Which monitor speakers are the most detailed...

and musical? I'm looking to start a second system and have read many threads regarding monitors such as ACI Jaguar, Merlin TSM, Totem Tabu and Dynaudio 1.3SE. Unfortunately, I live in an area where I can't audition any of the aforementioned. Any input would be greatly appreciated. My second system consists of Sim I-5 integrated, Cary CD-306-200, Silver Audio interconnects, Silver Audio Power Burst powerchords and Symphony 32 speaker cables.
Also check ProAc 1SC and Tyler reference monitors. Good Luck!
Triangle speaker might be right up your alley. What's your budget?
Verity Audio Parisfal Encore Monitor.
You want detailed and musical? If by that you want both of opposing poles, it will never exactly happen, there is always a balance.
With the Sim integrated, make sure the speaker is not too tightly damped, or else the sound will lack bass and be somewhat boring (though accurate and detailed). By boring I just mean that out of a pair of minimonitors you will start to feel cheated on bass if the sound is too dry. Speakers are voiced more or less tightly damped in the bass, depending on the designer's choice and use of amp, etc.
I think the Merlins are better suited to tubes, though the TSM-M does come with an alternate "wiring harness" supposedly better suited to solid state.
Both the Totems and Dynaudio might be better suited to a solid state situation, both like current and will play loudly and coherently given lots of power.
Ultimately the weak link in your system will be the preamp section in the Sim integrated, which has a way of choking out whatever music the CD player is giving you. Your source is ok as CD goes and the speakers will be fine, but the Sim amp ultimately sounds a little dark in my opinion, like it lacks dynamics. Or at least is not a good match for the lack of dynamics typically (non)-residing in CDs.
I hope I'm not getting over the line in commenting on an aspect of the system you did not ask about.
I have not heard the ACIs.
Good luck, please keep us posted!
My budget is $3K. Thanks.
Detail and musicality is a balancing act, as Tacs says. Harbeth HLP 3ES, or 7ES, have both in spades. Great speakers. Good luck!

I assume by Monitor you mean a non floor standing speaker.

Take a look at Northcreek.com. They have a simple kit called the OkaraII. Buy the innards for $629 and have cabinet made by Lee Taylor. Scan Speak 9500 tweeter and Vifa woofer, Cresendo Caps in the crossover. You will have $1500 in it by the time you are done and, IMHO, nothing in your price range will touch it. Not brain surgery to put it together -- a good experience.
Both Harbeths mentioned above are great. The Compact 7 has the the unusual midrange clarity/detail the result of the material used to make the 8 inch mid-woofer. Smaller than the Harbeth Compact 7, but bigger than a mini-monitor and still using the same mid-woofer, and still in your under $3000 price range, is the Harbeth Monitor 30, the primary mid-field monitor used now by the BBC. (The much larger Monitor 40 is the large reference speaker used by the BBC and the Monitor 20 - which is the same speaker as the HLP3ES - is their near field monitor. I doubt there are any Monitor 30's available in the US, but you could contact the distributor.
I second the Taylo Reference monitors. About $1400-1500 used with stands on A'gon or from Tyler Acoustics directly.
In my opinion for $1000 the AV Reality Avinci Ones "take the cake". (Go to their website to read my glowing review). The best part about AV Reality is their price. For what they cost, they cannot be beat. Truly a state of the art designs with top of the line drivers.

Something else to note: AV Reality is making an even better speaker called the Avinci "Studio", which is a knock off of the $9500 Krell Lat monitor, for $2000! From a driver and crossover implementation perspective, the AV Reality Studio ABSOLUTELY crushes the ACI, Merlin, Totem and Dynaudio speakers that you mentioned.

In comparison to any other speaker manufacturer that I know of, AV Reality's Avinci speaker line offers audiophiles an unprecedented value in ultra high end speakers, using only the best drivers and crossovers. Have I said enough?
Who is the U.S. distributor for Harbeth? Thanks.
I agree with you Shanej in what you've mentioned in particular:
Totem Tabu or if you find for >3k Totem Mani and don't forget about the stands.
They can through some flor-standing deep and tight bass with uniquely defined mids and musical highs.
Shanej, the distributor is Garnet Lewis at Winter Tree Audio. www.wintertreeaudio.ca
The distributor is Garnet Lewis at www.wintertreeaudio.ca (or .com). I believe he now has the Monitor 30 available.

I recommend Silverline SR-17s. It is an "older" model that doesn't get boatloads of press, but you don't find them available used very often because those that own them simply don't need to look elsewhere. They are simply superb. Excellent tonal balance, speed, and accuracy, work very well with all kinds of music. I really love mine. Do a search on the Audiogon homepage for SR-17 and you'll find at least 3 or 4 dealers (but none used!)


Meadowlark Shearwater Hot Rods. In your budget, sound terrific, they are basically 2-way monitors with integral stands. Small footprint, easy to drive even with lower powered tube amps. I actually picked the Shearwater HRs over several MUCH more expensive speakers, including Merlin VSM-SEs, they will NOT be embarassed even with very expensive partnering gear.

As a rule, I prefer 2-way, dynamic driver speakers which is why I mentioned and owned those above, as well as several others you note. Silverlines have crummy build quality but sound OK; Dynaudios are too constipated for my taste (and demand high-current solid state amps, no question about that), Totems are too "hi-fi" sounding, Joseph Audio I thought those were boring. I do like pretty much any ProAc Response series speaker. And while in general I dislike Sonus Faber, their Electa Amator II is pretty nice, I could live with that one.

All my opinions only of course...
Tyler Acoustics Reference monitor has very good midrange and treble detail. They are also not hard to find on this website. Well worth the risk.
if you can find em' used, the ae-1 signatures are simply amazing. you might also look for some hot-rodded westlake audio monitors. boulder amps has used several pairs in their demo rooms. -cfb
I would like to thank everyone for their recommendations. I will keep you posted.