Speaker suggestions:long-wall, somewhat nearfield.

I sit 7-feet from the front of the speakers, and leave
about 2 or 2.5 feet from the back of the speaker to the wall behind them. There is tons of room to the sides.

I want to avoid piercing highs, boomy-loose bass,
grainy etched vocals,
or too-forward/ringing mids; (basically anything that
would have me recoiling from the sound or causing listening
fatigue, with classical or lesser-quality rock/pop CDs.)

Repeating my main priority: don't want fatigue, even at the
expense of other audiophile goodies.

Wilson Watt Puppy sixes used to be here but vocals were
dry and scratchy and so were strings. Aerial 10Ts were here
and worked pretty well but the bass was a little one-note,
but I could have lived with them long term (they were forgiving on even the worst CDs). Piega P10s had pushy upper bass and lower mids (any bell-like sound gave me a headache). Apogee Stages were pretty wonderful but the woofers broke and couldn't be repaired.

Thinking: Harbeth, SP Tech, Vandersteen 5As, Quad 2805s
but I am open to anything. Budget: under $11K, new or used.

Upstream: Edge NL12.1 amp, Mac C46 pre, EMM SE cdp,
Stealth Indra ICs, Cardas Golden Ref speaker cable.

Thanks again to anyone out there for your kind assistance.
Nice setup Rgs92. Looks like the Edge NL 12.1, C46, and Emm CDSA SE should have good synergy.

On your list of loudspeakers to experience, I'm leaning toward Harbeth 40m (used) and Quad 2805s (with REL B3). If you like Vandersteen 5A maybe the Quatro would be a better match for your room.

Not on your list should be...

Sonus Faber Cremona or Cremona M (used. M has different or upgraded tweeter and midrange by Scan-Speak)

Dali 400mk2 (in rosenut finish of course, hard to beat on performance/price ratio)

Zu Presences (the sleeper of the bunch. customize skins and metals, you gain more flexibility in room placement because it's designed to go right up against the wall, and it's highly efficient)

Have you updated your Emm SE with latest software or purchased the new German Transport with isolation feet?

Enjoy auditioning new loudspeakers.
No, the EMM has not been updated (and still has the old Phillips xport. Thanks for the new ideas. I will do some research. So you prefer the SF Cremona to the Guenari?
Does the Harbeth RM40 have too much bass?
Would the SHL5 be a better choice? Thanks again
for your comments.
Check out Reference 3A Grand Veena, I think they would work for you.
Say your room dimensions please? Describe the room openings? How many and locations?
The room is about 20 by 10 feet, with the speakers on the long wall. That long wall has doorway to a small room on the
right (usually open) and another larger opening on the left
to a hallway.

[20 feet wall to wall]

Try to hear some VMPS speakers if you can....what ever model fits your room?.....probably RM-30's.

The VMPS are hybrids....easy to drive, great bass....and near-field friendly.
I read that the RM30s has some bass issues. Could you
describe the bass? Is it tuneful, integrated and satisfying?
I don't need really deep bass, just high quality bass.
VMPS got it's start in subwoofers...no bass issues there. The RM-30's go into (mid-bottom) octave only....30-35hz.

I own four VMPS subwoofers. I use two of them with my Apogee Duetta Signatures....all four, for home theater.

I'm a dipole guy myself (Apogees)....but, If I had to cut corners because of placement/listening issues, the hybrid VMPS would be on my short list, (used of course).

The crossover to the cone bass drivers is quite low....integration is fine to my ear. They are also tube friendly.....75-150 watts......maybe even less for you?

I would expect my Rogue Audio M-120 Magnums, would drive the heck out of a pair.
Von Schweikert is coming out with their unifield 3 speakers that you may be able to get in your price range. They are actually designed to be what you are looking for. I am checking them out for my situation.
Rgs92 my mistake. I should have said M30 or better yet SHL5. Not the M40. I was looking at all the models when writing and got confused.

The Guenari are incredible and understand I have a love for two-way speakers, hence I have the Helicon 300. Two-ways are special and perform very well in small rooms with the right components however,if I had to spend 10k to 15k I would look for extraordinary treble and midrange with bass not being as important but very satisfying in that price range. The Cremona M (and other speakers listed) may point you in that direction.

Next up...more listening to Helicon 400mk2,Cremona M,and Marten Miles III.
Basically your wish list described the AV123 Strata Mini. A very revealing mid with a smooth top end (genesis tweeter). Has adjustable bass output and sounds best in the near/mid field. A very smooth,non-fatiguing speaker. Only problem is that they are to cheap for your budget so you will probably discount them.
Hey guys, thanks yet again. Thanks for confirming my
interest in the SHL5. You say "not the M40" Lapierre--
is that because of the bass that might overwhelm things?
And Jig-I just read the av123 review on SoundStage,
and it sure does look interesting. No, no price is too low.
I know that there are a zillion exceptions to the price=quality equation in audiophilia. (I still think back to
Dynaco A25s I got new for $160/pair, and the new Apogee Stages
I got for $2500/pair, all from dealers.) In fact, my target price is more like $5K if I can get away with it and be happy
(tired of all this speaker swapping).
Correct Rgs92. I'm afraid the M40 will overwhelm things.

If your budget is really 5k try ATC : SCM20. Another audiophile recommended them to me after downsizing from a larger floor stand speaker.

They image like crazy and have that incredible treble and midrange I was talking about.

Thanks for the ATC suggestion. I will look at the line.
Take a good hard look at the SP Tech Timepiece Minis and get them before the price skyrockets.
The answer might be the Peak Consult Empress. These speakers may have the right amount of what you are looking for. My wife said, "tell him to get the Audio Physic Avanti 3's." The Avanti 3's are spectacular nearfield speakers. Both speakers should work well with your amp. Optimize them with cables such as Kubala or Stereovox. I like Quad's too.
Btw, the Zoltan's I have for sale now I think would overload your room.
Marty, thanks!
Is the Peak C.E.'s bass well controlled and friendly?
Thanks again.
Try putting your listening seat AT the rear wall and see what the bass does with doing that. It should tighten-up considerably. Adjust your toe-in as needed for staging.
What's ON the rear wall?
If you like the sound of that location, try hanging something behind your head (small rug, etc) and notice the difference.
Good listening!
Well, the rear wall is a large window covered by light curtains. Thanks for the help.
You are definatley in a higher class of speakers than me. Given that class, I can't imagine any speakers in that league having one note bass.

I would look at the room for issues. Has the room been treated? When you say "about" a 10 by 20 room, how exact is the about? I hope you don't have 10 foot ceilings to go with that.

Was the one note bass about 55hz? 10 feet calculates to a standing wave of 56.5hz.

The echo from the 20 foot wave would also directly affect the same 56.5hz.
Oh, that one-note or disconnected coming-right-from-the-woofer bass syndrome is pretty common to my ears at audio shows
and dealers in my experience,even with megabuck speakers.