Great read Steven! I love my A5+'s!! The original A5 (which just made a great gift to an in-law, just as you had said - SMILE) were also great, but with all the improvements, this speaker is KILLER. Nice one!!
The Daily Swarm
For a hundred bucks more, a number of NHT's exemplary M-00s are still around (and the 220 V export model is abundant - hell, void the warranty and make the change on the transformer tap). They're infinite baffle, lightning fast, and scrupulously honest transducers. What do you think? (Incidentally, the ONLY reason they were discontinued is that the very expensive production die in Taiwan simply wore out.)
The NHT speakers were very nice (I reviewed them for Enjoy The Music,) but they are $500 to $600 a pair (if you can find a pair.) Also the NHTs lack a remote control.
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications
Further to my earlier posting today, the suggestion that you intentionally void NHT's five-year warranty was rash, when for a very modest price you can buy, say, a Diamond Series step-up xformer. I also neglected to say that the M-00, like my venerable LS3/5A's, rolls off nearly an octave higher than the Audioengine, making the use of a subwoofer (like NHT's B-10d -- also acoustically suspended) a higher priority than with ported designs. Pair these with a Grace m903 head/pre/DAC and you have a satisfying little desktop system, I've found.
The Grace is a wonderful DAC/PRE that I have also used in my system. It is in a different price category, however, at just under $1800. I suspect most +5 speakers will be used with something more like the Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus than the Grace 903.