Wow, unfortunately this is like asking someone else what style and brand of underwear you should wear.
I personally like Audio Physics and the Dali (not for underwear, but for speakers) while I DISLIKE the Von Schweinkerts (pardon my Deutsch). I doubt that that helps at all, but I feel better!
for the price of the Dali you could by Von Schweikert db99's, a terrific design that lets you play low powered tubes.
I've heard 2 of the speakers you mention (Dali MS4, Audio Physic Avanti III), plus the VS VR4JR and VR9. First about my sonic preferences: I prefer a neutral, open sound, free of the speakers, with lots of transparency and dynamics.
I found the Dali surprisingly warm...too warm and sweet. The 2 VS speakers I heard were played only in scripted demos, disallowing interested listeners from playing their own music ( a very unfortunate way to demo a product IMO), but allowing for the fact that the demo music was undoubtedly pre-screened to give as favourable an impression as possible...they were dynamic and exciting. The VR4JR was a little lacking in resolution.
The Avanti III impressed me the most of these speakers, with an exceptionally clean and open sound, good dynamics and a great soundstage.
I too will weigh in on the Avanti 3 side. I have just bought a pair, and I have had them about two months. Like you, I could not listen to them prior to buying them. So, I based my purchase of the Avanti 3's on research, specs,prayer, etc... I cannot say that these are the last speakers I will ever own, but I would probably have to hear and be completely bowled over by any potential speakers that would take the Avanti's place. I have not heard the other two speakers you are considering, but I can tell you that it is hard to go wrong with the Avanti's.
What speakers did you have before the Avanti's and how do they compare.
You may want to contact the following member, who also owns a pair of the Avanti 3's and has said very favorable things about them: Jtcedinburgh
I have a pair of Dali Helicon 800's which are the lower sibling to the MS4's and they are exquisite with classical, jazz, and voacls. Female vocals in particular are not chesty and have incredible air and detail with their dome/ribbon tweeter arrangement. I will agree on some rock and pop they sound a bit warm, but I would prefer that on this type of music to sterile any day. As always your results may vary, and I am also not a big Audio Physic fan so we may have different tastes, but I wouldn't write off the Dali's
I would seriously check into the VS DB99's as well. It's an pair of speakers and can be driven by low powered tubes.
VS is my favorite designer. He seems to get everything right and doesn't over charge like Wilso... oh I don't want to put anyone down.
Listen and decide for yourself.
Just out of curiousity, and I am sure others are wondering the same:
Why do you DISLIKE Von Schweikert speakers so much?
In another thread you also referred to them as "rubbish".
You never, ever say anything good about them at all?
Please fill us in...pretty please???
Definitely agree with Robm321 here... The superb sounding DB-99s from VS are far superior to the VR4SRs in every way (including flexibility with placement and electronics driving them), and well worth the relatively minor extra investment. The VR4SRs are not VS's greatest effort, IMO.
I have not heard the MS4s, but I have heard their big brothers the MS5s and did not like them at all. I *did* like the less expensive Dali Helicon 800s quite a bit though (although I preferred the DB-99s to them).
I have not heard the AP speakers, so I can't comment on those, sorry...
Sorry, I have been out of the loop for a few days. I started out with JBL S38II's which for the very small amount of money spent on them were really good speakers. This was nostalgic for me in that, I had a pair of JBL floor standers back in JBL's hey day with some great Carver gear. So, when I got back into serious audio, the JBL's were a natural choice. I then went to a pair of Harbeth Compact 7ES-2's which were much better than the JBL's, but also at quite a price jump. I next went with a pair of JM LAB Micro Utopia Be's which took sound to another level. I really liked the JM's. However, I really wanted something full range, so I after wearing down my wife, I finally moved up to the Avanti 3's. There were other contenders, but they were mostly beyond what I considered a sane amount of money to spend on a pair of loudspeakers. I hope this helps you.