Looking for Speaker Thoughts


First post...

I am in the market for a new set of speakers for my desktop/nearfield system. I have limited ability to audition anything. Current setup is a pair of KEF R100's on stands behind my desk approximately 5.5 feet from my listening spot. Speakers are three feet from any room boundary. Currently being driven by a Schiit Vidar amp and are supplemented by a small SVS sub.   

The R100's sound decent at lower volumes but tend to fall apart at higher listening levels IMO. I also find the tweeter to be harsh on some material. 

Looking in the $1,000 to $2,000 range and am currently considering the following:

Dynaudio Evoke 10
Dynaudio Evoke 20
Buchardt Audio S300
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2EX
Revel Performa3 M105
Revel Performa3 M106
Quad S2
KEF LS50
ATC SCM 11

I like a slightly forward sound that still has a lot of depth to it. Good soundstage and tonality. Something non fatiguing. I do listen to a broad spectrum of music and formats, often in the same setting. Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.
krkalino67
You probably would like the Dali's too. They are tuned to give detail at low listening volumes though.  If you want to play loud, you want something more flat, perhaps Monitor Audio.
If you don't like a harsh/non fatiguing tweeter, I would stay away from ribbons.
My 2 cents.
B
I have experience with several of these speakers (and a few similar models), so here are my thoughts on how they sounded in my 12x15 living room with decent solid state amplification:

1. Dynaudio - haven’t tried the Evoke series, but I have always found Dynaudio tweeters to be smooth and non-fatiguing (based the X12, X14, and Special 40). Their bookshelf speakers tend to have a big bass response which may make it a bit difficult to blend with a subwoofer (although I’m just guessing on this).

2. Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2 - I didn’t have the EX model. I loved the Raal tweeter in this speaker. However, I didn’t feel that the woofer was at the same level of detail and clarity. It appears that the EX model addresses this, so I have a feeling that this would be an excellent speaker with great imaging.

3. Revel Performa3 M105 and M106 - I tried them both and really liked the M105. The M106 was too boomy in my room. Even thought the specs are fairly similar, the M106 seemed to have much more bass. The M105 was crystal clear and never got ruffled. Ultimately, I felt that the Revel sound appealed more to my analytical audiophile side than to my music loving side, if that makes any sense. I just didn’t feel quite as connected to the music with the Revel, but they are technically flawless, as far as I could tell. It’s the upstream gear that makes the difference with these.

4. Quad S2 - my favorite of the bunch. The ribbon tweeter on these is the best tweeter I’ve heard among the sanely priced bookshelf speakers I’ve tried. Incredible imaging and no harshness. My only reservation about them is the Kevlar woofer. It was clean and clear, but it didn’t quite capture the tonality of instruments as well as some of the other speakers that I tried. I’m not a fan of Kevlar drivers in general, so it may just be a personal taste issue more than any flaw with the speakers.

5. KEF LS50 - I liked a lot of things about these, but I just couldn’t really get them dialed in. I brought them to a friend’s house, and we listened to them on a high-end system with an ARC pre/power combo and a Pass phono stage. They sounded amazing in that set up, which is a testament to the quality of the speaker. However, on my 100-ish WPC integrated, they just didn’t live up to the hype.

Hope some of my experience helps. As always, the only way to really know is to hear them in your system with your gear. Several of these speakers are sold online with a 30-60 day return policy (I just noticed Quad is now available at Crutchfield), so you can find out how they work in your room with your system and your ears.

Good luck, and have fun!
Scott
No comment on any on your list but I'd suggest adding Harbeth P3esr to the list. 
I own a pair of Quad S2s. Nothing harsh about the ribbon tweeters as smrex13 says. Possibly not as forward as you would like, but pretty much fit your requirements otherwise. Good bass for a small speaker.
I think Nola Boxers pretty much check all your boxes nicely and will come in at the lower end of your price range if you can find a good used pair.  Used Best of luck. 
Appreciate all the input. Have been giving the LS50 a workout in my system. Would agree with your comments smrex. Also have a pair of the Buchardt's. Much prefer over the KEF's. Fantastic support from the CEO as well. We'll see. Have 30 days to decide. Thanks again.

There is a convincing video on YouTube that compares the ATC SCM 11 and the Buchardt S400. He kept saying how the ATC was liquid and open without any harshness and preferred them to the Buchardt.

This has me chomping at the bit as I own the S400 and really like them but you know how this hobby is...
The kef r300 adds a woofer to a similar if not identical uniq driver.