Look at the Tyler line, some of his larger models might just well fit your description. The Woodmeres and the Linbrook Signatures, which I have, are excellent.
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Newbee beat me to the punch... I also was going to recommed the Woodmeres (or even the Linbrook Signature System speakers (I love mine)).
You may also want to audition some Joseph Audio Pearls... Too expensive for you new, but used you may be able to find a pair at the top of your price range if anyone will sell theirs.
I second the Tyler Acoustics Woodmere recommendation. I have a large room with the Woodmeres and they never cease to amaze me. I have had them for a year and like them more and more. If you consider them, I would highly recommend going with the outboard crossover. They are very dynamic,detailed, smooth, and very flat in frequency response. The soundstage is wide tall and deep. I assure you the Woodmeres totally fit your description in spades. And you have the added bonus of high effeciency
Just to add into the fray, I would strongly recommed that you consider the Legacy Whispers. It is an open air design with enough horsepower to fill your large room with foot-tapping music! I had a pair powered by ASL Hurricane amps and they were just the perfect combination. Best of luck with your search! Best regards!
I am familiar with all your choices. Given your stated sonic preferences ("what I want from my system") you have virtually chosen Soundlabs. Next would come Amati (not Cremona -- it lacks extension vs the others), or Avantgarde, then Aerial & Kharma (a bigger model than the 1).
Note that the Avantgarde & Aerials will need a largish room, while Soundlabs & alia can perform in a somewhat smaller space. Cheers
Greg beat me to it, but I wanted to echo him since no one else has ... you have defined the Soundlabs - which is not surprising since you are coming from planars already. BTW, I don't see the bigger Maggie 20.1's on your list?
"while Soundlabs & alia can perform in a somewhat smaller space." Like a room at the Alexis Park? ;-) Seriously, they had these shoehorned in there last year - very disappointing.
Thanks all for your informed advice. I'm surprised to see the multiple recommendations for the Tyler Woodmeres? Maybe I'm out of touch, but I haven't seen much in the audio press about these speakers. I like the idea of an efficient speaker, since my biggest problem with the 3.6's has been finding an amp to get them to open up.
Peepoy2, I've heard the Legacy 20/20's, but not the bigger models, I liked what I heard a lot. I'm always surprised when people bash the Legacy speakers, they seemed very musical to my ears, though not necessarily 'audiophile', if you know what I mean.
I think before I do anything I have to hear a set of Horns, like the Avantgarde. They really intrigue me. I love the visual side of the AG's also. I can imagine a normal person reacting negatively to their aesthetics, I'm anything but normal!
Maybe if anyone has heard the Avantgardes you could tell me a little more about what to expect....will they deliver what I'm looking for sonically? Are they a real pain to setup?
Otherwise that's all good advice and I appreciate it. Feel free to keep more suggestions coming.
If you can, I would suggest you check out Rick Reimer's Tetons, custom made to the highest levels of craftmanship. There are probably only several dozen pairs in existence, but, in my experience, everyone who hears them loves them. Very large soundstage, very dynamic, very musical - through a frequency range from below 20 Hz to above 20 kHz. And at 94 dB sensitivity, capable of delivering stupendous volumes with relatively low-powered amplification. I've driven mine beautifully (for the same mix of music you listen to) with a 20-wpc Cary Rocket 88, and can produce waaaaaay more sound than I need or want (in my roughly 15.5 x 25 x 10 ft space) with 125-wpc Audio Refinement stereo amp and now 100-wpc Clayton Audio M100 monoblocks. (Note that Reimers are 4-ohm loudspeakers; those solid state amps are actually putting out 200-wpc into that impedence.) And the Tetons look as good as they sound, if you like the look of wood - 14" x 17" x 56", 185 lbs each, beautifully finished in virtually any finish you would like. But if you insist on spending mega$$, you'll probably have to go elsewhere; the most exotic finishes are unlikely to run more than $7000 - $8000. Anyway, do enjoy your search!
I use to own Magnepan IIIa's with the true ribbon tweeter and there are very few speakers that can produce the quickness and imaging as the Magnepans and so my speaker hunt was filled with disappointment.
The SoundLabs will produce more of what you were experiencing. They were too large for me in my small room.
But my quest stopped with the Wilson's because then I had that pinpoint imaging BUT with Dyamics and Volumn which I hadn't been able to get otherwise. The Sophia's would be an excellent match with tubes, as I heard them on a stereo VTL150 amp and my friend powers them with an ARC VS55i (which is not enough power for bass control but still amazingly transparent). I ended up blowing my budget and buying WP7's (now I drive a cheap Honda as a sacrifice for my stereo).
Wilson require time to setup and careful component matching to get that ultimate synergy (Going with tubes will help your quest)
Enjoy the hunt.
Well, I thought I will stick with my Legacy Whispers for life. I have always been curious about the Avantgardes and when a local dealer had a preowed Duos for sale, I rushed to audition it. After the first few notes on Chuck Mangione's Feels So Good cut, I knew right away that I had to sell my Whispers. I sold the pair immediately and then a very nice pair of preowed Trios became available here and, after a prolonged negotiation with my wife (to divert some of the money due for my kid's college funds into these monstrous speakers), I was able to pick the pair up in New York and I know I am set for life with these fantastic loudspeakers. The Duos will make you feel a sense of connection with the music. Forget being over analytical and just really enjoy the music being played. You will be immersed with sheer musical pleasure with the performers having the "Breath of Life" right there in your presence!
Also, I just marvel at the fact that a mere 1 watt can power the Duos to room-filling levels. I am used to owning monstrous high-current, high-wattage amps and it took a while for me to accept that a few miniscule watts can produce such a magical experience that envelopes your whole body and caresses your soul. Again, just a suggestion for your consumption! All the best!
If you like what you heard from the Legacy's, I believe you'll really like the Tyler line. Ty's speakers are more refined, accurate, and nuetral than the Legacy's. I went from the 20/20's to the full Linbrook system & it was quite a big step up in performance. The millenium tweeter Ty uses is very open, airy, and detailed. The Linbrooks also provide a big soundstage. I went from the Linbrooks to the Woodmere's. The Woodmere's use the same tweeter but have a different design than the Linbrooks. The 10 inch woofer on top and bottom of the cabinet provide a more full sound with an endless soundstage.
Good luck with your decision.
I'm still playing with speaker placement right now so nothing is final, the imaging and depth with the system reversed like what is show in the last pictures is amazing but i'm sacrificing a bit of the bass response, but then again I still moving them to avoid the bass mode suckout in the room. This weekend I'll move them 1 foot closer.
No offense to the Legacy guy's but one of my friends did an in home demo of the $8000 legacy's (not the Whispers so this might not be relevant) but they were amazingly dynamic speakers but that forwardness and dynamic presentation began to wear you out and the driver integration wasn't quite like some of the other manufactures. Great home theater speakers though. The speakers were being powered by Manely 250 monoblocks.
i think the issue on your move needs to be resolved before you can consider a speaker as the room will always dictate the size of the speaker.if you happen to be in a large room like my room which is 22x16 with a cathedral ceiling that goes to 16.5 ft. as you can see there is alot of volume or air that needs to be moved and is open behind me another 24 ft. i went with the tyler acoustic woodmeres with the external xovers for sound reasons as well as additional flexability at a low upgraded cost. the external xovers also allows you down the road to apply a digital crossover and bypass the woodmere crossover for theoreticaly improved sound. as far as the woodmeres sound it is by far the best speaker that i have heard in my 27 yrs of the " hobby" i am using a tact audio millenium mk3 digital amp and afterwards changed the speaker wires from jps labs superconductor + to the paul speltz anti-cable. this combination simply elevated the woodmeres sound ten fold. i can only say that the music is now more realistic as well as the music presentation seems now to have been rearranged to where the 3d imaging is actually forming a image of the band and better places what is on the cd to where you can clearly hear the difference. going from cd to cd i am amazed at how these speakers present the music unlike any speaker i have ever owned. they have the openness of a electrostat with the great tight bass that even a good sub cannot match with a panel speaker. the woodmeres especially with the anti-cable in the right sized room and of course set up properly have given me the sound that i have been searching for and now have found . i believe the tact amp plays into the speakers sound to exhibit the extra degree of detail and openess that is not posssible in my opinion with conventional amps . these speakers are also amp friendly speakers, are not required to be way out in rooms like other big speakers so they are room friendly as well. in closing if feel the need to look for other speakers is now over, the search for the right speaker wire is over. so now its time to finally kick back and listen to the music which is a experience with each disc i listen to. congradulations to tyler acoustics and ty lashbrook for selling a speaker of this quality that if it were sold in a stereo store would retail for about $ 30-35000.00/pair but you can purchase them online for less than half that.now if that isnt the biggest bang for your dollars and ears well i do not know one better