What should be my next speaker - the never ending question

I am not in a rush but I am starting to think about upgrading my current speakers.  I currently own my second pair of 3A MM gen II (not the Reference 3a de Capo).  What is wrong with those?  Well, that will sound stupid but, nothing is really wrong, I love them (and so does my spouse) but I am sure something better out there is waiting for me...  Very difficult to visit audio shops those days with the COVID, not to mention that I usually buy used stuff (I am cheap..., I know).

I normally visit annual audio shows in Montreal and I must admit not many speakers over the past few years impressed me or sounded better (IMHO) than my current set up.  A handful made me stop and listen for half an hour each time: Klipsch Heritage (La Scala and Klipschorn - oh boy, wait too large for my room), pro monitors from Focal (used for quadraphonic demonstration of Dark Side of the Moon) but curiously the Focal Kanta serie (high WAF!) made me say "bof...", and some planar speakers (forgot the name).

Not too sure which direction I should now take.  My budget: between $3K to $8K (used).  I am thinking of Reference 3a like De Capo I anniversary version or Grand Venaa, Possibly Maggies but low WAF for such large panels.  What else?

Additional info: room (terrible sounding) approx 15x17 (9' ceiling) with no real room treatment beside the furniture, type of music: everything but recently more focusing on solid rock (System of a Down), Classic Rock (Pink Floyd), female singing jazz (old recording of Ella, Melody Gardot), classical (chamber music) and Folks.  Only listening streaming from Tidal (highest quality).

System: ROCK on NUC for ROON, streamer Lumin D2 with SBooster, preamp Audio Alchemy DDP1+power supply (I use the DAC from the DDP1 for critical listening which is more detailed and in your face, and I use the Lumin DAC for easy listening which is smoother sounding and well balanced), main amp Bryston 2.5B3 (cubed), amp for subs Bryston 4BSST through a minidsp, speakers main 3aMM gen II (used full range), subs DIY Bass Modules for SBA-741 designed by Troels Gravesen.  Cables: a bunch of Cardas XLR (Golden Ref and others) and Prisma for speakers.

Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance.
What else ... ? ... if you are open to 'innovation' something to ponder could include:
Clairaudient 1+1 V3 features no x-over with lower extension at 50-60 Hz.
Subwoofer required ...
Cone breakup around 20k Hz with a in house motor design.

One review makes a comparison to Quad ESL 57:
" In my review of the original version, I mention that John had commented that if I liked the Quad ESL 57 I should hear their ClairAudient 1+1. I want to tell you that both V2 and V2+ are significantly more transparent than the Quad 57 and will play louder. The volume and power difference between the originals and V2 and V2+ really surprised me. In addition, they now sound better in bigger rooms."

@ Rego.

Interesting, I have never heard of Clairaudient. I will for sure read about it. I am naturally attracted by single speaker (as well as 1st order crossover). Thanks for the suggestion.
Not hard at all to perceptually have any given dynamic, hybrid dynamic, horn, etc. speaker sound more transparent than panel. Most people mistake the character of the soundstage for transparency. Without side by side comparison, they don't know. People make presumptions about genres of speakers and they have no clue. 

Single driver? Ok, look at my review at Dagogo.com of the Tri-Art Audio Series B 5 Open Speaker with other components. It's a full range hybrid. Not to naysay the ClairAudient, but one might suspect it to be a BIT different.  Tri-Art is a Canadian company, so demo could be much easier than crossing borders now.  :) 

The Reference 3a Reflector does look really nice ... new listing:
" Cabinet sides have layers of thick glass, laminated with an absorbine material in constrained mode, structurally integrated onto the main cabinet. Critically positioned and perforated cross and vertical spine braces prevent the inward movement of the cabinet walls.".
Vienna Acoustics Liszt. Used, these can be a real bargain, and are truly excellent speakers.

Another option: Gershman Acoustics Grande Avant Garde.  These are made in Canada.

I have been attracted to single speakers only in specific situation such as horn loaded or transmission line driven with a SET. This is nice but likely not what I am looking for at the moment. Thanks for the recommendation of Tri-Art - I will look at it.

Not sure I understand what you meant with your first statement. Are you saying you prefer panels or are you simply saying to not assume one type of speaker will always sound similar what ever the brand?


Reflectors speakers looks exceptional. A few people suggested that the De Capo Special Anniversary starts to serious get closer to Reflectors from a SQ point of view.


Thanks for the suggestions. Have seen those names for years but never got the chance to listen to those. I’ll try to get more info.
explorateur, my first comment was general information, as many who have less experience with panels vs. other genres of speakers conflate the attributes of panels and mistakenly conclude they are more "transparent". Ergo, I would not suggest that you need to seek a panel speaker to attain higher transparency/accuracy in your system. 

I have owned both magnetic planar and electrostatic panel speakers, and they are simply a different breed of speaker, with their own benefits and drawbacks. 

There are inalienable characteristics of each genre of speaker, but also particularities with each brand/model. i.e. All panels have a particular wave launch, but can sound distinctly different in application from other brands/models. 
As one considering replacing speakers, a thumbs up to those posters who volunteered up Canadian manufacturers (and of the two mentioned, I've never heard of them).
Ascend acoustic Sierra towers with raal ribbons and dual Rythmick F12 subs. Match made in heaven for under $ 5,000. 
Just get Tannoys and end it...lifetime speakers...
Vandersteen Treo or Treo CT are really nice and would be in your budget used.   Look at Zu if you like high effiency single driver designs.
Before replacing your speakers that you and your wife like I would try some different speaker cables. If you have a dealer near you see what you can borrow within your price range. If no dealers are available you can try the Cable Company. They have always made good trial recommendations for me. 
@lwin @dascar @baylinor

Thanks for your suggestions
I've slowly been upgrading over the years. I just sold my B&W 805S, and my KEF R3 speakers when I heard and bought the Dali Helicon 400's
OMG. Full RICH sound that gives me the shivers nearly every time I sit and listen. I can't imagine a speaker fitting my tastes any better...Matches beautifully with my Parasound Halo integrated, and Primare 30.2 CD player.
I have never heard Dali Helicon,  but Wow, they are beautiful.

I will try to know more.
What would you like to improve upon over what you have now, and what aspects of sound reproduction and speaker performance are most important to you?

Bigger 3d soundstage, but the room is less than optimal and speaker placement is a compromise for better WAF. I always have the feeling i have to choose between details and warmt - i would to get more of both at the sme time. For example, i would like to get the smootness that my Lumin is giving me but with the details my Audio Alchemy is providing me. I was hearing something like that with Klipsch La Scala. Pretty sure i can find something like that for my moderate size room with a reasonable WAF. I am insisting on WAF because she is good sport as long as it looks ok. It is fair.

I dis not really answer your question.  Most insportant criteria is dynamic (like live performance), details (i want to hear the Gardot's lips opening when she attack a new sentence, i want to have to finger point in the space every instrument.  All of this at a live show loundness.

I know, i am asking for the moon....
There’s a nice pair of ATC SCM40 v2 on US Audio Mart for $5k that excel at dynamics and detail.  Definitely give them a look. 
+1 on the ATC suggestion.

If possible, you should also try to hear the PMC Twenty5 and Fact series speakers, which I gather are a good deal more common in Canada than the US.
+1 on the ATC suggestion.

If possible, you should also try to hear the PMC Twenty5 and Fact series speakers, which I gather are a good deal more common in Canada than the US.
Wanting that kind of detail and putting smooth in the same sentence is kinda what we all want. What I found that got me there won't do you any good since our rooms have nothing in common. 

I like the VA Listz suggestion, but...
You might consider buying a pair of SALK Song3 Encore Towers.  They are $6,000/pair and sounded better than a pair of $60,000 speakers down the hall at RMAF in Denver.  Jim Salk sells direct so he can afford to install better drivers and build better cabinets.  Problem is how are you going to hear them other than an audio show.  COVID is also getting in the way.  
I was able to find a pair of KEF reference 1 speakers and stands around your budget. They were B stock with an almost invisible blemish.

Very detailed but also very easy to listen to without any harsh edges. If that’s what you mean by smooth.

They do a fantastic job of imaging and create a huge soundstage. They are good with any genre of music. I have four subwoofers in use with mine, but they are pretty amazing on their own.

They are also very easy on the eyes and don’t take up a huge amount of space.
Have you considered Ohm Walsh? 120 day trial at home. 
I have not answered for the last 2 days - i was moving my son to his first new house in Montreal.  I am too old for that stuff...  my knees will hurt for a few days.

Thanks everyone for all those suggestions.  I turned that exploration exercise into a couple thing activity.  I will be reading lots of reviews in the next few weeks and we will try to listen to a few when we can.
Suggesting speakers for someone is a bit like me saying "Hey marry
this woman. I like her" !