Monitor help.. I know I iknow... lots of threads

I just moved from a house to a small condo.. I sold my vandy iice's because they were too big for my main living area. Now I want some monitors for my new room which is about 12x20 with a slanted vault connected to the kitchen and dining room.. a mess.
Anywho.. not much of a budget Im looking at $500 or so right now for just the monitors and a sub later on.. Pass labs Aleph 3 and an Onix xcd88 run thru an old Eico tube pre amp...
So, what I want are airy light highs with lots of definition.. shimmering cymbals.. but not fatiguing seems to me every monitor review I read does mids just fine so Im not worried about that. Bass is not gonna happen in my budget. Am I gonna find something in my range if I give up bass?
Two suggestions:

If you can find a pair of Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1s used or when Sierra runs one of its sales. I have used these for several months now and they offer all that you are looking for plus bass.

I have not heard these speakers, but have owned Omega speakers in the past. I am sorely tempted to pull the trigger and purchase Hoyt Bedford speakers .

if you could find Sound Dynamics 300ti's bass could happen on your budget and very nice mids and highs too. These are engaging speakers, very listenable...

I was pleasantly surprised at $375 for a mint used pair.

also easy to drive, my NAD 326BEE is plenty...
Have you thought about picking up a pair of Vandy 1Cs? They just sound so good for their price point and are about one third the size of the IICE. You may not even want to add a sub.

I have not heard them, but Vandy also has a bookshelf speaker called the VLR wood. Unfortunately you may not find a used pair and new they are the same price as the 1C.

Good luck.
Well I was going to recommend the pair of Triangle Comete ES speakers which were listed today but when I went to get a link I see they are sold already. They must've been a good buy.
Check out the Monitor Audio Bronze BX2...they just got Whathifi Product of the Year. I'm gonna grab some myself.

I loved my Vandersteens.. they were very musical and easy to listen to. But did not have the airy high frequencies I am searching for.. but they were NOT the signatures.. I was tempted to write mr. vandersteen about his rear wall mounts and see what he thought.. But, IMHO they are ugly as well..and these are going in my main living area.. the IICE's were hidden in a back room so no big deal..

These are some great suggestions.. I was wondering if ribbon tweeters have improved.. it seems they have the characteristics Im looking for but breakup when the music gets complex.. is that still the case?

Placement is gonna be a pain in my little place..

Im going to reread all this and let it soak in.. thanks everyone thus far.. VERY helpful.. and I dont feel as bad about my tiny budget as I did.. thought I was gonna be told it wasnt possible..
Too Bad you don't have room OR budget for Magnepan.
The 3 series and some earlier panels came with what is considered one of the truly fine ribbons ever.

If you could like with 'em on the 12' wall, maybe some MMGs? just at budget.
No room for MMG's.. they would consume the room.. aesthetically not physically. They have to be like minimum 12" off the wall I think.. really like 24" if I remember correctly? My thought is Im gonna have to hang some mini monitors off the wall somewhere.. perhaps up high in the ceiling severely slanted downward.. which I realize makes real audiophiles sigh and press the next button... but it is what it is.. I've been looking at all of the aforementioned speakers.. most out of my price range new.. but I do have patience so I can hold out.. Id prefer to buy new with a return policy however... still researching..
I would love to hear the Vandersteen VLR only because I know what he seems to shoot for with his designs. I cant afford to pull the trigger on these sadly.
So, I paid close attention to all your suggestions.. and I watched for all of them.. and read about them.. accept I did decide the Minuet Supreme probably would not be to my liking.. but wound up pulling the trigger on a pair of near new Era D5's from classifieds here. My Aleph 3 might have the power supply to drive them.. if not, I will dust off the threshold 400a.. although I may need help lifting it off the shelf! I spent hours reading reviews and they seem to fit my bill.. My room opens into my kitchen which I did not mention.. Should have them next week.. I'll post back in case anyone else is looking for something similar with my thoughts.. Im really excited that they are touted as non-fatiguing speakers in a low price range.. hopefully I did good.