I've got between $2000 to $3000 to spend on a new pair of floorstanding speakers, though the less I can spend on the speakers the better. My local hi-end audio stores carry Dynaudio, B&W, Paradigm and Totem. What would you guys recommend in that price range? Should I be scouting out other brands? I'm pretty much set on Rotel for amps/pre-amps, but I'm still looking into companies for a CD component.
The new Paradigm Signature S6's would fit that bill perfectly.
I recommend that you give the Thiel CS1.6 a listen. Very neutral. As far as affordable CD players check out some Arcams
B&W 703's are really well-built and sound very nice. They may not be the absolute best value in that price range, but they are definitely worth checking out.
Over on the Klipsch forums, they say the new Reference series is smoother and less horny sounding -for lack of a better term- than the older Klipsch Reference. You might wanna give those a listen.
The $2000 - $3000 range has some killer speakers, for sure. The frustrating thing to me is knowing about all the great possibilities out there and not being able to actually hear them all. Of course, maybe where you live you CAN hear them all! Good luck!!
I'm pretty much set on Rotel for amps/pre-amps, but I'm still looking into companies for a CD component.
I recently listened to both the Thiel CS1.6 and B&W 703, via the Rotel RA-1062 amp. Both speakers sounded exceptional but I preferred the B&W. You mentioned a leaning toward buying Rotel equipment...if your vendor carries Music Hall give the 25.2 amp and CD player a listen.
If you've heard both the Totem Forest and Paradigm Studio 100 V3 driven by the same electronics I'm especially interested in your comments on the comparison!
Pick up some Acoustats...There's plenty on the used market!
At the price range you're considering, you really can't go wrong with several of the Canadian brands--Paradigm, PSB and Energy immediately come to mind. These guys deliver a lot of bang for the buck and make some very expensive speakers look silly.
You should also check out Revel. In fact, if it was me about to drop 2 to 3 grand, I'd definitely go with Revel. I've heard several of their offerings, and I've never been disappointed. The next time I upgrade they are at the top of my list.
The only other suggestion I can offer is--if used gear is an option--find a well-kept pair of Hales Revelation Three's. These were $2,300 new, and they still beat most of what's out there. (Unfortunately, Hales went bellyup around 2001.) If you check the Stereophile equipment report archives you will find reports on many of the brands I've mentioned here--including the Hales Rev. Three's. Check those reports then go listen to as many as you can.