good, small speakers

hi folks,

i'm currently looking to replace my ages-old spica sc's. my problem is that i live in a tiny nyc studio, so i need small speakers that aren't so fussy about placement. my current hardware is a linn classik (again, space is serious consideration -- did i mention "tiny studio?").

i loved the old pyramid met 7's; does anyone have experience with the new met 7.7 mk v's? how about the linn katans (the top end of size considerations) or kans? any other suggestions for small speakers which'll work well with the classik? price isn't as much of a consideration as size and forgiving limited placement options.


Have you looked at the Jupiter Audio speakers? They are a small manufacturer, but really produce some nice speakers. They came to mind in your application only because of their "easy to place" design. I think their website goes into the design details. Best Regards,
You could consider the PMC DB-1. Its ultra tiny and sounds great. Can go closer to walls and since it is a transmission line has good bass too.
I enjoyed listening to the Linn Katans during an audition, but they did seem to have an odd tonality. However, I think they would work really well with your Linn amp.

How about the Dynaudio Audience 42? They shoud be small enough. These speakers have a completely different tonal quality than the Linns, but I enjoyed these as well during an audition. Both the Linns and the Dyn's had good bass response for a small speaker.

The Alon Petite is an outstanding speaker that is no longer available new. It has the best imaging and natural tonality of any small speaker I have heard. My father has a pair split on either side of a Steinway Grand and they still manage to image well and sound great. The Alon Petite lacks the bass of the Linn and the Dyn.

See if you could arrange an audition with some of these speakers. If money is not a consideration, perhaps you could buy 2 or 3 pair, try them for a few months and sell the losers. I don't know of any sure-bet ultra high quality (and ultra high price) speakers in this size class.
Hey Rob,

Check out the Jean Marie Reynaud line of speakers. I have an HT set up consisting a pair of Trentes, front L+R, Grand Ecran, center, and the Twin MkIII in the rear. I feel that you could not go wrong with either the Trentes or the Twin MkIII for a small room. I love the Trentes as my front speakers. They are very dynamic but also very smooth in the mids and highs and, being a transmission line speaker, they go surprisingly low for a monitor. I've not used the Twin MkIII as my front speakers but I've heard them in a friends system and they are very good for a speaker that retails for $980 brand new.............John
I like the Epos mini monitors.
Two speakers that would work very well for you:

AVI Neutron IV-(fabulous speakers, about as small as real hi-fi speakers can get)

Neat Petites-also quite fab.

They are both kind of hard to find, but worth it.
Another option - Snell K.5 Mark IIs are good monitors, and designed for close to walls. About $1200 retail I think. Good luck.
just picked up a pair of totem model 1 signatures mini's and they're terrific. they're small but deliver on the sound bigtime. very transparent, and very detailed. plus, they are actually better being closer to the back wall for bass response. and they look great.
Call Joshua at Ears Nova and talk to him about the Penaudio Charisma/Chara system or the Rebel 2, which can also be mated with the Chara woofer. Reviews available on and
The jm reynaud's twins are a great small room speaker. I have them set up in my bedroom where I can't afford perfect placement and they are very forgiving. I also live in a small studio and the bass from these speakers is present, but not so much my neighbors have noticed. They're definately worth a listen.
I agree that the Totem Model 1 Signatures are very good, but I slightly prefer the ProAc Tablette Reference 8 Signatures. Incredibly good, and incredibly small. However, if utter disregard for placement (or placement in a very hostile situation - like in a bookshelf, with no space to the sides or the rear), the only speaker that I have found that seems to excel in this situation is the Induction Dynamics S2's. From what I could hear, they are almost indifferent to placement issues, and sound very, very good (though if placement were not so much of an issue, I'd still go with the ProAc's, which aren't too picky).
Soliloquy Sat-5's. They don't care where they are placed. Also, with no ports, they easily go into a bookshelf or against a wall. They will crush Spica's performance in every which way except maybe imaging. Also, you may find that Spicas are extremely inefficient. You system will get much louder and tighter with new speakers.
hi everyone,

thanks for all your recommendations, i'm making a list and checking on all these various options. a couple of items to clarify my situation further:

when i say "tiny studio" that means less than 400 square feet for me, the cat, 2 bikes, bed, sofa, etc. i truly mean tiny studio!

and the sad part of that is this means the speakers will probably be forced against a wall on stands (if i'm lucky) or onto bookshelves (if i'm not).

i've been reading some of the reviews of speakers already mentioned above, and i think some of them will have to be skipped in my listening test because the reviews specifically state the speakers suffer when too close to a wall. :-(

but please keep your recommendations coming!


p.s. anyone got some used kans, katans, or met 7s they want to sell? :-)
I'd try to find a pair of used Tukans. I've never run mine through a Classik, but understand that they are a great match. I've gone through a lot of monitors (including Gershman X-1s and Merlin TSM-Ms), but have always held onto my Tukans. I'm using a pair now in a bedroom system with a tiny little Totem dreamcatcher sub (a very space efficient solution that sounds great). The Tukans are designed for placement close to wall. Another option would be the Totem Arros (if you're interested in floorstanders). Its a great little speaker that does well against a wall (I have a pair of those as well...) Good luck.
Gallo Due's. They are tiny, and can even go ON the wall if desired. Limited bass response, but you can add a cheap small subwoofer and run it from the Classik's pre out.

Actually, having owned the Classik (non-tuner version) and driven the Due's with them in the past, I can say it's a nice match-up.

Good luck!

Todd - chams_uk
If it's really that small, you might consider some near field monitors, as typically used in recording studios. Many of them are powered monitors, so you wouldn't even need an amp. I have a pair of Genelec 1029A's (and the matching sub) as part of my home PC/studio, and they are quite enjoyable on music.
I have been really impressed with the Omega Super 3. It's a small, 93db, 8 ohm, single driver (no crossover) kind of speaker that has no business sounding this good for $550. Good luck.
I just purchased the Quad 11L's. I did in home comparisons between many well regarded and reviewed speakers. These were my favorites. Their appearance and build quality is second to none too!
Dynaudio Audience 42's are excellent speakers. They go very low, considering the small size. The sound (like all Dynaudio's) is very dynamic. They don't cause listening fatigue, like most speakers with metal tweeters. Audiences can also play fairly loud (I measured 102 dBA peak SPL) without compression. Lack of compression is a trademark of Dynaudio, thanks to they oversize motors ( midwoofers have a huge 3" diameter voice coils with internal magnets).
All Dynaudio Audience speakers are available now in real wood veneer.
If you like planars, you could probably be happy with a used Magneplanar models SMGA, MMG, LR1. They don't take up much space and can be moved back against a wall easier than mini-monitors on sand-filled stands.

If you like dynamic speakers you might like the Epos or Pinnacle brands. Affordable with good sound.

I prefer planars myself and I live in a 350 sq ft studio.

Good luck!