Bookshelf Speakers - $500-$900 range


Just looking for something that can provide a little more clarity and soundstage than my current setup in a medium sized room (!3x17) with high ceiling.. Music preference is rock, hard rock, acoustic music, and female vocals. Will probably be used with a NAD or Rogue integrated. Have the following on my list (new or used as long its within $500-$900 range):

Monitor Audio GX 50
B&W CM1
B&W CM5
Totem Rainmaker
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1
Kef LS50
Sonus Faber Venere 1.5
Focal Aria 905

I know the recommendation will be to listen and compare them but I'm trying to dwindle the list down. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.
benfica1
Wharfdale Diamond Series. Fabulous for the money. 
Thanks. Read the wharfedale diamond 225 review in Stereophile and I should have listed them too. Just wasn't sure if it stacked up against the other speakers I listed considering it's reasonable price.
I was going to say epos, but I saw the Kef LS50 in your list - they have gotten great reviews
What's your current setup that you are trying to improve? What do you plan to do for bass? 
Currently have klipsch heresy iii that I enjoy (clean bass and natural mid-range) but are lacking high end frequency extension and soundstage. Not looking to get rid of these just looking to add some bookshelf speakers that I can rotate in and out. I have a Svs sub 1000 sub that I can use.
The Kef LS50 with its coaxial and small driver will give you a single point source and a great image...forward presentation. There is a bump in the upper midrange that will give you extra detail. Bass is weak so you will need that sub. The CM5 is also a really good choice.
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I believe the rogue Sphinx I have is a hybrid - tube input stage and class d solid stat output stage. The 3 way designs appear to be beyond my price range. Even the KEF LS50 is at the upper range of my limit.


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Your room is about the same size as mine and my 936's create a deep soundstage that's at least the width of the room along the long wall. I'd suggest 906's instead of 905's. Huge Tool fan here and Adam's guitar work seems to come at you from way outside the placement of my speakers. The 906 will dig deeper than the LS50 too. I'd give very serious consideration to the LS50 though. There are things it may do better by your tastes. 
Focal speakers are popular mix ref in many recording studios.
I have the Sierras and enjoy them a lot. Good, well rounded speakers that can play most anything. Love the soft domes. I listened to both Sierra 1 varieties and also the Sierra 2’s and preferred the standard Sierra 1.

Plus I found a LCR used set of pristine gloss cherry for $750 so great value as well.
I would also consider the PSB Imagine Bs. I use a pair with my old NAD T747, Raspberry Pi streamer, and Cambridge Audio CXU universal player and they sound great.
You might want to add the Martin Logan Motion 35xl. An underrated speaker I believe. If you can find any Gallo Classico CL2 I don’t believe you can do any better in this price range. Another overlooked gem. Compared them side by side with the LS50’s and I preferred the Gallo for their better, wider and more holographic imaging, more neutral/detailed presentation and more energetic sound. Also had cleaner, more solid bass than the KEFs.
I totally agree with clarinetmonster2, the Gallo CL-2's are pretty amazing, as I had them for about 4 months (prob weren't even broken in) and just sold them thinking I was upgrading with a pair of Sjöfn the clue.  I should have kept them a little longer, as I am still in the adjustment phase for the clue's but are they sounding pretty nice now.  Waiting for my 20" stands to come in (have 24") and that should be the final adjustment.  Just in case,  I have ordered two pair of the ProAc Tablet 10's.  I will be set then...Keeping one, selling the other, couldn't decide on the finish so...
Good luck, in your journey nhskier...If you search the Gallos, you might still find a pair, you would not be disappointed...
Cheers,

You might also want to add ProAc Tablette 2000 Signatures to your list. 
You can't go wrong with ELAC Uni-Fi BS-5 designed by Andrew Jones for $499!!!  Andrew Jones has designed these to sound as good or better than bookshelf speakers costing 3 times as much.  In my opinion, no other speakers come close in this price range.  If you want a real bargain, get the ELAC Debut B-6 for $279 a pair!  You simply must read the ELAC reviews or audition them (if possible) before you buy ANYTHING else!
In this price range, U would go with old B&w Matric 805's especially since you have a sub. 

**ELAC dealer disclaimer**
When I first started carrying Elac, I compared the smaller UB5 to the CM7s.  Despite the huge difference in price, the UB5s not only compared favorably, but 4 other listeners heard the comparison, all found the UB5s to sound better in almost every performance metric.  The bass was more delineated, focused, and midrange was cleaner.  There was less smear everywhere, the detail was better...it was amazing to compare a $500 bookshelf to $2200 floor-standers and come away with that conclusion.  The UB5s perform better than speakers 2X-4X their cost.  UF5s are cleaner still in the bass, though not that much more extended than the UB5, and the UF5s offer up a larger soundstage.  I compared the UB5s to the CM5s as well, but that wasn't fair.  The CM5s sounded broken compared the UB5s.  It was as if the UB5 was cheating.  I highly recommend adding the Uni-Fi series to your list.  Good luck on your search.
I recently bought the Focal Arias 905s. My budget was $500 and if you look online, you will see the Focals on sale for $499 on many of the sites. They were better than the Quads, Elacs and others I listened to. 
Proac Studio 100, Kef R300