Vienna Acousitics Beethoven in the front, Maestro for the center, 2 pair of the Waltz for the rears. For the sub I think I'd have to go with the SVS B-4. $10,000 really wouldn't be much in the arena of high end speakers. However I think that would have me pleased for years.
I'd check out www.audioclassics.com and buy a pair of demo Mcintosh LS-360 speakers for around 4.5 to 5k. They sell new for 7k. Check out the www.mcintoshlabs.com site for a pdf review of them by Antony Cordesman. It's a rave review that appeared in The Perfect Vision in I think the Nov. issue. I purchased them. They are KILLER. Extremely fast bass with clear pitch changes and a 5 tweeter Bessel array with extremely good treble detail that sounds like a ribbon without the distortion. When bass guitars and drums are playing, they sound very real. I was tried of the "one note bass" from many ported speakers. Also at audio classics, you can pick up the PS-112 sub for around 1600.00. It sells new for 2500.00. Next you will need a CS-350 center channel speaker. I'm not sure they have one of these. They sell new for 2500.00. Lastly, you will need surround speakers. You can purchase the LS-320 for around 1700.00 or the WS-320 or WS-350 in walls they are very good. I purchased the WS-350 in-wall and had boxes built with crown molding around the outside. If you want to purchase new check out Helm Music . They have an ad in the back of Stereophile. It think you can get new in the box, LS-360 for 5300, CS-350 for 1700, Ls-320 for 1700, and the PS-112 for 1700. I auditioned every speaker on the Stereophile Class A limited low frequency list. EVERYONE. I like the B&W N802 and Martin Logan Prodigy and intended to buy the N802 but prefered the Macs because I felt the N802 was just a little too bright and didn't have the treble detail. The Academy speakers from Mcintosh all have the same tonal balance. The sound field is very even and not noticeable when the effects move from speaker to speaker with dolby digital. It's some of the best I've heard. I think the Martin Logans as good in this regard.
Oh, I forgot. The support from Mcintosh has been incredible. I''ve been given detailed help via e-mail with speaker set-up. Hell, guy Ron there even told me how to invert the tweeter array with a few tools if I wanted to sit closer than the recommened distances. The owners manuals are very thick and sturdy. Everything has been first class. Unlike a lot of audio companies that have people on the phone that know very little about the product. I've even gotten help from Ron on Sunday mornings!
If I had $10K US to waste on speakers I'd do my best to find five Lambda Unity Horn kits (not even sure if it's possible but I'd sure try) and mate each with an appropriate 15" midbass driver or 2. For the sub I'd go with 4 Adire Audio Tumults in an infinite baffle arrangement.
You should try to audition some Dunlavys. They are out of business so they are only available used these days. But I think they are the best speakers available. I also second the recommendation by several to check out Martin Logan. Be careful, though, because they can be difficult loads for some amps. Another thing to try is an Activ system from Linn.
I'm sure I would extensively explore used speakers over at Audiogon and other places. For $10K, odds are that you could get speakers in very good condition that originally listed for $20K-$25K.
Personally I would be on the lookout for speakers from Von Schweikert, Sonus Faber, Vienna Acoustics, Dunlavy (or check to see if AudioLogic was still clearing some out), Aerial, Alon, JM Labs, and maybe some Vandersteen 5's if some showed up. I'd recommend adding Thiel to the mix as a line to check out. And certainly Martin-Logan and Magnaplaner if you like "panels." Lots of other good lines out there too, like Tannoy, B&W, ProAc, and so on.
I purchased Von Schweikert myself and there are almost always some excellent deals on used VS's. Can be tricky to find a matching center if you go back to the original line.
If buying new, I would still consider most of the lines above - but now I'd be looking down a model or two in each line because I would have to pay 80-90% of list. And would add VMPS and ACI.
There are many, many good speakers at this price point. Very hard to sort through them all, and what makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck might leave you cold.
In this price range there are a number of fine options. My own plan is
for 7 ACI Veritas and Veritas Vs. The Veritas is unique in containing high quality internal amplification for the woofers. Not just amplification, but amps with built in parametric EQ. I like the idea of being able to very precislely dial in the response. http://www.audioc.com/speakers/Veritas/intro.htm
That will set me back about $9000. Iâ€™m waiting to hear more about their new sub which is suppose to be around $2000. If you want to save a bit, you might want to look at their Essence models which would save you around $2500. Youâ€™ve heard it before, ACI is a great company to deal with. Talk to Mike or email him.
metalaaron, guess you have to be a true audiophile to spend 10k on speakers. Those who are not will never understand. Those who are, will always buy the best audio they can afford. I'm not into cars. There isn't a car made that I would pay 30k for. My passion is audio.
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