Totems are hard to beat for the size but also seem to like gobs of SS power from what I have seen, beyond what their specs indicate.
The Quads are the only others on your list I have heard. They are nice but am not sure about their power needs. I believe they are 6 ohm nominal speakers which on paper would not seem to be an optimal match for tube amps.
I'd look for speakers that are both higher efficiency (89-90Db or better) and also provide more of a consistent 8 ohm or higher load for best results with the tube amp. Zu Druids would seem to fit the bill here but I've read deep bass in lieu of a sub is not their forte.
Of the speakers I am most familiar with in your price range that might fit the bill, Triangles might be the first place I would look.
you have three criteria--small footprint, near-wall placement and deep bass--which narrows the field considerably. the proacs, for example, are great but need a lot of room to breathe and probably won't work for you. from my experience, rega and focal cobalt/electra work well near the walls; a few within your budget to consider:
salk song towers--deep bass, narrow, unfussy about placement, surprisingly good
monitor audio rs6--big stereophile favorite, lots of thronk for their size--i actually preferred these to the much pricier vienaa acoustics, martin logan and thiels i auditioned them against
I should also mention that volume shouldn't be much of an issue. My Tyler's were 88db, and I could only turn the volume a little past noon. Same with the OHM's, but I'm not sure how efficient they are. I figure, unless the speakers are real inefficient, I should be ok. My amp IS tube, but at 90 wpc, it's not like it's "low power". I also realize it's not a 500 wpc SS, either.
And, my floors are hardwood, and that doesn't help.
I looked at those Salk Song Towers online... they seem decent, but don't turn up used very often.
I was reading the Salks are 4ohm nominal impedance and not particularly efficient.
They may be fantastic speakers but you might not be any better off in the bass department in the end possibly, unless these just happen to have a most powerful low end regardless.
What about a pair of Von Schweikert VR-2? They are 91db, 8 Ohm, and 25Hz-25Khz. Plus, you can get a nice used pair in african hazelwood for ~$1500. They are fantastic speakers. I have the opportunity to hear them at my local audio shop about a year ago and I was blown away with their sound. Incredibly balanced, great highs, deeeeeeep bass, and cristal clear mids.
In addition, they have a relatively smooth impedance curve, so I guess they'd do well with tubes. Check online for the reviews.
At least take a listen to my favorite speakers...Vandersteen
never heard the Von Schweikarts, but on paper, they would seem to fit the bill to a tee! I'd really like to hear these sometime!
There is a pair of NHT 2.9's for sale on Audiogon right now. I don't know the seller, but I have heard those speakers and they work very well when placed close to the wall. Good Luck!
The 16" depth on the Von Schweikert VR-2 will be a problem. When I listen, I'll have to turn them so they are at a 45 degree angle (roughly) from the side wall. Speakers that deep won't fit (they'll hit a piece of furniture, which I can't move). Well, they might fit, but it would be too close for comfort.
Vandersteen Model 1C looks to be a bit big, but I guess they are a possibility. All their other current models are too big (except the VSM, which looks like a monitor). I don't know much about them- for some reason, they were always off my radar.
I owned some NHT monitors years ago... they were ok. But the 2.9's are way too deep (21 inches?)
All things considered equal, I prefer going with a small brand, as opposed to a big name.
Thanks for the ideas so far.
VAndy's are nice but also rumored to sound best with higher power SS amps. I see their impedance goes down to 2 ohm? Yikes!
of your list, the seminal proacs.
I forgot about the Vr-2 dimensions....yes, way too big.
One small floorstander that I can think of (and actually owned) with incredibly good bass (38Hz) is the Monitor Audio RS6. Those are really good value speakers, with less than 10" in depth (250mm). And they do really well with tubes. I had them driven by a Jolida 302BRC with excellent results. They are 91db, 6 Ohm. With the electronics you already have, these beauties will sparkle and definitely fill up the room with deep bass. I sold them a few months ago because I moved to a tiny apartment. I like the RS line so much that I bought the RS1 and I absolutely love them (driven by a smooth sounding Virtue Audio 2). Give them an audition if you can. I don't think they'll disappoint you.
Don't let the price fool you. The RS6 perform better than speakers costing a lot more.
This is just my opinion.
Well, this may be a record for the time between starting a thread like this, and making a decision.
I saw a used pair of Tyler Acoustics Linbrook System II's pop up, and contacted Ty. They were 2 inches wider than I wanted (footprint = 10 X 12), but the specs are great, and those drivers should sound killer. Seeing as how I've already owned some of his speakers and loved how they sounded (and the build quality), and he made me a sweet deal, I had to go for it. I don't feel these will be lacking in the 'kick & punch' dept at all based on what I've read about the Linbrook system 2's, and based on what I know about Tyler's from experience, I think this will do the job.
Thanks to those who offered their advice. (I really didn't expect this to be done this quickly.)
You seem to enjoy the Tyler sound.Why not try to find a pair of their Taylo reference monitors(a pair just sold here for $750.00 in the last few days)?I know why you like the Rogue/Tyler sound.I also have a Tempest II Magnum and I use Tyler 7U's.Superb sound.Good luck.
You mentioned the Totem Hawks and Forest as options. I disagree with these two, as they require significantly more power and don't work as well near walls. The one from Totem's line to choose from in your case are the Arro's, both in terms of positioning with respect to the walls and working well with a tube amp. You can add a good sub and still be within your price range.
I feel this would work significantly better in your situation than the other Totem choices, anyway.
Just my 2 cents.
Heh, those were MY Taylo's! You probably didn't see my last post when you posted, but I DID go with some Tyler floorstanders. I'm pretty psyched. More than for any other speaker I was considering; I really think I'm going to like the Linbrooks. I'm expecting the Taylo clarity, without the need for a sub, but with the bass slam I'm missing from the OHM's.
I have to wait a few weeks for them to arrive, though.
Proac Studio 140 (great choice)
Joseph Audio RM25si (?)
Totem Hawk (No, power hungry and sensitive to position)
Totem Forest (these are a possibility)
Rega R5 (yes too big, plus not many used ones show up [for good reason])
Zu Druid (??)
Quad 22L2 (don't wonder, these are great)
Devore 8 or Super 8 (wonderful and made right in town)
Montor Audio RS6 (yes, good)
Epos M16i or M22i (very, very good)
Ron,you are correct,I posted before yours came up.I also misread your OP.I missed the floorstander comment and thought the 12x8 dimensions were high and deep!!That's what happens when you try to quick scan a post. I think you will enjoy the Linbrooks.I wish you luck.
Enjoy the Tylers. Would like to hear back on how they work out for you.
Thanks, all. I'll report back when I get them.
The Tyler's should sound very good.
If you ahve a chance to compare to the OHMs, I'd be interested in what differences you hear regarding dynamics, soundstage, imaging, etc.
Got any Merlin dealers near you,if so give them a listen.
My plan is to compare them to the OHM's.
I don't think I've ever seen Merlin's for sale in NYC. I always figured they were out of my price range, anyway.
If u going to buy used;there is a nice merlin setup with sub that looks interesting.
You are probally right if buying new though as $$$ is up there.Give Bobby a call at Merlin to see if there are any dealers near you if interested;he's a real nice guy and they provide great tech support on their products.
My Tylers arrived today... I played the Ohms to be able to make a pretty fair comparison, and then I plugged in the Linbrooks. Wow, what a difference. Mainly in the low-end... this is exactly what I felt like I was missing with the Ohms. When I played Achilles Last Stand (vinyl), I knew within 1 minute I was keeping them. I wouldn't say they sound like I'm using a sub (admittedly, I always over-used my subs), but I feel like I don't need a sub now. Actually, I was pretty impressed with my amp- I didn't know it could pound out the bass.
What I will give to the Ohms is soundstage. Not that the Tylers are lacking, but the Ohms are pretty unreal. But, every time I played them, I felt like I was missing too much bass (and, I was).
I find that I can play the Tylers louder, and they are a little less bright than the Ohms. To my ears, the Tylers do the highs just right (but, maybe because I had Tyler monitors for a few years, and was used-to and liked those).
FYI, for those that thought my amp couldn't drive the Ohms... I can't turn the volume knob much past noon with either speaker, and the actual volume is pretty similar. It's just that the Tylers are much more tangible, because there are some things that small drivers just can't do, which bigger drivers can.
Granted, the Tylers cost more, and they are a little bigger (and about 3 times heavier!), so it's not a completely fair comparison. But, the bottom line is, I need a sub to make the Ohms usable, and I don't need a sub with the Tylers (my neighbors are gonna hate these). Going sub-less was one of my main criteria for this project. In the future, who knows? But, for now (in this particular apartment), I think I'm good with these Tyler Linbrook 2's,
The area where the less than optimal tube amp matching with the OHMs would likely evidence itself be in the bass levels and perhaps also correspondingly unnatural brightness, the things you describe. That could be part of what you are hearing.
Obtainable volume is not the issue, rather the ability of a tube amp to drive the OHMs evenly at all frequencies due to variable impedance at different frequencies.
Nonetheless, I would not expect the tiny MWTs to deliver sub like bass levels in most setups, though a high current high power SS amp would probably have the best chance of getting there.
Glad the Tyler's are sounding good! My only advice would be to not base any listening decision solely on first impressions if you have the option not too.
I guess that makes sense about the ability to drive the speakers, although I always figured, if the speakers were not efficient, I'd just have to turn the volume up (and, as I got close to "11", it might get distorted).
I haven't had much experience with very inefficient speakers, nor have I owned a real low-power amp.
"not base any listening decision solely on first impressions"
I was wondering if you meant, because the speakers wouldn't be broken-in (although, both of my sets are used). Or, if you were referring to how your brain expects to hear songs a certain way, and hearing something "different" might be mistaken for "better" (although, I guess it could also be considered "worse", but if you are shopping for speakers, you probably weren't totally satisfied to start).
The Ohms weren't overly bright; it's just that after listening for an hour or two, they seemed, well, I'm guessing that's what people refer to as "fatiguing". However, I think if I added a sub, I could live with the Ohms for a few years and be happy. I just didn't want a sub this time around. The bass slam from the Tylers is impossible to ignore, and that factor alone has me wanting to listen to tons of albums I haven't played in a while. I'm actually hoping for bad weather this weekend, and I never say that.
"I was wondering if you meant, because the speakers wouldn't be broken-in (although, both of my sets are used). Or, if you were referring to how your brain expects to hear songs a certain way, and hearing something "different" might be mistaken for "better" (although, I guess it could also be considered "worse", but if you are shopping for speakers, you probably weren't totally satisfied to start)."
Mostly the later but possibly both assuming Tylers are subject to changing with break-in (I do not know if they are or not), but ususally speakers only get better with break in, not worse.