Speakers for Ayre AX-7e

As a present for a young (29yo) friend who is buying his first house in Tucson and settling down for the first time, I'm providing the sound system!  For digital streaming, I already bought a Raspberry Pi and a Hifiberry Dac+ProXLR. I also already bought the Ayre AX-7e integrated amp for the following reasons:

  • Robust choice that would drive mid to high efficiency speakers
  • Excellent build quality
  • Less heat output than tube amp for Arizona living
  • Stellar Ayre customer support in case issues arise, and reasonable repair costs

As a 20-something, and knowing his musical tastes, the speakers should be able to handle dynamic music with bass happening (e.g. alt rock, progressive), but lots of other varieties as well. The living room is small to medium - and they would probably appreciate a small footprint speaker.  I believe the floor is cement (not uncommon in AZ). I don't think the AX-7e is powerful enough to drive a low efficiency speaker.

I would like to buy used.  Cosmetic condition isn't very important, in fact, cost savings due to cosmetic damage may be a good thing. As I've already got $1400 into the system, I am actually looking for a bang-for-the-buck speaker - maybe costing me between $400-$1000 a pair. I could be swayed, but I've heard inexpensive speakers sound great with good amplification (e.g. Silverline Minuet Grand). But I'd like a speaker that provides bass.

Thoughts or concepts?  Thanks, Peter
I first heard Ayre at a Pono demo with Paradigm speakers. That was a really good combo.
Small footprint with bass is a tall order!

 I had an AX-7 for about 15 years. Drove three speakers with them: B&W DM12 monitors, Thiel CS1.6, Vandersteen 2Ce Sig II. Thiels and Vandies are far better than those old B&Ws. The Thiels probably a bit better resolved and transparent than the Vandies but the Vandies with much more bass making them overall more satisfying. The Vandersteens were slightly veiled in the midrange, that was helped by biwiring with quality cables. The Vandersteens are a crazy value, I don’t think they can be beat at that price but they are large monoliths, so maybe not what you want. Also, the AX-7 will clip with the Vandersteen if you like to listen a high SPLs. With the Thiels, my ears gave up well before the Ayre did.

Another option I considered when I bought the Thiels was the Revel M20. John Atkinson gave them a rave review and he measured and heard bass <30 cycles. So, small footprint and extended bass. I heard a pair driven by a NAD amp. Sounded good but I was happy I went with the Thiels.
I'm very pleased with the pairing of my A7e and LS50s.
@dbphd - I imagine that would be a good match.  I also have a pair of LS50's that I run with an Ayre V5xe in my bedroom system.  But for this young man, I think both of those components may be a bit light on bass, which would cause an overall sense of bass missing.  I think he'll need some bass!