Need Recommendations for a pair of Speakers around $1,000

Hey All !

Ok, so with wife is good with spending about $1K on a pair of speakers.

I'm not sure of the preamp yet but the amp will most likely be an Adcom GFA-545 not the 545II.

I now have an older pair of Dayton Wright LCM-1's which are more suited to a smaller room.

The new speakers will be in the living room connected to the Adcom and also a signal fed from the TV but I don't want a multi-speaker system. Stereo is fine and if they sound good to me with music the wife will be happy with the TV sound. She just wants them to look good and not have a lot of wires hanging around. We'll be listening to vinyl, CD's, Lossless, FM and possibly music fed through Apple or AT&T fiber optic TV setup.

The living room is 19' w X  29' d with a 12' ceiling, hardwood oak flooring and 4 - 6' tall windows on one wall. The other side wall is open to a long entrance way and 2/3 of the far side is open to the kitchen are.

I thought about a used pair of Klipsch Hersey's but I keep reading comments that they are too outdated compared to advances in audio over the last few decades.

So for around $1K what are some good choices. I'm OK with used.

Thank you !



Plenty of used speakers come to mind.
(I like my Vandersteen 2C, which can fit your budget used.)


She just wants them to look good and not have a lot of wires hanging around.

However the “looks good” part means that you may want to pass the baton to her.

Good sounding is easy and looks good is easy, but both at that budget point can make for a challenge.

By "looks good" I mean more like not ratty or beat up. They don't necessarily need to look like fine furniture.

Thanks for the input on the V's.


You might want to also consider an older set of Theil too.
Plenty of good options used if you are a bit patient.

yes older vandy’s or maybe a set of tektons or elac floorstanders... you have a decent sized room to fill with sound, fairly modest budget

You should probably define what you want them to Sound like, what type of music you listen to most often, and how loud do you want to turn them up.  Also, how large can the boxes (cabinets) be and still be acceptable?

You are going to get a hundred suggestions, ha!

Used is a good idea, because number of people that want full sized stereo is dwindling.  Perhaps search on Craigslist near you or Searchtempest for the whole country.  I recently missed an originally $6000 speakers for $800 because I reacted too slow.  For craigslist, sort by highest price first, then research some online reviews for whatever you find that looks good.

I recently bought a pair of Thiel CS 2_2 for $650.  Finished on all sides, wires connect under the bottom.  High quality light oak real wood veneer.

Caveats - a couple chips out of veneer on top of one.  Too heavy too ship.  Perhaps too old fashioned, unless you have Danish mid century furniture, ha! (a simple tall rectangle with front cut off to form a slope).  This is not a sale listing, just giving you an idea of what you could find on Craigslist.

If you are concerned about being up to date, there are several companies coming out with amplified speakers that also include room correction processing.  This is where the future might be heading.

Good luck!


You could also consider biting the bullet now, skipping the Heresy idea, and going with active speakers with 8" woofers. 

I would question the combination of the Adcom GFA-545 and Thiels.  From experience I found that Adcom to be a somewhat forward sounding amp.  And although I have never heard Thiels, I have often read that proper system matching is necessary to prevent their having too forward (tipped up) a sound signature.

Thinking that the combination may be too much of a good thing.

Sonus faber lumina 1....gorgeous speakers, small, but sound big, great with both music and movies. I think the wife factor would be very very high. Made in Italy, $899.


When I listen to music it's Classic Rock, acoustic guitar and vocals, older R&B, Jazz, Classical.... a real mix.

The speakers would be in between two short 2' deep walls that separate the LR from 2 hallways. The stereo area would be 9' wide with about 30" available for speakers on each side of a cabinet.

Caintuck Audio  The Lii 15 Baffle

Lots of reviews online.  They sound best away from the walls but have handles so they can be easily moved.

Do you place a higher value on Bass and dynamics, or vocal clarity and accuracy?


search: vintage speakers

countries: usa (change?

insert your price range: 100. to 1200. (always go above, you don't want to miss something GREAT just above your limit.


JSE Infinite Slope Model 2. would be quite happy with your amp in your space.

I owned these, absolutely loved them, went back to vintage tubes and my vintage horns, gave them to my son.


This pair has to sound better than the original. Smart to replace the Dynaudio tweeters, they burn out too easily. Read the text, John S. is John Sollecito (JS Engineering).

Two patents of Richard Modafferi’s: Phase Shift Bass Loading and for the Infinite Slope Crossover.


local pickup only, eh, just find a UPS office near the seller, you pay to have them packed and shipped, seller just drops them off in your name. Actually less risky than having a seller pack them. These are well worth shipping! BUT, way over budget after that.

eBay, vintage speakers, you can put in a distance filter, as well as a price filter, save shipping, hear them 1st perhaps

i.e. within 100 miles, under 1200.



Thanks for the heads up ! I don't necessarily need vintage speakers. As I mentioned in my first post, I've read that a lot of vintage speakers may be obsolete in comparison to newer speakers because of advancements in technology and engineering.

These are phenomenal all-around speakers that are easy to drive and have good dispersion characteristics that means if someone is sitting off axis for music/movies they’ll still hear good sound (I’d avoid Vandersteen and Thiel for this reason).  Here’s one in cherry and one in black in and around your price range.  You’d be hard pressed to do better IMHO...

Best of luck. 


I’m sure, like you many here believe new is better. I obviously disagree, but best of luck choosing. That’s a large space you are dealing with.

Are you close enough to NJ, 07062 to hear mine? custom cabinets, drivers made in 1956, woofers re-coned, you might start dis-believing what you read.

others: If you live close to Conn. those JSE’s I linked above were thoroughly refreshed beyond original. If you ever heard them, you would know what a terrific deal they are. I have no doubt they will beat the living crappola out of anything new under 1,200.


The Wharfedale Diamond series would be in your price range. The 12.3 or 12.4 towers are nice.

I think we are suggesting used because we want you to be amazed with what you could get for the $1000.

Another way would be a KIT!

I would imagine CSS AUDIO CRITON 1TD-X kit speaker with the standard crossover for $934 would be difficult to beat as far as the sound goes.  YouTube guy Jay (used to be called Next Best Thing)  recently compared it with Sonus Faber $10k speaker and CSS won!  Admittedly, he spent $400 more for upgraded crossover, but that is only the last +3% tweeter definition, not really a different speaker.

So question to you - if you glued together pre-cut wood yourself, and painted the boxes to match your walls would that be acceptable?  How about with +$100 birch plywood and some wood stain?

The only reason I make this suggestion because I and many reviews say you would love the sound...

Thank you for all of the input folks.

Yes, I could assemble and stain cabs. My stereo center was purchased from an unfinished furniture store and the final product came out fine.

How would Goldenear AON 2 or AON3 stack up against the speakers mentioned?

About two months ago, I purchased a pair of Sonus faber Lumina II new for $1200 from a local dealer for my second system. I’m using a Rega Brio to drive them and I’m very impressed so far. I saw the Lumina I mentioned, but with the size of your room the II would be better suited, if you add a sub later, better still. But they sound pretty great to me on their own….depends on what you listen to most I suppose. 




That’s a big space to fill but you might get away with some used KEF LS-50s & a used Rel sub. $800 or so for the KEFs & $300 for for a Rel. I have a family room/connected kitchen that size combination & it fills the space really well. 

I've used SVS Ultra bookshelf speakers, purchased from SVS Outlet store about $1k. Great at that price, and competitive (or some said better) with KEF LS50. Excellent service customer service too.

I've used searchtempest for searching craigslist and I've used Offerup to search local sales.    Check the sensitivity of the speakers. the less sensitive a speaker is the more robust the amplifier you'll need. Forexample the KEF LS-50 has a sensitivity of 85db which means those speakers will need a reasonably powerful amplifier.     Whereas the Tekton Mini Lore Monitor has a sensitivity of 95db which would sound plenty loud with a minimum amplifier.


Occasionally Wharfedale Jade 3 stand-mounters come up for sale.  About $800.  Beautiful and great sound quality.

Heresy's are great speakers and have been updated through the years. Just because they have the same basic design doesn't mean that aren't and weren't great speakers when they debuted.


I have the Reserve 700 in music room, running off of a Rotel RA-1572 MKII, these are a slightly lesser priced version, but have gotten very good reviews.


Wharfedale have gotten good reviews:


I am not affiliated with Crutchfield, I just have had good dealings with them through internet purchases.

Ah, used Merlin TSM monitors.  A classic, easy to drive, sealed cabinet so little room interaction, simple black studio with no fancy finish to mar.  They work well with a myriad of amplifiers not considered audiophile.

Second hand Revel F36 or F35 floor standing speakers. Possibly something from Focal.

I have very similar space. Relatively live room. I tried some very expensive speakers...and none of them sounded good enough for me, some no better than my old Allison CD8s. Some worse. Until I bought a used set of MB Quart QSL 830s. You can get these for half of your budget and they outperformed anything I had. I have them a bit out from the wall, so there is that issue vs the Allisons, but they are room filling, spatial, and disappear. Also a small footprint for a floorstander, narrow, they look great and certainly look better than a stand will with a monitor. Mine are wired in from 40 feet away from the components in another room. Not expensive gear and still sound better or equal to a couple more expensive setups I have. Just great and amazing for the money.


In case you need a big bookshelf speakers, time ago I enjoyed for quite a long period a couple of Wharfedale Evo 4.2. Great midrange, solid, punchy bass, not the most dynamic speaker but a steal for their price. Plus they look so beautiful and well made. Worth give it a listen if you have a dealer in your area.

You asked to compare my suggestion to Golden Ear Aon3.

Note: this is only from reading reviews, albeit with a bit of speaker wisdom applied, ha!

Golden Ears are great for their price and for their size.  You can't go wrong.

They might have an advantage in the tweeter if you like AMT tweeters.

The CSS CRITON 1tdx would have the advantage in bass, and possibly midrange too.  CRITON tweeter is a soft dome with some modern features that lower distort ion.  From what I have read, everyone says they are good enough, one person said he wished they were more detailed.  One more (Thomas & Stereo) YouTube review said he initially wished they were brighter tweeters but over time appreciated them more and more.  He is self-proclaimed "Focal fan boy" (Focal is often regarded as highly detailed) but in the end he said sometimes when I don't want to analyze my music, but instead enjoy it, it is good to switch over to the CSS.

The CSS bass is legendary.  Not just for it's size.  CSS midrange was compared favorably to Sonus Faber (which exemplifies warm midrange). CSS treble does nothing wrong, is never offensive, although some people have different preferences about the treble,

to say the tweeter does nothing wrong - does not call attention to itself is a high compliment (quoting The Audiophiliac)

List is really too long.  New or used.  Bookshelf or floor stander.  Need to do your own homework.  Read reliable reviews such as Stereophile or on-line.  You will get much better information that is from true experts instead of ad-hoc opinions here.

List is really too long.  New or used.  Bookshelf or floor stander.  Need to do your own homework.  Read reliable reviews such as Stereophile or on-line.  You will get much better information that is from true experts instead of ad-hoc opinions here.

I agree, but at least the OP has some names to start out with… so maybe it help?
Or like Devo says, “Freedom from choice” is what we want.

Focal is offering discounts on the Chora 806, which is a well rounded stand mount. Revel is offering 30% off M16s and F35s. If you are a tool using man, look at Parts Express kits. The Morel Ardon kit or the Amiga MT.  

@holmz Freedom of choice is what you’ve got here, but I am not sure if freedom from choice is what you want. Do your due diligence first and get the list down to three before home trials. Otherwise I could go with the flow here and throw in the recent hype: Revel M16 $693 pair brand new ($10 30 day home trial from Crutchfield) to show I am willing to help. But am I really helping?

Thanks for the input so far.

I'm not against purchasing new or older speakers but rather considering and relaying what I've read, mostly hear on Audiogon.

Yes, I have a large room to fill which is why I'm considering, among others, a pair of Heresy's.

And yes, the list of suggestions is long but much shorter than starting from scratch and I can take those suggestions, do some research and compare the possibilities.

I always take magazine articles and recommendations from sales associates with a grain of salt. There's typically some bias. Years ago I noticed while shopping musical instruments that if a store didn't carry a specific brand it was because it was $%&*, while another store would say the same about a different product they didn't carry but the product the previous store didn't carry that they did....was the next best thing to sliced bread. LOL 

I appreciate the suggestions here even more because no one has anything to gain by offering an opinion.

Much appreciated !

To the OP

I think your attitude is wise, just get some opinions and look them over. I have always been able to form a better judgement about audio equipment and making decisions by letting other people offer guidance, information and opinions.

I am going to offer another, somewhat controversial, suggestion to you. Look at Tekton Design. The Lore reference is on sale with them below your budget. I bought the bigger Tekton Double Impact and it plays very loud in my room at 32 watts per side. Much louder as a 4 ohm speaker, easy to drive. the Lore is also very easy to drive. Nice thing is that Alex will paint it any color you want, great WAF (wife acceptance factor). Just my two cents.

The room size is very big, but bookshelf can fill the sound up in that room. It all depends on what you have to drive them and how loud you need to listen to music.  In the used market KEF LS50, Revel 106M, SVS Ultra, Wharfedale Linton 85 (slightly above 1200).  I have in a second room with Silverline Minuet in 25'x20'x9' and have no issues with sound. As for aesthetics, this will depend on your decor. GL and enjoy.

If Harmen has anu JBL Studio 590's left...they play large and clean with great mids..deep bass and crystal cler ( not bright) highs. Were $999 ea. NOW $399 ea. I own a pr. Awsome for the $. a steal if they still have any left.

I second the Caintuck Lii 15's. I have a pr. the better half says I need to sell to bring me down to only a dozen pair of speakers. FLA.


the Klispch Hersey 2’s might be exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re a lover of bass, you might want to add a sub, but all in all for $1k they are a lot of speaker.

All the best.


I will second the other poster's recommendation for the Wharfedale Linton 3 way standmount speakers. I own this speaker system, a warm , coherent sound and a fit and finish that belies it's cost.  It's a little above your price point, but they look like $3K speakers and no problem with the wife acceptance factor. Who wouldn't want a real oiled veneer finish with matching stands ?  Bonus : you can store vinyl records in the stands, I have about 60 albums stored down there. They could be my last speakers . 

As said above, those JBLs at 399 each. By most all accounts they are really good even at full price. 

Some Dynaudio Focus 160s on eBay for 1.1k with make offer. With stands. Those are really good! Play much bigger than their size would suggest. 


Couple notes about the Heresys:

-used prices have doubled in the last 10 years, due to Klipsch raising their prices and now everyone who has 30-40 year old speakers for sale thinks they’re sitting on a gold mine. They were a decent deal 10 years ago for $500 used.

-if they aren’t fairly new, they likely need re-capping and possibly other work.


-as floor speakers with tiny stand they work okay if you listen to music on the floor. On a regular chair or sofa, images are too short (midget symphony!) so you may need proper stands which are big, heavy and expensive if you want good ones. Perhaps Ikea Lack tables might work in a pinch temporarily if they put the speakers at the right height for realistic images. Raising the height will reduce bass. Even on the floor they don’t put out a lot of low bass. Factor in a sub or two.


The Polk Reserve R200 standmounts sounded remarkable for their price at the recent AXPONA.  You should be able to find floorstanding R500 at your price point.