Minimonitors


Hoping to get input of fellow members to help with speakers. The most challenging part of my search for audio bliss has been speakers. I've had Thiel 1.2, Monitor Audio Gold, Cary Silver Oak, Zu Essence, Ref 3A MM deCapo BE, Magnepan SMG, and Harbeth SHL5, to name a few. Most have shortcomings but the Harbeths and Magnepans gave me the fondest listening sessions because of their liveliness and imaging. I'm basically looking for something that will just put out what its fed, play well, and basically disappear. I listen primarily to vocal and acoustic music and enjoy 60s and 70s rock and R&B recordings. System consist of LP12/Origin Live/Lyra MC, Esoteric SA-50, David Berning ZOTL Pre One, VAC Renaissance 70-70/Lamm ML2.1/JA Burgess SE45 with Chord and Siltech cables. Hoping to keep the cost below $5K. Any input is appreciated.
bananaslug
How large is your listening room,and how loud do you listen? It looks like you’ve had some very nice speakers. 
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amazing amps but not a ton of power out of any of them.  

i would seriously consider the DeVore Gibbon 3XL.  Nice speaker and very good sound.  Has an SPL of 90dB.  Maybe a used pair of Focal Sopra No 1s would de good and have an 89dB SPL.  

There are lots of other monitors I like.  I think you would probably really like Raidho Monitors but they like a little more oomph with an SPL rating of 85dB for the X-1s.  
If you're not too hung up on the whole mini-monitor thing, a pair of Tekton Impact Monitors at $2k combined with a DBA will get you killer performance and depending on how you do the DBA come in right at or under $5k total. You absolutely will have better bass and a greater sense of envelopment (disappearing act) than anything you could ever get from a tiny little minimonitor.
Since you liked the Harbeth SHL5 I think you should look into the P3ESR. Of all the Harbeths that I have owned including the M30.1 and the Compact 7 I prefer the P3ESRs to larger Harbeths!
Forgot to mention, listening room is 16 wide by 20 deep. Most listening are low level, hardly ever passing noon on the dial. Can't remember who said it but it stuck with me: "the first few watts are really key". The Harbeths were fantastic but didn't quite have the low end grip, especially when listening to Pink Floyd. Wondering if I made a mistake getting rid of them. Perhaps a sub would have done the trick. Appreciate the responses so far.
In that size room the P3s with a nice subwoofer would fit the bill for under 5 grand!
I agree with yogiboy, but I would also add any of the British mini monitors. I currently have Graham Chartwell LS3/5’s. I’ve also owned Spendor S3/5’s. They both are wonderful. 
Ill bet you would love Emerald Physics open baffle. 3.0s and up have 12-15" woofers. I have KCIIs with factory upgrades to internal wiring (WireWorld) and Clarity Caps in the outboard XOs. Super efficient, too
There’s a pair of Joseph Audio Pulsars here that have been upgraded to the latest Graphene model for $5750. IME, JA speakers pull off one of the best disappearing acts in the industry and throw off an outstanding 3D soundstage while sounding very neutral and natural overall. The Pulsars are one of JA’s best, and this pair is in the gorgeous Sapele finish.

If you prefer buying new, the LSA-10 Statements are on sale here now for $2500/pr ($1000 discount) with a pair of speaker cables thrown in, and I believe they offer a 30-day, in-home trial period, which is obviously huge. Best of luck in your search.
Elac AS61 with a JL f112 subwoofer. Good luck
Also agree with Yogiboy. Harbeth P3ESR with a subwoofer—a Rythmik F12G would be a great choice.
Since you liked the Harbeths I would try the 30.1 or 30.2. I preferred them to the SHL5. The suggestion above of the P3 could also work if you added a sub seeing as the low end was the problem. I don't notice any issues with the low end in my 30.1's.  They're in a bedroom that is 14' x 23' with 11 foot ceilings on the long wall.  Imaging is unreal while bass is tight and surprisingly full. 
ProAc D2R, had them on loan from my Hi-Fi dealer in NJ.  Great speaker, Nice British sound, my room is just a bit smaller then yours. Top end truly special, bass more then enough. Placement in my room  took a bit. Speakers I’ve have/had KEF LS 50, KEF R11, Dynaudio, Omh. My amp is Belles Virtuoso 200w 8omh, Aesthitix Pallene preamp. I plan on purchasing the D2R’s this winter.
Having sold Audio for years  Amphion hand built from Finland uses their own Wave guide ,tight  matching of drivers and like the Argon 3S has a rear radiator for Bass extension without the drawbacks of a port And gives more midrange purity,easy 8 ohm load and can be placed anywhere and in its design sounds good in most any room great soundstage ,imaging and sounds great even at low volume level and used my many in mixing studios  because of its speed and honesty,Very simple 2nd order low parts count Xover great build quality over 26 lbs.
and with the seas drivers is not bright unless your amp is 
can be bought for under $2500.one more thing most speakers crossover the tweeter inthe 2500-3kz range where the ear is most sensitive Amphion crosses over at a very low 1600 that’s one reason why it is so coherent. Check it out.
Before responding, you should have either heard or owned the speakers that you are recommending, not just have read reviews
p05129
Which ones did you own?

Slug,
It looks to me as though you should get a short term lease on
whatever you choose. Your system for deciding on a new speaker
made need a careful review. 

My money would be on the Joseph Pulsars. Graphene not needed.
The Elac Navis speaker is a direction you may want to try. Your Rock music will like them. 
I have proac tablette 10 signatures which are ls3/5a style 86db 10 ohm.

The image fantastically and are very good with folk, jazz and rock. I have a very similar room but I like to run a subwoofer crossed in at 68hz for those bottom octaves.
I second the above.  I have ProAc Tablette 10 Signautres too with SVS sub, running through Naim XS3.  Perfect for me.  I have a room similar in size and listen at similar volume levels.  I run full bandwidth to ProAcs with sub contributing at about 70 and down.
I found a pair of used Magnepan 20.1s on Audiogon for $5500 and absolutely love them. For home theater, I added the B&W MT-60D Mini Theater system which I got for $2000 ($1000 off retail). The PV1D subwoofer adds some punch to the Magnepans for music listening and the M-1s don’t take up a lot of room. Really enjoyable for either music listening or home theater.
Fritz Carrara Rev 7
$3550 direct and excellent berrilium tweeter
Audio Note AN-K's should do the trick and be easily driven by your tube amps. As a bonus they can be placed near walls or corners if needed.
I use a pair of Kef LS50s in my bedroom system, supplemented by a SVS Subwoofer that I had lying around. If I were starting over I'd probably go for a Rel sub but the system sounds so good now that I'm loath to disturb it.  The speakers simply disappear, the stereo image is there and on pieces of music such as Brubeck's Take 5,  I can pinpoint the exact location of each instrument including the breadth and depth.  I drive them with a Peachtree Nova 150.

Mark
minimonitors minisound ALL minimonitors are cutoff @70hz try a pair jbl 4425 monitors I run the jbl with quick silver amps same power as the vac amp cut off @ 40hz
https://pbnaudio.com/m15-loudspeaker/ not exactly a mini monitor , and yes I make them 

Good Listening

Peter
Of the speakers mentioned, I like the Amphion suggestion.  PMC also has some nice monitors and are, to me at least, a cleaner and more refined version of Amphion.

The Sonner Audio Legato is another candidate with an open/airy sound and some warmth sprinkled in.  

As a Harbeth dealer I have a love/hate relationship with the P3ESR.  It is great for what it is, but also has some physical limitations leaving me to ask many questions to verify my clients would be happy with it.  I think the Monitor 30.1 would fall more in line with your expectations due to their richer tone and deeper bass.

My personal recommendation though would be the Rosso Fiorentino Pienza.  It's a ridiculously large sounding monitor that has never failed to drop jaws when I demo.  There isn't much information out as we are awaiting the second generation to be released, but that should happen in very short order.  Rosso in general reminds me of Magnepan in the way it reproduces the music, but it also gives you the energy of a dynamic speaker.

Disclaimer - I am a dealer/distributor, but have no affiliation with Amphion or PMC.
Fritz Carrera BE’s.  I have a pair now and absolutely love them.  
Sorry to upset anyone but they destroy LS50’s.  
PBN woud be another good option.  
Love Pulsars too

I should add that Fritz speakers do remarkably well with low-powered tube amps.  My recommendation is based on hearing them powered by a Modwright SET headphone amp.  See also this thread:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/how-to-accurately-gauge-speaker-sensitivity-to-match-with-tube-amp/post?highlight=fritz&postid=1972263#1972263

I have Spendor D1 and Rel R-328, at combined msrp of 5k but less than that used, and they are really good. 
Spendor D series have a faster, more modern sound than classic Spendor (I also have SA1), and I suspect Harbeth (can’t say for sure Re Harbeth as I have not owned).  It’s personal preference of course but If you can find D1’s, they might fit the bill

Also look at Reynaud Bliss Jubilee at half your max budget new and less used.  Have owned multiple Reynaud monitors over the years and now the Fritz Carrera Be.
@bananaslug have you considered the Dynaudio Special Forty ?
They're know to

...put out what its fed, play well, and basically disappear

Combined with a sub of your choice you can easily stay under $5K


@ditusa I'm afraid you're incorrect.
minimonitors minisound ALL minimonitors are cutoff @70hz try a pair jbl 4425 monitors I run the jbl with quick silver amps same power as the vac amp cut off @ 40hz

Most mini monitors go well below 70hz. I've measured them myself and found even the affordable Paradigm 20 studio monitors go down to 32hz. Granted they may be down 6db or so at that frequency it's still audible and they were flat to 48hz. My Revel and B&W stand mount/monitors easily do the same. 

The OP's VAC Renaissance 70-70 specs pretty good for low frequencies.
Power Output:
65 watts continuous average power at 1 kHz with less than 2% THD into 4 ohms connected to the 4-8 ohm tap

Distortion:
0.12 % THD at 10 watts 

Frequency Response:
down 0.5 dB at 6 Hz and 90 kHz, ref 0 dB = 1 watt @ 1 kHz
down 3.0 dB at 2 Hz and 103 kHz, ref 0 dB = 1 watt @ 1 kHz

Power Bandwidth:
down 0.5 dB at 12 Hz and 58 kHz
down 3.0 dB at 8 Hz and 85 kHz



Another great option I meant to mention is the Vandersteen VLR CT.

I'm waiting to audition a pair of these and may just buy a pair without an audition. Trusting my experience with Vandersteen speakers I'm sure they're outstanding.
Would recommend looking at Raidho XT-1
they are incredible speakers and a bargain. They compete with speakers costing 3 to 5X their price. Andy
Vandersteen 1ci.Small footprint and no need for a stand except the one that tilts them back.Good bass and spacious highs for about 1.5 K.
Check out Ohm Speakers. Direct sales only, and a 120-day trial period. What you don't like, they will fix.

https://ohmspeaker.com/
Find a pair of Merlin TSM monitors (almost always well below $2k, original retail was $3530). The last two revisions before the company closed were the MMM followed by the Black Magic.

They would match up very well with your VAC.
On a budget? Go find  a pair of Gallo CL-1, pretty amazing for the size of two toasters each. I don't believe their "39 Hz in-room" rating but I can tell you they go lower than my old NHT 2.1 SuperOnes, and lower than Linn Tukans. Probably mid 40s. Wide soundstage, second ONLY to an old pair of NEAT 3S's, that were phenomenal , probably should've kept them. But the top end on the Gallo's is definitely better. Under $400 for the pair, 60 watts per side more than enough, can't turn them up past 9 o'clock in a 20 x 18 room without starting to get painful. YMMV. 

Thank you all for your insights and suggestions. Most speakers mentioned here have something good/great to offer, but there's good likelihood that I'm gonna go with Raidho X1. We'll see where this journey takes me but will probably require a sub to supplement the bottom registers. Again, grateful for your inputs.
I had the X1 for about 4 years before recently upgrading to XT1. That is by far the longest I've lived with a couple of speakers. Started with MA GS10, then MA PL-100 and then Focal Diablo before buying the X1. I was quite surprised that I liked the X1 more than the Diablos regarding the price tag but they just felt more natural and less analytical than the Diablos. The Diablos had of course better lows than the X1 but that was it. The only minus with the X1 are obviously the lows (you can't beat physics) but for a cabinet so small they still do a heck of a job. I'm using a Velodyne DD10+ that IMO matches them perfectly. The Raidhos have a HUGE soundstage, a glorious mid and treble and never given me listening fatigue (that ribbon tweeters usually do). And you have the opportunity to upgrade to the XT1 but honestly as good as the XT1 is, the X1 really is a brilliant monitor. The XT1 gives you a tad more detail (though I didn't think it was possible) and sounds a bit more organic. Also the lows are a bit better, but nothing that matters using a sub. 

Happy listening with the X1,  I'm sure you will be very satisfied!