Yup. Spend $1500 on a pair of Eminent Technology 8s and if you don't already have a high-power amp you love, spend the rest on a pair of Antique Sound Lab Hurricanes to drive them in triode.
Some information about the components used in front of the speakers would be helpful. One speaker that comes to mind is the Wilson Sophia. You might find a newer II version for a bit more than 7K but the Sophia I can certainly be had for that money. Another speaker to consider would be the Proac D38 which can also be found around that price. Or, a bit warmer and more musical would be the Daedalus DA-1, which can be had new for around 6K. I own these and they compare favorably to the two speakers cited above--but for much less money.
Tks for the suggestions so far.
I will pass on the Wilson Sophia as they do not hold a candle (for me, only me!) compared to Avalon Acsendent II or Opus Ceramic. Magico, ouch!!!I tried ProAc D38 with my amp (Linar 10) and the match was pretty dull.
VSM is a very interesting idea, love that red color!
Current seakers: Avalon Studio Pro monitors.
Tks, keep them coming.
IMHO, before you buy the Avalon Opus Ceramic, I would arrange for a home demo. I have heard that speaker a number of times, and it never did anything for me. The only reason I can figure is the downward firing woofer did not integrate well with the room.
(FYI, on the other hand, I love the Avalon Eidolon, and consider it one of the finest speakers ever made.)
Another choice would be the Revel Studios. Not in the Eidolon class, but it comes close. (I own the Studios and my friend has the Eidolons, and we both use the high powered Lamm hybrid amps. The sound is very similar. However, I will concede that the Eidolon does indeed sound a bit more refined. And when I get some spare money, ....)
Good Luck in your search!
Well I've currently owned a pair of Verity Audio Parsifal Encore's for about 15 months and I have no urge to 'upgrade'. That being said, if you feel that your room is already on the warm side and seek a neutral/revealing speaker, I would cross the Parsifal off of your list.
It is the sweetest, purest sounding speaker I have ever heard.
When I first put it into my system I was a bit dissapointed that it lacked some air or life that I heard at the dealers. I wound up changing all of my cables, and now, for the first time in my life silver ribbon cables do not sound bright, harsh or edgy to me. They sound wonderful, and they breath a tremendous amount of life into the Parsifal's and allow them to really sing and be heard.
My system together sounds incredible, but I would say that the Parsifal is definitely on the warm side of neutral.
As always, YMMV.
You might consider a pair of Focus Audio FS-888.
Slightly warmish and a very detailed sound especially. Female/Male voice accuracy is definately a strong suit. Finish to die for with WAF off the scale. Frequency range 30-25K with the 30 number being solid - I know as I own a pair. Sorry though, mine are not for sale :).
Normally these retail new for about USD 7 to 8K, so, buying used, definately right where you want to be. In a review on www.onhifi.com, Wes Phillips compared these very favorably the Wilson Sofia and I've seen them favorably compared to the Verity Parsifal as well.
Don't think you'd be dissappointed. I've put in a good word to Santa for you - see memo below . . .
To: Mr. S. Claus (aka, Chris Cringle, The Jolly Fat Man, etc, etc.)
Subject: New Speaks for Beheme
We 'goners believe Beheme has been, on the whole, very good this year - bring him some shiny nice new speaks from Canada :>>
I admit that any side or downward firing woofer larger than 6" has a tendency to make me nervous re:ability to integrate well in the room without sounding muddy or boomy -especially with a slightly warm Mosfet amp.
Anyone to recommend less "commercial" brands, Tyler models have always intrigued me but being in Canada, the 30-day money back does not work well I am afraid and shipping would cost a lot.
What about VR4Sr? I was somehow disappointed by the VR4Jr but the Sr seems to be a much different animal?
Try Legacy Audio Focus 20/20, 16Hz-30Khz (+/- 2db),ability to play a large variety of material musically from pipe organ and full symphony to techno and rock. They retail at around $6500, are extremely well built and a tremendous value for the money with no markup do to import, distributors, etc....If you have questions on them,let me know as I own a pair and am very pleased.
see the Stereophile review of them in 2004.
Used Avantegarde Duo's.Think that the Parsifal is excellent choice.Audio Physic Virgo III's would save money I have allways dug there sound (though I had smaller ones).Might also check the new B&W 803D ($8K list-room to make a deal)which goes as low as previous 802N (due to third 7" Nomex driver making them taller)and has a really exceptional tweeter.Those or a used pair of Revel Studio's are big bold speakers that will work with music across the board from small ensemble jazz to rock and large orchestral music.
Of those mentioned so far and that I forgot to include in my initial post I'd like to second the Focus Audio's and the Merlin's. Since you seem game to get off the beaten path I'd like to once again suggest the Daedalus DA-1's. Do a search on this site and read about my 2 year adventure to find an extraordinary sounding but not fantastically expense full range floorstander. The search ended with the DA-1's and I heard and rejected many of the speakers recommended here--including the Wilson's, ProAc's, Von Schweikert's, Focus's, Merlin's and Vandersteen's. Yep, heard them all in ideal demonstrations and bought the Daedalus's. They might not be your cup of tea but they are certainly worth a listen.
I am not afraid to get off the -heavy marketing- beaten path, I guess this is what you get when you get older with a dedicated room: WAF irrelevant and audio marketing geniuses' opinion unworthy of a rabbit's fart as Miller used to say. I think both Daedalus and Tyler present interesting alternatives to the "small mass" producers such as Avalon, Focus or Merlin. B&W and Wilson definitely neither my cup of tea sound wise and I do not recognize myself in these brands nor their pricing...
Are there more like Daedalus and Tyler I should check? Acoustic Zen Adagio or Zu Definition are very appealing to me as well, any user? on what side of neutral are they?
Txs and Happy Holidays to all 'Goners.
I'd suggest getting a pair of Wilson Watt Puppy 6's from audiogon. There are plenty for sale for $8k and you can definitely talk them down to around $7k. With Wilson, you can always get much of your money back later (even the WP 5's are still selling used for $5k, and you can always order spare parts for them and even alter the sound via resistor changes to the watts to brighten the sound (although the 6's are incrtedibly bright and revealing already.)
These are speaks you'll hang onto and for the money, at around 7k, you can't beat ther value (or resale value).
I heard the Zen Adagio's at a recent show and was unimpressed. Of course, a show setting is not ideal so take this for what it's worth.
I applaud your interest in venturing into lesser known territory. My search began by narrowing the field by reading countless reviews--this proved useless as one "highly rated" speaker after another failed to engage me on even the most superficial level. I started trying to read between the lines of the reviews, looking for some shred of critical appraisal within the cascade of superlatives. This proved futile as well. In the end I just figured I had to get out there and hear everything that met my basic criteria--full range and nice to look at. I also tried to selectively use the A'gon and other forums like the Asylum, looking for audiophiles who shared my listening preferences and philosophy and then back reading their threads. This proved far more useful than the mass publications. It was a long journey but I really feel it was worth it--with the Daedalus I no longer lust after other speakers and know I will only replace them if someday I'm able to move into a whole other price bracket. One thing I can say about this speaker--most of the guys who own them feel the same way I do--that they are not for everybody but if you click with them you are done. Most of the stuff I heard over my two year run was bland, sterile and polite. The DA-1's sound like real music in your room, not "really great hifi". They are utterly unfatiguing and you can (and will) listen for hour on end. Lou Hinkley is a great guy to work with and really has a passion for his gear. The DA-1's may not end up being your cup of tea but I would certainly have a listen, if just to have a different sound to compare the other stuff to. Heck, if your in the NYC metro area just come on by and have a listen.