You will probably get some excellent suggestions from others, so I will limit my comments to three monitors that I have owned. For about a year, I owned a pair of Coincident Triumph Signatures. They are a very well made and efficient speaker (said to be suitable for use with lower-powered tube amps), with excellent cabinetry, but I found myself only satisfied, rather than really pleased, with them. I subsequently sold them to a colleague (for $500, so he got a good buy) who has been using them for about 6 months. He has recently decided to sell them, saying that he can't really get excited about them. (FYI, I was using a solid state amp, and he has been using a tube amp). So, for the two of us, we'd say the speaker is a decent one, but not great (particularly given the competition at this price point).
The other monitor that I have owned and been very pleased with is a brand that not many audiophiles have heard: the Pyramid MET-7.7, which is designed and sold by Richard Sequerra, one of the major figures in high-end audio. The MET-7.7 is a small but outstanding monitor that has absolutely terrific imaging and soundstaging characteristics, and they can be purchased online directly from Dick Sequerra. The MET-7's I had were an earlier version, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. After I eventually sold them several years later, I came to regret my decision. Here is a link to a review of the MET-7.7's, which contains a link to Sequerra Associates:
If you decide to consider an inexpensive monitor that performs much better than its $600 retail price would suggest, listen to the Krix Equinox (made in Australia). I have been using a pair of these speakers in my office system, and I like them a lot. They don't have much bass, but not many moderately priced monitors do. However, they are very clean, with a well balanced tonal quality that does a particularly good job in the critical mid-range. Krix designed their speakers to have good audio quality but also be compatible with HT systems, and I think they have done a commendable job in reaching their design objectives.
The other monitor speakers I suggest you consider are those made by PSB, which offer excellent value for the money, and those made by Reynaud and Triangle. I'll let the others who post provide some other suggestions.
Another option might be Epos M12 (or ES-11 or 14). These are about in the price range and image very well, and there are quite a few dealers around.
In my first post, I listed a link to a review of the Pyramid MET-7.7 monitor speakers. If you want to go directly to the Sequerra Web site, here's the link:
I noted in looking at the Sequerra Web site that the price of the MET-7.7's is now $1100. They are still a fine speaker at this price, as you will see when you read about the quality that goes into their manufacture.
Second the SdCampbell recco's of Krix Equinox (AMAZING SPEAKER, HIGH SENSITIVITY), Reynaud (awesome speaker as well, just make sure to break it in right!), and Triangle Commete (best speaker I've ever heard for the price...period). For a little more money, look at the upper end Neat monitors as well, and if you ever want to upgrade them, you can add the Gravitas subs, which double as stands (very cool stuff). Cheers!
Try the Sound Dynamics 300Ti if you can find a pair. I use them in a second system with some first class components with excellent results.
The Soliloquy 5.0s are a great choice and a great value, but my experience with them is that they need room to breathe to be at their best, so in a bedroom system they may not be optimal. But by all means worth a try.
If it were me I'd also look at Silverline and Triangle monitors. Obviously the Triangles would save you some cash. Best of luck.
Try the silverlines. I have a pair of the SR17s and am delighted with them. I have also heard the soliloquys and like them also. You can get some excellent used deals on totem ones in the classifieds. What a delightful dilemma to be in!
Sonus Faber Electors. (not ElectorAmators) These are very small bookshelf speakers maybe 12 to 15 inches tall. They retail for $3500 but I have seen them used for around $1500. Not only are the wallnut cabinets simply gorgous but this is the best speaker I ever heard in this price range regardless of size. After countless auditions of other speakers I happily bought these.
These were my very first high end speaker and although I upgraded far above them I miss their sweet sound and always regret that I traded them in. I have considered many times building a second system just for an excuse to own them again. They also went very low for there size and have unbeleavable mid range and treble.
The obvious choice is the DYNAUDIO CONTOUR 1.3 MK-II. It's dimensions are perfect for your stands, 8" WIDE, 11" DEEP. It is also the best sounding and most neutral of all the other speakers aforementioned. If you have deep pockets, go for the Special Edition (SE) version.
I like the Soliloquy 5.0's in that price range, but they do need to be placed out in the room. They mate well with push-pull tube amps. Someone's selling the Taylo mini monitors here on 'gon. Nice drivers. The Taylo reference monitors will run you a little more but are also nice for the $$--I have them. Look at www.tayloraudio.com. The ACI Sapphire III LE's may also fit the bill--use a scanspeak tweeter, image well and throw a nice soundstage. www.audioc.com.
Wow, great suggestions, and pretty much all in the 8 x 11 footprint that I require so I don't have to buy new stands! I will take some time finding the right monitors, but with so many possibilities, I feel I can't go wrong. I don't know why I just can't compromise w/sound. The Boston Acoustics were never supposed to be high end audio speakers, they were just for the TV for heaven's sake. They are my third set of speakers in a 3-story townhouse! Why can't I just accept them and not insist, always, on better? I am so spoiled. Again, thanks all.
I'm using the Coincident Triumph Signature UHS powered by a Blue Circle amp. It's a great combination. The UHS version is a more refined speaker than the regular sig. The highs have more sparkle and less splash to it. The mid range is incredible. Vocals are rendered life like without sounding congested. Overall, the UHS version has more life and energy to it. I'm more than satisfied with the performance of the Triumph Sig UHS. Here's another point to consider. Customer service at Coincident is world class. Israel Blume has been great to deal with.
i would add to this list the linn tukans - excellent - and meant to be placed against the back wall which makes it decor friendly. many naim enthusiast put this on the end of over 15K in gear (and you can upgrade to active with these things) - i have a pair of these as well as audiophysic tempos and i can't say that these aren't more fun that the expensive tempos. cheers. o, and sarah - i am a taurus (just kidding, but so rare to see a woman on this thing)
Look at the Aliante Ones for sale here on Agon ($1200 or so), it's a $7,000+ speaker at retail. Other good choices: Aerial 5's, Paradigm Studio/20 or Active/20.
Acoustic Energy AE1 Series II
Considered by many, (including me), as one of the finest compact monitor speakers around. New, they are just in your price range. Beautiful build quality as well. ACI has been selling direct for 25 years and they have the best customer service in audio. Check them out and consider trying them, I think you'll be glad you did!
A couple of years ago I purchased a pair of Tyler Acoustics Taylo Monitors. I have listened to most of the speakers on the list, and the Monitors are some of the best speakers you can by for the money. They use a Seas Revelator tweeter and a Seas 6" midrange/woofer. These speakers involve you in the music like nothing you've ever heard before. The design isn't fancy; they just use the best drivers available with a top notch crossover, and enclose them in a well built cabinet. They don't cut any corners. Furthermore, the owner, Ty Lashbrook, will give you first class customer service. He usually has a few used pair in stock and you might be able to talk him into sending you a pair for evaluation. (A used pair wull probably run you about a grand.) Give them a try, you won't be sorry.
Linfield speaks the god's truth. Tyler Acoustics monitors or minimonitors are the bomb! The minis have the most exquiste bass and the revelator tweeter is one of the best in the biz. A used pair of minis can be had for about 750 smackers. You not only won't be sorry, you'll be tickled pink. And Ty is a great guy with fantastic service. And if you want to upgrade some day, he's very accomadating.
Also try Vienna Acoustics Hadyn's and the Sonus Faber Concertino's.