Choosing new speakers after 20 years

I am in the market to replace my B&W CDM9NT's which I have owned for 20 years. They have served me very well over the years with my only complaint the famed bright Nautilus tweeter, which is manageable with the right cables and equipment. Anyway, this year I basically bought all new equipment, except for the B&W. My system is simple:
PrimaLuna EVO 300 integrated with Shunyata Venon NR V10 PC
Chord Qutest DAC
Innuos Zen mkIII streamer/server with Shunyata Venon NR V12 PC
Purist Audio Venustas Luminist revision bi-wire speaker cable
Cardas Clear Cygnus RCA IC
I don't have many CD's left as we had a break-in a couple years ago shortly after our home was finished and before the basement was finished and they took boxes of my CD's and SACD's. So instead of purchase a new CD player and CD's I got into streaming. I listen to a LOT of female vocal, Alison Krauss, Sarah Jarosz, Norah Jones on DSD. I listen to a lot of modern bluegrass like Nickel Creek, Punch brothers, a lot of string stuff. And of course Jazz with Coltrane being my favorite, Miles Davis, Art Blakey trio etc.

For speakers I am looking at floor standing, my room is pretty big in a finished, conditioned basement concrete floor with laminate and large area rug in front of system. 17x25x9 ft ceiling, all drywall. I have ATS acoustic panels on the wall for first reflection points and ATS 24x35 4" bass traps on the walls behind the speakers.

My budget before any trade value from my B&W is ~$5k and I have to stick closely to it. At the top of my list are the Sonus Faber Sonetto V, Monitor Audio Gold 200 and a dealer not to far away sells Fyne F502SP. I heard Sonus Faber a number of years ago and was drawn to the sound especially for female vocal, it was not bright like the B&W, but smooth and rich. A SF dealer not to far away from me made me an offer to take my B&W's on trade and sell me a pair of brand new Sonus Faber Sonetto VIII in wenge finish for the balance of $5000. I did not have the Sonetto VIII on my list as they were out of my budget, but this offer seems pretty nice and I think the VIII's would fill my room more. Going later this week and weekend to do some listening.
Anyone have any thoughts or recommendations I should look at?
Thank you for your time and suggestions.
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Showing 1 response by audioquest4life

I did the same thing you did last year after owning B&Ws 800s for about 18 years. The important thing is to listen to as many speakers as possible that check off your requirements, and perhaps, something may surprise as you give a good listen. I made road trips and went to shows (most pre COVID and some during COVID) to visit others who had speakers I had an interest in. I had listened to Avant-garde, Klipschorn, Klipsch Jubilee, Classic Audio Loudspeakers, Legacy Aeris, Spatial Audio and others that escape me. Of all the listening tests I did, none were as good as or compared to what I heard with the Classic Audio Loudspeakers T1.5 reference. It was by chance that I was able to snag a demo pair after I sold the 800s.

Make sure your amp is up to the efficiency requirements of whatever speakers you decide on. My speakers are extremely large and efficient. With the field coil 18” deep bass and 15” inch mid bass drivers, field coil compression horn and tweeter, it’s simply amazing. It helped inform my decision by listening to a variety of speakers and knowing what type of sound I was looking for. Been listening to stereos since early 70s, so my ears are somewhat seasoned to what I like and dislike in a speaker. Good luck.