Something from the Sonus Faber line would be my recommendation. To see and hear them is to love them.
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Harbeth SHL5, Spendor 9s, Vandersteen 5As, Devore Orangutans, or best of all, used Tannoy Prestige series.
That said, if you're going to shell out $4k to $8k for speakers, I hope you'll be upgrading what you have upstream, in particular that DAC and Apple TV... which are likely the key culprit for any harshness in the upper frequencies you're hearing. The Bryston amp is likewise doing little to mitigate things if that's an issue you're trying to resolve.
Yes, what makes you think that replacing speakers would be better than replacing pre and power amps with tubes or, say, Pass class A amps and that tv plus dac? Also, Cardas cables especially inexpensive ones are not what you want. You would want Purist cables or maybe some gold cables. It might be that you actually want to change your entire system.
The warm lush sound that ultimately emanates from your speakers is often as much, if not more so, a function of your CD player or pre-amp than it is your speakers. To get that lushness that you want, you might seriously take a look at your electronics... are they (your CD player & amp/pre-amp) somewhat bright or thin sounding? What do you have in terms of electronics? SS or tube? If tube, what tubes do you have?
I am an older listener, I so not like any brightness at all (older ears seem more sensitive to brightness than younger ones...why? not sure ... but it is the case)... and I myself went on a quest for lush, rich but not bright sound in my system --- but it meant completely and systematically changing the whole line-up of components. Actually, at 4-8K for speakers, most speakers in that range will be, generally, whatever the signal fed to them will have them be.
The point? You may be looking in the wrong place for what you want... the electronics may be more critical than the speakers (or, at least, as critical).
another thought. Lush fullness in a stereo system is very volume dependent. As the volume goes up, fullness, palpable presence, and richness also goes up. So... to get that richness, you want to play louder. But... as volume goes up, if there is any harshness or brightness, that too is accentuated. So... we are limited to how loud we play based upon harshness and brightness. Remove the harshness and brightness, and the volume can go louder and fullness and richness goes up.
What am I saying? You get rich, lush sound by removing brightness and harshness --- simply by playing louder. So... the quest for richness and lushness is really more often a quest to remove harsh, bright components from your sonic chain of components (again, check that CD player and the amplification ... they are more often the culprit in harshness than are the speakers)
It's Octadyn (George). Sonus Faber's Cremora auditor 'M' But I think you know my FIRST recommendation. Dyn C1 MKII. If not check out the original C1's. The MKII's are a little clearer than the originals but they play very well at lower volumes. Much easier to set up and position and they are not 'in your face' like the S25's.
As others have said consider the amp. Also consider copper cables over silver.
Most important demo them yourself. Funny because the S25's are based on the Evidence Master drivers where the Confidence is based on the Temptation drivers BUT the C1 cost more. Go figure:)
Dali MS or Helicon, BUT they are not as far to the warm, rich side as to sound thick and colored, which your post seems to be asking for.
The Dalis are a little to the warm side with rich harmonics and textures. They are musical and easy on the ear. No harshness or brightness with decent (don't have to be the best) electronics.
In the most recent TAS they are called speakers to "marry" for life. That may be a little strong, but you get the idea.
I could not recommend my Cambridge Audio S30 more. I encourage you to try them. They have simply blown me away. I know that Cambridge is not currently known for their loudspeakers, but if you like a natural, warm, engaging sound, I highly recommend them. Further, they are a mere $219 at Audio Advisor. I know it sounds hard to believe, but the S30 is the best sub-$1,000 speaker I have heard.
As Hopat21 says --- Vandersteen makes pretty warm sounding speakers --- all across the spectrum of their line. I own some lower end Vandersteens (in a secondary system) and they are warm sounding.
That said, every one of the speakers listed by those posting answers to your questions --- every one of them (Vandersteens included) can be made to sound bright and/or harsh (read not lush/smooth/fatigue-free) if the electronics feeding them are provide the speakers a harsh/strident signal.
So... again, if you want a system that sounds full/rich and not bright, or thin, or strident --- then every component in the system (speakers and electronics) need to assesses for their contribution to the overall sound.
A "lush" sounding speaker will convey bright/non-lush sound if fed such a signal.
If that's what you want, absolutely Harbeths (I had SHL5s).
But be careful what you wish for...
I'm not sure I would say the same of Sonus Faber, as the highs can be very extended and even raw under some conditions with brighter solid state upstream eqpt. (I had SFs too). I myself prefer the SFs, as they dig deep into the music and I can't really say they have anything but a neutral presentation (and I mean that in a favorable sense, as in uncolored).
I'll define warm, rich and lush... from my perspective. It is recorded piano sound that is not thin, and has the body and size and heft of sound that approaches the real thing (as opposed to a miniaturized sound like that of a wraith, w/o the body texture of the real thing)--- and gives this w/o ever making you cringe from harsh, strident transients (that is the warm as opposed to strident part). Same with recorded clarinet, solo violin, or any instrument --- including human voice. The absence of grating, metallic, mechanical sounding harshness and/or sibilance is what enables one to play the recorded music at volumes that approximate the live music event --- without accompanying harshness. As volume goes up, fullness and body goes up.
The Vienna Acoustics Mahlers are just about what you describe.
I owned a pair...they were/are among the most beautifully voiced loudspeakers I've ever heard.
For further tweaking, they have a treble and bass + and - setting...not so purist audiophile but absolutely wonderful for room and acoustic anomalies.
I loved, no, make that LOVED my pair and recommend them whole heartedly.
I only sold them as I'm a hopeless audiophile dilettante searching for the non existent Grail.
Tho' I haven't checked, you could probably find some in your price preference.
Inso far as the Vandersteens...by comparison, IMHO, the Mahlers win hands down with regard to warmth. While the Vandys are great speakers, there's a magic that the VA Malhlers have...you can't go wrong.
There are people who really like the lively, vibrant sound that --- to them is exciting and more engaging --- and to me is harsh. It is, of course, in the ears of the listener. Though there are "camps" so to speak. I assume our original poster --- since they are seeking warm, lush sound (in their own words) is likely to have in view what I have in view. Some would say that the warm, lush sound I like is "rounded-off and missing something" .. in fact several of my friends who hear my system say this --- again, it is very subjective.
But yes... for me, I do find warm, lush desirable.
Tony and Sam,
From my experience, I'd say that you're both right.
I own 20 year old SonusF (Minuettos) warm and lush (with limited deep bass and an audible mid-bass hump), consistent with the description by Tony. I also own newer Cremonas which are voiced very differently - lots of deep bass and presence region energy. Obviously the latter are floorstanders - a different animal that AFAIK SonusF did not offer in the early days. The SonusF "house sound" has IMHO changed pretty dramatically over the years.
I'm a bit surprised that this confusion doesn't pop more often on these threads.
"""Some would say that the warm, lush sound I like is "rounded-off and missing something""""
very few speakers are able to get both oposite properties you mentioned. First which comes to mind is Focal Maestro Utopia. there is nothing rounded or missing (like most Sonus fabers till 2007 I heard- great at recordings where no need for midrange sharpness and presence-like vivaldi 4 seasons) and nothing is edgy and painfully razor sharp (like wilson audio watt doggies)
of course they cost basicaly same as Wilson and Sonus together. but its still cheaper and smaller than keep wilson and sonus together if you want enjoy both schools.
I agree with Lrsky the VA Mahlers would be a nice choice. I have multiple sets of speakers and find my Aerial 8b's to be a warm sound that does not change in character as the volume goes up, they just sound more grand. They also do not seem to be as electronic dependent as say my Thiels and Magnepans. Good luck with your choice.
Aerials are terrific speakers Jkw1...you did good!
I owned the Mahlers circa, 2003...after hearing Rebecca Pigeon's Spanish Harlem
on them at the CES2003.
They image, are never offensive, in terms of sounding etched or having too much HF hash...or shrillness...yet you never, let me repeat, NEVER feel that you're missing any information.
They are just wonderful, AND LUSH, AND MUSICAL.
The voicing is like 'coming home'...like the sound you always thought your system should have, but didn't...kind of like, well, 'real music.'