This path has undoubtedly been blazed in the past, however, I am looking for recommendations for a compact (bookshelf-esque) two-way speaker with precise yet potent full-range reproduction. My goal is to emulate the qualities of a Dynaudio Special 25 but at a lower price. The McIntosh LS-310 comes to mind, however, none have been on the market for a long time. Any ideas?
Always a fun topic.
Here's a few that I'd be willing to own at 1 kilodollar and below:
(These examples are not mine, nor do I endorse any seller. Just talking about examples.)
The B&W CDM 1NT is a great compact speaker. I've heard them many times in person. They aren't too fussy and I think they compete directly with the Dynaudio model you mention. Really a fine speaker!
Clifton or Jim Tavegia would have a more in-depth opinion on these Triangle speakers, but they are from a good line. I've heard other models and had some great experiences, and some other models and had a less than great opinion...So, worth learning about but don't buy it on just my word.
Now the damn website pop-up things are goofing up my attempts to post...
There is a pair of Infinity Kappa speakers for a decent price on Ebay. Item number 150029766884.
These sound pretty nice.
Intermezzo 2.6's turn up there relatively frequently, too. I got a pair for about 300 bucks and just love 'em. Stereophile gave them a Class A rating and while I think they are great, I wouldn't go that far...but nonetheless a great possibility.
At Audiogon, these Proacs are really sweet compact speakers...
These Von Schweikert VR-1's have great upper range clarity:
More Proac speakers:
I've heard these Linn speakers and thought they sounded pretty good:
This person got the deal of the century, these Devores are great great speakers:
That speaker is worth seeking out or waiting for.
These Arum speakers are pretty nice. I have a soft spot for them. An all around good value...although I think the price is too high in this example link.
Finally, look over the net for a pair of Chario Academy 2 speakers - killer fidelity, but a little power hungry.
Remember, the above sales examples are for purposes of discussion only!
You might read Wes Philips' review of the Dynaudio Focus 140 and make note of the comparisons he made with his own Special 25s. It might make sense to consider the larger 220s or even the 140s if your room is on the smallish side.
Von Gaylord Audio (formerly Legend Audio) has two-way's that have had great reviews at the shows.
ACI Sapphires have also gained alot of underground press. I've seen them on the used market.
Ebay has a pair of ACI Jaguars listed: