Need help upgrading speakers........

Hi everyone, I'm in the market for a new pair of speakers and thought I'd solicit some advice from fellow 'Goners. First the system:

Theta Data Basic transport
Cal Audio Alpha Dac
Audible Illusions M3A
Quicksilver M60's
Tice Solo line conditioner
Illuminations D-60 digital cable
Yamamura /Synergistic Research cables

I also have an Audio Research D200 amp but am currently not using it.

I've had Vandersteen 2CE's in this system for many years and have enjoyed them, but am ready to upgrade. I've listened to Virgo II's, Joseph RM22's, and Proac Future .5's. All are pretty good, all are very different.

Music tastes run from americana and blues to bluegrass and jazz and probably everything in between.

Any thoughts or suggestions on ideas for speaker upgrades are welcome and appreciatted.

Thanks in advance,

I had the Virgo II and III's. The II's are a great all time speaker but they do lack a little in bass extension and are a little wolly there with the midbass hump....saying that I really did enjoy them and they certainly are a nice upgrade from the Vandies.

The III's are bright thin and incoherent... well I didn't like them that much so I sold them and bought a Kayak...

I now have the JTM's with the full range jordan driver and they are a nice step up all around from the Audio Physics....They sound great with my 18watts of tube and that Quicksilver would be magic with them>
I do like the "airy", effortless sound of Joseph Audio products...that being said...Vandie 2s really are the speaker to beat...any chance u could send them in for an upgrade?
Had you thought about recabling to bring the Vandys to life.Give the Mapleshades a listen.Money back if it doesn't float your boat.Or a pair of Gallos?I know of the Due {DO-A},but there is another model up N' coming-soon.Might be able to help ,if heading one of these directions.
Thanks for the responses. I guess the time to upgrade the Vandies would have been before I sold them! Seriously, I did think about upgrading but decided that I'd like to try something new. The Vandies really had rather limited transparency and were somewhat difficult for the Quicksilvers to drive.
Does anyone have insight as to the differences between the Audio Physic Virgo II and the III?

Before I start giving you advice, let me ask you a few questions that might help you answer your own question!

(1) What did you NOT like about the Vandy 2CE? OR, did you just get bored looking @ them so you are making a change for the sake of a change?
[[Good sound is hard to get & when you get it, it should be cherished! Many people change only to regret it later. Change for the sake of change leads them from pillar to post searching for audio nirvana when they already had it but didn't recognize it!]]

(2) Are you a laid-back speaker kind of guy or a in-your-face speaker kind of guy?

(3) Do you listen loud?
Some people like speakers that can play loud & peel the paint off the walls! Are you such a person?

(4) How big is your room? Do you have flexibility to move speaker positions to optimize sound &/or correct any boomy bass that might result?

(5) Can you elaborate on your words: "I've listened to Virgo II's, Joseph RM22's, and Proac Future .5's. All are pretty good, all are very different"?
I mean compare & contrast them as best as your aural memory will let you.

Answers to these will help narrow the field of potential speakers. Thanks!

Thanks for the thoughtful response and questions. I'll try to answer in order:

1) I really like the Vandies, but yes I got sick of looking at them. More than that though, after listening to other speakers (specifically the Audio Physic and Proac) I realized the Vandies shortcomings in terms of transparency and image focus.

2) I would say I more of a "laid back" speaker kind of guy.

3) I do like listening loud. Not all the time, but frequently will listen at fairly loud levels (ie: live)

4) My room is good sized, about 12' x 22' and a lot of flexibility in terms of placement.

5) In terms of comparing the speakers, I felt the Josephs were a little dry or thin sounding, but after some extended listening I warmed up to them. I like the Proac Future 1's the best of anything I've heard (I haven't heard a lot), but I think they are out of my price range. The Future .5's are a bit more affordable but just don't quite give the low end definition I like. I liked how the Virgos sounded as well, they seem warm, smooth and transparent, probably the most transparent of the bunch.

I guess the bottom line is there are a lot of speakers that I've not had the chance to listen to yet that get good reviews and might work. Names that come to mind are Coincident and Aerial and I'm sure there are many more. I'm just looking for some direction towards a synergistic combination with my existing equipment. My price range is probably $2500-4000.

Thanks again,

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the replies, which makes things a bit easier.
My speaker preferences are somewhat opposite to yours (!) so it might be hard to make good recommendations i.e. it is likely that a non-so laid back speaker will creep into the list!

* Pro-Ac (as you already know). How about the Pro-Ac Response 2.5 & 3.8. I've heard people rave about them.
* Ribbon tweeter based speakers (to *my* ears) are more laid back than metal & even silk dome speakers. So, how about this new Croatian company VMPS? Website:
There are several models to chose within your budget. End-users seem to like their sound a lot. if you search on google you should be able to find reviews.
* Dynaudio: Contour S3.4 (current), 1.3SE (recently discontinued)
* This Estonian company Audes ( From their Credo Line "Soul" or "Jazz". I believe that the Jazz is reviewed in S'phile Jun 03 mag.
* Meadowlark: Kestrel II & Osprey. ( These are time coherent speakers much like the Vandys. Beautiful cabinets & from what I read, good sound too. They are transmission line speakers so placement in your room will be critical so that bass is not boomy.

If I think of more, I'll let you know. Thanks!
Well, I still haven't bought anything but listened to the new Thiel 2.4's yesterday which I liked a lot. Has anyone A/B'd them against the 2.3's? There are a few 2.3's for sale on A'gon and I'm wondering if they are worth the extra $$$$$.

Any helpis appreciated,