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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am shortlisting dynaudio special 40, b&w 705s2, buchardt s400, kef ls50/r3. Welcome thoughts on those or any others that I need to know about? I live in an apartment so big bass response is not a priority. Listen to bossa nova, blues, vocal, acoustic rock, some jazz..I have Elac ub5s right now which for $500 are incredible - I would guess they are definitely on the warm side as highs seem fairly recessed, definitely non fatiguing. I would prefer to avoid models that you need to really turn up to enjoy (i like moderate most of the time but turn it up for a song or two). Could go for more detail/forward presentation than the UB5s but don't want to jump all the way to the ultra forward/clinical end of the spectrum, just turn it up a nice notch from the elacs. Also dont NEED to spend 3k, if a 2k speaker is a big improvement over the elacs then that might be the way to go, but willing to go up to 3, hear only great things about the dynaudios haha...Appreciate any suggestions!


UPDATE
I ordered Buchardt s400- BUT... while im waiting for my S400s , i signed up for tidal masters ( i had been streaming via apple music, so basically MP3/ALAC?). Well holy crap, its a pretty big jump in clarity. My Elacs no longer sound veiled at all. If i had done this before i probably wouldnt have been so eager to upgrade! These sound amazing now, especially for $500...pretty incredible value I can only imagine how the buchhardts will sound. So most of the songs im listening to are noted as "hifi" rather than masters, I think hifh is cd quality? Anyway Tidal premium like going from HD to 4k tv.
 

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I own the Ascend Sierra 2EX and the Buchardt S400. They are both excellent choices and I don’t think you’ll go wrong with either.

I also owned the KEF LS50 for a short time, but I found them too bright in my room for my taste, so I ended up selling them.

Most companies offer some type of trial period, so I’d probably audition a few and keep the one you like best.


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Crutchfield has $10 bookshelf returns. Buy a few and try them in home.

Dynaudio, Revel, Focal are all great speakers. Best to try in your environment
 

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Crutchfield has $10 bookshelf returns. Buy a few and try them in home.

Dynaudio, Revel, Focal are all great speakers. Best to try in your environment
you should really give the ls50 a listen
they are amazing
 

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Based on your music and listening preferences, the LS50 sound good for your situation. I personally tame them a bit around 2k to smooth out the highs but it sounds like you might like them as is, just stay away from the new R series, it's more laid back.
 

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The Paradigm prestige 15B's sound bigger and clearer than the LS50's and Special 40's, and are slightly brighter in the high end, but not in the fatiguing 2-3khz range like the LS50's. The 15B's also have deeper, better bass than the LS50's.
I have 15B's for home theater and for that use they are excellent, and very good for music. Since you listed vocal and acoustic rock in your variety, you might love them.
An amazing soundstage is also one of their strong points.
Since I'm sensitive to highs, I'd prefer the Special 40's for music, even though they don't sound quite as clear or big. There's just something smooth and musical about them, but just not enough to spend that much money to me.
I don't think you'd find them enough of an upgrade over the UB5's, as you're looking for something a little more forward anyway.
For $4k, the Bryston Mini T's are the best speakers I've heard under around $8k, but they are also slightly laid back to neutral.
Sounds to me like the 15B's are exactly what you're looking for, or maybe the 705S2's, which I haven't heard yet.
 

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I am shortlisting dynaudio special 40, b&w 705s2, buchardt s400, kef ls50/r. Welcome thoughts on those or any others that I need to know about? I live in an apartment so big bass response is not a priority. Listen to bossa nova, blues, vocal, acoustic rock, some jazz..I have Elac ub5s right now which for $500 are incredible - I would guess they are definitely on the warm side as highs seem fairly recessed, definitely non fatiguing. I would prefer to avoid models that you need to really turn up to enjoy (i like moderate most of the time but turn it up for a song or two). Could go for more detail/forward presentation than the UB5s but don't want to jump all the way to the ultra forward/clinical end of the spectrum, just turn it up a nice notch from the elacs. Also dont NEED to spend 3k, if a 2k speaker is a big improvement over the elacs then that might be the way to go, but willing to go up to 3, hear only great things about the dynaudios haha...Appreciate any suggestions!
As an all in one package, LS50W are one of the best. I just bought mine last month. Do check them out.

For a larger room and if you already have an Amp, KEF R3s would be a better option.

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I’d highly recommend listening to the Dynaudio Evoke 20 @2k, or the Special 40 @3k. If you’re already thinking Dynaudio then certainly give those two a listen. They’ll do great with that type of music, personally I use Contour 20s, and I listen to nearly everything except country.

Other very good ones would be the Dali Rubicon 2, or Totem Sky.
 
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I live in an apartment so big bass response is not a priority. Listen to bossa nova, blues, vocal, acoustic rock, some jazz..I have Elac ub5s right now which for $500 are incredible - I would guess they are definitely on the warm side as highs seem fairly recessed, definitely non fatiguing. I would prefer to avoid models that you need to really turn up to enjoy (i like moderate most of the time but turn it up for a song or two).
Another vote for a RAAL tweeter based speaker such as the Ascend Sierra 2 or 2EX, in that case.

If you want a similar tweeter with $10 flat rate return shipping just in case, the Martin Logan LX16 from crutchfield.com for $240 each would be a steal. Maybe I'd start with that first, and then move up to the Ascends only if you aren't completely happy with the LX16.
 
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I am shortlisting dynaudio special 40, b&w 705s2, buchardt s400, kef ls50/r. Welcome thoughts on those or any others that I need to know about? I live in an apartment so big bass response is not a priority. Listen to bossa nova, blues, vocal, acoustic rock, some jazz..I have Elac ub5s right now which for $500 are incredible - I would guess they are definitely on the warm side as highs seem fairly recessed, definitely non fatiguing. I would prefer to avoid models that you need to really turn up to enjoy (i like moderate most of the time but turn it up for a song or two). Could go for more detail/forward presentation than the UB5s but don't want to jump all the way to the ultra forward/clinical end of the spectrum, just turn it up a nice notch from the elacs. Also dont NEED to spend 3k, if a 2k speaker is a big improvement over the elacs then that might be the way to go, but willing to go up to 3, hear only great things about the dynaudios haha...Appreciate any suggestions!
Look at the measurements for some of the speakers on your list here to give some idea of the differences.

They tested the "slim" version of the Ub5 which should have similar measurements to what you currently have.

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16&Itemid=140

Compare those measurements to the NHT C3 which is available for $1000/pair direct and slightly less on Amazon to see if the more expensive speakers measure any better.
 

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I'm going for JBL 708i in that pricerange (soon). Not sure if they are "the best" but looks like they are good. I've selected them entirely "on paper", never heard them, but I don't think I'd be dissapointed.

You would need an EQ and possibly a limiter/cross to subwoofer if your music is bass-heavy with them though. There is also a powered version 708p that has everything inside and all you need is aes3 source (or just a common digital source), but they are more expensive ($500 more each iirc).
 

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I have both the LS50 and the UB5. The LS50's are definitely brighter and more forward than the UB5's. If that's what you are looking for, you will probably like them.

However, for $3k I'd aim a little higher and start auditioning everything you can. You could look at the Adante if you want to stay in the Elac family. The Kef R series, as mentioned above, are going to be a little mid-recessed and the opposite of what you want.

I'd recommend:

Elac Adante
Dynaudio Evoke 20/S40
Revel M106
Salk BMR
Ascend Sierra 2EX
Canton Reference
Wharfedale Linton (for something totally different)

All those can be easily ordered online. Beyond that, I'd get out there and make some dealer appointments.
 

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I have both the LS50 and the UB5. The LS50's are definitely brighter and more forward than the UB5's. If that's what you are looking for, you will probably like them.

However, for $3k I'd aim a little higher and start auditioning everything you can. You could look at the Adante if you want to stay in the Elac family. The Kef R series, as mentioned above, are going to be a little mid-recessed and the opposite of what you want.

I'd recommend:

Elac Adante
Dynaudio Evoke 20/S40
Revel M106
Salk BMR
Ascend Sierra 2EX
Canton Reference
Wharfedale Linton (for something totally different)

All those can be easily ordered online. Beyond that, I'd get out there and make some dealer appointments.
Thanks for pointing out Salk has now added the BMR to his line.

Best of all is that the custom cabinets are available in a myriad of furniture grade finishes albeit at a price higher then the original BMR that essentially doomed Philharmonic Audio finanically as Dennis simply didn't charge enough for his speakers to keep the company going.
 

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My mistake; mid range on up should be similar to the bookshelf version I would suspect.
Yep, should be basically identical in that range.
 

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Here are my picks for the best below 3k currenty:

Elac Adante AS-61
Dynaudio special 40
Revel M106
Scansonic MB1
Kef R3

Removed the Ascend acoustic sierra 2 ex due to there being a Salk Silk pair on ebay which outperforms it.
 
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