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.



Having experiencing Axpona yesterday I can tell you what really, really struck me as remarkable: Alta Audio Alyssa ($5K)—a stand mount speaker, which is what I’m looking for.  These are in my list! The Alec is a tower type in the $8K range.  These are speakers one needs to hear to understand. 

Alta Audio Alyssa ($5K)—a stand mount speaker, ... These are speakers one needs to hear to understand. 

I heard them there and they did nothing for me. Yes YMMV

For your tastes, KEF is a great choice in this price range. Perlisten and Legacy Audio also. Tekton is a bit unpopular these days.

I had the Monitor Audio GS bookshelf speakers and they sounded pretty good. When I heard a pair of floor standing Totems at my local hifi store, I was highly impressed. In fact, the Totems sounded better than a pair of Focal floor standing speakers that were in the same room. If you’re totally focused on getting dynamic speakers, I agree with those who have recommended Totem. Personally, I own a pair of Quad 2905 ESL’s and they match up great with my 250 watt amplifier but those concentric mylar paneled Quads are frustrating. If I were in the market for a new pair of speakers, I would seriously consider Tannoy’s and then possibly Totems.