Monitors for a bedroom system.......

Hi guys, I always like the great advice I get here. I am setting up a bedroom system for the 30-45 minutes it takes me to fall asleep. I tend to play ambient stuff to help me nod off. Anything with great, deep soundstage, clarity, neutrality? The speakers have to have presence at low volumes. In fact, they only need to play at low volumes. Placement restrictions will force them to sit about 6 inches from the wall. I can spend about $2000 used.
I wasnt thinking when I sold my Nautilus 805's. Any suggestions??
Quad 11L's at $700 new or about $450 used are among the best small speakers I've owned(including 805 Matrix,Kef Reference,and many others.They sound great,look great(especially in Birdseye maple),and are just ridiculously good at their price!

$2000 is too much to spend for speakers for a bedroom system, given that you will be listening while lying straight out in bed. I have had to go with near rear wall placement and have found that acoustic suspension/sealed box speakers work out best. I am using NHT SB2's, happily for the last year and a half, after trying out quite a few small monitors (EPOS 11 & ELS3; B&W 302; Wharfedale Diamond 8.1). The NHT's will give you all the qualities that you are looking for and sound very good when played low. The NHT SB2s, which list for $400, are being discontinued and are available for about $275 from Audio Advisor. Don't let the price throw you ... the NHT's are a very fine performing, serious speaker.

Components that work well with the NHT SB2's are ... NAD C320BEE with a Music Hall CD25 CD player (total system cost: $1200) or a Prima Luna Prologue Two with a Music Hall CD25 CD player (total system cost $2200).

Regards, Rich
>$2000 is too much to spend for speakers for a bedroom system<

Yeah? And what qualifies you to tell HIM how much $$ to spend on anything? If he wants to spend 2K, it's HIS choice. Recommendations for less expensive speakers are great, but don't make sweeping generalizations like that.

"$2000 is too much to spend for speakers for a bedroom system, given that you will be listening while lying straight out in bed."

Well, maybe not for this person. Everyone is different financially. I think the 805's would be an excellent choice. Although, you should be able to grab the new 805S for about that same price. Even better than the nautilus 805. The other one I would suggest is the Revel M20, or the newer Revel M22. Because of the rear porting and the quite volumes, and close wall placement, the bass should be reinforced nicely.

Actually, my assertion that $2K is too much to spend on bedroom speakers is not based on one's ability to pay. What I was considering was :

- how bedrooms are typically furnished (bed, night stands, dressers, armoires, drapes, etc.)
- the physical dimensions of many bedrooms
- the listening options
- time when the music listening would be taking place

Mythtrip also added that he would be listening at low volumes for 30 to 45 minutes and that speaker placement options are limited (looking for monitors that would be placed 6 inches from the wall).

Given all these limitations, I think that $2K is too much to spend. I don't believe that you will get $2K worth of performance. Beyond that, if one still wants to spend $2K ... go for it.

The only question that I would raise is that from everything that I have read about the B&W Nautilus speakers is that they need to be played loud to get the best out of them. I also don't agree that placing rear ported speakers 6 inches from a rear wall necessarily works for the better, unless the speakers were designed to work that way. Sealed box or front porting is the way to go in this situation.

Regards, Rich
The aspect of the request that I don't get is wanting a "..great, deep soundstage.." which is to be appreciated playing ambient music while nodding off (laying down I presume). Most monitors in that price range will be soundstage champions anyway, that is, after all, a strength of a good monitor. But I'm not sure you'd be able to appreciate that aspect of them while laying down and listening to ambient music, which, by definition doesn't even have a soundstage, but is more of a surround sound with no pinpoint sources. Perhaps you may want to consider a surround system in the bedroom for ambient music.

That said, I'd agree that $2k seems like money better spent someplace else. Great monitors exist that could be very rewarding, and look great to boot, at a much lower pricepoint. Given the remainder of the requested qualities I'd take a good look at Silverline Audio's offerings. With the close proximity to the wall you may want to seek out a monitor that is not rear ported.

Sweet dreams.

Yeap I agree with Rar1 on this. If you own this home. Have you considered mounting speakers on the ceiling that tilt down towards your bed. The speakers can be be back from the foot of the bed facing you at a 45 degree angle. I've got a good friend with speakers mounted like this. O'Boy at the soundstage depth you's uncanny!You can take some of the money you save and get it installed if your not comfortable doing it yourself. A pair of small single drivers would be great for this. It's like laying down with earphones on.;-)

Don't let the bed bugs bite!
Have some fun.Look at Bottleneck sight and get flea powered amp assmebled for you (they are big for kit builder but can be asembled)and a set of single driver Oemga's.When you get above 100db-104db efficiency you need almost no power tp get it where you wan ti (even if it's to wake up and no t crash).The reason I this is it's different than your main rig and ost importantly plays with good dynamics at a lower ed mid level stuff (or a clkasic re-built from 50's).If you want a traditonal speaker to hook to some Adcom/NAD.Roteol midfi (*or really good elctronics bought at good budget) try a pair of Audio Physiuc Sparks (only 89 db efficincy -reneber every tine yiuy increase the efficiency 3 DB the power doubkes that;s wgy most spopeakers out there run at 86-89 db.I got them for a buddy and was bummmed to give them up.They are slender floorstanding speakers (hell if you have to use a stand might as well get SOME LF out of it).I was going to replace my $6500 german semi horns (very efficienbt worked great and loudly if I wanted with my Odeon Tosca semi horns) and thjought opf next model up the tempo's.I was warned against it because it did not play as well allow volume levels.What you want this bedroon volume levels with all the dunamics a drive that lkouder speakers can produce(I sold B&W 805 up till new west series for over 6 years-Not the right speaker).Also the Audio Physic spark (or if nee be Yara which comes in monitor and floorstanding flavors)but stick with Sparck.When you want to move them close to you for a "serious" nearfield session they are easy to move arounbd.Lastly if you can handle the hight check out the Cain and Cain web site.There Abby's would run on a 3 watt speaker and could be used with a nice refurbed Scott or Dynaco's.The $1200 Abby's atre very slender but as ell as Kareem Abdull Jabar but come in nice colors.Since this is a bedroom system have some fun and get funky while getting good sound.Remeber there are fols out there in the SET crwod who could afford mainstream stereo and spend MORE to with Lowther or Fostex drivers.But keep it cheap (Bottleneck and Parts connection would be good sources fro equip and info).
P.S .I ofetn think of putting my myney whgere my mouth is and taking my $4K 90 DB semi horns (not quite efficienbt enough for flea power amps but great for 20-40 watt push pulls tube amps and replacing them with either a $500 Omega or a $1200 Cain and cain Abby's w(which BTW come in a lot of coll colors).
Just my two (different) cents
P.S Just to be contrary I think that Quad makes a great piston speaker which is a surporise since there a essentially a start up (with trad speakers that is).
As far as the pricepoint is concerned, I can speak for myself when I say that the reason I question the investment is that, in my opinion and experience, you would be just as well served in the reclined position, in a bed, in a typical bedroom, with your speakers six inches from the back walls, by speakers that cost a whole lot less than $2k. I don't think the other poster was making any sweeping generalizations either (he actually made some good suggestions) - seemed to be offering his opinion. Do we really need to qualify every post with an "IMO" to make it clear that it is only one persons opinion? Hey, for all I care he can go and spend $20K, but that would occur to me like folks who spend $65K on a Hummer that stays on smooth pavement in Los Angeles. If that's what floats your boat, have at it. Since the original poster started out by asking for some advice, I assume they're soliciting opinions and can sort out the rest for themselves.


Please take the time to read the whole sentence ...

"$2000 is too much to spend for speakers for a bedroom system, given that you will be listening while lying straight out in bed."

It was not the price, but rather the listening position that was my concern. My follow-up post explained my thinking a bit further.

Regards, Rich
He said, He can spend 2k, why not maximize
the budget, to get the best out of 2k,I
recommend Diapason Adamantes I used 2K maybe
I don't know if putting a speaker with a rear port tuned sharply at 50Hz 6 inches from a wall is a good idea. The results could be disastrious.He's liable to have a lumpy mess for sound.LOL
Um, how about used Totem Tabus?
GMA Europa's fit the bill perfectly at half the price you want to spend.
I would buy a spendor S5E with less money and no stands to have my mind on. And plays excellent.
I use the Von Schweikert VR1 in a bedroom system. They are designed to be placed close to a wall. They sound and look great for $1000 new. Very good at low volumes.
Rich, good speakers will still sound good no matter where you are in the room. Maybe not ideal, but I'd rather listen off axis to a pair B&W 805S speakers than I would Silverlines, or Von Scheikert VR1's. As far as your statement about reading about the nautilus might be beneficial to hear the B&W's to form an opinion. I have owned N805, Sig 805, and 805S, and never have I felt that they had to be played loud to sound good. For reference, I've also spent time with Silverlines, and I've owned Von Scheikert VR1's.

Here's my point.. if he's got money, and wants to spend it, who are we to stop him? Second, if you can afford it, I say it will sound better, EVEN lying down in bed. People that think listening is only available in the sweet spot aren't utilizing their systems to their fullest potential.

Third, what if the system gets moved, or the poster buys a new house and can have a master suite that would support a listener type environment? He's already a step ahead.

For the third time already, I was just making a "getting your money's worth" argument, given how the speakers will be used. It was about value received, not cash spent. If Myth chooses to spend the cash ... more power to him! The "money to spend" comments do remind me though of a co-worker who liked to watch movies in bed and spent over a grand to have speakers built into his bedroom ceiling. The architect installed four speakers (one for each channel) with two positioned over the headboard and two positioned over the center of the bed. My buddy took offense when I asked him was he considering replacing the architect, as the layout scheme and number of speakers used just made little sense to me. It wasn't about the cash, but rather the value received.

As for the Nautilus line, I haven't listened to them enough to have an informed opinion ... nor did I claim to. My experience is granted a few years old and is with the 300, 600, and CDM lines. I do remember reading in a number of magazines, including an interview with B&W, that the Nautilus needed to be played loud to get the best out of them. If that is not the real world case, so be it. I would imagine that Myth may be the best judge as to what qualifies as "low volume" as he owned the N805's previously.

Like Marco said earlier, I am offering my opinion, based on 25 years of owning bedroom systems.

Regards, Rich
Rich, point well taken. However I think you are I are arguing two different arguements. Sort of. I still feel that you would "get your money's worth" spending the 2k, as the speakers he mentions are quite good, and will sound better (even in his listening position) than a cheaper, worse sounding (in the case of the audiophile) set of speakers. I think that you and I percieve value differently. I say spend as much as you can on the speakers. Experimentation, of course, is the only thing will yeild results anyway.
I still feel that you would "get your money's worth" spending the 2k, as the speakers he mentions are quite good, and will sound better (even in his listening position) than a cheaper, worse sounding (in the case of the audiophile) set of speakers.

Oh, I get it; you want good sound. Well then, once you get the bedroom sorted out, I'd set up your bathroom next. A pair of Kharma Exquisite Reference oughta do quite nicely in there! Cause you'll be wanting nothing but the best sound in each and every room no doubt. Oh, and once you hear that bass response echoing off those tiles, you'll be saying to yourself, "...why that's the best $75 grand I ever spent!" I guarandamntee you that those premium barkers will sound better than a cheaper, worse sounding set of speakers while you're cutting a brick in there. Just wait'll you hear the garage system I've got in mind for you!!!

lololololololololol..Marco you should be doing standup.
HaHa that's a good one!
Most here will probably laugh, but check out Red Rose's Spirit Monitor's including cables and 35 w amp for under $1,000. They look and sound better than most for their size and price.
Marco, thanks for the response. Cause, you know, 75 grand and 2 grand are almost the same. And rooms are similar too. You know, the crapper, a big mirror, hard surface floor, you see a lot of bedrooms like that. Thanks for your post, it was quite insightful, and added alot.

Answer me this, with a simple yes or no..

Would the Kharmas sound better than the Bose? If the answer is yes, you just validated my point.
Would the Kharmas sound better than the Bose? If the answer is yes, you just validated my point.

That isn't much of a point. Since you seem to need a translation: Just like listening in a bathroom, listening in a bedroom, at low volumes, to ambient music, while laying down, with the speakers six inches from the wall, all implies some serious compromises to how much of the performance you are paying for is actually something you will be able to appreciate. Given those considerations, it is my opinion that there are plenty of great monitors that folks have mentioned above that are well below the $2k mark, that I seriously doubt that you, the poster, or anyone else would consistently pick out while listening to Enya reclining in a bed at low volumes, as being inferior to, for instance, your B&W 805s or any $2k monitor.

The speakers have to have presence at low volumes. In fact, they only need to play at low volumes.

This person is looking for speakers that they will be playing only at low levels while nodding off in bed listening to ambient music. At typical lower volumes human ears are not capable of hearing low frequencies of sub 50hz. Want proof? Get a test tone (pink noise) generator, or a CD such as Sterophiles Test CD series. Set your system up at the low-volume level you're likely to be listening at in bed using some music you like (my guess would that would make for 60db peaks or lower perhaps). Cue up a 50hz test tone and see if you can hear it (or feel it for that matter). I truly doubt it. If you are only going to be listening at lower levels, bass doesn't really come into the equation (unless you are adding some form of equalization or emphasis with a subwoofer). A single-driver alternative like the Cain&Cain Abby may be worth consideration, though it is not a monitor. Single driver speakers, when done right, have remarkable low-volume presence. You'd need to pay careful attention to the balance of the system you pair them with. Used Abby's are around $900-1200.

You won't get deep soundstaging with speakers 6" from a wall. Try Louis at Omega speakers for some Fostex single driver - NO whizzer is my strong suggestion. You need tubes with Fostex. These speakers can't play loud and as a result sound very nice at low volumes.
I have Tang-Band W3-871s and W4-1320SB drivers from Tang-Band sounds good with solid state. They are made to go up against the wall and need to be near a wall for bass reinforcement. These sound good with my Denon mini-system but you can't buy them. Maybe Louis could make his speaker with Tang-Band instead of Fostex. Another neat feature of the Denon is the sleep function where you can set it to turn off after 10-80 minutes.