Are smaller high end speakers really better

I have gone the route of small Dynaudio etc....Small speakers(Standmount) that the various companies try to get to sound big. In the long run I find them fatiguing to listen to. I have even had a pair of Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage! I came back to a simple set of Boston Acoustics A200's(80's vintage!!!!) I'm sorry!!! But I like them alot. They have great imaging, are very flat and very open sounding. I found the high end speakers of today are almost too revealing, too clinical, not as smooth, too much information. I know it's subjective but that's how I feel. I know I'll take heat for this but all I can say is trust your ears and really stand up for what you like, not what all the reviews say. Look at me from a pair of 8000.00 Guarneri I ended up choosing a set of 700.00 Boston Acoustics A200's(A great speaker in it's own right)that sound great to me. Especially when you consider the price difference!!!!!!!By the way I listen to all kinds of music from classical to fusion to the Stones, perhaps that's the key, the old vintage high fi speakers do everything well. Now it's like speakers are too specialized in one category. If all I listened to is violin I would have stayed with the Guarneri, but they came up short when I listened to the Stones etc.....The A200's don't. Makes you wonder if we're really making head way or just making really expensive limited speakers! By the way my electronics are two Tandberg 3009A monoblocks with a Tandberg 3008A preamp. Once again very smooth sounding vintage gear, and built like tanks. Anyway good listening and remember, less is sometimes more.

"Are smaller high end speakers really better?" - Naw!
Similar experience: I just moved home and pulled an old pair of ADS L980 out of the storage. Beats some of the boutique speakers I was listening for the past year.
Nope, nothing satisfies like real bass.
King of the subs, (tight subs) quad 15's mated to maggies or custom monitors.

No bass, no bloom, and not real, simple as that, image specifity is fun but gets old and images don't rock!

Simple as that,

I'm beginning to see this hobby like wine tasting. You sample all the expensive stuff to learn your own tastes, then the goal is to satisfy youself for the fewest bucks.

Congrats on your good find.
If you think the Sonus Faber is fatiguing, I'd have to wonder about the source and amplification upstream compared to you Boston Accoustics. Sometimes, better equipment/speakers reveals flaws. Like putting a magnifying glass on things. They look fine in normal resolution, but magnify it and wow, I never noticed that before.

Some cases things sound great, in others, you just highlight the bad stuff...

I've heard those speaker and liked em...something else in going on in your listening experience I bet.

Or sometimes, it's just a preference. And that's ok to!
I remember very vividly the '67 Mustage I drove in H.S. Driving School. That car was a blast to drive. The way it drove, rolled, and accerated was wonderful. Nice forum topic. I liked the way Mfkeleher put it. I've been putting together systems together lately using older stereo components (which have costed a song). I was really shocked when I heard the $35(inc. s/h) 60's Electro-voice bookshelf spks I bought on E-bay. They sounded great! The all important midrange was right-on. Bass/highs weak, but such an enjoyable spk. to listen to. Hooked it up to a mint Kenwood KR-2120 Rec.($20 inc. s/h), AQ type 2 (used '26, $10), 80's Hitachi CDP and My dad really enjoys this little system. (He likes analog tuners and the Kenwood is able to pull in station w/o even an antenna!) One area where I found newer stuff really beats out older stuff is IC's and Spk. wires. Of all the bookshelf spks. which I've owned, I regret selling my Spendor S3/5's. Bill
I guess there are parts of the performance that attract us (me). Yes, I got big buck stuff; I also have these 15year old 2way sealed cabinets (Infinitys). They just sound so sweet and pure. Get this;driven by a receiver. Who da thunk?
go retro whenever possible when it comes to speakers. bigger is better.
Sonus Faber fatiguing? Go figure. Sounds to me like something else may be awry. My monitors (Harmonic Precision, Caravelles) are not only non fatiguing, but have bass that,( although a sub, for me, is a requirment) for many, will satisfy. Powerful, prodigious bass slam from this little monitor, plus coherence to die for.
I don't think the subject should rename to modern speakers vs vintage speakers. It is true that more revealing will create more fatigue listening in the long run since your grain need to focus more on the detail.
Oops typo. I mean to say subject line should be modern speakers vs vintage speakers. If you listen to non revealing speaker then it will put you to sleep because it lacks of excitment. Too much of anything is not good. Your taste and ear need to decide for your brain.
I would hardly call your Tandberg gear very smooth sounding. More like typical mediocre solid state sounding. Meaning, thin, two dimensional, somewhat hard and fatigueing. This is probably the reason you prefer the warm and somewhat soft sounding Boston's over a more revealing speaker.
"Better" is a relative term...the trademark of hi-end monitors has always been very focused, stable imaging and improved transparency(vs. larger speakers)...however...the majority of modern monitors can sound bright and thin if paired with inferior electronics(which baffle touched upon)...that being said...I wouldnt put Sonus Faber in that category...they are more in the "musical" camp vs. audiophile/reference sound...and image extremely well...just my input...for the record...I own GMA Europas...and couldnt be happier...
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If you loke the pinpoint imaging of monitors and would like to have the bass of fullrange speakers go with a set of Totem Mani-2. These are truly high end speakers with fullrange sound with monitor convinience. They are the best speakers I have owened.
I guess bookshalf speakers are great for mid and high range. However, often need to match with a nice subwoofer. I got the Electra 906 ($1200) and match it with B&W ASW300 ($250). It took me four hours to get the sound right but it sounded wonderful afterwards. However, if you don't want to deal with that and have the room, I would really go for one of the larger Martin Logans with 8" or above woofer. I had the SL3 before and had a good marrage with Aragon 8008 amp. I don't have as much room now so those have to go
This is one of those priority issues. I too am very familiar with the Boston Acoustic line and the A200's. Once upon a time there was a local dealer that carried them. Other than their tizzy etchy sounding HF, they were ok for the money especially for R&R since most of those recordings I listen to are compressed anyway.

I agree with the posters that suggested a component mismatch with the Guarneri's, sounds most plausible for the fatigue you were getting. So far as not enough bass well that is more a taste issue as well as again, you probably didn't have the right amp for the speakers.

We both agree on one thing, if all I ever listened to was R&R its not too sure I would even be around here cause the gear has always been a means to an end. For R&R satisfaction came quite easily with a Pioneer receiver and Sansui speakers, why spend more? Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Debussey, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Gershwin etc, jazz, acoustic and choral music, thats why to me. Your taste and mileage may vary but it is quite true that there is no need to spend more than is necessary to achieve the end goal which is musical satisfaction. How we each listen, what we listen to and what is important to hear is the reason that this hobby is so healthy of a wide variety of equipment to realize those differences.