Wanting to get back into the hobby and want to start with the speakers.

Hi everyone. Last year I went to a couple of local Hi-Fi shops and demoed two vastly different types of speakers. The first shop I went to I demoed the JBL L 100 Classic, the second place I demoed two different pairs of Magnepan speakers the MMG and the .7. To my ears both Magnepan’s wiped the floor with the JBL’s. Funny thing is the JBL was being driven by about ten grand worth of McIntosh gear and the Magnepan’s were driven by inexpensive Marantz gear. Now since hearing the Magnepan’s every darn box speaker sounds well......boxy. It’s like they all have this hollowed out muffled midrange. If not for a few reservations I’d probably own a pair of either of the Magnepan’s. From what I’ve read on forums and reviews the consensus seems they require space/careful placement. Though, somewhat of a controversial topic is how much power they require to get up and running. Some say you can never have too much power with them, others say they get by just fine with fifty watts per channel. I guess I won’t know unless I try them.

To switch gears I went a demoed another species of loudspeakers today, two different pairs from the Klipsch Heritage line. The Heresy IV and the Forte III. Both sounded pretty darn good, they sounded similar in the mid’s and high’s, but of course the Forte’s cover about another octave in the low end. Regardless they both still sound like boxes with a bunch of drivers jammed in it( which they are).

Now like any self respecting obsessive audiophile I’m always reading reviews and scouring the internet for other popular speakers to seek out and listen to. A few others I am interested in are Tekton speakers, Harbeths( specifically the p3esr), Vandersteen( either the 1ci or 2ci.), and to throw another curve ball in there a pretty obscure brand called Human speakers. The have a stand mount speaker called the model 81( a sealed two way acoustic suspension, maybe sounds less boxy, dunno). The only ones I would be able to demo in person are the Vandersteen’s, but I’d have to drive about 3-6 hours just demo them.
Anyway, sorry for rambling on, and for overuse of commas. Any suggestions, advise, and or personal experience with any of the above speakers mentioned would be appreciated, thanks.

On to room dimensions. There are two rooms I would be able to place speakers in. The dimensions (W x H x D) for the first room are 12x8x18(Feet). The second is 10.5x6.5x20. Neither of these rooms are closed off both are adjacent to other rooms/areas of the house. I just measured room boundaries for the sake of simplicity.
Couple of comments. I'm assuming the second room isn't really only 6.5 feet in height. If so, I would avoid that room. Additionally, you should avoid rooms that have dimensions that are multiples of each other. If you stated things correctly, the depth of the second room is roughly twice the length. Not ideal for acoustics. The first room has ideal dimensions acoustically and should allow for sufficient placement of planners that need to be well off the rear wall.

Not true at all about the 6.5' ceiling, Mr. Chip.

According to the Salford simulations (U of Salford, School of Acoustics), that 6.5 ft room would be fine, if it were a closed room. In fact, just put record shelves on a long wall and you get ratios of 1: 1.45 : 3.08, which are listed in the ’second best’ section.
I just ordered (but haven't yet received) a pair of Alta Audio Alec speakers. I won't provide a recommendation either way until I actually have them in my system, but I thought I would share them with you as this comment was in a very recent review from Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity:

"They are the only cone-in-box speakers that I’ve heard that can truly sound like virtually massless electrostatic panels."

A similar description has been used by others as well.

Good luck, and most of all have fun!

A room with a ceiling height of 6.5 feet is hardly a room. Many full size floor standing speakers wouldn't even fit. I have friends that wouldn't even fit. Not sure what purpose a room with that low a ceiling has but certainly the other room would be a better choice.

Speaker preference is subjective.  Best is to listen/demo for yourself.  But the caveat is that speakers reflect the audio chain driving them, so can sound heavenly in one system, not so much in others.  Also room modes can play significant issues in the sound.

You didn’t mention your preference for bookshelf, floor, or indifferent.  Also, you didn’t mention your preference for bass - how deep.  

You didn’t mention what type of music you listen to, which may have a bearing on your bandwidth requirements.  Requirements for listening to Jazz quartet is quite different than hard rock or orchestra for instance.  

Magnepan is a great sounding speaker midrange through treble.  But because it uses a vibrating flat panel, it’s not able to push enough bass air like cone drivers.  Adding a subwoofer can help, but because the flat panel is much faster technology than cone, the timing is mismatched.  Whether this timing mismatch is relevant is subjective.  “Magnepan for Condos” is a new concept/product Magnepan is probably (not confirmed) working on to fix this timing mismatch issue.

You didn’t mention a budget, so it’s hard to pin down options.  Because you mentioned Tekton, I’m guessing ~$5k.  

You also didn’t mention your preference of buying used vs new.  Your $ would go farther if you’re willing to buy used, ~30-50% savings.

For new wide bandwidth floorstanding speakers with a great price/performance, Tektons or Goldenear Tritons are very safe choices and are hard to beat.