Need help with a pair of small speakers

I need recommendations for a pair of small standmounts for my guest bedroom. The room is only 10x12x8 and the speakers will have to be virtually flat against the wall. Will be used mostly for vocals, soft jazz, and choral music at low to moderate levels. My particular concern is for accuracy, resolution, microdynamics. Need to keep the cost under $2K. Harbeths have been highly recommended. Other possibilities? Thanks in advance.
Harbeth or spendor ls3/5 (or any used ls3/5). It's a sealed design and works very well set close against the rear wall. I have no experience with other Harbeths, but they are supposedly very good. The proximity to the rear wall will really narrow your options.
BBC ls3/5a's by Harbeth or whoever would probably work ok. Another possibility is the same sized Spendor S3/5. The same sized and sealed Harbeth HLP3ES might be a better speaker than those just mentioned, and its bass response and even soundstaging and imaging would be ok close to the wall, but it could be somewhat bright if too close to sidewalls and ceiling. The larger front ported Harbeth Monitor 30 is out of your price range and would also be somewhat bright in a small room. The front ported Harbeth Compact 7ES is closer to your price range, but I would worry about boominess because it has nicely extended bass in free space. Maybe if you had them up on really high stands, then of course you have a potential ceiling reflection problem. Maybe Charlie (danvetc), who has his Compact 7's in a small room, will chime in here. I don't know how close to the wall his are.

What I think you need is a sealed or front ported speaker with rolled off bass and rolled off top end. The Harbeths are extended top and bottom. The little Spendors may be a better fit.

Maybe the little Epos (M12? M15? - the model names have changed from ES11 or ES12).
Good Bishop: Have Dave Ellis build you a pair of his 1801s. Check them out at

Excellant stuff at half the price. You can even audition it inhouse for the price of shipping.

Are you familiar with Hiquphon tweeters? Very nice stuff that you will not see retail in the 2k price range.

Worth a look anyway.


Sincerely, I remain
ProAc Tablette 2000 Signature $ 1,700.00 list
I use the Harbeth Compact 7ES-II in a small room. Due to traffic flow, I keep them mostly against the wall on 24" stands. Out of laziness, they are often listened to in that position. They sound great even against the wall. (I have a ten foot ceiling.) I could not give a higher recommendation than this world class monitor! (About $2500 US.) Good luck, Charlie.
Don't own the Harbeth 7ES-II but they're supposed to be great if you can stretch your budget. Agree with previous posters on the Spendor S3/5s (which I own), which beat the classic LS3/5s (own 2 pairs). Excellant for the type of music you play, and sound good a low levels where many speakers fail.
Jean Marie Reynaud Twinn Mk II ($650 used or so), astounding sound, musical, accurate and sound very good with all sorts of music. I've owned Harbeths HL7ES MKII as well, true they are better all the way around but cost much more accordingly. For much much less the JMR are above par with many other high end mini monitors in your price range and will outperform many.

In my opinion, you might be pleased at saving some money on a speakers that fit the bill very well and don't cost near $2k. After all, they will be for a guest room and be used at mainly "low to moderate volumes". The Twinns are well built and have a great fit and finish, actually especially good at their modest price point.

Good luck,

Epos and proac are both rear ported. Both are great speakers, but I can't imagine for a minute that any rear ported cabinet will work close to the rear wall.
I have the same size room (10x12x8) and have tried many difffernt monitors (Traingle, B&W, Joseph Audio etc). Currently the ProAc 1SC's have been the best by a large margin. However, they need to be at least 15 inches from the rear wall. I was skeptical since they are rear ported but they sound great in my small room. I set them up on the long wall and listen in the nearfield (don't really have a choice in my room) The ProAc's require very high quality speaker stands and top notch electronics to yeild the most perfomance. I am driving them with an Audio Resarch VT-50 (45 watt tube amp) directly connected to a Wadia 860x fully balanced.
I agree with those that have mentioned that ProAcs need to be away from the rear wall. I love my Tab 50 Sigs, but they definitely benefit from being into the room more.

Jla, I've been thinking of getting a pair of 1SCs myself. Sounds like you have a very nice setup.
Thanks to all. The Ellis speakers are intriguing; I'll have to learn more about them.

Alas, they must go slap-dab flat up against the wall. No options there. That would seem to rule out anything rear ported.

I'm not so indulgent that I would install a system in my guest room just for the occasions when I have overnighters. That room is my Sunday afternoon respite spot with a glass of wine, the NY Times, and music.