Best Compact Speakers in the $12 - 15K Price Range

Amandela77 -- Wed, 02/15/2012 - 19:07

Greetings, everyone.
I'm interested in hearing what folks have to say about compact speakers in the 12-15K price range that will (1) work well with a wide range of electronics and front ends, and (2) perform well in small to moderately-sized spaces.  
Here are a few compact speakers in the target price range that look like real contenders:

1. Focal Diablo Utopias
2. AAD 7001
3. Audio Physics Virgo 25 
4. Vivid B1s
Please feel free to comment if you have experience with any of the models listed above, or would care to add other candidates to the list. Just remember, any additional recommendations should fall within the target price range and work well in a modest 12 x 15 foot dedicated listening room.

Zach -- Fri, 02/17/2012 - 16:19

 I would also audition the Wilson Audio Specialities Duete. The Focal Diablo and Vivid B1s are excellent option as well. 

Twochannelman (not verified) -- Sun, 04/15/2012 - 20:02

How about saving a bundle off of your allowed budget with a pair of Usher Be-718 DMD's with their proper stands for $3,500 or something from Sonus Faber perhaps ?

JLeeMD -- Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:43

Very recently, I had the exact same criteria: reference caliber sound that works well in small-medium sized rooms. I had a budget of up to $20k and had my eye on YG Acoustics' Carmel or Focal's Diablo Utopia to replace my Dynaudio Confidence C1s.  Long story short, I went with Aerial Acoustics' 7T and found them to be in a whole different league compared with the already excellent Dynaudios.  Don't take my word for it- read TAS' and Stereophile's rave reviews.  TAS specifically comments on the 7T's ability to perform well in small-medium sized rooms. Oh, and don't let the "low" price ($10k) fool you!

The rest of my system: Mark Levinson No.512 SACD/CD player, Bryston 4B SST2 amplifier, Audioquest WBY cables, Synergystic Research Power Delivery, Stillpoints Vibration Control.

Sam -- Fri, 04/20/2012 - 00:14

JLeeMD, did you audition the YG Carmel and compare it with the Aerial Acoustics 7T. I heard the YG Carmel at a show and it was very nice sounding...I wonder what your thoughts are of comparing the two. did you go for 7T for the lower price or was it actually a sound quality comparison and decision?

JLeeMD -- Mon, 04/23/2012 - 23:43

The dealer that I've worked with for years is an Aerial Acoustics dealer and although I never gave 2 seconds of thought to this particular brand, when the 7T was introduced at CES, the show reports were positively attention grabbing, I ordered one and crossed my fingers. My goal was to purchase near-full range reference caliber speakers that worked well in small-medium sized rooms while spending as little $$ as possible.

Amandela77 -- Wed, 04/18/2012 - 19:41

 Thanks, guys. More food to chew on...


musicman2012 -- Sun, 04/29/2012 - 20:55

You might think I'm saying this tongue-in-cheek, but if you looking in this range, consider the Manapan 1.7 - it can certainly hold it's own in this group - save for that last two octaves.

JLeeMD -- Fri, 05/04/2012 - 14:29

I heard them several years ago at T.H.E. Show in Las Vegas. It was about a month after I bought my Dynaudio Confidence C1s and remember thinking I could've saved a bundle had I heard the 1.7s before my purchase. Having said that, my listening room is in my master retreat and find all Magnaplanars visually too intrusive.

Amandela77 -- Wed, 05/02/2012 - 20:22

 Heard 'em recently. Blew me away. They have me rethinking the whole uber-expensive compact speaker thing. Charlie Haden, Stan Getz and Sam Rivers were in the room.... Damn!!!!


Powerreserve -- Wed, 08/01/2012 - 10:07

Hi, you probably allready have bought yourself a nice pair of monitors. But if not......
you should definitively check & audition the Raidho C1,1's! Probably one of the best sounding compacts you've ever heard.

anthony.aaron47 -- Wed, 08/01/2012 - 15:26

 One other possibility — though I've only read about it — are the Teresonic Integrum speakers (actually, any of the Teresonic line is recommended). Their Magus line of speakers are even smaller, and cost about half the price ($6,000 vs $12,000)
For a review of the Integrums: Integrum - high efficiency speakers for high-sensitivity applications from Dagogo dot com.
Just a thought — keep us posted when you finally decide.

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