As much as I am not a fan of them the B&W nautulis 805's are about the best sounding moniter I have ever heard. My statement about not liking them is simply because I don't like the local dealer, it has nothing to do with the product. Great bass and imaging for the size of the speakers, and can be found sometimes used for about what you are looking to spend. Good luck and happy hunting.
Sticking to the B&W theme, I owned the Matrix 805's (predecessor to the Nautilus recommended above) for years without a sub and never noticed the lack of bass. They are often for sale used here for around $800. They are simply fabulous monitor speakers. Of the ones you listed, I like the ProAc's the best; I now own the Response 1SC's and they are also fantastic, but more money than the Matrix or the Nautilus or the Tablette's.
I recently setup Spendor S3/5s in a 14x16x9 study, where the speakers must be less than ideally place along a long wall. Rogue Tempest Magnum and Audio Aero Prima completed the sysem. Now I listen to this setup more than my main system.
Sorry I can't compare the Spendor's to any of the speakers on your list because I haven't heard them. But if you put a premium on musicality and low listener fatique, the Spendor "Classic" line is tough to been IMHO.
Check out Herb Reichert's review on enjoythemusic.com: "...I am getting old, I've been around the audio block a few times and I think this $900 (!!!) loudspeaker is going to end up as one of the small handful true audio classics. What it doesn't do is play loud or play bass notes below 70-80Hz. What it does do, which is deliver superbly transparent, extremely detailed, authentic sounding music playback -- it does better than any small speaker I have ever heard -- period! Yes. You heard me right. My use of the word "any" includes speakers like Wilson's "Watt", the ProAc Responses and Tablettes, the Sonus Faber Concertos ..."
a used pair of linn tukans, if you're serious about musicality before detail and all of that. they're wonderful little monitors, and they put out a surprising amount of bass.
Just to be different (and because I think they are really great speakers) I'll recommend something already on your list - the SR-15s. I own the SR-17s and use them in a 13.6 x 13.6 x 8 bedroom. Silverline makes a wonderfully balanced speaker, it is forgiving of placement, and fairly efficient, to boot. I love mine.
My office is the same dimensions as your new listening room. I used a pair of Totem Rokk's for a while, nice speaker. I'm now using Proac Tablette 2000's with a Linn Classik and results are terrific. Good stands make a real difference regardless of which monitor you select, try to keep that in mind as you budget for your speaker acquisition.
I'll second Jeffloistarca regarding stands. No matter which of these terrific monitors you choose, you'll absolutely need a pair of high-quality stands factored into the equation.
I posted a thread a few weeks ago which was very similar. I just moved into a 10' X 12' listening room and was looking for a compatible pair of speakers.
I was hoping that I might be able to get by with a smaller pair of Maggies, like the MG12's. With this small of a room, it would have had some significant trade-offs, so I decided to concentrate on a small monitor that can be placed relatively close to the wall.
Some of the recommendations included the following:
Totem Model 1
ACI Sapphire (I'd love to hear these)
Audio Physic Step
I ended up with a pair of Aerial Acoustics Model 5's. I just got them about a week ago, so I'm still working on finding the optimal placement (plus I'm waiting for a pair of Osiris stands that I ordered from Avalon Audio Video - $299 shipped!!), but they work EXTREMELY well and are VERY musical. Huge soundstage, detail without being bright or forward, and they don't seem to be too finicky about placement.
Your system allows you to have a LOT of flexibility in selecting a speaker - lots of power and current - nice warm tube preamp. I haven't heard the ACI's or the Piega's. Between the remainder on your list, I would have to give the nod (by a good margin) to the Totem Model 1, followed by the Silverline then the ProAc. I've never been a big fan of Monitor Audio speakers - not sure what it is, but they just don't sound very musical to these ears.
The good news is that you've got a lot of great choices. Have some fun and don't be swayed by others pushing their opinions. You're the one who will ultimately be living with the system. If a speaker sounds good to you (in YOUR room with YOUR equipment), that's all that matters.
You might want to consider the Soliloquy 5.0s also.
Though they do not require anywhere near as much power as the Bryston provides you may want to consider the Reynaud Twins with a "good" set of 28" stands. They will provide planer like mids along with greater dynamics than the Maggies. Don't let the low retail price fool you as I found them comparable to the Silverline SR17's which are three times the price. I do also recommend the SR17's if they can be had used or @ a good discount. The Twin's are also tube friendly in the event that you ever wish to go this route. I have been running mine in a larger room with 7 watts per channel. With either speaker do not skimp on the stands though if you want to get the best out of them.
I'm a big fan of time and phase coherent speakers. The first time I heard a pair of speakers that were time and phase coherent was also the first time I thought that reproduced music sounded real. I would look for a pair of used Spica TC-50's or 60's. Also the small Thiel's and Vandersteen's. The Thiel 1.5's are also beautiful speakers to look at. Which never hurts. Good luck
My choice would be the Pro-Ac 1-SC's. I just sold a pair of B&W 802's and used a pair of Tablette's in the short term with a 15 inch Velodyne and I was so impressed with the sound that I bought a pair of Pro-Ac 1-SC's and use them with the Velodyne. What a system. I would only use Pro-Ac's with tube electronics and that's my two cents worth. Will
Agree with makersmark on the Thiel CS1.5 recommendation. I have the CS1.5 in a 16x18' room with cathedral ceilings. I had them in a much larger room that did nothing for their sound. In your room size, they sould be fantastic. There are two complaints often seen in threads regarding the Thiel line, 1.) Thiels are power hungry (1.5s are 84db/w/m) you have this solved, I am using a Bryston BP60R to power them. 2.) They are bright or forward, your pre will solve this! Other than that, absolutley fantastic!!! Should be a perfect match for your current needs.
I've owned most of the big name speakers at one time or another (Thiel, Magnepan, Avalon, Legacy, Spica and Proac. Although I enjoyed all of these different speakers, but none had ever made me think that I got the deal of the century in terms of sound per dollar, based on what I paid for them.
Recently I acquired a pair of AV Reality Avinci One speakers based solely on the fact that their drivers were something you usually see in $3500+ monitors , not $1000, which is what they cost.
To say that I am overwhelmed by this little speaker is putting it mild. They are very integrated, they image as good as anything that has come my way, they have a very smooooth treble, and they have the lowest bass I've ever heard from a monitor speaker bar none! Downsides? Their sensitivity is on the low side, requiring a bit of power to really rock. That's it, in my opinion.
The designer of this speaker company has quite an interesting background in that he was a driver designer for a large speaker driver company (I think possibly Vifa). He has some obvious insights into the "little things" that make first rate speaker drivers. Many of his speakers use modified versions of top of the line drivers from Vifa. (To me, it's like buying a seriously tweaked Ferrari directly from the head mechanic of the factory Ferrari race team.) His speakers are an unprecedented value in terms of drivers and crossover materials.
As an Electrical Engineer myself who has been deeply involved in high end audio for over twenty years, I still can't figure out how AV Reality can bring this level of speaker to market for $1000. The retail cost on the components alone is close to $800!
I strongly suggest that you consider this monitor before AV Reality gets wise, and realizes that they can charge 100% more for these speakers (and probably increase their sales too). It's funny (and unfortunate) how most audiophiles don't take a product seriously until it costs an arm and a leg, and has multi-thousand dollar ad campaign, (which of course, drives the product's price even higer).
Just following up on the Thiel thing.If that's your cup o' tea fine.I like a brite speker but not that brite.I just got a set of Audio PhysicSparks for a buddy.For the $2-2.5K list they deliver with mids have bass and don't take up much more space than a pair o' monitors in hight and would be slimmer.Have had B&W's in past and think the Nautilus a are a few steps ahead and maybe a step back w/the 805's (bass is a little "woofy").Matrix wouldbe cheaper and nice.Like the little Joseph RM 7's signatures with it's crossover design.I would recomend my little Odoen model 17's.Horn loaded without the horn coloration.I think they kick butt even on the AP Sparks I recommended which I have siutting next to them waiting for a freind who wanted a pair to pick them up after I founf them.They are B class Stereophile but think mine just kick crap out of 'em.Also think of a nice ste of Totems.Good bang for the buck.Proac was a good suggestion too.Base it all as well on the fact that your Bryston is a brite.Good for B&W not so good for Thiel.
Correction to my last post, I think that the guy used to work for Scan Speak (not Vifa).
Oh yeah.Stands.Sound Anchors.Call owner Bob warzalla and pick his ample brain.I think he ended up knowing more about certain speakers than tyhe companies that desiged them.
They blew away my Concertos. Very natural and open sounding. They really get with the music in a very cool way. They also are built to the 9999s and look totally cool.
Don't forget JMlab speakers...
I ended up with the dirt cheap, mass-market Polk RT35i after extensive home listening of these much more expensive models: B&W CDM 1NT, Sonus Faber Concertino, and Triangle Zephyrs xs.
I was using the Polks as a temporary measure but decided to use them for good. The Polks had less detail but awesome soundstage and imaging. They turned out to be much more fun and musically involving. No fatigue at all. The Concertinos were as much fun, but are quite inefficient. Also, they may not go too well with Bryston amp.
Saved a bunch of money and no more overly analytical listening. I just sit down and enjoy total immersion in the music. They are widely available. Or, if you can risk $10 for shipping, get them at Crutchfield and try them for 30 days. They provide excellent serivce and free, no-hassle returns.
You may want to reconsider getting a sub, even my tiny Velodyne CHT-8 added a richness and fullness that really fills out the music.
No audiophile snob appeal, just pure music fun and savings.
Audio Refinement Complete integrated
Sony DVP-NS500V DVD/SACD/CD player
DH Labs interconnects
Analysis Plus speaker cables
I have a room similar in size to yours. I'm using ProAc Tablette 50 Signatures with a tube pre and SS amp like you, though mine are the Blue Circle BC21 and BC22. Those little ProAcs sound very big and very satisfying in my 12 x 13 room. Your 4B-ST is probably way more than you'll ever need, but the musical nature of the big Bryston I feel will compliment most any speaker you end up choosing.
Although you say you can do without low bass, I've found I have to run my Tab 50s with a sub for best results. I think the monitors disappear better in my room when using a sub, and the extra low extension adds impact and realism. Maybe a slightly bigger monitor like the ProAc Response 2 would give you adequate bass without needing a sub. There have been some popping up used on Audiogon recently.
Wonderful, simply marvelous. Oh yeh, they can rock when you want. The kind of sound you can listen to all day. One of the nicest, most detailed and layered images you'll find. Highly recommended!
Once again, I'm going to suggest the Coincident Triumph Signature UHS. I've owned monitors from B&W and Dynaudio, but these thrill me more than the others did. Maybe it was because my expectations were lower due to their reasonable price. I was, and still continue to be, pleasantly surprised. Another super value is the Osiris speaker stands. You want find a better stand for the price.