Check out ACI, hard to audition since they are a direct dealer, but their speakers tend to have the sound you describe.
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Looks like you are located in Belgium?
I don't know if can get to audition Green Mountain products but their Europa model is supposed to be excellent. Fits the bill for what you are asking. I have their floor standing model & it is just excellent. FWIW.
Here is their website:
What will you be using for amplification? Why do I ask? Well, for a speaker that is EXCELLENT and will work well with almost any amplifier, check out the Reference 3A MM DeCapo. It has relatively high effeciency and it has a very simple crossover. It is VERY EASY to drive with any amp over about 3-5 watt/channel. I use mine with a 2A3 amp of 3.5 watts and with a 35 watt tube integrated.
If you are going to spend a lot of money on a nice speaker, you might as well get one that will work with any possible amp (within reason!) that you may purchase in the future.
BTW, the DeCapos are really good and have plenty of low end, so no subwoofer required. I really like mine!
I second the Reference 3A de capos. Wife bought them to use with a cj cav-50 tube integrated but when the conrad johnson was being serviced I swiped them and hooked them up my Decware zen amp (about 1 1/2- 2 wpc SET). They are simply outstanding. More efficient than their specs (rated 92db) would indicate. Very clean and dynamic and not edgy at all. Great bass and just a fantastic all round speaker. No subwoofer needed.
I second the recommendation for Reference 3A. I just heard their new Dulcet at the CES2004 and was simply in awe of the musicality and coherence these little monitors possess. They seem fairly easy to drive.
I've got the speaker just for you. Coherent? Never heard anything, anywhere as coherent as the new Harmonic Precision Caravelles. How about no subwoofer needed. (well maybe) Flat to 30 Hz!! Powerful, prodigious, bass comprable to , (forget about comparing to other monitors), high end floorstanders. I'm not kidding.. Hey I can give you all the adjectives. Means diddlysquat 'til you listen to these babies. I've had mine, just over 4 days. Got 75 hours on them, but Starsound says another 125 and I'll be in nirvana. I thought I was there already. This is a very exciting speaker. They have developed a series crossover like no other in the business. Quite incredible. I sold my Revel M20s for these babies. Couldn't go one round with the Caravelles. Whole other league. I listened to the new Jmlab Micros Be. Best monitor I had ever heard, until the Caravelles. I'm still freakin out. After a few more weeks listening, and really putting this baby through the mill, I'm going to attempt a review. Not one of my strong points. My golden ears are, (a strong point) though, and the Caravelles are a phenom. More to come,soon, from me, as well as others, I hope.... peace, warren
My favorite small speaker for many years has been the Pyramid MET-7, designed and made by Richard Sequerra, one of the audio "greats". I took them with me when I was teaching in the Far East, and really enjoyed their excellent performance in smaller rooms.
The MET-7's are extremely coherent, with a warm musical sound, and excellent imaging. Sometimes the MET-7's can be purchased used here on Audiogon, but they can be purchased new for $1200 directly from Sequerra. Here is the link to Sequerra's web site, where you can get more info about the Pyramid MET-7:
In addition to the Sequerra MET-7, I also strongly recommend the speakers from PSB and Paradigm that are in your price range. These two Canadian manufacturers make some of the best value speakers (price-to-performance ratio) on the market.
Warrenh, did you pay $4000 for the Caravelle speakers, and get the Sistrum support platforms for an additional price, around $790? These discussions may have to be sure to mention prices, so we are comparing apples to apples.
Looking forward to reading your review. Are you at liberty to say what is already in the rest of your system? We can get ready for your review of what you have just previewed. May, indeed, be a speaker set to advance our hobby, even beyond its size and weight class.
Click on my system. It's there for all to see. I have their Sistrum Mini Monitor Platform System. Soon to be on their website. It was much more expensive than the baby brother, but well worth it. From the original post I didn't think their was a price factor. There is nothing mentioned, above, that will go one round with these babies. NOTHING! Not even c lose. Hearing is believing. Buy a pair. I'll bet they will return your money if you don't lie 'em. They have a money back guarentee on all their products. I imagine the Caravelles are the same. Not certain, but almost... You'll freak when you hear these. Top to bottom, one world class speaker. Have to put the Caravelles on their speaker stands for them to really happen. peace, warren
I agree that the new Reference 3A Dulcet that I heard at CES is a killer. I have owned many mini-monitors and these are the best I have heard. Very coherent, musical, liquid sounding, and did I mention deep, deep bass???? The specs goes down to 48Hz but the Divertech guy staffing the room told me they got low organ notes down to 40Hz with these babies at significant level. I was impressed.
I had spent a good 1 1/2 hours at Singer Sound listening to the Jmlabs Micro BEs and a (very little) little of the Altos. I gave Andy Singer a call to thank him, firstly, for his audio hospitality, and to rave about these new Harmonic Precision Caravelles. I told him I thought they'd hold up well with a tete a tete againsnt the Altos. He said he'd love to audition them and appeared very intererested. I found his openmindedness quite refreshing, considering the reputation Singersound has. I have, since, spoke to Starsound and hopefully they will (some day) mail him a pair to decide for himself. I think Starsound is on the verge of greatness with this new baby. Time will tell. It always does. peace, warren
Well, look at Stereophool's mag of this month. 2 way speakers and a few reviews to boot. I must say that, for once (ah maybe twice, I did buy the YBA Passion Integre, though, before his review ) I have to agree with Sam with his Jmlab Micro BE review. I don't usually hear much of the stuff he reviews, but in this case I did. He was dead on with the Micro's stengths and limitations. That being said, and the Micro is one hellava speaker, the Caravelles have none of the Micro's limitations. NONE! The Micro's strengths? Even steven with the Caravelles, though the Caravelles are the most phase coherent 2 way speaker, hands down, I've ever heard. Hey what can I say? I'm in love....warren
Absolutely Steve!! These babies will do HT two channel. . I don't know what your Denon has in the way of watts, but I drive the Caravelles with 100 per, and can get to (well close to) ear bleed level with sound to match. I'm convinced that there is no monitor, of any size, out there, that can do as beautifully, top to bottom, what the Caravelle can. Check em out. You'll thank me later. peace, warren
Nah, just love their Sistrum line. That's what gave me the impetus to try their new Caravelles , plus oodles from those who had heard the Caravelle prototypes. Good enough reason to check them out? Case closed. You may want to give them a whirl. Will humble your speakers and take up a hell of a lot less room. You will have to spring for the stands, though. Thanks for your concern about me being on the payrol. I'm sure the 'goners appreciate your thoughtfulness..... peace, warren
Warrenh, I did check 'em out. They are a nice looking speaker, though still obscure (at least on this forum). I didnt mean any harm by that comment, in fact it was a bit dry even by my humor standards, sorry. I know Sistrum racks are well respected and I imagine their speakers will be as well. Although at $4k, competition will be stiff. As long as you're happy it's all that counts.
Upgrading my speakers is a priority but, the amp is up first. I have done some auditioning. I still find myself gravitating towards floorstanders even though I know how well monitors image. I guess its a pyschosomatic "more-is-better" or something. I do like extended bass response though.
FWIW, I dont see anything wrong with enthusiastically supporting a product. I do, and I try to remain objective. Not always successfully I might add. Passion isnt such a bad thing, but it can get you in trouble, double time.
Well Geoh, you haven't heard the Caravelles, obviously. I sold my M20s for these babies. Owned and loved the M20s for a year and a half. The M20s cannot go one round with the (ok, maybe a round) Caravelles. Not even close. The Caravelles are in a whole other league. While I haven't heard the Revel, Gems, I've got it first hand from a Gem owner, that the Caravelle prototypes rivaled his Gems. And that was the Caravelle proto. Can you imagine these? More to come when I've lived with them a bit longer. Two more weeks to settle in and go through my tunes a bit, and then I'll be able to write something to convey my experiences, hopefully, more cogently. . peace, warren
Warrenh I was thinking of using these speakers in a built in wall unit. maybe using a used Denon AV . I just bought a Pioneer 4340 plasma. I have a seperate Audio system. If you went to the CES show I would like to here your comment on two systems that were there. MBL and Von Gaylord formely Lend Audio Design. Thanks HTsteve
Wasn't at the show. The Caravelles will not work in a wall unit. They deserve (are designed to) to be on the dedicated stands that come with them. These speakers were designed with the principles of resonance transferrence from the cabinet to the crossover integrated right down to the stands. You can read the white paper on their website about resonance transferrence. If you can find a place for the stands in your system, you will be one happy camper. The Caravelles go where NO monitor has gone, and then some. They, just, keep on getting better. Another week, or so, I'll do a review. I was listening, last night, to Chick Corea's Now He Sings, Now He Sobs. Must have listened to this (one of my favorites) album a zillion times. I'm always amazed at the complexity of some of the pieces. EVERY instrument was happening: this is one VERY fast speaker. Also, I believe that my electronics, for the first time, are fully appreciated (through the Caravelles) for their greatness. More to come. peace, warren
In Belgium there's no problem to buy B&W, but alternitive's
such as Harbeth or Spendor are hard to find.
I can order Spendor in 2 or 3 shop's in Belgium,no Harbeth,
and nobody cares, strange.
I consider the Spendor S3/5 but will they match well
with a modest Rotel amp (60 Watt) and NAD player?
Yes, the S3/5, even at 84dB/w sens will get pretty dynamic with the Rotel. For greater extension and slam you should look at the 88dB bigger (6.5", 165mm) S1/3P, or even the now-discontinued great SC3 center channel, turned sideways.
It's exactly like a double-woofer S3/5, also at 88dB, vented for deeper extension. Both options list for $1400/pr.
Any of these three Spendors will have a more honest midrange and more forgiving top end than any B&Ws. Warmer than the Triangles, too, if that's a reference you know....
I have the P3 in my main music system, and the Dynaudio Audience 50 in my home theatre system. Powered by Densen DM10 amp, Quad 77 CD player and Kimber 8TC cables. When I first replaced the Dyns with the P3s, I was struck by how much smaller and narrower the soundfield became.
But I decided to keep the P3s in the main system because there was more detail and I could hear more layers in the music. The P3s made it much easier to track different musical instruments and voices. They made music sound more immediate (and therefore exciting), too.
The Dyns, on the other hand, is more versatile - it works with a wider range of music. The dispersion range is bigger. For home theatre, the P3s are better with dialogue, but the Audience 50 are better with sound effects.
The best (and one of the smallest) "little speakers" that I have auditioned (and which I purchased for my office system) are the ProAc Tablette Reference 8 Signatures. I think that they do a great job of satisfying your goal of "cohorent, smooth, not over- analytical sound" in a very small, very tidy package. I also liked the Totem Model 1 Signatures, but I found the ProAcs to be more musically compelling.
So willy what you end up buying?
One manufacturer overlooked in this thread and often in this forum is Dali. If you really want a "little speaker", the Royal Scepter is beautiful and has that great sound of the Menuet II but a bit more bass. It probably is available to you in Europe and more affordable then half the suggestions so far at 800.00 US.