Real world Loudspeakers what does very good cost ?

Having had many great speakers in the past ,but now semi retired what is the average price to get a quality speaker it seems around $15- $20k+. Is getting to be the norm , Wilson Sabrina x $20 k , Magic A3-$15 k , Marten Oscar trio $13 k

b&w 804 $15 k .I was maybe thinking , availability is now a very real problem also.I am a big MBL fan their entry level stand mount 126 ,is a true Best Buy ,it has the sameOmni directional Tweeter and Midrange , that are out of the reflections of a box , and dual apposing bass drivers ,that being said a pair ofsubs like theSVS 4000 SB brings this price to around $20 k . It’s becoming very expensive to have real refinedLoudspeakers , having had  to rebuild Xovers in most Loudspeakers for their lack of parts quality ,it seems integrity is no longer the norm it’s more on profit .  Please do offer your Loudspeaker options and how much more is truly needed to get a truly resolving speaker without taking out a mortgage.


I’m guessing that you have dealers where you can audition speakers. Likely, you are looking for the hidden gems, great value finds not usually found locally. I went the dealer route and bought the Sabrina X, which Wilson claims that it has a well sorted crossover, but probably not a hidden gem, or great value.

what is the average price to get a quality speaker?

There is no such thing as a quality speaker. Some audiophiles think Magico and Wilson sound horrific. Others think they sound splendid. The same goes for a cheap Focal or Dynaudio. You have to know what youre looking for. Do you want flat frequency response? Do you want less distortion? And if so, are you aware that there is a scam going on within the speaker industry which prevents the disclosure of this information.. etc

@rsf507 Damn good question.  Seller has a stellar reputation and speakers look near flawless and are in the gorgeous Sapele finish — my personal favorite.  Personally, if I was in the market at that price level I’d be all over them but would try to bargain down a bit as they’ve had two owners and as you said have been available for a bit.  But still, I wouldn’t be unhappy owning them at the asking price. 

I think what you are proposing is correct… that if you want a speaker that is overall a high performance speaker… (I stay away from highly resolving as there are inexpensive high resolving speakers that sound terrible on other dimensions). You can expect high standards on all aspects of sound quality. The $12 - $15K category has some real good products.

I actually bought Sonus Faber Olympica 3 (~$12K) when I was approaching retirement… as my final speakers. Great choice, and happily after I retired I was able to upgrade again to the Sonus Faber Amati Traditional ($32K).

So, in that category you just have to audition them. They have very different house sounds. If you actually are looking for really high resolving… then Magico is probably your choice, but make sure you have the right electronics or you may not like what you hear.

So I would find places to listen to:

Sonus Faber … once retired you may also really appreciate looking at them.

Dynaudio Contour 20




That would be my short list… if I wasn’t completely sure Sonus Faber is the sound I want.


Speaker "sound" is so dependent on the room,  the source,  the amplification and the positioning.  Matching all those components working together to provide the endpoint the proper load and power is critical to getting the desired result. 

There are so many posts here about matching components that  focusing on just  speakers without  considering all the other pieces would make it near impossible to extract value from your decision.  

Music type, volume level, size constraints are more important than the brand of speaker I think.  I haven't heard them all but would guess that any 20K speaker under optimum conditions for that speaker would sound terrific but that same speaker under non optimal conditions would have deficiencies that would make it not  completive with a better matched lower cost unit.  


Why are Vandersteens so infrequently mentioned anymore? I would much rather pay for and live with one of them than any of the Wilsons.

Auditioned tons of speakers. 

settled on a 3K pair, which sound the best to me.

most are too bright for my ears


price is subjective 

Ears , rooms, deflection, music style, all different. 

Please do offer your Loudspeaker options and how much more is truly needed to get a truly resolving speaker without taking out a mortgage.

The trouble is that the loudspeaker needs to be married to the proper chain to deliver as intended=source>cable>preamp>amp>speaker wire>speaker> ROOM acoustics

Any misstep along the way and dollars get wasted.

I would recommend an active "system" like the Kef LS 60, the Dynaudio Focus 50, Klipsch The Nines, etc.

In my experience you would need to spend $$$$ more money to get better SQ with separates and might still miss.

The Sevens by Klipsch are active speakers and cost $1299 so I would say that is likely the entry point for a truly resolving SYSTEM.

The Sevens Review:

Legacy Audio makes the Focus SE and Focus XD, depending on your amplifier they are well regarded. The XD has an internal amp so mates well with tubes, if you have a bigger SS amp then the Focus SE’s will work well. $11,900 for SE and $14,172 for XD.

Soix very true ,a nice used speaker can be good ,I did this with a older Dynaudio 

and totally upgraded the Xover ,which is the ❤️ or the 🧠 of the Loudspeaker .

the vast majority has a average or below Xover in quality , thestock Xover was maybe $250 in parts I spent $1500 the speaker is night and day better sounding .

I am always looking for a hidden gem . I heard the Marten Oscar Trio I thought very good under $14k very musical . I guess most speakers will have compromises 

matching your electronics too is equally important .

$400 for Elac 6.2

$1100 Human Speakers DK 1

$1700 Wharfedale Lintons

$2000 Polk r700

$3000 Q Acoustics Concept 50

$5000 Klipsch Forte IV 


@soix  if I lived in the USA I would buy those speakers as they look like a great buy.

I've found audio expos to be a good place to hear many speakers and speaker types at once.  No matter the upstream components, or the room setup, you should be able to get a feel for types -- e.g., box speakers, open baffles, panels, horns etc. and then brands, to further explore.  Also, because of the number of speakers at a show, the dollar question can be more easily explored. 

I agree with @arcticdeth. You should buy used and don't need to spend anywhere near that price to get great sound, unless you're insecure and it makes you feel better.

True value and resolution is in the ear of the beholder. 

I absolutely love my Sonner speakers and my QLN P3's. 

There are lots of good speakers under $10k, they are just ignored on this sight. 

@james633 +1

I sometimes get the feeling many members like the "journey" more than the destination. For me the destination is the experience in and of the room acoustics, take care of that and the equipment "journey" is simple and direct.

Op, I think you need to be more clear on your budget. I think there are good speakers for lower prices but if you have $20k then you can choose from more models.

I also like the MBL but they are not often for sale used. Other models I liked when I heard them were Fyne F703 and Focal Kanta 3. Boenicke. 


What makes you think you have to spend any where near 15-20k? You can get a pair of Tannoy speakers for cheaper than that. To start, the Eatons, which I own, can be had for 6k. The stirlings for on and so cannot do much wrong with a pair of Tannoys.

$20k to $25K is a pretty good starting point for good speakers.  There are some decent performers in that range.  Much less and the deficiencies are more audible..  

Why would anyone buy new? You are paying the dealer commission. Buy a used pair. There are plenty of great used speakers starting with the Vandersteen 5As, or the Verity Parsifals, etc. You can get these speakers for one third the MSRP these days plus you can resell them at a decent price also.

Right now if I was to purchase new it would be DYNAMIKKS.  $20K and worth every penny IMO.

Happy Listening.

I have a set of PSB One's for over  5 years and and am quite happy with them.  I thought about potentially upgrading, but then I have to remember that my hearing at 80 is not what it I'm staying with what I have, quite satisficed thank you.

I bought a pair of Sabrinas sansX for half cost of new. They were pre-owned but picked them up and no tax. Not saying you should buy Wilson but definitely don't buy New!!

how do you not even get the title right? Like just to put the words in the right order so that it resembles English? Or with bad grammar but making some sense. Or am I missing something, this is how audiophiles talk? (I am not one)


Hey gris, we're buddies and agree on many things but I disagree about the Lintons, and your post about the grammar is full of bad grammar, itself, but is nevertheless comprehensible as is much bad grammar... 

I'm a budget audiophile (more like a musicphile who appreciates good value gear),  and I'm an English professor by trade.

I bought a pair of Thiel Viewpoints off ebay for a few hundred bucks.  I'm listening nearfield and it's sublime.  

I have had single driver speakers with subs , Tannoy the only ones I liked were there top 2 Canterbury or Westminster ,

active speakers  the amplification too low quality not in the league of. Quality separate amps for example PassLabs , Ayre, Coda Gryphon ,

this is why  i guess I have to try audioning speakers to my electronics 

which too I am looking to purchase . Having owned a Audiostore fir almost 10 years 

on average onky 25% of the purchase onky goes into the speaker ,including packaging ,the rest R&D marketing and markup, value  I recently heard  the Marten Oscar trio for $13 k a very nicely balanced Loudspeakers , I like the MBZl 126 monitors which require subs for the bottom end are very good buyt 3-6 month waiting list ,and prepay up front I would never do that, not very sound , many Audiostores willnot let you demo speakers at your home ,brick and mortar stores are few and far between . If you want to spend over $20 k+ it’s much easier to find 

your optimum speaker for the Xovers as well as drivers and cabinets are far more 

engineered to a higher standard, that’s why I mentioned $20k 

@curtdr It's ironic that I thought your sentences were confusing and with bad grammar but I am not an English professor and I am ESL as well so I wouldn't know.

I pasted my rambling into Word 365 and it corrected nothing. So besides the Lintons we disagree on this too.  

I am glad we agree on the rest.

sentence fragment:  "Like just to put the words in the right order so that it resembles English?"

sentence fragment:  "Or with bad grammar but making some sense."

jumble, mix of sentence fragment and comma splice:  "Or am I missing something, this is how audiophiles talk?"

I know what I wrote was fragmented, thank you, regardless.

Still, I am missing your point.  (If you were missing my point, I’d be happy to reword it.)

Regarding my English, feel free to lecture me, you will find lots of issues with my grammar.

Whenever I post a question though, I do my best to not confuse the community.

I personally think start with an efficient speaker. This gives you much more flexibility with amps at least.

Volti, Fleetwood are a couple good examples. Used is rare. Both are made in USA. Others DeVore, Charney are excellent as well. These all in your range, new. I have seen some DeVore used, not often.

These would sound great with a 3 watt tube amp. Luxman, Pass, Ayre, sugden all make nice solid state amps. You would not have to search around for 200W plus amps. Not saying those systems wouldn’t sound Have fun.

I'd have to find an efficient speaker I liked to do that. I think, conversely, that watts, and very good ones, can be had for far less money these days than years ago with the advent of superior A/AB designs and the newer Ds.

I used to think $25-30k for the good speakers to stand out (or as another aptly put it) to show fewer of the characteristics one doesn't want to hear. I think better adn newer design has pushed that number down, maybe $15-20k for truly world-class stuff if chosen correctly with the associated equipment.

But I'm 100% in the used camp and could never have afforded the Raidho D2s I love if bought new. $10-20k used would buy something fabulous; add subs if needed.

I'd jump on those Joseph Audio Perspectives in a heartbeat if I had no speakers. I think they are a good buy and could be a 'final' speaker for someone; they are that darn good.

@musicaddict I think there are different speaker price points where value peaks and from where you'd have to make a big jump to increase SQ along with component upgrades. From what I read here, you can have the big boys (Sonus, Dyna, Joseph, Harbeth, etc), used around 12K - when people here want to make the jump and sell their used speakers - at 40-50% discount. I have no idea about the next peak, that's out in space from where I sit. (well 10K is out in the stratosphere too but it's fun to watch)



"Still, I am missing your point.  (If you were missing my point, I’d be happy to reword it.) Regarding my English, feel free to lecture me, you will find lots of issues with my grammar. Whenever I post a question though, I do my best to not confuse the community."

You English is fine and comprehensible enough, as is the OP's.  You had criticized the OP's English phrasings, unnecessarily... this is why I wanted to point out that you ought not throw stones.  I saw no need for you to be hostile towards the OP's grammar, particularly since yours isn't textbook either.  Often, in a forum such as this or in everyday life in general, mine isn't textbook either.  And, it doesn't need to be textbook; this is an informal forum, and usually we on this forum understand each other well enough, even in our disagreements.

@curtdr I agree with you on "no need to be hostile". 

I am on the fence about "comprehensible enough, as is the OP's." I am very confused about the title in several ways and it's probably just me. 

And I explained myself back and forth, what bugs me, no need to repeat myself.



We’ve been trying out equipment for over 50 years, trying to find the best reproduction of music for our enjoyment. In my experience over that period, I’ve come to the conclusion that, as a matter of routine, the correlation between price and audio quality is very tenuous. It’s true that expensive gear generally has very nice fit and finish, usually satisfies the visual senses, and rarely sounds bad, but I’ve gotten great sound from very modestly priced systems and mediocre results from expensive ones. The one thing I am absolutely positive about is that I have wasted an enormous amount of dough over the decades (driven largely by ego).  At least I acquired a little wisdom from it.

The system that gets the most play in our home is in our bedroom, and we often play it overnight. It’s composed of two kits, an Akitika PR-102 preamp and an Elekit TU8600S 300B SET amplifier, plus Altec Valencia speakers. Total cost (including WE tubes) was under $5k. It would sound just about as good with a Luxman R-1070 or something similar and cost half as much.

@soix @musicaddict The idea that you have to spend $15k to possibly get good sound is the kind of thing I expect people to say who buy their audio the same way they buy their luxury cars.  They have a great deal of disposable income and can't possibly think they can get value at a price the rest of us mere mortals work at.


Your endorsement of the Joseph Audio Perspective2 is interesting.  Perhaps you should look at this SEAS kit system, which uses the same tweeter and similar SEAS mid-bass drivers in a transmission line cabinet and crossover designed by Joe D'Appolito.   The guy is unloading them for $750.  The kit is $2200 and in the end, is comparable to your Joseph Audio Perspective2.



@russbutton I was recommending a used pair of Perpective 2s at a bit over half MSRP so nowhere near $15k.  Also I’m not into building my own speakers, and as a lot of the magic in JA speakers is the Infinite Slope crossover that is patented, I’m not sure how much of the JA “magic” would be lost there but pretty sure there would be at least some.  Also JA doesn’t build transmission line speakers, so that’s another major difference.  With all that not sure how you can confidently say they’d sound comparable.  Some things are just worth paying for IME. 

I have Focal Kanta 3s in the $15,000 price range now. They are excellent.  Everything has gone up. I bought them on sale for $9500.


You are 100% correct. The speakers that @russbutton  a link for may be good, but they are in no way comparable to the Perspectives in design approach. 

The idea that you have to spend $15k to possibly get good sound

exactly. Good sound starts around 60K

Remember that Art Dudley's reference was a pair of Altec Valencias. I bet that he ddn't pay more than 2k for them.

How about going acoustic?

Lots of advantages:

1. Low carbon footprint.

2. Low price.

3. Low Fidelity!