Best Sounding Speaker in $3500 range

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Red Spencer, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. Red Spencer

    Red Spencer Agent

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    Have B&K seperates Pre/Amp...looking for best sounding speaker w/in my budget ($3500) 2 channel stero music. And believe me I done alot of research and listening. Just want some other opinions[​IMG]
     
  2. Mitch E S

    Mitch E S Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Red!
    I have Dynaudio Contour 1.8MKII ($3200) hooked up to B&K Ref30 and Anthem MCA5 and they are the best speakers I've ever heard (at least in my house[​IMG] ). I also have a stereo setup of B&K PT-3 and B&K REF2220 with Dynaudio Audience 72's ($1600) same exact size as the 1.8's and they are also excellent! I've been thinking of switching speakers (the rest of the HT speakers are of the Audience line) and the 1.8's would look much nicer in our family room. The HTs in the basement. You can sometimes find them much cheaper on ebay or audiogon.com
    Have fun, Mitch
     
  3. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    I will recommend the best ones that I have auditioned personally: the Polk LSi-25 (which I preferred overall and subsequently purchased); the Vandersteen 3A Signature; and the Vienna Acoustics Beethoven.

    All share similarities: extremely smooth; slightly warm (never bright in the upper midrange through treble); nonfatiguing; detailed; excellent imaging and soundstaging; and, above all, very musical.

    Be aware that the Vandersteens and Viennas, depending upon how close and high/low you're sitting during an audition, may need to be tilted back a bit for maximum performance. The Polks, on the other hand, are very forgiving on positioning.

    First-class products, one and all.

    Happy listening!
     
  4. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Here is something you may not have considered.
    http://www.gr-research.com/AlphaLS/Alpha.htm
    He also has someone that will produce limited quantities of enclosures for the kit if you don't think you could tackle building the enclosure yourself. If you build it yourself you will be well under your $3500 limit. If Hank builds an enclosure for you, it should approach your limit.
     
  5. Jason_Me

    Jason_Me Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Jon Best

    Jon Best Extra

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    VMPS RM2 are closer to $2500 and better than anything in the price class you mention. Their RM40 at aprox $4500 is as good as you can get under $10000. They are factory direct but there are a few showrooms around the USA.
     
  7. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Dyanudio Countour 1.3Se's. Much better than the 1.8mkII's. Then again, you might want towers for pure 2-channel.
     
  8. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Supporting Actor

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    The Energy Veritas 2.4 MSRP $3500 should be on your short list. I have them and highly recommend them. Check this out for more info. review
     
  9. Brandon Blair

    Brandon Blair Stunt Coordinator

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    JM Labs 926 (retail $3995.00)
    They are some absolutely incredible speakers and if you get the chance I strongly recommend you go listen to them to see what you think. They have gotten great reviews and were given a class A rating. I replaced my B&W Nautilus 805's and HTM-1 with the Electra 906's and 901 CC and was absolutely amazed at how much better they sounded, and I had always been a big B&W fan, until I heard these!
    www.focal-jmlab.fr
    Good Luck,
    Brandon
     
  10. Bruce Chang

    Bruce Chang Second Unit

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    I'm a big fan of buying used speakers.

    Dynaudio 3.3 used $3500 or less

    Silverline audio Sonata mk2 used $3500 or less

    Silverline sonatina mk2 used $2500

    B&W 804 and 803s $2500-3500

    Revel F30 $2500

    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven used $3500

    Newform reasearch R645 $2265
     
  11. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Those AlphaLS speakers still intrigue me. I wonder how they actually sound.. supposedly being better than any other speaker mentioned above?

    I havn't heard ppl say anything about the JBL Tik 4 way but it's $3500.

    One of my favorite loudspeakers to date is still the Avantgarde Trio Series Three. The MSRP of their cheapest speaker (The Solo) is $3,750.
     
  12. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Well given what Danny has done with the Paradox and AV lines there are many here that really respect his design skills. And the AlphaLS is being mentioned in threads over at Audio Asylum as competition for commercial offerings in the 40-80K range.

    I'm curious if you could chop an AlphaLS in half and change the woofer enclosure to a sealed one that would have a 2nd order roll that would match up with THX bassmanagement on processors. Making it a suitable HT speaker option. I'm also curious if you could spilt that half an LS again so half was above and half below a TV or projection screen.
     
  13. Jason_Me

    Jason_Me Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    These should be on your shortlist:
    Dynaudio Contour 1.3SE - personally heard them before and they are absolutely the most fantastic speakers I've heard in their price range.
    NHT 3.3(used) - haven't auditioned them but I've heard numerous good things about them, they've been discontinued though but if you can get them in your budget used, it should be a great deal
    Revel Performa F30 - heard good things about it too, MSRP just slightly above your budget.
    Von Schweikert VR-4 - same as above.
    Sonus Faber Grand Piano series - popular choices, but you either love or hate their sound.
    Silverline Audio Technology Sonatina - heard good things about it also, just within your budget.
    PSB Stratus Goldi - don't think it'd compete with the rest, but its only $2500 MSRP, and I own a pair so I have to plug it...great speakers for the money [​IMG]
     
  15. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    bruce, the 804s for for $3500, 803s for $5000 (just thought I would let you know)
     
  16. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Jason, the reality of a line array is the opposite. They generate a rather large sweet spot that is very lively. Line arrays don't lose output with distance as fast as point source speakers.

    And that is the other part that bugs people out the AlphaLS. It doesn't use expensive drivers (they are still good drivers, just inexpensive). The 6.5" cones sell for $40 a piece and the ribbon tweeters are around $60 a piece (cheaper wholesale I'd imagine). But he generally uses crossover components that are more expensive than what you find in high end commercial speakers.

    Danny isn't an amateur either. He does this for a living like any other highend manufactures engineers. He has the anechoic chamber and the fancy measurement tools just like they do.

    Cabinets and low volume are what makes those mega expensive commercial offerings expensive. The parts in a Wilson X1 are worth a tenth or less of the speakers actual price. Low volume doesn't affect Danny's kit price on the AlphaLS, he doesn't have a manufacturing plant and management staff to support. If someone was to manufacture and sell the AlphaLS in the normal commercial way, it would be priced in the $40K plus range.

    Oh, and a memeber of this forum replaced his PSB Goldi towers with GR Research AV1+. Granted there is a big difference in bass between the two, but a good sub removes that from consideration. He likes the mids and highs of the AV1+ over his old PSB Goldi towers and has said many times it was a great decision. Especially since I'm sure even used he sold the Goldi towers for more than the AV1+ and sub cost him (he didn't build the enclosures, he payed people to build the enclosures for him).
     
  17. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    Don't bother spending money on speakers that tries to simulate a line source with either mini-line source or non-uniform drivers. Or when most of the money goes into making the box not sound like a box. Go with the magnepans. The 3.6 is slightly more at $4200, but practically all the money is in the driver.
     
  18. Eric Sevigny

    Eric Sevigny Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll second Jon Best's sugestion of either the VMPS RM2s or 40s. They aren't of the attractive sort but sound wonderful and have good strong bass if that's what you like. I own RM2s and have no intent on upgrading (that's a first for me [​IMG] ).
    You can find out more here : www.vmpsaudio.com
     
  19. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    I should clarify my first statement in my above post a bit. It is my understanding that monopole line arrays like the AlphaLS have a larger sweet spot than something like a dipole ESL panel.
     
  20. David Selby

    David Selby Auditioning

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    thiel
     

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