Improving on the Sonata IIIs, which speakers?

I’m casually considering either a sideways or step up from the Sonata IIIs for perhaps not a very good reason… merely esthetics. A color change.

I don’t like the thought of losing the Esotar II tweeter, nor the ease with which a good amp can drive them with. I’d also hate to see a far bigger-taller speaker be the one to improve upon or equal them.

I listen near field equa distance from the speakers. They’ll reside on a short wall in a 14x21x8+ roughly, closed off room. I do have a sub.

I saw some reviews on the PSB line up from J Atkinson, & Wes Phillips on the PSB models retailing for $4K+, $5K & $7K…. which appeal to me somewhat… but I’ve like all other times not the capacity to personally audition the PSBs.

I’d also prefer not to invest further by very much, if at all. Hence the ‘sideways’ ideology.

Any thoughts here are appreciated. Thanks much.
Bolero's! They only look alike. :-)
Jim -- The Daedalus Audio speakers seem to be very well regarded, and in terms of aesthetics they seem to receive a lot of plaudits for the quality of their woods and finishes. They are highly efficient, and I believe have impedance characteristics that are very tube amp friendly.

The DA-RMa appears to be in your price range, and with the matching stands would be about the same size as your Sonata III's. They probably don't go down as far in the bass as your III's, but since you have a sub that probably doesn't matter.

I haven't heard any of their models myself.

-- Al
It would be tough to "improve" on the sound while stepping sideways in the same price bracket. You may get a different sound, but those are excellent speakers for the $. If it were me, and I were looking for something different, I'd look at Coincident (which I own) which would probably offer a more detailed picture rather than the slightly warm, rounded qualities I'd expect from the Sonatas (and I only mean that in a complementary way). Also Merlin. I'm assuming that you need to stick to something in the more sensitive range. There's also Reference 3A's flagship which sounded really great in several rooms at CES and RMAF....I think it was the Grand Veena. Plenty of others in that price bracket...of course look for something that suits your amp(?). If you don't need sensitivity then that stable of options increases in size dramatically. Another superb option in the more sensitive offerings would be Daedelus, though you may have to pony up the bones as they very rarely show up used. That certainly would also give you a very unique change in appearance. Lou's joinery is second to none - his speakers have a very hand made fine furniture look to them, in a very traditional sense. They are made entirely of solid woods. They are outstanding speakers which I've heard several times, both at the shows and at the Modwright showroom.

Have fun!
PS My response overlapped Almarg's input so I had not seen it at all when writing my own. I will therefore say that I 'second' the recommendation for Daedelus! Good suggestion! I have heard the DR-ma and they are outstanding, but as Almarg indicates, if you have expectations of the low end set by your Sonata III's you may be disappointed. The Ulysses are amazing, in every respect, but in another price bracket. I think Lou has a couple of in between options which I have not heard.
Thanks gentlemen.. very much.

you're mighty close on the IIIs sound there.

i had another thought or was just flat wondering about something in the PSB lineup. The Syncro top model, or the two towers offered in the platinum series, T6 & T8.

both were well visited by John Atkinson & Wes phillips, respectively quite recently. the Sync by JA, The Plats T8s by Wes Phillips. Both would be within my probable means.. if bought wisely.. or used.

i'm not above preowned, especially with speaks.

i feel I could get away with 90db units too. My former flags, the PC 10.5 Phase Techs at 87db 4-2ohm seem easily enough driven by the amps I own now.

'Course they ain't the IIIs either.... but power wise I think I'm ok there.

i dig... man do I dig... They've been atop the short short
list far too long now. They mean or command a stronger spirit and greater time period along with a favorable sale to acquire though.. Crap. oil well.

Thanks much so far folks, really.
Never heard Sonatas but I own PSB T-6s and am happy utilizing Naim components. A better value than the other two but sound is comparable. Fairly sensitive with good bass.
I don’t like the thought of losing the Esotar II tweeter
Have you considered anything in the dynaudio lineup since they manufacture the tweeter? My room is about the same size as yours and I love the Dyn C1's with my sub.
JM Reynaud Offrande are musical and emotive, a world class, darn near full range, speaker of small proportions

good luck
I forgot to mention the Reynaud is relatively easy to drive
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>>I like Philojet's JM Reynaud suggestion<<

I've no problem with it either... though of the two I actually could find something penned, the Concords interest me more.

I find nothing on the 25 XL, however. Likewise for the Dataless.

I'd' suspect these lines far more prevalent than what Google & yahoo are showing me.

you may look at: for Reynaud info or call and speak to Bob Neill (at Amherst Audio) he is knowledgable and a nice guy.
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Jim -- Here is the page at the Daedalus site that links to a number of reviews:

And here are links to Audiogon threads about their speakers:

Your searches may have been unsuccessful because (judging by your previous post) you may have been using voice recognition software, and it mis-transcribed "DAEDALUS" as "dataless."

Hope that helps,
-- Al

note... my prefs lean toward punchy rather than well, panel speaker like presentations.

Listening is done in the nearfield so I don't need a front row presentation either , but am not too fond of those rear of the hall types at all. The front quarter or possibly even third? Fine enough. That's doable.

Thanks.. very much.

I got the gist of things OK. Wonder why a'gon took that added link to redo prior to another posters comments away?

Thanks That should help a lot.

That's pretty perceptive chief. Actually what happens is my screen reader makes no distinction as to inoccuous spelling errors and speaks the word as is printed to me. If there is some uniqueness in it's spelling, such as this, it's on me to enlarge the screen and reverify visually the specific text to avoid such things, and I didn't.... this time. never gave it a second thought. It seemed so right as "DATALESS" & was exactly how I put it into the search engines. :-))

Until you pointed it out. Duh, Jim, how long you been doing this? My bad. I should have realized it too after six or eight trys. normally it only takes two or three before I'll look closer for it's proper name. hell, I usually just copy & paste. lol

This getting older business sure ain't for the youngsters.

reckon that's why they put it at the end so you can toughen up along the way.
This getting older business sure ain't for the youngsters. Reckon that's why they put it at the end so you can toughen up along the way.
That's pretty perceptive too, chief. Definitely gets the "best quotation of the week" award, and perhaps a nomination to Bartlett's Quotations.

Best regards,
-- Al
Thanks... but given the span of humanity I'll suppose someone else penned that one first.

reading the pages on the JMR speakers at the online site of Amhearst audio, just about makes your mouth water as you peruse the various levels in the JMR line. 3rd & 2nd from the top look very juicey. The RM 25 xl seems almost a no brainer for the $$$. Stereophile has placed the PSB Syncrony one on their class A speaker list. Datalus gets high praise too.

Looks like a guy could walk into a room with an offering from any one of these people and wind up not too bad off if at all.

Thanks. here comes the tuff part....


Seen the new price on the Bolero's?

I doubt they're that good.
Blindjim, I was told that the price was going up when I bought mine - but not THAT much, but as to value, I'm not so sure. If I had that kind of money to spend I really don't know what I'd spend it on other than the Boleros. I'm sure they are out there somewhere but they haven't got my name on them yet. Sounds like Alan is having some success and feels the increase is warranted. Note he hasn't changed or deleted them! I'm obviously very happy with mine - :-).
I'm very very happy for you. Really.

$4K more for essentially the same item is not a price hike or increase. Hoepfully some uber crazy X over goodies are inside bettering the previous ones somehow. otherwise it's simply not justified IMHO.... there's been no inflation! Ask the U.S. govt. tHEY'LL TELL YOU.

Rocky won't pony up 3% for a cost of living increase, let alone 33%, so Jim can get better speakers! Trust me... I asked him already. he did say he was trying to give it back to me in health care savings though. helluva nice guy ol' Rocky.

I'm thinking we need a Mulligan, on that last election.