Best Speakers for Nearfield Listening $4k or Less?
I've researched everything available here on the topic and all of the threads related to this topic are three years old or older. The only meaningful exception is a somewhat related thread to what I am asking, which, oddly enough, I posted on behalf of a friend about a year ago. While he now has unfortunately relegated to a room as small as mine, which I have been living with for years, he also has greater financial resources, as you will see. For reference, here is the thread in question.
He has a real love for the Harbeth sound, and did a lot of listening to many options (he travels frequently). We also continued our discussions at length. In the end, what really got his attention was this older forum comment:
I had the opportunity to hear the Harbeth M40s at a true nearfield, (about three feet away, and 5 feet apart) in an acoustically treated room. Matching REL Stadium 111's, tube amplification, state of the art turntable ( sorry, I don't recollect more specifics ). Let me just say it was a transformative aural experience. As big as they were, when I closed my eyes those M40s just disappeared! I could almost reach out and touch the musicians as they played. Startlingly real 3D sound stage."
And then there was the comment from a gentleman in Chicago with the same exact scenario, which also includes a picture, if you scroll down:
It took some time, but about four months back, my friend located a great deal on a pair of Harbeth M40's that were traded in to a dealer. Since then, he has been thrilled with the sound his system produces. I've also had the opportunity to do very extended listening to his system and the sound the M40's output in the nearfield is simply revelatory (assuming high quality amplification and
Until now, I've been very happy with my nearfield setup, using the excellent Silverline 17.5's. However, having had all this exposure to his system, I feel strongly that I will have to make a move to remain satisfied, or, hopefully more. Unfortunately, none of the less expensive Harbeth's, such as the superb SHL-5, or even the Compact 7 ES-3's will work in a small room, or even some medium rooms. I've done a lot of homework there, and even discussed it with a representativr from the company, and they are a definite no go. And before someone suggests it, the tiny P3SR's are a lovely little speaker but they will definitely not meet my needs. I was even allowed to borrow a pair, and they simply are not what I am looking for after hearing my friends M40's.
My budget is an absolute maximum of $4,000.00 to be sprnt on used speakers to maximize my buying power which clearly rules out any M40's. So, I'm asking for your thoughts, expertise and recommendations on how I might best accomplish the sound I want.
My room is 10x10.5, with a built in shelf, in front of which the speakers must be positioned. Listening distance is 5.5 feet, and the speakers must fit into an equidistant footprint 5 feet apart forming a triangle with the listing spot.
My equipmemt consists of a ModWright LS100 preamp, a Modwright KWA-100SE amplifier, a Bryston BDA-1 DAC, and Oppo 103, and an Olive 4HD.
In talking to friends in audio, some dealers and other members of the trade, the following speakers have all been recommended, but there has been no consensus. I have also not listened to many of them, nor have any opportunity to. I am open to all of your suggestions, Thanks.
previously recommended by others:
Gallo Reference 3.1/3,5
Gallo Reference Strada 2(and TR-3D sub)
Acoustic Zen Adagio
Zu Audio Essence
Merlin VSM-MX or MXe
Martin Logan Theos/Ethos )which I doubt would work, not to mention requiring a new amp)