Standmount speakers. I have $5000.


I'm shopping standmount speakers. I have $5000.  New or pre-owned is fine.

And:

Micromega M100 integrated pre/amp/dac
Syzygy SLF870 sub x2 (12" drivers, 1200w ea, 20-200Hz, room correction)
Dynaudio Stand 4

room = ~5000 cu. ft, 20'x 18' with 13'-17' vaulted ceiling

The new standmounts will replace Nola Boxers v1 ($1500 new in 2013)

I'm lazy about travel to audition anything but might for local options (esp. to vet pre-owned). I'd probly deal with in-home trial.

As semi-arbitrary starting point I'm looking at Salk SS 7M's ($4995 new). Any others I simply must consider?

Thanks!
usery
If you haven't already done so, do call Fritz. He will speak with you at length about any and all concerns or questions. I see that Vapor Audio has been mentioned as a contender. I agree. I haven't heard any Vapors but the flexibility they offer is such a plus. I did hear the Joseph Pulsars at a show and was gobsmacked.
Usery wrote: "duke - thanks for the thoughtful reply. Just me in my seat, mostly on-axis, with ears about 7-8 feet from front plane of standmounts. On occasion I do jump up and dance/throw-body-about regardless of anyone watching ; )"

And I thank you for your reply.

In my opinion, "jump up and dance" levels are going to challenge any modest-efficiency 6.5" two-way in your fairly large room, even with a protective highpass filter to prevent over-excursion. That being said, of the speakers fitting this general description mentioned here, my suggestion would be that you contact Fritz and see what he recommends to go with your pair of very capable 12", 1.2 kW subs. Imo all of his speakers will have the finesse Classical calls for, so ask him for help choosing one with the dynamic capability IDM calls for

Duke
Maybe you would be so kind as to enlighten us further as to how you came to that conclusion...


I heard them and noticed they were quite bright sounding. 
@avanti1960

Joseph Audio Pulsars under 4K? Yep it’s called ask a third party internet direct company to build them. Many of them can build a faceted cabinet with the Seas T25 Millenium and Excel W16 for well under $4k, actually closer to 3k range.
Another +vote for B&W 805 monitors.

Happy Listening!
I forgot to mention Sonner Audio. I have listened to their stand mounts two years in a row at Lonestar Audio Fest and they are very good! This year they were driven by Class A/B Norma Audio Integrated. 
The Dynaudio Confidence C1s are the best stand mounts I have heard.-and by a big margin.You can get a second hand pair of them for $5000.The next tier down Contours are decent but nowhere near the C1s.
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@usery - This is my first post on the forum, although I've been a lurker for many many years :) Really felt like I could help in your case:
For your largish room and music tastes, I'd recommend a floorstander with a smaller footprint of a standmount. The Focal 1028 Be would be incredible for your room and are on sale at musicdirect for $5K: https://www.musicdirect.com/biggest-holiday-specials/Focal-Electra-1028-Be-Tower-Speakers
Focal is liquidating the last few pairs available of the Electras since they launched the Sopra series to replace the Electras (but at a higher price point) and Kanta series to fill the gap at the Electras original price point.
  
I've had the Electra 1028 Be for the last few years and have been super happy with them. At $5K brand new they're an incredible value with the Beryllium tweeter and W sandwich cones. I am driving them with Pass Labs Class A monoblocks, with Auralic Aries streamer, Chord M Scaler/Hugo2 DAC, and supported by a JL Audio F113 sub (for the last octave 20-40hz) in a largish 20'x30' room that opens into another room. The sound is just superb and I listen to all kinds of music including EDM, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Blues, Funk, etc. Previously I was using the B&W Signature 805 standmounts (which I still have btw), and while I haven't listened extensively to the newer 800 D3 series I always felt like with B&W you need to turn the volume up to get them to sing. With Focal Electras and their 91.5 db sensitivity, you could be playing at a whisper and still feel the music's impact. Also, at 72 lbs they're relatively easy to set up and move around by yourself without needing help.

If you really have to have standmounts, musicdirect also has the Electra 1008 Be standmounts available for $3K. There was another poster who recommended the Sopra 1, and I believe the Electra 1008 would get you 80-90% there for much cheaper. Of course if you can swing the Sopra 1s, go for it as they're absolutely superb. But for your room and music tastes, a well set up Electra 1028 with the subs would be a hard combo to beat at your budget, by most standmounts out there. The only other standmount that could directly compete around this price would be the Kef Reference 1, believe another poster had also recommended and could be had for ~$5K used. Hope this helps! Enjoy!
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jmolsberg 09-09-2019 5:42pm EST
 ^ believe OP said he had curious cats
jm is right: floor-standers are out, mostly due to maladjusted cat members of family.  There's also some feng shue pressure from spouse.

Separately there seems to be the occasional weird Audiogon forum admin deletes of posts in this thread (like jm's, above).  I've seen it before in other threads and I called the admins out on it.  Their explanations fell short.
The Dynaudio Confidence C1s are the best stand mounts I have heard.-and by a big margin.
Unless they can go flat to 20hz at very high volume, no its not the best. Its a compromise. 
The vast majority of musical content lies in the midrange.Yes it might be optimal to have low bass but most music does not have much low bass and the best way of achieving that if you want it is with a pair of active subwoofers [probably with DSP].
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b_limo: I noticed that too. I’ve had mixed experience with tmr - the single positive outcome was a purchase where I think I did quite well. I subsequently found that tmr was actually the 1st (and only) owner of the component. I think I got lucky. The rest of my encounters have left a bad taste - including a ridiculous lo-ball offer from them for a REL R328 sub, followed by usurious pricing on other pre-owned R328’s.
I can't help but comment: 
Has anybody heard of PMC ! ???
The speakers most widely used speakers in the recording industry and with the unique and best driver loading AKA "Advanced Transmission Line".
You will NOT ever hear a better or more natural stand mount speaker today.

PMC Twenty5/22
https://pmc-speakers.com/products/consumer/twenty5
https://www.stereophile.com/content/final-report-toronto-audiofest-2018

Or better yet their Active Professional line
https://pmc-speakers.com/products/professional/active
@usery
I do large orchestral from time to time
In that case, check out DeVore speakers as well, they are reasonably priced and offer large enough sound to fill up your room (E&M in Paris 12 had them, prob still does). Another unusual but no less interesting manufacturer is Tekton, offering weird design speakers (with limited Significant-Other appeal!) but huge sound!
Both of the above are easy to drive, the Tekton actually being hi sensitivity; I don’t know your micromega, but on paper, it should be more than adequate!
Tekton Design impact monitors.  Heard them two years ago at Rmaf.  Stunning!  $2k without stands in standard colors.

Tektondesign.com
+1 for Dynaudio Contour 20, they're really really good.
I own the Legacy Calibres in Natural Cherry; I've not heard a passive
monitor with this kind of Dynamics, orchestral music really comes alive. The AMT tweeter is sweet and very extended. The 8" bass driver (firing up) moves a lot of air in the midbass, something most monitors won't do. High recommended-

pawsman
Dynaudio Contour 20, they're really really good
No theyre not. wrong. Yes ive heard them 
Kenjit,
What planet are you from dude. Hard to tell if you are serious or just trying to rile people up. One thing is for certain is absolutely nothing of substance is written by you. As someone else mentioned Dunning Kruger effect pretty much sums it up or maybe any attention you get is better than nothing? 
Damnit. I got suckered in! 
As tbomb mentioned, the Adante are a remarkable deal right now.  One of my friends just picked up a pair.  My room is smaller than yours, but been happy with my 805's for a couple of years.
Hey Duke, I was just on your web site. If you put  subwoofers under the Soundlabs and cross in and around 100 hz and you put the right amp on them they will effortlessly blow your doors off and it does take four subs:)
Your web site does not mention which stand mount speakers you sell!

Oh, LS3/5A's. Don't let their size fool you. With your subwoofers they will go loud enough. 
I was just at a dealers place looking at Maggies for a second system.  I have Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolutions.  While at the dealers I had the chance to listen to FOCAL ELECTRA 1008 BE stand mounts.....these are "last years" models and are being sold nationally at about 50% off....$3K.  I was very impressed with these guys and they were be driven by a simple lower end McIntosh integrated amp....they were excellent.  Also another sleeper are used Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor M's....they are also excellent....enjoy the search!
Would recommend PranaFidelity Bhava. A stand mounted speaker that has a big room presence.

Mat
     CLEARWAVE speakers out of Rochester NY. You really can't beat them for the quality and price. They sell directly to you. No middle man to increase costs. Outstanding quality like Salk speakers. There are reviews out there online. Check them out. Thanks 
For playing EDM with a small, spouse-friendly form factor, try a stereo pair of Devialet Phantoms. They can play deeper than any stand-mount speaker mentioned thus far and remarkably, without any enclosure resonance. They're not as well-suited to jazz and small-ensemble music as some others but great for EDM. 
VanL speakerworks, Quartet's fully modified will run you a little less than the 5K and they never stop satisfying.  Will pair excellently with your described system.  
I have the 805d3 and they are good but I also have the jbl array 800 which is a horn speaker and imo the jbl are much better, Probably cant find them new though but I just got a pair for 2000. The whole array line with jbl are very musical nice bass great for all types of music and ht imo.( atleast in my experience the 1400 and the 800)
I too was at Capital Audio Fest and did the exact same thing. Those Fritz's were impressive.
Thanks again for all the helpful replies - some outliers aside this is a great group of insightful, conscientious people.

A few notes on my spec:

- bigger-box is ok (see Salk SS 7M). Spouse feng shue constraints are mostly around form/appearance, hence the need to swing to more traditional ’box’ in wood veneer.
- I’ve latched onto belief that bigger box with larger woofer, if not 3 drivers instead of 2, will "SPL" and fill my room dimensions better than smaller box. I’m open to being smacked down on that.
- for new I’m leaning towards internet-direct. For pre-own will consider both ’name’ and lo-name. I’m in no hurry.

Finally, I'm very keen on what orders-of-magnitude improvement I can reasonably expect over my current Nola Boxers v1.  I know this is somewhat complex question to answer/guess at, fraught with subjective impressions, room & genre specifics etc.
I would back some of the early recs for the Dynaudio Special 40’s. I am in the process of replacing my ATC SCM 19’s, which I am surprised have not been mentioned on this thread and which I suggest you listen to, with them. They are just very magical, cohesive and musical with a huge 3 dimensional sound. (They aren’t as neutral = analytical? ... which is fine with me)

You mention 3 drivers instead of 2, but the simple and wide first-order crossover/integration of the 2 drivers in the S40’s is something else and they often give the illusion of large scale floorstanders more than any other standmount I have heard. Low sensitivity notwithstanding, the Dynaudio’s won’t fall apart when going loud. WAF should be good with the grey birch finish as well.

I have not heard the C20’s yet and they might be a step up in terms of refinement and bass depth (which you have covered with your subs), but from what I have read at the possible loss of some of the magic that the S40’s have.


I like the Monitor Audio Gold 100. The new model is fantastic in my opinion. I have the old model and just love them. My room is about the same size as yours. Also, Monitor Audio Platinum PL100 
If I had $5000 to throw at a pair of stand mount speakers, I’d probably be looking at Fritz these days. Spartan looks but top notch build qualty and will mate better than most with most any amp including tube amps  plus probably a fair amount of change to spare with $5000.

I do keep looking at them at least anyhow.....
If you want to go hog wild, check out JWM Acoustics for superb (large) stand-mounts, and over-the-top WAF.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Egglestonworks Emmas; I heard them last month at T.H.E. show, where they were selling for $5500.  Best speakers I heard under $10K.
Another vote here for Tekton Impact Monitors. I auditioned numerous stand mounts over the course of a year for my secondary system (B&W, Rogers LS35a, ELAC, Hsu, Goldenear, SVS, and more), and the IMs were in a league well above all the the others. In fact, they ended up in my primary system as my main speakers (with a pair of Goldenear subs). Buy the IMs and save yourself $3,000 -- which you can use for exotic cables! ;)  
Mijostyn wrote: "Hey Duke, I was just on your web site... Your web site does not mention which stand mount speakers you sell!"

I am awaiting high quality photos, which in turn are awaiting a couple of final cosmetic tweaks.

In stand-mount speakers, I currently do a 10" two-way (the Gina) and a 12" two-way (the Azel Stand Mount). Neither call for a protective highpass filter unless you want to go north of 110 dB or 112 dB, respectively.

Duke

I have the Dynaudio Special 40, they really are special. As a plus the cabinets are gorgeous! And at $3k a pair you could add a nice REL sub , I have T7i, with REL cable!  
Oops I see you already have subs. I’ve never been a fan of used speakers. In any case the Red Special 40’s are really beautiful they look more like red wine!
+1 Focal Sopra 1 used, or new Electra 1008 Be on sale for 3k.  Focal and Micromega have good synergy, are often featured together at audio shows. I have Focal 1007Be speakers... they can fill a large room with resolving beautiful music without sounding analytical IMHO. 
Another vote for Studio Electric. I have the earlier Monitors and they sound wonderful! Nice s/stage, easy to listen to, will play as loud as you want, though they do like a little power behind them. I'll bet the M1 is even better!  
Couple thoughts,... I have identical musical tastes and find speaker shopping difficult because doing everything well is a rarity. I settled on a set of Revel M106’s with a sub in a similarly sized room. I absolutely love them running off an NAD M10. My budget however was half of yours. If I were to look at your price point I would have considered the Paradigm Personas, Revel Gems, or for a more all in one and aesthetically pleasing solution I would consider the Kii 3.

Legacy Calibres are outstanding. They sound way more like a large floorstander, Huge image, great bass, fantastic dynamics, 

Smooth and musical, many people forget just how amazing these monitors are even compared to way more expensive monitors.

All propreitary drivers, stunning cabinet, highly efficient. 

Also this is a true three way design, with a Heil AMT tweeter, a front firing silke and graphite midrange top mounted long throw woofer and two side firing passive radiators, just a bargain compared to most of the competition.

Will easily out play any two way monitor.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Legacy dealers
I’d be curious to know, as I am playing in the same sandbox as the OP: anyone owned or extensively heard both the Special 40’s AND the Pulsars?
The Tekton Studio Monitor for $2500 just might outperform some of the other possibilities. Only one review however:  http://www.tektondesign.com/uploads/9/8/4/7/98478018/pmd_monitor.pdf
+1 more for the Legacy Calibre’s for the reasons noted.

Legacy Anything pretty well leaves all the rest in their dust.
Paul77e, don’t be sorry!  Those are amazing speakers 👍