Full Range Speakers for a Small Listening Room

Do they exist? I listen primarily to classical music in a small dedicated listening room. The speakers must go low. The dimensions are 11 ft wide by 16 ft deep. I currently sit 9 feet from the speakers. My budget would be limited to $10k. Assume I do not have any amplifier restriction. I would be willing to re-do amplification if necessary. I would build a new system based around the speakers. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
I'm assuming that you mean by "must go low" in frequency as opposed to playing well at low volume. I think you'll find that your room will be more of a challange than your search for a suitable speaker. You might want to consider something like the TacT gear to facilitate your desire. Speakers that might be worth considering include the Vanderstein 5's, the Gradients or something like the Thiel sub-woofers.
ohm's......and put some money back in your walletjaybo
Let's see... piano goes to 27, tuba goes to 44, double bass goes to 41, contrabassoon goes to 29, tympani goes to 87, harp goes to 31, pipe organ goes to 16 (or even 8!).

So I guess the criteria for "normal" classical music reproduction would be extension to 27 Hz, and for pipe organ you'd want 16 Hz.

How important is pipe organ to you? The answer will ignificantly influence what your choices are. If you do want that 16 Hz extension, are you willing to use a separate subwoofer or two?

What maximum SPL's are you looking for at the listening position? Or if you don't know, then how close to realistic orchestral levels do you want to get, and relative to a seat up front or in the middle of the hall? Finally, how important is very low volume level listening?

Any other criteria that are especially important to you?


Ideally, I would want honest reproduction down to 25 Hz. I don't have many organ recordings so the ultra-low levels are not important. As for SPL, I seldom go into the 90's. Most of the listening is done in the low-mid 80's. Very low volume listening is seldom heard here. Keep in mind, I am open to any speaker designs - horns, planar, etc.
If you are comfortable going down to about 28 hz and no lower (w/o a subwoofer) the Merlin Vsm-MX's are terrific speakers and the manufacurer is invaluable as a resource, whether you buy his speakers or not. You should call him, really. The Merlin's are highly resolved and very involving. They sound great with EL34 based amps and OTL's. Bobby now also distributes a new integrated (the ARS-Sonum Filharmia) for about $3500 which is supposed to be terrific match for his speakers.
My room is about the same size as yours and the bass is very tight to about 28hz. And the speakers are beautifully finished and do not take over the room. I like my REL sub (which I use for movies as well) and with them there are really not limits, except those dictated by the room.
For a different, but also satisfying sound I would recommend Vandersteen Quattros with Quicksilver V4 amps and an Aesthetix preamp. Very balanced and coherent. If you want to know who to contact regarding these speakers, please feel free to email me directly.
Good luck in your search.
Best bet is a two-way monitor that you love with a good subwoofer... the hardest part with a small room is the mid-bass and bass, and with careful positioning from the wall of the loudspeakers and dialing in of the lower bass with the sub you can get the sound you want. 'Pre-packaged' full-range speakers are just too hard to place in my opinion, with drawbacks at every distance, from the mids too far away from the wall and the bass too close to it.
Well, following yr data it looks like full-range choices would be corner loaded speakers -- & I'm not too sure you have enough room there either.

Most probably you'll have to opt for a good pair of satellites + (two) subwoofs as Duke hints above. You'll be listening at ~1W average energy, so electronics shouldn;t be a problem.
Thanks for the additional information, Pkaram.

You might consider the Shahinian Hawks, as I believe they meet your criteria. The designer, Dick Shahinian, shares your priorities.

Another possiblitity is the active Gradient Revolution, with a couple of extra bass modules to get you down to 25 Hz. I happen to peddle Gradients, so you're welcome to take this suggestion with a grain of salt.

In horn speakers, you might consider the Pi Acoustics 7Pi cornerhorn. Smoother than the Klipschorn, with very good bass extension, but perhaps not quite all the way down to 25 Hz. You'd have to ask designer Wayne Parham. Stunning dynamics, but corner speakers usually don't image as well as speakers that sit out in the room a little ways. If using subwoofers is an option that opens up other high-efficiency speakers as possibilities, but assuming no subwoofers I think the 7Pi is very competitive. I can go into more detail about them if you'd like.

In planars, the Magnepan 20.1 is probably the front-runner in that price range given your 25 Hz criteria. The Quad 989 is another possibility, and presumably the larger of the two new Quad electrostats is as well (I can't remember its name offhand). I'm not sure of the bass extension of these larger Quads, but it's probably into the upper 20's. Used SoundLab A-1/M-1/U-1's would also work well (I sell new ones, but they're outside your price range). Given that panel speakers are quite large and like some space behind them, they might not be the most practical choice for your room.

Best of luck in your quest!

My room is smaller than yours and I use Thiel 7.2s with great success. I do have room treatment. I would never think of replacing them with smaller speakers.
I am very happy with my Thiel CS 2.4's They only go down to about 30 hertz according to specs, but the rolloff is very slow- so you could be at about 27 hertz, with barely any sound differnce. I have a similer sized room, perhaps smaller. The Thiels require lots of power and have a low impedence, around 4.0 ohms, down to about 2.9-3.0 ohms.
Shootout. Thiel 2.4 faces off Tyler Systems2. Sundown, be there.
I was told by a reliable source that a dealer mentioned he had been demonstrating Thiel 2.4 floorstanders and LSA Group LSA1 bookshelf monitors in the same demo room, and he eventually moved the Thiels to a different room because against the LSA1, the Thiel 2.4 weren't selling. Buyers were choosing the LSA1 over the Thiels, and the dealer was afraid his Thiel sales would suffer, and he didn't want to risk losing the line.

True story.
Explore the Silverline Audio Sonata Mk111.

Just bought a pair here in Australia.

You can get them even cheaper in the USA as there are some audiogon members who have them up for sale.

My room is 21 L X 16 W X 8 1/2 H, my listening position is 11 feet back and the speakers are approx 3m apart and 120cm from the rear wall.

I don't even bother to turn on the REL sub anymore. I run them with a Pathos TT integrated 15Wpc amp.

What Thiel might end of doing is comming out with a "new and improved" line. Tell me how we've come to identify the name Thiel with "superior musical image" over the yrs. Of speakers with big names that I've heard, Mirage, Talon/Khorus, Legacy/Whipsers, all the Wilson line, I really can't say one good comment about any of them. The weaknesses were too prominent to say anything good. The B&W line i thought were "acceptable" however you want to translate acceptable. =average/Ok/nothing too special.
If I take a trip to Fla, I may stop in at the "local" Thiel dealer in alabama.
I don't even bother to turn on the REL sub anymore. I run them with a Pathos TT integrated 15Wpc amp.

Taksil, what type of music do you listen to predominantly?
I'll second the silverline, I have a sonata mark II which I use in a 12'x 15' room (that opens up behind me) and I sit about 8'-9' from them, sounds great. Their whole line is very good, you might try the sonatina or the sonata. Best thing is they are very amp friendly, from high power to low. I'd take the $$$ you save and set up 2 different amps depending on my mood: a powerhouse and a little 300b based for "intimate" vocals, etc. they can do both well. I have a REL Stadium II sub which I already had and wouldn't have purchased after the silverlines... in my room the addition is subtle but hardly necessary (although it does add a remarkable solidifying effect to the imaging...). Anyway, check it out and good luck.
Hi Tvad,

My musical taste varies from classical, jazz, some electronic etc. I have not explored elaborate organ pieces, which seem to be highlighted as a true measure of a speakers full range capability. The Sonata 111 seems to be a good floor standing "all rounder" if one did not want a standmount subwoofer combo.

Having said this, the REL does add a sliver to the depth of the soundstage when it is brought into play.

Was considering the Zu product line (both Def's and Druids) prior to my recent purchase of the Sonatas.

Revel Studios $6500 used, or $10K new. I've been impressed every time I've compared any Revel to the competition. The midrange clarity is as good as legendary exotics such as apogee duettas. I've compared them with Martin Logan, Totem, B&W, Thiel, and every time the Revel is far superior. It's been a long time since someone as jaded as me has been this enthusiastic - HIGHLY recommended