I have to add my recommendation to the many who have already recommended either Salk or Ascend speakers. Although I own Salk SongTowers, both makes are excellent in general, and the owners/designers of these ID companies have deservedly excellent reputations. In the Los Angeles area it ought to be easy to find ways to audition both.
Thanks to Dave Fabrikant of Ascend who called out and exposed the nagging poster for his dishonest and underhanded statements.
I personally don't like the B&W sound. I hear break up noise from their Kevlar mid woofers, probably because they are crossed over to the tweeters at such a high frequency of 4 kHz. This, depending on the music, can generate harsh sounding lower treble, that many people mistakenly attribute to the tweeter. To be fair, the B&W 800 series also use a similar approach and they do not suffer from that problem. But they cost significantly more than the 600 or CM series. I don't know what the OP prefers in speakers, but I definitely agree with his thought that he might pay too much for the B&W name.
And now for something completely different…
Originally Posted by chrisrhoads
The system will be designed for primarily music. With a sideboard along the backwall with a turntable, and a long RCA cable
run under the floor boards to the front right corner where currently cable box and HDMI from the TV etc is housed. Although we watch television and movies, I can't see us ever expanding to anything beyond maybe a 5.1 system. Regardless, the focus now is for a great 2/2.1 system for music with an asterisk of potential movie expansion, since we are probably 65% music 20% TV 15% movie.
Do you already have that turntable set up in the back of the room with the very long cable? Why did you choose that location? You might benefit if you move it closer to your AVR. Do you have your turntable connected via a phono pre-amp, or is it directly connected to the AVR's dedicated phono jacks and it's internal phono pre-amp? Either way, that is an unnecessarily long run.
If you are using an external phono pre-amp, it might be alright as is, but I would still try to find a way to make that cable run much shorter. The signal level downstream from the phono pre-amp will be about 100 millivolts (mV) and may, or may not, suffer noise pick up or signal loss from such a long run.
However, if that long cable runs direct from the turntable to the AVR, you should definitely move the turntable closer – much closer. The signal level of the pickup cartridge is very low, about 4 or 5 mV. Any RCA cable longer than about 4 feet, carrying such a weak signal is prone to picking up noise (electromagnetic interference), and the capacitance of the long cable can filter out some of the treble part of the signal. That's why most turntables come with a hard wired signal cable no longer than 4 feet.