^ Considering the Vandersteen 5A's are the best speakers I've ever heard, I'd say that's pretty amazing! I have not heard of the Hale Designs T-5's. Do you have a link to some literature on them? Thanks.
FWIW I meant to say C-5 and not T-5. Here is a link to provide you with some basic information on Paul Hales. Unfortunately he sold his company several years ago, then tried to buy it back and then ended up going to work in the commercial speaker business.
Interesting story... back in 2000 I got up early one Saturday and made a map of all the audiophile stores in the Atlanta area. I jumped in the car with my wife and the search was on. We easily put over 100 miles on the odometer searching for just the right speaker. It was getting late in the afternoon and we were way on the west side of town at a Vandersteen dealership. We listened to the 5A's and my wife was in awe. She said they were the first speakers she'd heard all day that truly moved her. We had listened to some serious high-end gear that was more expensive that the 5A's. At the time I didn't feel like caughing up $9K for speakers, so I passed. We left the show room heart broken. It was getting late in the afternoon and I had one more dealer on my list, so I called the owner and told him I had just listened to the most amazing speaker and he politely asked me what it was and I told him. He asked me what my budget was and I told him. He said I want you to come in and listen to a speaker by Paul Hales. He had the room all set-up the time we got there. My wife and I sat on the sofa and listened for about 30 minutes. I kept asking the store owner, "Are you sure these are in my price range?" They were as detailed, transparent and artiulate as the 5A's, they just lacked the active woofer to provde the powerful bottom end that was so prevalent in the 5A's. I listened to some good Linn speakers, but they couldn't compare to the C-5's, so I bought them and haven't looked back since. I will never part with them and now that I have the impact of two subwoofers it brings them in line with the 5A's IMO.
Over time I will more than likely start another listening room, but I'll go wildly divergent... perhaps experimenting with an open baffle design, radiator tweeter, stat, or something else entirely.http://www.stereophile.com/interviews/117/