Up to $4000US tower speakers for Jazz and Classical Music

Hello All!

My wife and I are musicians who happen to also love listening to music! Last 3 years we have used a pair of Q acoustics Concept 40 tower speakers powered (now) by and Audiolab 6000A integrated. We listen to 90% of our music on CDs (Audiolab CD transport) or vinyls (Audiotechnica turntable). Mostly jazz and classical music in our roughly 53 square meters (550 sq ft) living room. Some other speakers came and went but we have so far liked the Q acoustics more than any other. We like their honesty with a tinge of warmness, but they are also engaging, open sounding, dynamic, airy! We love how chamber music sounds on them: string quartets, piano trios (jazz or classical), voices, big bands, etc... but we do miss a bit of that lower octave the Q acoustics simply don't have. A friend lent me a pair of Elac Adante AS-61 but did no like them much. lots of transient attack (which was good for percussion instruments) but it somehow changed the color/timbre of other instruments. I work also as a mixing engineer and have a pair of Neumann KH310 monitors in my treated room so I can say I'm picky with sound. Of course we don't want the analytical sound of the Neumanns in our living room (completely different beasts) but we want speakers to still be honest, but engaging, open, dynamic, airy. We are looking for a pair of tower speakers around $4000 that will provide us with a more believable orchestral crescendo, pianissimo, fortissimo, and that lower octave of a double bass the Concept 40s can't provide (by the way, we don't want a sub; tried several and simply did not like the overall presentation). We are looking at possibilities in Crutchfield, Music Direct or Amazon in case we need to return them (we live in the countryside and can't audition any speakers nowhere near!). Our list includes: Klipsch Forte III, Definitive Technology Demand D17, Kef R7, JBL HDI-3800, Dali Opticon 8MK2, Revel F206 and B&W 703 S2 or 704 S2. They will have to be efficient as the Audiolab does not have a ton of power! Any suggestions, greatly appreciated!! Thanks!


Look at the Tekton Design models (many to choose from) 

if you don’t mind shipping them back to the manufacturer if you don’t like them. I have the Tekton Double Impact SE and they run great on low power tubes. They are an exciting speaker to listen to. I think they are very neutral and have natural midrange and treble and tremendous tight bass. Tekton will paint them any color you like. Also the Klipsch Forte III would be worth a listen.

I also have Vandersteen 2CE Signature II speakers and they are AMAZING for the price.

My recommendation: stay far far away from Tekton.

On Crutchfield, probably the Dali.

Even better at Music Direct, the Vandersteen 2Ce, in your price range.

Learn how to properly implement a pair of subs.

You have a large listening room as well as exceedingly well reviewed gear (amp/speakers) in their price range.



I agree with mapman above! Ohm Walsh speakers are indeed amazing! 3-D room-filling sound from any spot! I have a pair of the Sound Cylinders. 

Why stay away from the Tektons?? 

Totally disagree even though I don’t have them anymore. 

I have the Revel F206s and enjoy them more than many others I’ve owned, including a pair of $9k Audio Physic Avantis. They do undergo a lengthy break-in period during which bass and coherency improve. They are very detailed and revealing but remain very listenable and “musical” which can’t be said for many detail-centric speakers. Bass extension is decent into the 40Hz range, so a sub in not necessary in most cases. The real star of the show is their tweeter, which is the best I’ve encountered in a non-DIY speaker below $6K/pair. It is almost indistinguishable from some beryllium units. 

Another speaker you should add to your shortlist is the Polk Reserve R700. 

Check out Spatial Audio Lab. I'm not familiar with the Q accoustics to tell you how they compare with the things that you like about those, but I really love my M5 sapphire models. They are open baffle speakers so placement is important, but if you have the space to situate them they are pretty special in my opinion. Maybe I just don't have the experience with other speakers but I really think you might be hard pressed to find a box speaker in the same price range that could best the quality (if not quantity) of bass. Reviews are few but Steve Gutenbergs channel has one as does "new record day"

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The Tekton Electron SE's have what you are looking for.  They have the "open, airy, detailed" qualities you are looking for yet have a very potent low end for full scale orchestral works.  Dual 8" SB Acoustic woofers/ported design can move plenty of air-no subs needed.  They will be well under your budget  and I can't imagine you being disappointed or returning these speakers,  The Double Impacts would also fit the bill--even more dynamic.  But they are BIG speakers and can dominate a room visually speaking. The Electron SE's are quite a bit smaller and may go even lower or at least as low in the bass.

Ignore the Tekton bashers on this site.  They are hell bent on hate and have nothing helpful to offer.

I also listen to a lot of classical (and jazz).

I would encourage you to check out open baffle speakers.

Spatial Audio speakers are highly regarded, as @81m800m800m suggested.

I’m not familiar with all their models, but the ones I have heard are excellent.

I have Emerald Physics 2.8 open baffle speakers in my system, and while OB speakers fill a room differently than a "box" speaker, they are something to behold. Absolutely exceptional for classical. I’m not sure I could ever go back to a traditional "box" design, to be honest.

I also have a pair of Tektons (Enzo XL’s w/ Be tweeters), so I am familiar with their design and line-up. Not a bad speaker, but again, OB speakers are hard to beat (at least for what I am looking for out of my system). This is predicated that you have the space to position them and the room to allow them to "breathe" (which it sounds like you do).


As mentioned above, an open baffle should not be missed before spending your budget. You may never go back. 

I too dig Revel Petforma3 F206. I have a set and listen to Jazz. They are hooked up to a Naim Uniti Nova not lox. Also klipsch Herritage.
If only you could demo these and others.

You have a big room so the kilpsch  speakers might work they need lots of room spend some time listening  before you purchase  those trust your professional  ears!  I generally  shy away from horn loaded speakers.  

I understand your dilemma. Honestly, buying on guesses could net you a lot of speakers that are good, but not right for you. There is nothing worse than getting some brand new, expensive piece of equipment and hearing how it is great… just like the reviews, but misses your mark.

I recommend thinking about a road trip to the nearest city. Make it a short vacation you and your wife. Also, make appointments at a couple high end audio stores. Typically a speaker line will have a house sound… so you don’t have to hear the exact one on price.


After getting season tickets to the symphony ten years ago… I found myself abandoning the path I had been on for over thirty years and refocused on having a musical system. I was immediately drawn to Sonus Faber for their uniquely musical qualities. I am now on my third pair.. moving up their product line when my finances allowed.

There were actually to sides to my migration to a really musical and detailed system. I slowly swapped components to all tube components.

Lots of suggestions, but most posters overlook the fact that you want to purchase from a reputable store that offers 30- or 60-day money back return privileges, i.e. Crutchfield, Audio Advisor, Music Direct.

Over here there are several very interesting models:

Shop Audiophile speakers from The Music Room (tmraudio.com)

These have a 14-day in home trial period.  Look at the Canton, Magnepan, PMC, Dynaudio Contour--you can find some excellent used speakers under 4K.

You have the experience to know actual monitor speakers are designed with a different presentation for a reason, good. Judging by the description of your systems current presentation I'd say it ain't broke. 

I agree with dekay's suggestion.

I have no experience with the SVS brand. I understand they offer a trial period and easy return program. 

Your 6000A has preamplifier outputs for a subwoofer. Long interconnects from Blue Jeans or Monoprice cable are fine. Competent subwoofer/s do not need to be matched to speakers and will work with future speaker upgrades. If your amplification provides enough power to your speakers using high pass filtering should be a matter of your personal taste. Good luck with it.


Hi @2psyop ,

Reviewers say that the tweeters being directional results in the high frequencies not spreading. How does that effect the sound image in terms of width, height, depth and 3D in comparison to other speakers?

Off axis midrange and hi-freq is better in the later models than the early ones. Eric has addressed this weakness in the design. I find the speakers to be forward sounding in soundstage not recessed. Vocals and other instruments are right here, not in the back. I have compared these speakers directly to Magnepan MMG and Vandersteen 2CE Sig ll with stereo subwoofers. The quality of sound is the same with both, but the Tekton is foreword and with the gi Vandersteen the instruments and singer is behind the speakers. Tekton has more bass, more defined. I don’t think the midrange or tweeter are problems, they sound natural. The only issue I have with the Tekton Double Impact is that it’s the first speaker I have had that will make bad recordings sound bad, good recordings good and really great recordings sound tremendous. Whatever quality level of electronics one has the Tekton will reveal in brutal honesty just how good it is or how bad it is. This is true about the quality of the recordings.

The Polk Audio Reserve R700 has been getting alot of good “press” recently (YouTube, etc.). They appear to be well made and have excellent response at both ends of the band pass (apparently can pressurize the room in the sub bass area, so no subs may be necessary).


Dali Opticon 8 mk2 is stronger contender in your price range. Trusted name with science and innovative technology behind. 

Here is another thought. The Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower. Lovely sound, especially if you choose to upgrade the NRT dome tweeter to the custom RAAL ribbon tweeter which adds an effortless, airy top end that is lovely for classical and jazz. It plays down nicely into the mid 30’s and the cabinets are handsome and slim. 7 year warranty and bamboo cabinets. The sound is quick, articulate, and beautifully balanced. $3400 a pair.



Thank you ALL for your responses! even pointing out brands I was not familiar with; so many possibilities! will look into Tekton Speakers (particularly the double impact SE or the Electron SE), the Vandersteen 2CE Signature II model, Spatial Audiolab, Dali, and the Ohm Walsh. Thanks to Twoleftears for pointing out “The Music Room” website, which I was not familiar with. There are some interesting speakers there as well and they do offer returns which for us is essential. You guys made it harder! Definitely not interested in the subwoofers route, but will try to narrow down the tower speaker options. Thanks again.

For Jazz music simply buy an old pair of Alon speakers.  They are open designs, fast, have a beautiful tone, etc.  The price for them used is fantastic also.

The BMR towers are superb value for the price.  The only thing is I'm not sure there's a home trial period, but you could definitely look into it. 


Magnepans or a great set of Quad ESL's

Sometimes good Quads come up for sale on Audiogon and the other audio site.  

For Jazz and Classical..... you will be stunned.  

most lifelike jazz I have ever played.  I have a several thousand Jazz LP collection. Wife is a true classical enthusiast.  

If you get a chance... you should SERIOUSLY put quads on your list.  Either a set of old school 57's that have been restored properly..  or a set of 2805's or newer.  

Read the thousands of reviews of how great Quads are for Jazz and Classical.  

Magnepans are also quite nice for those genre's

I also have an extensive collection of stringed music; swing, bluegrass, folk, etc.  Voices and instruments are sublime with these speakers.

There is a set of quads for sale right now on audiogon... a bit out of your price range.  but sometimes they come up for less.

And good magneplaners are definitely priced in your range.  your room would work great with these.




There are many good speakers in that price range especially if you go used. What you also have to consider, in my opinion, is whether or not the speakers (whatever it is you set your eyes on) are a good match with your current amplifier and what your plans are for upgrading the amp. 
You may have to up your budget a bit. Some speakers to consider on a used market are Sonus Faber Sonetto VIII, Focal Kanta 2. Your amp might just be borderline enough for these. Magnepan are nice but will need a beefier amp than your Audiolab. 

Thanks again for the  incredible input! no plans to upgrade the Audiolab as we just upgraded the amp (by the way, we find the synergy between the Audiolab amp and its CD transport to be excellent). We are aware it does not have a lot of power but we are amazed at how good the Q Acoustics sound with the Audiolab. Sooo much better! We will definitely need a pair of efficient (high sensitivity) speakers with the Audiolab, so Magnepans (for what I've read), unfortunately, will not work for us.

Take a look at Bache Audio. I have had Quad ESLs and even Shahinian speakers, which are tailor made for classical music. I prefer my Bache Tribeca’s for both Blue Note jazz and Mahler symphonies. 

Nice room size!

Suggest Magnepan 1.7 or larger for the jazz and classical department… tough to go wrong. Can easily add a little bass (if needed to suit your taste)  with a REL 5 series sub or two after the Magnepan have had a chance to perform on their own 


Just my $0.02.


Good luck



Good luck. I note the latest incarnation is the 8th version Vandersteen 2CE Signature III. $3607/pair. You have a room large enough though for some Maggies, and Ohm though, if you can pull them away from the walls. Nearly everyone (at least many reviewers) seem to be in love with open baffle speakers like the M3 Sapphire or X4 from Spatial Audio regarding their sonic advantages over box speakers. I can see why, but I could never put such large heavy speakers 5 or more feet (more like 8 feet ) into my room and leave them.

The idea one guy had above of taking a day off and going somewhere to HEAR some of these for yourself is a worthy one, and would save a lot of possible regret and second guessing later on.

And as another noted, your room is large.  Don't discount a well set up sub-woofer.

I'd try to find a used Magnepan 3.7i or 1.7i and add a sub. I listen to lots of jazz on mine and it's like you are there.

Happy listening

I agree with twoleftears in recommending a pair of BMR towers.  I just bought them.  With shipping, they were pennies under your limit.

Dennis sells them directly so there is little chance you will find them in any showroom, audiophile or mass market.  You can listen to mine, or maybe Dennis has a small showroom.  Certainly ask him about a return policy.  You won't need it, but ask.

Thanks again for the incredible input! no plans to upgrade the Audiolab as we just upgraded the amp (by the way, we find the synergy between the Audiolab amp and its CD transport to be excellent). We are aware it does not have a lot of power but we are amazed at how good the Q Acoustics sound with the Audiolab. Sooo much better! We will definitely need a pair of efficient (high sensitivity) speakers with the Audiolab, so Magnepans (for what I’ve read), unfortunately, will not work for us.

to spend 4 grand on a pair of better speakers to play jazz/classical, yet have the choice limited by an audiolab integrated amplifier power output is unwise, in my opinion - especially as the 6000a has pre outs to drive a power amp

Try Sandy Gross's GoldenEar technology Triton series active speakers.  I personally do not have them since they were above my budget but during my own search for speakers I had listened to them and they sounded absolutely fantastic.

Furthermore.... you do not need a separate subwoofer since those are built into the towers.

LOTS of great Speakers in this thread!  May I make a suggestion?  Check out Bache Audio in Brooklyn, NY.  Greg Belman treated me right and a few years ago I had him build me a custom set of Tribecca-001's.  Will post a picture of these beautiful speakers and I am 3000 miles away and went on a recommendation - SO glad I did.  Greg worked with me every step of the way and I reached out asking questions about his white pair of Tribecca's and we worked out a deal and now I have a pair that are painted in a beautiful Champagne glossy color!  I know the Tribeccas's are above the 4000 mark, but I believe Greg has many other options, including the Metro and lots others.  I primarily listen to two channel listening and don't even hook up my Revel sub, these speakers sound so awesome with Jazz, Rock, Classical and have tons of bass and the voices are surreal!  I plan to have Greg build me another set, possibly with a single ten inch or dual tens possibly in the future.  Please give him a try or reach out to me for further questions, etc.  I LOVE my speakers and can't wait to try some others in his line.  My Tribecca-001 have dual 8 inch drivers and the best tweeter I have heard.  I have tried these speakers with my 80w NAD up to my 400w Parasound.  I currently have them hooked up to my Rotel 300 watt per channel two channel amp.  Love these speakers.   -Brett (Tucson)







For $7K you can get the best speakers on the world market 

KMD Orchestalls Loudspeakers 

"The world's first speakers that sounds like LIVE MUSIC" 

They should be back at Axpona 2023 Show next year ! 

Made in South Korea

Maybe consider getting subs to go with the speakers you already have. A pair would get you there. 

I would definitely recommend GoldenEar as well. 

triton 2’s are possibly in your budget.


Thanks again for the incredible input! no plans to upgrade the Audiolab as we just upgraded the amp (by the way, we find the synergy between the Audiolab amp and its CD transport to be excellent). We are aware it does not have a lot of power but we are amazed at how good the Q Acoustics sound with the Audiolab. Sooo much better! We will definitely need a pair of efficient (high sensitivity) speakers with the Audiolab, so Magnepans (for what I’ve read), unfortunately, will not work for us.

to spend 4 grand on a pair of better speakers to play jazz/classical, yet have the choice limited by an audiolab integrated amplifier power output is unwise, in my opinion - especially as the 6000a has pre outs to drive a power amp.

Sage advice indeed. You say that you have a 550 sq ft room. Depending on the dimensions that could be 20’ x 25’. Based on the room size, genre of music, the fact that you like a tinge of warmth, and robust bass; I would have to echo the recommendation for the new Vandersteen Model 2Ce Signature III.

The specs say it can be driven with as little as 40wpc, but I would probably want to upgrade your power amp at some point. And at $3607.00 retail (with stands) meets your budget objective as well.

Also recommend that you give John Rutan at Audio Connection a call. He is an expert on all things Vandersteen and will definitely point you in the right direction. 

Let us know what you decide. Good luck!
- Joe

While they're not a new model from a dealer offering free return, I think you could do a lot worse than the Dunlavy III's that are currently listed for sale on Audiogon.  I am in no way affiliated with the seller, but I have had Dunlavy II's in the past, driven to great effect by relatively inexpensive Rotel amplification.  They are efficient, have extended bass, and do well with all forms of music.

Happy Listening,


sorry wrong direction you love your speakers why don’t you upgrade to an even better amp?


the next class of amps 3 to 5k should get you some impressive gains in overall performance


if I were you I would visit a local dealer and borrow a few amps