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What Are the Best Sounding Speakers UNDER $2,500 that You've Ever Heard.?


Ralf11
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I would audition these: ATC Loudspeakers SCM12 Pro - Pair - Vintage King Audio

 

or if you can stretch another 500 these: ATC Loudspeakers SCM20PSL MK2 - Pair - Vintage King Audio

 

... when you first hear ATCs it's a revelation.

 

... but the passive ones do need good amps.

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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@Ralf11 I'm seriously considering sueing you for copyright issues.

 

'.?' is my trademark.! ;)

 

 

One of the biggest bargains in audio history for me is JM Lab PS 5.1 from the nineties. With 2 dedicated subwoofers - around $ 2500

 

ps51_1.jpg

What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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Vandersteen 2 series, and second place is not close. They were well below $2500 at the various times I've heard (and owned) them, though they have recently edged up to $2560. Guessing you could pretty easily find a retailer who would discount them to below $2500.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I'll see your Vandies and raise you a set of Maggies...

 

I've read lots of good things about them, but the only one I've actually heard is the Tympani.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Jud, I used to own 2c's. I tried out a set of Maggie 1.5QR's ... for month after month after month. Eventually, I decided to sell the 2c's. This was in 1995 IIRC. The newer 1.7i's are supposed to be much better than the 1.5QR's.

 

My Vandersteens replaced a set of DCM Time Windows and were a large upgrade.

 

But the Magnepans do things the Vandersteens cannot -- and vice versa. One has to try both to see which has their preferred pros and least bothersome cons. No speaker is perfect and this is especially true at this price point. Not to mention what will fit into the room.

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I'll always have a soft spot for the Celestion 100's I purchased in 1992 and listened to exclusively for 18 years. They cost about $1,300 (I paid extra for nicer wood veneer) and were in Stereophile's Class C the year I bought them. They also came with a pair of cast-iron Chicago speaker stands loaded with sand, which probably helped a lot with their sound. I replaced them with the PSB Synchrony 2's I currently use, which in most ways are superior but don't image like the Celestions did. I gave the Celestions to my cousin who is a recording engineer, and he is using them for nearfield monitors in his studio and loves them.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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For a new speaker, personally I tell everyone to audition the Vandersteen 2's as well as the Maggies. They are totally different speakers and most Vandy dealers I know sell both. It will depend on what you listen to and how loudly you listen. I personally am not a big Maggie guy. I've heard them a few times recently and have enjoyed them (the larger screens as well as the 1.7's I believe they are). I wasn't asking price or names, just listening at a store.

 

The Vandersteen won't give you that WOW factor in the store that a Maggie may. Maggie's usually aren't set up properly or are run off the wrong gear and if so, they will fry your ears. When they are set up with a great, powerful amp and a very good pre, they will give you a wonderful presentation, especially in the mids. They will not have any true bass. It's not what they do.

 

I personally need that foundation to enjoy my music and that's what Vandy's will give you. Coherency, haunting mids and smooth highs that will give you plenty of sparkle, just not fry your ears, lol. There is a reason they are still being produced and why they've been on nearly everyone's must listen to or recommended components since the 80's when they came out. The nice thing about the Vandy's is that you can run them off an NAD or upgrade to the under 2k integrated by Belles and they will sing and rock.

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a speaker thread for the rest of us...

Martin-Logan Electromotion ESL - US$2500/pair

Magnepan MG-point 07 -US$1400 with optional bass panel US$2200

 

Either one will give you accurate, low distortion reproduction. Of course, at the price level you won't get that last octave of bass, but decent subwoofers which will get you to the low 30's to high 20's very reasonably. Just remember to buy two for best results (but if money is an issue, you could start with one and add a second later.).

George

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The best I've heard at this price range is the Revel Performa3 M106 ($2,500 with stands).

 

Before I heard the M106, I always liked the Totem Model 1 Signature at this price level, but I suppose that speaker would be an "old school" un-sexy choice these days.

Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator Plus | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | 2 Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12 

Home Office: IsoRegen+LPS1.2 | Denafrips Iris | Denafrips Venus 2 | Blue Circle Audio SBT preamp|  Eddie Current Zana Deux Super | Hifiman HE-1000SE | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

Office:  Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE w/preamp module | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Raidho X-1 | REL T/5x sub

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Really? I can't remember the last time my jaw dropped. What was so special?

 

I thought that for $1k they're definitely worth a listen, but I doubt I'd pay $500 more for the painted version. Most rooms could take some tips from AJ on how to hold court and put on a compelling demo.

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