Non-fatiguing speakers in $10K range?

Some years ago I downsized to headphones only. Now I have access to a dedicated room again, so getting my absorption panels and ASC Tube traps back from storage... :-) The amp is going to be Accuphase E-800. I like class A, and I owned fair share of Pass gear but Pass integrated (and lower preamps) no longer have tape loop. I also like my gear to look the way I enjoy and Pass went too industrial for me.

Anyway, long story short. Speakers. I prefer relaxed, non-fatiguing sound. My headphones are Meze Elites and I love them. I also own Focal Utopia, but rarely listen to them, too forward for me.

Now, music-wise I do not listen to jazz or classical or vocals, sorry. Classic rock, hard rock, 80s new wave, punk, pop (classic and modern) and African blues like Tinariwen. People tend to insta-suggest forward sounding speakers - you like metal, right???. But I don't like piercing sound and I rarely go to concerts exactly because of this. I listen to AC/DC but NOT at 'realistic' revels. I like rhythm, melody, but I don't care about 120 Db.

The budget is about $10K, give or take, most probably second hand, but I can buy new, if I really like it. Unfortunately, there are not that many high end shops around Seattle with gear I like. Some went selling vintage and some went up selling only $100K+ systems. So most probably will be getting something blind.

It seems I should be looking for ribbon tweeters, I spent hours at youtube - it is definitely not listening in person, but some recordings are pretty decent and many show differences between speaker models.

I also compare frequency response measurements - I can easily tell that I won't like the speaker by looking at the chart. Ex, bump around 2-6K is a no-no since this is what "bright" is. Dip is actually good since this is what makes sound less "in your face/ear".

So far I more-or-less narrowed my search down to Legacy (Signature or Focus), Dali 8, ProAc (D48 or K) and - maybe - Magico A3? Legacy is huge, I am not sure I really need 20Hz extension. Magico has beryllium tweeters which may be bright....

I purchased Tannoy D700 many years ago, still own them, they are part of my TV set up. They sound good, but not as good as I would like it. My desktop speakers are ribbons too - AirPulse, I like them quite a bit.

Anything else I am missing?


The giant killers in this range seem to be the perlisten r7t and the Borresen x3’s. 

Many speakers into my journey (ask my wife) and the best I’ve had in my room are the old school Magico V3 with a small Dyn sub.  In my opinion the sourced Scanspeak tweeter is better than the new beryllium one.  Less fatiguing to my ears. 

Here’s a recommendation to consider: GR Research "Bully." 


I might be a bit biased since I’ve owned the NX-Studio with modified cabinet and crossover components, but I highly recommend the "Bully."


Consider Reference 3A. Like you, I like a detailed, but relaxed presentation of rock and roll, and the R3As suit me quite well.

Ditto the Volti Razz (and other of Greg’s speakers). Owned for about two years after moving from Rebels, then Harbeth 30.2s. Dynamic, lush and totally non-fatiguing). They make listening fun!