Your thoughts on best audiophile speakers in $10,000 neighborhood?

I know the best way to select a speaker is to auditioon them at a dealer or in my own home. However, living in a rather rural area in northern Michigan, there's only one reputable dealer (Sonus Faber) in town so I may end up relying on reviews and your feedback. 

I used to own Vandersteen Model 2Cs in the late 1980s, but finally want to step up my game. I currently have a legacy Nakamichi receiver / amp with 1000wpc, but will probably upgrade that once I select a new pair of speakers. Currently I'm playing mostly LPs on a Technics SL1210G. I now listen mostly with a Mark Levinson 5909 headphone connected to a small Class A pre-amp, so I treasure detail and transparency and don't lean toward "warm" speakers.

Room is good size since it encompasses living room and opens to dining room and kitchen behind it. Cathedral ceiling is about 12 feet high. 

I'm considering the following speakers: Vandersteen Treo CT, Wharfedale Elysian 4 (perhaps too big for my room), Monitor Audio Gold 300 and the Sonus Faber Sonetto VIII. These all fit within my budget. What are your thought about any of these...or do you have others to recommend?

Thanks for whatever guidance you can give me.



thank you @larsman. I continue to update it. 

The Martens are a dream of mine to hear... 

Some day :)

I have seen recently used Focal Sopra 2 in your price range. I owned them for years and I was quite impressed with them.


Out of your list in the OP, I lean towered the Vandersteen Treo CT and the Sonus Faber Sonetto VIII.

But I’ve heard that series of Monitor Audio is supposed to be quite good.

For something a bit different, you might want to check into Pure Audio Project, such as; the Trio 15 ($8000.00). The openness and huge soundstage is hard to beat with open baffle.

Great thing is, you can choose the mid/tweeted technology: horn, coax, full range.



Or the Quintet 10 ($10,000).


As there are approximately a billion speakers in that $10K  or close range you’re going to get a ton of different recommendations. Why? Because we all like what we like and we hear stuff differently from one another. On top of that we all have different rooms and systems. So before you invest $10K on speakers maybe hop in the car and visit a city, Chicago perhaps, and visit dealers and listen to stuff. Or if you have time this weekend go to Axpona!



With out any hesitation the Borresen X loudspeaker

or Perlisten R7 

both are much better then anything in their price class IHave heard both at audio shoot outs at audio clubs they each do things a bit differently the Borresen uses a great ribbon for ultra speed and transparancy,

the Perlisten has a waveguide with both midrange and tweeter sharing both.

if ultimate spl levels and bass slam is your goal then the Perlisten 

for huge soundstaging and ultimate resolution then the X3 , they are both big speakers around 50 inches high .8 have heard many these 2 stand out in the $10 k 

price range.