Help with speaker selection, please

I run everything in my system through my main speakers...satellite, PlayStation 2, VCR, CD, etc. I also listen to virtually every type of music--rap, country, classical, jazz, and so on. I'm about to buy new speakers in the $8,000 range, and I prefer to use solid-state equipment, although I will be buying a new amp with whichever speakers I choose. Would you please weigh in on the following possibilities:

Quad 989
Merlin VSM-Millenium
Red Rose Classic
ProAc Response (new 3.8's or used 4.0's)
USED Talon Khoruses
USED Avantgarde Duo 2.1

Any other speaker you might recommend. Thanks so much for your input.
Interesting... all of the speakers have excellent qualities, but are soooo different. If you like the glorious but limited sound of the Quads, but want the transparency of the Merlin's, with the speed of the Talon's, the beauty of the ProAcs, and some of the dynamics of the Avantgarde's, I might suggest a speaker that has a combination of all of the above... the Piegas.

I was quite impressed with them. They do everything so well and are very easy to drive. They like solid state amplification as well as tubes. They give you the best of the ribbon speakers along with the dynamics and bass of the box speakers.

I would highly suggest you add them to your short list. There are not a lot of people who have heard them, but I could put you in touch with a few other people that have replaced much more expensive speakers with them. You may look at the "Golden Ear" issue of T.A.S. where Jonathan Valin touted them so highly.
I have the most eclectic taste in music of anyone I know (everything from folk to electronic) and I've found speaker happiness with proac AND a rel stadium sub. Unless you spend kilobucks on a full-range, you'll never get those 20-30 hz 'notes'! Properly set up, the sub will only improve your sound.
Thank you to all those who have provided me with valuable guidance and assistance in this forum. I especially appreciate those of you who were able to comment without being obnoxious and judgmental. PLEASE bear in mind, we lost our Audiogon forums in part because of obnoxious and judgmental people and the feelings they engender, so let's watch the smart-ass remarks before the forums vanish again.

Of the brands mentioned I would choose the Proac 4, but you might want to look into used Avalon Radian HC and if you are lucky maybe used Avalon Opus. Both the latter are better speakers to my ears.


When I was shoping for full range speakers, I compared the Proac 3.8's with the Dynaudio 3.3's. Both speakers sell for about the same price. I would recommend you listen to the Dynaudios. Although I primarily listen to cd's (of all genre), the Dyns are also used with my satellite dish, DVD and VCR. They sound great. IMHO the Dyn's were more dynamic with excellent tonal accuracy. The bass was taut, controlled and detailed. The highs had no grain and mid-range was exceptionally neutral. Voices were very life-like. The Proac 3.8's did not sound as dynamic and the bass had a bit too much slack for my taste. Although, I liked the look of the Proac's over the Dyns.