If you had to narrow your choices to 4 - 5 speakers

To listen to at the upcoming Axpona, in the 10 - 20k range driven by a great solid state amp which ones would you search for? Yes understand listening conditions and room setups can make or break a system but just trying to narrow some choices. Thank you.


Would be helpful if you shared what speaker/sound characteristics you’re looking for, but here’s a list in order where I’d go.  I’m going over your limit — sorry I just can’t help myself.  It’s like a kid in a candy store-like thing. 

Joseph Audio
Alta Audio


Gershman (always a surprising standout to me)



Vandersteen (if you haven’t heard them before I’d bump them up a couple spaces)


Von Schweikert 




Dutch & Dutch

I’d also recommend giving at least a look at the Treehaus speakers — they look very unique and natural (you’ll see what i mean) and also thought they sounded quite good.  Im jealous and wish I could go, but hope this helps and enjoy the show!!!


Devore (Gibbon)

Cessaro (never heard in that low price range but want to)

Fyne (own currently)

Rockport (probably used in this range)

Everyone and their brother will list many combinations but each of the above does something special in my own opinion so your mileage will vary.





Volti Audio

PS Audio


Devore Fidelity




@soix I had the Gershman monitor and it was terrible. A subwoofer trying to make sense of midrange is dull. At first listen it was relaxing and I was waiting for a transformation but it never happened. Are you speaking of their next levels? Maybe with 100k of Nordost cables it would sound more lively.

@bjesien I’ve never heard their monitor, only the Avant Garde and one of their older GAP models and they always surprise me by being some of the best sounds I hear at shows.  Most recently I heard the Avant Garde at the NYC show a few months ago, and once again they were in my top 3 for sound at the show, and there were some good speakers there.  Just my experience FWIW. 

I would listen to this system from Voxativ. For slightly over your budget it comes with an integrated amp/streamer. I heard this at Pacific Audio Fest. Compelling


I would also listen to a ProAc speaker in your price range, as well as Acora

At AXPONA at those price ranges, I’d visit

Audiovector - Look for the R3 Arrête, though they might have the R6 set up.

Joseph Audio  - The Perspective2 Graphene is around $16,500, but they will likely have the $40K Pearl Graphenes. They sound very similar, they just fill different sized rooms.

Legacy Audio -  They will likely have the Focus XD on the floor, but you may have to ask to demo them as they probably won’t be hooked up.

Next Level Hifi - The new Borresen X3 is pretty special given that it uses the same tweeter as all the higher up models. I heard this speaker at the Florida Expo and was impressed at the performance for the accessible price. I was an owner of Borresen Z3 and now own Borresen 02.

There may be others I’m missing, but these would be a good start.


I’d be sure to hear the new Janszen Nine.Five. I like electrostats, I like Janszen electrostats, and preliminary reviews have been great.

Outside of that, I generally look for rooms that won’t blow out my ears with overly loud sound. That radically culls the possibilities. But that’s OK, I can’t really tell much about a speaker at painful volumes, anyway.



bryston fkagship speaker

axiom,….made for, but better than their own,….???


sanders sound panels







My favs with a strong amplifier, though Acora is always shown with a tube amp


I like to be surprised by relatively inexpensive speakers ie not more than $10-20K:

Spatial Audio


Zu Audio


But I gotta say if I were at Axpona I'd be very curious to hear Acora given all the buzz.

Thanks all for the suggestions. I've already, and was close to pulling the trigger on some JA Perspectives, and still might. But since I've decided to go to Axpona I'd thought I'd hear from this forum. I believe the Acora's usually show only their very expensive speakers but will at least hear them. 

Thanks again.

I'd visit the High Water Sound room and listen to whatever speakers they have brought.  Pretty eclectic and not for rock, but to my ears, the sound has been breathtakingly natural, which I attribute to their love of music and their skill of matching components,  Kind of off the corporate path.


there are a few amazing new reference loud speakers 


Borrenson new x3 11k heard at last show  sounds like a 20k loudspeaker

new kef reference 3 meta 15k 

alta audio adam 18k 


Dave and Troy

audio intellect nj 

Kef borrenson andAlta dealers

Vandersteens driven by their own amps.

The Scanspeak room with the Ellipticor drivers.

Fritz, which always sound good even in horrible rooms.

@blisshifi Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Joseph Audio Perspective2 and Borresen X3 speakers. I currently own the Perspective2 Graphene version placed in a 20x15 room with 12 foot ceilings. I often wonder if moving up to the Pearl is going to be worth the additional expense. For my room, do you think the Pearl offers any benefit over and above the Perspective2s?

Also, the Borresen X3 is another speaker I'm very interested in hearing. Finally, Borresen made a floorstander that is relatively more affordable. If you have to choose between JA Perspective2 and Borresen X3, which one would you pick?

Forget the names.

I would listen to speakers that are hardest to find near you or in the U.S. and then try to compare those to a couple you already like and/or have easy access to.

This means that you do the maximum to improve your criteria for a later purchase.

@arafiq I recently read a post by someone (can’t remember who) who recently upgraded from the Perspectives to Pearls, and from what he said there were more similarities than differences and the biggest differences were that the Pearls could play louder and obviously go a bit deeper.  If I was you and in your room I’d be very torn between upgrading to Pearls or adding two good subs to your excellent Perspectives, which would probably greatly close the gap, maybe provide even better bass better integrated to your room, and be much less expensive.  Either way, it’s a high-quality problem.  FWIW. 

@bjesien which Fyne Speakers do you own? What are their sound characteristics? I’m looking at the F1–5 & F1-8.  

Don’t mean to hijack the thread here.

@soix I think I remember reading the same account on another thread on agon. I was actually using a pair of REL S/510 subs with the Joseph Audio, but ever since I got the Aavik U-280 I felt the subs were redundant. The combo of JA and Aavik is superb. Something tells me that the Perspective2s are just perfect for my room size. I guess I should be grateful and enjoy the ride instead of thinking about the P2s bigger brother. High-quality problem it sure is!

Joseph Audio Perspective 

Wilson SabrinaX

Marten Oscar Trio 

Focal Sopra 2 

Vandersteen Quattro CT

Treehaus speakers.....! *LOL*

Never thought of using the live edge locust slabs I've got laying about here...

We typically make benches with them.  Rubina is very heavy, and laughs at carbide bits, saw blades....even chain saws....

Subject to checking...but it's a thought.....

"Thermionic tubes".....? *G*  Sounds like Formula E tech to me.... ;)

Attended the Florida Audio Expo in Tampa this February-- while it’s no AXPONA, the number and quality of manufacturers represented was still impressive. There’s actually a number of good threads here on Audiogon with impressions from the show. If you’ve got a spare $230,000 laying about, by all means pick up a pair of the Acora VRCs, they were absolute knockouts, lol.

In the $20k range there are a large number of excellent choices; I think personal preferences, room size/acoustics, type of music most frequently listened to, etc. are important considerations, and I think regardless of the limitations imposed by the lack of ideal room conditions, etc., you will come away from the show with your own list of possible choices.

I’ll approach this a little different than some of the responses above-- looking at value per dollar, these were the speakers that stood out to me:


Q Acoustics Concept 50. Dollar for dollar, the most impressive little floor stander I’ve heard. Seriously, I went back to this room several times just to recheck my impression. These diminutive, $3000/pair speakers were to me one of the stars of the show. Easily matched or exceeded sound quality of speakers 5 times their price. Most definitely at least worth a look. If you’re a basshead, you’ll need a couple of good subs to go with them, but for a small to medium sized room, I think they’ll stand surprisingly well on their own.

MoFi Electronics Sourcepoint 10. Another seriously good speaker for not a lot of $. About $4500/pair with stands.

Eminent Technology DSP Open Baffle-- get an entire setup for $15k

Volti Razz - if you’re "horn-y"

Soundfield Audio Monitor 1-- lots of compliments for a $2200 monitor, with surprisingly good bass.


On the more expensive, but still within reach of your $20k cap:

Joseph Audio Pulsar

Monitor Audio Platinum 300series

List prices a little above $20k, but still in the ballpark:

Focal Sopra #3

Sonus Faber Amati Tradition

Von Schweikert Endeavor SE-- these were probably my favorite "achievable" speaker (i.e. not 6 figures $$$). Outstanding musicality. I just loved the sound of these.


You might also consider looking at some used options-- I found some Wilson Watt/Puppy 8’s in almost unused condition for $7,200. I know lots of people like to bash on Wilsons, and I’d probably join them if I had to pay $28,000 for them, but for $7k, they are absolutely awesome.


As I’m turning 80 this year and have had my loudspeakers for about 25 years and not very happy with them I’m trying to find my bucket list loudspeaker. The price should be below $30k. I was planning to attend Axpona but decided not too because several top brands were missing. I’m very disappointed in the dealerships selling audio as well as the reviews of equipment. There are not enough dealers and they don’t help much as they don’t carry enough choices and I feel I’m being pigeon holed into what they have. 
I’m disgusted with it all. 

i will speak to mine, which is what actual speakers i have kept in the fold after so many years in this pursuit



quad esl


and the latest, wonderful addition -- laufer notes

(all of the above with pair of rel’s)

pigeon holed into what they have

more and more companies sell online only, and there are less and less dealers and so they have fewer brands to offer. The age of amazony retail.

Perlisten for sure. The top of the line s7t is in your price range


I would also be curious on the new PS Audio speakers

Bache (for the plasma tweeter)


Joseph Audio

Legacy Audio

Salk Sound

Revel (curious if the "BE series" is worth twice the price of the Performa line)

@bobag - Where are you located? If near L.A., seek out Upscale Audio and demo some Tannoy speakers. These are favorites of Nelson Pass and Kevin Deal. Been around since the Twenties. 

first choice, always: Epi 100, probably updated w Human Speakers parts... but those are older speakers and won't be in any shows at this point, although the handcrafted new builds by Human deserve to be.

then, something from the latest iterations of the Klipsch Heritage line; I have the Heresy IV, but I’d probably bump it to the Forte IV

finally, what will be my last speaker: Q Acoustics Concept 50. (so @cleebeauregard +1 for that one.)

I don't need to spend any more money than that, like about $4500 for the Forte as the most expensive speaker on my list... and the Concept 50 at $3000 is a bargain as well.  There's just nothing "more up there" that I care to chase.  


The OP asked for recommendations of speakers he can listen to at Axpona. Many of the suggestions aren’t going to be at Axpona. Here’s a link to a list of Axpona exhibitors: https://axpona.com/exhibitors/


Listen to the RAAL SR1b with the VM-1a amp at the show (headphones that sound like 2-channel). Then compare that to million-dollar 2-channel systems at the show. Hopefully, RAAL will have a VM-1a to demo. They seem to sellout each batch.

Throw the solid state amp in the trash(ebay) Get a carver crimson or raven.  And a pair of cliptch lescalda. Enjoy 😉. 

Thanks again for all the suggestions but @smatsui is correct I'm looking to hear speakers at Axpona and usually buy new, just a personal preference. 


I think that you will find that many brands will be in their distributors booths, and not have their own booth. For example: Alta Audio will be in the Sohmer booths, Audio Physic will be in the Analog Matters booth, and Tannoy will be in the Upscale Audio booths

I digress. My listening pleasure comes from both hearing the music as well as feeling it. A product of my intro to good tunes back in the early 1970s and I prefer it loud with a punch. I have upgraded integral pieces of my system right along but have never changed my speakers. I like horns and hard hitting bass and my Altec model 19s have remained in the forefront no matter what other upgrades I made. Easy listening aside, when I want to rock I want the big box sound my Altecs provide. Sure I have heard many much better speakers but dollar for dollar I just keep them.

In my 40+ years of reviewing, collecting, owning, and enjoying audio equipment, I can say with some degree of certainty that the following speaker brands make products that are relatively affordable and, most importantly, very easy to own and enjoy for a very long time: Harbeth, Golden Ear, Dynaudio, Audio Vector, and DeVore Fidelity. I would recommend against speaker brands that attempt to “wow” you with detail and impress you with exotic materials. These products often disappoint and become rather irritating over time. Remember, more expensive does not necessarily mean better. Also, make sure you get a good match for your electronics; this can be an ever-evolving process. Enjoy your journey!

Thiel!    Am about to readopt a pair of lovely 1.5 dressed in pristine teak.  My living room is not large, and planted in my relatively new Italian leather sofa, I am at one with their embrace.