Owned the Sierra-1 and can't recommend those. Also owned Dynaudio Focus 140, and IMO, perfectly match your must haves.
Focus 140 can be found for $1000/pair or so used.
The Vapor Breeze seems interesting.
I'm stunned by the performance of the my Vapor Breeze.
Mine were custom build in redwood burl, amorphous core Raal,matching stands with crossover, and Dueland resistors. I'm not sure you need all or any of the upgrades. You can see my review here in the speaker section, and see pics at www.sendtoprint.net Event code is. vapor
My Breeze are the first 6 or seven pics.
Glorious highs, lush mid range, tight ,fast bass, they disappear leaving a huge soundstage, and drop dead astounding tonality. They sound like live music, very dynamic, exciting but also very musical!!
This is my last speaker purchase! If you order standard finish , you may get them in a few weeks, without any extended waiting.
Over the last 10 years, I have used the following in a room a little bigger than the size of yours: Ascend Sierras, Spendor SA1, Totem Mites, Energy RC10, Rega Ara, NHT SB2. The source components for most of these years have been a tube amp (Prima Luna PL2) and a Rega Apollo CD player.
Room placement can be difficult, as the monitors are placed on their sides, either on top of or inside bookcases.
The ones that I have liked best are the Sierras (by a wide margin) and the Regas, the least were the Spendors. The Sierras have been in use for 2 years now.
Like most things to get what you are looking for the quality of your source components and placement will be key.
What are you using?
I have had the Spendor SA1's since they came out, in a room of similar size as yours. I would not trade them for anything else of that size. They do nothing wrong, are extremely musical, image like bandits, and any time I have sold Spendor monitor speakers in search of something "better," I regretted it. So I stopped.
One man's opinion.
I would be remissed if I didn't chime in here and suggest that you audition the Pioneer S-2EX (basically a TAD speaker with the Pioneer label). Audio Video Logic still has a few pairs left. Check out this review from Neil Gader: here
I was skeptical - because of the Pioneer label - but I went ahead and purchased a pair after auditioning them. They are truly an exceptional monitor and sound much more like a full-range floor stander (except they image like a monitor).
Check with Jim Salk, he was showing a Raal/Illuminator 2-way at a recent show, I think it will sell in the mid-3's, not sure if that's in your price range. So many people liked it that he may make it a standard offering.
Not sure of your price range but I've had a parade of monitors come and go in my listening room, including Sierra 1's, LSA Statements, PSB Synchrony 1B and Merlin TSM-mmi. All have their strengths and of course so much has to do with your taste, room and associated equipment. But my current rig uses a pair of Reference 3A Dulcets and I am extremely pleased with them: fast, lively, musical, direct, surprisingly solid bass and holographic imaging and sound staging like nobody's business. Check 'em out.
Thanks Rich. I'm currently have an Odyssey Stratos Amp and an AVA preamp and AVA DAC. My budget is up to $2,000.
Spendor 3/5's will fit the bill.
Another option that is a very interesting design, and is getting rave reviews on another site is the Soundfield Audio Monitor 1. It has stereo active bass from 8" sealed subs powered by 300w plate amps, along with coaxial 5.5" midrange/tweeter drivers in their own enclosure, for better off axis response.
Lots of good recommendations. For imaging I'll throw in the Joseph Audio RM7XL or Silverline SR17 (or SR17.5 even better if you can find them) as well. Not sure how much detailed and dynamic true bass you're going to get from monitors, but adding a sub or two down the road would certainly take care of that. Best of luck.
I received my vapor breeze a few weeks ago and must say that they are amazing for the price. The soundstage and imaging are wide, deep, and airy. Voices are very realistic. They are detailed but not at the ultimate expense of smoothness. The bass does not go to the lowest extremes, but they go low enough for enjoyment in my 12x13 room. It is also fast and detailed. I like the vapors so much that I am considering an upgrade to their cirrus, which uses the same raal tweeter but much better woofers. I hope to hear improved bass, refinement and coherency from the cirrus. But for the money, I don't think any speaker can come close in sound, build or parts quality. I've tried some of the speakers that others have mentioned and the breeze are in a different class
You have to give the Lipinski L707's a listen. I have them in a 12x 14 room and they also worked in a 24x34 room with a sub. I have an all tube system, but I just got a Linn Classik for times that I only want to listen for an hour or two. They sound great hooked up to it,( I've owned all kinds of Klipsch speakers, Polk Audio, Linn Katans, Ninkas, Majik 140's and others,) but the Lipinski's have them all beat. You'd have to spend well over 10K to beat them. Remember, the best speakers in the world will only sound as good as what you feed them, no matter what anyone says. Otherwise, you could hook up any cheap high powered receiver to them, and they'd sound great. Good luck.
I owned the Sonus Faber Concertino Domus... very, very nice sound (esp. on tubes). I would take these over the newer SF monitors.
Might be worth considering Triangle Comete monitors which offer very good value I would say before sinking more cash into monitors.
Being familiar with Rebbis quest for the ultimate sound, Reference 3A is another line with some unique and valuable design considerations that has come to my attention recently that I would give a look at for potential value.
Though I own 805N, 804N and 801N, my latest and unexpected surprise come from the little 685s. Driven by a tiny Wadia 151 powerdac at 15w/channel, they sound very good. I would say close to 70-85% of the performance from my 805 at 1/4 of the cost. They are truly overachievers from B&W IMHO. They'll perfect for your room size.
Mapman -- thanks for the shout out! Yes, the Reference 3A line all feature crossover-less designs (i.e., other than a protective capacitor on the tweeter, there's no crossover between the woof/mid and the amp) and raked front baffles for time alignment.
Wcheng and Toddnkaya -- I wish there were a way to get to hear the Breeze. The Cirrus is out of my budgetary league, but if the Breeze is as good as the buzz, they must be something special. Gonna try to get to RMAF next fall and hope Ryan is there.
Rebbi, the Breeze is a speaker you should own. I have been following your monitor journey.They are that phenomenal!
At their price point,they are a no brainier. I heard many monitors and full range speakers at Akfest , and in my opinion the Breeze sounded better than all of them. I heard speakers up to thirty grand. I chatted with another Breeze owner who auditioned B&W speakers up to $15,000 and he preferred his Breeze's mid range and highs over the fifteen grand speakers. The Raal tweeter is breathtaking! The bass is has awesome tone and is lightening fast. Your Manley tubes would probably sound soo sweet in combo with the Breeze. My pair of Breeze have an amorphous core Raal, and Dueland resistors. Not sure if they make a huge difference, but at their price point you might as well pimp them out.
La Have Melas.
I've had mine for about 8 months and I'm still amazed at them, especially all aspects of the tonality, which is extremely natural. I do a lot of headphone listening, and I always compare speakers to the precision and intimacy of headphones,
and the Melas are extremely good in these areas.