What is your budget?
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My budget is around $30k.
I like vocal, sax, violin, viola, flute, piano, guitar, etc. I like Norah Jones. I don't care for hard hitting music. The fact that I have the ARC Reference 3 and CD7 hints the characteristics that I prefer.
Along with speakers recommendation, please suggest which wall should the speakers be facing, the 11 or 15 ft wall.
Well, I am going to disagree with Lapierre about the Avalon Eidolon Diamond. (Not that I don't think that they are good speakers - they are magnificient - but, they will not work well with only 18 wpc, IMHO. I believe these speakers really need at least 100 wpc, in order to get decent bass out of them, and 200 wpc to maximize the bass response.)
Personally I think that you'll need to think about going with horns. (I am not a huge fan of the Avantegarde horn speakers, but I do like the Acapella horn speakers. They just seem a bit more refined to my ears.)
Here is a speaker right at your budget limit, that would be perfect. They are 94 db efficient, so the 18 wpc should work pretty well with them.
Acapella Triolons for sale here on Audiogon
(Note: I have not heard these, but I did hear their little brothers, the Acapella High Violincellos, and they were great!)
My two cents worth anyway.
Good Luck in your search!
Well, I am going to disagree with Lapierre about the Avalon Eidolon Diamond.
I am going to agree with Kurt tanks disagree. The same would hold true with the Magico's though, not happening with 18 WPC. I am aware that the ML2.1 is a conservative 18 watts, but it's still less than an ideal match with these speakers. This all of course IMHO.
Additionally, your room size calls for a smaller speaker.
I think Lokie had some great suggestions. Although I have never heard of Lamm tubed amps w/ either DeVore or Audio Note speakers, those are two more that come to mind.
For efficient speakers you may want to consider silverline audio. the bolero or la folia should be fine with 18 wpc. the bolero are fine for a mid-sized room. never heard with the lamm though. there were a couple of positive mentions of the silverline boleros at the ces this year -- not sure which ones - the bolero supreme are 12k but the new grand bolero are 30K.
I recently sold my ML2's to a guy that had a pair of Sunny Cable's horns. It is a killer combination. I had them paired up with a pair of Reimer Teton's with great effect. For best results I would look at speakers around 95db up with an easy load of 6-8 ohms. The Daedalus speakers would be a great match for the ML2's and be much less than your budget.
I should elaborate a little bit more. For the type of music that I listen to, Wilson just isn't soulful or involving. Wilson definitely has its strengths. It all depends on the music that you listen to. I have heard the X2 with Boulder, Maxx 3 with Audio Research, Maxx 3 with Nagra, and Watt Puppy 8 with Nagra.
Thank you all for the suggestions. I am getting a pair of Von Schweikert VR5-SE 94db.
I brought my system which includes Lamm ML2.1, ARC Reference 3 and Reference CD7 to a Von Schweikert dealer in Dallas and demo the VR9. My system driving the VR9 is incredible. I figured the VR-5SE will be similar. Vladimir and just about everyone else say that the ML2.1 needs high efficiency. 94db is efficient. Lamm's website suggest 94db and up for the ML2.1
So how's the match of the VR5 with the ML2.1. Do share please. I am very familiar with the VR5 model, albeit, I'm used to this being driven by the hybrid M1.2 or M2.2 of Lamm.
I own a pair of the ML2.1 that drive the phased out Von Schweikert DB-99 SE. I am extremely happy with this combination.