low volume, microdynamics,body,presence, 10k used.

Looking for speaker options for a mid sized room, preferred listening levels at 70 to 90db, ss amps only (Ncore or Hegel)

60hz to 15khz is sufficient for me, but the midbass must have proper weight, and the clarity must remain clear with demanding music ie orchestra or big band.(So no 2-way speakers?). Rock solid timing (microdynamics, impulse response, transients, prat),body, presence and inner detail is essential to me.

Equally important is that the bass driver matches the exact speed of the mid driver to get good coherence in timing. No mtm configurations as they don't get the imaging right imo.

I liked the Wilson Sophia for its dynamics & bass but it could be a bit faster, I liked the ATC scm 50 asl for the definition and wide dispersion of the mid, but the bass is a bit thin and the speaker only comes to life at higher levels. Didn't like gallo 3.1 for its tweeter and driver integration, don't like ringradiator tweeters,don't like panels. Didn't like Ceramic driver based speakers - even with tubes (no weight, no inner detail)

So I am looking for a wide dispersion speaker with great midbass and speed that comes to life at low levels and delivers fullness, texture and presence with the limitation of ss amps only. A Wilson Sophia mini would be great. What would you recommend?
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).
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.
05-26-13: Zd542
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.
You are probably right, I don't. Everytime I hear my 2 friends Vandersteen 2's, I want to take the sock out of the drivers. Can you say MUFFLEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!
10K used gets you into Revel Ultima Salon 2, a tremendous, very refined speaker.

Try to get a listen to the JBL 1400 Array.
How big is your "mid sized" room?
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?

Saluti, Guido

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.
One of the characteristics of Vienna speakers is that they have great dispersion.... listening placement is very forgiving... Rather than a narrow sweet spot, they tend to yield a wide "sweet band".
Zuio, It is not likely you will assemble a system with dynamics, body, presents and the lively sound you are looking for at low volume. All systems have a volume level where they excel, however, it is not at low volume.
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.
For what you are looking for, I think it probably makes sense to look into higher sensitivity speakers. Those have worked better at low SPLs in my experience.
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?
If you would consider a 2-way, you might want to check into Merlins. Or maybe a used pair of Rockports (maybe unlikely to find them at your price, though).
Thiel CS3.7, can be had around $7k-$8k used.