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I REALLY like my Adam F7 2-way actives (60 watt woofer; 40 watt ART tweeter). Clean, clear, and smooth. They are billed as "studio monitors" but do not let that scare you off. These are for all-day enjoyable listening. And support your move to downsizing as they are internally powered. Excellent sound.
hey dragon, i'm somewhat in a similar situation...i'm trying to sell my Vapor Nimbus Black for something smaller without sacrificing too much of the frequency response...i'm looking at Boenicke W8's speakers...in your case, if you want a horn monitor, then there's nothing better than the dc10audio Berlin R speaker...do a search on the internet...
in smaller spaces, I have found the closed pipe designs satisfying. The Abbeys are really nice looking as well. I agree that a smaller subwoofer would be helpful, I run mine with Vandersteen W2 with an updated amplifier in the mountain cabin as the main system, but listen mostly to classical music , lots of chamber and choral things. What kind of music are you favoring?
I am in a very similar situation, looking for desktop speakers and I'm interested in trying both a horn variety and a RAAL ribbon. I really the suggestion of the dc10 Berlin R for a horn. I will check that out. For a RAAL version, I am going to go with Selah Audio (http://www.selahaudio.com/) I've worked with Rick on a front LCR set and 2 subs. He is great to work with and his stuff is fantastic. He loves RAAL tweeters.
I think active speakers are a perfect fit for downsizing situations. But I wouldn't restrict myself to a 2-way design. The Neumann KH 310A is a small 3-way (tri-amped) active speaker that you might consider.
Here's a review:
I own the Klein + Hummel O300D, which is the predecessor of the KH 310. After 20 years of upgrading, I've found something that has put that bug to bed.
If you're stuck on a 2-way, the KH 120A would be an excellent choice. I just sold my pair on audiogon.
One of the many great things about active monitors is that they have boundary controls. So they can be used on a desktop, near a wall or out in free space.
Still not decided. I'm waiting for both my new amp and speakers to sell off till I decide on what to get. At this moment I an leaning towards a tube pre amp and an active speaker amp setup. Possible a smaller 6 inch driver with a single sub.
Just waiting for my stuff to sell so I. Can decide on where the funds will go.
Be aware that many (most?) active speakers have a 10K input impedance, which may influence your tube preamp choices. Typically, a tube preamp will have a rising output impedance as frequency decreases peaking in the bass region. If the manufacturer states an output impedance it'll likely be at 1 KHz so it's not a very useful number. You'll want to know the worst case output impedance, i.e., the highest and at what frequency it occurs.
Also, your room is quite small which means room modes will occur at higher frequencies. You can find room mode calculators online (the Harman web site has one with graphs) to see what frequencies could be a problem for your room. Since the room modes will be higher in frequency it's more likely that they'll be excited in more source material, i.e., not just lower bass which may not be prevalent in much of your source material.
I suggest you consider looking into some sort of room mode correction system as you plan your new system and possibly bass management for integrating a sub.
Several years ago I had a desktop system using KRK VXT6 (~6 inch driver) with the speakers about 1 meter away. In hindsight, I would have been happier with a smaller driver. I wouldn't consider anything larger than 5.25 inch driver speakers.
Good luck in putting together your new system.
Based on your room size and desire for a ribbon tweeter, I think that the NEAT Iota would be worth an audition. Incredible detail and robust sound that belies their size. They even come in a variety of colors to blend into your room.