A thin and elegant system?


If I add up the weight of everything in the front of my music room, it is over 500 pounds and pretty much fills a 16' wide wall. Don't get me wrong... it is all there for a reason and produces some wonderful sound, but it got me wondering if there was an alternative out there that was the opposite.

Minimalist, elegant, thin.

So that is the foundation of my question: What thin and elegant speakers do you know of that produce amazing sound?  What dac/amp/receiver that is outside of the standard component box shape?

I'd like to keep the cost of the entire system under $5K.

Thanks!




sarsicism
Danish speakers designers are often concerned with this. Also, Vienna speakers are slim.
I was about to recommend Devialet, but I just saw their prices.  Ouch.

Monitor Audio Radius are very neutral, but sound like small speakers. Just can't get a lot of bass out of tiny woofers, around $1250 new.

As for electronics..... hmmm, you are in the Bel Canto range, especially used. If you only had a turntable and 1 analog source, the Mytek Brooklyn would do DAC and preamp duties.  Then you'd just have to figure out your amp solution.  Bel Canto e series amps would do.

Otherwise, the Parasound Halo Integrated is in your budget, and has a built in DAC. 
I’m imagining a wall of sound composed of 500 pounds of thrift shop/craigslist items patched together.

Might help if you list your current 500LB setup.
This is more of an exercise in possibility rather than an actual purchase.  I was just curious what was out there in that design.

I haven't really seen anything like what I am thinking, as most towers use 6-8" wide drivers on the front.  Perhaps it is the limit of physics.

As for my gear, Salk & Emotiva
Depends on perspective...line array speakers are often very thin & tall, while planars just the opposite. 

Bel Canto was a good suggestion for small cabinet electronics. Really most of the class D amps these days are small (e.g. Rowland, Rogue, etc.) If you configure something like a Vinny Rossi LIO, you can get amp/pre/dac all in one box, feed it from a NAS in another room and some skinny speakers and there wouldn't be much to look at...Cheers,
Spencer
Yes the Bel Canto gear can solve that problem quite nicely.

Corner placement of speakers can work quite well in many cases and  is an additional way to free up space.
You could probably build a nice $6k system around the Essence electro stats ($3400ish pair) plus a sub, with modest electronics and source components.  The speaker is 4' tall by 5" deep and wide and produces excellent sound, tho little bottom end.
Ok I’ll play:

Goldmund Job INTegrated amplifier mated with Silverline Prelude Plus speakers.

The Job includes a DAC and the Prelude’s are 5” wide towers.

I’ve only listened to a much earlier version of the Prelude (not heard the Job).
None that i ever heard,
Bang and Olufsen products are thin and nice sounding.
Well, let's nto blame physics for your budget. :)

I think some of the Nola, or Totem designs, not to mention the KEF Blad would fit the thin and elegant requirements, just not an entire system under $5k. :)

Best,

Erik
Some interesting ideas... thanks for humoring me.
Heed has a modular line of little cube components
There's a pair of used Scansonic MB 3.5 speakers on the 'Gon now (apparently in less than pristine condition) that look pretty much like something that would fit your description.
Kii Audio 3s are a fantastic choice but well out of the budget. They contain 6 amps and 6 dacs per speaker in a very small form factor with a real full range output. You might want to give them a thought.
If you've a mind to try or have heard ribbons, Newform Research is about as minimal as you can get.  SAF isn't mentioned in your query...

Line sources can get pricey, but what isn't?  Good luck, happy hunting...
Like my slim ProAc studio 148s. Pair it with some older nice profile Linn boxes or Audio Refinement gear (separates or integrated). 
My friend is using a Hegel H160 and Monitor Audio Floor standers.Minimalist system that sounds great . The Hegel is very versatile with built in Dac and 150wpc 8 ohm /250 wpc 4ohm plus USB for streaming .
I'm in the process of replacing my Manley Neo Classic 150s and Magnepan 20.1s with a Woo WA-5 300b SET (8 watts), nice set of headphones, and decent bookshelf size speakers.  I didn't want to occupy the whole guest room with my stereo gear.
My solution- Silverline prelude plus
Rega Brio R integrated (half width)
Schiit Modi 2 uber DAC 
Chromecast Audio
Try beating that for 3k 

i think it's a pretty common question these days. I'm slowly headed toward a more compact system- not that I ever had a big spread anyway, thankfully.

The Chromecast Audio seems pretty sweet, I may try one out. So far, only Bluetooth into an inexpensive DAC for me, but I enjoy it. 

I have a tt and cdp I'm not  ready to part with-  but I could thin the album herd and share with friends.

I appreciate the good ideas and options in the thread.

gary

PMC FACT 8 are slim and good sounding
devialet makes a model around the $6 range and you may find a used model in your price range. also moon has a new model called the ace which sounds good. micromega has a new unit similar to the devialet that sounds very promising and is loaded with features (dac, stream, mm/mc, room correction). 
I'm just wondering why you are concerned about how heavy your gear is.
Do you move it around a lot?
The Devialet 120 around $3500 used is a zero compromise component that offers state of the art amplification, preamplification, d/a and phono. Pair it with speakers you like that are SAM ready (I use ls50s) and there will be no beating it at 5k in my opinion. 

Devialet actually innovates and creates new technologies. Their stuff is down right stunning both asthetically and sonically. 
The weight isn't an issue - just a way of summing up the mass of it all.

I appreciate the answers, but most of these are simply boxes with drivers on the front face - and yes I know the reasons for that - but I think I am after alternative designs.  The KEF Blade is a good, albiet expensive, example.   Perhaps speakers that have a sculptural sensibilty over the traditional box tower?
My base system summarized:  Benchmark DAC2 + Benchmark AHB2 + microRendu + KEF LS50 speakers = $6200.  Buying a used DAC2 and KEF speakers would get me to $5K for the base system. The listed items are super light and small. 

My suggestion is an Benchmark DAC2 (with 2 analog inputs and volume control), the Benchmark AHB2 amp, a Sonare microRendu, ROON or JRiver music server software, TIDAL monthly subscription, a computer in a far away room, a mobile communication device (iPad, Surface, iPhone, Android). I think you will have many speakers to choose from with the AHB2 amp. I have my TV, XBox, and microRendu connected to the digital inputs on the DAC2. I have an analog tuner that I have connected to the analog input on the DAC2. I have a remote for the DAC2. I use the mobile communication device with a ROON app to talk to my noisy computer which is at the other end of the house. I have a direct Ethernet wire from my network router to the mircoRendu (which connects to the USB input of the DAC2). You can also use D-link type of wired connections (or even wifi via some device) for the computer and microRendu but I prefer the reliability of the wired connection to my DAC. Notice that I have a noisy computer, it does not matter with the microRendu.

BTW - read the SoundStage comparison of the Devialet to the Benchmark AHB2. The AHB2 is quieter and a lot cheaper.

I plan to upgrade to the KEF Blade2 and buy a second AHB2 amp and switch them to monoblock mode.
So if it will be not thin, but just small? Like Spatial, Omega XRS, Ohm Walsh Tall and etc.
If you want something stylish and different, without the box, I suggest you check out the Spatial Audio speakers. They can't be placed against the wall, but they sound as good as anything out there, and look much "lighter" and hip than your typical tower.