Mark, thanks for the hands-on tips.
These days, I am more a Home Theatre guy instead of strict 2-channel, but I still want very good stereo performance.
My room is about 20' x 22' x14' high, and open on one side.
I have 3 subs around -> Contrabass, and Paradigm Servo-15 & Seismic-12, along with a Velodyne SMS-1 ( used to have a DD-18 )
Though I have heard all 3 speakers on my list at one point or another over the years, I have not done any critical evaluation of them in anticipation of buying a set.
But I don't mind soliciting feedback here and buying a used set of *something* on a whim.
Worst case, it ends up being not my cup-of-tea and I just resell it at Audiogon with a minimal loss.
But fun / experimentation will be had inbetween
I am open to other options too, but price range $6K-$8K used, and speaker must be short-ish.
I happened to see some Vandertseen Quatros in the flesh yesterday at a different local dealer.
They actually look very sleek in comparison to the typical Vandy-look.
A quick listen showed they were very detailed & revealing.
They are visually a small/short speaker, even though this set was covered entirely in the black sock with a wood top-cap.
FYI: There is an all-wood verison of the Quatro that also incorporates a tweeter upgrade ( from the Vandy 5, not 5A ) , but an extra $3500 more.
I am a fan of the Merlin's having owned VSM-M's, and the latest VSM-MXe is said be significantly better.
But of course, the Merlin's are lacking in deep bass, and sense of "big-scale".
Dynaudo C1's are also on the brain.
I think I could nicely integrate my Seismic-12 with with the Merlin's or C1's.
Or worst case, I pickup a Vandy 2WQ or Velo DD-12 to supplement my 2-channel listening bass quality requirements.