okay this is going to be long. first, i need a set of stereo system for my showroom. one division in my company produces wedding videoclips, and i want our work to be shown on a plasma, paired with a nice looking but cheap stereo speakers. the audience will be average joes and janes...so i think people discuss in this forum would sound better than any boom boxes these average people are used to hear. so, my criteria for this system would be : - looks good, complimenting the interior design of the showroom nicely. - cheap enough. - sounds decent. my 30th birthday was on jan 12th. so i spent my time in the only shopping mall in town which has a dozen or more hifi shops. a very nice way to avoid my colleagues...ya know... they were going to ask me for a small party in a nice restaurant to celebrate my birthday... well. i auditioned small speakers between 100-300 dollar per pair. i brought my cds with me. emi fujita's camomile blend, spirited away soundtrack, dido, bon jovi, jet set radio sound track. my current system is boston vr-m50s with svs pb10isd, yamaha rxv730. and i am not sure if these speakers were 100 percent new or not. i think they needed to be broken in first before i listen to them, but what can i do? shop number 1. nht sb2, i didnt like it. the highs were sooo there. no midbass. paradigm atom. less highs, a certain thickness in the middle. i didnt like it either. shop 2 kef q1, i hated it. no treble at all. but the bass was really powerful. i thought the shopkeeper used a nearby subwoofer, but he didnt. the kef was all about mids. wharfedale diamond 9.0 and 9.1. i didnt like them as well. i dont know how to describe them, its just that they were not special. no special strenght in everything, even though as a whole, they were quite decent. shop 3 epos m3. i like this one. clear highs, clear mids, decent bass. no airiness though. no crispiness as well. but this one was really something, in my opinion. mordaunt short, forgot the type. the size of the cabinet didnt match my decor. but it sounded similar to the epos... dunno, i didnt spend more than a few minutes on this one. shop 4 monitor audio bronze b1. one of the cheapest. i was torn between this and the epos, but this one is cheaper and the color of the cabinet matches the decor. the shop was using bk s2 125.2. i cannot say the sound quality surpasses the epos though. epos was a tad nicer overall in that area. i chose the monitor audio, paired with a subwoofer from the same brand ( the smallest one ), with cambridge audio a500. at this price i didnt expect it to surpass my vr-m50s. none of those speakers exhibit airiness, nor smoothness at the higher frequency. but then again, i am not an audiophile. a few days later...i tested monitor audio gold and silver....DAMN i think i like that silver rs1. if my budget were bigger i would just get that silver!!! beautiful finish, very nice sound.... i have been looking for a gold reference. last november they released gold signature! for my second set of speaker, i will be using them in my private room at the top floor of my office building. this one is personal, so sound quality is number one, looks second. the dealer didnt have gold signature yet, so they let me tried gold reference 60 and 10. dammit did they sound surreal. everything i like about my bostons, plus bigger sound stage, and midbass crispiness. that crispiness, the only one missing from my current system. i quickly noticed that the shop had a pair of primare cd player and receiver. no amplifier used at all. he said i could get 2 pairs of gold signature 10 and gold signature LCR for around 2300 dollar if i preordered them now. so i did. almost went with GS20 ( the tower ). but if i had a thread about tower vs bookshelves...well, based from my audition, between gr10 and gr60, the difference is minimal, i think. the tower has more bass, and thats it. my room will be quite small, no need for a set of speaker that could scream really loud. so i went with bookshelf speaker. another division in my company can custom build a nice speaker stand to my design, so i have no problem with choosing the bookshelf speaker at all. not to mention that they are also cheaper. my plan is to import a pb12 ultra sometime later, but that will be another story. my room is not even finished yet, far from it. i wasnt ready to purchase a set of speaker yet, but the price on those gold signature was hard to miss. btw, the dealer had acoustic energy mkiii ( bookshelf ). smaller driver compared to the golds, but bigger and heavier cabinet. didnt sound nice, it turned out that it was defective. phew. i hope that contribute something to this very nice forum.