With your size room, the B&W805's should be wonderful.
By the way, whatever bass wave that has a 7' wave may play havic with your room. If so, if possible, you may want to completely line the 14' wall with bookcases to "change" the room dimensions to 13X16X7. .... Just a thought.
Revel Ultima Gems or Performa M20s depending on budget.Matched with Revel subs thisis awesome.
A used pair of Platinum Solo's on stands would image well in the nearfield and for a room your size when sitting back from them still sound great. The bass is unbelievable for the size. I feel the bass is truly deserving of special mention as you specified that as a desired attribute. This speaker has been periodically appearing on Audiogon, and is a "sleeper." Currently using in my second system with enjoyment. However, when I feel the need for an almost sub-woofer sized bass "fix" I have my transmission line heavyweights in another room. Appearance is fine for the Platinum Solo's making them household friendly, too.
Sorry my buget is around $1000.00 preferably used.
I'd buy a pair of used Dynaudio Contour 1.1's. They're relatively easy to place, very modest in size, attractive, and they sound great. Imaging is a strength, and they sound good across a large array of musical genres. I listen to lots of rock, jazz and vocals. They'll surprise you with their low end, though later adding a nice sub is always an option.
Meadowlark Swallow. Much less than $1k new. Nice sound. Good design. Not big. Solid hardwoods and nice appearance. High WAF. You could probably get the factory stands and the speakers as a package from a dealer for $1k. Speakers retail for $799 and stands for $249. It's a nice looking package that performs better than the price would indicate.
I was looking into the Swallows, my local dealer is "supposed" to sell Meadowlark but has none in stock?? I think he's getting out of the market. I've wanted to hear all the Meadowlark speakers, they look to be a nice design with a small footprint.
LINN TUKANS (approx $600 used) and a REL Strata ($900 used) down the road. Be sure your amp can take these 4 ohm monitors.
Revel M 20s on Sistrum Mini Monitor Support Platforms.
A friend of mine sold his 2ce's to get something better looking and got the Platinum Solo's mentioned above. They work fine and he does not miss the 2ces much. I have heard them also and liked what I heard. They need a good ss amp to work their best. I would have gottem them myself when I sold my 2ce's (also because of their looks) but I needed to go to a speaker that could be placed close to the wall. I ended up with B&W DM602s2, which work ok, but seem to need a tube amp to sound their best. The B&W's are not exactly the best looking speakers around, but sound great with rock music. If you can place the speakers away from the wall, you may want to also audition Vienna Acoustics Haydens or Bachs. If you're a risk taker or live in the San Diego area, you may want to investigate EFE Technology speakers.
Find yourself a pair of used Totem model 1's for a big sound with terrific bass from a small good looking speaker.
Look at the Tyler Reference Monitors. Being sold for $1000. They actually do put out bass and like solid state amps like the DNA-1.
Totem Sttaf with a 12" X 12" footprint. Very dynamic, image well and have weight in the bottom. Also, Coincident Triumph UHS which is a large monitor and quite beautiful in cherry. Believe there is a pair for sale on Audiogon right now. I run mine with VTL Tiny Triodes and they are sweet.
For big sound I'd get some small Spendors or some Diamonds and a Sunfire subwoofer you can put "under the couch."
It strikes me that by the time you get a pair of monitors big enough to make decent bass on stands, the composite is not much smaller than the Vandy's! But I can very highly recommend Harbeth Compact 7's or Spendor 2/3's (the Spendors can be found around a grand). Or do a better job of "negotiating" with your wife and keep the Vandersteens. There must be something she wants... ;=)
jmlab cobalt 806 or sonus faber concertos seen them under a $1000
Totem Hawks; they take up as much room as the Sig. Ones (which are excellent) on the mandatory stands, but put out a lot more bass. They are $2,200 new, perhaps $1200 or so used depending on finish and condition. The cherry finish is quite nice. And for your room size a subwoofer is not necessary.
i think you can see from all the postings here, you'll pretty much have to stumble on a good sollution from trial and error! EVERYONE has different gear, and that's the way it is. You might take a few ideas and run with em, and that's as good as it'll likely get till you figure it out yourself...like every dilligent audiophile
She is pretty flexible but does not like the fact that the speakers are in the middle of the room as she puts it ;) A smaller set or at least something that can be placed closer to the wall will keep her happy.
I dont know what they are doing over the pond...but just how they produce such a full,rich,and very open sound from such a tiny speaker baffles me...go used...they are pricey with USA conversion...and you will need a sub for full range...but trust me...it will sound huge..good luck....
Do yourself a favor and listen to the Audio Physic Spark.Most of the speakers mentioned above I have heard and they are good choices.But for a compact foolrstander they are thin and easy to move for critical listening yet sound fine a foot and a half off the wall as well.A great "Nearfield" speaker (that is pull 'em out in the room closer to your chair for "sessions" and they will really shine).Get excellent reviews like therer biggger brothers the Tempo and Virgo.Audition and my guess is if you can find a used pair and can swing $1500+ you'll buy.
I would second the recommendation for the Meadowlark Swallows.
You should give Tyler Acoustics Linbrook speakers a try. I have a pair and they sound awesome. Very tight and fast bass all the way to 35 Hz. Soundstage and imaging are excellent. Mine will play very loud without any distortion thanks to the outboard crossovers.
I can't believe no one mentioned the ProAc lineup--awesome for rock and roll. I still have a pair of RS2s that occupy my study (and sound great with tubes). If the ProAcs are a bit pricey, you might also listen to the Triangle speakers--French company. I bought a pair of the litte ones (can't remember the names) for my brother b/c I was so impressed by the sound/$ value (I think they clock in at around $600 new).
tyler acoustic linbrook monitors, surprisingly good bass response, although not room shaking, but lets be reasonable, they're monitors, albeit big heavy mothers
i have never looked back since purchasing my pair in late august
drove them with a rogue 88, recently replaced with a cary v12 to drive them, very sweet, very smooth
hope this helps
If you are looking at the Meadowlark Swallow, I would listen to the Swift. It's a great speaker, and actually smaller than if you put the Swallow on stands. It has a very small footprint and if you slide it back towards the wall, the bass will increase, which helps with a 5 1/2" midbass driver.
Seas makes a fine MTM monitor, with a big sound, Thor.
If your budget allows them, go with a pair of used Totem
Mani-2. They can be had for around 2K. Go to www.totemacoustic.com and read the Stereophile review on them. I got a set and can tell you that these monitors can play rock loud and clear, have owned B & W, Linn Keltiks,
AV-5140, Nexus, etc. Like the Stereophile writer says, I could live happy with this speakers.
First, ask her to do you a favor and live with them for a month. She may be sufficiently beguiled by the sound that she'll agree to them.
Or (the approach I used in my married days) just say, "Honey, I love you. Get over it" and then sweat out the pout. Hmmm...maybe that's why I'm not married now.
Otherwise, give a thought to North Creek Music Rhythms. They are real sleepers, probably because they are sold as (very easy to assemble) kits. Designed explicitly for music of the type you prefer.
She seems to be willing to leave them for a little but really wants me to move them into position when I listen to them. Sorry but they are a "little" heavy to be dragging around the carpet ;) Thanks for all the great suggestions so far!
My wife loved the look of the Merlin TSM-M and I loved the sound. I have since upgraded to VSM-M which also passed the test of both looks and sound both of which are better in MHO
These are reknown for having a huge soundstage and usable bass down to 32hz...check out stereophile archives for review...hard speaker to audition because of limited dealers etc...but worth the effort...and you could probably could live without a sub...I love the Spendors like many have suggested...but going from a Vandersteen to a Spendor is a substantial loss in bass(talking octaves)...the Meadowlark Swift is a small floorstander that goes full range...and you dont have to buy stands...always the "hidden" cost in monitor...good luck...
Joseph Audio Rm7i signature is the monitor that goes down to 32hz...
Red Rose (Levinson) Rosebuds sound BIG, BIG, BIG! Bigger than B&W 602's.
There must be someone here at Audiogon who has heard them to second me on this one.
Much better sound than M20 except I thought the bass was overdone and annoyed me on some songs. Also Red Rose had them way out into room and I don't know how they will be close to a wall.
Unfortunately about $1,900 used but you should at least give them a listen.
These have both been mentioned, but I'll second the Red Rose R3 and Audio Physic Spark III. I own both and listen in a small room, and these both perform well with nearfield listening. Surprisingly, the R3's seem to have a bit more bass than the Sparks, but the Sparks have a little smoother top end. Both of these speakers also do a good job with pop/rock since they have that clean, tight mid-bass. These are also both beatiful speakers that your wife might like!