I am indecisive about choice due to room size


Hi all,

My stereo room is 12x12 and already have the Sonus Faber V speakers and love them. I'm looking at upgrading to the VIII, but don't know if I have enough room. I'm running these with the Naim Star, NAS and use Nordost Frey 2 speaker cable and power cord. Also, am looking at trading my Star in for the Lumin T2 streamer and the new Levinson 5805 integrated. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Best regards.
carmellaj
My opinion (which is worth what you payed for it) is that the Sonetta VIIIs are going to be a really big speaker for that room.  I don't think you will gain anything by moving to the larger speaker in that small of a room. 

I would look to step up to a higher quality speaker rather than just a larger speaker.  Not sure what your total budget would be but that would be my first priority.  
Not sure what speaker size you are considering, but as everyone here on audiogon knows  my opinion = bigger is NOT better.
Especially if the listening room is limited size,,,12x12,, ceiling 8 ft?
12x12  x 8 is limited,,,12x12 with say a  16 ft ceiling, now you have options. 
IMHO smaller the speaker = superior  the sound,,,let me rephrase that,,, the bigger the speaker = less  chances at high fidelity... 
Been around audio now 40+ years, I know what I am talking about
You must be new at this hobby.
agree with what has been said

bigger NOT better in a small room... key is right-sizing

Adding bass.... not an upgrade.

What I would do, have your room professionally treated by GIK. If you haven’t already, it will balance your bass to mid/treble energy better, in addition to improving clarity and imaging.

Do that long before you think about switching speakers.

I cannot tell you how many people do this and discover how much bigger their speakers sound. 
I'm in a basement space which is bigger than your room but with low ceilings. It absolutely could not accommodate tower speakers -- Focal 836, Martin Logan ML 60s. Bookshelves with a sub was the ticket. Easy to play with placement, too.
You can toss all the above bad advice. Some of it is outright plain wrong. Adding bass for example is exactly what you need. Your biggest problem is not size but being square, 12x12. But 16x16x8 would be bigger but at least as bad. Simplistic thinking combines with poor understanding. People hear the obvious boomy bass in a room like yours and assume too much bass so solve it with small speakers. Wrong.

I wouldn't go with any of the stuff you like but I wouldn't hesitate a moment to get better speakers simply because they're "too big for the room".  

Regardless of speaker you're going to want to control the lumpy bass identical dimensions causes, and early reflections. In that order.  

Lumpy bass is best solved with more bass, not less. Using multiple subs will allow you to put them in different locations to excite different room modes and ultimately achieve much smoother bass. Duke himself, owner and speaker designer at Audiokinesis, says the benefits of multiple subs are even greater in small rooms than large.

Just one of the ways people misunderstand the realities of the situation you're asking about.

Will the speakers fit in the room? Will you be able to place them with drivers at least 3 feet from walls and ceiling? Then they are not too big. 
It may work, but you may need to work on the room, too.

Smaller speakers have their own advantages, but bigger is not necessarily worse. Good luck and have patience.
Easiest way to get good sound in a square room. Use active speakers with digital control like Genelec, Dutch and Dutch,  Kii, new company GGNTKT might be another. There are others you can research. I've used passive speakers with outboard control it helps but isn't as good. You'll need less room treatments and get better results. One thing you don't need is a passel of subwoofers in that small room you can get all the bass you need for music with a  couple of Genelec 8361A. 
I am in a 12x12 with focal 1028be and Hegel h360 and still sometimes wish for more speaker. I think it depends on your listening style as much as anything else.
Many Japanese audiophiles do something highly counter-intuitive: They use large horn loudspeakers in small rooms. Speakers conceptually similar to the Altec Model 19.

But maybe they are onto something: These large-format horn loudspeakers have fairly narrow and unusually uniform radiation patterns. So they put less energy into the early reflections, and in general the narrow radiation pattern results in the direct sound dominating over the reflections. And the uniform radiation pattern means that reflections will be spectrally correct, such that they support (rather than degrade) the timbre.

I’m not necessarily suggesting a pair of Altec Model 19’s, but rather advocating the general concept of starting out with controlled-pattern loudspeakers when the room is challenging.

Also, if this is a dedicated audio room, given its square footprint, I suggest setting up your system on a diagonal. This geometrically precludes early sidewall reflections. It is the earliest reflections which most strongly convey a "small room signature". If we’d rather hear the acoustic signature of the recording venue, then in a small room the earliest reflections are the ones we most want to minimize. In my opinion.

And maybe even try your system ALMOST on a diagonal... like perhaps off by ten degrees.  This puts your woofers each at a different distance from all of the walls, which may make a worthwhile improvement in the bass region. 

Duke
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The truth is Duke and I are going about the problem from complementary positions.

The better controlled dispersion you can have, the less room treatment you need.

Still, I believe you are better off treating the room first, before undertaking the speaker swap game.
Post removed 
Acoustic panels are your friend 
Had a friend who worked at Stereo 
Exchange in New York . He once told me being able to have any system he desire , that the most important thing in a Audio System setup was Acoustics . Work on the acoustics of any particular room then worry about the hardware . That up to 70% of what you hear in a particular system is the sound of the room .The good thing of working your room is you do it only once . You can upgrade this or that of your system but what you did for the acoustics of the room never changes . Take care and be safe .
That up to 70% of what you hear in a particular system is the sound of the room



Absolutely!! Until you treat it, you can't hear anything. 
What I think happens is that over a long period of time, Audiophiles learn to hear past the room acoustics, but it's like watching a movie in a smoke filled room. 

I can also say that I've gone through a lot of hardware, but I've NEVER played merry go round with my room acoustics.  I've only added more pieces.

Test for you.  Sit 2' from your speakers and listen to them.  The difference between that and your chair is room acoustics.
Re: Speaker upgrade- What sound are you looking for? Why the want to upgrade?

If you have the cash to upgrade the Naim as well, your choices are sound. Speakers?

Have you considered a subwoofer with your existing Sonos Fabers?

I wouldn’t over sound the room...
cheers 🇦🇺


12x12 x 8 is limited,,,12x12 with say a 16 ft ceiling, now you have options.

Options?   Turn the room on its side?
Square rooms should be avoided. You will have a hard time overcoming the limitations and acoustic issues of a square room by upgrading any of your components. If the spare room is your only option, I would seek help fro GIK before doing anything.

J.Chip
Two questions:
1) Have you specifically identified what you think is inadequate about your existing speakers?
2) As others have noted, a 12X12 room is problematic from due to standing wave issues at specific frequencies. Do you have any acoustic room treatment installed? If not, you might consider that first.
"Sit 2’ from your speakers and listen to them. The difference between that and your chair is room acoustics."

The difference is the speaker’s off-axis response plus the room’s acoustics. 

Duke
It is always interesting when someone says they love their speakers and want to upgrade..please don't tell me you are looking for more bass. Everyone is looking for more bass. I would guess you are looking for a rich textured mid-range with good front to back layering and you would like the speakers to disappear so you are left with just the music. 
The Charney Audio Maestro would be a perfect fit for your room. Charney designed the Maestro specifically for smaller rooms. I happened to be at Charney yesterday we listened to the Maestro with Lii Fast8 drivers ($2800.00) in his 14x19x9 room. Although the room is too large the Maestro put on a great performance. Very open soundstage, pinpoint imaging, with adequate clean bass. The Maestro maintains all the goodness of the upper tier Charney offerings just designed for a smaller room friendly platform.

The Lii Fast8 is a new driver for Charney and the site hasn’t been updated yet.

http://charneyaudio.com/the-maestro.html
Duke, millercarbon, and erik have some valid points. Square rooms are bad particularly for bass, directional speakers are the best way of avoiding room interaction and a large percentage of the way a system sounds is due to the room. 
So how do we integrate all these factors. Will going to VIII's solve anything? Not really. With more bass it might even make the situation worse. This is a room for small Maggies, ESLs and some absorption on the front wall behind the speakers. Horns would also work like Klipsch Heresys or Cornwalls.  Down the line you could add four small subs like Duke's system. I really like Sonus Faber but dynamic speakers like that need more room to breath. Right now you are being assaulted by early reflections from all sides. 

Jchiappinelli77
Square rooms should be avoided. You will have a hard time overcoming the limitations and acoustic issues of a square room by upgrading any of your components. If the spare room is your only option, I would seek help fro GIK before doing anything.

J.Chip

Mijostyn
Duke, millercarbon, and erik have some valid points. Square rooms are bad particularly for bass, directional speakers are the best way of avoiding room interaction and a large percentage of the way a system sounds is due to the room.
So how do we integrate all these factors. Will going to VIII's solve anything? Not really. With more bass it might even make the situation worse. This is a room for small Maggies, ESLs and some absorption on the front wall behind the speakers. Horns would also work like Klipsch Heresys or Cornwalls. Down the line you could add four small subs like Duke's system. I really like Sonus Faber but dynamic speakers like that need more room to breath. Right now you are being assaulted by early reflections from all sides.

millercarbon
You can toss all the above bad advice. Some of it is outright plain wrong. Adding bass for example is exactly what you need. Your biggest problem is not size but being square, 12x12. But 192.168.0.1 routerlogin 192.168.10.1  would be bigger but at least as bad. Simplistic thinking combines with poor understanding. People hear the obvious boomy bass in a room like yours and assume too much bass so solve it with small speakers. Wrong.

I wouldn't go with any of the stuff you like but I wouldn't hesitate a moment to get better speakers simply because they're "too big for the room".  

Regardless of speaker you're going to want to control the lumpy bass identical dimensions causes, and early reflections. In that order.  

Lumpy bass is best solved with more bass, not less. Using multiple subs will allow you to put them in different locations to excite different room modes and ultimately achieve much smoother bass. Duke himself, owner and speaker designer at Audiokinesis, says the benefits of multiple subs are even greater in small rooms than large.

Just one of the ways people misunderstand the realities of the situation you're asking about.

Will the speakers fit in the room? Will you be able to place them with drivers at least 3 feet from walls and ceiling? Then they are not too big.


Hi all,
Thank you very much to everyone who posted. I had an idea of what issues I should pay attention to. I will write the results here again.
Best regards.