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’ll second the motion for Monitor Audio Gold 100’s, I’ve got them and love them, but they are designed with a small room in mind, yours might be too big.  It helps too that they are beautiful.

Here's a short update. Yesterday I visited a local dealer that carries a few of the speakers that I wanted to listen that are on my list (and some that weren't), and updated a few things. Please note I am not great with flowery expressions, or technical descriptions:

(1) Got a nice commission check yesterday I wasn't expecting, so raised my maximum price to $5,000 a pair

(2) Confirmed that I do not like Focal speakers, just don't do it for me emotionally when listening; always felt like I was listening to a pair of speakers (if that makes sense)

(3) Eliminated the Dynaudio Evoke 20, if I buy Dynaudio it will be the Special 40 or Contour 20 (if I can find them on a sale). All I can say is "damn Gina", these speakers are amazing. Big sound stage, can move around and still have some semblance of "seated postition" audio. Bass was very fast/punchy if not deep, mids are incredible, and tweeter was just a touch bright but very detailed.

(4) Triangle Comete 40th anniversary stays on the list. I didn't get too long to audition these, as my time ran out.....was only able to get 4 or 5 tracks from Supertramp Crime of the Century, but wow wow

(5) Audio Physic Step Plus need some listening.....just hearing their demo tracks, great sound stage, almost couldn't pinpoint the speakers with my eyes shut; but didn't have true listening time

(6) Dali Rubicon and Epicon. Epicon is a phenominal speaker, but above the new price range.....Rubicon was outclassed by the Dyanaudio and Tringle speakers for same of less money

More listening ahead as I'm going to another dealer tomorrow, and met a guy who has the Buchardt S400 MkIIs and Sierra 2EX in his setups and he invited me for a listen

Definitely avoid the Harbeths with that music preference. 

I’ll never understand why some spouses insist on stand-mounts when floorstanders often take up the same or even smaller footprint. 

Try to audition some Tannoy Eatons. You can say, “honey, they are technically stand-mounts.” 



given the need for smallish standmounted speakers, are subwoofers in the cards with wifey?