After exhausting what's available in dealers showrooms locally, I was wondering which high end speaker manufacturers offer a direct in home trial?
I'm basically looking for bookshelf or floorstanders in the $3K-$7K price range. I know about maggies but except for the MMG's are too large for the room. Very interested in learning about which manufacturers (like Salk Song) that offer a 30-60 day in home demo.
I would suggest Axiom Audio or Zu Audio. Axiom audio is more on the HT side, but Zu offers some very very nice speakers below your price range. It also depends on your musical tastes. I have owned a pair of Zu Omen Def speakers and they were simply sweet (sold to my brother). Mind you that's my perspective, I found them very dynamic with plenty of low end. Plus you can get them customized to pretty much any color and finish you want.
Larry, check out Janszen. They just introduced a new stand-mount model that fits within your budget range. I've not heard it but have lots of experience with their zA2.1 which uses the same drivers, only more of them. David is great to work with and does offer a home trial.
Had no idea Von Schweikert sold direct. Ohm, Daedalus, Seleh, etc from the other thread look interesting too. Better to spend a year auditioning than buying something site unseen. Not that I have anything like that kind of willpower..;)
A pair of MMGs and a pair of Rythmik or SVS subs (all direct, all in-home trial) makes for a great, full-range system that might fit in your room without dominating it. Similarly, a pair of smaller Ohms with subs might do the trick (tho at a cost premium). Either way, pairing the subs/mains with appropriate electronics makes it easier to optimize this approach - I'm a fan of Audyssey (or similar) to ensure smooth response thru the "hand-off" from sub to main. The good news is that the MMG/sub combo plus a suitable amp (Harman Kardon HK 990, for example) can be had new for well under $4K, well within your budget.
Kef seems to if you have no local dealer. I would guess in today's age of declining physical stores and increasing web commerce many do...though you might have to email them for confirmation. It is a tricky thing as physical dealers look for support of the distribution channel and manufacturing companies understand that..but high end audio is unique and business models are changing.
"which are most musical/non fatiguing?" Impossible to answer since I doubt any one of us has heard them all.
But I will say this about the Janszen; because of the electrostatic mid/tweeter, it offers wonderful detail and clarity with no apparent distortion. For me, those factors equate to musicality and non-fatiguing listening.
Add to that the broad frequency response (with proper set up), soundstaging, and ability to play at low levels without loosing details right up to high levels without distortion and muddiness and you may understand why I am so impressed by them.