$1000-$2000 Floor-standing speakers for larger room w/NAD 326bee

I’m looking for a set of floor-standing speakers for our main listening room. They will be 2 channel music only. They need to be "cat safe" (no fabric on front, or removable grills), able to fill a larger room (20x15 with vaulted ceiling) with decent volume (typical max listening level is 85-90db but a lot of listening is at low volume as well) and efficient enough for a NAD326BEE. Budget is ~$1000-$2000 for the pair. My old speakers in the room were open baffle design (Hawthorne Audio Duets) and I did like the relatively open sound stage they provided. I may move them to a different room or just sell them (they’re too wide for our current configuration in the room and they aren’t too high on the "cat safe" scale). I have a couple of Polk TSi400’s in the room now as "placeholders" until I decide on a permanent pair. Minimum distance between speakers is about 8-10 feet and listening position is about 10 feet from the speakers. The speakers will need to be within about of the wall behind them. The floor is carpeted.

Music is a mix of Jazz, Classic Rock and Classical and sources are turntable and streaming from a Roon server. I live in the Atlanta metro area and

I’ve been out of the speaker hunting game for a while so any suggestions would be very much appreciated!
psb works particularly well with nad--you should be able to find something used in their imagine line within your budget
Monitor Audio Silver 8 would work nicely. I have them in a third system. They look good, play loud cleanly, and have a small footprint. Kal Rubinson from Stereophile bought a pair for his second system.

"psb works particularly well with nad--you should be able to find something used in their imagine line within your budget"

You took the words right out of my mouth. 


Thanks for the suggestions! I've spent some time looking at PSB and Monitor and I like what I see in both (The Monitor Silver 8 and either the PSB Imagine T or X2t). Can anyone give some input on the "sound" of Monitor vs PSB (Neutral, forward, laid back, etc.) and any other significant differences I should be aware of? Any speaker I get will need to be fairly close to the front wall (1-2) feet, is one better than the other given that?
i believe both the psb and monitor are ported in the rear, so very close placement to a wall is a consideration--without seeing your room i'd guess you'll be fine with placement of 2', though you might have to experiment with plugging the ports (they come with foam plugs) and/or position. soundwise, i hear the psbs as quite neutral/natural w/o a lot of coloration; i'm not sure if i've heard the monitors silver, so i'd defer to others, though  i've heard the gold and had the sense of them being bright/forward and very good.
I have a pair of rbh 1266 se/r. They’re rear ported and have side firing 12" woofers, so they move lots of air. I’ve got them 12" from the back of the speaker to the wall.. that’s what the room allows. At first, it was boomy as heck. I then put some 4" thick broadband absorbers directly behind the speakers and they’ve completely eliminated port noise and bass boom right off the wall. I obviously still need to deal with room modes, but these panels helped a lot since I couldn’t move my speakers any further out.
In that price range I really liked the Vandersteen 1Ci. Leaves enough money for a pair of good cables.
+1 for kalali.
I still have the Silver 8s (in another system), but got Vandy 2Cs for my main system. Completely different sound.
The 8s are analytical, somewhat aggressive, very clean, play very loudly, bright treble. Compared to the Vandys, they don"t:
     Image as well
     Disappear as well
     Speak as cohesively top to bottom
    Don't render timbres and tone as well
IMO, the 8s are better suited to hard rock, high SPLs, parties.
They are an excellent speaker, but they definitely sound different than Vandersteens. YMMV. Listen before you purchase...

I’m of the opinion that Vandersteens are one of the least "cat safe" speakers made. I no longer have any cats around (not surprisingly as they eventually die or disappear) but back when I had a wonderful sounding pair of Vandy 1Bs with the seemingly irresistible "cat trampoline" on top (most Vandy models feature this, leading me to assume Richard Vandersteen at some point actually employed cats as designers), the cats thought they were a gift from the Scratching Post Gods. The "trampoline" was a fave cat sleeping spot, along with the also irresistible "cat claw cleaning" grill cloth. Eventually I sent the beleaguered speakers back to Vandy for restoration (actually worth it back then…mid 90s or so), and when I got ’em back I sold them to a catless couple. Whew. Great speaker however, and although the 1 series often gets overlooked when compared to other models, with Sound Anchor stands and good electronics they really shine.
+1 wolf_garcia

Oops, forgot about the "cat clause"...
Yep, Vandy's are NOT happy around cats!

Thanks @tomcarr for the info on the Silver 8's. Any experience with PSB, are they less analytical and bright?

And yes, @wolf_garcia my Hawthorne Duets are covered in the same cloth as Vandy's and they were starting to show "battle scars" from our two new kittens. I really liked the sound they put out (accurate but neutral to slightly laid back). I think I could go a bit more aggressive on the sound with the new towers but I don't want to go too far in the other direction.

Actually, my placeholder $200 used Polk Tsi400's aren't sounding that bad at all once I played with the positioning. They have a decent soundstage and are brighter than my Hawthornes but not overly so. That's why I'm thinking the PSB Imagine might be worth a try since they are similar in speaker size and layout as the Polks.
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The Vandy's would be a great choice as they mate SOOOO well with that amp.  I used that amp for years in a second system and got to use it with my Treo's and when I didn't push too hard, it really was magical.  Too bad you can't spray something on the cloth that repells the cats, lol. Good luck.

Check out either the Golden Ear Technology model 7 ($1395) or the larger model 5 which is $1995.  They are great all around speakers and  their efficiency  is  87 or 88db.  The NAD 326BBE should work  particularly very well with the model 7's  The larger model 5  should be mated with the larger NAD integrated, with  at least 80 RMS 

Good luck, S.J.   

go see Alan at HiFi Buys in Buckhead
i got a pile of stuff from him and he carries most of the brands mentioned above as well as NAD
...the Vandy are not cat safe alas... few speakers are really
i sold a ton of ADS to cat owners back in the day....metal grills !,,,,

i talk to Richard Vandersteen about every two weeks
i will ask about the cats....
i can already hear what he will have to say about cat armor on the model 2....
i expect his Dutch frugality will win the day...

@sunnyjim The Golden Ear model 7 looks appealing but they are covered with the acoustic cloth which is a "cat magnet". Is there a way to remove the cloth?
Hi, @tomic601 I was planning on going to HiFi Buys and see what they have.
As for the cats, they are a couple of very fun kitties but speaker cloth attracts them from all corners of the house. The Polk Tsi400's have the grills removed and neither of the cats has any interest. It's not worth the stress, even with great speakers, to have non-removable speaker cloth/grills
How about Elacs? Glowing reviews. Andrew Jones' expertise. Just another thought. Hope you're making some progress.

Too bad about the cat situation.  I'd just take off the cloth and poles and paint the cabinet, lol....sorry, couldn't resist.  I remember a buddy of mine had those ADS speakers with metal grills for the same reason. 

I have a bunch of friends who are in Atlanta and buy from Hifi Buys and love the place.  Nice to have some good stores around the country.  Great place for you to be able to audition.  Please keep this thread going and us posted.
The PSBs will sound much warmer, more laid back, than the Monitor Audios. 
@tomic601 I'm afraid I won't be able to make it down there tonight but I plan on getting down there in the next couple of weeks to listen to the PSB and the Elac's.

I will keep this thread updated as I move through the process. Thanks for the help so far!
I have actually liked some of his Elac designs.  He does a very good job. I also have liked some of his higher end TAD designed ones too.  Easy to drive.
I don't know if your familiar with Magnepan speakers. Try the Magnepan MMG speakers. Magnepan officers a 60 day home trial- money back.  Once you hear them, you will not be returning them! They are priced at $650 if memory is correct. Don't let the low price fool you. Go on line and read the reviews. Your integrated amp has 50 watts I believe, or I'd suggest the Maggie 1.7I's. but they may struggle a bit with the NAD.  They are priced at $1995.  Good Luck!!

@don_1 I think I could really like the Magnepan sound but the "quasi-ribbon" design looks like the ultimate cat attractor!
I would strongly consider a mint used pair of Revel F206’s which list for $3500. Overbuilt with sound quality far beyond its price range. These are great speakers and I’ve been around the block many times. Much pride of ownership once you open the box and listen. FWIW
Goldenear Triton series (5 new or maybe 3+ used)
Scansonic MB 2.5 (used)
Martin Logan Motion 60xt (used)
Aurum Cantus M102SE
Salk Songtower with RAAL ribbon (used)

If you cant tell, love ribbons and folded ribbons.
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Many great suggestions above.  In your price range you really can't go wrong.   However, the "cat clause" may be your biggest issue.  One suggestion I did not see above is Epos K2.

I had a pair and loved them.  Got a great deal from Music Direct on them.  Silk dome tweeters (perhaps give a more laid back sound) may be a good match for your NAD.  They are 89 dB sensitive, front ported, and best of all comes with a cat friendly fascia.  

Here is a review I found.  
I have 3 cats, and KEF R500, driven by an NAD T758. The cats totally ignore the speakers, and they look great (to me) without the magnetic attached grills. They don't bother with the speakers even with the grills on, though if they did the grills would just fall off. I never cared for the PSB sound that much. It's just a little too laid-back and warm for me, and the contoured rubber covers over the mounting doesn't always seat right. The push-on grills leave ugly fixings when they're off. With a list of $2600 for the R500 though, you'd have to find used...or the dealer's demo product like I got. Came in under $2k.
As an owner of NAD integrated amp C375 Bee and C275 amp. I also paired them up to the PSB Imagine T's. They have a very clean and neutral sound that really got me revisiting old music and enjoying all over again. I have also discovered and now rate even better, Ohm Acoustics speakers. I bought an old pair of FRS 11's and then had them upgraded. Yes, you can upgrade older speakers here, to the latest generation. In this case to the 3000 series. 2 K for the upgrade but to my ears, totally worth it. They are incredible for presence, depth and clarity. They sound like the performer is right next to you in the room.
Ohm does have speakers to fit your room size, so it is good to call them first and they can advise on which speaker, room size and price point you are looking for. Plus their warranty and return policy is very good.  They have a web site  http://ohmspeaker.com/ .
It doesn't cost you a thing to look at and you can audition them.
Good luck on your speaker quest!
I have a pair of Martin Logan Requests for sale in that price range.  These speakers feature a very full sound stage.  They are somewhat bright and very responsive.  An outstanding speaker for the price!
This whole cat thing made me start thinking.  You may not be able to get the sound that you want if the grills are a big deal.  maybe you can.  I think with Maggies, I'd be freaked out as the grill is the whole speaker panel.  If the cat touches those, he could potentially ruin the whole speaker.  Could he or she get into the perforations on the ML and hurt him/herself or the speaker?  Maybe not, but just made me think, lol.  
this is an interesting thread to say the least.
My room and listening dimensions are very similar to yours. I found a fantastic deal on fully upgraded Tekton Pendragon's for $1,800 barely pre-owned.  They are plenty loud enough with my 8 watt SET amp and sound amazing.

Tekton's frequently show up on the used market at prices that are low risk if they weren't your cup of tea.
joshelston-Thanks for the lead on the Elos, they look interesting.

@kenm10759- The KEF are over my budget new but I bet I can find used within the budget. Thanks for the suggestion.

@redbaron The ML look great, except I think they will look even "greater" to our cats!

@axememan and @64voxac30 - I have considered Tektons, especially the Lore and Enzo models.

So many possibilities out there, but keep the suggestions coming. Now I need to get some listening in!
A couple notes on the PSB Imagine option.

I have the Imagine T2.  The grils are metal, which is a fine feature.  I ordered a back up set from PSB because I switched out the grill cloth on one set to off white--for WAF.  On the white set I made I painted the metal grill white.  The takeaway here is that even if the cat got after the grill cloth you could always consider removing the grill cloth--the cat may not like the metal.  

In any event, the curved small surface area of the grill is slim and may not be attractive to the cat in the first place (i.e. there's not much surface area inviting the cat).  Also, Lenbrook (the parent company of NAD and PSB) has great customer service and stocks replacement parts.  I know this firsthand as I just received my backup set of grills from them. 

With regard to recommendations,  folks have given you many good ones.  I'm very happy with my T2s.  They are out of your budget new, but you could find a pair used right within the top of your budget.  You may want to consider this as an option because the T2s are a real contender (Stereophile recommended) and they might give you room to upgrade other stuff in the future.  

With respect to build quality, the photos online do not really show how nice the T2s (or T3s--I've demoed those too) look in person.  They are in the league of Focal and BMW.  

And finally, the T2s are big on WAF in my house.  My wife comes from the interior design field and these made a small shortlist of acceptable loudspeakers in my house.  They are super slim and their profile doesn't overwhelm the room.  The Tektons, for example, didn't work for my WAF as they are pretty boxy and un-elegant--in my opinion. 

I won't address sound unless you want me to.  I'll say this the T2s are superb and do many things right and nothing wrong.  

What about Totem Arro, Staff, etc?  Those fully comply with your cat clause, as there is only wood exposed and they likely don't make a scratching post for the animal.  They also have huge WAF (very slim and seductive).  Totems also don't mind (and are recommended) to be placed near walls and aren't fussy with placement. Just another thought. 
"My room and listening dimensions are very similar to yours. I found a fantastic deal on fully upgraded Tekton Pendragon's for $1,800 barely pre-owned".

Barely pre-owned? Is that like almost pregnant? LOL!
Exactly like barely pregnant!  They were less than 6 months old and mint condition. 
@jbhiller Have you listened to the PSB X2T? They seem like a viable budget-friendly option compared to the T2. I plan on listening to some PSB's at a local dealer here in the next week or two but any input you could give on the sound would be great.
In this thread there are many who like the softer sound of PSB and some who like a livelier sound of many of the others.  You need to go listen to some stuff and figure out what your flavor is.  I've owned PSB for the bedroom system, but they didn't do it for my wife and I.  I have close friends who swear by them and love them.  That's what makes this hobby wonderful.  Flavors and colors for all.  Totem would be another good one to listen to along side the PSB's.  One of my favorite dealers in CT, Take 5, carry both of them.  Both make a very attractive speaker if that matters to you.  

The Tektron's are also a different type.  Question, are the grills of a speaker the only thing that the cat will go after?  Will they try to scratch the cabinets or exposed drivers?  I guess for me, I'd be scared to death of them taking a driver or more out, lol.