Advice on a speaker purchase

Hi, I would like some suggestions on an upgrade I'd like to make from my current speakers. My budget s $2k, new or used. I presently listen to a six-year old pair of vandersteen 1c's. Up front are a Sim Audio I-5 integrated and a Sim Nova cd player. I do not want to change anything but the speakers. The room size is 27' x 14' x 8' high, but the listening area is 14' x 14.' I generally listen at medium volumes (nothing higher than 85db), and like rock, acoustic rock, ambient, and acid jazz. While most of my listening is rock (alt, indie, classic) and trippy ambient music and acoustic rock, my volumes do not have to shake the room or have thundering bass. I rock out with my headphones.

I like the sound I currently have, but am interested in changing flavors to something a little more perky and upbeat, perhaps something a little less relaxed as the vandy's. However, I am not interested in a horn set-up nor do I require a radical change. I just want to move it over a notch or 2 on the continuum of sonic flavor. I have limited space for a speaker larger than the 1c, and would like to actually get something smaller, but am concerned about my room size (for example, is the room size the correct metric here or is it my listening area?). I have demo'd the Totem hawks and like them mucho, but (again) have room size concerns. Do I need to have these room size concerns? (I cannot demo at home, not in NYC). I have also demo'd the Gallo nucleus reference, but was not impressed with the change in sound when I was not sitting in the sweet spot (and I won't always be glued to that spot when I'm playing music). My research has also led to some other contenders that I have not heard yet, Von Schweikert VR2, Quad 22L, and Audio Physic Yara. I will only be able to have the speakers 18" from the back wall, and a massive entertainment center sits in the middle of my speakers, which are 7 feet apart. The speakers would be a half-foot away from one side of that entertainment center. None of the room constraints can change. The Quad 22L would surely have high WAF; they are gorgeous.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. thanks, walkman
I hate to say this but spend as much time at different dealers getting exposed to what sound each design offers. You also have to keep in mind that the speakers need to mate with your amp, which IMO is the most important issue to consider. Bring your own music and also hae the dealer play what they like on the speakers. Your system has to have synergy in order to work together.

Once you hae narrowed down your choice, then you can come back and ask the same question.

Happy Listening.
I am not first hand familiar with a lot of the speakers you mentioned. When doing an upgrade myself recently, I went with demo Meadowlark Ospreys. They are very natural and laid back, so may not be what you are looking for. I also considered the VR2's, but decided against them because a substantial part of their sonic signature is the rear-firing tweeter, which does not lend itself to close wall placement. Something to keep in mind.

Good luck, and good listenting.
I think that one should consider looking at Green mountain audio Callistos since they are very dynamic and high in resolution. Do a search on agon to see what type of speakers you may be interested in the cost is usually half of new .Take care Dennis
You mentioned you like the Totem Hawks... well, my friend... I highly recommend the Totem Forest. Very, very musical and a sounstage to die for. They image like crazy and have unbelievable bass for their modest size. They are a big step up from the Hawk's for only a litte bit more money.

I have a pair in a second system in a room size a tad larger than yours and I love them immensely. They should work well with your gear. You can find them used on Audiogon and generally sell them for almost what you bought them for when you want a change. (No mine are not for sale.)

Happy listening!
Thanks Georg3 and others...I was concerned about the ability of my I-5 to drive the Forests, but you say that they should work well with my gear. Have you heard the Forests driven by the Sim I-5? Totem says the I-5 would "do well with the Forests at low to medium volumes, but would not be sufficient for maximum dynamics." So, I had some reservations about that next step up.

Bigkidz, yes, I would like to hear some more...personal auditioning is key, I realize that homework is more important. Thanks.

Cenline: the callistos are monitors. I want/need a floorstander; monitors are out (I have kids). I realize Green Mountain makes some floorstanders, and they are highly regarded, but even the pico mideo is just too expensive ($6500 MSRP). Just won't work for me.

Jeromedny: thanks for the tip on the VR2; yeah, I could not pull them out as far as that rear firing tweeter might like. I have read that they are position sensitive. They are probably not ideal for my constrained logistical set-u.

- walkman
Clarification...Totem said the I-5 would do well with the Forests at "medium/high volumes, but maximum dynamics would not be reached." There, that's better. - walkman
Heeee.....I answered this question of your's on ausioasylum forum :-)). But will still say - audition the Quads. I auditioned them accidentally and ended up owning them.
Funny milpai, yeah, I double dipped. I appreciate your suggestion, too. Any concerns about the fact that I can only have the Quads 18" from the back wall? I have read others says they really need to be 36" or so from the wall or otherwise they are boomy and midrange is not as good.

thx, walk
Very true Walkman...they will sound a bit boomy that close to wall. But absolutely no complains in the midrange if that close to wall - atleast for me. Now after 7 months of placement position adjustment, I have got them to sound very similar to headphones - but with the presence, imaging and soundstage. So you see, getting speakers is not a problem - but finding the ideal location is very very time consuming. But the result is sonic bliss.
You need to audition the AP Yaras then - they are bottom ported. Imaging is also very nice.
Thanks milpai. Funny to me that you make a headphone analogy. I'm a big user of headphones both at home and portably.

AP Yara...Yes, I have read that their bottom portedness makes them location flexible...They are definitely worth a listen. Strong user comments from the (limited number of) persons who have them/heard them. thx, - walk
Why can't you demo at home?
Hi philnyc, well, one dealer said "no," when I asked to demo at home, so that's probably why. I have not asked any other dealers yet. I imagine that you are also in nyc with your moniker, and maybe you know of the places that do allow you to demo at home. Please let me know of these. However, in living stereo, for example, does not.

thx, - walkman
No, I have not heard the Forest with your Sim gear. Here's what I would do... I like the Forest so much, that not much else comes close for what they offer for the price (IMHO). You would be well served to buy the Forest now and upgrade your amp when you are better able. If you do not require high listening levels, you're in!
Walkman, you can hear the GMA Calisto's that Cenline suggested at Landes Audio on West Main St in New Jersey. I suggest to you it would be a drive you'll enjoy. Paul Candy at also reviewed them. You can read his review here: