Lots of good choices I guess.
Dave Ellis' 1801s www.home.attbi.com/~ellisaudio/index.htm
Avinci Studio or the Avinci Ones at www.Acoustic-Reality.com
These are only available new.
You could try the SONUS FABER Concertos. Many used ones on the market in Walnet and Gloss piano Black. They have nice bass for a small speaker and nice soundstage. Lastly the design is a work of visual art. On the used market they run $1000 to $1,500 with nice matching stands. Listen to them in your home with the amps you intend to use BEFORE you buy.
I have never heard sonus faber, but there is a dealer in my area that sells them. The trouble is that I just never feel right using his speakers as a demo and then buying used ones on the net. But I did call him and he told me that they would be the closest ( in his opinion ) to the vandersteen in a small speaker.
I would say the Vienna Acoustics Bach is worth looking at. Works with tube amps. and sounds very smooth. I am amazed at what comes out of this speaker for the money.
My vote is for the ACI Sapphire III LE. I had a pair of Concertos which I really liked. A friend damaged the cabinets and offered to buy them from me. Because I had such good results with the ACI Titan II LE subwoofer I decided to give the Sapphire III LE a try. I am very glad I did. They have a lot of the Concertos character, but resolve better and have better dynamic capabilities. Great speaker, definitely give them a try.
I highly recommend the Meadowlark Vireo. Meadowlark has never really promoted this speaker. They should. It is accurate, fast, musical and joy to listen to, especially with tubes. It has very good bass. Burn in time is about 100 hours. New around 1K.
I'm not sure about best, but a pair of used Thiel 1.5's might work if your 50 -70 watt tube amp is up to the impedance load. Placement in your 10 x 15 room will also be a consideration.
Did you see that ACI is discontinuing the Sapphire III LE? Just noticed the announcement over at SMR-HT. Too bad, it is a great speaker. Wonder if they are planning a replacement.
PSB Sliver's have 2 1/2 way speaker design. I own a pair great value - Excellent sound stage.. Approx 1200- 1440 new
I think the Meadowlark Vireo`s are a great little speaker, the bass from these are just awesome for such a small speaker, they image very well, have very good speed and detail, I have mine in the two channel room with the Rogue Magnum 66 and the 88 amp, these sounded better than the Kestrels with the same Rogue gear. My room is larger than yours and they play plenty loud for me, I have them mounted on the Osiris 24 inch stands. you can find these on the web for about 500- 600.00 Very musical speaker.
the above choices will be completly SMOKED by the 2 way speakers offered by Dave Ellis email@example.com (as mentioned by clueless),other exceptional speakers are offered be Andre Perrault e-speakers.com..did you know that your local "hifi" shop gets a wopping 100% markup..go figure..like i say commercials are just that... commercial sound
I went to e-speakers but it looks like everything they sell is for the diy guy. Or at least that is all their web page would show me. I'm sure they sell quality speakers but unfortunately if I decide to resell...... most of my buyers will be those " commercial audiophiles " Who want to buy a name brand speaker. And if you have checked audigon I think you will find even the name brand stuff isn't selling very welll.
I like the idea of Meadowlarks nad I will demo them shortly. I have a friend who has a pair of Silverline SR16's I'm going to listen too.
JD; I am a little shocked that they are discontinuing my beloved Sapphires! I guess everything changes, but it really is an audiophile classic that will be missed. I sure hope they come up with a worthy replacement. I've found ACI to be one of the finest business places I've ever dealt with in any field.
Tube777; somebody has a mint set of Sapphire III LEs with stands for sale at audiogon for under $1000. That is a heck of a buy!
Tube777, i hear what your saying..but when you get your "kit" (there are many options to pay alittle more and have the completed speaker) you will not want to sell them...maybe to a friend..IF any commercial labs used the drivers i'm choosing they and your "hifi" shop would mark up more than double...so my $1000 speakers would cost like $4K in your local shop..GO FIGURE!!..try to find any commercial lab offering the following line of drivers SCANSPEAK HIQULAPHON SEAS FOCAL PHILIPS(RT8P) ESg ribbons i could name more..check the prices..next time you go to the "hifi" shop ask them the model #'s of the drivers...they won't know!..ask them the name of the xover parts used ...they won't know!..but if you're going to lay out 1500 up for a speaker you have a right to know..that's alot of money!