I don't think your speaker is at fault. I heard 10Ts with great imaging, midrange, clarity, etc. What kind of electronics and cables are you using??
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I replaced mine with the Eros by Innersound. I liked the 10T's, but missed dipoles. I kept the Eros for about 5-6 years but was never in love with them. I recently got rid of them to buy a used pair if Infinity RS-1b's, which I love. It's been a circle, because I sold my original pair of RS1b's and replaced them with the 10t's!!.
My original pair of RS-1b's had constant driver failures, but the used pair I got does not have that problem. Perhaps because I am running tubes on top now.
I know I have not been much help to you. Sorry. Hey check out Bob Carver's new speakers-got a great review in AS.
Electrocompaniet EMC-1 CD Player (old version, not EMC-1UP)
ARC LS-26 preamp
Krell 400cx power amp
Blue Heaven interconnects and speaker cables
The obvious culprit is the room, though pretty to look at with a big cathedral ceiling, is a nightmare as an accoustic environment, but it's the living room, so what can you do?
I may have misspoken a bit - everything sounds pretty darn good (especially with the recent additon of the ARC LS-26!). I was just wondering what might make it better. Next best improvement for me might just be digital room correction!
Still, I am curious about what 10T owners that have changed to something else found that they thought was an upgrade to the 10T.
Nice system. The amp is a sledgehammer with not much finesse, however the cables are nice as is the preamp. I would not go with tubes...the Ariels need power. ..before you change out the speakers, try a different good amp. (I'm partial to Ayre, but there are others) It isn't too difficult to borrow an amp and try it in your system to hear if you like it. Also, go to the Vandersteen.com website. Take a look at the owners' manual for the 5A. There are graphs and suggestions about speaker placement that really might help if you can incorporate that within your room. I did that with my speakers and they sound great.
..just more thinking. I too have high ceilings.. they aren't cathedral but are 14 feet high. I can't tell you enough how the midrange changed when I installed drapes by the windows. These drapes are very light and gauzy..they are silk and linen and just are on the sides of the floor to ceiling glass wall...and one on the side of the glass door that goes out to the pool. Anyway..these 3 pillars of material brought the focus of the speakers to an all time high. I was amazed...my wife didn't want the acoustic engineer's suggestion of ugly traps, and resonators. I am very pleased with the simple drapes.
If you are a drummer, you would like the Escalante Fremonts, which were designed by the guy who designed the Wilson Whaam, WattPuppy 3 and Grand Slamm. Mastering engineer Steve Hoffman owns a pair, as do reviewers Greg Weaver and Dave Thomas. Because they are 93 db. sensitive and use a unique woofer loading, they are really fast and very dynamic, even with little power. They are somewhat controversial because they have to be used with the right electronics and are sensitive to set up, but they are a great speaker if used properly. I have had mine for about six months. Here is the Weaver review: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue26/escalante_fremont.htm
I see you mentioned digital room correction. The room is a bigger factor than I ever imagined. I would definitely try some form of digital correction first. If you're still not hearing what you expect, then spend the big money on some new speakers.
My system isn't quite the level of yours, but it is pretty good, and when I added a TacT RCS 2.0 EVERYTHING improved.
Before changing out your speakers,try different cabling and power conditioning. I have 3 different brands of power conditioners and they each offer a different presentation. Lately, I've been upgrading to higher quality power cords and have gotten impressive results. After considerable experimenting, I've found certain combinations that work just right for my ears.
It seems to me from your description you are looking for more 'mid-bloom' (but with accuracy and warmer attributes) in your sound, but without losing any of the excellent bass and precision of the 10Ts. I would highly recommend the Tyler Linbrook monitors and a good subwoofer, like a REL Stadium or B2/B3, and I think you will be amazed at the difference without spending more than 5k.
To answer your question directly, I replaced the Model 6's with the Tylers, but have not owned the 10s.