Your advice needed, speakers to buy $8K to $13K

Hello All - I am shopping/buying speakers and want your advice and recommendations on what speakers to audition that might meet my needs/wants. I am looking for floor standing speakers in the price range of $8,000 to $13,000 with the following info for you to consider:

·       I currently have an older CJ 120 wat system but am now changing my entire system starting with speakers. I am looking at AR LS28 or Primaluna EVO 400 tube preamps and a class D power amp. Right now, the Bel Canto 600 with 300+ wats.  My plan is to add tube magic in the signal path at the preamplifier.

·       I stream mostly via Bluesound Nod 2i but for serious listening I have a Linn LP12.

·       I need speakers that are not to room, location or set-up fussy as I have moved a few times and will move again.

·       My listening tastes are diverse although I don’t listen to rap, heavy metal, pop or much opera. The rest is fair game.

·       I love to crank-it-up, but I listen mostly and moderate to low volume levels – the speakers MUST sound good at low volumes

·       Tied to bullet above - I am partial to highly efficient speakers with 90 db efficiency or more. I have a have the impression that higher efficiency speakers still sound good at lower volume. I have been told, by salespeople, that this is not correct, so I open to efficiency below 90 db.

·       I need and want something pleasing to the eye and not obtrusive. Said another way, and to give you an idea of my aesthetic taste, absolutely no Tektons.

·       The sound that engages me emotionally and I am looking for in speakers:

o   Lots and lots of air and space

o   Beautiful imaging

o   Big soundstage

o   Extended highs (I like the sound of ribbon tweeters as it seems to extend way up and sparkle…airy)

o   I like base but only as a support and foundation for the rest of the musical range, but it is not a big focus for me as it is for some.

·        The sound I do not like:

o   Sound that seems reserved, held back, constrained (i.e., opposite of special and airy)

o   Sound coming clearly from a box or from specific location….as in from a box

o   Lack of extended highs

o   Blooming base

·       Considered to date:

o   Alta Audio Alec, $10K – Spacial and airy to a fantastic level. Imaging is just moderate.

o   Spacial Audio X5, $7K – To date, they have check most of my boxes except they are really large and obtrusive. Basically, I am looking for this sound but in a more attractive package.

o   Ohm – Very open and airy but imaging and top end sparkle missing for my taste

YOUR CHALLENGE – What other speakers should I consider and looking at?   Thank you in advance for your thoughts!



Lots of good suggestions here.  From my experience I'd audition Vandersteen, Maggies, and Joesph Audio.  But for my taste I'd choose Janszen.
The ohm would need a different type of amplifier to open up the treble range for you they are current hungry and hard to drive properly but they would be the best choice of your three listed with the right amplifier. Another very good choice would be a large british monitor from harbeth or spendor. The only thing is that a class D amplifier will have issues in the treble with all of these speakers.
+1 khowlett.  I am a new owner of Legacy Signature SEs and am smitten with the sound.  Airy and extended in treble, powerful, but not bloaty bass, smooth midrange, just easy on the ears, being quite detailed, yet non fatiguing.  They're not even broken in yet.  This is coming from Tannoy X8TF floor standers.  The Legacy have so much more meat on the bones, and the Legacys sound richer at lower volumes as well.  I was worried that the 4 ohm impedance might be a problem, but my Rogue Stereo 100 with almost 100 watts in ultralinear drives them with authority and finesse.  Also, the friendly and knowledgable customer service of Legacy has been welcome.   I love these speakers!
Goldenear Triton Reference... you will not ever look back (and you do not need a sub, since it is in built).
If you go with AR I would look for a LS27 or Ref 5e. The LS 27 is really the first Ref. preamp