I love my Hales T5’s but what about Magico A3 or Vandersteen?

I love my Hales T5’s but if I did one day wish to upgrade what would you recommend? The Vandersteen Theo seem nice as do the Magico A3. I do love my Hales and may just stay put. I just upgraded my entire system accept for the Hales which were refurbished. I ask more out of curiosity than upgrade itch. My system sounds better than ever.
Years ago I had a pair of Hales T5’s that I refinished in a beach veneer, speaking of refurbished. Loved those speakers. The last amp I used with them was a Pass Labs x250. Even with the grunt of the pass I never felt like I was getting the dynamics out of the speaker which may have been in part to its rather complex crossover, or the sealed enclosure. In any event I sold those to a friend and bought JM Lab Mini Utopias. While not as deep as the hales they gave me more slam and dynamic abilities with lesser amps. The aluminum dome on the T5’s was better than the aluminum dome on the Hales Concept 3’s I owned before them but I felt the the tioxid tweeter of the JM Labs offered slightly more detail and smoother to boot. So it really boiled down to better dynamics for me and going from a sealed speaker to a ported speaker. Best of luck.

I owned the Hales T5s for quite a while.  They are a fabulous speaker and IMO competitive with plenty of new speakers.  In fact I find them better than many new speaker in terms of timbrel beauty and accuracy.Few speakers sound so "right" across the frequency range - smooth, super clear and ultra clean, more grain and etch-free than even most speakers today.  And absolutely killer imaging and soundstaging.

But of course being an audiophile I got the "itch" and have moved on through several speakers since.

If you want to know why I moved on, my only real nits to pick with the Hales were:

1. A slight lack of density and palpability and punchiness to the midrange. 

2. This is real picky, but a very slight lack of texture, a very slightly smoothed sound.   Super detailed to be sure, but some other speakers produce the bow of a stringed instrument with a sort of "right there in the room" texture, where the Hales is slightly smoother.   (But timbrally beautifully accurate).

I ultimately found that Thiel speakers scratched the itch I had with the Hales.   I've owned the Thiel 3.7 and 2.7.    The Thiels, maybe due to their time/phase coherence (hard to know), had an image focus and density of sound that I was missing from the Hales.  They also had more of that in-the-room texture to instruments being played - bongos, string instruments etc.  They also had an amazingly true sense of timbral accuracy.  

But as everything's a compromise, even the thiels don't quite do the sense of tonal accuracy I often felt from the Hales.  I know this because I still own Hales speakers.  I have Hales Transcendence T1 monitors and the Transcendence Center Channel for my home theater, and which I occasionally still use for listening to music.   They have a rightness that's hard to match.

However I DID end up finding a match for the Hales in that regard from another speaker company:  Joseph Audio.   I bought a pair of their Perspective speakers.   They use the similar SEAS drivers like the Hales and they have a very obvious family sound with the Hales - that same super grain-free clarity and purity.  But they sound a bit more refined, updated, with a bit more realistic texture.

BTW, I also auditioned the Magico A3 and I personally would take the T5s over the Magico.  But that's a really personal take.   The Magico are a slightly more advanced sounding speaker in terms of detail and clarity.  Just a bit more.   But for me they didn't produce the timbral beauty of the Hales (or my Thiels or Joseph speakers).

It's been forever since I heard Vandersteen speakers, but since they are time/phase coherent, maybe you'd find their sound does something the Hales don't quite do as I did with Thiel.

But I've sampled most of the popular or audiophile-favorite speakers out there that might competed with the T5s, and don't kick them out of bed just imagining newer speakers are better. 

(Oh, another speaker I owned that comes to mind are the MBL 121 omni monitors.  They were quite Hales-like in their timbral characteristics, but with world-leading detail and dimensionality).

+1 Joseph Audio.  There’s some magic in that infinite slope crossover that I believe will yield something more than your excellent Hales can achieve.  Best of luck. 
obviously the Hales are excellent. You should give the very cohesive Treo CT a listen. Biased as i have a pair as well as the 7.Remarkable dna similarity for imaging, detail, fatigue free listening….
I am really enjoying my Hales. I think the larger T8’s would be too large for my music room. The T5’s seem to be a good choice for me. Perhaps one day I will listen to other speakers but I think my Hales T5’s are keepers.