I would strongly suggest to check on Harbeth monitors. They are all you are looking for, you might not even go back! Good Luck!
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Harbeth recommendation #3. I listened to the Compact 7s yesterday with a Naim system. They are fantastic sounding speakers which, according to one review, work even better in a smaller room such as yours. I personally like the looks also but not everyone's cup of tea(a big box). I found what I liked about them hard to put into words. They seemed very real and neutral. Some would say polite but that stems more from listening to too many forward sounding speakers. They are incredibly resolving with no hint of confusion on complex music.
I have not heard the Harbeths, so I can make no judgement on them.
However, I have heard the Tetra speakers, and they do sound incredible, especially for the size and price.
Another thought is the small Sonus Faber speakers (I can not remember the model) sound very musical, virtually disappearing from the sound stage. I bit colored, but in a good way.)
The Revel M20s might also be a good choice. Very accurate, great soundstaging, but not the deepest of bass obviously.
Good Luck in your search.
I would chime in with another Harbeth recommendation. I recently purchased a set of HL-P3ES monitors for a smaller upstairs room and must say that they are very nice and possessing of a certain alluring quality that is difficult to summarize. Detailed and accurate yet NOT at all cold...IMHO at any rate. Decent bass for their size as well and quite flexible with set-up.
Thanks for your suggestions. I have heard good things about Harbeths, but I'm looking for something I can find at close to half of retail on Audiogon, so I can later resell it. It doesn't appear I'll be finding such deals on Harbeth, or Tetra or Dulcet.
I remember a large minimonitor of Sonus, perhaps the Amator? It did sound great. Nice and full, robust. If this was colored, I sure didn't care. But they were expensive speakers. At a price point I'm not considering are the Sonus Cremonas. In the setup I heard, I found them to be too laidback and wondered what all the excitement about them was. Sounded totally different than the Amators I remember.
How about NHT? I read Stereophile's Nov.99 review of the 2.9 (not a small speaker, but take up less room than my 802's w/crossovers), but was turned off by a comment that the midrange was almost a bit recessed and there was a bit of shrillness on top, and the bass so flat, that there lacked the nice rounded fullness that a small bass plateau gives to the sound.
Don't know if I'd like Thiels, as they may sound too thin and analytical. Other suggestions greatly appreciated.
sounds interesting from the comments I have heard etc
The cabinets are made from 3/4" MDF and are well braced internally for a quiet cabinet. The cabinets are veneered in your choice of oak, cherry, or walnut veneers, and then given several coats of lacquer for a high-gloss luster.
This moderately sized speaker delivers remarkable detail balanced with surprising bass extension and low distortion.
Shamrock Audio Keelin
Dual 5" "Sandwich-Cone" Woofers
1" Textile Dome Tweeter
Separate High-pass / Low-Pass Boards.
* (4 ohm speaker)
They have been discussing this new model called the Keelin
On Blue Circle..$ 749.00 a pair
this and another product I forget the name of it for affordable end of the spectrum..
I suggest you look the Revel M22 loudspeaker. The Revel M22 is compact and a bookshelf-sized speaker. Revel is a high-end loudspeaker company owned by Harman International. This speaker targets audio enthusiasts who are looking for excellent sound and build quality at more reasonable prices than their high-end ines. The M22s cost $2,000+ per pair, plus optional stands and grilles. The M22s are rear-ported, two-way loudspeakers, featuring a six-and-a-half-inch inverted magnesium-alloy woofer, with a low-frequency extension to 44 Hz at -3 dB and a one-inch custom aluminum-alloy dome tweeter. hope this helps. cheers.