Joseph Audio Perspective.
It's known for being a "holy cow I can't believe that sound is coming out of that little foor-stander" speaker.
This is a bizzare post, you talk about size as well as possible cost no object, Some of the uber high end loudspeakers which are stand mounts are small but not necessarily as tiny as lets say a Proac tablette.
So if we were to create a list based on price ranges:
Vimberg Amea, (haven’t heard this model but heard other Vimbergs)
Other similar compact exotics with very high end drivers
Kef Ref 1
Focal Sopra 1
Paradigm Persona B
ATC SCM 19
Harbeth Compact 7
Dali Mentor Minuet
Kef LS 50
PSB Imagine Mini
Dave and Troy
WaveTouch Audio Grand Teton or Antero - the equal of the best out there at a bargain price.
Proac Response D2 - truly magical / majestic / holographic sound with the right tube amplifier (e.g. Line Magnetic 518ia, etc.).
Legacy Audio Calibre - phenomenal resolution, sound quality and soundstage.
Gamut RS3i - as good as it gets... but... at a price.
Any of these when coupled with the right electronics will equal or beat any of those offered by AudioTroy
jackd - "Cost no object" is exactly what I meant. Some of my favorite, albeit rare, audiophile experiences have been what some might refer to as “blind shootouts.” Not just A/B sessions with similarly priced, similarly designed audio components, but true variety pack shootouts between significantly varied designs and price points. These experiences have been healthy cleansing reminders for me to avoid listening with my eyes (or my wallet), and keep my ears on the music. In the May issue of Enjoy the Music, Roger Skoff offered a candid explanation as to why each of us is ultimately the “expert” when it comes to defining the two primary determinates of audiophilia: “What’s good?” and “How can you tell?” The common response to this of course is one most of us have heard countless times: What do your ears tell you? The clarity of this response lies in the inherent subjectivity of audiophilia, that each of us has a formed opinion as to what the end-game in musical sound reproduction should be. Sure, we might all agree that a common denominator would include an accurate representation of the recorded event from every possible sonic parameter. Still, there’s that sub quotient to the equation whose formula is deeply personal and can only be known to the listener, who, upon hearing it, recognizes it instantly. Audio personality is what makes this crazy infatuation go-round. So, to answer the question, "What is the purpose of this exercise?" I'm simply curious what speaker designs caught the EARS of fellow audiophiles as truly impressive, without the baggage of $, eye candy, or other distractions. I could have let it go at that, but was curious specifically to floor standers w/ a small footprint.
Epos M16i. Small footprint? Check. Dimensions: 35.4" (885mm) H by 7" (175mm) W by 8.4" (210mm) D (without grille). Full Range? Pretty close. 2 1/2 way down to 20 KHz. Cost no object? Absolutely not! I’m fortunate to have the space for a number of speakers. If I ever have to downsize these will be the ones I keep.
Smallest footprint that impressed me was a Totem model (I never got to ask which one) I heard at a show. I was literally looking around for the source of the sound because I couldn't believe those diminutive towers could produce such prodigious sound.
Laufer Technik's The Note speakers are definitely the coolest new entrant in the lean profile, profile. I look forward to listening soon.
Spendor A2/A4/A7: each excellent sounding at their price points and as move up thru them just get more of that great and phenomenally acclaimed Spendor sound.
Then you get to Spendor D7 which are in altogether different league imo due in part to the LPZ tweeter that Spendor designs and makes in house along with many cabinet and flow port improvements. Stereophile class A rated for 5 yrs and universally acclaimed across all of the review mags.
Just amazing sounding speakers and what I purchased after a several month exploration quest that saw me audition nearly 20 different speakers in the 3k-10k price range, up to Bowers 804d3 at 9 or 10 k in price.
Bowers & Wilkins, Vanddrsteen, Paradigm, Focal, Dynaudio, Goldenear, Rega, Martin Logan, Magnepan, Linn, Kef, and Spendor.
I listened to all and when possible multiple models within brand lines and not for 3-4 minutes but typically sittings of 20-30 minutes to over an hour.
Lots of good options but for me the Spendor D7 was the one, and it wasn’t particularly close. Ymmv
Small footprint per your requirements.
not quite full range but listen and audition in home if you can. I pair mine with REL S5 sub, but quite often I ask myself now after several months of ownership and many hundreds of hours of listening whether the REL was even needed. I think I could have been completely happy just with the D7’s and no sub.
Hi Curious and Folks,
Owning Salk Veracitys (<other posts have details) and being an admitted cone-head, one small floor-stander 2-way I could easily live with are decade old Josephs heard with so-so vinyl (not a fan of the Rega1) a lousy Marantz cdp (ditto) with a post-Anniversary McIntosh MC275 amplifier.<fan The setting was an impromptu listen in a tiny hi-fi shop in Bangor, Maine with speaker placement squeezed amongst other speakers. Yes, the bass was wonky (the port is tune-able with a plug) and the sources not so great, however, there was honesty and greatness in those little floor-standers. Sorry, I don't recall the model but full retail was $3k. If I needed a small floor-stander for my little dedicated studio, a winner! More peace, Pinthrift