First off, let me say that I love my A/V-1s. I used to own a Velodyne SPL-1000 sub which was pretty darned good in its own right, but when I had people over to listen to my system (whose other experiences were limited to high-end computer speakers and maybe entry-level bookshelves), they thought the sub was good but the speakers were AWESOME. And I have to admit, they are. Voices just sound so perfect, and I know this is going to sound like I've been smoking something, but on the right recordings of acoustic guitar it sounds like someone is strumming the speaker. I can't explain past that, but they're great. The obvious question, then, is why am I looking to move on? Knowing audiophiles' penchant towards visually and emotionally stimulating descriptions of sound attributes, allow me to phrase my response as so: while the A/V-1s would be said to punch me in the gut and maybe cause regurgitation from time to time on good days, I'm looking for something that will provide repeated swift kicks to the genatalia and keep me on the floor whimpering in pain. I want a sharper, biting, more aggressive sound. I often listen at low volumes since I live in an apartment with others and have been becoming increasingly nocturnal. The A/V-1's sound is a bit more subdued; voices tend to be put a little farther back in the sound stage and the speakers need to be turned up louder to enjoy a more immediate sound. In fact, it's like getting louder not only adjusts the volume but also the overall sound characteristics of the speakers, and that's something I don't know if I can have. My quest for more aggressive speakers have led me to three candidates: the Green Mountain Audio Europas, the Quad 12Ls, and the Coincident Technology Triumph Signature. I will go ahead and say right now that I have not had a chance to hear any of them, and doubt I will be able to. Taking blind steps into the unknown is just so exhilarating The things that these speakers seem to all stress are simple crossovers, extension past 20 kHz, and phase or time coherency. Now an in-detail look at each speaker: Europa This is the big brute of the bunch. I don't particularly like the size but if the sound works, I'll take it. All reviews have said how these speakers are simply exceptional. I really want to hear all of the details in the recording, and these speakers present themselves as being very clear and free of any smearing to color the sound. Additionally, many people praise their low-volume sound as well. Low bass is noted to be good, so on "lighter" music I don't even need to use a sub. Overall, the sound should be ultra-clear and crisp, exactly what I want. People have said they sound almost electrostaty (if that's even a word). My main worry, however, is that it is a 4 Ohm speaker. I use a Sony AVD-S50ES receiver/SACD player with digital amps; it sounds good but I don't know if it can take the 4 Ohm load. I have heard that digital amps are particularly picky about being played into low impedence speakers, but don't know if there is actually any truth in that. The last thing I'd like is for me to be rocking out on my new speakers only to have my receiver explode. Quad 12L These have also been noted to have a certain electrostat-like sound. They are supposed to be very clean and clear, and provide some reasonable bass as well. I've been going through some reviews but haven't seen much about low-volume performance, but the speaker (and it's smaller sibling, the 11L) have garnered a good deal of praise and have even won an award here or there. Whatever, I don't get too hung up on that kind of stuff but it says something. I also love the size and looks of the speaker, not really larger than my current A/V-1s and the shiny finish would go really well with the glossy sub I'm getting in this month...and even though the rosewood probably won't match my sub, at least it will be more comparable than the marble Europas. These speakers present a 6 Ohm impedence, which, conveniently, is what my receiver is rated at so I know that it won't die. Additionally, my available power is much closer to the maximum susatinable power of these speakers so I think I won't feel as much of a need to upgrade my receiver afterwards. Triumph Signatures These speakers more or less came out of nowhere. I just saw someone mention the name in another thread, and knowing that I hadn't heard of them, I decided to investigate. All reviews of this speaker seem to be very positive; one of the things that I like, in fact, is that everyone describes them as being very neutral and just allowing the music through without imparting any real tone of their own. It helps that they are 8 Ohm speakers, and with a tremendous sensitivity, I will be able to play them at high levels with minimal amplifier effort...I won't feel as though I am going to break anything, which is always comforting They are a little bigger than the Quad and the finish won't be glossy, but they're a nice looking speaker as well. It seems like such a high sensitivity speaker will have to have a more forward presentation. Finally, the frequency response extends to 25 kHz, which bodes well for it's ability to lend a bit more air to those higher frequency tones. While they aren't marble speakers, I like Coincident's theory on box design...and it's built like a brick. Comign back together, I much prefer the prices on the 12Ls and Europas over the Triumph. The 12Ls pop up used on Audiogon frequently enough that I can pick them up for $700-800, and the Europas go for $880. The Coincident's would hurt at $1300 and I wouldn't be able to get them for some time. I like that the Europas and Coincidents are very sturdy speakers, but of course weight doesn't mean very much. I guess what I'm looking for now is a bit more guidance...am I looking in the right directions for what I want? Is there anything else I should maybe investigate? I do want ribbons, but I think they're just out of my price range so I'll most likely stick to the "electrostatic-like" speakers. Also, I realize that my selections are somewhat receiver limited. For what it's worth, I think that a good deal of people who have listened to the receiver have found it capable of sound quality exceeding its price point, so I'm not exactly mating great speakers with junk electronics. I would like to just not have to worry about low impedence loads but as a student I tend to live in small rooms and cannot stand sharing one with a receiver or amp that puts out a great deal of heat. After all, if I'm excruciatingly uncomfortable physically how can I enjoy the music? Thus, it seems as though my receiver or some receiver will need to be here with me to stay for some time. Selling it is just not an option even though it would probably simplify things...sorry. Kudos to anyone who has made it this far, and sorry for the huge post. I'm just so bad at making decisions I really do tend to need to have other people pick my gear out for me Oh well. On a side note, I have a Rutledge Audio Design 12" sub on order. I was previously considering going servo but became convinced that something like an XBL2 driver would do a great job limiting distortion while at the same time not severely clamping down on output down low. I think that it will make a pretty good match to the above speakers, so I'm really looking forward to all this coming together.