Please...Advice For The Speakerly Challenged

Hello all.

Well, I have been shopping around South Central Texas (Austin and San Antonio) audio dealers for a new set of speakers as an upgrade to replace my aging Klipsch KG-5.5's. Unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage of new speakers to audition in my neck of the woods when considering the seemingly astronomical numbers of manufacturers these days. What I hope to gain here is advice from knowledgeable audiophiles who may have heard the speakers I have auditioned. Perhaps said audiophiles could then recommend other brands I have not heard to consider buying based on what I have already heard. Hopefully I am making sense. I like rock, jazz, classical, world, new age and electronic more than any other genres. My budget is up to $4000, but I would like to hold it down to less than 3k if possible. I would definitely consider buying good used speakers. I am currently using a pair of solid state 200 watt/ch monoblocks for power.

What I have always liked about Klipsch speakers is the great dynamics, wide soundstage, good detail and deep bass response. What I have not been crazy about is the somewhat harsh upper mids and a boomy spike in the mid bass with my KG's (could be a mode). I really detest speakers that have a boxy coloration more than anything else, much preferring a neutral sound.

Here are the speakers I have auditioned so far:

Paradigm Monitor 7 - a fine little floorstander, but I worry that it will not fill a larger room to my liking.

Paradigm Studio 60 and 100 - Really liked the 60 and loved the 100. Really liked the 100 with jazz, rock and new age. Could be a little better with detail.

Dynaudio Excite X32 - I absolutely loved this speaker. It was the most detailed I have heard under 4K, with wonderful mids and outstanding tonal balance. Would only like a little fuller bottom end, but this is a minor quibble with this one. The next model above X36 might just fit my bill, but the dealer had none in stock.

Polk Audio RTI-A9 - Sounded thin and looked somewhat cheap, probably because it was. I really expected more based on reviews, but I guess I should not have. Likely the room acoustics were a big factor though, as I listened to them at Fry's, ugh.

PSB Synchrony 2. I really liked this speaker, but I listened back and forth against the Dynaudio, and it just did not measure up against the Excite X32 overall to my ear.

Vienna Acoustics Mozart. This speaker had a lot to like including accuracy, detail, soundstage and balance, but it had a little boxy sound that put me off. I also thought it was overpriced.

Martin Logan. Listened to several models and liked none. Good mids including nice vocal reproduction, but did not like much else.

B&W 684. This was perhaps the very worst mid or hi-fi loudspeaker I have ever heard. To my ear it sounded like lo-fi crap. I know there are good B&W speakers, but not this one. I thought it was blown, but it was auditioned in a high end home theater store. Extremely overpriced IMO.

Magnepan 1.7 - This was a very fine speaker, but I just can't abide the looks. I would also have to buy a quick sub too, which considering their cost might not be a big problem.

Klipsch RF-83 - I really liked this speaker. It was similar in sound to my KG 5.5's, but with a little less clarity in the bottom end, which was a negative. The mids and highs were better than my current Klipsch speakers.

For any who are still with me, could you lend advice on what I should consider in addition to the above and based upon what I have liked in these speakers. Thanks so much.
I just saw on Audiogon a pair of Wilson Audio Watt Puppy 5s for sale for 4500 or best offer. These are very detailed and will handle lots of power like all the Wilson speakers. They are a system using two satellites and two subwoofers to give full range sound without the typical horn colorations. They use the best dynamic drivers modified for better performance and they use very expensive parts for their crossovers. Every Wilson speaker I can remember has gotten a rave review. You should try to audition a pair. Maybe u will like them.
It looks like a couple of preferences have developed for you.

Why don't you find out who offers a home audition? Your room acoustics is going to have a major influence on how well any given speaker works for you.
IMHO one of the best buys in used speakers is the Alon Mk V ... a strange looking beast but has everything you are looking for in a speaker.
I really can't make the choice for you but based on your comments - you clearly have good ears - so you should be fine.
Look for VMPS 626R's with the following upgrades: megawoofers, auricaps, fst tweeter, sound deadening or VMPS rm30's with the same upgrades. I have the first speaker along with a VMPS 215/VSS upgrade sub and the combo is unbelievable. You could get them used for about 2000.00-2500.00 (w/ sub) or new very reasonably from a VMPS owner/agent. Look on the website. The sound is disarmingly sweet, great clarity, dynamic and live sounding. In 40 years of listening, I've not heard any system sound better without spending stupid money. They sound good at any volume and can play loud. Stupid money will get you more ear damaging volume, a bigger wall of sound and a smaller wallet, but no better sound at less than concert volume. They are also very adjustable to any room to get great sound.
Try Zu Soul.

May not have "detailed" enough HF for your tastes, but they have money back return gaurantee so you can try it in your own home.

No dealers, so they are used to shipping things out, taking them back.

Room acoustics are critical.
Buy what you think is "best" for you.After all,you will be the one living with them.As stated above,sounds like you have a good understanding of what you really like in a speaker.Go with what you hear and by all means,audition in your home if at all possible.I wish I had that luxury but....Good luck.
"...a shortage of new speakers to audition in my neck of the woods..."

You gotta be kidding me! I'd have to drive for days and days to audition the range of speakers you've already heard. Count yourself lucky.

Just a note on the Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand and the boxy sound you mentioned: On another forum (and quite a while ago) the importer for Vienna said that it is absolutely imperative to fill the speaker cavity with sand or other deadening material. The designer created the speaker with that as an absolute necessity. Before coming to any conclusion, I'd check with the dealer to see if he did that.

How about some Klipschorns used if you like the Klipsch sound that's as good as it gets. They are still a great speaker.

Paradigm Signature S8 should fill your bill as well. I have seen them for sale in that range here before. This is a great dynamic speaker, if you like the 100 this would blow your doors off.
Another vote for the Alon Mk V. I owned the IV's for several years and loved them. Back then, bass response was more important than it is now and that is the only reason I chose the IV's over the V's. If I were making the choice today between the two, I would go with the V's. And the V's should work nicely with your preferred budget.
What, no ProAc's mentioned? Please check them out. You will be surprised.
Thanks to all who have responded.

To Shay123: I would love to hear Watt/Puppies, but even used they are outside my price range at $4500. I wonder if anyone reading here has any experience with building or having heard Watt/Puppy clones? The closest dealer seems to be DFW at over 300 miles away.

To Mlsstl and Zanon: Yes, room acoustics are huge. I feel very good about my room right now. I have carpet, and treatments at the first reflection points on the side and back walls, and heavy curtains on the front wall, which really helped. As for home audition, I am seriously considering that. Speakers that have intrigued me from reading their reviews are Salk Song Towers, Zu Essence, Swan Diva 6.2, and especially large line source offerings from AV123. Galen Carroll Audio in San Antonio has also offered home audition.

To Shadorne and Tpreaves: It is true that I must make the choice. I was just hoping that some of you who have heard the speakers that I mentioned that I liked could offer other brands/models that they have heard that have characteristics and similarities to the ones I have heard. This will help me to make a decision on whether to seek them out for audition.

To Macdadtexas: I drove all the way to Georgetown to the only Klipsch Heritage dealer in the state (per Klipsch website) to hopefully hear some of the Heritage line. They had none in stock. Errrr. The Cornwall III is one I am seriously considering, but I have not been able to find a pair to listen to, and I don't want the older versions. Khorns are too big.

To Jrinkerptdnet, Dorkwad, and 4musica44107: This is exactly the type of responses I was hoping for. If based on what I have already auditioned and liked, you believe these will float my boat, I will try to seek them out. I am very intrigued by both the speakers mentioned.

I hope to see more recommendations too, and again thanks.
To Hesson11: I would wager deadening material was not added to those speakers. They would have been awesome had they not had that boxiness. The dealer rep made no mention of that whatsoever. All else considered, had they sounded neutral, they would have been awesome.
Have you gone to Galen Carol Audio? Check out the audiophile groups in Austin I am sure someone has some of the speakers you want to hear and will let you take a listen.

I know if you are in Houston, you are welcome to listen at my Casa. Also, Sound World in Houston carries a ton of great gear, including the Paradigm Sig S8, which for what you seem to be looking for, it right at the top of the list.

It's a great speaker.
Have you gone to Galen Carol Audio? Check out the audiophile groups in Austin I am sure someone has some of the speakers you want to hear and will let you take a listen.

I know if you are in Houston, you are welcome to listen at my Casa. Also, Sound World in Houston carries a ton of great gear, including the Paradigm Sig S8, which for what you seem to be looking for, it right at the top of the list.

I saw Galen about two years ago when I was looking for a new tube amp. I wanted a Jolida, but he had none in stock nor any other tube gear at the time. He wanted to sell me solid state, but I did not want SS in the wattage range I could afford then. I have since recently sold my tube gear and have gone solid state. Hehe, go figure.

While there, I listened to a pair of Epos monitors, and a pair of Spendor S5e smallish floor standers. I remember being blown away by a magnificent pair of Quad 989 electrostatics. They were the finest speakers I have heard to date. Since I was there to audition amps and CD players, I did not pay quite as much attention to the speakers.

I would like to go back for another visit before I decide what to buy to hear the Spendor S8e, Quad 22L2 and Reference3A Veena. He may still get my business yet.

Also, thanks for the invite. I just listened to the new Magnepan 1.7 and really liked their sound. I would wager those MG-3.6r Maggies sound awesome. How would you compare the two if you have heard them both?
the 3.6r are definitely a level above the 1.7's, deeper and more solid base, and more coherent. I think the top ends are about equal, the 1.7's are really speacial. Both need HUGE power to sound their best. But they are not for everyone, I undersand the aesthtic problem with them.

for what you want, I don't think the Maggies are what you are looking for. I am not a huge Spendor fan, but I do love the Vienna Acoustics, and once again suggest a used Paradigm Sig S8.

good luck
How about the dunlavy scIII's that are listed for sale;I had a pair of these and drove them with tubes and solid state;mccormack dna-1 mono's were my amps at that time and they performed quite nicely.
Dunlavy scIII is worth looking into too.
Actually, if you are looking for a Klipsch Heritage dealer in south Texas, Bjorn's in San Antonio is one and has been for a long time.