What don't you like about your current speakers?
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In that size room I would go with some monitors. There are plenty to choose from. One that comes to mind and sounds insanely good for 600 bucks or so used is the Proac Tablette 2000s. I have those and also the D-15s and D twos. I keep coming back to the Tablettes. They are just plain fun to listen to music on and have plenty of bass in a room that size. Or what about a set of Revel M20s? Also the Focus FS68se is pretty good too. I'd stay with a monitor, anything else could overwhelm the room with bass. I have the Proacs in my bedroom (about 14x12) and damn they can almost have to much bass.
I see your pre-requisite was imaging and soundstages well, with decent bass extension and you like rock music.
I've owned a pair of Alon IV's for many years and loved them, I've also listened to the Alon V's and Alon II. The Alon V was probably the most refined out of the bunch, but they're getting up there in age. So compare similar Nola products. I've also auditioned many Totems, Proacs, and Vandy's, and have always left impressed. I'm also a fan of Revel, but the ones I Iike are out of your budget.
I think you could group the Totem and Proac in a similar category. Tight bass, qood dynamics, good resolution, and images very well. The soundstage won't be as deep as the Alon or Vandy's.
The next group is the Alon and Vandy with a similar design concept. The Alon uses an open baffle design that creates a huge deep soundstage, very open sounding with good bass and imaging, but you could lose a little focus with an open baffle design, but you gain some transparency. The Vandy's also have something similar to the open baffle design, depending on the model that you're interested in.
I think you'll have to compare the Totem to the Proac and the Alon to the Vandy.
The Thiels are great too but not as good for Rock Music, Theils can be a bit lean in the bass.
I've never heard the Usher's, but their reputation speaks for itself. I'm not sure you will be able to get deep bass with an Usher in your price range, unless you step up in bucks.
You may want to throw the Gallo Nucleus reference 3.1 into the mix; very focused, huge soundstage and deep tight bass, and your McCormack should be able to handle it. I think that actually hits all of your pre-requisites in one speaker.
Good luck and please keep us posted! (Pun Intended)
I purchased pre-owned Usher X 718 with stands. They are great speakers for the money-the berst Ive owned out of B&W and Appogee. Everything i've read about the Ushers are true. Bass is ample and they play loud. I recommend you go listen to some if you aare in the market for speakers-I would recommend any of the Usher speakers. Happy listening.
An excellent speaker that gets very little attention is Audio Physic. My speaker to beat, so to speak was the Totem Arro. To my ears the Yara Evolution Bookshelf did everything the Arros did, only better. They're similar to the Arros in tone, yet don't suffer from the lack of dynamics and bass. They're also easier to drive.
Ahother excellent speaker that may be right up your alley is PMC. I haven't heard the newer "i" series, but they're supposedly a big step up from the "+" series that I'm very familiar with. They're also a good deal more expensive. The DB1+ and TB2+ may be found here at or under your budget. They're not as common here as Arros are though.