I personally like the Sonus Faber Olympica Nova 3 in that price range. They are a good all around speaker that looks as good as it sounds. I liked them much better than the Kef reference 3.
Used a pair of wilsons (really any of them will be a huge upgrade) and or a pair of Focal Sopra 2 would be high on my list of used purchases in the $10-$12k range.
Consider a speaker and amplifier purchase as a single purchase / decision.
Be open to moving away from your Pass amp should your speaker choice necessitate it. Conversely, staying with your specific Pass amplifier locks you into a (restricted) subset of speaker types.
Please note that the above is not about Pass. I own a Pass XA 30.8 and a XP 20
All the best in your search and choice.
been reading PSAudio's Paul McGowen's book 'unlocking the secrets to great sound', I like how he lays out speaker choosing....
"'Because loudspeakers sound and perform so differently, they must be chosen to their environment (the room) as well as our tastes'".
I recently purchased Magico A3's based on my room and my tastes, funny when I auditioned amps at the dealer, they had the A3's in a 40x40 room, pulled out 15' from the back wall and 15' from the side walls... who the hey has a room like that? And this is a high end well respected dealer.
I'd add to Paul's advise to consider your electronics a bit when choosing unless that's up for change too.
Good luck, this speaker journey was fun for me and I'm very happy with my choice.
For speakers, I would check out the Focal Kanta 2s as they would be a good match with your pass gear. They are very detailed and I very much like the soundstage they deliver.
the Magico A3s ought to be in that price range and could be interesting. Again, good match with Pass.
There are a million other options. These two are great sounding and would have good resale eventually.
You might also find stepping up your cartridge and DAC. It would add something to your system. A Chord TT2 for DAC if you like the more forward Chord Sound. Rockna’s Wavelight would be brilliant for a more natural sounding DAC.
For cartridge, an Ortofon Cadenza Bronze would deliver more in terms of detail and soundstage. Even a Lyra Delos would be a nice option.
Good luck to you. Full disclosure, I am a Focal, Chord, Ortofon and Lyra dealer. I have no affiliation with Magico or Rockna.
In that range I’d listen to the Audiosolutions Figaro L. They look very substantial and well made. Also, I have a thing for D’Appolito Midranges.
AudioSolutions Figaro L speakers Review - Dagogo
Although the "masses" think they are "bright", My B&W 804D3 have a cavernous soundstage, oodles of detail and have unbelievable dynamic contrast. These are in your range as well. And, unless you have a monster SS amp, do require some subwoofer support.
Magnepan 3.7i's then if you want to spend a little more, Sound Labs 545's
Dipole speakers limit room interaction and these two speakers punch way above their price point. They will open up a whole new world of imaging and articulation missing in dynamic speakers costing many times more.
Both benefit greatly with subwoofers which you already have. If you use a two way subwoofer crossover the Sound Labs will hit volume levels unheard of from an ESL. The Maggie will play loud but not concert loud.
If you want to blow your doors off these are not your speakers.
There’s a pair of Usher BE-20 DMDs on US AudioMart for only $8250 ($23,000 MSRP). Absolutely beautiful speakers with beautiful sound and outstanding imaging/soundstage, and diamond tweeters. Pretty sure they’d sound glorious with your Pass gear. These speakers are in another league entirely and a steal at this price IMHO. Best of luck.
The usher be20dmd is quite a speaker, big and heavy though I preferred them to the salon2 but 285 lbs each one as big as a washing machine I moved on. Excellent if you have the room and now they can be upgraded to the dmd midrange driver. Some speakers are more sensitive to components than others so when you get serious you might try to demo with your own gear.
Usually there is a choice between several speakers. No Maggie’s, unless you go past the 3.7i. Like the 20sPut part of your budget on getting another RELs5 sub. I like the KEFs, not the Ref3s but the “book shelf” with the stands. I pick the KEF R1s on the matching stands with the two subs. Piano black or walnut KEFs with the piano black RELs. If you have a few bucks left over get the iso absorbsion feet. Gaia I think there called. You will be in heaven. In the Chicagoland area you can get the KEFS at
the feet and the RELs you would have to get elsewhere.
The wilson benesch PS 2's are in your budget and offer tremendous resolution without that harsh sound of an overly detailed speaker. You won't find more hi technology then Wilson Benesch. Carbon fiber cabinets and so much more. When I had a business I would take them to the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Here were some of the show reports from a few years back:
"deHavilland Electonics with Wilson Bensch speakers, the room we revisited most. Sound to die for." John Zurek from positive-feedback.com
"Oddly enough, I believe last year, this room was my runner up. The sound was largely how I remember, but even better. I have my reasons for voting this room "the best" and here they are. It played music for me. Its presentation was very big and wide and spacious, yet intimate. It was as if the music was being played just for me. The timing and pace were right on as was the instrument and vocal definition.
This was a room that I found myself returning to more than once when my ears were tired of all the noise. This is certainly not a cheap system, but it sounded better than some systems that cost three times as much. Most importantly, it was a system that allowed you to really enjoy music. The deHavilland room had almost the same system as last year, but in a different room. The big difference is that, this year the sound was perfectly beautiful. An Esoteric X-03SE CD player into the a deHavilland Mercury III Linestage was providing the signal to a pair of the deHavilland 50A Signature mono amps which was powering a pair of Wilson Benesch’s Curves, all the cables were by Kubala-Sosna.