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.



It appears everyone recommends what they chose for themselves. Allow me to offer an alternative idea.


  Write a list of speakers you've been interested in before you ever thought you could afford them and start following their resale prices, HIFI shark is a great tool for this. As speakers come up at prices you think(thru your own research) you can buy and resell without $$$ loss buy them. What I learned, and what you'll learn is how speakers in your room compare to what you expect. It takes patience and an ability to drive some distance if you really want to insure not taking a $$$ loss until you find the speaker that does what it's supposed to do in your room, but it's worth the effort and going through the process will remove all doubt once you get it right and it won't matter what anyone else prefers.