Active Bookshelf Speakers < or ~ $2k

I currently have a set of Event 20/20 BAS v3 studio monitors (active) setup in my listening room (10 X 12ft - listening ~8 feet away from speakers):

I’ve had these for the past ~5 years and have been very happy for an entry setup. My primary listening will be vinyl (Thorens TD 125 MkII w/SME 3009 series II arm/Grace F9 Ruby cartridge ) but also feed it with my digital library from a Fiio X7. There will be no home theater use and my hope is to not add a sub.

With that said I’m looking to upgrade my speaker setup with a strong preference towards an active option as I don’t really want another piece of hardware with limited space.

Here is the list I’ve been looking into thus far:

Swan M3A mk2 $1000/pair -
Kanto Tuk $800/pair -
Vanatoo T1 Encore $600/pair -…nt-one-encore/
Edifier S3000Pro $800/pair -
Audioengine HD6 $1400/pair -…less-speakers/
Klipsch The Sixes - $480/pair -
Yamaha HS8 $700/pair -…ies/index.html
Elac Navis ARB-51 $2300/pair -…s/arb-51/?r=us
Salk PowerPlay $2200/pair -…lay%20Monitors
Focal Shape 65 $2000/pair -…akers/shape-65
Adam Audio A7X $1500/pair -
Dynaudio Xeo 20 $2200/pair -
Neumann KH 120 $1400/pair -
Kef LS50 Wireless $2000/pair -

Do any of these stand out for the price as a solid upgrade over my current setup? I’m willing to go up to the $2k mark or just over.

Well, what type of music do you listen to? And what type of sound are you looking to get?

Also I see some nearfield monitors in that list which might not be the best choice for listening that far away

Blues, Rock, Jazz, Bluegrass, Live/acoustic, occasional Rap. No classical, chamber, EDM.

Not great at describing my preferred sound signature but lets just say I strongly prefer my Audeze LCD-X & LCD-3F over the HD800s that I owned. I guess I prefer a more “fun” sound signature to analytical/detailed.

I watched Z review on the Kanto Tuks and would say that looks are far down the list of what is important to me as well as the bluetooth/wireless tech gimmicks. Sound quality and build quality would be far more important to me.

Good point on the near field monitors… I wasn’t sure if 6-8 feet would be too far for the Adam/Neumann options.

I think the salk, dynaudio, elac, and swan (although you would want the regular not the mk2) would work well for you

The Adam and Neumann are more nearfield monitors so they wouldn’t be ideal from that listening position imo

The ls50w is good, but I think it might be a bit too treble heavy for your tastes

Regarding the rest, they are good but I don’t know if they would be a big enough upgrade

I won’t introduce more options for simplicity lolol

Specs on the Event’s are impressive.
I’m just wondering can any of mentioned ones even reach to same level or since this would be upgrade go even better.

In the monitor range there are few i know from G but the budget would need to double / quadruple and… not many are as insane as i am.

You think he could perhaps find used in that range? Most likely not but who knows

Of course, it’s possible.

You would be referring to their midfield monitors correct?

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Correct, couple of them with 8" drivers.
Was just thinking what else would be similar than Events or a upgrade from them.

What about a 1032?

Yes, one of what i was thinking.
What you think M0N -> Dynaudio LYD 48 could also be potential candidate?
3-way and a bit different shape. Should be near the budget also.

I actually do love the Events and for their price were a bargain. They have plenty of power and low end punch to fill my music room.

I happen to have 1 of 3 US swan dealers within a 20 min drive. So going to try the M3a first to get an impression. I’m most interested in the Navis and Salk Active speakers but spending $2k without being able to demo first is a big leap of faith. Guttenberg loves the Navis but I can’t find any reviews on the salks.

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Most definitely. If you a Swan dealer near by, take few for testing. :slight_smile:
Leap of faith can be salvation or damnation.


The dynaudio xeo 20 or the lyd would be great picks, pretty dang solid speakers

Yes, go and see what you can demo, make sure to try as much as you can

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No dice on the Swans Speakers demo… I contacted the people listed on Swans official website and the local “distributor” didn’t even know what i was talking about.

I reached out to Swans directly on the M3A and M5A about trying to demo them and the status of the M5A.

Blockquote “Thanks for your interest in our speakers. Since all of our speakers are hand-crafted, the speakers take a while for production. Therefore, the lead time is about 2 months at least. Meanwhile, we’ll have M3A coming in, and I have no idea when M5A will be available in the States.”

Based upon these inconsistencies my gut feeling is to look somewhere else. Not sure I want to pony up the amount to buy a M3A only to have to deal with a run-around if I need to return it.

Looking forward in the future if Zeos is able to review the M5A; those specs look quite interesting for my needs:


SYSTEM TYPE 3-way active bass reflex box

DRIVERS CONFIGURATION 8" woofer; 3" midrange; isodynamic ribbon tweeter

FREQUENCY RESPONSE 35Hz-20kHz (±2.5dB, free space)


RATED POWER Tweeter: 35W×2 RMS; midrange: 40W×2 RMS; woofer: 180W×2 RMS; total 510W RMS





SNR >95dB (A weighted)

DIMENSIONS 280×362×475mm

NET WEIGHT Master speaker: 21.5kg; Slave speaker: 19.8kg

so an update… stopped by two hifi shops today a dynaudio distributor and an ELAC distributor. At the dynaudio location I hard an Evoke 20 and B&W 706 S2 (both passive speakers)… They will try to get a XEO 20 active from one of their reps for me to listen to next week. The B&Ws were more “impressive” to listen to in a 2-3 song demo but their hard dome treble would get fatiguing after some time and the low end wasn’t great. The Evoke 20 were less impressive but were more balanced/detailed to listen to an all volume levels. Both were $2k passive so with an amp would be way above my budget. I’m hoping that XEO 20 provides a similar listening experience as the Evoke and I may have a winner.

The 2nd shop I went to had the Elac Navis ARB51s and they were good but not great. They seemed to be a bit sleepy and did well at Live music but didn’t perform great with music with any energy. The base/low end was weak but accurate and the high end was smooth. For $2300 I think I can do better…

I can home and listened to my Events and they were more “fun” than any of the speakers I heard today. Less detailed but all the music I like was much more alive.

It should be somewhat similar. Also the dynaudios need a fair bit of break in to sound their best, so idk how long they have used the demos for at least (also getting used to their signature helps lol). Also I tend to agree b&w is more impressive at first, but long term you kinda find their signature isn’t something you want to listen to that much (at least for me)

Dynaudio demo is set for next Friday… Now I just need to track down a Focal dealer and try to find someone with a set of Swans to listen to.

I also had a local person offer me the following deal for $2k his 5.1 B&W Hifi setup:

I have a local seller that is selling his 5.1 B&W setup for $2k OTD for:

2 B&W CDM 9NT Towers
1 B&W CDM CNT Center
2 B&W CDM SNT Surrounds
1 B&W ASW 650 Powered Sub
Marantz SR 7008 A/V Receiver
Monster HTS 3600 PowerCenter
5 sets of Transparent Music Wave balanced audio cables and component cables & digital audio cables

I know I said I wanted bookshelf actives and this is the exact opposite but seems like it could be a decent deal. I wasn’t a huge fan of the B&W tweeters but maybe these would be less shrill. The issue is this seller is moving and they are already boxed. There is no damage and I can inspect all of the items but not listen to them.

Thoughts for $2k?

Well, if you own a TV and you buy the 5.1 set-up you will have a really nice HT system for a great price and it includes a power conditioner. If you are anything like the rest of us, you will then be back here 3 months from now still trying to figure out how to upgrade your 2.0 system which you already enjoy🤣
I’m sorry, i have nothing productive to add to this conversation other than that really is a good deal on the HT set-up.