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  What is the best mini-monitor speaker?
My integrated amp is a Musical Fidelity A3.2
My cd player is a Musical Fidelity A3.2

I auditioned the following loudspeakers, Sonus Faber Concerto, Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor, Wilson Benesch Arc, Jamo D830, Joseph Audio RMK7MKII and a B&W and Pro Ac the latter two forgot model number. These were all excellent!

However, the best speaket that I auditioned and purchased is the FOCUS AUDIO 688. Their incredible soundstaging ability,crystal clear accurate midrange, articulated/detailed presentation, beautiful clean highs. Meticulous and georgeous cabinent. In my opinion, the Focus Audio 688 is the best mini monitor!!

I purchased my pair from Sonic Spirits, in New Jersey. The owner, Phil is very knowledgeable and a pleasure to do business with.
Audiodude29  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

  Responses (1-24 of 24)
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.

09-10-04   dahhh, real cute phil!!!   Flynntom

09-10-04   Nice advertisement. but transparent.   Robm321

09-10-04: Maxxc
Come on! You seriously arn't dumb enough to believe Phil is posting under a psuedo name, to a handful of slubs, at an audio forum to drum up business? geez....

Gotta agree though, AD29, not a cool way to post. If you love your 688's just say so without using smoke and mirrors to get some attention.

And yes to my ear the 688's are the best MM I have heard. But there simply is no such thing as "best".

Enjoy your 688's they will only improve as you upgrade components.

Maxxc  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-10-04: Panderso
This is an endlessly interesting topic. The 'best' mini-monitor is surely the Holy Grail of the audiophile - it may not exist, but it is worth the quest. The candidates I've heard personally would be the Sonus Faber Auditor, the Reference 3a Dulcet (I am unable to call the mm de Capo i "mini", being wider than many decent floor standers) and the JMLab Electra 906. Each has a different mix of virtues, and different price/value considerations.
But, there are many contenders I've never heard, by Dynaudio, Spendor, Harbeth, Red Rose, Harmonic Precision.

Panderso  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-10-04: Philnyc
Flynn and Rob...sorry, but this thread was not initiated by me. Audiodude is from Chicago and just bought a pair of FS688's from me. I've never met him in person, but I worked hard to get a demo pair out for him to try before buying. As a result, he has been very kind in trying to steer business my way, but I did not in any way ask him to do so.

I mostly post over at, and occasionally here and (also as PhilNYC). You can see my "style" over at AC to see that I wouldn't do something like post under a fake name...

That said, I do think the Focus Audio 688 is fantastic... :-)


Philnyc  (System | Answers | This Thread)

09-10-04: Philnyc
Oh, and thanks AudioDude for trying to help me out! :-)
Philnyc  (System | Answers | This Thread)

09-11-04: Audiodude29
F&R...Thanks for your taking me as professional advertiser.
Sorry, Maxxc that you felt my post was not cool. Your reference to "smoke and mirrors" is in your imagination. I gave an accurate account of my "journey" that led to my speaker purchase. I auditioned all the speakers mentioned in my "ad" in Chicago, from local retailers. However, Phil at Sonic Spirits was cool in sending me a pair of Focus Audio 688's from New Jersey for me to audition. Yes, Maxxc, I love their great sound. I bought them from Sonic Spirits as you already know. Thanks again to Phil for his expertise and outstanding customer service.Thanks to Focus Audio!

Audiodude29  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-11-04   I like the jm reynaud twin mkiiis. i have them in the bedroo ...   Metralla

09-12-04: Maxxc
Hi AD29. No the 'smoke and mirrors' and 'not cool' reference was in the way it was posted as the form of a question? When there really was no question. Midleading?

No, I didn't see it as a advertisement in anyway. I definitly don't agree with Rob or Flynn. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. Finally yes the word needs to get out about Focus Audio. Great company with too few (but enthusiastic) dealers.

Best Wishes Maxx

Maxxc  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-13-04: Panderso
I'd like to hear more from those who advocate the Focus Audio 688 as a candidate. They are not carried by any of the 4 high end dealers in my small city; but I hope to have a chance to hear them during my upcoming visit to Toronto. Those who like them; what have you compared them to amongst the better mini-monitors, and why do you give the Focus the nod?
Panderso  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-13-04: Italy71

We have compared the f688 to the following:

1. b&w 805 signitures
2. green mountain europa
3. quad 12L
4. dynaudio 1.3se

Before I explain my reason in why the f688 are in my opinion a better speaker, I would like to say that I have own all the above speaker.
All the speaker on the list where in the same set up
sim i-5 integrated amp, sony 9000es CDP, Harmonic Technology ProSilway II (IC), richard grey power conditioner, anti cables (speaker cables) and some homemade power cables

All speaker had their "specific traits"

The 805 sigs where to clinical and separated, IMO did not pull you into the music plus they do not do rock very well.

The Europas have a narrow sound stage and my audio friends and I both agree that the mid range was over exaggerated.

The quad where quite good, they had crisp bass that went down quite low, but where a little to bright in the highend

The 1.3se where in a word bland, not an exciting speaker, i felt left out of the music...listening sessions where boring.

When it comes to describing the f688, It is quite simple. huge sound stage, pin point accuracy when it comes to the imaging spectrum, the sound is smooth and seemless.
The weight of the music is thick enough to cut with a knife... you are at the concert...always knowing the postion of each instrument at all times, with every musical note you are that much closer to being there.
Absoltely involving and goosebump creating.

And then there is the finish...Absolutely top notch, I have the burr oak finish and It is a true work of art...all reviewers of the signiture lines say that this type of finish is usually only found on speakers in excess of 5000.

(all of the comments I have made are based on opinions from at least 2 audio friends)


Italy71  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-13-04   You also should strongly consider the merlin tsm-mm or mxs. ...   Jwells

09-13-04   Carlo, i think has stated better then any professional revie ...   Maxxc

09-13-04   Maxxc thank you, i live in canada but bought my f688 from to ...   Italy71

09-14-04: Essentialaudio
If cost is decidedly secondary, Audio Machina monitors are superb.


Essentialaudio  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-14-04   Most helpful carlo. grazie molto.   Panderso

My GMA Europa's do not have an exaggerated mid-range at all. My DVD player certianly does.....but before my audiophile cdp broke the midrange was sweet and smooth. In fact, thats probably the Europa's greatest strength....smoothness in the mids. That, and the fact that all music sounds fine on them. Perhaps it's the Sony piece your hearing the harshness from. 

10-30-04   I would go with diapason adamantes ii.   Jayctoy

10-30-04: Michaelhwolff
Just a second on the nomination for the Audio Machina by Karl Schuemann. They are indeed much better than many many full range speakers I have heard. And, they are very very fast. Workmanship on them is superb.


Michaelhwolff  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

10-30-04   Songwriter72, i agree with your opinion of the europas, swee ...   Jdcrox

11-09-04   Ended up with the dulcets, by reference 3a. to me, these hav ...   Panderso

12-03-04: Dmitri26
The Focus are among the best no doubt about it! If I could afford them I'd choose the cremona for their look. But when it comes to 'sound' versus money the Focus are just outstanding! Bravo Tony! One day I'll get them
Dmitri26  (Answers | This Thread)

03-12-05: Dsmr2
I own the concert 8 bookshelves with a Naim system and I am really pleased with them even though I think I may be the only one that likes them. Last time I posted anything about these speakers I got my butt chewed. I considered selling them and upgrading to Dynaudio Contour 1.3 SE bookshelves but I didn't hear a $1000 difference to make the investment. The Jamo's tended to shout a little in the upper midrange in the showroom but in my room I found that it worked out just fine. I would recommend auditioning at home any that you are considering because it will come down to your room, the synergy with your equipment, and your own ears. For my ears I would give the Jamo's and the Dynaudio's some heavy consideration. Good luck and enjoy the hobby.
Dsmr2  (Answers | This Thread)

05-10-05: Pjl2122
Easilly the best monitor I have heard along with several of my audiophile freinds ,are the Green MOuntain Callistos .Nothing even at 4k bettered them as far as anything .The perfect 1st order time and phase aligned loudspeaker done Properly ,makes all the difference in the world.If you haven't heard them personally yet ,you owe to yourself to. They do everything well ,the creamonas ,
not detailed enough and a low impedance dip and cabinet ringing.
although a pretty cabinet ,the JM labs Be very detailed
and not involving, poor timing, ,the focus was nice to a point loosess inner detail compared to the Calistos for sure .
In 25 years I have not heard a loudspeaker at anywhere near this price that is this good. And only 6 parts in the
total crossover. Go see what Vandi,or Thiel have, about 2x that + and the others in the cross over.

Pjl2122  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

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