My wife really likes my new Von Schweikert VR-1s in African Hazelwood.
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You never mentioned how much you're wanting or willing to spend.
The Caravelles are fantastic and go for around $5000.00. They have the piano gloss black finish that should wow your wife.
On the cheaper note, I have the old B&W Silver Signatures which were $8000.00 new that I would love to replace, but honestly haven't found anything that has made me want to take the hit selling them. There are three pair on Audiogon right now for around $3000.00-$4000.00. They are the granddaddy to the 805's. I've heard that neither the Nautilus nor the Signature 805's can touch them. They go down to around 35Hz and they do rock! They're also very nice looking.
The Reference 3A DiCapo's are really nice too, and only $2500.00. The one's with the piano gloss black finish at $2750.00 should wow your wife, the same as the Caravelle's.
If I had that many CDs I'd be worrying more about what the speakers sounded like and think of another stragegy for the marital bliss. :). I am not sure if you think monitors sound better or if you think they have a better WAF. To me, a floor stander is much better to look at (of course my wife might not agree). In my mind the sonus fabers, as pointed out by jb3, are stunning.
Whoa.. with all due respect, I'd be carefull about calling the B&W 805 series - 'wife' friendly. I've been in showrooms and actually heard comments like, "I'll be damned if that's going in our living room", and "it looks like a miners light is staring at me".. If you chose B&W, I'd highly recommend not surprising your wife with them.. Don't think you'll get much complaint though with Dynaudios birdseye maple-sonically or esthetically .. good luck!
In order to accomodate my wife's esthetics and the windows behind my speakers, I had Ty of www.tyleracoustics.com custom build a Linbrook three way 9"wide X 35" tall with a full grill covering the port. I sent him a picture of our cherry furniture and he matched the speaker finish to it perfectly. (see my system pictures)
Now I have some great sounding and looking speakers that meet both my wife's visual and my auditory esthetics.
Talk to Ty, he's very acomodating and his custom rates are very reasonable.
Focus Audio FS688. Tony has a mint demo pair here on Audiogon that is near the price range. Check out the pictures in Burr Walnut.
To me these are the ultimate WAF high performance speakers. Only 13"x7"x10" with gorgous Burr Oak and Burr Walnut finishes available.
Go to 45hz and will at least equal or exceed the speakers you listed in performance. Check out the reviews.
Yes, I'm biased I own a pair.
Is yours for a while if you need it. My wife prefers anything small and matching the existing decor, I tell you what: Do this, select what you like, narrow it down to 3 and let her pick, she'll be involved and has buy in, so she can't complain later, that one usually works. And--- if she want to change the decor you're open to an upgrade.
cheers, and good luck
I second the Focus motion. Also, check out 'classic' Epos 11 or 12s in walnut - I still think they are beautiful but can be sound quality beaten by any number of other monitors. Also, my wife found the Soliloquy 5.0s in rosewood beautiful and but found them a bit hard and etched sounding. I bought 'em and sold 'em in one week. Maybe my system wasn't right but I bought brand new Merlin TSM-MXs in piano black and the lovely lady thinks they're also quite fetching! Also are the finest sounding stand mounted speaker I've heard in my house easily defeating ProAcs, Coincidents, B&Ws, etc.
Let your wife select from among the huge Tyler Acoustics veneer selection, available on line.
My wife did and we now have the Woodmeres finished in "wormy maple" that are shown in some of Ty's ads. Believe me, pictures do not do the cabinetry/drivers justice. Everyone who has seen them for the first time has commented favorably - typically, of the "Wow, these are beautiful!" sort.
p.s, They sound even better than they look...
I once read that the best way to get your significant partner to go along with your choice of speakers was to find out what room she or he wants to redecorate and include that in your budget. No arguments, but it doubles the price. What is the cost of marital bliss? For my wife the speaker that sit back to the wall and not in the middle of the room is better tolerated. There is hardly a way to compromise between the "perfect sound" and what she or he may thinks "looks right". Good luck!
The best wife friendly monitor is one where your wife is involved in the buying decision.
My wife enjoys music, but by no means is an audiophile. Once I have narrowed it down to two models (both that I would enjoy), I brought her into the "picture." I had her listen and would help to gently "steer" her, based upon my biases. If you are buying new and have a choice of wood tones, let her call the shots on it.
While she may only be involved in under 5% of the buying decision, she will think that she had significant impact on the process. If she feels part of the "process," she will cut you a TON of slack. Perception is reality. :-)