Finally gonna buy new speakers, ideas?

I've broken down and am going to get new speakers. It's been a long time, but I think I'm ready to part with my old faithful Matrix 804s. I have auditioned a few lines, and am fortunate to live in LA now (only for the reason of having a lot of audio choices) so I can hear about anything I want. I have liked the N802s, 803s, Eggleston Isabels (with a REL sub). Didn't like the Aerial model (around 7-8K don't remember it). Thought the REVEL salon was a little thin. (maybe bad room acoustics in the store). I don't have a big experience with different speaker lines. I was so happy with the 804s for so long, they stayed and a lot else moved through the system.
I tend to listen to female vocals, acoustic stuff, Dave Matthews, Fiona Apple, love piano and strings, a fair amount of modern rock, and a moderate amount of classical piano, not much full orchestra, little to no hard rock/metal. I have been known to throw on some vintage Public Enemy from time to time.
I'll be driving them with a pair of Aleph 2s, with a Muse source and preamp. I'll have a pretty good sized listening room and it will be a dedicated 2 channel setting. If anyone has any input as to lines to check out that excel at the type of music I like- or just general all around performers, I'd be greatly appreciative. I'm trying to narrow my search to a few stores. (Traffic and all here in LA). I'd like to spend <10k retail. Thanks to all and happy listening,

Check out Talon Audio at Their flagship Khorus speaker can be had for well under your $10k price limit. Read the reviews they have there. Also, check out to read consumer reviews of most speakers. I have the Khorus' and have been very happy with them. Good luck.
Two suggestions: ProAc Repsonse 3.8 and higher or
Dynaudio Contour 3.3 and higher. Great speakers.
Dynaudio's are somewhat inefficient and need lots of
quality amp power. ProAC's mate well w/ Pass gear. Read
some other threads of these two brands.
You would not go wrong with the Kharma Ceramique 1 (used,) the Alon Circe (used)or the new Audio Physic Avanti III's(8.5-9.5k).
Sorry. I suppose I shouldn't suggest anything so humble, but I have a pair of Clements 206 di's and they are great. However, they don't come close to reaching your price. The reason I suggest them is that mine are hooked up to an Aleph 30 (successor to the Aleph 3) and they are very well matched. I would imagine they would like other Alephs too. Clements has some slightly pricier models but they are very modest in comparison to the prices mentioned above. My suggestion would be to listen to them and ask the prices afterwards. I refer you to the Clements thread posted a little after yours. I can give you a location to listen to them in L.A. Don't know if I'm allowed to mention names here in the forum. Please e-mail me if you want.
Since you are in the LA area you should make a point to visit the Von Schweikert factory in El Cajon.It is about 1 and half hour from LA and demo the VR5s.This is a speaker that has been reviewed extremely well and just about all reviewers ended up keeping them as their reference speaker and they are in your price range.
I'll second the Dynaudio recommendation. The Contour 3.3s are excellent. Anyone looking to build a nice high-end setup owes it to themselves to take a listen. They are perfect for your price range.
Soundfactor in 3 locations, I prefer the one on Rosemead and Colorado in Pasadena. Also, Atlantic Stereo in Costa Mesa is good. ( A.S. even has a pair of Evidence ). I preferred the Contour 1.3 SE but the 3.3 and Confidence 3 are fantastic. Soundfactor also carries the large B&W's so it is good for compare. I wouldn't dare buy anything without at least hearing them.
Hi Tsquared, It is hard to recommend a speaker. I have the Coincident Total eclipse. I live in Ventura county about 45 minutes from you. If you are interested, you are welcome to bring some of your favorite discs and audition this speaker in a home environment. I do not deal in any audio products. No pressure.
if you value vocals, female in particular, you should focus on kharma ceramiques, avalon eidolon, meadowlark heron or blue heron, proac response 3.8 as mentioned, and quad (or maybe logan) 'stats. i listen to female jazz and torch song singers all the time, sounds gorgeous on the kharma ce2's and meadowlark herons, both of which i own...
Check out Avalon Acoustic Eclipse, they have the smooooothest midrange that I have ever heard. They may not be the right speakers for you but worth checking out. Good luck and be sure to let us know how you make out, Tim.
Thanks so far everyone. A lot of options. Too bad its Sunday today and I can't get started yet. Psgary, thanks for the less expensive option. I have set a limit on price, but boy would I be happy to come in way under it. After many years in this hobby/obsession I have found that there usually is improvement as you go up the price scale, but it is not even close to being a direct or linear correlation. Thanks again to all,

Dunlavy speakers really ought to be on the audition short-list. For under $10k, you could get the awesome SC-IVa ($8k list?), or the Cantata at $5k (a better buy, IMO, and much easier to fit in the room).

The aforementioned Audio Physic speakers are also wonderful, as are the Dynaudios. Don't know that your amp would drive the Dynaudio, though, nor the Magnepan 3.6R (which cost ~$4k, so you could add another amp). Thiel is popular, and $10k would get you pretty high up in their line although these require lots o' watts as well.

Happy hunting!

since you are in LA, I gotta plug a great dealer in the San Diego area. Yesterday, I made a 14 hr driving marathon from Oakland to SanDiego and back to Jeffs Sound Values. He advertises her frequently and has a large selection of used gear and speakers plus some new lines. They are good people there and from my visit all their used gear is well cared for and in good condition. They are closed on Sunday. He takes trades and is very very fair in pricing and trade in offers.

Tsquared: Easy answer to your question. Listen to what you have said about your M.804's,you like them & they're faith-ful. Remember every body's ears are differant-ask 20 people,you will get all differant opinions {there taste,not yours} If I were your salesperson, true friend, or close relative the answer is finding what is best for YOU. If I had the money today, without hesitation I would own the NAUTILUS 802's and would listen to {all] kinds of music pastionatly. After your comments about your spkrs. you would LOVE these sooo much more. If you read the reviews on these beauties after listening to them you would be on your way to the audio/video store before you finished reading this. GOOD LUCK in your desion, it will be a very important one, your heart & soul. Your e-maiil caught my eye because of your question & owning B&W's if you can't tell I sorta have a huge passion this stuff. I am a builder, custom cabinet maker, and am presently building a home theater for my custumer- which is my favorite thing to do.I sell stereo video products on the side because it is my #1 HOBBY. If you need help purchasing & want to save $ call me on my cell # 1[616] 291 1372. I save you quite a bit of money, and I make some, we both win. If not still good luck in your purchase it will be very important.
Bill at Landmarkbldrs.
You've already gotten lots of good suggestions, but I'd add a couple of additional choices: the Vandersteen 5; the Coincident Super Eclipse; and the Martin-Logan Prodigy. These three speakers encompass three quite different approaches to sound reproduction, and thus provide you with some good options depending on the rest of your system and listening environment. All three should also work well given the type of music you listen to.
Tsquared: I gave you the wrong e-mail address, sorry. It should read
Tsquared, take your time and have a blast comparing the models. Many dealers let you take them home for a listen and that would be my recommendation -- the key is how they fit into the total system (including room acoustics). IMHO, you might want to also try Thiel (2.3 or 6) for the kind of music you like, but you'll either love 'em or hate 'em (at least that's what I read, I never found anyone who hated them in my system, but maybe everyone is just being polite). Good hunting!
I would second the suggestion for Dunlavy. I too own the Aleph 2s and they Drive my Dunlavy 4s very well. I have also used the Alephs with my Meadowlark Kestrels (their least expensive model) they have some higher priced models too. The sonics of the Alephs I think match very well with Meadowlark speakers.
Tsquared: You sure have alot of opinions here, which is nice in our country if we ask for it. I like what the landmarkbldrs said best of all. All our ears hear things differently, if we didn't, well we would all buy the same brand wouldn,t we. I am sure that whoever wrote that or others in this column just forgot to mention how important your source is that is making your sound sing, and the acoustics are. Sure you can get way up in $ by getting to crazy, but you know what I mean. Happy hunting & Good Luck.
From your musical taste there is only one speaker for you. MARTIN LOGANS ACENT There is no speaker that produces vocals as a martin logan.................. And piano music will blow your mind..
Dunlavy V's is great choice if you have a large room. Very compatible to many amps and room friendly
I really like ProAcs when it comes to vocal and acoustic music, they are listenable speakers with low fatigue. There are several greats models in your price range, my favorite speakers at the moment are the Kharmas but I haven't had a chance to listen to them in my system. Good luck find speakers, I think they are the most enjoyable audio upgrade to look for ;)
1. Magnepan 3.6
2. Magnepan 20.1
3. Sound Lab M-2
4. Avalon Eclipse

They are not in any order. But all are worthy of your attention.
Not to get off subject but I think it is intersting that so many people feel that the magnepan 3.6 will go head to head with speakers costing more then twice. Maybe they would be the best "value" speaker, which makes me think of starting a thread, cheers Tim
you MUST check out the JMLab line, especially their Utopia line...efficient, musical, natural...truly a "special" line of speakers. I looked and looked...finally bit the bullet and bought the Mezzo Utopias...think I'm set for life.
Dunlavy IVA or V would do justice to your equipment and good size room and you have budget for it!
Given your choice of music I think you might find them wonderful on female vocals. If possible get your amps down there or get the dealer to truck the SLs to your house. First, I sometimes find demonstrators turn up the mids too much on the SLs. This leads to a bit of sibilance that is unrealistic. Don't be afraid to have the demonstrator readjust the speaker - the SL is very flexible in this regard. One also has to have a fine front end to avoid exacerbating this problem. Second, it may take a bit of acclimatization of your ears to get used to the electrostatic bass. The perceptual mind set you need is - this a window on the bass instrument itself, rather than a recording of bass instrument plugged into another speaker and amplified into your room. I believe you will hear the overtones integrated into the instrument itself with the M2 better than the excellent cone speakers you mentioned. Am I being clear?
Be shure to check out Paradigm. I have a system with the Reference Active 40s, driven by a Antheum AVM2 preamp. They are awesome for theit price.
Do yourself a BIG favor and listen to some SoundLabs and buy used at $10K - a U2 cmodel, or U1 if you get lucky.