seeking advise please on my short list for new speakers? (15k budget)

for a two channel system, can be towers or stand mounts

seeking a lively, forward, energetic sound with good bass and strong dynamics that maintain instrument separation at higher volumes , willing to move into active studio monitors

my shortlist as follows;

-all Legacy Audio offerings within my budget

-ATC SCM 40 or 40a

-ATC  SCM25a pro MK2

-Dynaudio Confidence 30

-Dynaudio Focus 50

-Dynaudio Core 59

-Focal Trio 11be

open to further recommendations also








As a Canadian, consider home-produced Paradigm Personas.

3F, 5F, and 7F's are options within your budget.


of your list, i would opt for atc’s, and i would add proacs to be considered too

but you are in ontario canada, strongly suggest you visit audio excellence in markham, hear what they have on offer...

Again I ask the simple question — what are the dimensions of your room?

Any of the Active Monitors that are complete systems will be a + and the Dynaudio Focus 50 would be my first choice. They advertise it as wireless but you can easily use interconnects if you want to wire them. No speaker cables needed though:

check out this review:

Just get the KEF LS60.

Am I missing something? You'll get the bass, dynamics and loud volumes. The only (very minor) downside is the slightly clinical sound. 

Altec A7


If you can try bi amping with active crossover, it will be even better.



"Toss your list and start over"


that probaly does not help me much, lol, what gaps do you see with my choices and what do you recommend?



I purchased the ATC SCM 19’s a couple months ago and they are breaking in nicely. If ATC has a house sound I personally would not describe them as lively, forward, or energetic. I would use terms like revealing, neutral, non-fatiguing.

Of the speakers mentioned on this thread so far, I think the Kef’s and Paradigm’s more closely match what you’re looking for.


ATCs are great off axis if you ever listen in the other part of the house that’s open to your listening area. The active 40s is how I would go, regardless.



That is a really great budget range. There are really excellent sounding speakers in that category. I remember very well when I made the step into that category. Every aspect of sound made a huge improvement. 

I recommend looking at Sonus Faber Olympica Nova 3. Extremely musical… and realistic speakers. 


Given what you’re looking for I’d be all over the active SCM40s fer sure.  Best of luck. 


The Nova 3 seems like a great suggestion.  It was on my top three list when I was auditioning speakers with the MA-12000 integrated.  I haven’t heard the other speakers that you were considering.


If I had $15k to spend, I'd go for the Volti Rival's. 

Yes I am biased.

Several good suggestions already also. 

I would highly recommend Pure Audio Project Quintet15 with your favorite type of center driver. Best speakers I've ever owned, and one of the best I've ever heard are my Trio15 Horn1. They are high sensitive and easy to drive so can be powered by lower wattage amps. Dynamic, detailed, punchy, and musical. No sub required.

Have you considered the Buchardt A500 - active wireless stand mount - or the larger A700 floor standing towers? With the available WISA hubs(24bit 96kHz transmission), you are able to configure up to a 7.1 surround system if home theater is part of your dedicated sound space. Power cords for each speaker would be the only visible wiring - unless you opt for balanced XLR(24/192kHz) connections. 

There is a pair of Wilson Sashas used for $16,900. Think it is on tubeusa.con but just Google Wilson Sasha and you will see it.

I've auditioned a lot at this price range. 

For stand mount without a question Borresen Z1 Cryo and Gauder Akustik Berlina RC3. 

For tower, Audiovector Arrete R3 and Apertura Edena. 

Assuming you have some higher end amplification, the Yamaha NS-5000 excels in all your mentioned criteria for listening and is priced right around 15k

@deep_333 I've heard both NS-3000 and NS-5000. They were good, but IMO not in the same league as Borresen and Gauder Akustik. Out of the two I preferred NS-3000. The sound was more focused and exciting. I listened to them with all Yamaha setup that included a Yamaha AS-3200. Compared to my own very highly resolving and transparent Cabasse setup, I found the Yamahas to be a bit muffled and instrument separations rather disappointing. Perhaps they might sound fantastic with better amplification and DAC. 

You mention Legacy Audio, the Focus XD are very versatile, adn at your budget. You can run them self powered, or bi amp them with a low power nice tube amp on top. Later you can add the Wavelet 2 and have an external crossover, with room correction. You also will have the option of a DAC and preamp included if you choose to use them. (Or emergency back up) This is the direction I am headed, speakers are almost done and ready for delivery. YMMV.

@auroravengeance , you need a lot more meatheaded amplification than the A-S3200 to open those up. At 15k, they are hard to beat with the right electonics. Borressen, while magnificent, doesn't fit in his budget of 15k.


@deep_333 The Z1 Cryo is just shy of 15K. Perhaps some might recommend the cheaper Borresen X3. I've heard both and I think the Z1 Cryo is worth the premium. I forgot to mention TAD-ME1. It's fantastic and still within OP's budget. 

For active, I think Dutch&Dutch 8c is hard to beat at this price range. 

I'll add my list for when/if I upgrade my Buchardt Audio S400 MKIIs:

Dutch and Dutch 8C - Active $14,000 a pair

Borreson X3 - Passive $11,000 a pair

Joseph Audio Pulsar 2 Graphene - Passive $12,500 a pair

Fyne Audio (Several options) - Passive

Tannoy - Turnberry Passive $9,000


@vthokie83 I would consider Audiovector R1 Arrete and Triangle’s Duetto 40th. I’ve listened to Duetto very recently and it was a fun and detailed listen. And driven only by Marantz 40n! 

For 2.1 setup, nothing IMO beats a Cabasse Riga and Baltic setup at this price point. I love my Riga setup. It is as good as those more expensive brands I mentioned above. 

+1 for the Volti Rivals. Of course it all depends on what you most value. For myself, I think dynamics is what makes music come alive & sound close to the real thing. Many of those suggested require heroic amplification to get there if at all & struggle to do so in a big room. The Rivals accomplish this w/ ease w/ just 10 or so good watts & can maintain the detail, nuance & rich body & tone of the music as well. I think the only thing they may lack is a sense of depth at least in my system. Imaging otherwise is very good. They are pretty big & heavy too & certainly won’t disappear in a room if that matters. 

ATC SCM 40As can be an endgame speaker.  Owned a pair for 5 years and loved them.  Only replaced by ATC SCM 50As.  

The ATC 40s will reflect each upgrade you place in front of them.  They particularly like the Gaia ll footers and XLR interconnects at the preamp side.  I doubted that until I converted unbalanced to balanced.  Of course you will need run XLR at the speaker side.

Sub is optional.  I found them quite adequate, but then mostly listen to non-bass demanding acoustic and vocal artists.  The attack speed on these is ridiculous. The immediacy of the performance is where they live.  

Best of luck finding what works best for you.

The persona 7f have some overbuilt woofers meaning you can eq the h e l l out of them if needed, however those speakers, even tho' they don't need gobs of power they are hyper sensitive to source. Dali Epicon is an older design dealers will deal. Dynaudio generally has great bass, Are you buying new electronics for the new speakers? If not home demo is essential.

The best realistic and natural sounding speaker is Wavetouch speakers.

In the recording you can hear/understand the human voice and audio sound at the same time which no other audio system in the world does that and that makes WT a true natural sound speaker. Also, WT sounds the closest to the original music.

The original music


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+1 for ProAc - with their outstanding ribbon tweeter (and I was a 'no ribbons' guy before I heard these). The D48R is in your price range. I have the prior model - the D-40R - and love them.

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Wilsons only with soft some tweeters are amazing otherwise what about Harbeth 40.2’s especially if can find a good used pair of anniversary edition truly an amazing speaker that doesn’t cause listener fatigue

Have you ever heard Klipsch Klipscorn Cornerhorns? They're are around just under cold $16,000 brand new?  Depending if you do or don't have available corners for placement it doesn't really matter with these new ones? In my opinion none of your listed speakers can come close to them in sound!☆☆☆☆☆ They're 5 star speakers!  Yes-sir-ree-bob!!


I strongly suggest Vandersteen Quatro CT's. You need to hear to believe. I love them.

Martin Logan have a new line, 

UK speakers: PMC are mostly good 

I thoroughly enjoyed my Twenty26 and Elac 247.2. Today I have MB2SE but these are beyond your budget.

If you consider used…Wilson’s are an option.


On the Used market for around $14k you can get Wilson Benesch in Discovery that will fall in your price range, big thumbs up for a 2.5 that provides bass.

If you are in Toronto and your budget is $USD15K then I would recommend demoing the Yamaha NS5000 at Kennedy HiFi.. You room maybe too small for these "bookshelf" speakers, but you did say your room opens up. I have these in a  room that is 20 x (12 - 15) x 25+. The height saves me and my room opens up on one side.

Whatever you decide sort out the room first.