Floorstanders for small rooms? Budget $1200 used

Hi again,

Well, I am still looking at some speaker suggestions, this time for some floor-standing models that work well in smaller rooms. I listen mostly to classic jazz, but also electronic, vocals, classical, and some rock. I need a pretty versatile speaker. My associated equipment is C-J PV10A preamp, MF-2200 amp, Von Schweikert VR-2000 speaker, Arcam CD73T CDP.

My system is pretty warm and lush at this point, so I probably want something maybe a bit more detailed (changing preamp may help too). My current speakers seem pretty musical and not too detailed. They are bit 4-way speakers with a 10" driver and response down to 26hz, and probably a bit too much for the place I am moving to soon (although I won't purchase a new pair until after the move (and I know the speakers won't work). The speakers will be used in a room 11x14ish, with the listening end up against the far wall.

So far I have been thinking about the Soliloquy 5.3's (already posted on this), but am looking for other suggestions as well. I have a budget of no more than $1200 to spend on a speaker (probably used/demo) at this time.

Thanks for any suggestions!
For a small room, I would suggest go with bookshelf monitor speakers. The near field speakers are usually more focus and detailed in a small room. Instead of jumping on swap any equipments, I would suggest you take your time to do some audition.
I agree with s23chang. You won't get good bass in a small room anyway from floorstanders. I'd go with bookshelf. Unless it is a temporary situation. I bought floorstanders for my small room becuase I knew I'd be moving in a year or so.

I'd check out the VS vr2 s

Meadowlark Swifts would work well in that room, and they can usually be had in the $700-$800 range used.
Soliloquy 5.3's will fall right in with your budget. They sound great. Built like a piece of high-end furniture. I was using mine in a 10X12 room and did not have a problem with bass loading (though bass is quite authorative). I don't have experience with the newer 'i' version with updated drivers. The previous version required a loooong break-in before it came into its own. Outstanding value for the money.

Marco - How do the 5.3's compare to your Klipsch Heresy's. I'm also considering a set of floorstanders in this price range. My present equipment is: Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player w/upsampler, Eastern Electric Minimax Preamp, Quicksilver MiniMite amps, and modded Heresy 1's.

I auditioned a two-way by DeVore Fidelity and was VERY impressed - although a bit more cash. $2850 new. I've seen them on the Gon for ~$1700.

Mike- I used to have MiniMite amps (great little amps) - they had wonderful synergy with the Heresy's I had which I had modified with better wires, MDF back, more thorough sealing all around, and some simple resonance sheets on the interior. Only once did I bring the Heresys home to compare them directly to the 5.3's. In the small room I was using there. With several different amps (including the Mini-Mites) I preferred the 5.3's for their fuller range (they reach down significanly lower than the Heresys do to my ears). Both sounded good on their own, but when A/B'ing the two I'd consistently prefer the fuller range (quite smooth as well) of the 5.3's. Used, the 5.3's are usually a bit more than twice the price of a good pair of Heresys (around $800-900 which is an outright bargain IMO). If the price were not an obstacle I'd go for the 5.3's if considering the two. I don't know anything about the DeVores so cannot comment there. Beware of shipping though: As good as Soliloquy's packing is, I would still make sure they get double-boxed...UPS and FedexGround would have a field day with them. Expensive to ship as they are about 80lbs each. Walter Liederman (UnderwoodWally) is still selling B stock 5.3i's for about $1300 (highly recommended seller) which come freight straight from Soliloquy strapped to a pallete (no worries there). Unfortunately I have limited experience with the 'i' version. I do know they changed the drivers, modified the crossover, and went from a hard-corner on the cabinets to a more rounded corner. Of course they say all should be an improvement over the original. A friend of mine purchased some 5.3's that had all the 'i' components installed in them. They sound great to me, though I only heard them early-on when they were not broken in and the bass had not filled out yet. Still, they sounded great, and I do know he remains very pleased with them. He pairs them off with Jolida 502B or a Unico Unison (both nice combinations with the Unico having a bit more detail and the 502B sounding a bit warmer and 3 dimensional).

I would go with the Meadowlark Kestral 2s over the Soliloquy 5.3s. I have had both and the Kestrals have a far more detailed mid-band which works really well with jazz and classical music. I detected some coloration in the mid-band with the Soliloquy 5.3s and thus they were not as detailed and articulate. They do however have substantially more bass weight than the K2s. All in all, I prefered the K2s.
Totem Arro works well in my room of similar dimension. As a bonus, they mate well with tubes. The Arro's character leans toward analytical/detailed. It has great bass quality and when backed to within a foot of a wall it provides a nice foundation, but won't shake the walls. I enjoy mine--good luck!
I've owned both the Soliloquy 5.3 and the 6.2 floorstanders.
Both are excellent speakers, and mate well with ANY amp,
even in a small room. The only thing I found was that in a small room, I preferred single speaker cable (vs. bi-wire), which tended to project too much for my room to handle. These are the most non-fatiguing speaker I've heard. Even after listening for 6-8 hours, I'm still engaged.
And I would agree that $800-900 for a used pair of 5.3's is a steal.
All the best,
There are a pair of Soliloquy 6.3s for sale here on Audiogon. There are listed for $1199 with free shipping. These are the next to the top of the line 6.5s which I have and love. Jim
Interesting-you don't think those 6.3's will be overpowering in my room? That was the primary reason for looking at the 5.3.
My room is similarly sized and my system is simlarly built on tubes and is warm-ish sounding. I have the Meadowlark Kestrel II's and am VERY VERY happy! They're 2-way floorstanders... no stand needed and better bass. I have them on my long wall, about 8 ft apart and 8ft from my listening spot. A really even sound from top to bottom... and there's good bottom end. The sound is detailed and distict but never harsh. The midrange is beautiful and real. The imaging is amazing and precise. Lastly, the build of these speakers is top notch. OK, one more lastly... Pat at Meadowlark is a great, helpful, nice guy. It all make a difference.

The 6.3's will not overpower your room. I'm using a speaker that goes down to 25Hz, and on the width side of the room. As long as the bass is tight and controlled (which the Soliloquy is), you will not have any problem IMO.

I was not as impressed with the Kestrel II, but of course that was just my experience. I heard them paired with the Unison Unico, and I would lay pesos to churros that Vertewax is used to a more musical sound with his Rogue amps than the setup that I heard.

I've not heard a more amenable lineup than Soliloquy. Simply connect any amp, and you have insta-synergy.
All the best,
Chiho, I got your answer. Totem Acoustics Hawk.

I have pretty much the same taste in music and an even smaller room (8.5' x 11') These babies have very small footprint (6.75" x 9.5") and are only 36" tall, and they'll look good in any room, especially a small one.

Totems are famous for their amazing bass reproduction from such small speakers. The Hawk does not dissapoint either and goes down to clean 29Hz. However, I must warn you that, the bass can overwhelm a small room at loud volumes.

The midrange is what the Totems do best. It is full, lush, and if you like to listen to a lot of Jazz like me, I'm sure you'll be just as satisfied as I am. The instruments just bloom to life and the vocals sound as if the singer is in my room.

Now for the downsides. It takes them some time (~100hrs) to really start singing, but this may not matter if you buy them used. Second, they need a powerful amp, they love a lot of current, but can only handle about 120-150Wpc of power and will not play cleanly at ear-splitting-wallpaint-falling-off levels. Don't get me wrong, I never play them that loud in my room since I'll go deaf, but when I had them set up in my big living room, sometimes I wished they would go louder.

As for your budget, the Hawk is a little out of your range (~$1300-$1500 used), but it'll be well worth the extra hundred or two. If you can't stretch the budget, I'd look into their smaller floorstanders, the Totem Arro and the Staff.

Anyway, you now have my recommendations, go listen to them and let your ears decide. Good luck and Happy listening!

P.S. Please look at my system to see the speakers.
I too have a quite small room, but may eventually move into a new place in a few years with a bigger music room. Would the JM Lab Diva Utopias be too much for a small room? I like the Micros quite a bit but they lack the bass extension and would prefer a one box solution. I may still buy the Micros anyway with a sub but I'd really prefer to get the Divas. Any thoughts?