Up to $4000US tower speakers for Jazz and Classical Music

Hello All!

My wife and I are musicians who happen to also love listening to music! Last 3 years we have used a pair of Q acoustics Concept 40 tower speakers powered (now) by and Audiolab 6000A integrated. We listen to 90% of our music on CDs (Audiolab CD transport) or vinyls (Audiotechnica turntable). Mostly jazz and classical music in our roughly 53 square meters (550 sq ft) living room. Some other speakers came and went but we have so far liked the Q acoustics more than any other. We like their honesty with a tinge of warmness, but they are also engaging, open sounding, dynamic, airy! We love how chamber music sounds on them: string quartets, piano trios (jazz or classical), voices, big bands, etc... but we do miss a bit of that lower octave the Q acoustics simply don't have. A friend lent me a pair of Elac Adante AS-61 but did no like them much. lots of transient attack (which was good for percussion instruments) but it somehow changed the color/timbre of other instruments. I work also as a mixing engineer and have a pair of Neumann KH310 monitors in my treated room so I can say I'm picky with sound. Of course we don't want the analytical sound of the Neumanns in our living room (completely different beasts) but we want speakers to still be honest, but engaging, open, dynamic, airy. We are looking for a pair of tower speakers around $4000 that will provide us with a more believable orchestral crescendo, pianissimo, fortissimo, and that lower octave of a double bass the Concept 40s can't provide (by the way, we don't want a sub; tried several and simply did not like the overall presentation). We are looking at possibilities in Crutchfield, Music Direct or Amazon in case we need to return them (we live in the countryside and can't audition any speakers nowhere near!). Our list includes: Klipsch Forte III, Definitive Technology Demand D17, Kef R7, JBL HDI-3800, Dali Opticon 8MK2, Revel F206 and B&W 703 S2 or 704 S2. They will have to be efficient as the Audiolab does not have a ton of power! Any suggestions, greatly appreciated!! Thanks!


Thanks again for the incredible input! no plans to upgrade the Audiolab as we just upgraded the amp (by the way, we find the synergy between the Audiolab amp and its CD transport to be excellent). We are aware it does not have a lot of power but we are amazed at how good the Q Acoustics sound with the Audiolab. Sooo much better! We will definitely need a pair of efficient (high sensitivity) speakers with the Audiolab, so Magnepans (for what I’ve read), unfortunately, will not work for us.

to spend 4 grand on a pair of better speakers to play jazz/classical, yet have the choice limited by an audiolab integrated amplifier power output is unwise, in my opinion - especially as the 6000a has pre outs to drive a power amp.

Sage advice indeed. You say that you have a 550 sq ft room. Depending on the dimensions that could be 20’ x 25’. Based on the room size, genre of music, the fact that you like a tinge of warmth, and robust bass; I would have to echo the recommendation for the new Vandersteen Model 2Ce Signature III.

The specs say it can be driven with as little as 40wpc, but I would probably want to upgrade your power amp at some point. And at $3607.00 retail (with stands) meets your budget objective as well.

Also recommend that you give John Rutan at Audio Connection a call. He is an expert on all things Vandersteen and will definitely point you in the right direction. 

Let us know what you decide. Good luck!
- Joe

While they're not a new model from a dealer offering free return, I think you could do a lot worse than the Dunlavy III's that are currently listed for sale on Audiogon.  I am in no way affiliated with the seller, but I have had Dunlavy II's in the past, driven to great effect by relatively inexpensive Rotel amplification.  They are efficient, have extended bass, and do well with all forms of music.

Happy Listening,


sorry wrong direction you love your speakers why don’t you upgrade to an even better amp?


the next class of amps 3 to 5k should get you some impressive gains in overall performance


if I were you I would visit a local dealer and borrow a few amps