Best Value 2nd Hand Speakers

anthony1973

Active Member
I have recently re-acquired the hifi bug after nearly 20 years since I last bought anything.

I have found an old Roksan Kandy III amp from nearly 20 years ago and am itching to set it up with some speakers.

I prefer neutral to warm on the speaker side and have nothing really suitable to pair it with. I have plenty of space so floorstanders are no problem.

I have no difficulty going back 10 - 20 years for speakers (not convinced the tech has moved on all that much).

I have around £500 to spend and am looking for the best bang for my buck.

Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
I'm not sure they would be described as warm as such but in terms of value, Monitor Audio GR and GS range floorstanders should be on your shortlist.
 

anthony1973

Active Member
I'm not sure they would be described as warm as such but in terms of value, Monitor Audio GR and GS range floorstanders should be on your shortlist.
Thanks. I have a pair of MA Silver 8i from 2003 which are a little on the bright side (in fairness they are paired with a Pioneer Amp). I have a pair of Quad 11l and I prefer their sound overall. Will have a look on ebay and thanks for your advice.
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
I originally went from 8i's to GR20's and it was a night and day improvement. That was a long time ago but as I recall, the 8i's were brighter and that was taken down to some degree by the GR's. That said, I don't think you would want to pair GR's with bright equipment. I've never done a side by side listen but from what I've gathered, they tamed the treble a bit with the GS models so maybe worth looking at.
 

anthony1973

Active Member
I originally went from 8i's to GR20's and it was a night and day improvement. That was a long time ago but as I recall, the 8i's were brighter and that was taken down to some degree by the GR's. That said, I don't think you would want to pair GR's with bright equipment. I've never done a side by side listen but from what I've gathered, they tamed the treble a bit with the GS models so maybe worth looking at.
Thanks. As I recall, the amp is warmish so I might take a punt on the GR\GS. I can live with spending £500.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Focal 726

On par with the MA Silver range in terms of performance.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Would q acoustics 3050i be worth a look. Slightly warm side of neutral, does it matter they are new if not over budget
 

Costello

Well-known Member
KEF R300 should be on your list, too. £1000 new, you can now get a pair for £500 (if you’re lucky!) to £650. Floorstander sound from a stand mount speaker.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
several of the Castles or Ruarks may/should fit the bill??
What I don’t know is how they would pair with a Roksan.
(Castle Severn 2 owner here).
 

anthony1973

Active Member
Thanks very much for all of the helpful suggestions. I was thinking about it last night and what I really want is something that is not fatiguing to listen to. Much as I like my home cinema set up, I sometimes feel exhausted at the end of the movie!

Was also thinking about the Quad 22L as well. I like the Quad sound and you can pick up a pair for between £2-300.
 

password1

Well-known Member
Would q acoustics 3050i be worth a look. Slightly warm side of neutral, does it matter they are new if not over budget
Only if you can get a pair for £100-£200

The MA gold gr/gs10 are worth a look if you have an amp to match. They were £900 when new about 20 years ago.

The equivalent golds are £1300 in today's money and the closest in performance available today might be the silver 100.
 

password1

Well-known Member
If you can stretch your budget, the excellent Mission QX3 can be bought new for £595 and the flagship Mission zx1 are the same price.



There is also the more affordable recently launched lx mk2 range, the floorstanding lx2s won an award on this forum. they are the entry level but still very capable. The floorstanding lx4 and lx5 are within budget.

 

Attachments

  • IMG_20210202_142459.jpg
    IMG_20210202_142459.jpg
    50.5 KB · Views: 5
Last edited:

Costello

Well-known Member
Quads are lovely speakers but very neutral In my experience. They’ll just reflect the rest of your system. QAcoustics speakers have a naturally warmer sound signature.
 

Paul7777x

Member
You won’t do better than these X2s

 

anthony1973

Active Member
I had forgotten what a friendly and helpful forum this is!

Some great suggestions in all of this. I actually connected the amp and Quad 12l speakers today and was very taken with the sound. For the last 7 years I have been making do with a Sonos Play 5!

What a complete joy proper hifi is. The Quads are just so musical and joyfully detailed that I could listen to them all night. Would also consider some good bookshelf speakers with a bit more bass. Like the look of the KEF LS50 in particular and it brings me back to my first speakers which were KEF Coda 8s almost 25 years ago!

Thanks for all the great tips. Will make a decision over the weekend and let you know.

Please do keep the advice coming - it is all gratefully received.
 

Paul7777x

Member
How about these thousand pounds worth of awesome?

 

Alex P79

Active Member
several of the Castles or Ruarks may/should fit the bill??
What I don’t know is how they would pair with a Roksan.
(Castle Severn 2 owner here).
What do you use amplifier and source-wise with you Castles? Have you found there any issues with placement or room size etc?
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
What do you use amplifier and source-wise with you Castles? Have you found there any issues with placement or room size etc?
hi
I’ve paired my Castle Severn 2s with a Rega Brio amp. To me they sound “better than OK” but because I have very little experience of other speakers, I don‘t think it’s realistic for me to say any more than that. They are a real piece of furniture - the cabinets are excellent (real wood veneers). What I will add though, is that my Severns are a heck of a lot “smoother” than the older MA bronzes that I was running for a few months.

Regarding placement, I‘ve deliberately kept them away from rear walls as much as possible (about 30cm or so). In my lounge, I have issues with standing waves at around the 45 Hz Mark but it would be unfair to pin this on the Castles. However, what I have spent time doing is to run REW software in an effort to “tune out” any boominess - again this is not the fault of the Castles, but my room.

Just so that you know, my main listening source is a Raspberry Pi4, streaming FLAC files to an external Schiit DAC. From there - RCA in to the Rega Brio and then onto the Severns via single wired van Damme cable (you can bi-wire the Severns but I haven’t bothered). For me, the resulting SQ is more than enough.

Hope some of this helps and happy to answer any follow up questions.
 

karlsushi

Active Member
On the subject of Quads, I demo'd the S2 stand-mounters a little while back and my recollection was that the ribbon tweeter that quad use on that range produces a lovely natural sounding treble. Certainly in the category of non-fatiguing.

They're only a little over budget brand new, so easily within range second-hand and I suspect an upgrade over the 12L.

Alternatively, you may be able to pick up the S4 floor-standers second-hand for just over the budget you are looking at if you need a bit more low end heft in a bigger room.

In the end though, I went for some little Spendors (S3/5R2). These can also be had for under the £500 mark second-hand and in my view are a fabulous speaker for that money. Perhaps a little too revealing to be classed as 'warm', but they're not fussy about placement as they are closed-cabinet. Mine sound great only 6 inches from the wall.

Speakers are of course very much down to personal taste, but if I were looking for something second-hand at that price, I'd be scouring the best Spendors I could get hold of. Not sure they've ever made anything less than an excellent speaker.

You mentioned them already, but in terms of modern designs, the KEF LS50's seem to get nothing but high praise, so should be on the list too.
 

oscroft

Member
I know I'm probably a bit late, but with that kind of money to spend on 2nd hand, I'd look closely at Tannoy floorstanders with the dual concentric drivers. I often see nice looking ones around the £400-500 bracket on eBay locally - I'd only buy locally so I can inspect carefully, though the Covid thing is a bit of a hurdle there. And the dual concentric approach isn't to everybody's taste, so you'd need to be sure you like it - I just happen to.
 
Last edited:

Alex P79

Active Member
hi
I’ve paired my Castle Severn 2s with a Rega Brio amp. To me they sound “better than OK” but because I have very little experience of other speakers, I don‘t think it’s realistic for me to say any more than that. They are a real piece of furniture - the cabinets are excellent (real wood veneers). What I will add though, is that my Severns are a heck of a lot “smoother” than the older MA bronzes that I was running for a few months.

Regarding placement, I‘ve deliberately kept them away from rear walls as much as possible (about 30cm or so). In my lounge, I have issues with standing waves at around the 45 Hz Mark but it would be unfair to pin this on the Castles. However, what I have spent time doing is to run REW software in an effort to “tune out” any boominess - again this is not the fault of the Castles, but my room.

Just so that you know, my main listening source is a Raspberry Pi4, streaming FLAC files to an external Schiit DAC. From there - RCA in to the Rega Brio and then onto the Severns via single wired van Damme cable (you can bi-wire the Severns but I haven’t bothered). For me, the resulting SQ is more than enough.

Hope some of this helps and happy to answer any follow up questions.
Hi
Thanks for the reply. I am researching a pair of speakers for my father (82 years old) who is a musician and struggles with eyesight but still enjoys playing (piano) and listening to music (classical). Unfortunately, with his current Tannoy M2 (good for their price when purchased 25 years ago) he is finding it difficult to follow more dense orchestral pieces. This problem has been exacerbated by not being able to get his ears syringed thanks to successive lockdowns.

I am thinking speakers with good levels of clarity would help and thanks for the feedback ref the Castles - I know they were well reviewed in their day. There seem to be many pairs that come up on eBay for circa £200 - £300 depending upon condition and in the Oak finish which would work well in my parents living room. Other options I am considering are Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6 / DC6T, Sonus Faber Chameleon B, Edwards Audio Apprentice Speakers or various models by Piega. Their living room is approx 4m by 6.5m and fairly standard height with solid walls and carpeted floor. I am weary of anything too large speaker wise as a) my mum is not keen on big black boxes, especially on stands and b) anything too large can, from my experience, need room treatment to get to work properly. Attractive compact floorstanders are probably the best option, followed by compact stand mounts.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
Hi
Thanks for the reply. I am researching a pair of speakers for my father (82 years old) who is a musician and struggles with eyesight but still enjoys playing (piano) and listening to music (classical). Unfortunately, with his current Tannoy M2 (good for their price when purchased 25 years ago) he is finding it difficult to follow more dense orchestral pieces. This problem has been exacerbated by not being able to get his ears syringed thanks to successive lockdowns.

I am thinking speakers with good levels of clarity would help and thanks for the feedback ref the Castles - I know they were well reviewed in their day. There seem to be many pairs that come up on eBay for circa £200 - £300 depending upon condition and in the Oak finish which would work well in my parents living room. Other options I am considering are Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6 / DC6T, Sonus Faber Chameleon B, Edwards Audio Apprentice Speakers or various models by Piega. Their living room is approx 4m by 6.5m and fairly standard height with solid walls and carpeted floor. I am weary of anything too large speaker wise as a) my mum is not keen on big black boxes, especially on stands and b) anything too large can, from my experience, need room treatment to get to work properly. Attractive compact floorstanders are probably the best option, followed by compact stand mounts.
I very much regret not being able to give you any more information on the Castles particularly as regards their abilities with orchestral pieces. I’m sure that someone who has far more experience in listening to a wide range range of speakers could perhaps give you the confirmation you’re looking for. All I can say is that I really enjoy listening to them and they do seem to be able to handle everything that I throw their way.
Like you, I’ve also read numerous posts from users/owners about their quality - but I’ve also had comments from others (not on AVF), suggesting that they much prefer other speakers they’ve listened to.
Like most things in the audiophile world (not that I count myself as an audiophile) - opinions from 4 people can often give 6 different answers!
What I would say, though, - and I appreciate that it’s not my money we’re talking about - is that at around the £250 mark, there perhaps isn’t a great deal of downside if you purchase a pair and then they have to be moved on because they don’t offer the clarity your father needs.
Finally, you mention the Severns in Oak which is what I have. Mine are an absolute credit to the previous owner (a fellow AVF member) and haven’t got a mark on them that I can see. The wood veneer makes them quality furniture, at least in my house.
Good luck with your search.
PS -the other UK made, legacy speakers I would like to try some day are the Ruark Talisman IIs which I have only ever read good things about.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: LG C1 OLED + JBL Synthesis SDR-35 First Thoughts, plus TV Show & Disc Reviews & more
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Austrian Audio launches Hi-X65 headphones
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Roku expands streaming content with Roku Originals
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
What's new on Netflix UK for June 2021
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 12th May 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Bluesound unveils new generation of Node and Powernode audio players
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom