Need Help Matching to This System To Speakers

New member here, and I would like some assistance on bookshelf speakers to match a "mostly" new system I have put together over the past year. I am looking to spend between $2,000 and $4,000 for a pair of bookshelfs.....This is only a 2 channell audio set up. It will be a new system, in a new first floor remodel. I will have the tube and solid state amps to drive the single set of speakers.

I am an engineer, and have over researched the subject and am now completely moved to "inaction" by an overwhelming list of speakers. The speakers MUST be bookshelfs, as that was my agreement with my wife when she agreed to all of the new equipment and cable purchases.....the Thiel CS3.6 speakers have already been sold. Something I never wanted to do. I will be adding a REL T/5X or T/7X sub as well.

My listening tastes are classic rock, 80/90s new age rock, southern rock, blues, old school rap, some country, some grunge, some newer rock, etc. I do not listen to classical, jazz, opera, orchestra, etc. Well recorded (if possible) is just as important to me. You are likely to find me listening to Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Radiohead, Gorillaz, REM, Black Keys, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Tom Petty, Gary Clark Jr. Chris Stapleton, Little Feat, Alice in Chains, NWA, Eminem. My listening style has changed over the last 15 years, I do not tend to listen at high volumes....enough to fill the space is sufficient for me. I'd like to listen more often, not louder.

My listening area is 12' x 20' with 8' ceilings in a relatively open floor plan, with a sitting position about 8.5' from the speakers, open concept room with hardwood floors. It will have couches/chairs/curtains/area rugs/ but doubt wife will go for acoustic treatments. I will be placing the speakers 12" to 18" at most from the front wall.

Suggestion on speakers is welcome, and hopefully I've done a good job with associated equipment; I found some great information on these threads. Also AXPONA is here is Chicago this year, so I may get to listen to some of these speakers. Thank you in advance for your constructive input.

Speakers on my too large list: Ascend Sierra 2EX, Buchardt S400 MkII, Philharmonic BMR, Triangle 40th Anniversary Comete, Dynaudio Evoke 20 and Special 40, ProAc Tablette 10 Signature, Xavian Perla, Amphion Argon 3S, Totem Sky or Signature 1, Arendal 1723, Tannoy Autograph Mini, Spendor Classic 4/5, Harbeth 7ES-3 XD, Paradigm Founders 40B, ????

NOT a fan of B&W, Klipsch, Focal, Def Tech, Polk, B&O, KEF, ELAC, JBL.

Components: NuPrime AMG-STA Amp, Denafrips Pontus II DAC, Onkyo C-7030 CD Player, Denafrips Hestia Pre-Amp, Tubes4HiFi VTA ST-120 Tube Amp (KT120 Tubes), Bluesound Node (3?) Streamer, Schiit Magni Headphone Amp, Sennheiser HD599 Headphones, Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner, Dedicated 20AMP 120V Circuit - Furutech FPX Gold Wall Sockets

Cables: Pangea Audio AC-9 SE MkII Cables (Power Amps) & AC14-SE MkII Cables (Signal Components), Morrow Audio MA-4 Analog Co-Ax Pairs, MA-4 Analog XLR Pairs, DIG 4 Digital Co-Ax Singles, ANTICABLES Level 3.1 Reference Speaker Wires, Wireworld Chroma 8 Ethernet & Starlight 8 USB, Supra Cat 8 Ethernet, Oyaide Neo USB D+, KableDirect TOSLINK Professional Optical Digital


I know you said you didnt like Klipsch,  Skip the Reference series which are the bookshelfs as those are Chinese made products just like the Tannoy you have listed.   Based on your listening taste and much of the bands I like , the fact that you have Tube Amp, the fact that you will listen at lower volumes.  The Heresys or Fortes from Klipsch will be perfect but not bookshelf.  If you arent blown away at low volumes on Klipsch Heritage line I would be shocked.    If you could fit the Heresy I would

@vthokie83, "here in Chicago" you say? If you're in Chicago, surely you must have heard of Music Direct? They may not have exactly the pieces of equipment you have in your system and, admittedly, auditioning equipment at home is always the best scenario. However, I'm certain, with the proper preparation and communication prior to an audition in one of their sound rooms, they could come very close to replicating the sound characteristics of your equipment in order to provide you with a fair audition of the speakers they sell. They also have a very generous return policy. If I lived in or anywhere near Chicago and was in the market for new stereo toys, that would certainly be one, if not my first, stops. I would communicate with one of their salespeople prior to scheduling any audition, describe your intended listening room with them in detail, including your intended speaker placement options, and tell them what you're after. I'm certain they could provide your ears with quite an education. If you've over researched, then I assume you are aware the speaker stands will be almost as important as the bookshelf speakers themselves, assuming you plan on placing them on stands. If not, this presents a whole host of other variables. Also, as jss49 points out, why dismiss the possibility of slim or any other floor-standers? Bookshelf speakers on stands take up virtually the same space. Is this a WAF aesthetics concern? If so, I fully understand the futility of negotiating on this with SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED!

For the type of musical preferences you've disclosed, some of the bookshelf speakers I would recommend serious seat-time with are Aerial Acoustics; Dali; Revel; Wharfedale; JBL; McIntosh and Martin Logan, just to name a few.

Good Luck and Good Hunting!

For myself, the only potential “advantage” of a small stand mounted speaker without full bass extension ability can be their ability for ultra detail & disappearing act ( often due to potentially less cabinet resonance s) which many hold in very high regard. I do t think they take up much less floor area or in room notice ability than a tall thin floor standing speaker. Often because of their stands, can be obtrusive than one continuous nice looking, quality furniture grade box. 

Give Jim Salk a call and describe what you are looking for; I'm sure something in his current catalog will meet your needs (plus you can't beat how they look).