since you and your wife both like the 5's...going from the 5 to the 8 may be the best of all worlds.
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I replaced my 2C's with Green Mountain Callistos and it was a major upgrade. In the same "sound family" of the above speakers, but much more natural sounding. Vanderstseen and GM both pay close attention to time/phase coherence.
My wife is giving me hard time about possibly selling the Callistos. They don;t look like much in photos, but look great in the room.
I had the Spendor S5e and went to the S8e before finally settling on the classic SP1/2e Spendor.
The S5e is a heck of a speaker for the size and price but the S8e is just better. The bass is definitely deeper but more importantly to me, the midrange in the S8e was less congested. The S8e is just a bit more effortless. You'd probably be very please with the upgrade to the S8e and would be getting just a slightly larger version of the speaker that has already passed the WAF test.
I doubt your wife would settle for the classic series in terms of appearance. However, that was not an issue for me. I find the classic SP1/2e a bit more natural sounding than the new Spendors. For my type of listening that is a plus. However, in side-by-side comparisons, I think if I primarily listed to pop/rock I'd run with the S8e. It has deeper bass, plays louder and its slightly less forward sound just works better with the fashion for an aggressive sound in most pop/rock music.
I auditioned Spendor S6e, S8e and S9e against a Vandersteen 2CE (I wanted to hear the 3, but the dealer didn't stock it) and two pairs of JM Lab (in the ~$3K range). To my ears the JM Labs were unpleasant to listen to, the Vandy sounded slow and boomy, the S6e was too small, the S93 was too expensive, the S8e was essentially perfect relevant to the group. I owned them for over 2 years -- adding a subwoofer and high passing then at 80Hz made a big improvement in weight of sound and clarity.