Looking for Speaker Recommendations


I am getting a new system and am looking for speaker recommendations. I will have a ma8950 and will, at least initially, be streaming exclusively. Focal and B & W are too bright and fatiguing. Wilson SabrinaX are good except for the price. Any thoughts? Thanks.


Also, room is 12X17 so nothing with too large a footprint. Like to listen to blues, rock, country and jazz. Can play it reasonably loud. No Klipschs.

Sonus faber tends to match well with McIntosh products.  So looking at your budget you may find a nice pair of SF Olympica's or Sonetto's . 



Budget?  What sound characteristics are most important to you?  This info will lead to much better recommendations here. 

Sure, Magnepan 3.7i s would be perfect. They really do not take up much space because they are so thin. They are dipoles and line sources at most frequencies so they minimize the room interactions you get in smaller rooms. The tweeter is arguably the best tweeter in existence. If you want to spend more money get the 20.7s, one of the best speakers made given the price.  

Budget: 10k or less.

Sound characteristics: Serious presence but not fatiguing. If the recording is of a good live rock (not metal) concert, I want to hear all echo and digital delay effects, snap on drums, seriously good midrange and vocals, arpeggios on electric and acoustic guitars. 

Sonus Faber… maybe used Olympica.

I am now on my third set. See my systems.

I've got about the same size room and have been very happy with my Aurum Cantus V7F speakers. You might also look at the Paradigm 120H since the woofers have room correction built in.

Spendor D9.

Perfect synergy with your amplifier.  Dynamic, clear, refined and excellent deep bass.  

If you like Wilson, you can pick up certified pre-owned at very good prices. Wilson owners like to upgrade when new models come out and the used ones are usually well priced. There are plenty for sale right now, especially Sophias.  

Another Maggie's fan, I'm running 3.7i in a 12 x 15 room sound magnificent. The 1.7i would also work. Sound improves with a sub.


Just curious why the ma8950?  Given what you’re looking for, I don’t think you could go wrong with the Joseph Audio Pulsar or Profile, Usher Dancer Mini Two DMD (diamond tweeter), ProAc D30 (w/ribbon tweeter), or Spendor 7.2.  Also, the QLN Prestige 3 flies under the radar but by all accounts is a very special speaker — here’s a review…


Just some options to explore, and best of luck. 

Audio Solutions Figaro M - wonderful speaker. I used a pair while I was waiting for my Wolf Von Langa SON. The figaro m were never fatigueing - very articulate and wonderful to look at. 

Stick to Wilson, buy something used from a dealer. Nothing compares to Wilson. Sonus Faber is very veiled, I can not enjoy them. It feels like you listen behind a curtain. There are many fans of Sonus Faber Amator, I never had a chance to listen. I love Alta Audio speaker, excellent sound, great clarity and sound stage. They are great for jazz music. I agree with you, focal and B&W are too bright, they cause ear fatigue after 30 min. Stay away from Magnepans and similar variety, to complicated to deal with them. Space, size and positioning is a big deal. Good luck. 

Just acquired a pair Focal Kant II’s

If placed properly in a treated room

my results are not bright

Now they are $11,000 new and you can pick up 

a preowned pair $6,000 or below 

They are superb and balanced and 

even coming from Monitor Audio bright 

these aren’t bright

Good luck WillyT

If you like Wilson and want new consider the Aerial Acoustics 6T. It’s non-fatiguing and a good match for your musical tastes. In addition to used Wilson’s you can consider a used pair of the Aerial Acoustics 7T or older 7B. They are a bit larger than the 6T and will give you another half octave of low bass. 

Agree w the recommendations for Spendor D7 and Sonus Faber Olympica ii. Would definitely also give Devore Gibbon Super Nines an audition.

Salk would have something for that size room. I sold my old Songtowers to someone who had B&Ws. He asked if I had the subwoofers on. There were no subs in the room. I knew I had them sold at that point. 

Call Jim at SALK audio.  He builds beautiful cabinets and user expensive drivers.  I like the Song3 Encore’s.

Look for a used pair of Rockport Atria. It would be out of the range but you can stretch a used pair of Atria II will blow the sabrina x away easily. 

outstanding warmer toned speakers without biting treble but plays with lifesize scale and realism, by my experience...

bigger current maggies (1.7i and up)

bigger harbeths and spendor classics (stay away from d-series), grahams

medium to large vandys

some proacs

there may be some others (salk, tyler, among others with good reputations, but i have not owned them)



you should look at the monitorial gold 200 or 300 Gen 5 very natural neutral sounding speakers that MPD tweeter is the best tweeter on the market right now I believe very three-dimensional wide and deep sound stage.

that's a monitor audio gold 200 or 300 Gen 5 this computer doesn't know how to spell LOL

tekton is mid-fried junk, very flat sounding in two dimensional it's a little company they don't have the money to develop good drivers they buy off the shelf stuff and their cabinets look like absolute crap.

Just to throw it out there, have you considered open baffle designs such as the Spatial Audio?   Their X3, X4, and X5 are excellent speakers and very reasonably priced.   Open baffle designs are generally easier to place in rooms and because they pressurize the room differently and they don’t have the bass issues most box designs have.

Forget the maggies you need a lot but a lot of power. The mg20 you need to split out the low middle and the high that's four amps. I have them in the passed with four cello performance and an fm accoustic crossover. Forget it with one amp. Or go for the lrs plus with the new woofer or the 1.7

Focal Kanta 2 pairs exceptionally well with McIntosh. The Be tweeters in them are detailed but not fatiguing like the 900 series and vastly better then modern B&W speakers.  The Sonus faber Olympicas are also excellent speakers depending on your music tastes. Jazz, piano, and vocals are amazing with Sf + Mac but it can be a little too smooth with other kinds of music. I own both sets of speakers and keep my Kantas with my Mac setup and my Olympicas are on my brighter amps. 

Just bought a pair of Fritz Carbon 7 Mk2. Beautiful looking speaker. Unbelievable bass for a monitor, Great soundstage. disappear into room.

I have the MA8900 paired with a Roon Nucleus + and Sonus Faber Olympica Nova Vs in a large living room. Sound amazing. Same company, that amp and SFs are made for each other.  

I'm with the couple of people that mentioned vandersteen. 10k should get you a pair of treos which are fantastic speakers. I wonder though, if you shouldnt reexamine your Mac amp. Mac's are super mellow and tend to pair well with brighter speakers like B&W and focal which you said you don't like. My feeling was to always start with the speakers a s they Are going to have the single greatest impact on how your hifi sounds. Once you've chosen speakers you can decide which electronics you want to make them sing the best. 

For a sound which does not fatigue at all I’d suggest Sonus Faber, particularly the models from a few years ago. The current ones still have a lovely rounded sound though.  

A more esoteric brand found here in Europe is Boenicke - they make speakers with a huge soundstage and an enveloping sound with no fatiguing potential at all.


Couple things to consider....have you listened to your new Ma9500 with speakers that you liked?  Mac sounds good with some speakers better than others.  I just recently upgraded from my Mac to a new Audio Research set up and also got new/used Wilson's.  Based on the various testing and research I did Mac sounds good with Sonus Faber.  Often they are paired together at dealers if they offer both lines.  My recommendation would be to listen to a variety of amps and speaker combo's settling in on something that you will know sounds good.  For me, I wanted Wilson speakers then found brands that sounded good with Wilson and amps that Wilson actually uses to pair and test in their own facilities.  I found a great deal on a previously owned and fully certified Wilson Alexia's and bought the Audio Research 160S and Ref6SE new while trading in all of my Mac amp's etc.


Hope this helps and let us know how you make out!

This goes to show how subjective this hobby is. I have a pair of Focal Aria 926’s paired with a Parasound A23 amp and do not consider the combination too bright or fatiguing at all!

+1 Rockport Atria ii. It will be well worth your time to audition them. Good luck!

If you want a spectacular soundstage that is detailed but never fatiguing I can highly recommend the Dynaudio Confidence 20. They are like magic and right in that price range. They will easily fill a room of that size and they have amazing bass extension for a stand mount. You will truly be surprised.