Big speakers in small room at moderate volume levels


My office is 11’W x 10’L x 9’H and is where I can listen to music for the next few years. I have a toddler and, for now, he has commanded the big spaces in the rest of the house. I have auditioned the Magico A3 and wanted to buy it but that was before I was relegated to the smallish office (I was expecting to move to a bigger room). I have removed the closet doors in this office room. The removal of the closet door gives me another 4 feet of depth to this room, though for only 1/2 width of the room. I can sit unobstructed 8 feet away from the speakers before I hit the area where the closet ends (so near field listening).

I currently I have KEF LS50 with Peachtree Nova 150. It is good and I can listen for the whole day without fatigue. I listen to FM, digital files on ROON, and my Sony SCD-1 SACD player. I want a bigger sound so I am looking at bigger speakers. I also do not want to use a sub since I am not a fan. I will also upgrade the NOVA 150 to the NOVA 500 in Spring 2019 and use with the LS50’s in a bedroom.

I came to the conclusion that my tastes would be best served by one of KEF Reference 1 or Magico A3. I was thinking that I would use the Lyngdorf 3400 in this room but I am having seconds thoughts on this now (some A’gon comments that it maybe a little dry). I am interested in solid state AB units like the Hegel H590 and Mark Levinson 585 to drive the speakers. I have heard the ML 585 and it is a fatigue free sounding unit that was a joy to listen to. I have not heard the Hegel H590 yet (but have heard other Hegels with KEF) and I am in the process of getting an audition of the H590. I have also discounted the class AB Micromega M-One 150 (with MARS room correction) because I do not want a cooling fan blowing in the room.

I must mention that I do not listen that loud when I am working and when I am working very late at night the volume is very low. The Mark Levinson and A3 combo was very good at low volumes during my demo but that was in the dealers perfect large room.

1) Am I making a mistake foregoing room correction with the 2 integrateds I am considering? Should I go with the Lyngdorf and A3 or KEF Ref 1, though I have never heard the Lyngdorf?

2) Will the Magico A3 work in this small room at moderate volumes WITHOUT room correction or will I subject myself to headaches and fatigue?

I am going to ask the dealer selling the A3’s this question when I am ready to buy but i wanted to ask on A’gon first to get some feedback. I doubt I could get the A3’s into my room for a trial but I have not asked the dealer yet.

I think (not 100% sure) the KEF Reference 1 with a non room correcting amp should work in my office space but I would prefer to buy the Magico A3 for the office. I have plans to buy another KEF model once my kid is a bit older and I can kick him out of the big room.
yyzsantabarbara
@yyzsantabarbara,
The TADs that you are considering are fantastic. I had heard them at AXPONA 2017. They were playing Maria Mena's "I Was Made For Loving You" and it was so musical. Amazing sound and musicality. Go for it if you can - it will suit your room too!
I have added photos of the new setup. I removed the CD rack from the room,it was in the way of the left side wall panel. The setup I have  is likely what most people with treatments have done. It has really transformed my room. The LS50s sound really impressive now. Well as impressive as it can with the Peachtree Nova 150. The gear is good (though not at low volume) but I am now looking to get to another level of sound with new gear. This existing system will go to a bedroom or some other room.

I would say for 19/20 songs I play the sound is non-fatiguing and checks of all the good things I want to hear. That 20th track sometimes gives a little bit of badness, usually a bit too much bass but sometimes a little bit of treble. This can be seen in Neil Young's HEART OF GOLD's harmonica (treble). Adjustments of the side panels have improved this harmonica greatly. It is not really a big deal, just not perfect.

Mike Major at GIK was the one responsible for this setup and panel choices so kudos to him. Highly recommended. He does think I can improve this room even more but I do not want to add too much more panels for aesthetic reasons. He suggested ceiling treatment and also to go to town on the closet because he says that is not a good area.

In a small room any small adjustment or change seems to be easy to spot. For example, I had a lot of CD cases lying on the ground while I moved the CD rack to another room. I decided to do some office work while the CD's lay on the ground and the music playing. That did not last too long. It was like ice picks in my right ear. I removed the CD's and gave my ears a rest. All was good after that.

Also notice I sit facing the left wall. Mike Major was saying this was also a reason my sound was so bad prior to treatments. My off-axis sitting position is no longer a problem. I am thinking of playing around with my speaker positioning now that the acoustics are controlled.
Now it is time to figure out what gear to get. First thing is to get a preamp that is DSP capable. I want something that has defeatable DSP and also good quality DSP. I do not need DSP with the KEF LS50’s. I may not with the TAD ME1 but the other speakers I am thinking of I likely need DSP help.

The speaker I want to fit into this room is the Yamaha NS 5000. Just because it would be interesting to own that speaker. The Persona 3F is high on the list but long term listening is uncertain. The Vandersteen Treo CT seems like it will now fit into the room. The Vivid Kaya 45 would be great for the room now but it may be too close to the KEF sound.

If I raise the cash that I am expecting then I will splurge a little on a demo amp (will keep quiet on this one). The store with the amp I want also has the Vandersteen and Vivid. So I will demo those 2 speakers if I have cash for the amp. If I do not get this $$ amp there are a few new amps coming out that I am interested in, the CODA #8, KRELL XD 125, and some older models. Amp will be easy to select.

I really don’t have too much more to add now until I demo the DSP preamps.
Home Depot Owens Corning 703 4” deep panels in closet, get one box to start....

Portishead !!!
ya
i had Bauhaus on late, late.... fun
Saw new pics and left a post. I'm glad you are getting closer to what you want.
B