Upgrade from Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 to ?

Hello All,

In a dilemma as to what would the next logical speaker upgrade would be. I really like the Sonus Faber Venere paired with Audio Analogue Maestro 70. The combination sounds just right. What I’m looking for in my next speaker is a bit more low end and improved top-end resolution. Any suggestions for $5K budget? PMC Twenty 23 looks interesting.

My Current Setup:

Amplification: Audio Analogue Maestro 70
Phono Pre: EAR 834P
Sources: Rega RP6 w/ Shelter 501 MKII, Tandberg TD20A SE Reel to Reel, Tandberg TCD 3014A Cassette
Speakers: Sonus Faber Venere 2.5

If you like your current setup why not just move up to the Venere 3.0 if you're wanting a little more bottom end and extension? Between your amp and speakers are you sure the amp is the stronger of the two? Depending on your room size a larger speaker might not be the first step. What are the dimensions of your room?

Thanks for the suggestion. My room is 14' x 18', speakers against the 14' wall 8' apart and 8' from the listening position. The amp certainly sounds great. Before the AA Maestro 70 I was driving the SFs with AA Verdi 70 and DK Design VS-1 Ref. MK II (150 @ 8Ohm). The Maestro 70 is much more musical and can drive the SFs beautifully. So, IMHO amp is good. 

I auditioned the PMC Twenty 23 driven with Rega (not sure of the model though) that puts out 140 into 8 Ohm, but was not impressed enough to make the switch. I'm going to audition them in my listening environment next week, but I'd like to get some suggestions from others.
Check out Dynaudio. There are several models in your price range. 
I had the 2.5s in my system for a few weeks on demo.  They are indeed very good speakers for the money and do many things well.  But they of course have their limitations given their price, and I found them, not surprisingly, to be at the lowest lows and highest highs.  The bottom is good for the price/size of the speakers, but they run out of steam quickly down there and as a result lack a bit of punch.  Also, while nicely detailed up top they lacked the last bit of air that helps more clearly define recording venues and the like.  Imaging, while very good, did not quite portray depth and scale that other speakers have achieved in my room. 

All that said, I've not heard the PMC speakers you mention, but given the reviews I'd be very surprised if they don't sound significantly more accomplished in the above areas with your amp and in your room.  As you probably know, they should be aimed straight ahead with no toe-in to achieve proper treble balance.  I'd be very interested in what you find with an in-home demo.  Other speakers I've heard that best the 2.5s in these areas are Joseph Audio, Reference 3A, and Silverline among others.  Hope this helps and best of luck in your search. 

Thanks for the suggestions xti16 and soix. I agree with you on the performance of Veneres, they perform very very well for the price. The one thing I liked about the PMCs is their diminutive size. They’re rather narrow and short compared to the Venere 2.5s, maybe because they have just 2 drivers in them, but I thought Rega Integrated was a bad match, not that they sounded bad, just something missing. The mid-range was beautiful (3 -dimensional) but the rest of the instruments were recessed. As long as I was listening to PMCs, I was comparing their sound to Veneres in my head. That’s the reason why I wanted to do an in-home audition so I can compare the two.

While at the store, I also listened to ProAC D20 R (ribbon tweeter), to be honest I liked the PMCs better. I think the ProACs were not completely borken-in yet. Also, I was impressed with the bass response of PMC (given their rather smallish size), thanks to ATL technology.

I did consider Scansonic MB series too, but reading the posts here and elsewhere I realized they are very very room dependent and extremely bass heavy (better suited for large rooms). I've always wanted to try a ribbon tweeter but after listening to ProAC D20R I'm not sure if they're really that superior to conventional tweeters, may be Raidho got it right, but can't say. I did listen to Raidho X-1s a year and a half ago, even then my thoughts were the same; are they really that good?

Will update the post with my impressions of PMCs once I have them demoe’d at home. 
I know it's been quite a while, but I'd like to know how the search played out for you.  Add'l in-home trials, did you purchase something...?  The brands and models are of interest to me and my search.