~$15K floorstanders: opinions sought


There a chance I'll be able to make a significant investment in my speakers within a few months, and jump from $4K/pr Focal 926 to something in the 10-15K range. I'm running krell gear and have no intention of changing electronics, they are perfectly suited to my ears - - but if new speakers expose weaknesses, then I'll tackle that later.

Here's the thing: aesthetics matter to me, a lot, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I love my art and home and music is a huge part of my lifetime joy. These are some of the brands /models that I personally think are beautiful, and I'd love to hear from folks who could speak to a possible pairing with Krell. I like precision, speed, clarity, and firm bottom. 

Room is approx 18x20x9. New or used is ok.

Von Schweikert Endeavor SE
Vienna Acoustics Klimt The Music
Magico S3
JBL Synthesis (4700, 9900, etc.) 
Spatial (loved the demos I heard but not sure if OB would work in my space)

Appreciate any insight, despite the aesthetic emphasis. 
wassaicwill
JBL S3900 or S4700 from Music Direct with 60 day free trial!  Your last speakers await.
There is one other at about $15k, but this may really ring the bell for you: https://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=Exotica%203

I just got a pair of bookshelves and the wood choices are incredible. Go play with the wood choosing tool  https://www.salksound.com/gallery.php
Vandersteen Quatro's should fit your requirements.
B
Salk SS 9.5; one of Daedalus's models.
Thank you both. Hilde, I've never liked the Salk designs but those are pretty good looking. 

dave_b, I was spoiled when I worked near the NYC Harman store. They are truly wonderful. 
FYI, OP -- if you get standard veneer, you have 30 day trial, otherwise, they're yours. I was not sure if I'd like them so I chose a standard veneer but some of the more exotic choices are stunners.
gdnrbob, I love Vandy looks, but they certainly divide people sonically. I heard some many years ago, would like to audition more recent models. 

I'm just not feeling the Salk, shallow of me I know. Same reason why I won't consider Legacy, Tekton, B&W. Just don't dig the look. 
@wassaicwill -- You know, I think aesthetics are important. This is an object you'll live with and at your price point, you'll have many choices of things that will sound good. Why shouldn't it all come together -- the visual as well as the aural? It's your experience -- as the Burger King said, "Have it your way." ;-) Good luck!
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MAGICO A3s or S3MK2 for best sound.If you can not go for S3MK2 than A3s are you best option.
Another vote for Vandersteen in your choice of automotive paint or veneers plain Jane to exotic as it gets...

you can see three pair in my virtual system pages.... and other speakers 2
KEF Blade 2 can be bought new for $17K or used at lower coin. I find it a beautiful looking and an incredible sounding speaker.

The Yamaha NS5000 may not look beautiful in pictures but when you see it in person you see how gorgeous it is. It is also an incredible sounding speaker at $15K MSRP. All 3 drivers of this dynamic speaker are made from the same material that is supposed to be better than Beyilium. I concur based on my demos of Beryllium speakers, TAD (ME1, Evolution1) (Magico A3, S3MKII, S5MKII), Paradigm Persona (3F, 5F). I thought the NS5000 was at a higher level. The integration of the 3 drivers make it sound like 1 driver.

The Viena Accoutics Kiss, I do not remember it being Beryllium, but I did not think it was in the same level as the others I mentioned above. Pretty good but a little expensive.
ebm, when I look at the epicon I always think "I am not worthy!" ditto Sonus Faber. Lol. They sure are nice.

yyzsantabarbara, very helpful thank you. I love the Blade look and am eager to audition. Ditto the Yammys. 
 jump from $4K/pr Focal 926 & aethectics

Why isn't Sopra 2 in the lineup?

Used, and stretching the budget"
Stunning visually and amazing sonics
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lisa435i-sonus-faber-stradivari-homage-full-range
You could probably negotiate that price in your favor.

Just a caveat on aesthetics, what looks great in pictures may not look great in your room, and vice versa.
$15k is a great price point. There are many great choices. Haven’t heard all of these but I’d like to.
Audio Solutions Figaro XL
DeVore Gibbon X
Harbeth M40.2 is a favorite of mine,
Larsen 9 is amazing,
Magico A3
Maggie 20.7
Paradigm Persona 5F is another personal favorite,
Vandersteen Quattro. 

@ wassaicwill Send me a PM is you want a few  details on how I am moving forward on buying the Yammy. 
Joseph Audio Perspective2. 
Used sonus Faber. As high as your limit. Just fantastic speakers. Lush and detailed 
tablejockey--I heard the sopras at a show with Naim gear (natch) and they didn't grab me. Obviously not a great way to listen. I love the design. 
genesis777 yeah those are my kinda speakers, maybe just a different color for me. 
Any of the larger Usher’s like the x-towers, grand tower, be-10/td-10 or the be-20/td-20’s. Revel salon2 or studio2.
Rockport Atria - terrific sounding speakers.
Rockport Atria another great option for sure.
I just went through this EXACT SAME exercise the last 2 months as the quarantine lifted in and around the NYC Tri state area. I compiled almost 60 speaker recommendations from posters on this forum each one passionately backing their choice as the ultimate and demoed about a dozen or so before i lost my shit. Lol Overwhelmed Yes but I learned a lot. And finally made my choice. But will it be my last...

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/seeking-advice-on-speakers-that-create-an-intimate-2-channel-...
Focal Kanta 3 sounds more natural to me than the Sopra 2 and is well within your budget.

Build quality and aesthetics and decent warranty combined, though admittedly the Kanta aesthetics are dividing.
So @aj523,
What did you finally choose???
I couldn’t find it in your linked thread. Did I miss it?
@wassaicwill-You might want to try auditioning Aerial Acoustics (Model 7T), very well designed by Michael Kelly & very musical, well within your budget. I have it in my two channel system and it keeps getting better as I keep upgrading my electronics. I was previously driving them with Parasound gear (Halo JC-2 & Halo A-21+) and the sound was very good. Recently I upgraded my electronics to move up to Bricasti DAC & Amplifier and the Aerials started performing at a much higher level. 
I had a chance to listen to Rockport Atria in a local dealer's showroom which is almost 2.5 times expensive than Aerials. It was good but not good enough for me to replace the Aerials....
Thanks.

Magico, Harbeth, Monitor Audio, Epselon, Ilumnia,... (No favorite : B&W,,JBL, S.Faber,Usher, Cube)
I’ll second the Aerial 7t’s. Great sound and beautiful too.
My personal experience is with the Paradigm Persona 5f with a pair of REL 9ti subs and tied to a Lumin T2 and PL Evo 400. The speakers are beautiful. I’ve heard these can run bright but they sound fantastic with tubes!  Good luck!
+1 Sonus Faber
Tannoy

both new or used

Revel Speakers offer great sound/value  too. Same with the bigger KEF’s, B&W, Focals And many more but looks and sound for me come with Sonus Faber. 




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My sense of aesthetics pointed me to JBL M2s.  There's nothing like a component that makes no bones about what it's there to do.  That said, they aren't beautiful to everyone.  I haven't heard the 4367, but if it's damn close sonically it might be a survivable trade off.
An alternative might be the Boenicke W8 or W11 speakers. Swiss speakers constructed from solid wood -  very attractive and very rigid.

They need a lot of power but the Krell gear would be a great combo. 
All great ideas...many of them I have owned.  Somehow JBL Synthesis range gets to the soul of the music with vibrancy and energy that is captivating!
From your list it seems that you might like a modern, clean, architectural look.
So I would suggest you also consider the KEF Reference 3. 
https://eu.kef.com/products/reference-3-floorstanding-speaker?variant=23578581860416
I have just got some (in white) and they are built like a high end watch. The finish is lovely and the build quality very high (they appear made of granite or something similarly solid).
Persona 5f, Wharfedale Elyse in walnut is very attractive
@rockrider

You are right. My post in my linked thread failed to post (phone issue).  I fell madly in love with the Harbeth 40.2 Anniversary. Just connected with me, not visually lol, but emotionally more than any of the other floorstanders. 
Take a look at DeVore he make great speakers that are beautiful.https://devorefidelity.com/
mschott the Personas are high on my audition wish list thank you! 
kairosman I love love love the Kanta looks, I'm not 100% sold on the Focal sound but those would be high on my audition list. 
Kinross thank you for the Boenicke link. I love slim towers w/ side mounted drivers (except golden ear, not my cuppa). My first audiophile speakers were Rega RS5 and they are wonderful. 
rols, thank you for articulating my taste better than I could! Yes, that's it exactly. I adore the Kefs. Ditto the Steinheim Alumine. The big, rounded, furniture - grade finishes not so much. I like the Ascend towers too but I play loud and sometimes demanding music and they are just too polite. 
wassaicwill:

What color palette are we talking about?

DeKay
What is loud ? Do you have an SPL meter ? ( so few here on audiogon seem to have this basic essential tool ), whats a favored loud demo track I can listen 2  And at what peak SPL?
even your big amp will benefit w powered bass and the mains high passed ... eleven band of analog EQ to fix the room...

Hello
I might end up being the bad guy here but I am a big fan of Martin Logan Masterpiece series of electrostats I have owned a pair of the ESL 11A's and am thrilled with them.
The KEF Reference 5 speakers are on sale in certain finishes.  Great speakers and very good looking.  
wassaicwill,
I am surprised no one mentioned that it is, IMO, foolish not to buy a used speaker. Especially at this time when large floorstanders are frequently going for 1/3 retail or less! Other than maybe living with a few small cosmetic flaws, there is no reason not to buy a good contemporary used speaker. And a well broken in speaker is an advantage. Speakers can take hundreds of hours to break in.
And you are in a perfect position to get a world class speaker at a bargain price.
Some would say go for a Wilson Sasha. There are many now for sale. I wonder why? My 1st choice is a Rockport Avior. The Rockports are the finest, most natural dynamic speaker I have heard. And with big Krells, you can rock the house!
Especially since you currently have Focal, there is 1 pair of the big Utopias from TRM Audio on Audiogon. Talk about big scale, easy drive and great sound! And very hard to find used. They are listed at about $10k. Then my next choice would be Vandersteen 5A Carbon. You don’t see these used very often. There is one pair on Audiogon. Overall, my pick would be the Rockports. I don’t think you can find anything but a rave reviews.