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Best Loudspeaker for $2,000


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27 replies to this topic

#1 of 28 OFFLINE   Allen Marshall

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Posted November 13 2003 - 10:18 AM

alright i need alittle power of suggestion here, i have absolutely know preference of what a speaker should sound like or what i like better i like what it's supposed to sound like so as long as i can have somebody tell me "oh yea, its commin out like it was meant to come out" im happy.

I've auditioned speakers before and i was beatin a dead horse, some sounded the same some had alittle difference and none of them appealed to me more then the other so it doesnt matter, now that i got the its up to every individual thing out of the way i guess this is a personal preference question to everyone.

Best fronts for $2,000? could push $100-$300 over if its necessary.

i had my mind completely set on Rockets but i just want to make one more swoop and i dont know of that many companies with good floorstandings in that price range so some new names would help my decision along.
I work on Film, Animation & Sound Design in downtown Chicago.
 

#2 of 28 OFFLINE   Michael R Price

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Posted November 13 2003 - 10:41 AM

I've found that some speakers can just make you think... "wow." And I think they do exist for $2000! Problem is finding them...

Which speakers did you listen to? Are there any that you didn't like?

#3 of 28 OFFLINE   Bob-N

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Posted November 13 2003 - 11:07 AM

Rockets would be a good choice. Classic or Sigs?Posted Image

If you're into direct to consumer models, try ACI. They have some nice stuff. I own the Sapphires and love them. Their site is www.audioc.com. They have both floorstanders and monitors (bookshelf).

If you like the forward/bright presentation with brick and mortar access, B&Ws are pretty good, but not as good value as the two above. I owned 600 series (602s2) and CDM configuration (1NT, CNT) and liked their forward presentation. If you can swing it at $2k (~$1.5 used), the N805s are pretty nice and are a bit more full sounding than the 1NTs. I moved on to the Sapphires as a quest for something new.

My advice: audition as much as you can and figure out what type of presentation you prefer....bright or warm, forward or laid back. Also take into account your electronics which may couple well (or not) with your speaker choice.

#4 of 28 OFFLINE   BobAlbano

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Posted November 13 2003 - 12:44 PM

Allen, my offer still stands for you to come by and listen to 2 of the best values that exist in the audio world today IMO. I have a set of Rocket 750's and Reference 1's here that you are more than welcome to listen to...good luck with your decision! Posted Image

#5 of 28 OFFLINE   Chris Quinn

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Posted November 13 2003 - 02:21 PM

I would also listen to Magnepan and Vandersteen offerings in that price range. I heard both this week and was quite impressed with each.

I was most impressed with the $1500 system of the new NAD 320/Nad 541 CDP and Vandy 1's. I'd guess that there are very few $1500 two channel systems that can compete with or best this little set-up. I was blown away by the the Vandy 3's and Adcom front end. The second system was playing Lyle Lovett which I'm very familiar with both recorded and live as I grew up in Austin. The natural quality to his voice on that system was simply amazing. I didn't price it but I'm sure that system was in the $7-10K+ range.

I listen to a few minutes of the Maggies MMC1 in a HT set up and a very familiar movie was playing in Toy Story(now a days it is Mary Poppins and Snow White that the kids are stuck on) They were running on a NAD 762. In the scene where Woody starts talking to Sid and Sid picks Woody up from the grill I could hear Woody's boots slide over each tyne(?) of the grill and hit the next tyne. I've never noticed that before. Now since I've not heard the speakers or receiver with anything else I can't really tell you definatively it was the Maggies but I can say the two together make a great sounding system.

#6 of 28 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted November 13 2003 - 03:18 PM

Well if you so far haven't been able to tell much of a difference between various loudspeakers, and therefore do not have any preferred sound attributes, I don't see why you are interested in spending so much money for some speakers.

If you don't want to take the time to learn how to listen, then just go buy some decent lo-fi speakers costing $200-500, then spend the money saved on going to live performances, the movies, or software. What would be the point of spending more if you couldn't tell the difference anyhow?

The only other reason to spend that much money is to buy for aesthetic reasons as this level of speaker is usually going to have better looks and build quality.

But still save your money or take the time to learn how to listen. There are a ton of audiophiles and dealers in the Chicago area and I imagine any number of them would love to give you a listening education.

Otherwise folks could go blue in the face here listing the "best" $2000 loudspeaker, and the answers could all be different and all be correct at the same time.

#7 of 28 OFFLINE   Robert Cowan

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Posted November 13 2003 - 03:32 PM

ill second the maggies. i own 1.6QR's and there isnt a better speaker for the price.

#8 of 28 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted November 13 2003 - 04:05 PM

I have to agree with Scott. If you are already saying you can't hear the difference and that money spent isn't going to make you WANT to sit and listen all the time, then you are wasting your time and money.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#9 of 28 OFFLINE   Allen Marshall

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Posted November 13 2003 - 08:09 PM

well i can tell the difference between my Athena AS-F2's and my little KLH satellites in my living room, you cant even compare those 2 though, i know what sounds good, i dont know what sounds better then the other, thats how much money i can spend on fronts, so i want the best fronts for that price, it doesnt have to be able to produce alot of bass it just....i dont know, has to sound as good as it can for that price, i've listened to speakers at best buy, circuit city and tweeter and i can plainly tell that they sound different, i just dont know what type of sound i like better, they all sound good to me, but i dont want to buy some $2,000 loudspeakers that are as good as $200 speakers, in the end im sure i'll just look at the suggestions im given, look at the reviews, look at pictures of the speaker and see if i like it.
I work on Film, Animation & Sound Design in downtown Chicago.
 

#10 of 28 OFFLINE   Allen Marshall

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Posted November 13 2003 - 08:14 PM

those Magnepan speakers are so....wierd? how the?
I work on Film, Animation & Sound Design in downtown Chicago.
 

#11 of 28 OFFLINE   Dustin B

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Posted November 14 2003 - 12:57 AM

Electrostatic speakers have been around for quite a while. They have a rather large following. If you haven't heard an ESL panel before you should go listen to one before you make your decision. But if I had $2000-$2300 to spend on mains I'd build a pair of these.

http://www.gr-resear...phaLS/Alpha.htm

Possible to do if you have the tools and desire to build the enclosure on a $2k budget. You'd need $3-4k to get them built for you though.
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#12 of 28 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted November 14 2003 - 01:10 AM

Allen,
The second point of my post was that everyone is going to have an opinion based upon their preferences as to what is best. So their literally is no best, however as said their can be some stinkers out there, but even those may have someone who swears by them.

So I will throw out some brands that you could do a whole lot worse than, and that offer sound through different styles, designs, and technology.

Magnepan is a great speaker company, I like them, lots of folks like them but they are still a buy before you buy type of speaker because of their design and implementation. I don't know if they are still offering it but they used to have a deal where you could buy their entry level $500 MMG and have year to upgrade it to any of their other models for a 100% trade-in value. This is a pretty safe way to be introduced to them if you can't find a local dealer of Magnepan.

Dynaudio makes excellent speakers although at this price range you get good drivers but only a vinyl wrap vs real wood.

KEF and B&W are two of the biggest British manufacturers and many poeple love their designs. Me, I am not a fan but a list of options would not be complete without listing them.

ACI Sapphires would be another good speaker, but they are internet direct only company

VMPS 626R's could be a nice option.

Von-Schweikert VR-1's or 2's

Vandersteen 2CE's

Thiel 1.6's

and so on and so forth...

Lastly, there is a dealer called Venus Hi-Fi which I believe is located in the suburbs of Chicago, he carries a lot of more esoteric companies many of which I love. I would encourage you to seek his place out at the very least just because I think a lengthy demo session of his various systems could be quite an eye and ear opening experience.
www.venushifi.com

#13 of 28 OFFLINE   Bobby T

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Posted November 14 2003 - 01:31 AM

Klipsch RF7
We childproofed our house but one managed to get in anyway.

Threats appeal a lot more to us than they do to ordinary people.
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#14 of 28 OFFLINE   Charles Gurganus

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Posted November 14 2003 - 01:37 AM

Allen, tell us about the rest of your setup. What receiver/sources you have etc....Knowing this would get you better responses.
Charles

#15 of 28 OFFLINE   gregD

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Posted November 14 2003 - 03:40 AM

,,, and also your listening preferences, i.e., percentage of music vs movies?

... and also room characteristics -- dimensions, surfaces etc.

#16 of 28 OFFLINE   Scott_N

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Posted November 14 2003 - 04:57 AM

Totem,Energy,Dali,JMLab,Opera,Triangle,Soliloquy and Amphion make speakers in that price range and all are very musical. What are you looking for in a speaker?

#17 of 28 OFFLINE   Jason.Soko

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Posted November 14 2003 - 08:14 AM

Totem Hawks are right around 2 grand.
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#18 of 28 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted November 14 2003 - 08:28 AM

GR Research A/V-3. Small manufacturer. Great results, great customer service. Posted Image
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#19 of 28 OFFLINE   Wes Sokolosky

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Posted November 14 2003 - 09:20 AM

Alan,

I've recently been looking for front, floor standing speakers as well. I auditioned a number in stores, and ended up auditioning 2 pair at home. My budget was initially higher. Anyway, FWIW I ended up with the Axiom M60ti mailorder. $ 800. I could have spent several times that and not gotten much more. I also liked the PSB line a lot, and auditioned the PSB Image 6T at home as well.

You might have a look at Saturday Audio Exchange in Chicago. They handle NHT, Klipsch, Spendor and PSB. All are worth a careful listen.

Wes

#20 of 28 OFFLINE   Jason.Soko

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Posted November 14 2003 - 09:48 AM

Several times $800 will certainly get you a MUCH better speaker than those Axioms Wes. Yes they are good for the money. But they are not $2500 speakers.
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