Speaker suggestions

I have had the same speakers(signet 280ex) for about 15 years. It is time to replace them. They are really mid-fi. My first listen was comparing them to a pair of Dali Ikon 6's. The Ikon's bested my speaker in every category! Detail, Dynamics, Bass, Bass Clarity, Evenness across the frequencies. BUT I did find the Dali's too bright for my tastes, plus the drop in the American Dollar has caused the price of the Dali's to go from $1550 to $1750 to now $1900! Literally 3 or 4 months ago this same speaker would have cost me nearly $200 less. A year before that $350 less. I considered the Jean-Marie Reynaude Euterpe, but those went from $1995 to $2895 4 months ago- $900 more!!!

Sooooo, I am looking for suggestions for speakers....preferabally something not imported from Europe.

My System:

Audioquest PT6 tonearm
Soon to be Benz Woodbody "S" cartridge
Nova Phonomena Phonostage
Magnum Integrated Amplifier

Qualities I am looking for:

- $1000-$3000 (used is OK)

- Looking for something that plays all kinds of music well - Rock, Jazz, Pop, Classical, Blues, etc.

- Good soundstaging and body

- Neutral (my space has concrete floors...so nothing too bright)

- Dynamic with some slam - I listen to all kinds of music, but mostly Rock.

- Smooth

Thanks in advance!
Check out:

the signets were extremely neutral/balanced, so many of the newer designs are gonna splash a bit in the highs or pump the midrange forward to create midrange detail.....this creates impressive short term listening, but for the longterm you need to stick with balance...anything you can audition is a plus, but i'd recommend totem forests which will improve on the signets, but strike the balance that many can live with....made in canada....close in horseshoes counts.
Gallo Reference 3.1
Boy I say it all the time because I love them but your description on the sound you desire says Vandersteen all day long, smooth not bright, musical, American made and new and used models fall into your budget. My father has almost the same Vinyl system as you do from table to cart to Phono Stage and although nothing else is the same I do know those products all mate well as the dealer we deal with has all those paired with Vandersteen speakers.
i agree with chadnliz regarding vandersteen 2 (what ever the model is). i believe the retail is under $2000, new. i have heard them work with tubes and solid state gear.
I love my Alon Lotus Elites which are no longer made; the Nola Viper IIA are very similar though. These speakers do everything right in my opinion.
A second vote for the Gallos.
The Harmonic Precision Caravelle. A used pair is for sale right now on Audiogon: http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrmoni&1215952738

third vote for Gallo's, or at least check them out.
I second the Salk speakers.
WOW! Keep the suggestions coming. I am going to have to look all these speakers up and try to track down reviews on them The only ones that I am familiar with are the Vandersteen's and unfortunately I found them too polite and laid back.

I actually listened to 3 speakers when I purchased my Signets waaaaay back when - A pair of NHT (I forgot the model number), the Vandersteen 2c's, and the Signets. The NHT's were too brittle and lean, the Vandersteens were too cloudy and thick, and the signets were just right - somewhere between the two. I then listened to a pair of Vandersteens (not sure of model) again 5 years ago and thought they still had the same qualities, however it wasn't an in depth listen. I'm curious because so many people seem to like these speakers, so I will definitely give another listen.

Haven't even heard of the Gallo speaker, Nola Viper - I will see if I can find out more.

The big thing I am missing on my Signets is Soundstage. Didn't realize it until I compared them to the Dalis. It was a direct side by side comparison. When I switched from the Dalis to the Signets the sound stage really flattened out. The other major difference was the signet's were definitely on the warm side of neutral. The Dalis weren't lean....it was just the very high frequencies were really really present. Cymbals jumped to the forground in mixes where they shouldn't.

Has anyone listened to:

Monitor Audio Siler RS6 or RS8
Revel Concerto F12

Both of which are highly regarded by Stereophile. I briefly heard the Monitor RS6, but it was on a HUGE showroom floor against a window, with gear and equipment surrounding it and on an elevated platform! Not the most ideal situation. My initial impression was that they would be leaner than my signets, but listening in a gigantic show room really isn't a fair way to listen and judge.

Also....anyone have experience with

Tannoy speakers
Snell speakers
Martin Logan

All of which I haven't listened to, but am curious about.

Thanks eveyone!
Used Aerial's 7b's or 8b's. I owned the model 8's for nine years, a nice speaker for all types of music, plus HT.
Just got back from listening to the Galo Reference 3.1. After reading the absolute glowing reviews on 10audio and The Absolute Sound AV Guide I was very excited to hear these unusual looking speakers.

I mean no disrespect Likecoiledsteel, but I didn't really care for these speakers at all, especially considering the price. Maybe it was the system I was listening to, maybe it was the room, who knows. The high frequencies were..were...just there, lacking detail, and a little grainy. I was also surprised that some of the reviews thought the treble was subdued. I certainly didn't find it subdued.

On the plus side, I auditioned a pair of B&W703's and 804's. I was very impressed. Smooth and detailed. They didn't create as magical of a soundstage that the Dali Ikon 6's did, but it certainly wasn't a flat soundstage. I am now leaning toward the B&W's....not sure which model...the 804's were out of my range, but the dealer is remodeling and is willing to cut a deal on a demo pair, although we didn't discuss price.

I was trying to avoid European/Imported speakers due to the miserable price of the US dollar, The 804's were $4000 and have gone up to $4500 (12.5%). The JM Reynaud went up $900 (45%!!!) and the Dalis went up $200 (8%). Bottom line is I should probably just get the speaker that I want as long as I am comfortable with the price.

Has anyone have experience with the B&W 804 or 703's? Curious what people think who have had long term exposure.
By the way Jaybo, I would love to listen to the Totem's! Especially since you have experience with my current speaker. They were not a huge seller. In fact, the later iteration of the signets sounded worse and worse. I felt like each generation sounded more boxy. Not sure if Signet changed ownership or not, but the 280ex's sounded pretty good for the price.

I will try and report back as I listen to different speakers.
my vote is still for the Caravelle.I would still buy these
Speaker again and love what they can do with Music.
Just got back from listening to more speakers. Here are my thoughts:

Thiel CS 1.6
The speaker was even more detailed than the Dali Ikon 6 and just as good, if not better than the Dali at soundstaging. One of the records I use in my audition is the El Topo soundtrack. The flute player on “The Desert Is A Circle” was mind blowingly realistic. I swear I could see the Flute Players lips on the instrument. This same feeling was present while listening to the Dali’s, but not this realistic! On the downside, the Thiel had no deep base whatsoever! Plus it was leaner than the Dali….a little on the hot side, but not as pronounced . I guess it sounded like the leanness was more evenly spread across the high frequencies and the Dali it was litterly a bump in only the highest frequencies (cymbols). Again, not sure this speaker would jive well in my space.

PSB Synchrony One ($4500)
Out of my price range, but the dealer didn’t have the Synchrony Two in stock to listen to, so I thought I would listen to these. Boy, I was disappointed in this speaker as well. Goes to show you that you can’t rely just on reviews. You have to listen to the products and make your own judgments. These got a Class A rating in Stereophile! I just didn’t see it. Maybe it was because I auditioned these at the same dealer where I auditioned the Thiel’s. John Atkinson thought they soundstage well…I can’t say that I thought the same. These too were on the dark side of the fence like my signets. For $4500 they didn’t sound that much better than my old $1000 Signets….

Martin Logan Source ($1995)
Didn’t listen long to these either. I just couldn’t get over the off axis response. If you even move your head a little bit the high frequencies dropped off. Stand up or walk off to the side and forget about it! Plus the base frequencies coming from the cone portion sounded boxy to me.

The quest continues.
My opionion, the Paradigm Signature s2's. Amazing with a good sub. Ive owned the gallo's listed above and didnt like them much at all.