I apologize for the extensive background context but thought it would save some steps in getting useful feedback. I am trying to scope out my pre-retirement system and the most important component would be speakers. As the title goes my music choices fall along classic alternative (Talking Heads, REM, Collective Soul, B-52's, Green Day, etc.), classic rock (Aerosmith, Supertramp, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC, ) and newer music; some Rock, Pop and yes Alternative (Modest Mouse, Foster the People, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Pink,..). Not interested in tube amps or vinyl. However, I don't like digital processing in two channel, obviously okay for HT. Prefer a good DAC then clean analog processing. Have a good system for home theater (Kef XQ40/XQ50c) so the focus on this will be two channel , but still want to be able to do HT as long term we want to have a house down south and a summer place up north on a lake. Plan to get either the Integra 80.3 or more likely the Marantz 7005 replacement as a Pre/Pro. Amps will likely be class D as heat is an issue for my room (otherwise I'd get a Parasound Halo A31). Until proven otherwise, the best to me is still high current class A (e.g. Krell), just can't handle that heat output. My current room limits speaker size but I can go a bit bigger than ideal as the plan to change houses before retirement and as mentioned also have a summer cottage/home. Rules out 207/2, however. My current media room is 13' x 16' x 9', speakers about 8.5 apart due to room configuration.
Speakers I have been considering are:
Kef Reference 205/2 - Concern here is whether they will replace these shortly with blade derived UniQs. Don't want to spend that kind of money and be upgraded right after (like the XQs to R series). Kef seems to handle music and home theater both very well.
B&W 803Ds - 800 series seem very polarizing but still intrigue me. Based on what I've read the newer diamond series seem to have some problems with coherence between the different driver types but the last and only 800 series I have heard was the 801 Matrix Series 3, an incredible speaker but too clinical for me. Also making me a bit wary, I had planned to get CM9s/CMC2 a couple years back until I heard the CM7s compared to my previous 103/4s and was disappointed. However, CMs are no 800s.
Aerial Acoustics Model 7Ts - Press is quite good on these, not sure if it would have the bass impact desired for 2.0 as it only has two 7 woofers.
Paradigm Signature 8 - Cheaper than target which is good. I have only heard two Paradigm towers, monitors and (studio), (Edit: Both were Monitor, one older, not Studio) not signature. To me they were very veiled, lacking in detail and clarity, but had good bass. Good press on the Sig 8's but I also read a lot of good press on the GoldenEar Triton 2s but they came up short to me in the upper mids. The other concern is that from what I read about the Studio 100s that they need to be pushed a bit to sound good. Would like speakers that sound good at low volumes also, which I've had for years. Would need a serious audition to consider.
Salk Soundscape 8s - Very strong on my list, concern here is the open back midrange. Belief this is more a classical music speaker versus what matches my music tastes.
I would love to hear your input on this range of speaker for the music type I listen to. Not all that interested in monitors with dual subs as this would likely require digital processing which is what I want to avoid in two channel.
Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...