Full Range under $5k-ish

So the time has finally come to upgrade my speakers. I mainly listnm
 to vinyl with the occasional CD or AM/FM radio.

Here is my current setup:
Clearaudio Concept w/Concept MM
Parasound Halo P5
2 x Carver TFM-35x (bi-amp)
Definitive Technology BP-2002TL

I would like to stay under the $5k-ish mark. 
the time has finally come to upgrade my speakers
What things don't you like anymore? There are so many choices out there, I think we need pointers, otherwise, any recommendation will be irrelevant.Two points: 1) matching the sound of yr bipoles will be tricky, unless you go for dipoles such as Linkwitz's Orion.
2) full-range at 5k is a tough call, unless used comes to the rescue

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How can anyone offer you guidance until the following questions are asked:

1: How big is your room?
2: How far do you sit from the speakers?
3: How loud do you play?
4: What kind of music do you like?
5: Is the visual look of the speakers important?
6: How far or near to the rear wall would the speakers go?
7: What don't you like about your current speakers?
8: What are your current speakers?
9: Do you value musicality or accuracy? Meaning would you want to hear more detail out of your system or is your system a bit too fatiguing?
10: How important is deep bass?
11: What criteria would be in your dream product?
12: Are there any loudspeakers make model or brands that impressed you in the past?

It is impossible to make a proper recommendation until you know all of the above information?

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Vandersteen 2 or 3 if new, used I would look at Thiel CS2.4, maybe Bryston Middle T
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ebm what does that statement mean?

Beetlemania, how do you know if the OP would like a Vandy, if you like a more detailed presentation the OP would not like them also their 1970's look makes many a wife unhappy, they are good loudspeakers for the money. also Thiel is out of business why would you recommend a product that may be difficult to service?

Again the OP needs to look at our list of questions and make up a list of products that may work based on these criteria.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I think Audiotroy's questions are legitimate, his dealer status notwithstanding.  Loudspeakers really are a matter of taste; one person's neutral is another person's boring.

My best advice to the OP is to demo as many speakers as you can, and bring your amp (and your music) to the showroom.  Take your time.

That all being said, I have Vandersteen 3a Signatures, which are full rangers under $5K.  I adore them, and they work wonderfully in my large room, with my electronics (Ayre), my music (jazz and rock), and most importantly, my ears!

Best of luck in your search; let us know what you end up getting!  
My vote is for Vandersteen as described above, used Thiel 2.4s (I own them) or, if you can find a pair, Meadowlark Kestrels or larger.
Long-time Thiel employee Rob Gillum bought the service portion of Thiel Audio: https://www.coherentsourceservice.com/
By full range do you mean usable LF extension to 20 Hz?
There is a pair of GE Triton Ones for sale in the classifieds for around 3 grand or so.  I know of no other speaker at that price that will give you the deep bass it has plus a very fatigue free sound.  (I am not affiliated with the seller)
I recently bought the new KEF R-11 and am breaking them in now. I am loving them and they now seem to be opening up a bit at about 100 hours. 
Using a Parasound Hint-6 and it seems to be a fantastic synergistic match so far!


1: How big is your room?
2: How far do you sit from the speakers?
normally 10'
3: How loud do you play?
All over the place. Depends on if the kids are around. 
4: What kind of music do you like?
I listen to a large variety of music. Mainly classic rock, i.e. Floyd, Clapton, Supertramp, Judas Priest; with some newer stuff as well.
5: Is the visual look of the speakers important?
It's important to the GF and a little bit to me. 
6: How far or near to the rear wall would the speakers go?
Currently the DefTech's are 18" from the wall. They could go closer but not much further. 
7: What don't you like about your current speakers?
I like the range they currently have, specs say down to 17Hz, although I'm not sure how true that is. 
8: What are your current speakers?
Definitive Technology BP-2002TL
9: Do you value musicality or accuracy? Meaning would you want to hear more detail out of your system or is your system a bit too fatiguing?
Detail is always nice. I'm not sure I fully understand this question though. 
10: How important is deep bass?
Bass is important as I'm not running, nor do I plan to run, a subwoofer. 
11: What criteria would be in your dream product?
Something that fits my budgets and will continue to impress me sonically. 
12: Are there any loudspeakers make model or brands that impressed you in the past?
Focal and Wilson Audio have both impressed me. That being said both are out of my budget, even on the used market. 

@gregm  I am open to used speakers and I don't need to match the DefTechs for say, just want to make sure I'm actually upgrading. 

@dbphd not completely down to 20Hz but that wouldn't hurt. 

Thank you everyone for the responses.
I didn't think about bringing my amp with me to audition. The only thing that turns me away from that is that I currently Bi-Amp and don't want to disconnect both my amps to bring them with me every time I go to listen.

Vandersteen 3A Sigs would be a good choice at that price point.
Audiotroy (Dave) does not like them because he does not sell them. Or maybe he feels they are not up to his standards for loudspeakers in that price range. WHICH is just his opinion.
Here's a demo pair of Nola KO2s from a dealer who is apparently selling off inventory.  No offense to your Def Techs that are very good speakers for the money, the KO2s will bring you to another level entirely on every level.  The reason I'm recommending them is that they're overall awesome speakers, and the mids and highs are dipoles, which will image more like your speakers that I believe are bipolar.  These were $14k retail new, and you can get this demo pair for a little over $4k presumably with full factory warranty.  Buy these and thank me later.  If for some insane reason they don't absolutely blow you out of your chair you can probably sell them for a profit.  Maybe to me if I can get the wife to loosen the screws. 

OP, as an x owner of first the P3 then upgraded to the P5, I felt there was better value to be had in their price range, but the P6 might be  whole new design upgrade. Dunno. May not be that big a deal spinning just vinyl

Parasound is pretty accessible to speak with whether the P6 uses the same phono as your P5

anyway, speakers. My room is ~1/3 bigger than yours and yet my Emerald Physics KCIIs are doing a bangup job with my kit. They're barely 4ft tall, slender semi pyramid shape, open baffle. I have 2 SVS Ultra subs which are turned off as I have ample bass without them. They are running  a special (or often do) for $1499. Run don't walk. Live happily everafter

Demo some of the larger Ushers and ATC SCM 40 and bigger if you can
OP, I appreciate the inconvenience of disconnecting your amps, but consider bringing just one amp and biwiring to get virtually the same performance.  A Carver TFM-35 is a powerful amplifier and doubt that the impedance characteristics of your speakers' high frequency drivers present any meaningful stress.  The TFMs have a distinctive sound (after all, TFM means Transfer Function Modified) and so it seems all the more important that you test the speaker/amp interaction.

My two cents.  Wishing you well!
As most know, I am a Vandersteen fan. 
And, you might ask, why so many have recommended them?
Because they outperform for their price range, and are very listenable. 
But, that is your choice. All I and the other posters want is to guide you to something that we think would be a good move from your current speakers.

For under $5K, you could get a pair of 3a sigs with a pair of 2w/wq subs and be pretty close to a Quatro.
A more attractive option would be to get the Treo's plus subs, but that is probably a bit more than your budget.
Either way, you would get a full range speaker system.
If you let us know your location, maybe we can direct you to a dealer.
+1 on the goldenear technologies, esp if you have some loyalty to ded tech. Sandy Gross is a founder of both.
Having heard them recently, taking up less than I sq. ft. of space and only 40 inches high, these ATC SCM 40 V2 are among the top of your price class.  The ATC speakers are used in more mastering studios than any other for a reason--very dynamic, punchy bass, with extremely fleshed out and detailed midrange and highs that are airy and extended yet don’t call attention to themselves. They need plenty of good power and sound best away from the front wall a good 5-6 feet. They have a good soundstage when positioned properly. They have curved and very solid cabinets as they weigh 75 lbs. each. They look nice and the drivers are very rugged and should last a LONG time. The V2’s should be able to find used for around $4000-4300 in excellent shape. One can stand or sit and the highs are still there, not much change in sound between the two positions. They have no weaknesses. I own Vapor Audio Joule Black speakers with a few upgrades which are simply awesome sounding speakers, but if I didn’t or I wanted to downsize without a big drop-off in sound, the 40’s definitely would float my boat.
You should at least hear them somewhere.


Be brave and get a pair of the D&S Tech Labs FM2's, around $5,000.00 and they will satisfy you for years until you upgrade to the FM4's.If you are in the Chicago area you can come over and listen for yourself.Great speakers that no one has heard of, and no they are not HT only speakers, the bass is awesome and can handle whatever power amp you can throw at them.
Have a look at Zu speakers.
They sell used (trade-ins)as well as new and have what they call a "dirty weekend" deal where you get some sent to you and send them back if not suitable.
All their models are high efficiency.

I have a pair of Soul Superflys and love them.
I would audition/think about MartinLogan ESL X or ESL 9 or
Magnapan 1.7 + a subwoofer for example MartinLogan 1000W or REL T/9i, (maybe that is cheating/not full range but that would be rather high budget)
In case you prefer planar Electrostatic or Magnetic like I do.
Assuming New?

I’ve been through a number of speakers the past few years. I’m a classic rock fan, I listen a bit loud also. But at your price point, for new speakers it’s pretty easy for me to narrow it down to 2 speakers. (if you can ever so slightly bump your budget a bit)

Ohm Walsh 5000’s (essentially have a 4 band EQ on the back) can be placed close to the wall. They love power (which you have) plenty of bass (even for me). 6500 new, the 4900’s are a massive bargain with a bit different form factor. I have the 5000’s and love them. First speaker that I absolutely love in a long time. Added bonus - your kids can not hurt them (if you have prying fingers etc). John at Ohm a good dude to boot.

Salk Song 3 Encore - will play deep, with a nice amount of bass. INCREDIBLE craftsmanship, a bit more detail than the Walsh, not quite a big of a soundstage. (I’ve demo’d them several times, very good speaker, I owned the SS8’s) Plus Jim at Salk is a good dude also. Will play deep, have some thump but won’t move as much air as the Walsh speakers (the Walshes can absolutely thump a room if you want them to)

I love the OHM Walshes, you did mention you like Focal and Wilson (both with the focal tweeter I'm wondering?)

The Salk might get you closer to that sound.  Probably a bit more detailed speaker.

The golden ears, honestly are nice but not THAT much different than your DEF Techs. (I’ve owned the Triton 2’s in the past)

I also like the Vandersteen sound. That said, I think the OHM’s give more bang for the buck. I like that big, open natural sound. The Quattro CT’s I love, but well... they are 14k a pair.

Personally, try as I might, using EQ and everything else I can never get a sub to totally integrate with my mains. I like a very coherent sound and a big open sound. The OHM’s give that to me.

ATC’s, also nice very detailed yet uncolored midrange. A shade bright to me and you have to spend a LOT to really get that thump. But very nice stuff.

USED - well that opens up a host of options. 

I used to use the TFM-35’s many years ago. I Don’t know if they were the x’s or not.  I then purchased a demo pair of Thiel CS2.3’s and connected it to the Carver.  The sound was so shrill, that my wife refused to let my play any Music. She thought the music sounded like fingernails scratching a chalk board. I replaced the Carver, with a Plinius 8150 and my wife let me listen to music again.  My wife and I I still enjoy the Plinius/Thiel combination that is decades old and now located at my mountain home.

The Carver worked very well for many years in my home theater system with real M&K speakers.  IMO this amp is better suited for home theater than music.

Based upon this experience,  I am in agreement with cedargrover that you make certain to test potential speakers with at least one of your Carver amps prior to any final  purchase.
Op if you can go up a tad to $7k you can look at a set of Legacy Audio Signatures. 

These should be perfect for you:

1: They are 93db efficient so they will play loud with any amplifier
2: They have bass down to 22hz
3: They throw a huge soundstage
4: They have high power handling. 
5:  They are easy to drive  
6:  They have superb  top end detail

If you want to fill up  a large room these can't be beat

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Legacy Audio dealers
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A plethora of recommendations, as usual! Let me add another: ATC SCM 40. Should be around 4k; if not, go for a recent pair of used 40 or 50 in your price range. Stunning dynamics, imaging, and detail (not harsh). Need power, but you already have that.

You can get Focals for your price range.  Not their top of the line stuff, which is out of reach for most people.  ATC seems to be with-in your budget.  If I was spending 5k on speakers I would audition them at home.  Golden Ear is a close match to your Def Tech's in sound.
The reason the Legacy's would be far better is sheer displacement, the Signature is more electrical efficient, has much deeper bass then the Focals. How many sub $10k loudspeakers are rated to 22hz +/-3db and are 93db efficient?

Most high end loudspeakers that are in this gentleman's price range will not be able to fill up such a large room with sound. 

So if you like rock and have a big room you need a speaker capable of playing loud and most loudspeakers from B&W, Kef, Focal, Vandy just won't handle this type of application. 

Bill Duddleston designs speakers that play loud and fill up big rooms, he favors displacement, hence his speakers use  two large 10inch bass drivers going up to 12 inch drivers in other models.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Legacy Audio Dealers
Lots of great options out there. Thank you for everyone who has been giving valuable input. I will reapond to individual posts when I have more time. For now keep the ideas coming. 
Proac 140 Mk II or Proac DT8

The Legacy Signatures are ridonkulous!!! I could only afford them used but there are none currently available.....

Vandersteen Treo CT is awesome if you can find a set used.

I've heard that JBLs rawk!!!!    \m/  \m/

My Kef R11s also do a nice job.

So many great options!!!

Best of luck,

Dep 14 I agree with you.

I heard a pair of Salk Song3 Encore's at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest last October and thought they were one of the best speakers at the show.  At a cost of $6,000/pair they crushed a pair of $60,000 speakers I listened to.  I also met Sim Salk and he is an incredible guy.  He told me he sells direct so he can afford to buy some of the best drivers in the industry.  He said a lot of speaker manufactures who sell to retailers have to cut their prices and in order for the retailers to make most of the money you have to purchase lower quality drivers and manufacturer lower quality speaker cabinets.  He is not willing to sacrifice quality at the customers expense and sit back to allow the retailers to make all of the money.
I have owned Wilson Watt Puppy 6’s for 10 years and which are around £4K preowned and full range. 

The power amp amp needs to have excellent dynamics because the ohms can drop from 4 to 2 and even below requiring large reserves of power to be needed quickly.

I have found that a tubed pre into a class A power gives excellent results.

At new and based on your less than 5k budget I would strongly consider and recommend  you listen to Vandersteen. There is a reason the model 2 have been so popular for 40 + years. Maybe they won't fit what you are looking for but ANY recommendation of a reasonably  priced "full range" speaker should include the Vandies. If you require more bass you can add subs later. 5k on a full ranger, to 20k no less, won't get you there. More important is what sounds right to your ears, room and works with your music preferences and current electronics. There is no simple right answer. As with all speakers, better electronics will yield better and more satisying results. Vandies are most forgiving but capable of true high fidelity sound that produce music at a very high level the more attention paid to realize their potential.   
@twoleftears ,
Yes, I forgot about ProAc. Very nice speakers with that British sound.
I think in the PBN speakers you will get exceptional sound. You will also get exceptional customer service.
Klipsch rf7lll's. I've owned many, much higher end speakers, but with McIntosh gear, I absolutely love them. Especially for your room size. Rock and roll!
For around $5,000 ,
I would look at TEKTON speakers and a pair of Tekton subs..
and possibly upgrading your amps to a tube variety, Quicksilver, Decware, VTA, Don Sachs..

I have on order a pair of Double Impact SE’s at $4,500 (2,000 off MSRP) , These are going to be hard to beat for the $..
They are on sale right now, and since I didn’t want the mirror finish on them Eric gave another $1,000 discount..

I’m upgrading from the Tekton Seas Pendragon’s..

My system for reference :
Apple TV4 (streamer) —needs upgraded—
Oppo 205 (DAC-CDP)
Denon DP59L (TT)
Decware ZP3 (phono pre)
Decware CSP3 (preamp-headphone amp)
Decware ZMA (35 watt PP amp)
Tekton Seas Pendragon (speakers)
Tekton Cinema (18” sub)
Cullencable loom (silver plated copper)

I'll throw my vote in for ProAc. Have owned a pair of DT8's for almost a year and have been very happy. 
Let's try and build a list of all the suggestions into a single post. 

  • Revel Performa F208
  • Linkwitz's Orion
  • Vandersteen 2
  • Vandersteen 3
  • Thiel CS2.4
  • Bryston Middle T
  • Meadowlark Kestrels
  • Golden Ear Triton One
  • KEF R-11
  • Nola KO2
  • Emerald Physics KCII
  • PMC twenty/23
  • PMC twenty/24
  • Usher
  • ATC SCM 40
  • D&S Tech Labs FM2
  • Liberty Audio X-Vox
  • Zu Audio
  • MartinLogan ESL X or ESL 9
  • Magnapan 1.7 + a subwoofer
  • Ohm Walsh 5000
  • Salk Song 3 Encore
  • Legacy Audio Signatures
  • Proac 140 Mk II
  • Proac DT8
  • Wilson Watt Puppy 6
  • Klipsch rf7lll
  • Tekton
An absolute ton of options. Now time to do my homework. Keep them coming. Sorry if I missed anything. 
JM Labs Utopia, older floor standing models, maybe a little above $5k, though they would outclass everything else in your system. Match with cables would be important, more than on average, or they will sound bright and forward. Don't know how low at how high db level they go, but you could find this information. Not easy to find, I guess. Very different sound compared to Vandersteen, as an example.
I would say this set of DALI Euphonia MS-5 here on Agon for under $5k should sound spectacular with your vinyl! 

Aerial Acoustics 7T - Used
Monitor Audio Gold 300 another nice speaker.