Help me pick from my sub-$1200 shortlist


Alright. Here's the shortlist. Let's get your opinions:

  • KEF LS50
  • Sonus Faber Venere
  • Monitor Audio SIlver 100's (haven't tested yet)

And yes I know some of these retail over $1200, but for those I'm going to look for used or be patient for sales

I tested the SF's and the KEF's the other day. When at the store, I liked the KEF's better; I felt like there were more punchy mids, more contrasting dynamics. But having since listened I've been thinking more about the SF's and feeling like maybe I actually long term enjoyed their more subdued tone more, factoring in the fact that I would be able to play with them/my setup in my own apartment more. There was an incredible clarity with them nonetheless that I really loved.

I'm mostly doing vinyl and digital music, less classical/jazz, more rock, country, metal, experimental, but also quieter stuff too. Running out of a Cambridge Audio Azur 551R.

Other speakers I've had on the longer list, but might not be able to check out are the Revel Concerta2 M16, PSB Imagine B, and Paradigm Signature S2; so if you feel strongly on those please let me know


gravyrobbers91
+1,2,3 for Vandersteen, especially if buying used, you will be below your target budget.
VLR’s are $1350 new, Model 1’s are usually under $800 used and Model 2’s used are near your budget top.
If you have a separate amp and preamp, you can insert a Vandy 2wq sub or 2, and get pretty darn close to a pair of 3a sigs sound-wise.
Bob
Used pair of totem acoustics Hawks. Unbelievable sound. 
Your list is solid, I would also listen to the m105/106 Revels and Dynaudio Excites. Otherwise, everything you are considering is solid and is simply a matter of taste. 


On the Kef LS50's... they can be very reactive with the amp. They hated my amps (NuPrime monoblocks). YMMV.

+1 for the Silverline Preludes... also exceptionally good speakers.

Another (weird) suggestion... Hsu Research. Their point source speakers are odd but fun. Just throwing that out there.
Another vote for the Vandersteen VLR. Earlier I suggested another bookshelf speaker system and had totally forgotten about the VLR. And I own Vandersteen Treo Ct's! I see you are leaning towards the Kef LS 50's. I think they are good speakers, but when a dealer I know hooked them up side by side with the VLR's, well, the VLR's just sounded better. The dealer just smiled and said he knew which speaker I would choose. Ultimately your call. Just my opinion.
Cheers,