Rega makes turntables...Go with the Neat’s. Also, I will say any speaker you can audition in person is a big plus. If it sounds good, it is good, feel the force J :-)
I have the RS3's which are the previous model and a size down from the RX5's. I have often thought of upgrading to the 5's but I can say the Rega speakers are very nice. I bought them new after owning the RS1 and I was not disappointed. They are so light, they only weigh a few pounds for a small floorstander, but I sold my B&W 684's, NHT 2.5i, and packed away my old Thiel CS1.2 and they Rega's are still there. They are so light because there is not much to them due to the "resonant-free" cabinet design, but they sound very natural and non-fatiguing. They sound good with Tube or Solid-State, and they have excellent resolution. I don't know anything about the Neat and I'm sure they are very fine speakers, but I would not write the Rega's off without hearing them.
Like a couple of posters above, I would go for the Neat, although they are extremely detailed and can be viewed as a little on the "clinical" side.
However, matching them with the right speaker cables will pay huge dividends in SQ ans smoothness.
Harbeth seems to have a huge following, but I have never heard a pair so I cannot comment.
I know even less about the DeVore's - again no comment.
I'm a great believer in trusting my ears, so if the dealer will let you bring in your amp and speaker cables in order to audition all of the speakers mentioned i would go that route.
Hope that helps - Steve
Yes. He had my tube amp there. It sounded great but DeVore 96 sounded the best by far. Truth be told, my wife said the DeVore is out because it's "ugly" she thinks the Neats are much better looking.
Unfortuately she does get a say in my decision ;) for $10k I just wonder if I can find something better than the Neat that also is visually appealing to the wife
Other speakers you might consider...
- Gershman Acoustics (Toronto, Canada)
- Pro Ac
I have a pair Gershman Acoustic Sonogram speakers and they are the last pair of speakers i will own. My listening space is 15.5 x 24 ft with another 16 ft of other space behind for a total of 40 ft.
They fill that void with ease and produce an image that envelopes the listener.
They are as detailed and dynamic as the Neat, but without the clinical aspect.
Another model I like is the GA-P - stunning to look at and performs a little better than the Sonograms, but not worth the extra $$$ for me to make the jump.
I've also tried theri Avante Garde - but they sounded no better than the Sonograms.
I think the Pro-Ac and Kudos are both excellent value. The Kudos are better for the smaller listening space and produce an amazing amount of bass for their size.
Pro-Ac are very natural sounding, but like the Sonograms they are very plain to look at.- a big box
Lastly the Tannoy line are something quite different - I'm not one to recommend a speaker that does one thing well, but in Tannoy's case they are the exception.
If you listen to a lot of Jazz Vocal - specifically female vocal, then you'll probably fall for the larger Tannoy models. Any of Prestige line will impress and as a (Tannoy Dealer) Friend says - "They are generally the last speaker people buy from us". The term "In The Room" is frequently used by people listening to these speakers for the first time.
Diana Krall has never sounded so good :-)
The do produce other genres of music very well also, but they excel at vocals and they are extremely easy to drive.
I've listened to several models in his store and in every space from 12 ftt deep to 30ft deep these speakers sound amazing. The just seem to melt away the walls.
I even listened to them at his hi-fi show auditioning suite that was some 25 ft square with just a sofa and the system and everyone (includuing me) that went in there were very impressed.
There are some other more modern looking speakers in the lineup, but for me the Prestige are the best bang for the buck - especially if you can find them on the resale market - but they appear infrequently and when they do they are are not there for long.
Perhaps the only little "detail" with most of the tannoy line that uses the concentric driver - their image is best when they are toe'd in such that their centre line crosses just in front of the listener.
BTW - I have Tannoy Mercury speakers for my AV system
That's about it - hope it helps
Don't think Gershman have a dealer in Texas - but email them and see where the nearest dealer is
Here are some results of a google - austin, texas "speaker brand"
Kudos, Neat, Rega
Some high end stores
Hope they help