High end speakers at low volume

After having got accustomed to my new Vitus RI-101 mk II, I came to the conclusion that I need to improve my system's performance at low volume to enjoy music more.

Current sources: LinnLP12, Holo Spring 3 KTE, Nucleus. 
Speakers: Avalon Idea. 
Shunyata Delta NR V2 and Hemingway Indigo PC, Tara Labs Forté, TQ 2 Black diamond IC.

I am looking at replacing the Avalon Idea with speakers that could improve the low volume listening experience. I listen to 60 / 70db, I can afford to go up to 85db for very short time (neighbours).

I am also considering to purchase a Loki Max which I understood being quite a neutral EQ unit.

I have selected a few speakers which should match my musical taste based on what I have read:

- YG Carmel 2
- Wilson Sabrina X
- Vandersteen treo ct

I don't have the chance to listen to them except the TAD ME1 which I have enjoyed very much but not in my apartment.

Budget max $15k new or used.

I am looking for speakers sounding musical, with wide soundstage, not cold, detailed yet not analytical.

I mostly listen to classic rock, blues and jazz.

The system sits at the end of the long wall in a living room measuring 33x13ft, listening position 8ft from the speakers.

Unfortunately I have to face a tough WAF putting several limits:

- speakers must have a clean design, not black, not too hifi looking... and not too big
- distance from the wall behind the speakers 25cm

I don't mind changing amplifier if it will be necessary to match the next speakers.

I haven't found a preamp that I could consider a good candidate except a very expensive CSport featuring a loudness button which works very well (tested at Ana Mighty Sound).

I would much appreciate some advice from who knows well the above speakers or who had similar needs.


@ricco275 , I think you might have read the Stereophile STR integrated amplifier review. As far as I can tell Stereophile did not review the STR Preamplifier. There are many reviews of it though and most quite complementary. There are a few complaints but none of them are consistent among the reviews which usually means they don't exist. The STR is built to a price and it is not going to be as good as a $10,000 processor. The Trinnov is the other option at $11,000. It is a beautiful unit and has everything you need plus. I think it is a bit overpriced being French. I did not get one because I need more flexible bass management than it has. So, I have waited over a year for the DEQX and am still waiting but I do not think much longer.

@mijostyn it was stereophile review of both preamp and power amp and they clearly state more than once the harshness comes from the preamp. I’m tempted to get it anyway. Point is I am at the limit of the harshness in my system. Otherwise I should go for the DEQX premate +. That’s my budget limit.

ricco275, if I had your desired criteria for speakers I would definitely look at horns.  Very light diaphragms powered by strong magnet motors coupled with the minimal excursions required of diaphragms boosted by the impedance matching augmentation provided by horns make them very lively and detailed at low volumes. 

@ricco275 , I saw The Absolute Sound Article but can't seem to find the Stereophile one. None of the four or five reviews I read mentioned any harshness.

Harshness is generally an amplitude problem which can always be programmed out with a preamp like this so I would think it was something Stereophile was doing.

In reading reviews when you see a problem that is echoed by all the reviews you know it is an issue. You are way better off with the Anthem than you are with the Premate plus. With the early DEQX products you had to do all the programming yourself and it was way to complicated for most people. With the Anthem the process is animated. You can get involved if you want to but you do not have to.

The only other unit is the $1300 MiniDSP SHD which is a good unit for the money but distinctly inferior to the STR. 

@mijostyn I’ll go Anthem and report back. Many thanks for the honest and knowledgeable advice.