I'll make this as brief as I can. I have a 15K front end, Audio Research, Theta, VPI etc. Retired to a small house, gave up my Von Schweikert 4.5s and listening room as part of the compromise my wife and I made. My room now is so small I need a monitor to try to get something I can live with with the quality of sound I'm use to. Nothing in this small town to hear, so can anyone suggest an alternative small speaker with state of the art sound? Envolving yet revealing. Thinking of Revel, Tyler, Totem but don't want to spend that kind of money if a lower cost speaker would come close, don't forget the room is the limiting factor. Help, before I throw in the towel!
One of my favorite small monitors is the Sequerra MET-7, designed by audio guru Richard Sequerra. Warm but revealing, outstanding soundstaging, etc. You might want to augment them with a subwoofer, but during the years I owned the MET-7's I had no sub, and didn't feel terribly deprived.
The MET-7's have had only a few audio reviews written about them, but all the ones I've seen going back to the mid-1980's have been laudatory (Harry Pearson, founder of TAS, give them high marks). For more info about the Sequerra MET-7, go the the following link: http://www.sequerra.com/electronics/data/index.html
A day or so ago someone listed ProAc 2000 signatures in birds eye maple at a fair price. A salesperson once told me their designer voices the whole line using Audio Research tube gear. Give em a try until you figure out how to spend 3x as much.
You might also consider Dynaudio Contour 1.3's for the short list. I've only auditioned those but they made me smile when I listened; I'm still not sure exactly why. Enjoy your new surroundings!
If I were stuck in a small room, I would try out Audio Physic Sparks, proac tablette 2000 signatures, Gallo Nucleas's, or Reference3a MM Decapo The sparks are very clean sounding with amazing imaging. They are also small enough to slide back against a wall when not in use. Small, and floorstanding. The proac tabs are a little more laid back, but will mate very well with ARC electronics. Very small. The gallo's are futuristic looking and have tremendous imaging. The reference3a's are a two-way ported monitor with no crossover (just a capacitor). They do well against a back wall & have amazing resolution. One of my friends just loaned me his set & I am very impressed with them.
I have also heard linn speakers (nexus) sound good in smaller rooms. You should look into some of the british manufacturers. Their speakers seem to be designed for placement in a smaller room & against a wall.
I'd second the ProAcs--they are fast and accurate, and don't try to compensate for being monitors by bloating out the mid-bass. They are also voiced with ARC electronics, so a good match with what you have. I loved the sound of my Response 2s with my VT100.
The Eggleston Isabels ($2900 plus $500 for matching stand) are quite amazing for their size, and are very attractive. The Eggleston Fontaines are a bit bigger, but have lower stands, so they take up the same amount of room. They are even better, but now the bill is $4900 plus stands. Not cheap, and need about 100 watts per side, but you will be impressed what they can do for their size.
I second Warrenh...I also have found the Revel M20 to be an outstanding and reasonably priced speaker for very small rooms. I have been extremely happy with mine, and that was after living with 2 previous pairs of speakers in the $4k-$6k/pr price range. A real winner!
I highly recommend the Tyler Linbrooks monitors. You could get them used for under $3000. The Linbrooks could play loud with deep, fast bass. Soundstage and image are first class. Also, Ty is a great guy to deal with.
In order of excellence (and $$!): Verity Audio Monitors ($6k); Revel M20 ($2k); Spendor S3/1p ($1400). Maybe the Concertinos. I prefer the more forgiving nature of the SF and Spendors rather than the ProAc under $2k.... Have fun...at least these are easy to carry around for demos! Be sure to get a good stand. I really like the steel/sand Plateau V23 out of Canada for $200 net. Real Target-killers at 1/3-price!
I found that the Dynaudio Contour 1.3 SE is very satisfying and very easy to set up. They have the best midrange integration that I have ever heard. And those special tweeters created especially this speaker they are so smooth and clean. I cannot recommend them enough. I was planning on buying the Contour 3.3 or the Confidence 3. But the 1.3 Se was just too smooth and musical. The low bass is obviously not there but it does have a lot of bass for it's size and the bass that it does have is extremely satisfying and detailed. I purchased a Velodyne HGS-15 to give it the punch for rock and high energy jazz and classical but I prefer to listen to everything else without the sub. The Velodyne sub is very good but it is just not up to the quality of the seamless 1.3's. I would have been better off buying the 12 inch HGS but for the music that I use the sub for it isn't that big of a deal. I have a very large room and I am still very satisfied. I found my set at an audio shop in New York for 2,700 including tax, stands and shipping. They were in new condition. For about half of that you could probably find the 1.3 MkII and still get a very good setup. The only speaker that I would consider to replace these is the new Dynaudio Contour Special 25 which is a new version larger version of the SE series. Dyn puts every possible trick and tweek in these special version and they make and design and complete the entire speaker. I am kind of infatuated with them. If you are partial to the B&W type sound there is a new Signature 805 that comes in red bird's eye maple that are quite good. Not as good as the Dyn's but good if you are into that speaker line.
Cripes with that front end you could justify the cost of Merlins!!!Maybe one of the slim Audio Physics would do.FOr cheap the AP Spark is an excellent Class B floorstander great for nearfield listening.Stereophile alos gave the nod to the Joseph rm7I'S and the Revel M20 both less than $2K.And even in a small room a good comapct sub would be nice.Totem makes one coupled design that goes very low.
Another speaker is the new small ATC (whatever it's called). I heard it recently & quite liked it. If you listen to classical & jazz, you can consider small S-F's as suggested... with yr superb front end & depending upon amp, you might even consider used upscale S-F. Excellent speakers, & small. The smaller A-Physics (Step, etc) need a sub to reproduce correctly -- maybe difficult to fit it all in yr room? Good luck.
While the little Legend two way monitors sound very nice, I just have a hard time recommending any small speaker with a very limited quantity of inexpensive parts / drivers that retail for $4500 or so. If you can find a used pair at a good price, they will not dissapoint. Sean >
If you liked the expansive soundstage of the Von Schweikerts, with space tight you might want to check out those new Maggies which mount to the wall and swing out of the way when not in use. If you don't like the Maggie sound, I might suggest either the Audio Physics, which are optimized for nearfield listening, or the Josephs, whose infinite-slope crossover design should cause minimal lobing anomolies in a close room. And some acoustic treatment is probably a must.
PMC db-1 and the Revel M20s...these are two very detailed and revealing small monitors that will perform very well in small rooms...and supply a surprising amount of articulate bass...the PMC is about a grand I believe...also...NSMaudio.com...they specialize in reference quality small monitors...are available direct with trial...and 2yr. trade up option...a nice option if no hi end dealers are in your area..good luck..
Whatever speaker you choose, you need a set of Argent Room Lenses. They do wonders, especially in a small room. They are rediculously priced, so go to Audio Asylum to learn how to make your own. It's not rocket science.
I agree with Edesilva. I have Proac 1S which I run with a full 47 Labs Shigaraki system (amp, transport, dac, cabling). The sound is very musical and involving. And the Audio Research matched to Proac is a winning combiation. I heard Proac Response 2.5's with an Audio research VT-100 Mk.II that was something else. As long as you feed the Proacs good food you will never be disappointed with their sound. For that matter, try old Proac Tablettes, not the new ones which are a major disappointment, to me.
Just listened to the Wilson Benesch Arc speaker. Not to many speakers move me like this one did. The bass was exceptional particularly for the size. I do have Proac 1.5 now and like allot, so I would agree with the others. I would say to get into the response line, although I have not heard the Tablette 8 signature. I have listened and enjoyed the Eggleston Isabel but the bass was not as good as the WB ARC.
I have a pair of Tyler Lynbrook Signature Monitors and they are incredible. My listening room is 12 x 16 and the speakers are 3 ft. out from the back wall and about 8 ft. apart. I am driving them with a 50 watt class A amp and the soundstage is huge, they image great and has the most natural sounding bass in a monitor speaker that I have ever heard. Ty is also a great guy to work with. The Lynbrook is the best monitor I have ever heard and I have listened to more speakers in the $2,000 - $5,000 range than I can rembember. Call Ty and discuss the possibilities he can offer.
Try the reference 3a decapos.As is almost always the case the best are rarely vocalized and go unnoticed by the masses here at audiogon.They are remarkably live sounding, not hi fi sounding so you will have to look pretty deep inside yourself to admit what you really want out of your system and experience of said.The decapos are the end result of about 3 decades of metamorphoses into what you hear today.I am a satisfied customer and nothing more.
You neglected to mention what your listening preferences are, music type volume level, and just how small this new listening room is. But for my money a pair of Gallo Solos are fantastic speakers. I've owned Gallos since the mid 90's starting out with the poly Solos then adding a set of base balls to create References, I now own a set of poly Solos and the Aluminum References. For a while I had the poly Solos set up at in a 15 x 25 foot great room with a large kitchen open to one side. The Solos produced a wonderful sound stage and produced enough volume to be heard out side the of house, while remaining dynamic and articulate in the room. I don't ever plan on replacing my Gallos with any other speaker.