Speaker Decision Paralysis (for large volume loft space)


Due to technical issues, I'm posting under a new address. I have been a reader (and infrequent contributor) since 2005.  Folks on Audiogon helped me select my first pre amp, integrated, power amps, and (downselect) speakers on several occasions. I am grateful, even if I only upgrade - or try something different - with a fifth of the periodicity that others here do.

With that, I appeal to the board members' wisdom for some healthy pro/con of my downselected speaker options given the budget, room, and equipment mentioned below: maximum (shipped) budget is $3,400.

I live in a multistory loft with a wall of glass, 20'+ ceilings, and concrete floors. The rears of both floors are open, so while the theoretical volume of the combined dining/living space is roughly 20'w x 16'd x 21'h, the depth measurement of both is closer to 40'.

That said, I will use the speakers only for listening sessions at mid field on the first floor, and for ambience elsewhere. I listen to vocals, jazz, EDM, symphonic metal, show, classical (mostly Mozart, Bach, Haydn, and Holst), and Top40 (ha!).

Equipment is Parasound NewClassic 200 Pre + Parasound 2125v2 amp + Cambridge Audio SACD + streaming. I've only ever had monitors, from small to large, although I am not averse to floorstanders. I might be able to add some (mostly hidden) room treatments, but my place is decorated like a contemporary art museum, so the equipment and treatments cannot define the room, as much as they must become part of the décor. 

I auditioned for over two months, and downselected to the point of paralysis (with additional consternation from Crutchfield's current KEF sale):

- Totem Tribe Tower: colleague selling a white pair in my area for $3,150 (they depreciate rapidly); current 2nd choice

- Fyne 502: new, from NH salon (in white, lead time is 4 - 8 weeks); current 3rd choice ($2,500)

- KEF R3/LS50m: heard both with slightly limited auditioning and loved them; tied for 4th choice, although the R3s for the LS50's price at Crutchfield moves favor to the white R3. If the LS50m, would add two SVS 3000 Micro Subs; if R3, would start with one sub. (R3 @ $1,700 + $800*1 = $2,500 or Blue Metas w/ stands on Audiogon for $1,690 + $800*2 = $3,290)

- Tyler Lindbrook Signature Monitors: I know Ty, and have owned these in the past. He will build me another pair with the same stellar SEAS drivers. While no longer in the mode on Audiogon, I loved the pair we owned prior to 2010; currently 1st choice due to history. ($3,250)

After all of the listening, I arrived at those five choices after nixing models I couldn't audion. Additionally, as I'm a physicist by training, I spoke with Clayton at Spatial Audio about a Sapphire solution for my odd sonic situation; while a gentleman, he passed on working with me due to "the red flags" of my loft's design. I'm not asking for perfection, as I know the room precludes anything close. Really, though, the only downsides I could determine are:

1) The R3 needs stands (the blue Audiogon used Metas include them);

2) The stands for the Tylers are incredibly unattractive: huge back stands 15 years ago; same huge stands today, ugh; 

3) The LS50 Meta's distortion really kicks up below 100Hz (AudioScienceReview.com); and, 

4) Home auditioning is, unfortunately, out of the question - at least not easily (no for the two used pairs, no for the Fynes, and only maybe for the R3s).

None of those downsides, amid the current plan, can kick anything from the list. I realize that the LS50m might be the weakest competitor, but even they would probably outperform some of the mini monitors I've had over the years.

With apologies for the wordiness, your insights could prove invaluable! Thanks in advance.
LS50Ms can be ethereal - with a tremendous soundstage. In your situation, they could drown in the room without added bottom end.

The same probably goes for the R3, but to a more limited extent (that's a silky monitor with a meticulously crafted low end).

I used to own a pair of Linbrook Signatures, too: miss them every time I'm deep in a listening session with a scotch.

Wow, the loft sounds like an amazing space but may be tricky for sound. With the glass and concrete floor (you didn’t mention wall surfaces but I can imagine they are hard surfaces as well) I would think it’s a relatively lively or perhaps cool sounding space unless it’s filled with furnishings.

I’m not sure of your sound preferences but based on your description I would probably avoid speakers with a lot of treble energy like some of the KEF’s. I’ve heard them and I like KEF’s but maybe too much of a good thing in that spaces. The metas in particular may not offer enough full range sound to adequately fill the space. May sound thinner than they actually are, so yeah subs would be mandatory for those.

I used to own Tyler Linbrook Signatures, BTW Ty is a fantastic guy, and those were definitely on the warmer side to the point I found them slightly closed in sounding but still a great speaker. Based on your space Linbrooks may actually be a good choice. Best of luck and enjoy the loft.
I agree with arch2, great space ‘ challenging. I agree you want a warm natural sounding speaker. My initial thought (without your listing) would be totem. Monitors or floorstanders.
I think you are looking in the wrong directions.  You want horn loaded or line sources.

ESL's, Klipsch, JBL is the way to go in your space.
Not sure if Mafggies would work well or not but you can always try them and resell them for very little out of pocket.

A pair of 1.7i’sand a pair of nice subs would probably sound pretty awesome, but just in your listening seat.  Maggies arent the best once you move around the room.  The “beam” so to speak but that may be an advantage in your room.  Maggies dont project to the sides or up and down like most speakers.

I’ve had a ton of speakers and am just loving the LRS maggies in my room.  They displaced dome $4,000 transmission line Salk HT2-TL’s.  Everyone who heard the Salks vs Maggies went maggies.  Not even close really.  The Salks played louder, and were more refined but theres magic in maggies and1.7i’s are brtter than my lrs’s.

The maggies are so fast, open and the bass is so textured its pretty awesome.

They sound fantastic with edm, classical, jazz, rock, everything.  And they play plenty loud for me and will play even louder if you cross them over at 80-100hz, which I don’t do.

Anyhow, I’ve had Tylers, Fritz, Salk, Atc, LS50, just to name a few.  If you like magnepans sound, there's really nothing like it
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Sitting in the near field will work is almost any room.  You could make “false” back and side walls with free standing room treatments behind your seat and or beside the speakers. This would cut down on the energy sent around the room. 

I would worry about any Kef as I feel they don’t play loud enough for a big space. I think they sound hard and compressed with lack of dynamics when played hard but are fine within their limits. Where something like Revel speakers with steep crossovers seems to have limitless output. Speakers with large boxes (think wilson audio) also play at very high levels but I can’t help with any of there speakers you have listed. 
A friend of mine has a room very similar to yours. He has a pair of Klipsch horns on the first floor in the corners. While I would not call it audiophile it is fun for sure.  

I am not a big Kef fan especially for the classical and jazz.
Harbeth, definitely. 
Somehow you room sounds "scandinavian" and I'd look at Scandinavian brands: Dyna, Buchardt, Marten 
You need displacement for a loft 

Looks t legacys  and a preamp eith room correction or run roon which had an eq  built in 

Room tuning is a must 

Dave and troy
Audiontellect nj
Legacys  dealers 

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Thanks for the continued comments.

I have stricken KEFs from the list. I think that means I'm left with Totem, Tyler, and Fyne.

I also appreciate the folks using personal, or relatable, experience with some of the equipment mentioned to help me. To others who mentioned room treatments...I have been reading about them, but I fear what I can implement will be limited to rugs. While that render a modest improvement, serious room conditioning won't happen until I build a dedicated listening room at another property.

One notion I cannot wrap my head around: why would horn loaded drivers work well in a hyper live environment like mine (yes, very Scandinavian)? Wouldn't they be in the same overly bright and forced category as KEF's big floorstanding units? I looked at some of JBL's offerings and remember them from my college days: bright and airy, sure, but really live, too. Regardless, the only horn loaded units I could find in my price range were JBL HDI-1600, at $2,000, and I have no local place to audition them.

 If anyone else has thoughts or suggestions, I am all ears (ugh)!
My two cents - if you have access to spinorama or similar measurements, look for smooth on and off-axis frequency response. You'll have a much higher chance of finding good sounding speakers for critical listening and background music.

Given your musical tastes, consider a full-range floorstander or augment with subwoofers. Bass extension accounts for a significant portion of sound quality perception. You may annoy neighbors if you're in a multi-unit building though.

As you've studied physics, you might find the following book useful and insightful - "Sound Reproduction - The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms" by Dr. Floyd Toole. It contains all the information I mentioned before along with the research behind it.
1) Conventional box speakers, better dispersion in a large space. 
2) Softer trebled speaker based on room.
       (Huge congrats on an art-based room; it's what I have and I understand, no goofy treatments, so...)
3) Some/any type of good digital signal processing (dial it in for superb near-field serious listening, and let the background music be).

You may be best off with what you know, The Tyler Lyndbrook, but may wish for a sub to augment in your space.  Good luck!
Your first choice looks the best.

Perhaps if you got suitably matching grilles the speakers would blend in better with your decor?

As for the stands, just choose any that fit in and can get the tweeters up to ear height.
Or simply place them on top of some suitably small tables.

We’ve already had plenty of coupling / decoupling debates and I’m firmly in the decoupling camp.