I'M USING THE SHAMROCK AUDIO EIRE & MACWIRE DELTA SPEAKER CABLES. THE SHAMROCK CAN BE COMPARED TO THE VANDERSTEEN 5'S.
I'VE THOUGHT ABOUT TRYING OTHER SPEAKERS BUT THESE HAVE SUCH A BALANCED PRESENTATION (& BASS TO MID 30,S) THE "WHY" QUESTION ALWAYS COMES UP.
Check out Tyler Acoustics line of monitor's here on AGon or Tyler web site. Used Linnbrooks go for around $2k or so (with warranty if purchased directly from Tyler). I have Linnbrook monitors for about a year now and while I have changed every other component in my system the Linnbrooks have and will stay.
I second the Tyler's, they are a sweet musical speaker.
What about the Audio Physic Virgo? version 2 can easily be found under 2500. Then try Transparent or Cardas speaker cables...
Great imaging, great warm rich sound...about 6-8 inches wide...2 feet deep...small footprint.
I agree about the SHAMROCK AUDIO EIRE. They sound very sweet with a good bass response. They also use great drivers. They use Scanspeak drivers. Here's a review and pic of the speakers. http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/masz08.htm
I currently have Monitor Audio 3i "Book shelf" monitor speakers at this time and run them on a Dennon POA 2400 Amp. They get a little fatiguing after a while and I must watch the volume to keep it lower than where the sound starts to become improved in midrange and bass response (they have a 5" midrange and 1" dome tweeter, dual front ports). I'll notice a slight inner ear discomfort and slight ringing if I don't keep the volume lower(after listening for a while, piercing highs). They sounded better after break in, however, they are still bright sounding and need a slight more mid-range and bass sound (more balanced, however, I realize they are small speakers and I can't expect but so much). I have the "there's something better" bug and realize I must spend more money and go hunting for better speakers and think more on some room treatments (I have reflective sheet rock walls, carpet floor). I am 44 years old now and realize my hearing has changed some and my desire for a more full and richer sound has increased (more mid and lower register musical balance). I'm changing out the entire system. Thank you very much to you who have responded thus far and I welcome more input and recommendations.
I also recommend Tyler linnbrooks and the reference moniters. I have both, they are detailed and non fatiging. These speakers are very sensitive, you would do nicely with the 3B. The linnbrooks are a little fuller in soundstage while the ref moniters price would allow to match a sub if you so choose.
Another vote for Ty's speakers. Owned the Ref Monitors and now own the Linbrooks. Amps were 4B-ST and then 4B-SST on both the Ref Monitors. The bigger Bryston squeezed out a little more bass. The Linbrooks will give you a better low end and while I've never used a sub for music I understand that people who use the Ref Mons and a sub are very happy. You could probably buy a used pair of Refs and a sub for less than the Linbrooks if you are looking for deep bass. Get good stands which ever model you go with. Let us know how things turn out.
Green Mountain Audio,SPendors, or Sonus Faber...all make excellent, musical, non-fatiguing monitors...with unreal transparency...and 3-d imaging to die for...good luck...
Rgd is right on with the stands. Get the best you can afford. Stands are a major (fundemental) extension of your speaker and will have a significant effect on the sound of your monitors. I use the Sistrum Mini Monitor Platforms. Yeah, they are pricey, but they are the most unbelievable stands: visually and, of course, sonically. Most audiophools do not take into consideration the stands when dropping the big $$ on killer monitors. My particular stands have a baby brother; while not better, are also unbelievable. Cool to look at (like no other stand you've ever seen) and wait 'til you hear what they'll do for your speakers. check 'em out. peace, warren
Silverline's SR17's are outstanding monitors. They have no right to sound the way they do being so small. You will not believe the sound coming out of them, and set up properly they are as invisible as the holy spirit!
For a room like you have you might want to audition some of the excellent lower powered tube products on the market. I personally have found I am happiest with tube equipment in smaller rooms. Check out the Cary 300 SEI or other mid to low powered tube equipment. The Madisound 220 SE is another gem. Just a thought.
And yes, I too agree that the Shamrock's are a wonderful monitor speaker. Mike McCall is also a class act straight shooter to deal with. "I build the best speaker I know how". He's telling it straight.
I commented on a similar thread a ways back. I qualified myself as a monitor-holic. The Penaudio line is an amazing line and for your room you cannot go wrong. I recently put a system together for a friend who wanted music in her entire house. Part of the system included Bryston amps and 3 pair of Penaudio Rebel 2s. In her living room (20 x 37) I added the Chara woofer system to the Rebels and there was no problem. So, for your purpose this may prove a very good option. Look at www.portalaudio.com or www.penaudio.fi. Rebel 2s are $1500. As for speaker wire, Analysis Plus is a great value.
I would highly advise you to audition PMC loudpeakers.
Try the VMPS 626Rs. 3-way monitor with a gorgeous ribbon midrange that handles the frequency range from 166 Hz to 10 KHz, so that the crossovers occur outside the crucial areas. I own these speakers and think they're astounding. Start at $1500 a pair discounted from dealers, up to about $2500 depending on options (finish, superior tweeter, different capacitor choices).
I have the custom Sound Anchor "bearded" stands (solid plate in front going down to the floor) as recommended by VMPS. Good stands are crucial, as another poster remarked.
I agree with 'Jla' that you should try the PMC speakers, they offer supreme detail and sound great.