2.5 Tower vs 2 Way Tower vs 2 Way Monitor

I want to upgrade my Dali Ikon 5 MK2 speakers with another set of small tower speakers.  I’ve had these speakers for 7 years and I want to experiment with some other speakers.  I would prefer to buy used speakers, but I would purchase new speakers if I found something that really appeals to me.  I need to find speakers that are less than 37 inches tall to fit with the décor in my living room.  I’ve been listening to and looking at some other similar 2 ½ way speakers from Monitor Audio, Dynaudio and some other companies.  I have also discovered some small 2 way tower speakers from Totem and Proac that are posted in various internet forums.

I live a large metropolitan area where there a several high end stereo stores within 60 miles.  None of them have any 2 way tower speakers to listen to.  Since two way tower speakers have very similar types of driver/crossover setups as monitor speakers, I am wondering what the differences in sound would be between 2 way tower speakers and similar 2 way monitor speakers on stands.  Would I just as well off getting some good monitor speakers and stands?  There certainly would be a lot more choices.  Your opinions would be appreciated.

FYI,  My setup is pretty simple.  It consists of Roon, a Matrix Audio streamer/DAC, and a Rotel 1570 integrated amplifier.  My room is pretty big, 21 ft wide by 24 feet deep with a cathedral ceiling.


A pair of REL T7x would really improve things. You could then look at 2 way monitors on stands further down the road. Maybe after an amplifier upgrade.

I do have an NHT subwoofer and it helps a lot.  I have tried used my SVS Micro subwoofer in my system, which works well, too.  I'm looking for improving the speakers.

Post removed 

You really need to share what improvements sound characteristics you’re looking for.  Without that, this is just a near useless crapshoot.  

The thing about Dali's is that they are tuned for low level listening.  I'm not sure about every model but a lot of them have raised shelves at the mid-treble region.  If you go to another brand you may find this adjustment not to your liking.

One brand you might like though is some of the Dynaudio models.

My budget is up to $3000 but I don't feel compelled to spend the max.  My Dali speakers sound great with acoustic music and jazz, but not nearly as good with rock and blues music.  I would like to get more mid range crunch and and deeper sound stage.

I have listened to several 2 1/2 way speakers in stereo stores including some B&W and Dynaudio speakers and my impression was that they sounded pretty similar to my current setup.  In those same sessions, I have listened to some 2 way monitors including Revel M106, Dynaudio 40th Anniversary (great but over my budget), Triangle speakers and PSB speakers, and I liked those speakers more and there was better apparent crunch and deeper sound stage.  That one of the reasons why I would like to at least listen to a set of two way towers

This is the first time that I have really shopped for speakers.  I'm trying to figure out which speakers that I want to audition first.  Thanks for your help.

You should really consider LSA-20 Statements at $2500/pr available here by the manufacturer. They offer huge value, and even reviewers are buying them, which should tell you something. They’re basically Joseph Audio Perspectives on the cheap. Or, you could even go with the LSA-20 Signatures with silk dome tweeter and be out only $1700. If I’m you, I go with the Signatures and laugh all the way to the bank. Read the reviews, and best of luck.



The thing about Dali's is that they are tuned for low level listening

just curious where you get this info ?

Some speakers sound better when set back from the front wall.  Generally acoustic suspension speakers sound better when set against the front wall.    The flexibility of positioning your speakers within the room is part of your requirement to " fit with the décor in my living room".   Wives generally prioritize decor first and foremost.If the wife is happy with your current set up, you are probably better off leaving well-enough alone.  



Hi @riley804

First, I heard them. Then I saw the review. The measurements and listening experience correspond to each other.

Please see figure 5, this is a classic loudness curve. The curves from model to model are not by any means identical, but the trend for Dali speakers is to have a lot more treble than other speakers, if not both bass and treble.  I'm not making a moral judgement here, by the way.  Buy what you like.  I'm just saying if the OP is happy with this arrangement he may have a hard time finding that in other speakers.



and i had a pair of the dali zensor monitors and didn’t think they were like this it all in the treble.

What is midrange “crunch”?  It doesn’t sound very pleasant. My advice is to go to some stores and find some speakers that are giving you what you are looking for and, even if you don’t buy them, you will have a better point of reference for comparison.  

Midrange crunch is my description of rock or blues guitar sounds that have gritty crunchy sound that vibrates so much that I can almost feel it.  I am familiar with that sound from spending time in blues bars.  I get that somewhat in my current system but I want more.   That's one of the reasons why I'm considering different speakers.  I will know the sound when I hear it.

Klipsch Heresy IV - especially for rock/blues guitar.

I know exactly what you mean by "crunch" and my Klipsch Cornwalls deliver that like no other speakers I've heard.  For you...the Cornwall is too big and too expensive, but the Heresy - very close cousin of the Cornwall - is perfect.  They fit your budget, and they'll give you exactly what you want sound-wise.  But you’ll probably want a sub too...  

Before you buy something else, you really should at least give the Heresies a listen.