A small pair of Tannoy dual concentrics may be your best bet.
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05-18-09: DavidandrewwayYou mean the OMD-5, right? (The OMD-15 is a floorstander.)
Would you give up a whole lot with the OS3-Sat? Probably not. The OMD-5 has just a little more bass extension owing to a slightly bigger driver and cabinet. Their sensitivities are nearly the same and amp range is 10-175 for the OMD-5 and 10-150 for the OS3-Sat. Can't get much closer than that.
Both speakers use the same tweeter and the mid/woofer is identical in construction and materials except for the diameter. At your very short listening distance the OS3-Sat should be just fine. Both can fill a room surprisingly well, especially with a sub.
05-18-09: Biznus97I've been living with Mirage Omnisats and
later OMD-15s for the last 4 years. They will work as I described.
Unlike a standard omni, the Mirage omnisats throw 60-70% of their energy
forward. When you listen to them in the nearfield, their tightly grouped
omniguides create a near-perfect point source--the mid/woofer and tweeter
are clustered tighter than anything but a concentric driver can achieve. That's
what you primarily hear in the nearfield. Unlike other nearfield monitors and
concentrics, however, they also throw 30-40% of their energy in other
directions, and that helps create an enormous soundstage from small
speakers at close range, which is what the OP was asking for.
As for OMD-5 vs. OMD-15, that was my bad. I was thinking OMD-5, so the
link was correct, but I typed OMD-15 because that's what I was listening to at
the time I wrote the reponse.
I can place the speakers as much as 7 ft apart and 2-3 ft from each wall.I will still be about 4-6 ft back though.
I would prefer to place the speakers on my desktop stand which is 42" high and 36" apart and 2 ft distant. However, the X-OMNI can place sounds all over the place and just sounds like fun. AV123 issues aside, they make damn good speakers.
I am just cautious about the Mirage due to the diminutive size. Call me old school, I just think they might be bright and tinny compared to a full sized speaker. The lack of reviews also makes me cautious.
Plus, Mirage is at BB now!!! Kiss of death that. I appreciate and understand your point Johnnyb53. I just think it is a bad idea unless I can audition them. My BB does not carry them.
Perhaps the Tannoy are worth a listen b/c I do have a local dealer for those. He just does not allow home auditions. You can bring your gear to him but yeah. Even though I am his neighbor lol.
DavidAndrewWay, I'm having trouble making sense of your responses:
You dismiss the Omnisat because you'd have to mail order it, yet you're drawn to the AV123 X-Omni which is only available by mail order. The OS3 Sat is available from Crutchfield with free shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee. All you risk is return shipping on some very small, light speakers.
You aren't comfortable with the OS3 because there are "no reviews" on it, when it's in its 3rd generation and is one of the most reviewed speakers in the past 8 years. Try http://www.miragespeakers.com/media/news/reviews-press-pdfs/os3-playback.pdf from Playback online magazine, a publication of The Absolute Sound. Google for "Mirage Omnisat review" and you'll get pages of reviews of the original and v2 by every AV magazine imaginable from around the world. You can also find dozens of user reviews from Crutchfield, Amazon, and audioreview. Meanwhile, the X-Omni is so new that all its specs are "Coming soon!" and there are no reviews in sight.
You assume the X-Omni will have all the dimensionality claimed on the website, while the loudspeaker has but a single front-firing tweeter, the part that handles the shortest--and therefore the most directional--soundwaves, while the OS3 has a waveguide that disperses frequences uniformly based on about 10 years of R&D into speaker/room interactions and ear-brain psychoacoustics.
You presuppose the OS3 will have weak, thin bass, yet you wanted a small shelf or stand-mounted speaker, which is usually augmented with a sub. The Mirages have the advantage of a new, patented elliptical rib technology that extracts deeper, more articulate bass from a given driver and cabinet size.
You consider Best Buy the kiss of death. BB is the one survivor of the big box audio stores. Klipsch now owns and distributes Mirage, which places certain models on the BB website. That doesn't mean it's crap; it means that production is ramped up and they're readily available. BB is also partnered with Magnolia AV, which carries Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, Primare, Martin-Logan, Vienna, Sonus Faber, Definitive Technologies, REL, etc. They aren't crap.
05-19-09: DavidandrewwayLooks like the HB1 Mk2s are a great choice as well, and you'll get great imaging when you're in the tweeter wave-guide's dispersion zone. I doubt, however, that they'll fill the space any better than the Mirage Omnis. The Hsu's are rated down to 60 Hz while the OS3's are rated down to 70 Hz. Both are intended to be used with subwoofers. The Mirages differ by using room reflections to expand the soundstage, whereas the Hsu seeks to avoid them with controlled dispersion. Two different approaches, both valid, and both products have far better driver behavior and linearity than is typical in this price range.
Um, the HSU HB1 MK2 are fantastic speakers. Detail level, speed of dynamics, everything is just way past any other $300 pair of bookshelves. I have had Ninja modded X-LS encores, Totem mites, Rainmakers, Usher 520s, among other bookshelves. These smash those except for the X-LS which were more dynamic but much more forward and punchy.
I have had several floor standers and have a nice pair of 550 MK@ Rockets downstairs; but they do not apply here.
The HB1s just flow. Smooth as a clear river.