Can a monitor sound like a floorstander??

Don't know if I should put on a flame suit before I ask such a question..but is there? Classical music is my preference and I'm currently using Focus Audio FS688 monitors- they're very good at what they do--obviously better for chamber music than orchestral. I've heard that the Harbeth monitor 40's are great, but they are about the size of a floorstader. Can one get full sounding classical music through a speaker like Sonus Faber Guarneri, Dynaudio C1, or is a floorstander really the only way to go with classical music. I can really only bring my speakers out @ 3feet from the wall. My equipment is:
Ayre V-5xe
Ayre C-5xe
Running Springs Jaco power conditioner

Thank for your help and suggestions!

If you don't need to go absolutely to the very rock bottom on the bass, then I'd check out the Intuitive Design Summit PSL 624. I owned Paradigm Studio 100 V 3's before that (for about a year), which are floorstanders. I think the Summits have better bass than those did, and that's quite respectable. Their bass rolls off around 40 hertz, and that's very similar to all but the largest floorstanders. If you really, absolutely MUST have a totally full range system, which is what I insisted upon for myself, then adding a sub-bass unit is a consideration. The best one of those I've heard is the one I own, a Rel Storm 3.

At any rate, I've posted an extremely detailed review about the Summits, complete with photos, just a couple days ago. It's under "Loudspeakers" in the "Product Reviews" category. These are fabulous for ALL program material, including classical, as I describe in the review.

The shortest answer is that these go very, very low by themselves, especially for a monitor, and yet the midrange doesn't suffer at all. Getting the best bass out of these does require a good amp with lots of current, but that's really true of just about ALL speakers, except PERHAPS the ones with extremely high efficiency.
Monitors can sound as good or better than floorstanders, but you have to buy really good stands to get the most from monitors. I use Focus stands in my office system and they are awesome, strongly suggest you get a pair.
Provided you have a stout amp to drive them, the Totem Mani 2s can get quite close to floorstander performance if you close your eyes and listen, at least that's what I heard a few years ago in a shop in Montreal. They were driven by a cj solid state amp.
Alot of floor standers take up no more room than a monitor on a stand, why not think about going that route?
There are huge trade offs between good floor standers and good monitors. Many of the attributes of monitors are not available is three way, or multi driver floor standing speakers. Deep bass requires sacrifices in other areas, or spending a LOT of money.
Since you listen to classical (as I -- I also judge equip by it), and to paraphrase Nrchy you need a LOT of money (fullstop) to get the full orchestral spectrum fm one pair of spkrs.
Alternatively, you can biamp using two pairs: the monitors & subwoofs.
Of the spkrs you mention I only know the Guarneri; they play fine -- but the sound benefits when they're partnered with a subwoof, preferably two. I.e., you hear cellos rather than suspect cellos.
The SF Extrema are better, btw.
Maybe consider AudioNote UK?
I would love to find monitor that sounds like my 800's.
You can't break the laws of physics you must move air to make a large sound so monitors will never sound like floor standers. Nrchy is right there are some things monitors can do that floorstanded speakers have trouble doing & vice versa.
I beleive the ONLY sonic advantage of monitors over floorstanders has been in the imaging department and the ''vanishing act'' of speakers when trying to locate them in the dark. However, with many floorstanders being very narrow (slim) when looking at them from the front, dispersion is optimal and you get the benifit of monitor-like imaging. Size-wise, they do not take any more room than monitors on good stands (which tend to be of the heavy-bulky variety for best sound) and of course you get the low-end bass information down there when it's on the recording. The quality of this low-end of course depends on the quality of the speaker and the speaker enclosure, but generally speaking, I gave up on monitors long ago. The really goods ones are expensive enough that I feel going to a quality floorstander is a better route. This is what I did and do not regret it one bit. Cheers!
>I beleive the ONLY sonic advantage of monitors over floorstanders has been in the imaging department and the ''vanishing act'' of speakers when trying to locate them in the dark.<

Not true. Most rooms, mine included, have modes that will wreak havoc with deep bass response and just happen to be the very spot where the speakers other qualities are best. By going with a large stand mounted monitor + sub, you can get into the mid to upper 30s with the monitor, then have the sub finish the job while locating each where it sounds the best. And if the subwoofer is worth it's salt, there won't be any integration issues either.

Ozzy62 said:

"By going with a large stand mounted monitor + sub, you can get into the mid to upper 30s with the monitor, then have the sub finish the job while locating each where it sounds the best. And if the subwoofer is worth it's salt, there won't be any integration issues either."

I would have to agree with that. It certainly seems to be the case with my Summits, which have a rolloff stated to be around 40 hertz. It has been necessary to set the crossover point on the Rel Storm 3 to 27 hertz to avoid overwhelming bass.
Have you listened to the GamuT L3? I found it to be an amazing speaker that can handle anything you throw at it.
I have never, ever heard a monitor that truly produces deep bass, and with a two way monitor you'd either need huge excursion in the LF driver, which would wreck the midrange, or a large diameter LF driver, which would have to then be crossed at a lower frequency with the HF driver.

Nrchy may be correct that it can be done for a price, but I myself wonder if it can be done at all.

Many monitors are advertised to "not require a subwoofer", but no monitor I've heard will really reproduce full scale orchestral music with any authority.

I think you either need to trade to floorstanders, or consider adding a subwoofer. I have a REL strata which blends very nicely with my GMA Europa monitors, though I think for a customer in the US the Velodyne DD series that auto-adjust to the room response may be the better answer.

If at all possible I would try to get a demo of a good quality subwoofer, because they can be blended very well, and are much more capable than many detractors claim. A home demo would be the best as it's quite room and positioning dependant.

One caveat : the subwoofer itself may have to be positioned out into the room to avoid causing room resonances. If space or aesthetics preclude this option then you might have to learn to live without deep bass.
I thought the question was can a monitor sound like a floorstander, not an extreme LF floorstander. You can get some very deep bass with the Gamut speakers.
I think the Diapason Adamantes fits the descriptions,
they always sound big to me, they can play classical
with no problem,about 10 years ago,I almost choose them
over the Martin Logan Quest.I own one though.Thanks
Sorry, Ozzy62, your following statements and it's consequences are off track true when you say ''By going with a large stand mounted monitor + sub, you can get into the mid to upper 30s with the monitor, then have the sub finish the job while locating each where it sounds the best. And if the subwoofer is worth its salt, there won't be any integration issues either''...a lot of nice theory here, and it will get real expensive real fast following this advice.

I do agree that room interaction is critical when choosing ANY speaker not just floorstanders. This is why it is always best (and unfortunately not always possible) to try first in your own room.

What you propose as a solution (monitor plus sub) is a much more expensive and complicated solution than going to a suitable floorstander, or at least one which minimizes compromises. Furthermore, the monitor/sub solution is generic theory at best, and given the context of sensible spending, I just cannot endorse it.

It is interesting that while you point the finger at room interaction as one of the difficulties of integrating a floorstander - it is the very challenging task at hand when working with subwoofers - and for many, it is very hard to achieve this seamless integration to make the speaker sound as one.

You mention that ''...if the subwoofer is worth it's salt, there won't be any integration issues..'' Again, this comment is off track here, in the context of a speaker that has to respect a certain dollar limit (read the initial question again there IS a dollar limit here!)

Now let me ask, at what level is a ''speaker worth his salt''? This is highly subjective. For some, a $ 500.00 Paradigm will fit the bill. My personal take on this, after trying quite a few, is that efficient, seamless subwoofers do not come cheaply. In fact they are quite expensive. Add to this the price of a quality monitor, and you might be way above your price target when compared to the performance of a decent full-range speaker. Factor in the extra work involved in ''matching,' the sub-monitor-room interaction, without any guarantee of success, and you can spend a lot of time without enjoying your music.

If course if you have the money and the time - and some people do - every solution make sense if it makes you happy.
"can a monitor sound like a floor stander"

not if the floor stander is any good.
Thank you.. I'll look at what's been suggested. I think I need to get more of a life. I enjoy the journey-even the research. Mdhoover, your summits are nice/as was your review. I'm also looking at the Merlin VSM-MM due to the small footprint. Any thoughts on the Harbeth Super HL5 maybe being the best of both worlds for classical...I like the 4k price but that 70's retro look might take some getting used to. Perhaps I need to go to the Harbeth Users Group and get a hug. Thanks again to all - I'm certainly open to advice. p.s. Nrchy, I hope you wear earplugs when you're on that nice bike :)
"It's a floor wax!"

"It's a desert topping!"

"Hold it, you're both right!"
I think the question would be better phrased as "can a two way mini-monitor sound as big and full as a larger 3 way speakers?" There are any number of slim two floorstanding speakers that can match the performance of a good mini monitor and provide a little bit more bass, but neither type of speaker can provide the deep bass, midrange detail and volume of a large three way or more complex speakers. ATC, Spendor and Harbeth all make stand mounted monitors that can match the performance of even extremely large (and expensive) floorstanders with the exception of extreme bass output.

If you are looking for deeper bass from a small footprint speaker you might consider the PMC or Totem lines. They both make relatively small speakers that have extended bass output. If you're looking for greater dynamic capabilities there is no real substitute for cone surface area. A single 5" driver cannot have the impact and "size" of larger cones. That aside, practically speaking for most rooms and most types of music you really don't need extremely large speakers to reproduce a big sound. If you're willing to give up sound below 35Hz and don't require volumes above 105dB, then there are any number of reasonably sized 2½ or 3 way designs that can compete with the better floorstanders.
SP Technology anyone?
One other avenue u may want to consider is monitors plus a sub

I just sold a pair of 6000.00(retail) floor standers. I bought a "B" stock Onix UFW-10 sub(VERY good BTW) and a pair of Coincident Super Triumph Sigs for under 1K. This combo outperforms the more expensive speakers. The Triumphs are not perfect and are only interim speakers until my Reimer McCollough GS's arrive this friday. So I a not proposing that the monitor/sub route has to be expensive to work. And no, it may not be the answer for everyone. Hell, it may not even be the long term answer for me, but I know that it CAN and DOES sound very good, for not much money. And believe me, I have owned an "ass-load" of large, and relatively expensive, floor standing speakers in the past.

So bottom line is this. It IS a very real option to go with the sub/sat solution for some people. But NOT for everyone. I don't think I ever alluded that it was the final frontier by any means.

Audiokicks ... one aspect you overlook is that low bass requires a lot of power from the amplifier, so in using full range speakers, as opposed to monitors with a powered subwoofer, you may need to step up to a more powerful amplifier, or limit your search to high efficiency floorstanders.

By removing low frequency duties from the amplifier the quality of midband and treble produced by the amplifier can also be improved.
Good point, Sean.

Well having owned Merln MM for about 5 months___ I give you the floorstander that sounds like a monitor. Changing nothing but speakers-only,to Sophia; I became aware, and wonder why nobody says a dam thing about this. At least folks mention this about the Karma 3.2.
Give me a break guys, read the initial post!

I like to keep my responses in line with the initial A'gon member that is kindly asking for help. I submit the following two items taken from the initial thread that should explain why suggestions about the need for additional amplification would be a waste of money:

Item number one: ''...Classical music is my preference''. we are not talking disco or heavy metal here.

Item number two: ''...My equipment is:
Ayre V-5xe
Ayre C-5xe
Running Springs Jaco power conditioner

Now, don't you think 150 very potent and quality watts per side is adequate for most mortal floorstanders ! Are you guys working in a hi-fi shop? Sounds like it sometimes...

Secondly, I never said that monitor-sub combinations would not work, they sure do, with time to fiddle around, and money if invested wisely. (again, read a previous post by me on this).

Sorry if I am offending anyone, but I like to keep things on topic.
If 30 Hz/0 Db is enough you could considder the J.M.Reynaud Offrande.
Very very good!
Audiokicks, I for one believe you ARE on topic. However, the integration and other scary issues you referred to are less problematic than you present.
Also, the smaller ("monitor" size) spkr will perform nicely in classical music and for reasonable outlay and cover ~70-90% of the spectrum. So, adding subwoof(s) crossed ~80-90Hz can complete the system famously.

The 150 quality + robust watts you refer to give maxi ~21db headroom -- less if you have to move big or many woofs, so really Ozzy & Seandtailor do have a point:)

Finally, I'll contend (again) that full-range passive spkrs capable of playing classical well (NOT outstanding, just well) are outrageously expensive.

No, a monitor cannot sound like a floorstander, no matter how high quality.

Dynaudio C1, Guarnaris, ATC, Verity Parsifal Monitor, whatever it is, even when you add a SOTA Sub like a Velodyne DD, will NEVER sound like a Watt Puppy, A Utopia, a big kharma, a big VS, etc.

If you need a full midrange, big scale dynamics in the lower midrange and bass, ability to play loud in large rooms, etc, there is NO EXCEPTION - You need a large speaker. Physics are physics
I think if you are going to speak in absolute terms on this subject, then yes, it's difficult to compare a monitor speaker to a floorstander apples/apples. However, speaking in relative terms it really depends on which specific floorstander you are using for comparison and which monitor - they're not all created equal, for sure.

For example, I have a pair of Hales Revelation One monitors that, while not truly "full range" in absolute terms, can definately provide a very rewarding experience even on full orchestral music. These monitors may be an exception, but set up properly on stout stands in my living room (14 x 17) and driven by an Arcam Alpha 10P power amp, these speakers truly "play large" for their relatively small size. I've listened to the soundtrack to "Immortal Beloved" at fairly high volume and they really hold it together.. cellos, bass, piano and all...lots of "body" and "weight" to the instruments and the tone is pitch-true.. amazing! JZ
As I tried to point out earlier, the Summits have, in my room at least, a dynamic range very similar to that of the prior speaker I owned, the Paradigm Studio 100 V3. I think the bass is actually BETTER on the Summits. When I first listened to the Summits in the store, I had no idea that they were so small, with the bottom part being the stand.

Goatwuss, I agree that no monitor will reproduce the extreme low frequencies of a gargantuan floorstander, but some such units actually seem to be monitors themselves, except that they have the monitor stacked on top of the bass unit. At this point, the two configurations begin to overlap.

A better question might be this one: Can a floorstander without a subwoofer sound as good as a monitor with one or two subwoofers (IF the subwoofer(s) is/are set up optimally)? This is a particularly important question with respect to the speakers' agility and soundstaging characteristics. In my subjective experience, most floorstanders (except for the Audio Physic Caldera, retail ~20K or more) simply do not image as well as most GOOD monitors I've heard, even within the same product line. For example, I thought that the Totem Tabu imaged much, much better than the Totem Shaman, although I did hear those at two different stores. Nrchy's post would seem to generally agree with this, although Avguygeorge appears to have had a very different experience, and he has changed only one component.

So, opinions on this topic vary, but are not (generally) diametrically opposed. I switched from floorstanders to "monitors" and Avguygeorge (if I'm interpreting his thread response correctly) switched from monitors to floorstanders. Both of us are happy (I'm ecstatic, actually) with the result. Bottom line: Your ears will decide for you.

Let us know what you decide to do if you get a chance. We'd like to "monitor" your progress.
looking at the Goldmund Epilogue and Wilson Watt/Puppy, these great designs are very similar to integrating monitors with separate woofer units. separating drivers in different cabinets definitely has some advantage: less cross-talk, less vibrations from different drivers affecting each other,...

just more work and expensive to implement.
Listen to a pair of Sonus Faber Extrema speakers.
You're on the right track by looking at Monitor 40s. You might also look at similar speakers- Spendor 1/2s, Spendor SP2/3s, Harbeth HP5s, ATCs, etc. Speakers of these designs can provide the weight of floorstanders and the imaging and air of monitors.