Upgrade from Polk Audio LSi9's

Just trying to gather up some ideas. I currently have a set of Polk Audio LSi9 speakers hooked up to a SimAudio intergrated amp and fully modded Museatex Bitstream DAC and Museatex Transport done by John Wright. All wiring is Moray James, Kimber and Harmonic Tech's.

The Polk Audio LSi's have been a great pleasure but I'm starting to slowly outgrow them. They deliver a sweet sound and airy musical feeling when I listen. The lower bass is quite surprising, it's in a small room right now. And will be for quite awhile. What I lack in my music is that mid-bass and symbol smash. My music rangers from Bjork-Massive Attack to Nivrana, Alice in Chains, radiohead. I want to hear a bit more punch in the kick drums, a better definition of symbol smashes. All without adding harshness which is otherwise never there. My speakers basically disappear since adding the modded Museatex DAC and I want that to continue.

I have heard offerings from PSB, Paradigm, Energy and Monitor Audio. Quite honestly I don't think they can do what the LSi's can and I wouldn't consider this an upgrade. I would like to make the jump, and obviously listen on my own, but could I get a few ideas from people who have listened to better speakers. I'd like to keep it in and around $3k new or used. If somebody thinks they can do better then my existing speakers with less money then please fill me in. I would make the jump up (to higher then $3k) only if the speakers 1. would give me the ability to improve my sound from a small room and 2. would not outmatch my Simaudio intergrated amp. The Museatex stuff is staying.
You listened to the Paradigm Signature S2 and didn't come away
impressed? Wow. I've heard this speaker in many different
systems and can't imagine much better sound in a monitor at
any price. $2k new. Right in your range.

I have Polk RTi28s in my bedroom system. Not up to the level
of the LSi9 but the Polk house-sound is certainly evident in
both models. If you like the Polk sound (I do) I'm surprised
you don't like the Paradigms.

May also want to give the Tyler Linbrook monitors a look as
well although I'm going on second-hand recs there.
Hey Tim, I've been reading the dynaudio's are pretty picky on room placement, I can only manage having them roughly 18-24" away from the wall. Do they have a monitor that can breathe in this close a space?


I quite disagree, I hated Polk Audio speakers...muddy was the word I often used when listening to them, the LSi's weren't muddy at all but open and musical. I have not heard the Paradigm sig's as of yet but people have told me they are a step up from their previous reference line. The Paradigms have always left me a little cold because of the sizzle in the top end and overly forward presentation. To my ears the Polk Audio LSi9's were warm and musical, the Paradigm Studio 40's were a smooth but a little more forward sounding with a tweeter that could get stuck sizzling.
The Paradigm Signature line (I've only heard the S2 monitors)
is a completely different animal than their other lines. I was
never a Paradigm fan myself. Always felt the bass was never
quite right, a little thick and overdone, in their Ref/Studio
lines. That's why I went with the Polks in the bedroom system.

Not the case at all with the Sig2. And the tweeter is highly
refined and resolving. No glare or etch. Totally non-fatiguing
without sounding rolled-off or too polite.

I was very surprised too.

The Dynaudio Special 25 is another wonderful monitor. If it
was the same price as the Sig2 I'd call it a toss up since
they are both world-class performers. But at twice the cost
of the Sig2 I think they lose out in price/performance.

If the Sig2 were made by a smaller company like Dyn they'd
probably retail for $5k.
Lush, have you thought about any speakers from the Totem line? The Model One's may be ideal for you. Or the Hawk's or even Forrest's if a floorstander isn't out of the question? I've heard several Totem speakers paired with their own integrated (a joint venture with SimAudio) and they sounded great! Give them a listen if you get a chance!
thx meisterkleef


I've only heard the Mani2's but not in my own system. I didn't like them at all, hard to explain, just totally uninvolving, dry, thin, stale...hard to explain. It was being powered at the time by an older Simaudio celeste amp and Anthem pre. Maybe the Forrests or Hawks will sound better.