Best speaker deals on Audiogon at the moment

People, i'm planning to buy speakers, but there is so much out there, and my knowledge is so limited, I'm not sure I can spot the good stuff.

If you were in the market for some speakers less than $10K, what would you be attracted to out of the current listings on Audiogon right now.

I can start: i'm looking at merlin, cain & cain, wilson sophia, martin logan summit. What am I missing?
Hi Steverw,

Welcome! I think you'll find that music well reproduced does good things for the soul, and I think you'll find your fellow audiophiles to be a very good bunch of people.

In my opinion, the worst deal in the world may well be to to fall for a great deal on the wrong thing. It's not the deal that matters, it's the end result. Unless your hobby is "getting a great deal". Of course you can always sell it if you don't like it, but a little groundwork can improve your chances.

The first step is to "know yourself". That is, to know what you want, know what you can live without in order to get what you want, and know what you definitely don't want. The best place to start is with a dealer. Go listen and see what you like. And then if that dealer educates you and you learn what you like and he has it, reward him by offering him your business.

This place probaly isn't the best place to start learning about which speakers you like, as the cost of getting first-hand knowledge is way too high. Those for whom Audiogon works well already have a pretty good idea of what they want (in speakers at least, as that's the most variable component). Knowledge really is worth more than a getting a great discount is.

Even at ten grand used, you'll have to juggle tradeoffs. That's why knowing what really matters TO YOU (not to me or to anyone else) is so important. Glance over this list and see what stands out to you:

1. Accurate timbre (the natural sound of voice & instruments).
2. Clarity & nuance (you can hear all the details).
3. Dynamic contrast (liveliness).
4. Superb imaging for a single listener.
5. Good soundstaging over a wide listening area.
6. Natural-sounding bass.
7. Extreme deep bass extension.
8. Unobtrusive size and visual appeal.
9. Sounds great at low volumes.
10. Sounds great at medium volumes.
11. Sounds great at high volumes.
12. Forgiving of less-than-ideal recordings and sources.
13. Ruthlessly accurate and revealing.
14. Freedom from little colorations that remind you you're listening to boxes, not live music.
15. Works well with your favorite amplifier.
16. Works well in less-than-optimum room or location.
17. Non-fatiguing over long listening sessions.
18. Laid-back, middle-of-the-concert-hall presentation.
19. Immediate, front-of-the-concert-hall presentation.
20. Especially well suited to a particularly demanding type of music (you specify).

Some of these are mutually exclusive, so you can't have 'em all. Which ones do you think you'd most want?

Best of luck to you!

If there's anyway you can hear different types of speakers you should. Those Infinity IRS Beta's sound great. I have to qualify this next statement as I sell Vmps speakers but somebody has some for 2700 bucks. They didn't win Best of HIgh End at the CES in 2002 for nothing nor get amazing reviews.

You should hear what you can. Two speakers at the same price will likely sound quite different. You're the only one who can say which sounds better. Good Luck
I am in the same situation so I can relate what I have been looking at lately. I have spoken to a number of people about the Merlins recommended by Usblues. I talked to the owner of the company, and was very happy with the comments he made about their characteristics. I don't know what your room is like but the Merlins seem to be a versatile speaker.

I have also been considering the Harmonic Precision Caravelles. I talked to the rep from the company a few months ago, and have heard the product three times. It was surprisingly good for the size and price.

Another speaker that I have heard and liked is the Talon Peregrin. This is a discontinued model so only available used, but they have not kept their $$$ value very well, so they can be had for close to $5000. I think they're a steal for that price.

If I had the three in front of me, with the prices I have seen posted here in the last year, I'd have a hard time deciding. I don't know if that helps at all, but there it is.
Compliments to audiokinesis above for one of the most concise, intelligent + thought provoking responses in a long time.
(Probably worth printing out and hanging on the wall.)
Yep, to know yourself in this complicated hobby is critical to finding what you're looking for.