Candidates I'm looking into:
* Salk spkrs (Songbirds, SongTowers)
* Aerial Model 6
* Totem - Staff, Hawk?
* Selah speakers - don't know much about them
Would love to hear other folks' solutions to this??
The Selahs I've heard are lovely, though 2500 might not get you into the floor standers.
Fritz Carbon 7s excellent, and should hit your price point.
North Creek another lovely choice you could probably make work with a bit of assembly.
Fritz Carbon 7s are bookshelves. Trying to get away from stands .... looks and stability reasons.
How far out from the wall is acceptable? Will you consider Pre-owned?
The Aerial 6's are wonderful if you have the power to drive them. Alternatively, the Spendor S5e/A5 is very nice and a little easier to drive. I've owned them both.
Gallo Reference 3.1s - available here for approx. $1800/pr. gntly used. Much better than any of the speakers listed so far...
Check out a pair of Ariel 8's that are for sale here. I used to have a pair of Audio Physic Tempo 3's. They are a nice looking floor standing speaker that sound great and are also for sale on this site.
A used pair of audio physic virgos would be nice
Check out the Dali Helicon 400. Easy to listen to, a little warmth, musical. Not an analytical, high detail speaker.
I think the mk Is look a litle nicer with the grille cloths extending to the floor. Finish is very nice high gloss cherry or rosewood.
The Dali's are sweet. High WAF, at least in my house..
Perhaps the Usher 6311...Nice design, various color choices and finish, and musical sound that can play loud and deep.
For WAF I suggest a speaker with a sloped baffle such as Thiel. I have owned three speakers my wife approved of; Thiel 1.5. Thiel 1.6 and Meadowlark Kestrel IIs.
She actually once commented on how nice the Thiel 1.6s looked in the living room. I couldn't believe my ears as she never mentions the stereo except to say it doesn't match her decor. The sloped baffles make them less intrusive, according to my wife.
As for sound quality, I prefer speakers with time aligned drivers and simple, 1st-order crossovers.
Used Totem Forests will be well within your budget. Check the reviews. Super high WAF. Great for your kind of listening. Bewarned -- they require powerful amps.
My amp is Emotiva UPA-2, 125w/ch @8ohms. Since I listen at modest levels I don't think I need more.
Far from the wall? I would say 2 ft or less.
I would definitely consider preowned, as long as they are cosmetically clean ... again the WAF. : )
Those Aerial 6s look nice. I like nice lean lines, with nice veneer work.
The Totems look nice as well (Forest or Hawk?). Unfortunately it's hard for me to audition any of these so I might have to just wing it.
Forests do well close to the wall, and 125w/ch at modest levels is probably okay.
For that price I'd consider Focal 816v speakers, but here's my main advice.
Narrow your search to two or three speakers that you like the sound of and then give her the final choice. In my case, I let my wife choose the finish and she hasn't complained a single time since I brought them home. The key is to give your wife some ownership in the choice that is made.
I would add Vienna to the list. Probably not the best choice for rock though.
I would do it the other way around. Ask your wife to give you two/three choices and make the final choice yourself. Because it should be yours.
Fritz Carbon 7s are bookshelves.
I'm pretty sure Fritz builds them as towers as well. If you like the sound, give him a call.
Upscale Audio in SoCal has new (but discontinued) Opera Secondas listed at $2K on the "specials" section of their website. These are sorta Sonus Faber wannabes, and I doubt you'll score higher on the WAF side of the equation at $2K.
OTOH, I can't really speak to how they sound. The brand has a decent rep in general, but I've never heard this particular model.
Oh, and Totem Hawks are very nice (and small), but the Forests are definitely better IMHO.
A used pair of Merlin VSMs - beautiful in piano black and bass performance (with the BAM) that belies is small footprint.
Do you know what you wife likes or dislikes about the way speakers look? It might surprise you. My wife hates the "V" look on my Focal's, but it's fairly hidden in black which is a big part of why she chose that finish.
She doesn't like the techno look ... weird shapes, etc. I think she'd divorce me if I brought home some Gallos! : )
Speakers with attractive veneerwork, that blend into the living room. Thus, a modest size that doesn't dominate the room in appearance.
The Salks come to mind, as do the Totems. I'll have to come up with a handful (5-10) of candidate pictures to show her and have her give me feedback.
I'll post my results. : )
The Fritz Carbon 7s ... I didn't know they were available as towers! I'll check on that.
Albireo, had you tried draping a nice doiley over each one? Otherwise, perhaps Mapman has not yet sold out his "festive colorful speaker ornaments with the cascading plumes". See his thread titled "this is no joke".
Now you know how to divorce her if you want it at some point. She should like the look and sound of Vienna; why do you think they sell so many speakers?
Devore Super 8 is a nicely made speaker. My wife liked the looks of those over most I've owned. Thankfully she understands that I enjoy this hobby and doesn't try to control my decisions.