Started with $1k speakers … what now?

I got into this hobby during Covid, browsing YouTube reviews my first speakers were Polk L100s and Sonus Faber Lumina 1s. Not bad as an entry point, but wondering what would be the next level is where a speaker is built with fewer compromises in the drivers and crossover design.  My hope was that in the $5k range truer “hifi” entry points may be found in a small room system with a REL t5x. My source and amplification is already in the $5k range. 

I visited a hifi store recently but was overwhelmed by the amount of choice and unsure what would be an upgrade based on first listening impressions alone. 

Thanks in advance for any insights.


Hi, @hilde45, is this your review? (if not, please share the link)  Based on this review, the Carbon 7 easily outperforms the Burchardt S400 mk II, Dynaudio S40, and SF Sonata2, which are three terrific bookshelf speakers I owned or have  auditioned. With that, as an owner of the great S400 mk II, I must say that the Carbon 7 is a set of speakers one should definitely give a listen, despite its slightly lower bass quantity.


+1 on the advice given by @hilde45

I own the Fritz Carbon 7se MKIIs. Fritz provides an extended trial period.

I  use them with amplification that is far pricer than the speakers.

Also I might recommend getting the book "The complete guide to high end audio" by Robert Harley.

There are so many speakers to choose from. Besides, budget, ohms, and power requirements. The most important thing is the room. My second system in my foyer is a Sonos Amp with Micca speaker cable and Best Buy Insignia book shelf speakers on stands. Because of the placement of this system it will smoke systems costing thousands more. If your system is going in a specific room then spend $5k on the room. First and second reflection points, diffusion in the front and back, and maybe the ceiling. I guarantee you will be able to put able to put a boombox in the treated room and have amazing results. Vicustics is a very popular brand. You can have a million dollar system in the wrong room setup or a $1k system in a $20k room that will sound amazing. 


If I were in your shoes, I would suggest used or companies that have a "direct to consumer" business model.

If you can find the Joseph Audio Pulsars (Soix posted a link), that would be my first choice. As many have posted, Fritz would be a great as would Philharmonic BMRs. Used Spatial Audio Sapphires would be worth looking for.

I would also consider the Clayton Shaw Caladan open baffle speakers, but I'd wait until people start receiving units and can post experiences.....I bought mine sight unseen of course, based solely on reputation; should be arriving in February?