I also have to put speakers on a book shelf, I went with Harbeth for the front port and very neutral sound. A bit boring to look at however. KEF would be another good choice which I have owned. I have heard the Sonus Faber and liked it quite a bit., including the looks. It would help to know what you have now and how they sound to you.
In a small space like that ,why do you think you need speakers with an 88 db sensitivity? There are so many other options with less sensitive bookshelf type speakers. You should look into a LS3/5A type of speaker. There are many brands to choose from. Spendor, Harbeth, Falcon, Stirling and Graham all make this type of speaker!
Although the Quad Z-1 only have a sensitivity of 86 Quad make a great speaker. I had the S-5 and the imaging was the best of any speaker I have ever owned Loved the wood finish , much more pleasing than my current Focals. Wish I had never sold them and if I can find another pair in good shape I will buy them on the spot.https://www.soundandvision.com/content/quad-z1-loudspeaker-review
Thanks for your comments, regarding the space is my mistake , the dimensions are 6.5 meters x 4.2 meters ( 21.3 x 13 ft)
I have similar taste and room dimensions. This setup has me happy:
* Quicksilver Integrated tube amplifier. Also rated 20 wpc and is more than hefty enough to drive the speakers. Less expensive than the Raven Nighthawk, solid construction, designed and built by Mike Sanders.
* Focal Aria 906 speakers. Rated 89.5 dB sensitivity. For moderate to moderate-low volume, I rarely have the amp volume control above 10:30 o'clock.
Musical plus plenty of detail.
Thanks charles7 ; I have not considered the Focal 906 until now ; how do you describe the SOUND with the focal?
I recently purchased the Sonus Faber Sonetto II's and all I can say is WOW! For such a small speaker it really does over deliver your expectations. I, too, like you, was unable to audition and went with a dealer recommendation and am beyond thrilled with the performance. This was the first pair of speakers I purchased without auditioning. The bass is one of the things that impresses me the most. Also, the unique cabinet design adds to the bass performance. There is a front port that pushes air beyond expectations so you can place close to the wall. I went with the white color that matches my bookcases and use without the black grills.
I second the front ported 8 ohm Focal Aria 906. I would not pair that great tube integrated amp with a 4 ohm speaker period. The amp will take away the brightness of the tweeter. Great pairing for that medium-sized room.
I know that Raven pairs the Avian series integrated amps with their own Celeste, a 4 ohm speaker with higher sensitivity of I believe 90 dB/1 m, and supposedly it is a great pairing. They claim the high current of the amp can drive speakers with a sensitivity of 85 dB/1 m ... so maybe you can get away with the Sonetto. You definitely need a front ported or sealed speaker. Sonus Faber in general tend to be tipped to the yin (warmer in presentation) I believe, and paired with a tube integrated might be too much of a good thing. If you cannot listen to the speakers, the Focal to me seems like a much safer bet.
I have a Raven Osprey (bigger brother to the Nighthawk). I have used the Osprey with both Harbeth 30.2 and Bowers & Wilkins 805D3 speakers. Osprey easily drives both speakers well. Sound between the two is surprisingly very similar, though B&W 805D3's have slightly better sound.
I can see where the B&W 805D3s would be a good pairing for the same reason the Focal would be — higher impedance, front ported, and a treble that can be a little bright and tamed by tubes. From what I have read, the B&Ws still benefit from being pulled out into the room 2-3 feet for proper imaging.
One bookshelf you might consider is the Aerial 5T (4K new). It is front ported and was designed to be placed within 2 inches of the wall. It has specs very similar to the Sonnetto, and definitely is tipped to the yin, so my previous concerns apply here as well.
Final thought. Raven is one of the better companies in terms of customer service. Perhaps they could give you some feedback on a good bookshelf speaker to pair with the amp.
The Raven has 4 ohm taps and I think would work well with the Vienna Acoustic Haydn Grand Symphony Edition.
They are front ported and are specifically designed to work near wall. They could work very well for you.
I am contemplating becoming a Vienna Acoustics dealer but am not one. I find them very good sounding speakers.
My room is at least 1m bigger each way than yours. Recently we had some small speakers only 87dB sensitivity and the Raven Blackhawk drove them good and loud.
So no worries about power. Also would not worry about warm speakers being too much of a good thing. Raven is not "warm" other than compared to sterile analytical solid state. My Blackhawk is real nice and neutral, with both great bass and excellent top end. I would call it liquid maybe but not warm. The Nighthawk is the same amp only without the bespoke in-house Raven caps, and a few other little things. But basically the same amp. What you will probably find then is it sounds great when turned on and then after playing music an hour or two gets to sounding downright magical.
So my only speaker recommendation would be to steer towards speakers that share this same strength. Emotion and inner detail uber alles.
A newly formed tube lover, eh? Welcome to the party. Your preferences
mirror my own. I will assume an 8' ceiling? So not a small space really.
There are so many choices of great 2-way speakers for an office use
that can hardly get a dog. Some of the brands mentioned above are not
in line with your listening preference. I own older Tannoys for the main system and am also perfecting my office system.
My current speaker front runners are:
(not in order)
Spendor 3/1 $1.5+ or - used. Or the old BC1s. Ugly and bigger but
sound is excellent and a collectors item.
Dali Minuete $1.6 -By far the prettiest. Walnut glossy. Loved it.
Rogers/Graham LS3/5A $2.5 Best on the human voice. Easily resold.
Fyne -Smaller Coax 2way. $1.0 -Newer company
that represents the Tannoy brain trust. Value!!
If you live anywhere near Fritz or Decware those two are on my must hear list. Some makers will let you have an audition but freight
fees add up.
Please advise what you buy!
The OP is noticeably absent. The great and almighty MC has spoken. If the Raven is neutral, and he would know, maybe look to the Aerial Acoustic 5T or Sonus Faber to get the warm sound you desire
Upss, my apologies for not being more active. I am no familiar with the “ rules of engagement” for this forum. Yes, I notice that MC gave his valuable opinion and I really appreciate all contributions . I enjoy a lot the process of buying a new piece of equipment, for example, I have been searching information for every speaker you have suggested , mainly reviews , that increases my knowledge ( but no my hearing abilities unfortunately ). Fritz and Salk speakers were unknown to me until they were mentioned in Audiogon ; fantastic ! Love the concept of a man doing everything in contrast to the big companies that have funds to do research and development.
Last night I have another good feeling in these search . The primaluma pre-amp that a friend loan me , is connected to my McIntosh amplifier: I told my wife to spent a few minutes listening to ( a tidal master playlist fo classic jazz ), She is not an audiophile for sure, but I took her 5 minutes to notice something diferent and I was so surprised for her comment : " ….. that sound is like silk” , wow , now I know she wont complain when the Raven and chosen speakers boxes arrive home. By the way as you have notice I am not english fluent, I am an Urologic surgeon ( still very active ) living in a town in the Andes Mountains , Bucaramanga , Colombia, I know only two other audiophiles in our city to share the hobby , so , no, I do not have the experience you have even though I started reading , buying and trading gear at 15 years old. Thanks a lot , these forum is very interesting (and sometimes frightening )
cast a wide net for inputs, the emperor is often naked and wandering lost…..
You should consider a Dadelus product, especially if you value a fine cabinet.