little pricey.
The focals were okay but they were hooked up to a nad whereas the others were on a moon int.
I think here in two weeks I'll go pick up a few pairs to demo at home.
P.S. those Swans are still tempting me...
I think you got me wrong. I am not doubting the Lightspeed. But from my personal experience I found out that more voltage can make a passive system sound better. I have a TVC in my system. I used to run RCA between this TVC and my amp (1V sensitivity) and it sounded good. Occasionally I had to turn my volume position to 17 (of available 24) for music to sound good (e.g. Sara K. - Hobo, Chesky Records). But once I connected XLR between the TVC and the amps, it was a different ball game.
Lol @ Dayglo; I suppose you are right my friend. Funny how we americans want it all and really don't want to pay for it (I'm in sales).
Anywho, I am a bit scared to get a used pair of maggies after reading about repair costs etc. so I'll look at those mmg's (by the way, I don't think they are ugly.
Also, good to hear about that Tannoy! Still high on my list.
One more possible contender: the Wavetouch Grand Teton. Couldn't find more than one or two reviews though. Any input from some people who have heard the grand tetons? I was kindly offered an outstanding deal on a pair to help get good reviews out there. The deal was offered with a 30 day money back guarantee....
Thanks to all who've replied!!
Okay, quick update:
I decided to go with another pair of paradigms (studio 40's v.4). I got them for $500, they are rosenut and in perfect shape.
Since I sold my 60's, I replaced my classe ssp 25 pre with a lightspeed attenuator, upgraded my cables and powercords, upgraded my wadia 170 power supply and added acoustic treatments. The 40's v.4 absolutely smash the 60's v.5, and I believe its because of the changes I've made to my rig since the 60's.
I listened to some Dali Icon 6's and Totem Arros for 4-5 hours before deciding on the 40's. The Dali's had good detail and attack, the Totems disappeared, had great tone, were very musical, had great bass for a speaker that size but just lacked some detail and resolution that I prefer. The Dali's and Totems would have cost $200-$300 more than the studio 40's which was also a determining factor.
I was also offered a great deal on the WaveTouch speakers (thanks!) but decided against them because I didn't care for the looks.
Anyways, I'm super happy with the studio 40's and for $500 I feel like I did well.
Thanks for all the input guys, I appreciate it!!