You probably won't believe me, but a pair of Vandersteen 2 or 3's set up properly will easily do what you are asking. The only question is your amps. I've never heard them so I can't comment on them. My comment is based on the sound I get with my Ayre V-5 (s).
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For the past year I have had the NC400s (2/chan) in my main system driving my Green Mountain Audio EOS-HX (with GMA Hammer Lite subs via Audio Control Richter Scale III(low pass only)). Since I have owned the EOS (~5 years) I have experienced very realistic reproduction compared to string/piano quartets, solo piano, local folk trio, men's a-cappella group, and renaissance groups that I hear live throughout the year. It's even better with the W4S preamp and Jeff Rowland DAC that I added during the past year. The EOS will go lower than 50 Hz; time/phase coherent 2-way design that sound very good, soft or loud. The latest price for EOS I have is $4500/pair.
www.greenmountainaudio.com and/or call Roy Johnson at (719)636-2500 for info.
I think that getting the body and weight you want with the ncore amps is going to be tricky. Maybe putting a tube preamp in front of it would help. But the ncore in my experience is excellent at detail retrieval and at the frequency extremes, but is lean in the mids. Preferred the Coda amp in the mids when I compared the ncore with a friend's Coda. The lil TBI Millenia amp was recently compared to ncores on Audio Circle, and the comment there was that the TBI seemed better in the mids (IIRC, check out the specifics for yourself).
No speakers come immediately to mind, but I'd think hard about what the ncore gets you relative to the attributes of sound you list below.
zd542 - vandersteen is a rare brand here in europe. i like time and phase coherence but how is off axis listening with these speakers?
Roscoeii - the ncore is meant for very warm speakers that do the body thing well but need more detail. For neutral speakers i would use Hegel amps.
Samhar the room is 15x19
I would add that by body i mean a cohesive quality that horn PA sounds have at higher levels. Maybe the more correct question would be: what is the fastest dynamic 3way speaker that sounds lively at low volumes?
Hi Zuio, Ncore amps appear to have an inherent ability to drive difficult loads with total aplumb... For an upcoming scribbling project, I have just completed breaking-in and analyzing a pair of NC1200 NCore-based amps driving my Vienna Die Muzik speakers with amazing results. Muzik have incredible driver coherence, extension and musicality because of their unique flat coaxial midrange/tweeter driver, and various other design solutions. See my technical discussion on PFO No. 59:
If used Muzik exceeded your budget, and you are seeking an immediate solution, I suggest you to look into a used pair of Vienna Mahlers (predecessors of Die Muzik)... I used them for several years with Rowland M312 and other class D amps and they unfailingly deliver phenomenal music. My original review of Vienna Mahler V1.5 was published on The Absolute Sound No. 188, and an online version can be fount at:
But if you were willing to wait a few months, Vienna Acoustics has almost completed the Beethoven Imperial Grands, a single box trickle-down version of the DIe Muzik, which is expected to retail for $10K starting this Autumn.
BTW, my music interests are almost exclusively classical.... chamber, large orchestra, vocal.... Dowland to Bartok and beyond. I cannot stand emphasis of leading edges, nor the opposite homogenizing caramelization of music.... I seek transparency and harmonic exposure, authority and micro-detail, revealing the emotion of musical interpretation.
BTW, what Ncore amps are you using or planning to use?
With Vandersteen, theres no question that a sweet spot will definitely be a factor. Not only off axis, but height, as well (thats why you set the back tilt). They don't sound bad if you are not in your listening chair, but you may want to consider something else if you will not always be in a listening chair.
Also, your comment about Ncore being a good match for warm speakers is relevant. If you do consider Vandersteen, that probably would not be a very good match. Its not a warm speaker. I find them to be fairly neutral and revealing.
Zd542, Soundstage height is not the reason for tilting Vandersteens back. It's for aligning the drivers to your listening height and distance. I find electronics and system set up have a lot more to do with soundstage height. The same goes for the sweet spot and how critical it is for listening pleasure. Also, I have owned several generations of Vandersteens and I find them to be on the warm side of neutral. As with all speakers it is very important to get the right match with your electronics.
70 to 90dB is a fairly wide range and most people would describe it as moderate to loud. Wilson makes a mini Sophia called the Duette. It's a two way and requires high powered solid state amplification. Wilson has just announced a Mk2 version.
70 to 80db average (peaks 90db)
GMA - large sweetspot? sub sat combos dont work for me (timing & coherence)
Revel Studios are on my list (low vol? multiple woofers - time smear?)
JBL Array - will look for them - wonder if the woofer will be fast enoungh.
Wilson Duette - the bass energy always compromises the mids in two way speakers, especially with woofers that are larger than 7" IMO (rise time, imaging)
(A Sophia mini could be a 1"-6"-8" 3way or a 1"-7"-7" 2.5way IMO)
I should mention that i usually prefer 2way speakers for their coherence and imaging as most multiple woofer designs dont get the timing, coherence and bass speed right. So which coherent, liveley, wide dispersion 3way speaker has a midbass that is faster than the Wilson Sophia?