chrisr- You are going to have trouble getting something smaller that Vandys that does not require a sub. Laws of physics are a bitch ;-). At the very least, it is going to require gobs of power.
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chrisr, I have something for you to consider. Personally I beleive there is no way you're going to beat (price and quality aka value wise) this. And to maplegrovemusic point, they are powered with a 200 watt amp. They are rated to go to 32Hz. I have one used and one BRAND NEW (as in unopened manufacturers carton) pair of JBL S412P speakers. I'm selling them for $400 used, $700 new, $1000 both pairs. And to djohnson54 point, he/she is correct. I have a pair of T1s. The issue there is simply a matter of price. For what I have at the price I'm selling them for they are a better value than the T3s. You can contact me off board at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. Thanks. Hal
thanks all for suggestions.. I have been considering the triton line; I know they have been received very well by the press, but a dealer carrying the full line and also selling mostly magnepan and b&ws, pretty much told me that they were not so impressed. The store was busy that day so I could not sit for a demo. I looked at the JBLs, but if I bring them home, my wife won't talk to me for a very long time.... I have tried to stay away from subs, because I read you really need two to obtain even bass throughout a room, and I am not sure they would blend well with my rega rs5 (thinking of velodyne impact 10, or rel or sunfire around $400). My marantz integrated has no bass management capabilities, just preamp stereo output, and a second set of speaker outputs.
The thing about the regas is that midrange/trebles are the best I have ever had; they are just the last word when it comes to bass below 60/50hz.
chrisr, please don’t take this the wrong way, but given your response I recommend (a) look for another audio dealer because if they poo poo the Triton’s, well, you get the point and (b) not sure if it’s because your wife doesn’t understand audio or doesn’t appreciate the JBL S412Ps size/look, but I suspect the former.
If you're willing to shop in the used market, these floorstanders will provide excellent sound and ample amounts of bass for their size:
Gemme Audio Tanto or Katana (v-flex transmission line cabinet). Very easy load on amp, clear sound, lots of bass. Their tiny stature makes for higher WAF. $1000-1200 for the tanto, closer to $2000 for the katana.
KEF reference 107/1 or 107/2: brushing up against vintage category here, but a tremendous value if you can find a restored pair with the requsite Kube. Fantastic sound, but polarizing looks. I'm not sure what size begins to upset your wife's decor. $1400-$2000 depending on condition. Foam surrounds on inner bass drivers rot over time and need to be replaced about once every 20 years.
Onix (av123) Strata Mini: I will be drawn and quartered for mentioning a Mark Schifter product in the elite audiogon forum, but this speaker represents a great value with its driver set and built in 8" sub. It's extremely configurable and a real looker in rosewood finish. You could likey find a pair for $700-800.
The tritons mentioned earlier seem to be a good option too. I have not had a chance to hear them yet, but from what I've read there hasn't been much negative criticism.
Chris - I'm not sure what they sell for used OR how they'll compare to some of the other speakers suggested to you - but for me, bass from the Totem Forest speakers has been a real surprise. Early on with them, I'd considered getting a sub. That is no longer necessary. Two keys to getting great bass from them were 1. proper placement - nearer together rather than further apart & 2. adequate amplification - the quality of the bass with a Class D amplifier (Taranis from Merrill Audio) is excellent...deep, well-controlled and nuanced. Cosmic Hippo by Bela Fleck is a great track for plumbing bass depths, as you may know. I would note, bass from the Forests, even when driven by 78wpc Class A/B tube amps, did improve greatly once I found the proper placement for the them. Placement takes priority over power in my experience. Hope this helps. Good luck in your search.
vandies 1ci are on top of my list, but I will probably loose the mid/tweeter clarity of the Regas.... I think i should just add a sub, even though I have always resisted this... the Svs sb 1000 is on my list (sealed box), and I will send signal using the pre-amp out of the marantz, and cross it over at 50 or 60 hz, frequency at which the Regas drop significantly in spl. If this does the trick, I' ll get a second one later to have even even bass in the room.... I' ll report when I do it, very very soon I hope.