Hi Audiogon! Your help has been invaluable in the past so I’m back yet again. I think I’m close to purchasing my forever speakers and am looking for recommendations of what to consider. Here are some qualities I’m looking for, in order of importance:
- Amazing soundstage. I really enjoy a speaker that can throw a BIG soundstage.
- Fun, slightly U-shaped frequency response.
- Tight, punchy, musical bass.
- Airy and clear high end, think Magnepan.
- Good R&D and technology. If I’m paying this much for a speaker, it better not just be a damn box with some bargain paper cone drivers in it.
- Nice looking. This is a speaker, first and foremost, but it is also a piece of furniture. It really does have to look nice (I hate to say it, but this probably disqualifies offerings from GoldenEar).
- Semi-compact. I like a speaker that has a good physical presence in the room (not too small) but not something massive like a Magnepan (been there already) or Wilson. I like units no more than 45" x 10" x 16" or so. Also cant weight a million pounds as we are still in a rental and will have to move these.
I currently own a pair of LSA 2.1 Signature floorstanders, which have certain qualities I like (soundstage/imaging due to rear firing tweeter, size/weight, U-shaped). But things I feel are missing (bass feels a bit loose, build quality could be better, feels very low tech with paper woofers and unbraced MDF cabinet). I listen to a wide range of music, mostly a lot of intimate jazz combos, some experimental electronic and IDM, funk, some rock, black metal, and a bit of classical.
Here are some speakers I have heard and liked:
- Magnepan MMG - amazing detail, imaging, mids and highs
- LSA 2.1 - for all their shortcomings, they check a lot of boxes
- Dynaudio Focus 20 XD - awesome balance and great bass for a standmount
- B&W CM10 - I really like this speaker, though I’ve seen some measurements that have turned me off
Speakers I have heard and were disappointed in:
- KEF LS50 - honestly seemed very shrill and shouty to me
- Martin Logan ESL - weirdly didnt get a great impression of these
- GoldenEar Triton 3 - not only ugly, but I found these a bit boring to listen to
So, any ideas? I'm willing to consider new or used (if it can be found somewhat easily) speakers around $5000. I can give more info if you have questions, thanks!