Large Speakers Small Rooms

I've always thought about using large floorstanding speakers in a small room but never tried.How many of you have this combination and if so, how does it work out for you?
What do you mean by "large" floorstander? Is any floorstander considered large? Is there a cone diameter, say 8" or above that you consider large? i have floorstanding speakers with a footprint of 7.5Wx 10D that I wouldn't consider large. What do you consider a small room? Just asking for a little more info.
My room is 12'10"L X 9'10"W X 8'H with rug over concrete sheetrock walls and popcorn ceiling. I am using Spendors 1/2 with an EL-34 50 watt amp (see my system), but have always wondered what floorstanders could do in this particular room which is very lively.
im running klipschorns & klipsch cornwalls & a passive klipsch sub in a room thats 18x20 with 300 watts to the cornwalls, 200 watts to the khorns,120 watts to the sub.

i love it,i cant imagine ever using anything other than large floor standers,getting ready to replace the cornwalls with a pair of mcintosh xrt22s i just bought.

imho you cant get the same sound from a pair of small speakers as you can with the big boys.

try it & you will love it.

Yes Bigjoe I agree about big sound coming from big speakers but if you have a small room like mine... Well it would just overload the room. I'm interested in members that have floorstanders in small rooms and how well they play in those small rooms. Thanks.
Big speakers in small roooms seems counter intuitive to me. You have to pull the speakers out into the room to avoid extra heavy bass and, with normal trianuglation for good imaging, you'd be sitting very close to the speakers. Generally speaking large speakers require more distance from the listener for the sound of the seperate speakers to intergrate properly. Small two way speakers and a sub would probably work much better.
be VERY careful with big speakers in a small room. I tried my big Coincident Total Victory's in a 10'x16' second bedroom- the bass overloaded the room with any decent volume level.
My main listening room is in the basement, 12'x17'x7.5'. I recently bought Vandersteen 3a signatures. Out of curiousity, after a few weeks I lugged them, my amp, pre, and source upstairs to my living room, which has a 25' foot cathedral ceiling and is around 20'x30', not counting the dining room which it opens onto. I tried to set them up the same distance from the back wall (41"), and kept the listening position the same distance from the speakers (about 10'). I couldn't duplicate the distance from the side walls, in effect in the larger room the closest one speaker was from a side wall was about 4'.

What I found was the larger room had the effect of expanding the soundstage significantly, both in width and height, which didn't surprise me. Bass response seemed to be better, but I couldn't be sure whether it was because I expected it to be better or it really was. What I did notice (which I didn't expect) was a "sharper" sound, as if "focus" or "definition" or whatever was better -- less sibilance on the cymbals, a bit more "cut" to vocals. My guess is that I was hearing fewer of the sidewall and ceiling reflections that I was used to in the basement room. I've gotta get treatments for that thing...

Hope this helps.
The simple answer is about what Newbee said. It's really more practical, in most applications, to use smaller speakers and maybe a well placed sub(Preferably EQ'd!).
Big speakers with deeper bass extension will tend to make it harder for you to get anything but bass heavy, thick, slow, boomy, "one-notey" bass, basically not smooth, flat and natrual. Small room already are heavily challenged acoustically, especially in the bass region! Putting large speakrs in there makes things tha tmuch more boomy, "unatural", "one-notey", and just plain "small room" "boom box sounding!".
Your only hope with even modest sized speakers in that room,complicated by the fact you're going to have to be near the back wall(depending on setup, but no much room either way) seat-wise, and your speaker are forced out in the room to try to smooth and even out your bass for natural sound and dynamic range.
One alternative here to making large speakers work in large rooms (like what is even comon with the small room setups at CES and other Hifi shows), is to use a good Parametric EQ on the speakers! Your basic choices are limited to either a good high end expensive parametric like Rives audio makes (see Stereophile, and or do research, even on this site), or use a basic Parametric on the bass drivers and bi-amp! This is an option on some speakers that sound good bi-amped (some don't!). IF you can EQ the bass on a speaker while leaving the other fundamentals (mid/trebble) intact, you can get some potentially stelar results with good set up and acoustical considerations in small rooms indeed! It's just a lot harder than it is for large rooms!
Still, for most, I'd recommend against large speakers in small rooms, unless you know what you're doing...most don't
If you can find a near mint pair of the old Snell Type A's you may do well with these. They are large full range designed to be placed against the wall. I've listened to them in a small room and they sounded good. I would do some room treatments regardless of the size speakers you use. In your small room cost will be low.

Avoid large speakers with rear or side firing woofers in a small room. In addition, look for a speaker that has adjustments (switches) to contour the sound. Pay special attention to the radiation pattern. You may have to use a parametric eq to get them to work.

That said- I am using Snell XA-90's to great effect in my basement listening room. 10 wide, 7 high, 22 deep.

I once had a pair of b+w matrix 802 that also worked well.
I have a small listening room - 11X12X8. My previous speakers were B&W Matrix 803s on 7" stands. I now us smaller 2-way speakers - Taylor Ref monitors on 24" stands. No sub. The overall sound quality and ease of listening has improved. The bass is tighter. Overall greater resolution and imaging. You don't need to move alot of air in a small room. Consider smaller speakers with front ports. Also, smaller speakers are cheaper than bigger speakers - quality being equal. Joel
My Coincident Super Eclipses with their two 8" side-firing woofers (mirror imaged) per cabinet sound better in my current small room (12.5 x 17) than in their former room that was twice the sq footage.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Supers integrated with my smaller room. I have heard from some Coincident users that the even-bigger Total Eclipses sound even better in smaller rooms. Go figure.

I recently ran a pair of Wharfedale EVO-10 monitors for about a month in my small room. The small monitors had no advantages over the much larger Coincident 'Supers'--including imaging. And the bass; you just can't approximate real, tuneful, impactful bass. Of course, if you have "bass gone wild" in your room, you are better off just rolling it off (or taming it) with EQ or room treatments. In no way, do the Coincident Super Eclipses go wild with bass in my room---using the Cardas speaker placement formula. And damn if I don't get audible presence down to the upper 20's Hz range.

Not every truism about large speakers in small rooms bares up to experience.
When comparing the sound from a set of speakers in different size rooms it probably doesn't make sense to try to put the speakers at the same distance from the rear or side walls in both rooms because the ideal distances are a function of the room dimensions; so if the rooms are different sizes the ideal distances will be different.

I've been listening to hifi for a long time and I always thought I had a decent sense of where to put speakers in a room, but recently I tripped across the formula on the site (you have to look around on the site to find it). I tried the exact distances (ratios) recommended and it was pretty impressive how the image and definition snapped into focus. The formula points out that there are some optimum room dimensions (ratios)- so some rooms are going to work better than others, and there is an optimum place to put speakers in a room. Go to the Cardas site, get your tape measure out, and get your spreadsheet or calculator running and input the ratios and then move your speakers to the recommended locations and you will be very pleasantly surprised. If your room has some irregularities you might have to use the ratios as a starting point and then test variations, but even so, the ratios will be helpful. Separately, I heard from one audiophile with very capable planar speakers that he spent a long time trying to get his locations dialed in only to find that he had been moving his speakers back and forth across the sweet spots and missing by just a an inch or two - so it can be a bit tricky. In any event, the formula recommended on the Cardas site is the least expensive (free) tweak you can add to your system that can really improve the sound. - Maybe give it a try and then report your findings on this Agon forum.
I have a 11 x 12 room. And Von Schweikert VR4jr. Not only is it small, but also almost square. I've been fighting with brightness for awhile now, but have finally arrived at a solution, I think. Oddly enough, the bass is actually tight and solid. I think my bookshelves break up some room modes.

I've had to put a comforter and blanket on the side walls. I have a bookshelf at first deflection points along side walls also which defuse very well. The back wall (behind listening seat) has various objects which defuse and the wall behind the speakers has auralex foam completely covering it.

I have eliminated the brightness and get solid soundstage and imaging. So obviously a medium or big room will give the best presentation, but I do get a decent sized soundstage that extends behind the backwall.


Von Schweikert VR4jrs are almost ridiculous for that room. They are incredible speakers but need a lot of room to breath.

Romakabi, here's your answer finally. My bedroom is downright tiny (8.5' x 12'), but the music is incredible in the room. I own a McIntosh/Totem setup. Please look at my system.

This has to be one of the best small room set ups. As a matter of fact, I dare, double dare people to post a better small room system. I hope that didn't sound too aggressive, I just want to see what can be achieved in a small room.
Just shove a Kharma/Tenor/Meitner/WalkerAudio system in a closet. I'm thinking the 3.2 CRM monitors. That should sing in a small room. Cost? About as much as my 1300 sq.ft house.
i have studio 100s and had them in a real small room and the bass overloaded the room badly,,when i moved to a larger place they sounded much better,,if i ever move to a smaller place the 100s are going up for sale,,
Spacekadet - I know I know it is ridiculous for the VS speakers. It's temporary otherwise I would be using bookshelves. But I do (after hard labor and pain) have the set up working (obviously not at its potential)

I am going to try corner placement nonetheless. I think that would be the best solution from what I've heard. I will report back to this thread what difference it made since it is relative. If you don't hear from me in a week or so Call 911 – I’m buried in stereo equipment!