Almost impossible to answer. One person will like a particular quality of a speaker while another will be bothered by it or it won't be a factor at all. Speakers are one of those rare instances in which you can listen to a string of ten pairs and find reason(s) to not buy each on some grounds. I have also personally heard more than one pair retailing at 8-10k that did not play music NEARLY as well as PSB alphas or JM lab Chorus 705 (their smallest model), etc.
Questions like this are just about imposible to answer with any real assurance that we, are giving you the right answer. I would have to say there are just to many at this price point new&used so you will just have to experiment by buying used and if it's not to your liking then move on until you find your idea of nirvana.
I just bought a pair of Dali Ikon 6's that I suspect might be satisfactory. Used, they should come in under your budget. They are very neutral and natural sounding, with superb soundstaging, and are stunning on vocals. There are lots of other choices, but you should listen to the Dalis if you can.
Another speaker that impressed me while I was auditioning was the Revel F12. I thought that the Dalis were a little more natural and provided a better soundstage - and the Revel's were a little bit too imposing for my small room (the Dalis are smaller).
I agree with Schipo. Experimentation is the only way to know which is best for your situation. Having said that, I have purchased and sold numerous speakers during my search. My favorite to this date is the Revel M20. At the used prices for them now they are definitely worth a listen. Have had mine for nearly 6 months and they are fantastic.
If a pair of the M22s come available fairly close it will be tempting. Good luck.
Anything from Tyler Acoustics. Incredible value!
Certainly Spendor, Proac, or Sonus Faber would meet your criteria for sound and hold their resale value reasonably well. I like the Silverines, which seem to sell used for somewhat low percentages of retail but to my ear are wonderful. Some of the Ushers would be great too. You might find Dynaudio too clinical, especially with your amp.
I think you have some good choices on you list. You might want to add Harbeth on your list. For full range I think you could do a lot worse than a Vandersteen 2Ce, I don't know how much power you NAD has, but I would recommend 100 watt SS for the Vandersteen.
I like used Tyler Reference Monitors in that price range, but a floorstander with a solid footprint might be safer with little kids. Up the range just a tad, something like the Totem Hawk.
Vandersteen 2c would make a great scratching post for the cat...
You have good prospects already on your list. Another consideration would be if you ever wanted to go with tube amps you might consider something that is not a difficult load. BTW, I have Dynaudios, driven by tubes (amazingly well I might add), but previously solid state. Depending on what you like, there are some Focus 110s for sale now on Agon. Also 52s pop up now and then. To me these are very different speakers. The Focus series excels with female vocals, jazz and classical. I think the 52s would probably be a little more well rounded, better on rock, but will hold their on in other Genres. From my above crack, I assume that most of your considerations will be bookshelf speakers on stands.
In the $1,000 price range you can choose either Sonus Faber Concertino/Domus or Dynaudio Audience 52SE. With your NAD amp which leans towards warmth, Dynaudio would be a better choice given your musical preferences. Piano and strings may sound more realistic with the Dynaudio. No experience with Revel or Spendors. Others may have different opinion due to varied listening preferences.
For your type of music and a $1,200 used budget you may want to add Magnepan 1.6 QR to your list but you will need a minimum of 200 watts @4 ohmns applification to do these speakers any justice.
Very true regarding the cat, nix the Vandersteen.
Tyler Taylo Reference Monitors used , many different natural wood grains are available.
Green Mountain Audio Europa Monitors used, black cast resin cabinet
For the type of music you mentioned: Goodmans Maximus 1. Hard to find though. I've had Proac Reference 8 and D15 and Tyler Acoustics Taylo.
There are a pair od Celestion 700s for sale at $1100. The integral stands would make it relatively feline-proof.
if you want instruments to sound real, including the human voice, don't look at cones. consider panels. there is less error in recreating timbre with a panel than with a cone design.
You already have some of the fastest on the market!
It will take something on the order of Wilsons to get the resolution you now have.
Btw have you contacted Sequerra about your problem?
YUP, there are NO SHORT CUTS to audio nirvana! Can't take everyone's advice, then go shopping, and expect to get the end-all-be-all system! You'll have to do trial-and-error -
It's the price you pay for quality. Then spend time finding out what does what!
Magnapan SMG's(all years),MG12's,1.6's or new MMG's and others the Totem Arro's,Ohm Micro Talls,Green Mountain Callisto's.
Thank you for everyones feedback and suggestions I know it was one of those boy it all depends type question but it was great brainstorming for me. I ended up with a pair of Proac signature 50's I should have them next week some time and will then be able to tell if I made the right choice from all the reviews I read they should do it thank you again for everyones input!
At DCMspeakers.com. $1000/pr, very musical and easy to drive. Sold direct with an in-home trial for 30 days. My personal favorite at this price point.
Well sorry for not getting back on the report with the Proac's. I sent out the money order and saw that the seller raised the price on the speakers. Thought this was not a good sign and sure enough he said he never received the money order. Bad experience, I assume he sold the speakers to someone at the higher price. I have put in a request to see if the money order was cashed if so he stiffed me for the speakers and stole my money. First time on Audiogon everyone has been great. Guess there is a first time for everything. What I learned use Paypal.
I have filed with the post office and will report back.
You can pick up a set of Acoustat 1+1s or better still 2+2s for $1000.00 or less. They will give you everything that you are asking for and some. Since you have cathedral ceilings the taller models won't be a problem.
The Cat on the other hand; I can tell you first hand that cats will go right up to the top of them and look down at you with total disdain.