I've had a pair of Proac 1SC's for the past year & they are wonderful. I don't have a huge house & audio setup does double duty in the living room so spouse didn't want huge speakers, hence the Proacs. Mine are being driven by a Simaudio I-5 amp & Eclipse CD player. Precise imaging, will throw decent sound if paired w/ good quality amp/source, & excellent build quality. I've got the yew wood finish & they're beautiful. Some review out there stated that the better you partner the Proac's (amp, source etc), the more revealing the Proac's become & I've found that to be true: the Proacs are only limited in producing better sound by the other components in the chain. That may sound obvious but given their small size, the sound doesn't feel crimped and has only improved as I've surrounded it with other quality components. They won't push through huge bass but standing alone without a sub there's enough bass there in my setup to forget that you need more bass. That said, I'd like to add a REL sub just to get deeper into the music. All in all, I'm very happy with the Proac's. Good luck.
Can you build speaker cabinets (or have them built)? If so I'd recommend small enlcosures using the Jordan JX92s drivers. Check audioasylum.com, fullrangedriver.com and ejjordan.co.uk for more information.
Also looking at the Mordaunt-short speakers
Why wall mounting?
Could you say what you mean by "small"?
I am also looking, small speaker amp combo paired with mccormack micro pre and velodyne hgs10 that i already have. suggestion please, auditions in san fernando valley or ventura?? considering von schweikert vr-1 with dna .5 or plinius sa50.
We are using three Gallo Due speakers for L/C/R channel and the Micro speakers for the rear channels. A JM Lab/Focal subwoofer completes the system. The Gallo speakers sound very, very good and are quite flexible for mounting purposes. They sound best, of course, on good stands away from walls. They also sound very good on shelves, walls, or ceilings. Used Gallo speakers are an excellent value with a pair of Micros for about 200 and three Dues for less than 1200 (they retailed for 600ea). They came in various colours, too; most were white or black. They are amp friendly in that they are rated at 8 ohms and 92db sensitivity so 30 or 40 good watts is all you need to make big sound.
Get out your grains of salt and/or hip waders - dealer plugging his wares here. You might consider the Omega Super 3R, which uses a modified Fostex full-range driver in an exceptionally inert reflex enclosure. This speaker is fairly high in efficiency (lower 90's) and has a very friendly impedance curve, so you could team it up with a nice little SET amplifier for a very sweet-sounding little package. Not the best for high volume levels (full-range drivers can sound congested at high volume levels with complex music such as full orchestra), but the little Super 3R is the first speaker I've heard in the price ballpark of the Maggie MMG that I think competes with the MMG. The Omega does low-level detail better and is more coherent, while the MMG will play louder and gives a more open presentation due to its dipole nature.
I have a customer who is very happy with his 5-grand floorstanders (which I had sold to him), and I let him try the Super 3R for a few weeks. He almost decided to sell his big speakers and keep the little Omegas. After going back and forth for a while he finally decided to keep his big speakers, but it really was close.
Best of luck in your quest!
Check out KRK Systems out of Huntington Beach CA.Their pretty good....Bob
I'd second ProAcs, but... I'm more familiar with the 2s speakers (I'm listening to a pair right now). For some reason, I thought the 1SCs were rear ported? If so, it would be a bad match for someone wall mounting them... I've also found that the ProAcs like really good stands. Not sure how they would sound wall mounted.
Oh, too many choices...
Along with the Gallo speakers mentioned, I might suggest:
Monitor Audio Radius (mini)
Monitor Audio Studio 2se
Monitor Audio S1, S2
Totem Model 1
Totem Mite (mini monitor)
Linn Kan (compact)
NHT SB3, SB2, or SB1
NHT M-00 (powered mini)
Silverline SR12, SR15
Sonus Faber Concertinos, or Wall
Most, if not all of these used, would be less under $1000, generally being in $300-800 range, with a couple of exceptions (Thiel??) and a couple would be new in the $300 range. I've even seen some Meridian M33's go for $700-800/pr lately.
I'm very happy with Revel M20, they're small, have a special setting for "close-to-wall" placement if necessary, look nice, and the most important - sound extremelly good, from guitar or piano solos - to organ, being driven by a Simaudio I-5 amp & Simaudio Nova CD player.
Hmm, where's Warren?..
I have been repeatedly surprised and impressed by the little Red Rose speakers. Quite musical and not at all boxy in sound... Also I would second the suggestion you consider some of the proac oferings. Other than those I mostly have a list of to-be-avoided small speakers unfortunately...
listen to the totem arros, they are a small floor standing speaker that is about 6" wide. Amazing sound for such a small speaker. they can be setup close to a wall or corner. there is a pair on audiogon right now. if you want bookshelf type speakers, listen to the totem rainmaker or model 1's.
If you are talking Thiel, then you might want to throw the SCS3's into the mix as well. Many of them are sold as center channels (I own one), but as a pair, they are also very impressive. When I decided to put together a small system for my office, the Totem Model 1's were at the top of my list, but then I had an opportunity to hear the ProAc Tablette Reference 8's. These little (and I do mean little!) beauties are amazingly musical and have exceptional low end for their size. After hearing them (with Audio Research gear), I was hooked. I ended up ordering the Signature series, and I am currently using them with an all Arcam FMJ system in my office (keeping it British!). I wholeheartedly agree with the comment that the better the associated components, the better the ProAc's (and Thiels) sound. On the flip side, from what I could tell, the Totem's were more forgiving. They sounded very impressive with even the entry level Cambridge Audio components.
Green Mountain Audio , Europas period. Nothing better or as transparent for under $ 900.00 have been a dealer for these for a short time with a lot of happy new customers.
The absolutely best sounding speakers for a small box (or even bigger ones) that I know of are from Helix, a German manufacturer. They are 4, 5, or 6.5 inch dia. car speakers. You can get them from Peter Lafrano at autofile@TheAutophile.com. Every other small speaker I compared them with (I didn't check ridiculously expensive ones) sounded silly.
I would like to wall mount them as we have a great view from our new place and don't want the speakers to interfere with that. So that is why I am looking at the stuff from orb and the omnisat's.
What are your size requirements and budget?
As a happy owner of both ProAc Response 1SCs and Tablette 50 Signatures, I'll vouch for some of the previous poster's enthusiasm for their sound quality. However, both monitors use rear ports and for that reason I feel would be poor choices for wall mounting. As little as they are, they need to be out in the room.
I use wall mounted NHT SuperOnes and SuperZeros for my HT and think work very well, but for music there's no way they could compare to properly set up ProAcs. They are 1/6th the price of the ProAcs though.
How about the Anthony Gallo Nucleus Micros and one of their MPS Subs? I've been curious about these for awhile.
Spendor s3/5 sound nice on the wall. That said wall mounting (or very close proximity to the rear wall) is such a sub-optimum position for imaging I would not spend more than $500 for wall mount speakers myself.
I'd remove any rear-ported monitors from your list due to wall proximity. (Proac, Epos els3). If you're open to maudant short then I'd also consider Mission from the UK. They make many front ported inexpensive, good sounding monitors. They also make front-ported slim floorstanders (752, 753) that are well reviewed (I used to own 780s and had to spend a lot of money to improve on them).
Good point about not wall-mounting rear-ported ProAc's. It just isn't going to work well. How about the Magnepan wall-mount models available only through their website? A friend of mine is considering these.
For wall mount application, you should consider sealed speakers only.
Spendor makes some speakers based on the 3/5 designed specifically for mounting directly on the wall; ie, no clearance behind the speaker and the wall. They are out of the budget; B & W makes some very nice wall mount speakers that are very shallow. Again, out of the budget at something like 3 large per pair.