This might be a good place to start
Stand Mount Speakers
It seems like there is an endless amount of options these days, some good and some not so good. I've been using a very clean set of B&W 602 S3 speakers for quite some time. Great when the volume is up, but not so great at the low end. I'm in a 1300 sq ft condo now and the main room is about 800 sq ft. Current equipment is as follows:
Emotiva XMC-1 Processor Emotiva BasX 5 channel amp Emotiva Airmotiv 8 Sub Thorens TD 145 Mac Mini Apple TV
I listen to a lot of vinyl, multiple genres and stream some music and movies.
I'm looking for bookshelf/stand-mount speakers. Was leaning toward the Focal Aria K2 906 or the Dynaudio Evoke 20. Other recommendations are greatly appreciated.
I'd vote for the Dynaudios. Hands down excellent bass response and detailed sound stage with a wide variety of vinyl. If you decide to move on, their value holds up very well.
Make sure you use the Dynaudio stands; they securely mount to each speaker and really enhance the performance.
You will be disappointed with the lack of bass with the focals. Dynaudio, totem model 1’s, usher mini-x, usher s-520, usher x-719, the golden ear’s, and many others. You might want to look at the revel m15’s/m16’s, totem hawk, usher mini dancer 1’s, all very tiny floor standing speakers that would not take up any more room that a stand mount speaker, and will sound good at low and high volumes
Not sure of budget but the DIY kit from Madisound of the Klang & Ton 2 way lg shelf / stand speakers can be had for around $2k using flat pack cabs and supplies. Use arguably some of the best drivers known with hi-quality XO parts. For another $1k can get heirloom furniture quality cabs built by Lee Taylor. Ported or unported design. I think they sound best low power to about 85 db listening level in my medium room (14 x 21).
Lee Taylor makes some beautiful cabinets.
however never heard them unfortunately
my experience with speakers is very mixed.
I’ve had Quad ESL, Maggie, TAD, AR, Paradigm,
Epos, Elac , Bozak Polk, and what it all came down to was room acoustics and power!
currently I’m using Epos Epic 2 with about a 120 watt feed and they sound great.
also I’m using Elac 2.0/B6.2 with 80 watts of power and these too sound v good.
Also the quality of the music feed is vital. In sum, it’s not an easy equation to solve-it’s like a simultaneous equation-
I think the Elac are terrific ,not because of price , but it’s unreal what Andrew Jones did for speakers that sell for a fraction of others.
Also the use of a power conditioner where I reside has been an asset. It’s hard to be pleased with a multi variant like audio !
nevertheless we are supporting the economy and keeping out of trouble !
Small, direct, high quality, in home trial: Fritz.
Made in California by designer with 40 years experience. Check these forums for "Fritz." Very high value for the $$.
I, too, live in a 1300 sq ft condo and it really is a challenge. However, I have a pair of Joseph Audio Pulsar 2 Graphene on Sound Anchor stands built specifically for the Pulsars and I have been extremely happy with them at high and low volume. I run a McIntosh MA2275 tube integrated amp, Rega P6 with a PS Audio Stellar Phono preamp. Digitally I run Roon through an Apple Mac Mini and a MoJo Audio Mystique v2 DAC.
Are you not using your sub for 2 channel playback?
Your issue is pretty standard for any speaker at low volume because our hearing is much less sensitive to low frequencies. As the volume increases our ability to hear bass also increases, hence the, it's sounds better when it's louder, but even at 110 dB 40 hz will sound 12 dB quieter to us than 1K hz, and at 80 dB 40 hz will seem almost 20 dB quieter. So the lower the volume you are listening at, the louder you should be running your sub in relation to your B & W's
Often overlooked for a stand mounter is the Vandersteen VLR's. They offer a ceramic tweeter or you can upgrade to the in house made carbon fiber tweeter which is the same design as they use in their 70K Model 7's. They are made to be close to the wall and are easy to set up. I hadn't heard them until a year ago and I was in shock at how good they are. Those are my ears, but he showed them with a modest Rotel integrated amp and then with a Sim Moon integrated (I think it was a Sim). I loved how it scaled with better gear. To me, that shows a great design.
Lot's of good choices to audition as that's the only way you will really know. Good luck.