Opinions on the new Meadowlark Kestrel '2'

I am in the market for some new speakers in the $1700 price range. I sit about 8' from the speakers so "BIG" speakers are out of the question.

I have heard excellent comments about Meadowlarks Kestrel. My question is, how good are the new models? Are they good for near field, and 2' out from the wall?

I have the McIntosh MA-6500 integrated amp. Thank you all in advance for your guidance.

I have also formed a short list of others I am considering, so I welcome any comments. And, I will be buying only new from an authorized dealer, so no used suggestions please. Thank you again.

short list:
Meadowlark Kestrel 2
Polk Audio Ls15i
Vienna Acoustic Bach
Totem Hawk
PSB Silveri
Also add Vandersteen 2 sigs to your audition list...
See 6moons.com website; after entering the site go to "industry news" and click on "CES 2003" report; a couple of pages in, there is a "brief review" of the Kestral 2. I am also intersted in the same product but need to find out more, especially whether if they can fill 15X20 room with good sound.
I was in a room larger than 15 x 20 with very high ceilings and the "Swifts" filled the room very nicely. I can only assume that the K2 will do as nice, or a nicer job.
Swifts are bass shy....which is why I prefer the original or hotrod Kestral in a heartbeat...

There seems to be some disagreement on what the new Kestral 2 can do in comparison to the Swift which was released last year. I have not heard them because of ML's limited and also misguided system of distribution in Southern Cal. Nevertheless, I have read that the Kestral 2 uses a 6.5 inch woofer over the Swift's 5.5. I assume this can move a bit more air and make the bottom end apparently deeper. Though, the bass "specs" on both speakers are reported as 35Hz. I wonder if the "bass shy" aspect Phasecorrect heard was more amplifier related; that is, many reviews or comments about the new ML speakers have them driven by tube and SET amps. For myself, I would drive them with 200RMS and high current which is the signature of my Aragon 4004MK.I would hope that such power would make a difference in low end performance. I would not want to find after taking these speakers home that they sound like two large AM radios in my livingroom. Another point about this product is that at $1700, it should provide good, clean,and dynamic sound, and I don't mean mid-fi loudness or boomyness either.... There is (I believe) a problem in the audio magazine business, or should I say the audio journalism establishment that it often avoids reviewing speakers under $2000. Case in point, is the Gershman "Cameleon" introduced last year at CES, but so far only reviewed by "Enjoy the Music" This speaker is a two-way 48inch column with good looks; maybe, it is just average, but for $1800, it is got to be better than just average, and "Enjoy the Music" thought as much after the reviewer placed the speakers on a "better" foundation to assist the spikes supplied.... I hope we can get some feedback soon on these products because they are both at a good pricepoint for many budgets, and should with very good electronics possibly outperform speakers costing two or three times as much, which is often "claimed" by many manufacturer without any effort on their part to "showcase" these products for reviewers, or make them readily available to buyers for auditioning
also...first order networks...such as Meadowlark and Vandersteen...are not designed for near field applications...the drivers overlap ...so a recommended distance of 6-8ft is optimal...
The Swift is NOT bass shy in the right room and I run mine with tubes. But don't take an owners word, Phasecorrect seems to knows more.
Getting back to the original question, the Kestrel 2 of course has more (better?) bass output,is slightly more
focused,has a larger sound stage and has a bit more at the extreme top end. But you better ask Phasecorrect because
his opinion is right and what I heard might be all wrong.