Large speaker recommendation

I've lived with the Sonus faber Elipsa speakers for 10+ years. Now thinking about upgrading to something with a bigger sound. Elipsa sounds great with classical music but not so great with pop/percussion type of music in my system/room. I do listen to classical music most of the time though, but hope to get a pair of speakers that are good in both worlds. Have also owned Tekton DI and Audio Solutions Figaro XL (really big, too big) but looking for something better, under $30k used or new, aesthetically pleasing. My system consists of: Mark Levinson No. 33H monos, Mark Levinson No. 523 preamp, Aesthetix Io signature phonostage, Basis Ovasion turntable, Vyger Atlantis turntable, digital components include Okto Dac8 Stereo, Oppo UDP-205, AMR DP-777 dac, Schiit Yggdrasil, and Bryston BDA 3.14. Room dimensions: 20x15x9 ft. Thanks! Ron


I would strongly recommend the Wilson-Benesch speakers...great on classical where there are lots of nuances and micro dynamics, equally compelling handling vocals where they sound as real as it gets..

Some big old Tannoys should fit the bill. The Legacy Ardens with the 15 inch drivers.

Vandersteen Quatro under 20k or if you can stretch your budget to 40k Kento           I have Quatros powered with Aesthetix 

I think a dynamic dipole speaker may be worth exploring given what you’re looking for.  The Nola KO S3 was the first thing that popped into my head, but Spatial May also do the trick and save you some big coin.  Best of luck. 

Everyone is going to recommend the big speakers they have, for example I would suggest Maggie’s.  That said, it is your ears and your room and your budget.


There is no substitute for listening to a well set up system, be it another audiophile or a dealer who knows how to stage a room.  Give planar a a listen, they are not for everyone, but many of us became hooked at the first listen in a well set up room.


Good luck in your journey!

While JBL and Revel would natural choices for ML amplification and have ’big’ sound, they are both large departures from the SF sound. I kind of think used Wilson Sasha and Rockport speakers. There are a lot of good speakers for you to choose from, though.

I guess I would say that more contemporary Sonus Faber are much more versatile without loosing their natural sound. My Sonus Faber Amati Traditional are in a room similar… but technically much bigger… and getting larger specs,ers has been strongly discouraged by my friend / dealer (with 30 years of installing high end systems). I am really happy with their performance… best system I have hear (to my tastes). 

Also noticed that while you have a good analog end… not at all on the digital end. I personally would look into upgrading your digital end. You might find it capable of reproducing the same sound quality as your analog end.

@ditisa 8.7k is the price each for those JBLs.

Yes, The OP’s budget is $30K or less used or new.



try to listen to the monitor audio platinum 300 Gen 2 or the 500 Gen 2.

If you have the space, Cornwall 4s have taken the Klipsch legacy line into new territory… they are worth a listen. Strings, guitars, and horns are fantastic. Voices are very good as well.

I would recommend Either some of the higher end Dynaudios or Raidho’s.

Both of those are what you described. The Raidho is probably more to your liking as you listen to more classical but the high end Dyn’s are also amazing. And you already have the front end for both of those choices. 

Planers are another good option, albeit slightly different from what you were asking about (Dynamic).

My 2c - Good luck and remember to have fun with it.


Another thought….

With that budget, go find a Steinway-Lyngdorf dealer and take a listen - it is a vast departure from you asked for, but the end result is there. It is a system package, which is an adjustment, but let your ears do their thing. 

$30k used is a BIG budget.  It can take you above $50k retail.

You could afford big Wilsons, or indeed pretty much any top-range speaker.

Suggest you get out and do some listening

20'x15'x9' isn't really a big room, or is it? I'd say a set of KEF, Reference, 5 Meta or Dynaudio, Confidence 30. Have heard both in a similar (a bit bigger) sized rooms and both are truly wonderful. Played with Octave, Canor & Classe' Sigma electronics. If you can listen to either of these speakers I believe you'll be highly impressed. Just my opinion,...




Personally, I think once you get used to Sonus Faber, many other speakers may sound disturbingly forward to you. But, as long as people want to guess, how about the new PS Audio speakers? Maybe you should just add a couple of subs for when you want more impact. 

Bigger, newer Sonus Fabor.  I liked them better than Sasha Daw. 

IThey were powered by 1kW Macs.  Don't know if they are that hard to drive.  

I agree with @ronboco the Rockport Avior II is a great option but they are $44k. The Atria II at $28.5k is a great option. 

I'm a big fan of a lot of the speakers on the market right now with a powered sub integrated into the speaker. I have Vandersteen Quatros and what really like about them, aside from the house sound, is that they have an active crossover that takes the bass out of the midbass driver and then put it back into the built in sub. Additionally, you can tune the sub portion to the room using a SPL meter and 11 little volume knobs. It's really a fairly robust bass management system. All their lines from Quatro up have it. They're worth a listen. 

Some great suggestions here ... let me throw in a couple that I've been gawking at over year or so:

Salk and Volti  (love American ingenuity)


Magico A5s at $28k; they look wonderful and sound amazing, even in a very large room at very high SPL. I attended AXPONA this year and came back very happy with my A5s, Sure I heard better sounding loudspeakers (Avantgarde, MBL, Estelle etc.), but these were all +$150k speakers.

I would look for (what I have, imagine that):

3 way, 15" woofers. Solid directional bass.

no ports, or if so, front mounted only, option to close them.

efficient enough to allow you to try tubes some day.


Your space seems unproblematic, but you never know for sure.

How do you adjust them to your listening space?

Many of the big speakers in the old days had level controls. Even the smaller AR-2ax’s I just restored have level controls.

My 4 L-Pads are wonderfully difficult. However, I get the best response possible. After doing it ’by ear’ for 48 years, I finally bought an inexpensive sound pressure level meter and have a test cd with selectable individual frequencies. So easy, so good!

Even without level controls, the meter on a tripod at listening position, and test tones help you refine locations, and toe-in, perhaps alternate toe-in, one for you in the center, another for two listeners, each off-center.

IMO: Now that they are so inexpensive, speaker makers should add L-Pads again, and include a meter and test cd in the box!!!


Why don't you go with cremonese from Sonus Faber? Once you settle on Sonus faber everything else will sound disappointing to you 

Considering the amplifiers you own you are not restricted om your speaker choice. I'm going to throw out an alternative that I think would be worth considering.

I own a pair of Thiel CS6 speakers driven by a Krell KSA 300S. I've been to two audio shows (AXPONA & Tampa) and I can comfortably say that my system stands up to modern speakers costing in the upper 5 figures. I was pleasantly shocked at how well my system compared with nearly everything I heard. The CS6s get everything right but they particularly excel in imaging. If pinpoint, almost spooky imaging is your thing these speakers fit the bill.

Last I checked there were a few pairs of CS6s for sale for between $2k and $4.5k. For a pretty low cost you could try a pair and see if they perform as well for you as they do for me.

Repair of Thiels is still available through Coherent Source. Rob Gillum worked for Thiel and can repair most Thiel drivers. You can read a review in Stereophile and there is a long thread called "Thiel Owners" on Audiogon.

I rarely recommend these speakers because very few people have the amplifier to drive them. They have low sensitivity and a brutal impedance curve but your MLs were designed for exactly this kind of load.

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I would like to thank everyone for your valuable inputs. Many of the speakers recommended here are totally new to me. So I had to google them. The looks are obviously a very personal thing. I narrowed down to a few and started auditioning them in my own room based on the availability from my local dealer. The first ones I auditioned were Wilson Sasha 2 and Revel Salon 2. Just as some of you pointed out, they sound very differently from the Elipsas. Not sure I like the sound but may just need time to adjust. Next up is Rockport Atria II. They also have Focal, Estelon, YG, MBL, most of which are above my budget. Would definitely try a pair of Raidhol and Vandersteen when they become available. Will see....thanks again.

How about moving from the Elipsa's to the Stradivari's? 

If not, and I had the budget, I'd look into a set of used MBL's. 



You are definitely doing the right thing. Sampling the character of speakers. I am always amazed at Wilson… they are tremendous speakers… yet, not for me. 

Volti Vittora. I'm using them in a slightly smaller room than yours and they sound great!

Stradivari, Cremonese, and Amati are certainly on my radar screen too. Too bad my local dealer stopped carrying Sonus Faber all together, so, much harder to get around a pair to try. My wife loves Sonus Faber, the sound but particularly the looks, which may eventually become the deciding factor...😂

Wives have fondness for Sonus Faber because of their natural sound… think not shrill. They have better hearing and are quickly offended by distortion and unnatural sound… as always we (men) are pretty clueless in the world they inhabit.

It has taken decades for me to move away from overly detailed and harsh systems… finally that we are in our 70’s we are on the same page… and my system has never sounded better.

Oh yes… it is great to have fantastic looking speakers for a change… my Sonus Faber Amati Traditional in violin red are simply stunning. What a deal!

Well you first need to decide what type of speaker you prefer. Horns, panels or dynamic driver systems. Each design has it merits and its drawbacks. Determine a general design and let this narrow down your search.

Audition audio gave good advice. What kind of sound do you prefer? The kind of money you have to spend can get you almost whatever you want. If it were me, I would audition the top 5 contenders once you have narrowed down your search for the sound type you want. Maggies do not sound like big horn Klipsch or Volti.

I believe that speakers do not necessarily work best with certain genres of music.

And when comparing larger, $30Kish ones they, mostly, do big scale well.

However, speakers definitely have a “house sound” which usually represents the designer’s idea of what music pposounds like. And surely it is best to hear a speaker before buying. But I have only bought used speakers with some small cosmetic issues. Sometimes the used speakers are a fraction of retail. And they have the advantage of being well broken in.

Do you generally like the sound of SF? I have always liked their musical and natural sound. And few companies match their gorgeous look.

There are a few current model upscale SF on the ‘gon.


@ronyumd --

"Elipsa sounds great with classical music but not so great with pop/percussion type of music in my system/room. I do listen to classical music most of the time though, but hope to get a pair of speakers that are good in both worlds."

Volti Audio Vittora's have been mentioned - they would seem a good both/and option. They're highly efficient, and you may want to reevaluate your choice of amps with them vs. what you have now. Reading reviews may give you some indication of their merits, though an audition - in any case - is mandatory. 

ATC SCM150ASL, Pro or Tower version. Active speakers, so you could free some finances selling your ML mono's. Very versatile speakers, well-balanced, effortless and with great insight. Unflappable even at high SPL's. 

JBL M2, actively configured speakers (so again: bye bye ML's). Will serve up any genre of music, and at prodigious SPL's if needed. "Born" with Crown® iTech 5000HD amps, one for each speaker, with build-in DSP. Don't let the Crown brand (or DSP inclusion) fool you - if for some reason you should be in a "pro amps generally suck" camp. Rid yourself of possible preconceptions; the M2 + Crown amps combo sound very good - better than most amps driving passive speakers, anyway, save perhaps some SET's + highly eff. horn speakers. 

Grimm Audio LS1v2/be + SB1 subs. Fully actively driven speakers with DSP and converters built-in, so only a source is needed. Well-balanced, highly resolved, transparent and versatile speakers. A horn guy like myself favors even bigger headroom and image size, but they may serve you wonderfully. Check them out.  

I second both ATC (although I prefer their active models) and Legacy Audio based on personal experience. With manufacturing in Springfield, IL, Legacy offers the best value.

Pick the right model for your room or budget and please audition before you buy.

Another vote for Vandersteen Quatro Ct.

Also Legacy Audio Aeris will provide a big, open, sound.