Originally Posted by drivermacias
I'll be going to best buy today with the Magnolia center and listen at different bookshelfs, hopefully they have a good selection. After that I'll be going to my friends house to listen to the KEF's, but I also have in mind that the KEF's are in a home theater which will be calibrated very well and in an ideal situation.
What I want to listen for is crisp sound (such as in a movie when glass shatters that crisp sound of individual glass pieces hitting the ground) but again I also want them to sound good with music. Hey I'm being picky but when dropping good money why not right, after all its a hobby.
I am seeing a lot of different suggestions and a lot of different types of speakers. There are some basic questions besides budget that make a big difference in the types of speakers that you might be interested in:
1) What is the primary use? Home theater or music?
Normally, those who are primarily interested in home theater look for speakers with more impact, sensitivity, and greater maximum SPL (sound pressure level) capabilities. For music, things like tonal accuracy, detail, and imaging are more important at the sacrifice of lower sensitivity and max SPL. It is very hard (and very expensive) to get both of these things.
2) What type of speaker "sound" do you like? Only you can answer this question - there are many different types of speaker sound:
Forward / slightly bright (Paradigm, Polk), Warm (KEF, Mordaunt-Short), high efficiency horn (Klipsch, JBL), electrostatic panel (Martin Logan), etc
When you say "crisp" that usually means that you prefer a Forward / slightly bright speaker. Warm speakers will have less emphasis on the highs and will be less fatuiging to listen to for long periods but would probably not be referred to as "crisp". On the other side, high efficiency horn / compression drivers will give you a lot more sound and will be very crisp but may cause listening fatigue after some time - again you have to listen to them yourself to see what you like.
I've had several of these over the years (KEF, Paradigm, NHT) and as my tastes (and probably my hearing) have changed I've ended up liking mostly Forward / slightly bright speakers. The exception is probably the NHT which is a little less bright (but still not "warm"), I still like their sound and the new Classic line is even better - more neutral. My newest Paradigms are also a little less bright - more toward neutral.