Which is Best loudspeaker in the $1000-1200 range?

I am planning to do an upgrade, and I would like to know which loudspeakers REALLY stand out in this price range. Please don't reply telling which loudspeaker you have. I want to know which are the true winners....I mean, those loudspeakers that cost a $1000 but sound like they cost $2500! Which are the "best buy" options that are a total consensus among audiophiles?
"Please don't reply telling which loudspeaker you have"

So you think people buy speakers that don't sound the best to them in the $1K to $1.2k range? They say "I think speaker A sounds better than speaker B but, I am going to go ahead and buy speaker B."

My advice would be to list you taste in sound (warm/bright), the rest of your system and room size to get the recommendations you are looking for.

Good luck.
Are you willing to buy used, or new only?
Ok, I see your point. I prefer warm sound.
To me, an excellent, superb midrange is the most important thing. I don't need and I don't like tons of bass. My room size is medium; the speakers will be 3 meters apart and 0.5 meters away from the walls.
I forgot to add that my system is a Consonance CD120 ($1100) and an Arcam A80 ($1200). My DVD player is so cheap that it is not worth mentioning.
JM Reynaud Trentes have beautiful midrange

about $1200 used
a total consensus among audiophiles
Good one!
Are you looking to just buy new, or would used be Ok also? There's a big difference between what you can get new and what you can get say second hand here on Audiogon.
Go hear some Monitor Audio Silver RS6.
They just got a KILLER review in Stereophile.Cost $999.00
"I mean, those loudspeakers that cost a $1000 but sound like they cost $2500"

I know plenty of $1000 speakers that sound better than B&Ws that cost $2500. Is this what you are looking for? :):)
I have Quad 12L's and like them a lot. Might look at the 21 or 22 used. There may be an issue with the space you have to work with off your back wall though. I have been leaning towards getting some Totems to replace the Quads but must first deal with getting a new CDP which will be the Rega Apollo.

Good luck
Beheme, although your attempt was to tear on B&W, it was actually a compliment, as you are using them as an industry reference.
Spendor S3/5

If used is ok then I recommend Meadowlark Audio Shearwater Hot Rods. These were the best used speaker I found in your price range (maybe lower depending on condition)and I tried some very respected speakers. Very neutral, bass is there when called for but not over emphasized, wonderful tweeter. Good luck.
Ah, the quest for he holy grail, a reasonable system that sounds like a 50K system. I'm not sure it exists. Anyway, at that price point I would seriously look at the quad 11/12. Great reviews and a couple of brit. mags speaker of the year 2003. IMHO.
I don't own these so I hope this qualifies.___There is a pair of used Acoustat 2+2, w/Medalion's for 850 right now.That would be my choice.
How about a clean, used pair of KEF 104/2s (bi-wire) w/KUBE? Those or some used PSB Goldis would be towards the top of my target list.
S7horton: I apologize if I offended you, any B&W owners, their family and affiliates. Over the years, I have noticed that B&W is one brand that must not be criticised. I still do not know why but I guess it has to do with the BMW thing. As far as I am concerned, I always found them overpriced and third choice at best in their price range. And whether you like it or not, I am entitled to say it.

For the record, I did not use them as an industry reference (or should I in the "rip off" category?): read the OP - "upgrade", check his system - B&W- and you'll see why I referred to them. Read first, then bark - at the right tree.
"And whether you like it or not, I am entitled to say it."

I couldn't care less if you say it or not. You didn't offend me, just pointing out that you in fact are using them as a reference point. To say that something is better than "X", is in fact making a reference to "X". That's one of the biggest compliments you can give.

It's easy to insult, or prod at the guys on the top. They are on top for a reason. No one can touch their R&D.
I would have used them as reference if they had not been the OP's current speaker brand. In that case, i used them in the OP's context of an upgrade. Grade 5 logic, come again.

Now, I saw your system and realized that you are still mourning the forced departure of the 805 from your system. I understand the grief. I too fantasized about a girlfriend long after she dumped me.

Love is blindness, I don't want to see - U2
Without a doubt add some Audes Blues to that list if you are willing to buy used.

No question.
"I would have used them as reference if they had not been the OP's current speaker brand."

You are completely missing the point.

"In that case, i used them in the OP's context of an upgrade."

Upgrade doesn't have to mean swtiching brand names.

"...are still mourning the forced departure of the 805 "

mourning? Simply not true, but thanks for trying.
Ok, enough fun, you like - sorry Love- B&W, I don't, why is it so hard for you to tolerate a different opinion? would you burn a flag for a cartoon of a B&W logo?

Comments like "no one can touch their R&D" are embarrassing for you and there is much more - and less- to musicality than golf ball textured port, kevlar woofers, suspended or diamond tweeters. B&W do innovate but they are not the only brand to do so and to each his own. Innovation and true improvements are not the same, especially in audio where snake oil innovations are everywhere. I hate to hit on another of your likely fav brand but Musical Fidelity releases a new series that "kills the last one for less money" every time Stereophile truly updates their Rec' list (18-24 months). Innovation or marketing?

MF, Rotel, B&W...how many airbags do you order your Camry with? I encourage you to listen to not-so-advertising-driven brands to hear that yes, indeed, you can get as good or better than a B&W for much less. Easy: satrt by picking a brand that barely advertises and that goes direct to retailers or to consumers. These are the 40+% non-quality contributing dollars you save over a B&W, ceteris paribus. Green Mountain Callisto, Tyler Taylo, Avalon Studio Pro to name 3 monitors that cost $1,000 less than a Sig 805 and that are as good or better depending on taste obviously.

Open your ears (and mind), there is a world out there that TAS or Stereophile does not tell you much about!

I'm glad you can learn about all the products I have experience with in my system post. Talk about an open mind. You have no clue what gear I've been through.

You are the one that needs to open their mind. It bothers you that I like a company that has a lot of recognition.

The great thing about people like you is no matter what I say, you will have a response.

I will bow out, as the original poster has learned nothing from this.
I disagree: the OP learnt among other things that B&W's (and many others) pricing is made of a minimum of 40% marketing costs (distri channel + advertising). Or, how to get a $1,000 pair of speakers that sounds like a $2,500 one: stay away from the heavy mass-marketed brands and buy local brands if possible to also save on international shipping and duties (Dah!). Make it a 50% saving total then!

Not bad and right on topic. What did the OP learnt from you? B&W or nothing. Brilliant!
Beheme's conclusions do make sense. But there's also the point that sometimes the taxes that firms pay to export are smaller than the taxes they pay to sell in the internal market, and this may actually make exports cheaper, even when you include shipping costs. Maybe that's why the cost of a pair of B&W's in the US is the same as the cost in the UK!

The analysis about marketing expenses are impecable, though. Some firms do spend too much trying to prove how good they are.
i second spendor(maybe s5e), for its outstanding midrange performance and polite though extremely tunefull bass.
"Maybe that's why the cost of a pair of B&W's in the US is the same as the cost in the UK!"

Agree but price differential may also come from market-specific pricing to remain competitive and adjust to the strength/weakness of their currency.
In the last 2-3 years, European brands have suffered from very strong currency that almost put then out of market in some cases. It was not uncommon for them to cut down on margins eventually (all things relative though, they usually cut channel markups, not their own profits!)when selling in NorAm. That does not make their product a real value winner as they usually benchmark with other international brand prices (think B&W vs Dynaudio vs JM Lab in NorAm).

The reverse is also true: Canadian brands have been privileged with a very weak currency between 2000-2003 and companies like Totem or SimAudio have raised their international prices to equal or about nominal value (Arros sold for about $1,100 CAD in Canada and $1,100 euros in Europe, a 200% difference!...SimAudio W5 sold for about 4,500 CAD, euros or USD). Think about the channel margin paid by your cousin in Italy on a pair of Arros at close to $2,500 CAD at the time!!!!!

Figueiredops, at the end, the true economics of buying local and as direct as possible makes sense in terms of value, at purchase and during the course of ownership(if and when the offering makes it possible). At one point, I had to have my Totem and SimAudio gear checked and was happy to have both manufacturers at driving distance or at least domestic, easier, cheaper, faster than when I had to have my Unison Research checked (they had to order a part from Italy!). I am far from saying one should only buy domestic or basement brands but if the market permits, this is a good idea in order to get closer to the $1,000 item that sounds like the $2,500 (although this sentence makes little sense in the context of today's diverse supply of sometimes questionable quality). The internet has allowed little known domestic one-owner brands to get as much exposure as the large one spending $$$ in print media. 20yrs ago, it would have been hard for Tyler Acoustics to get the level of awareness in the audio community if they had had to rely on small printed columns at the end of TAS. Today, tks to Agon and other audio sites, Tyler products get the same level of exposure as a B&W. Anyone should AB a N703 and a Taylo 7U to see what value means.
Note: I am not affiliated with Tyler at all, never owned any of their products but always been impressed at shows or friends.
If you buy used you can get a pair of Vandersteen 2ce Signature's in that range. A VERY nice, full range(or close to it) speaker for the money. Sound is more on the warm side.
The analysis about marketing expenses are impecable, though. Some firms do spend too much trying to prove how good they are.

We have no knowledge of what percent B&W spends on advertising; don't go by some off the cuff statements made on the internet as if they are fact. Furthermore, that is a sorry gauge about a product anyway.

Buying “local brands” can have its own pitfalls and certainly isn’t any guarantee of a good product and a larger company can have advantages because of greater resources.
Brian: you are right, these were estimates only, I may be underestimating the figure by another 10% or so as I have bought three European speaker sets at 40% discounts directly from their NorAm distributors (not end of the line). I guess they covered landing acquisition price and some holding costs.
The channel mark-up, advertising contribution and supply chain costs on your 802D may be over $6,000 in fact. Did anyone ever compare a 802D at $12k and a Tyler Taylo Ref3 at $4,600? at that price point, value is not necessarily what people look for, they want the best sound so this is somehow irrelevant to the OP yet I would be curious to know the answer.

But at $1,000, better run out of direct then domestic then 100% Chinese options before buying heavily channeled European(ized) brands. I made the same mistakes myself when I got started.
I have no desire to get in a pissin match with you Beheme, if you don’t like B&W speakers I couldn’t give a flip. The reason I posted was because you freely make claims that you have zero knowledge of. Furthermore, a company that has the finances to advertise can generate those finances in many ways, one being that they sell a lot of product. If I sell one widget I make a little money, if I sell a lot of widgets I make more money, having more resources to work with. Putting down a company because they advertise is foolish in my opinion. I suspect that these smaller companies you praise would love to sell greater volumes and have the ability to market their product on a grander scale. Advertising is just one benefit of more resources.
OK folks,

Can we address the thread question and not the passions of individual enthusiasts?
James, another pissed off BMW owner who does not tolerate criticism? Proving my point a bit more that it is a religion more than a mass audio brand? as far as my knowledge of audio gear pricing and markups, PM me for a free tutorial, this could save you some cash on your next purchase of the BMW Lunar Stone Dust coated tweeter that extends over 100kHz for the exclusive pleasure of dolphins and belugas(coming as soon as someone else mass produces diamond tweeters see below:
Try the classic speaker pages, for 5-600 $ you can buy and fix up, or if someone else does the reconing, for about 1000 to 1200 end up with something that sounds a lot better than the (my opinion) junk made now....I saw a pair of AR-91 speakers on e-bay. Keep in mind that many speakers costing 2-3k, are not as good as many vintage models costing as little as a few hundred dollars. I believe hi-fi has gone downhill since the early to mid 90's, get something that sounds like music and not a spec sheet.....
sorry James, the message above was for Brian, not you!
Beheme, we tolerate criticism. We get it, you don't like B&W. Good for you. Where the BMW analogy came from is beyond me.

I noticed you don't have a system posted. Most likely because the critic himself would never stand to be criticized.
If you have a large enough room, magnepan 1.6 speakers placed and driven properly should satisfy your quest. Try them with a classe CAP151 or vintage luxman R117 receiver.
Magnepan MG-12s
IF THE ANSWER CAN BE USED, I have acoustat spectra 33 1990, it was over $4500 original retail, got it for $1000 in canada, another $250 in shipping. I also have an eminent technology Lft 8a at $950 retail is $1700, ohm walsh 2x0 for $400, retail $1100, magnepan .05 for $350, retail $1100, SRSLABS klayman signature $300 retail between $1000-1200. All of these $1000 and under used except the srslabs. couldn't get a better deal.
A used or fairly new bose 901 series 6 is a contender at the $1000 price range. I have owned bose 901 series 5 for $750 new in 1984, they still imaged good throughout the 90's!
my acoustat spectra 33 is hard to beat at that used price considering it was once a flagship WALL OF SOUND when acoustat was around til they came up with the spectra 44/4400, 66/6600 later in the 90's.
eminent technology lft 8a has no comparison, it is 5-10 times better than it's competitors at both used and retail price. OHM has no comparison either, the higher model you go, it too is 5 times or more better than it's competitors in my opinion!
Totem Sttaf - new $1500, Used <$900

GMA Europa - New $995 + ~$200 for good stands; Used <$650 plus stands.
By far the best value in that price range is the Vandersteen 2Ce Signature.
New I would pick the Consonance Eric-1s (1K/pr.). I heard them a year ago with your CD player... That day I bought the player, now a year later I bought the speakers too for my office system.

Used I would choose the Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitors. Good match for your CD player, and superb performer that matches your listening preferences and value requirements, IMO.

As an aside, I also liked the Spendors mentioned, and used, the Spendor 3/1Ps could be a good choice too...

Tough question, speakers are all a matter of personel preference... My 2 cents just because in my search for the money I went with Paradigm Studios v3s, very good speaker and reviews back it up. I had to keep it small so went with the 20v3s with small sub, sounds very good. Depending on your space requirements if you could move up to the Studio 60 v.3 you wouldn't be disappointed... just my opinion and again you have to hear them before buying them, also they have to mesh with your system, some speakers do not match well with some components.. below is a review on the smallest of the Paradigms, they will run your a little over $800 new, hard to find them used, people tend to hold on to the V3s.. One other interesting fact I remember about Paradigm, they are a Canadian speaker and I read somewhere where the Canadian goverment gives Paradigm millions of dollars for research and development to increase product quality, they're thinking is the want the people to know that Canada builds quality products.. I sound like a paradigm salesman lol.. I'm not believe me.. good luck in your search, most importantly go HEAR the speakers with the TYPE of music you listen to whatever speakers you decide on first.

I agree with the previous thread about Paradigm, they are very nice speakers. I have owned the 100v2 for years, they do everything well, with an emphasis on rock. The problems with them sounding lean or forward was a terminal case of an all solid state system. When I added tubes to the mix, the metal tweeter and midrange improved greatly. They sounded full, and very nice! I replaced them with Aurum Cantus Music Goddess llspeakers (soon to be on sale)and found that it just comes down to personal taste in music...I found the MGoddess to be much more detailed due to the ribbon tweeter, but I did not like it much for rock and roll.They convey real music very well, but fake music (drum machine's) came off crappy....For classical and jazz, the MG was better. I The AR's were many times better than both, but rare and hard to find. So jazz and classical, the MG's, Paradigm for rock/and large orchestral presentations, but the Paradigm's are not even close to a pair of old (no paper cones) AR's. Real Acoustic Suspension speakers are a lost art, too expensive to make any more.....
look at the audioreview, stereophile review, absolute sound regarding ohm walsh series. The other similar design to the walsh series is decware rl 1.5, info at www.decware.com
These are well reviewed manufacturers in which owners/reviewers find the speakers to have performances sounding 5 times more expensive than it's retail.
PSB Stratus Silveri at $1299 new at dmc-electronics.com in cherry. Used for less. Sounds twice the price. PSB has recently stopped making the Stratus line and will replace it with something else more expensive. That's why the price drop. Originally cost $1900. PSB also uses the Canadian research facility.
John Dean
A used set of Audes Blues are amazing for mid-range. Absolutely fantastic bang for the buck. $2200 new, but around $1200 used. I used to own a pair until I upgraded to some Wilson Benesch ACT's.

GMA Europa's. Work great with solid state or tubes. Very amplifier friendly. Built like a tank using cast marble enclosures, first order crossovers, premium drivers, etc. Just read thru the threads here for confirmation. Do a search for "GMA Europa"
Please check into getting an Apogee Stages. OH YEAH! these puppies have midrange range purity, even the QUAD has to bow to.