"Best" mini-monitor?

I have a relatively small listening room (12x10) and have always owned mini-monitors.  Currently I have proac tablette anniversaries, but have had the original 15 ohm rogers ls3/5a, proac response 1, KEF, and reference 3a through out the years.  As you can see, these are all moderate priced speakers, having never spent more than 3k on any pair.  I am now in a position to spend a bit more money, certainly 5k, and maybe up to 10k.  So what out there should I be listening to?  I am in the Chicago area, so I would love something that I can listen to at a local (Midwest) dealer, but I do travel a lot and have auditioned/purchased things across the country from time to time.  New or used, does not matter to me.

as you can probably guess, I really don't care much about deep base, but live for soundstage and warm midrange, listening to a lot of female vocalists, acoustic rock/jazz/blues, and light (non full orchestra) classical.  

With my musical tastes, I have always loved el34 tube amps.  I currently have the prima Luna hp premium, which has 4 el34 per channel, giving me in the 70 wpc range, more than enough for a small room.  I am running naim digital source material (no bad remarks from the analog folks... I know I have have traded off).

so, what should I spend time auditioning?  I have used "best" in quotes because of the 10k price limit, but I suspect there are many more candidates below 10k than above it.




Showing 1 response by reubent

Two of the better small monitors I've ever hear were the Ridge Street Audio Sasons and the JM Labs Focal Micro Utopia BE. Heard them both in the same system, driven by a vintage 100 W/channel ARC tube amp. Very good stuff. The Sasons are exceedingly rare, a little large, and require the dedicated stands. The Micro Utopias are also very good, but not as good as the Sasons.....