Bookshelf Bake Off

Fellow Audiogoners,

Lend me your ears.  I live on a farm in South Georgia and have a 3+ hour drive in any direction to audition anything.  The price I pay for land, peace and horses I suppose.  I am putting together a secondary system and can't audition everything I have interest in, so I am hoping you can help me shorten the short list to a manageable set of maybe three (two would be even better) auditions for bookshelf speakers. They will be driven by 2 x PS Audio M700 Monoblocks, Schiit Freya+ tube preamp and a Mytek Brooklyn DAC+.  The space is fairly small at approx. 10'x20'.  For a number of reasons, floorstanders are not a possibility, hence the call for bookshelf speakers.  I would like to keep the budget in the $2K range, +/- a reasonable %.  I am not someone that feels the need to max the budget, i.e. linear correlation of price and quality, so feel free to suggest high value brands/models less than the max budget.  I have a pair of Focal Aria 906 in another system and very much like their sound, but want something a bit warmer with similar (or better) resolution.  Deeper low frequency extension would be a plus.  The brands I have narrowed the field to are:

Monitor Audio
Sonus Fabre

This list is not written in stone, just my initial list after research.  Feel free to suggest anything I have omitted that warrants consideration.  Thanks in advance for your ears.


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I have a pair of Sierra 2s and I'm very happy with them.  I hadn't heard of the EX until you mentioned it; I looked at their site, and I have complete confidence in their proclamations.  I might just order a pair of the update kits myself.
Revel Performa3 m106. Outstanding, for 2K.
Let me first say that I admittedly only have experience with B&W and KEF among all of the brands listed by folks above. While I really enjoy both flavors of British sound, I'll throw another suggestion into the mix: RBH Sound SVR Series (61 or, if you have the space, 661.) Check out RBH's website for more info, but I can tell you from personal experience that they sound great with any genre of music, and you'll be hard-pressed to find clarity along with bass SQ and output than what RBH has at their price points. Plus you get personalized and prompt support direct from the leaders of the company if you ever have questions or concerns. And if you end up not liking what you hear, return the speakers within 30 days and you're only out shipping costs. Happy hunting!
Dynaudio. They make the best bookshelf speakers in that price range in my opinion, they image like no other given good amplification.