It took alot of driving, but here are my thoughts on a bunch of floorstanders, usage to be maybe 65% home theatre and, when listeing to music, much of the time it will be with a whole houseful of folks (i.e., party mode), listed in order of preference based on what I was listening for:
B&W 683 series 2 (or whatever they are calling the 2014 release) ($1,750): Phenomenal speaker for the money and clearly better than the old series, which I own. Tweeter has an air about it that is just incredible at the price and their midrange is also as smooth and velvety and just short of forward as it gets at this price point. Low end was not tremendous, but at least they did not over-emphasize the mid-bass to compensate for it. Tight quick bass, just not tons of it. I'm not happy about the price increase, and the looks are mediocre at best, but as much as I donn't want to end up buying a new version of what I already own, these are an impossibly good value -- if you have a sub.
Dali Zensor 7 ($1,500): Long drive to hear these, but wow was I impressed. Deep tight bass (sub optional for non bass junkies) and fantastic imaging(!) and highs with a bit of a recessed midrange. The boom and sizzle of Euro speakers, but they pull it off gloriously. Fun speaker. Fantastic value for home theatre and the Z1 make amazing surrounds. As bang for your buck goes, these were the best I heard for pure home theatre. Due to the slightly recessed midrange though I didn't think these were the most musical of speakers, unless you were just playing rock and pop, which they ace in spades. A serious surprise.
JBL LS60 and LS80 (+/- $2500): Bass, baby. Tons of it, the deep and tight kind. I demoed them against the Paradigms at the same shop and they couldn't quite get the imaging and highs as right as the Paradigms , but they were very very close, but the mids were about the same (a little more laid back) but ohh that bass. They would kill most speakers (and any on this list) in party mode and would make amazing home theatre speakers with an ability to be musical as well. I never heard them as "horns" (not harsh in least) and the cabinets are gorgeous (nicest here) and the only issue was that the dealer tells me they need a ton of power to drive them and that my Yamaha Aventage can't handle them. Shame as I likely would have gone with them but don't want to pony up for a bunch of new separates. If you want to party, go loud in your home theatre and have the power these are your toys.
Paradigm Monitor 11 ($1,600): If I were buying these speakers just for music (a bit of everything), and wasn't planning on whole house parties and movies where I needed to go loud and proud, these would perhaps be my choice. Best imaging in the lot by a nudge I'd say, sweet airy tweeter and front and center velvety mids that are not as forward as, say, the new B&W 683, but just an all around great package. Their fault, unfortunately, is an emphasis on mid/upper bass frequencies that I just cannot live with.
Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 ($2,500): See my notes on the B&W 683's as they sound similar. I did an A/B comparison at Best Buy and couldn't believe how similar these speakers were to the B&Ws. Sonus mids and highs are a bit more laid back than the B&Ws, but not in a bad way (VERY smooth), but the B&W has a bit tighter bass. These speakers lack bass. Sonus cabinets make the B&W's look plain nasty, but you get what you pay for. They don't sound $750 better than the B&Ws or Paradigms, but they sure do look it. For all music, especially classical and jazz, these are worth a listen.
Monitor Audio Silver 8 and 10 (+/- $2,500): Harshest tweeter of the lot. I got lost after that. Maybe they are better after serious break in (no idea how long dealer had broken them in), but aside from being harsh they didn't image all that well. Shame because those dual 8" woofers in the Silver 10's were a huge lure, but I just couldn't live with the tweeter harshness and lack of imaging.
Klipsch Reference R82 ($1,300): They are horns and they don't hide it. For a 100% home theatre applicattion with no sub these would be tough to beat for the price, but they simply are too harsh for music that I listen to. Recessed midrange -- all boom and sizzle. Sorry Klipsch fans.
Martin Logan Motion 40 ($1,800): Superb tweeter and highs, maybe as nice or nicer than the new B&W's, but to my ears just lacked the midrange and bass presence to follow them up with.