Best speaker used under $1000 for piano rec.


I have some views on this topic based on numerous speakers I have owned over the last 25 years, but would appreciate others' views and experience on the best speakers for reproducing piano music. I know that this topic has been discussed at some length here, but I'm on a budget now and need to stay under $1000 new or used. I have a smallish room and now have budget/mid SS electronics. Thanks,

JM Reynaud Trentes or Twins, if you can find them, have a wonderful midrange tone and vibrancy that work well for piano.
I have never fallen for the 'recommend a speaker for xxx' until now.
My panels produce some of the finest resolved piano I have ever heard.
Solo guitar, classical and progressive jazz is also 'in the room'.
Agree with Magfan. If you have decent amplification, even MMG's on good stands do an excellent job with piano.
For under $1K you are severely limiting your choices, even assuming that you are going to look for used speakers.

To state the obvious,, most speakers that are crisp and clear in the uper registers will reproduce piano music well. It's the full range (bass chords) that will prove to be most problematic to reproduce realistically.

I have had the best luck with ELs and planar speakers - Apogee ribbons and/or hybrids, or Maggies as Magfan and Drdennis suggest. The problem might be your "smallish" room. These speakers are dipoles and need some space around them to breathe.

If you are looking at cones I am a fan of the French speaker mfgs. Focal/JM Labs, Triangle or (my preference) JM Reynaud as Philojet recommends. Again, room sonics and speaker placement are going to be critical.

One more thing: if you have a piano in the room, I have had very good success by carefully positioning the piano between the speakers. Everything you read will tell you not to do this, but if you do it right you will have some wonderful sympathetic reinforcement from the piano's soundboard. It has worked better for my with dipoles than direct radiating (cones), but you might give it a try. I have used that method to demo a Yamaha Disklavier system, and it was hard (but not impossible) to tell whether it was the piano or the system making the music.
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Do you have a Totem Accoustic dealer in your area? I currently have a pair of Totem Arro floorstanders that sound fantastic with piano music. They can usually be found used on audiogon.

Good luck with your decision.

-- JBGood
I've got a pair of Coincident Conquests. Very nice speaker if you can locate a used pair. They go for around $800.
Ascend Acoustics has free shipping both ways for a 30 day trial on Sierra 1s until early Nov.
I will second the Dynaudio recommendation...the model Focus 140 is also excellent with piano.

I will also add several BBC type monitors such as the Harbeth Compact 7, Harbeth Monitor 30, Rogers LS 3/5A, and Spendor SA1.
I've seen several good speakers currently listed on Agon for under 1K that reproduce piano quite nicely. Snell as mentioned above, E III, or there was a pair of K.5's (large bookshelf). Also there is a pair of their QBX towers. Snells are hard to beat at any of their price points. There are several floor standing NHT's out their - the original Ken Kantor designs, outstanding for piano. Frieds are probably the best of the money for piano, but they're hard to find for sale, people buy em' and keep em'
You might want to check out Ohm Acoustics - You can by a new pair of MWTs right around your budget. These should suffice for a small room (cubic foot ranges for each model are posted on the web site). I am currently auditioning another model in the Walsh series. Although it is much too early to come to any conclusions, piano reproduction is a strong point. Another important point is that this model line is all designed to sound identical, from the least to most expensive. The size differences in the models is only for different sized rooms. They are sold factory-direct with a 120-day (!) home trial period. Nothing to loose but the round-trip shipping.

A used speaker in your price range that might work would be the Vandersteen 2Ce Signature (the current model, 2Ce Signature II might be hard to find for $1K). These do need to be placed away from the side and front walls, and they are physically fairly large, though.
It'd help if you can elaborate on which aspect of the piano do you enjoy the most. I am also a fellow piano music lover and different speakers produces certain aspect of the piano more than others. Transient attack, decay, different weighting of the strings sound vs the wood tone, macrodynamic or the complex timbre of the bass register.

Do you prefer the warmer sound of a Steinway and other brands?

For a well balanced sound, monitor and sub(s) would be a good way to go in a small room.
There is a pair of Reference 3a mm De Capos listed in the classifieds for $1050. Great sounding speaker, with or without the "i" upgrade. Piano sounds wonderful on them.
I would 2nd the DeCapo's, hard to get a better sounding speaker at that price. I am also a big fan of Totem Acoustics, I've been running a pair of Mani2's for the last 6 months and love 'em. Although they would be a little more $$$, there are plenty of Totems in your price range that would really shine.
Thanks for all the responses. I've owned some of the speakers mentioned (Spendor, Totem, Ref. 3A) but wanted to consider other options. I might try a used pair of Dynaudios for a change. Would love to try Harbeths, but they seem to be far out of my price range.