Auditorium 23 SoloVox...

are they really sensitive to placement?

I've got the five year upgrade itch; plus I've got a new listening room configuration to deal with. My listening room "was" once a 15ft wall of mostly windows which allowed me to place speakers 4ft out from the wall or move them in and around the corners. The downside with that room (other than the big German Shepherd who dogged her post in front of one window): it was a huge open ceiling rectangle that continued onto the dinning and kitchen area, much like a big loft. Well the wife also had an itch and we remodeled (even though it was my money my opinion did not weight in). Suddenly I've been reduced to a near(er) field experience. I now have a 20ft or longer wall but there are entry doors on either end. The speakers can be no more than 2 ft. from the wall. My listening chair is about 8ft. from the speakers and I have another wall 2ft behind my head. So it's more intimate than before although the ceiling remains open and pitched.

So besides comments like you got screwed, I'm looking for advice to rectify the situation. Over the years I've worked my way through the Vandy line, Maggies and Merlins. Now I have a desire to move towards more efficient speakers.

I was very interested in the Audio Note HE model, but alas it prefers corners and I have none. Thus here I sit reading the Jules Coleman and Michael Lavorgna reviews wondering whether this SoloVox would work in my environment. Coleman didn't seem to have too much of an issue placing the speaker, but Lavorgna must have spent days moving his library from one wall to the other.

I'm very interest in anyone's trials and tribulations with the SoloVox, or any other efficient speaker that is less sensitive to placement. I'm also anxiously anticipating DeVore's two-way Orangutans. Thanks!
There are several speakers designed to be used against the wall. Regardless of what speaker you choose you will need some type of room treatment behind the listening position, but something tells me your stereo days are over. Good luck.

I'm already experimenting with the sound panels, and yes it may come down to the stereo or my wife. Although the dog comes with me (as well as any new speakers that I purchase) :-).

Anyone care to comment on the SoloVox? Or are they not that popular?
it's not that they're not popular- it's that they're kinda rare over here. You can hear a pair at Don Better's in Cleveland for sure. I'm not sure how they work in a particular room other than what we've read. You could try Jonathan Halpern at Tone Imports, a wealth of info.

Also, you're stereo days are far from over, the room, and wife, sound fine. Many fine speakers are at ease close to a wall...

and whether you like the solovoxes or not, the Auditorium guy is a genius...
Dpe - I listened to (and loved) the SoloVox at Don Better's home. I really wanted to get a pair and build a system around them, but Don told me that the room I had available would not allow them to sound right at all. They would have been only 2 feet from the back wall, about 7 feet apart at their centers, and I would have been listening somewhat near-field. According to Don, they are very sensitive to room placement. They need to be in a large room, well separated, and well away from the rear wall and side walls.

They do sound intoxicating, though. One of the very best speakers I have ever heard for solo instrumental and small ensemble music. Exactly why I wanted them. Still do, but it ain't gonna happen.

I too am interested to hear the Orangutans. I have the Silverbacks in my primary system and love them!

BTW, how efficient do you need your new speakers to be? Verity has come out with some new offerings that are more efficient than their predecessors and they are very impressive. I am referring to the ones I have heard, namely the Finns and the Leonores.
Thanks Chashas1 and 4musica44107! You guys have been very helpful. Bottom line Michael Lavorgna's review was closer to the truth with regards to placement, although I don't remember any mention of room size issues. As a matter of fact (and I'll need to review the article) I though if anything the SoloVox was very intimate; especially at lower levels of volume, and, as you've mentioned 4musica44107, extremely articulate when listening to solo instrumental and acoustical ensembles which is my pleasure as well.

Also thanks for the Verity plug. Many years ago I did demo a loaner pair of Fidelios and went with the Merlins instead. I'll check out the Finns and Leonores, although I've never been a fan of the rear woofers.
Dpe - Glad to hear that the info you are getting has been helpful. For those who want a system for listening only to solo instrumental and small ensemble music, I am not aware of a better speaker than the SoloVox unless one makes the mega-bucks jump to the Shindo Latours.

I understand what you mean about rear-firing woofers. I have the Fidelio Encores (my first ever pair of speakers with rear-firing woofers) in a secondary system and it has taken a lot of time and effort to get them positioned to sound their best. I finally did and the result has been outstanding.

Now if I could just get my wife to go along with a house addition to accomodate a SoloVox-based system . . . . ;->

Good luck!
You also might want to talk to Don or Jonathan again if you haven't already. From all I've read from Keith Aschenbrenner and his PHY friend, the solovoxes were made for real listening rooms,ie. smallish rooms, like most european ones. It sounds like your room would be fine.
Getting a pair might be the hard part, can I say hen's teeth?
Good Luck...
My room is not much different from yours and I went with Tannoy Kensingtons and they can be close to the (rear wall). Call Stephen Mishoe at In Living Stereo who has them on display and Jonathan Halpern wo told me about them. I believe you will be very favorably impressed (and they are excellent on all types of music). I presume that Stephen will also have the new DeVore's soon too.
PHY KM30 sag 12in is a better driver than any 8in phy why not look into loudspeakers using km30 sag or h30lb 15 and a PHY tweeter or ribbon from another. Also consider the SEAS-1 since designs for such are sealed airsuspention very easy to place. Open baffles bi-pole or dipoles can be more placement sensitive. And any PHY loudspeaker should be a OB design to some degree. Front horn systems might also be a option. As would a Tannoy
Aronsss, yes I've heard the Tannoy Kensingtons and have very much enjoyed them. They are a bit too elegant for my living area and I prefer the look of the Glenair 15, although again like the SoloVax, I've never listen to these.
I've resurrected this thread because some of you seem to know a bit more on the Orangutans...I'm looking to get a Shindo Masseto or Vosne-Romanee to mate with my Air Tight WE300B-based 8W SET amp and will then get new speakers too. I would, of course, cut my arm off for Shindo Latours, but since no one seems to want my arm these days, well, I've been looking at other ideas. The Solovox would be great, but I think that would push my wife completely over the cliff on aesthetics. The Kensingtons have always caught me eye as something to try one day, but I would guess they would need more than 8W SET to come alive (and, fortunately, or unfortunatley, it seems that I'm past ever giving up SET...).

So, I've kinda been waiting around to see what happens with the Orangutans.

I know that the proto-types were at the last CES, and that the designer may have been attempting to up the sensitivity, but haven't heard much since. BTW, any info on the drivers?

My speaker background is ESP Concert Grands, Quad ESL US63's & Spendor LS3/5As (which are my back up speakers, running right now until I find the new main speakers).

Anyway, any advice is always appreciated and I would be interested in any new info on the Orangs.
Matt of Pitch Perfect Audio carries Shindo, Auditorium and Devore stated in June that the Orangutans were still being refined by John Devore and were still a few month's out.
Last I heard on them.
I think a lot of Shindo owners are waiting for the Orangatans, myself included. John builds very well thoughtout speakers that offer great value for the dollar. On paper it should be a good combo with your Air Tight, however it is too early to tell as no one has seen John's final product. Apparently the first of a new series of high sensitivity and high impedance speakers. Never heard the Solovox, but great reviews, low production run, and a bit odd looking in my opinion.
No need to wait. Just hunt down a decent pair of Altec Valencia 846A's and be done with it. Shouldn't run you more than $1500 and you will have a perfect pair of speakers to mate with your Air Tight or any Shindo amp if you get one down the line.
I am running an Auriege/Cortese combo into Valencias and it's hard to see you finding a speaker for less than 10k that will perform as well.
Agree with Bnrlaw's suggestion re the Altec Valencia 846A's for anyone who wants to have a window into what the Latour's can do, and at a fraction of the cost. Just like the Latour's, the Valencia's thrive on the musical finesse that Shindo electronics deliver. I heard a pair of 846A's a few months ago at Don Better's. It was the first time I had heard these speakers in a LONG time, and paired with Shindo electronics, they were absolutely sublime. I really wanted to get them, but the only room they would have worked in for me was the room where I have my Silverbacks, and there was no way that was not going to happen!
Actually meant to say that there was no way I was going to replace my Silverbacks with the Valencia's, or any other speaker for that matter!
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'll mull over the Valencia idea, but will probably just wait on the Devores...
I agree with JohnK above. If you are looking for PHY based speakers you should make the effort to hear a model with the 12" drivers.