A litlle help for choice of speakers up to €5500 (used or new)

Hi folks. 

In advance I need to say that I am truly gratfull to be among you and learn with you all about this most passionate area of audio/hi fi. 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Now, what brings me here today is a request for your help in an area so important to me. The purchase of loudspeakers. Perhaps the most important element of a system. And at this point I feel a little lost before the many choices and options available (nationally and internationally, new or used).

Having this budget available, I would like your precious help in choosing speakers within those values above.

The ideal objective would be to reconcile two worlds to which I very much identify myself in audio ...

I love a good mid range but also feel intrinsically need to have good bass that make me feel like "completely filling the room" (correctly, of course) with a full bodied sound.

I'm not referring to the bass of "impress your friends", but deep bass, dark, correct on the timbre and tonally that permits you to connect fully with the music.

The listening room is of an average apartment, by European standards. It has 35m2 and with good acoustics.

Previously (giving a bit of my experience to better situate the intended objective) I had some portuguese handmade speakers, skillfully built with many units and sealed box, that gave me years of pleasure with very good high and low frequencies. But I needed a little more presence in the mid-range and so I decided to change radically... 

I ended up buying from a friend the Harbeth Super HL5 loudspeaker, which I knew well as a regular at his home. From all my audio experience were the loudspeakers that sounded better at this level of the midrange. I've never heard voices so naturally and realistically. But not only. The whole mid range is fabulous.  

But nevertheless, ... I missed the bass I had previously with its predecessors. They were tonally correct basses that made me thrill more about music (I'm lucky that the setup room does not accuse the bass very much. So I can choose speakers with a significant bass). Both things are quite important to me. 

Now, the goal would be to get and reconcile both things, of course. Among all the other normal features we all look for in very good loudspeakers.

An important detail is also the need to choose a model / brand / topology that allows me to have the freedom to play loud but also to play a low levels of sound. Not all speakers allow minimum quality at low / medium volumes.

As a result, I sold the current Harbeth Super HL5 and am a buyer of something I'm not sure what ... so many models, brands and topologies.

I can buy new or used and even internationally if necessary (in Portugal post-crisis, many of the good audio stores have fallen and some others do not give the necessary support).

As amplification, I have an integrated tube amplifier. It's a JJ828 from JJ Electronics. A Push Pull with 75wt channel-separated current transformers with 8 KT88 Genelec Gold Lion tubes.

I had previously a Lavardin IT that many hours (years) of pleasure gave me, but after knowing and testing this model of JJ, I was taken with its quality and conquered me to the point of having replaced Lavardin IT.

Not relevant I think, but as sources, I have a Primare CD31 CD player, a Portuguese hand-held turntable manufactured by artisan Rui Borges (Rui Borges UNO MKII) and a M2Tech Young DAC for hi res files.

The phono units are more than one, depending on the type of music I want to hear.

Sorry for the long text, just wanted to leave you everything you need for a better help.

Once more and in advance, thankyou for all.


The Harbeth is an outstanding speaker. It sounds like you should be looking at getting a good subwoofer to fill in the bass that you are looking for !

Miguel, you've opened a can of worms here.

Perhaps you can tell us which makes/brands of speakers are more or less readily available to you in Portugal.  That at least would narrow down the options.  At it stands, you're going to receive a very wide range of suggestions.

Miguel, a Merry Christmas to you. 

What types of music do you listen to? What are your room dimensions and layout and speaker placement options?
Thank you very much to all of you.

For now I would not be lured into going to the subwoofer solution.

I do not want to be confined to existing brands in Portugal, I can order internationally (new or used).

For that, I have the peculiarity of having to resort to loudspeakers that allow me to listen to various types of music. From classic rock (70 'and 80' mostly), to classical, to jazz (in its various subgenres), blues, alternative and even world music.

The dimensions of my listening room where the sound system is inserted, are - as I had referred - 35m2 (5x7).

Since always - and given the constraints (not many) of a normal living room - I have had the speakers a meter and a half from the back wall. But the acustics have been good enough all over the years.

By the sides I have no problems at all.

I can send photos of the place if necessary.

Thank you one more time.


That's a very healthy proportioned room for audio performance (5m by 7m is roughly 16ft by 23ft, for us non-metric types). 

I'm assuming the speakers are setup with the shorter wall behind them(?).  The fact that you can have your speakers out from the walls is great; also really nice having a room that is acoustically "good." Choices will work easier but with the resulting downside in having more options. : )

I auditioned the Harbeth HL5Plus at length. You have a terrific speaker as a comparative reference to beat.
If you get lucky, you can purchase a 2nd hand pair of Wilson Audio Sophia series 2 for your target price.  I have an audiophile friend in Lisbon, and a serious audio enthusiast in Porto. Imacoustica is a great resource of course, but I am not aware of their offerings on the used market.

The Sophia 2’s have great midrange, the  high resolution detail that Wilson speakers are known for, and ample bass.   Your amplifier can handle four ohm load, so that works. The 70 W output is a touch on the light side, but should work fine since your room is not very large.

 I realize that many users of this forum have a tendency to recommend their own equipment to other people. I am guilty of that at this very moment! However both friends that I mentioned in Portugal have Wilson speakers! One, the modest cub. The other, Sasha series 2. The Sophia 2’s are the finest speakers  that I’ve ever owned, I’m very pleased with them, and I can enthusiastically  recommend them. 


Try to demo some ProAcs.  They have also have a great midrange, but portray a little more excitement top and bottom than Harbeths.  They're good at various listening levels and known to pair well with tubes.  It looks like they do have a dealer/distributor in Porto and Lisboa.

Thankyou all once more.

David - It is true. You are quite right and I understand what you mean. But believe me it was a decision made in conscience and not a rush of change just to change. And as you say, it was not an easy thing to do, but after weighing everything that connects me to music and its reproduction in the best way (better way for me, of course), concludes that I had to launch myself in this project with a view to a change - within that budget - that brings me the musical components that I need to put together in a loudspeaker.

Of all that will not be easy and I know that, each one of you will have an own self opinion and different from each of the others of you, but believe me, all your opinions are for me relevant and of great value. To which I thank you deeply.

Despite a certain normal anxiety in these things (I already recognize this feeling when I am to complete / acquire any important element of audio setup - especially when it comes to something difficult to choose, as is the case, such as the importance of the loudspeakers), I always try to take all this with some pleasure, trying to enjoy the journey and not just the end itself. Otherwise we end up accusing this anxiety too much and affect our choices at the end of the day.

Marktomaras -  Wilson Audio Sophia series 2 would be great I think (I dont know their specs/caracteristics, as sensitivity etc., but certainly would be something above my best expectations), but I dont think I can get some in that target price. It would be great, I have heard very well about them and read very good things (some time ago), they would certainly be dream speakers for me.

But I think it wouldnt be something easy, especially in Portugal, where prices may be more expensive than abroad. But I will follow your advise and contact that store and asks if they have something like that (I repeat, still dont know their specs, hope they have a minimal sensitivity 89/90 or above, dispite my integrated tube amp has 70wt). If you get to know some of them on sail in Europe tell me please. I saw the link you put on, and they are beautiful speakers, but they are from far away from me and would had to pay aditional taxes I supose. But as I said, if you or someone sees one of them in europe, please tell me. 

Knownothing - thankyou 

Gnostalgik - I've heard of ProAc for a long time, in its reputation for getting along with tube amps. But I've only known a few entry-level models. I could not form an opinion on them accurately.

With this my available budget, the ideal would be to find something of superior price, but being second-hand that fit the budget. Or buy new but more modest level.
Do you have any / some models that you recommend?

Greetings to all and thankyou for your help

As a side note I feel I need to warn that the websites you mentioned plus many other European marketplaces are full of scammers who put up stolen pictures of someones equipment, list these and fish for easy money.
I`ve seen my own listing pictures there many times. Some examples from my quick search for "killer deals" :))




Many are with right prices also so I suggest to be extremely cautious if you don`t live near by!
Plutos, wow, that would be horrible of course!  

The one link that advertised the Sophia 2's on a site in the UK for 5,500 GBP (6200 EUR) looks potentially very good.  The seller is in France, which is a reasonable road trip from Portugal if the deal will set you up with your dream speakers.  When I bought my Sophia 2's used, I drove pretty far to get them as well, and it was a very exciting trip.  Great to be able to see the product in person before actually paying and taking ownership.


Yep the price is not too good to be true for these Sophia's so it may be a legit seller. It certainly is worth to ask more pictures/proof etc. before a long trip.
The D48R is amazing, but you don't see many used.  I haven't heard previous model, the D40, but it doesn't seem too difficult to find.


The D30RS might be in your budget new (not sure about prices in Euros), but won't have as much bass.

Good luck.
Marktomaras/Plutos - thankyou, my idea (if doesnt find anything here in Portugal) is really that (finding some solution through Europe. But I am quite afraid of what Pluto's said about scammers.  My idea is really to find some twou ou three good solutions and choose one to go visit in person the equipment in person. 

But to help reduce the risks can you tell me what can I ask the owners to show me before I go there? 

I usually ask for the certificate serial number, invoice, etc. So I may contact the brand and asks for the autenticy of the product. 

If you know any other thing that helps me to assurance the situation, please tell me. 

That WAS seems to me a very good option, despite the owner being not so good in communicate. I already asked him for some information and he is quite reserved in words. Maybe I will have to pass this unfortunetly. Because at first sight I found it a potential very good choice. 

Gnostalgik - thankyou, I put the D48/D40 in my short list and that is a model I can listen in Portugal, I think. The D30 I think (for what I read only, of course) it would be feel a lack of bass, for my taste. The only thing I am afraid is that those models seems to have a problem with the listening rooms etc. But I think to mine maybe isnt the case. 
I'll have to make a parenthesis here. To warn all those who are like me in my situation of buyers of audio material internationally.

Among the various options I have been seeing here, and others that I have been advised here, I saw in the international sales forum "Adpost.com Classifieds", several good solutions in several commercials and contacted the owners.

In one of these sales ads, I've detected a fraud scheme that I come here to warn you to be careful about and avoid that person.

In fact, after verifying the fraud, I have already contacted the administrators of this sales forum as I have already denounced the fraud in the appropriate instances.

Beware of commercials coming from this guy:



the seller of these Wilson Audio Sophia II loudspeaker, of name (username) "ste332" (after entering his profile is named Jaan Steve from the city of Ajaccio, Corsica / France).

After my contact to tell him that I was interested in his Wilson Audio speakers, he directed me to an email address of him for further contacts.

His private message with the email address he gave me to contact was as follows:

"Thanks for your response..Yes.if you can give me your email.then I will send you pictures and details or email me at flybratts231@gmail.com thanks" ...

And so I did, I sent him my email and I exchanged some emails with him. After some rather strange details in his messages, I asked him certain things, like the location where the speakers would be, as well as obviously asking him for the certification of the purchase, purchase invoices, the serial number (in photos and also the possibility of entering into video call so that I can verify the same serial number) and his answers were always sneaky.

At very cost after my insistence he sent me a supposed purchase invoice. Invoice that I want to resend to you as one of the evidence of fraud (as I will explain below).

The invoice did not look professional at all and came in Swedish. Supposedly his purchase would have been made at a Stockholm store called Audio Stylus - as I found out after some research by the name of the store in the invoice (http://www.stylusaudio.se/kontakt/).

 In addition, the purchase invoice does not contain any stamp or official sticker of the store, nor any signature of someone responsible for the store, etc., etc. 

Already realizing that here would configure something illegal and fraudulent I still asked him about the photos of the serial number viewed from the own loudspeakers. 

Just as I told him that in order to make the purchase, he would have to send me all these things first, and I would want to go to Ajaccio, France, to see and hear the loudspeakers live and with my eyes (just to see his reation). 

As the enigmatic answers continued, I did a personal research and got to contact the responsible for the lodgers of Audio Stylus from Stockholm (the store actually exists), and could talk with Karl Liander, Oscar Andersson and Daniel Hofmann from this audio shop. Through the number 00 46 70 843 29 88 any of you can do it and confirm this unpleasant situation. 

Those store responsibles could thus confirm to me that the purchase invoice (which I had sent to them in the contact email) was totally false, forged and counterfeited. Nor have they ever sold any loudspeakers of this model to ajaccio or anywhere neither to that person. 

In a very attentive and friendly way, these gentlemen have made themselves available to contribute to the fight against this scourge that exists worldwide, with these scams of fraudulent fraudsters and scams that infect international sales outlets. 

As my work is in the justice field, I had to report all this to the competent authorities, not only local but also international. Interpol is already more than attentive to these things, which are nothing new, unfortunately. 

But I found it pertinent to inform you too, because we must always be aware of this. Of course I'd never step in to a blind business without proper investigation and without all the data that these kind of person (as a seller is obliged) has to provide to any buyers. 

Well... the surch to be continued, of course, with tranquility and pleasure. But its sad these kind of people and actions.

Kind regards for you all. 

Apart from this unpleasant situation reported (which has already passed), I continue in the research totally looking for good solutions amusing myself in the process, so you are welcome if you want to lend a hand in this matter.

Thankyou all.
Once I listened some Audiovector models, and I remember I found them very nice, but its been a while. 

The Totem has pretty good models too, inspite of their sensibility may be a problem for my tube integrated amp. 

Recently some friend advised me to listen the Totem Tribe Tower, dont know if any of you know one (or both) of these brands/models.

You really need to listen to some ProAcs. As @gnostalgick has pointed out, you would love them with your tube gear.
Good luck in your speaker search.
Recently came the oportunity to buy (and must surely listen) some Sonus Faber Amati Homage in a very good price. I didnt have the chance to listen them yet. But I will.  

Anyone who knows them? They have sinergy with tube amps?

Any pros and cons?

Good afternoon everyone.

I apologize for resurrecting this topic, but I found it more pertinent than opening a new one.

I recently restructured much of the home audio system.
With the recent purchase of the Luxman L-590AXII amplifier (30w Class A) and the sale of the JJ 828 tube amplifier, I have to change speakers again.

I have in mind some brands and models but without any tendency to any of them yet (only through readings that I have done, because it is impossible for me to test everything so I want to form a short list of possibilitys to have in mind - with your help of course).

ProAc Response D30 (new) or the model above (if I can find some used ones), Zu Audio Def II, Spendor 7.2, are some of them. They also told me about Focal Kanta 2, as being a great match to these kind of amplifiers, but I think they are already above my budget.

The size of the listening room is about 5mx7m.

Some small impressions about my personal taste, if useful:

Maybe due to some personal defect of mine, I always like speakers with the prominent and present bass (without becoming boomy of course) and a very good mid range. A good scale and that feeling of a full body sound. But here the objective is, above all, to adapt the speakers to the characteristics of this class A amplifier.

Although declared by the manufacturer only 30w but all reviwers guarantee to have close to 100w. Anyway, what I wanted would be to obtain all the sweetness and emotionality characteristic of the class A of this brand, with columns appropriate to it.

I listen to various types of varied music, rock, blues, jazz, electronics, female voices, acoustic, alternative, etc., so it is not advisable to choose speakers that are "stuck" to some kind of genre.

Anyone who owns this amplifier, or a similar one, I would appreciate the help or advice. The available budget is the same (around 5500/6000 euros).

My greatest thanks