Selecting Monitors for the First Time

I am scheduled to have my DNA-225 upgraded to Steve McCormack's Platinum level performance. Will be selecting a balanced linestage soon to complement the Mc and my tube phono stage. I listen almost exclusively to vinyl with probably a 90%/10% split between vinyl and CD. I listen to a wide variety of music - from hard driving rock, jazz, soul, bluegrass, female vocals, reggae. Nearly everything save classics, which get only a very occasional play.

Currently, I own Vandersteen 3A Sigs which I like very much with the McCormack - the synergy between the two is well discussed. So, I guess I'd say I am relatively happy with the Vandy "signature", as it were.

I have not personally owned a pair of high-quality monitor-sized speakers in decades (excepting some smaller PSB’s in a HT setup). I'd like to try a pair of monitors in my 23X17 room. I prefer a balanced sound with a large 3-D soundstage, a sweet midrange, articulate top end, and DEEP and tight bass but I DO NOT want to use a subwoofer, for various reasons.
What would folks recommend in the $4-5K retail range? Or am I asking too much of a monitor? Thanks in advance.
Why change to a monitor? Most would be a significant downgrade from your Vandersteen's anyway, especially since you're "happy" now.

Sure, you're going to get alot of responses saying XYZ Monitor is the best ever and how they miraculously have the "DEEP" bass you want from some tiny woofer. For the most part, it's jibberish, and it won't take long for you to start missing your Vandersteen's.

You're going to need stands anyway, which take up as much real estate as a floor stander. Unless of course, you're putting them on bookshelves, in which case it would be a waste to spend $4-5K on monitors.

Frankly, I would consider looking at the new Vandy Quatro which has 2 active subwoofers built in to the cabinet and would free up your amp from those duties. Among other things, I doubt a monitor is going to give you the deep bass that the Quatro can give you in that size room,
I agree with Labtec, but I will tell you that I went from a pair of DNA 0.5 A+ and a pair of 2Ws, to Merlin VSM-MMs + BAM. You can certainly pick those up used in your price range and Bobby may even know of a used pair that's available. I went tube amplification as well, and I am very happy with what I have now. I do not listen to much bass heavy R&R anymore, but I imagine I will queue up for the Merlin sub, if it ever becomes available. One other thought- if you stretch your budget a little, you may be able to find Model 5s, now that the 5As are out there.
Earlier this year I purchased my first set of monitors, not counting some earlier “stereos” when young. Now in hindsight I realize how I did things backwards and could of learned a lot by, at least, starting out with monitors, but I was always stuck in “bigger is better”.

All that said I find my monitors are the best speakers I have owned. They will not do some things that full range speakers do; you can take that as good or bad in some respects. They do not go as low as other full range speakers I have had but they do have the best bass I have had. (To be fair, I didn’t use my current electronics on past speakers.)

I may go back to a full range speaker at some point, knowing myself as I do, but I will have better knowledge and suspect my monitors will not leave until I have heard the other speakers in my system. My guess is that if you are asking you are questioning something.
I own monitors that go to 45hz and they sound great in my 13x12 listening room. Without a sub though I really don't see monitors as being the answer in your large room.

I also agree with Labtech. You will get responses telling you how deep of bass some monitor can produce. This may be true but a full range floorstander makes more sense with your budget and room deminsions.
The comments thus far are both interesting and appreciated. I was certain that I'd get some good perspectives to weigh in making an ultimate decision, or not making one at all! :-)
I own the Harmonic Precision, Caravelles. The best darn monitors these tympanics have heard. I reviewed them a ways back. Check the archives. is reviewing them next month, I believe. They made quite an impression at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. The Caravelles with dedicated stands can be had for $5k. Yep, they are pricey, but they deliver more than 5k worth of sound. You'll never know what a monitor can do until you hear these babies. peace, warren