2017 ‘Keeper’ speakers under - $25K

Heading towards the second half of 2017, I thought to ask here what other’s feel based on their experiences, wants or desires, exactly which recent production speakers under $25K, would be the ones you would want to marry.

Or be in a very long term fundamentally though not totally committed, relationship.

One wherein if they promise to satisfy on demand, you promise to keep them clean and sufficiently supplied with power and the purest of signals, not to leave dirty clothes on the floor, and to take the trash out daily, er, uh, regularly.

Actually, those last two items are predominately conscience driven and do not command perfect adherence.

Which speakers hands down just flat out captivated your attention, fancy, or were so compelling they made a significant impact.

In short, Speakers that have taken your breath away .

As speakers are merely one part of the ching let’s qualify things somewhat.

1. Speakers which can run very well in medium sized rooms. EX. 14 to 18ft wide, and 17 to 25ft long or deep, with ceilings from 8.5ft to 10ft H, or so.

2. If a sub was or should have been added, please, mention that as well.

3. If an Ultra high end setup, massive SS power amps, Tubes, or flea watt amps, were feeding and or driving them noting it would be appropriate.

4. Recent production since 2015. New or used.

Although it seems prudent to list only current production speakers, I know adding on the facet of pre-owned adds a lot more choices for the ‘desert island’ I got mine, you get your’s, scenario, but what the hey. It beats that 250 to 500 plus hours of run in new units usually insist upon.

If links to accounts or info on them is available, please include it.

As this is about options anyhow, let no design be excluded.


pokey77 > It is the $30-45k total-cost systems that get me dreaming

blindjim > you and me both!!
You ever get to La hoya in San Diego area? I saw a listing for a dealership there which says they carry YG, Master Audio, Wilson, etc. was just wondering.

randy-11 > How can a cheap $15,000 speaker like the Vandy Quatro Wood CT be #1???

Blindjim > yeah. I wondered that to, briefly, then figured it out. They ain’t the only $15K or so speaker out there that’s ‘subjectively’ besting speakers costing far, far more.

IMHO…. The key word is ‘subjectively’.

Until someone puts some Quatts in whichever room with who knows amps and sources and wires, (all done synergistically speaking) then blindfolds 2000 people and has them all walk in, sit down, and listen, then get up walk out and into another likewise room equiped just as well (synergistically speaking) but with much more expensive speakers and have the same 2000 folks listen again then have everyone vote on which room sounded best, we will never know.

Even then we won’t really know as many will peek. lol

Somewhere on these pages, it was once said quite often, there is an effect that comes with the purchase of upper range equipment. The more expensive it becomes the less ambiguous or objective the buyer remains… or so the discourses usually became. IOW… its hard to get someone who currently owns what ever a thing to say it isn’t very good…. Until they sell it and buy another similar but different thing.

Then too, either there’s the love of it as the ears truly love it, or there is the it’s the best thing ever as its being listed for sale … often by the same folks calling it great.

… and there’s the real world side of the coin. The, ‘In your home’ side which is where one will concentrate on setup, or could, then arrange them to optimize the system synergy and room acoustics… usually this last deal bests a whole lot of dealership listening rooms..

As well, we get very used to hearing our rig. We get to liking what our stereo sounds like. Hearing something new, in a different room is quite a stark contrast and we are out of our comfort zones instantly.

Thereafter, listening to other still more costly speakers is an ‘out of context’ situation. One can only guess at what the far more pricey speakers could sound like in their homes, or recognize immediately system synergy of that particular outfit, or how poorly they sound, as compared to your own really well done or just very familiar rig back at home.

The most fascinating part here is even when one strolls into a dealer’s room where a system is really well setup and the synergy is abundantly evident, that exact same gear in your home is not going to sound identical!!!

We have all experienced these things if we’ve been out and about listening to other rooms and equipment. It never fails.

As much as it is about performance, its about support too. I’d not ever deal with any maker whose attitudes and or service demonstrates positions which are erudite elitist or disparaging of their competition.

There are far, far too many outstanding choices to have to deal with that sort of noise.

Gdhal > I have a pair of Golden Ear Triton Reference (MSRP $8500/pair). I'm of the opinion they do everything better than most other speakers regardless of cost.

Blindjim > congratulations! That line is the whole object of this hobby.

One more factor in comparing $10K speakers to $20K speakers is the ‘point of diminishing returns’.

Anyone who thinks $30K speakers are twice as good as $15K speakers hasn’t ever bought $30k speakers… maybe not even heard $30K speakers. At least they’ve probably not heard a direct contrast with speakers selling for half that amount.

The whole idea of this thread is/was to spot light what $25K buys these days in NEW loudspeakers.

It’s nearly immaterial IMO which pair of speakers land in my house, if they can be bought for $25K or there abouts, I’m certain they will sound fabulous… once the electronics are up to par and the room gets tweaked. Unquestionably.

I prefer cones to panels so I look towards those sorts. I will keep that view until something else vividly changes my mind.

Speakers as always are only as good as what is in front of them, and what is physically, (the room), surrounding them. Period.

nyaudio98 > Has anybody listened to reflector from reference 3a...supposed to be outstanding at around 10k

blindjim > sorry, I’ve never heard of these. Perhaps others here may have some exp with them. I’ve only heard one pr. Of their stand mounts. Briefly.


I believe you are talking about Alma Music and Audio; I have not had the occasion to visit their facilities. Would be fun. I'll put it on my list.
soundsrealaudio07-18-2017 2:17amWell I can't stop myself. That means you should be very afraid. Here are the speaker components that would disqualify them.

1. No metal tweeters
2. No ceramic drivers
3. No ribbon tweeters
4. No speakers made with MDF. ( chip board with a ton of glue ).
5. No tweeters that kick in below 4000 kz. Let them do what they are        supposed to do. High frequencies only.
6.No big soul sucking crossovers.
7. No big woofers. Too slow and flabby and not realistic sounding.
8. No big speakers, big cabinets, way to much cabinet resonance.You don't by speakers to listen to the cabinet. At least I don't.

Good list. I'd like to add a couple more.

9  Paper cones (or Hemp) drivers 
10 Smooth unobtrusive tweeters.
11 As few drivers as possible. 

Of course there is no such thing as the best loudspeaker in the world as there is no best wine/ lager in the world. They are all different and its just a matter of taste. Accuracy can be measured but our ears are more sensitive than any machine in the crucial midrange.

By the above criteria I can't think of any speaker but there are a few I'd like to hear such as,

Eclipse TD712z

Vivid Giya

Russell K Red 50 100 150

Linkwitz Orion

A/N Hemp

Devore  0/96 

Zu Tone etc

Blindjim....from your thread you mentioned a good deal on Wilson's might be of interest.  I just purchased some Sonus Faber Amati Traditions so I have a flawless pair if Wilson Audio Duette 2's on sale on this site.

Willgolf > Wilson Audio Duette 2's on sale on this site.

Blindjim > thanks much. I’m looking farther and newer up the food chain. Sorry these would not be of interest to me presently.