Non fatigueing speaker under 1500


I'm looking to purchase a non fatigueing speaker under $1500. I'm very sensitive to hardness and glare. I'm searching for a set up I can listen to for hours without draining me.

System is Aragon 4004 mkII fed directly by a Theta Miles. Speaker cables are Sumiko OCOS and interconnects are MIT PC Squared. Electronics are plugged into a Tice Power Block.
Room has little furniture and hardwood floors.

Under consideration are:
Vandersteen 2CE Sigs
Meadowlark Swift

Thanks - Jack
gooddomino
We may be straying fom target. Your amp should have enough power for most applications, though I doubt many would consider it the antithesis of "hardness and glare". I'm a Thiel owner, but considering your original post I would suggest the Vandersteens, the Quads (if you can find them at your price point) and though I am not personaly familiar with them, the Meadowlarks, as they are suggested by people whoose opinion I trust. Please let us know what you decide on.
I recommend VMPS Ribbon Monitor 1's at $1580 per pair including shipping direct from VMPS.

The ribbon midrange and tweeter are both adjustable via rear panel controls so you can compensate for your room, ancillary equipment, and taste. The bass is also adjustable via loading of putty on the downward-firing passive radiator.

Your present equipment will be awesome with these. They like an amp with lots of current and well-damped bass, and any brightness can be tamed via the tweeter adjustments.

The only negative is a small sweet spot. But they are great for non-fatiguing casual listening since the highs roll off off-axis. On-axis you get the detail retrieval of a Thiel without any brightness in the upper midrange or treble. From every listening position, they deliver a richness that makes the middle and lower piano registers sound real and full.

The WAF is also not the greatest, since they are 38" tall, 12" wide towers, but they are much more elegant than Vandersteen 2's or 3's.
Thanks for all the input. I've decided on PSB Stratus Silvers or Bronze. They are forgiving,have a small footprint and are reasonably priced. Many good future options were presented for when the speaker upgrade bug hits again.
Jack
Hi Gooddomino,

I noticed your 1st two choices were a bit, um, forgiving… Then I see your tentative final choice, and what you have to say about them: "…the speakers are forgiving…" didn't you know that, in audio, *forgiving* is just a polite way of saying *veiled*? ;~) May I suggest, perhaps, a pair of original larger advents? *Those* are forgiving! :>)

For a truly pleasurable audio experience, I suggest you look further upstream as to what is causing the fatigue, as opposed to hiding it. Other suggestions already made, will get you started in the right direction. A truly enjoyable non-fatiguing audio experience *can* be had w/all the detail present & accounted for.

Audio is a lot like life - you can hide the truth, ignore the truth, but it won't go away. Ultimately you'll be happier with as honest & truthful a presentation as you can get. As in life, get *all* the info there is to get, don't be fooled into complacency, hiding behind veils. Ain't that right, Rg? ;~)

Dug Seed In
hi jack,

here's a response w/a bit more specifics... ;~) if ya liked the thiel .5's but they didn't *jam* enough for ya, for ~$1500, if you're patient, you'll find a used pair of 3.6's. these are full-range, plenty of detail, & they will disappear as well as any monitor. while jim thiel is known to come out w/a new model every now-n-then, there's a reason this particular model hasn't been changed in, what, ten years, at its price point...

i also recommend picking up a used tube preamp down the road. (i'm partial to melos, there's several f/s on a-gon at present.)

for amazing digital on the cheap, pick up an art di/o dac from boldercables.com for ~$120, have it sent directly to wayne @ boldercables for mods that run ~$265. then add a $4 upgrade power-supply from hosfelt.com, & pick up a couple $300-$600 isolation transformers on ebay for ~$25-$50 each - one for the transport, one for the dac. absolutely amazing performance, considering its price. amazing performance *period*, imo, even *not* considering its ridiculously low price. if you're handy w/a soldering iron, you can buy all the parts needed for ~$100, & diy, instead of sending it to boldercables.com.

you will have a system that does *not* hide the truth of the recording, yet it will still be eminently musical...

oh, and, re: subwoofers, for possible future consideration: even the thiel 3.6's, full-range tho they are, will benefit from a quality subwoofer system, imo - outboard electronic x-over, outboard amps, and a *pair* of quality passive subs. my old thiel 3.5 certainly did, & they go even a few hz lower than the better-in-every-other-respect 3.6's...

regards,

doug s.