If you can stretch or find a deal the Magico S5, Joseph Audio Perspective, Vivid Audio B1, Thiel 3.7, or Revel Ultimate Studio2 should scratch your itch for detail. More in your price range are the Thiel 2.7, Vandersteen Quatro, Usher CP 8571DMD, Vivid V1.5, Joseph Audio Pulsar. Other brands to consider may be Avalon, Audio Physic, Gallo, and Marten. Lots of others but that's just off the top of my head. The best thing to do obviously is to listen to anything within a reasonable distance to see what you really like and gain perspective. Best of luck and enjoy the journey.
Yea know what you mean about the B&W's - never understood why people go ga ga over them.
I am not too fussed about Magico either although I would say they are better. Certainly worth a listen though if you can wrangle one.
You don't say where you are but just in case you are in Australia then I would suggest Lenehan Audio ML2 Limited Edition - but if you are in Aus you probably know about that anyway - they have been discussed a lot in the forum here in Aus. The guy that makes them built one as a special order and before it shipped a few people including me heard it, jaws dropped and he had 8 orders in a couple of weeks, including mine - stunning speaker - but only if you are in Aus - each speaker including stands weighs 80kg so the cost of shipping will be a killer - and you will have no way of hearing it.
The one I suspect you would have access to is the Rockport Mira 2 - stunning speaker as well and most definitely you should wrangle a listen.
Also heard good things about the Pro Ac Carbon 2's but from what I hear the Rockports have the edge.
I agree with Soix's recommendations. I'd also suggest checking out some Macintosh user forums around the web to see what Mac fans have had success with. Synergy is important. With respect to detail and accuracy, you can't go wrong with Thiel 3.7's. Jim Thiel's stated design goal was to create a speaker that would reproduce exactly what it was fed....which is great for those whose front end is top notch....not so great for lesser electronics.
Great system you have begun to assemble. Love the McIntosh line. Speakers I have heard that you may find of interest are the Magico and Klipsch line. The VSA line I find quite appealing with my MA6600.
In deed enjoy the trek to your sonic bliss. Post your results.
Why not just check out some Mcintosh speakers. Should give plenty of synergy.
B&W didn't impress me, either. Suggest you listen to some time-and-phase aligned speakers, e.g., Vandersteen and Tannoy dual-concentric. You should get a very fine pair of Tannoys for $10K, and they won't cause listener fatigue.
Oops, I meant Magico S1 before not the S5. KEF might be good too.
Just a comment on Thiels.
Thiels nail everything - I simply cant fault them - except in one area - a bit dry, thin and slightly uninvolving although to some extent that's fixed by valve source gear.
Make sure you listen to Thiels before investing in a pair.
I personally prefer other speakers - but most certainly you should go out of your way hear a pair - I don't necessarily recommend the same thing for B&W's.
I don't entirely disagree and it's why I use valves in my front end. Compromises abound. Wish I could afford a pair of Magico Q5's. ;-)
Sweet fronte end, wish I had that level of a front end. bhobba's comment kind of made me laugh, how can something nail everything while being dry, thin, and uninvolving...no offense, sorry. I have heard the Monitor Audio Silvers on a pretty capable system they could deliver some great impact and SPL but were to my tastes a little un-refined at the price point. Are you set on a full range floor stander? If so I am a fan of Jim Salks stuff, the Sound Scape will deliver that full range sound with pretty good refinement, maybe a little bloated on the bottom end. If you can get your ears on so of Sonus Fabers systems they are always great, dynaudio is always popular but to me they are a little uninvolving. My Favorites if I had that budget would be fully decked out set of Vapor Audio Joule Whites. I own it's baby brother.
No offense perceived. I would, however, like to clear up a misconception. Dry and uninvolving is certainly not how I'd describe the Thiel flagship (the 3.7's are not on BOTH Stereophile and TAS's recommended speaker list for being a disappointment) but what *I* meant, and should have written, is that many solid state components are thin, dry and uninvolving. The 3.7's merely present what they're given. That's certainly NOT appropriate for some people and should be known up front.
Anyway, I only suggest them as something that I believe would convey the McIntosh house sound.
"Thiels nail everything - I simply cant fault them - except in one area - a bit dry, thin and slightly uninvolving although to some extent that's fixed by valve source gear."
Isn't this a bit like saying "On paper Thiels nail everything but they don't sound like music" and "you have to color them up with soft or rolled off associated equipment to make them listenable"?
There are way better choices if you really want to listen to music.
Thank you for all of the suggestions. As an update, I found and fell in love with a pair of mint JBL L300's and have been spending way too much time enjoying them over the past two weeks. Very happy with the choice.
and just ordered a VPI classic 3. Can't wait until it arrives.
Rather have those JBL classics than the thiels. They have some "soul".