Bookshelf speakers for 2-channel set up
Thanks in advance for any input on my speaker selection conundrum!
I am new to the forums and in serious need of some experienced listeners to guide me in selecting a pair of bookshelf speakers from a short list that I have little hope of auditioning prior to pulling the trigger on one. My budget (up to $300) doesn't leave room for the costs associated with returns.
My set up and anticipated use scenarios are pretty basic.
Current gear consists of:
Rotel RA-01 Integrated Amp
Onkyo C-7030 CD Player
BIC America Venturi V802 tower speakers
I use the stereo to watch family-oriented movies (usually not a lot of demanding sound effects) and listen to music - guitar rock and classical mainly - in approximately equal amounts, though I definitely care more about the quality of music reproduction. We stream movies and watch on the screen of a Windows 10 laptop using a Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface connected to an input on the Rotel.
I bought the speakers new in the late '90s, and they are the only part of my stereo setup that hasn't had an update since. Now I am looking for bookshelf speakers due to wholesale reorganization of the room. I will be happy to end up with more musical speakers, but I am concerned that I will be disappointed with the loss of low end going from towers to bookshelf speakers with no near term prospect of adding a subwoofer to the mix. Maybe some day, but I can't count on that at present.
The room is not particularly large but also not ideally proportioned at 18 x 11 feet. The speakers will be oriented on the long axis positioned close to the side walls, and I probably won't be able to get the speakers less than 5 feet away from the rear wall.
I tell myself I like a revealing, detailed sound with faithful representation of instruments. However, I don't have many points of reference (having only ever bought the one set of speakers nearly 20 years ago) and am aware that my current speakers likely do not shine in that regard. So there's lots of room for improvement I think!
I went to Best Buy Magnolia the other day and heard a few speakers on their demo set up. Couple of pretty strong reactions - I thought the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 lacked refinement, though it did have a fuller low end than I expected to experience from a speaker that size; I really liked what I heard from the Martin Logan Motion 15, however I thought I might end up missing some bass heft on its own; I wished I could walk out of there with the Bowers & Wilkins 606.
The speakers that I have found good deals on (sales & manufacturer refurbished units) and am actively considering are:
Canton GLE 426
Infinity Reference 162
Wharfedale Diamond 10.2
Emotiva Airmotiv B1
Not an obvious set to be comparing I'm thinking; the Emotivas stay mainly because I liked the AMT tweeter on the Martin Logans so much. Still, any input at all would be much appreciated.
A wild card that I don't really understand how to evaluate is that I have an A/V receiver (10ish year old Yamaha - can't check the model number at the moment - that i got for free). Currently I only use it to listen to my local NPR station!