Looking to upgrade from Focal Profile 918s to something more muscular, but they can't be a ton bigger or uglier. Running with Halcro MC70 and can devote two 200 watt channels to each speaker, also with a REL R528 sub. Any suggestions? Totem Earth and Metal are appealing, but pricey.
If used speakers are an option, I'd recommend the Gemme Audio Tanto or Katana (v2) verisons. Small floorstanders with great sound and high WAF in walnut versions.
These speakers put out an amazing amount of bass for a speaker of any size and are a simple design so there's not much to go wrong. The company has since restructured, and they are no longer made, but that means you can find them on the used market for great prices. (< 2k)
First thing you have to hear the speakers yourself. What price range are you considering? Check out the Scansonic MB 3.5's. They are about 5" taller but about 2" narrower. Just make sure if you do hear them that are broken in. They don't sound all that great out of the box. After 250-350 hrs you would never think they are the same speakers. Being bottom ported they can be placed close to the walls. They will sound the best if positioned about 9' apart and pointed at your shoulders. Good luck
Just curious how op knows it's the speakers that are underperforming? What amp is used? Maybe amp cannot drive the Focals to their max. I heard them once off a krell integrated and they did not strike me as wimpy. Not sure what of similar size would necessarily be better in that regard. Something bigger may be needed. How about adding powered subs? That would take things up a level or two.
I do not know what you mean by "powerful", but I really enjoy my Larsen 8 speakers. I had borrowed a pair from my local dealer and my wife actually liked the way they looked! She says that they remind her of plant stands.
Platinum Audio Solo's....except for some 'stats I owned, these are the most coherent, musical, smallish yet powerful speakers I've owned in my 40 years as a 'phile....and speakers my wife doesn't want me to move on from.
You'll get lots of suggestions here, probably all good. Without color or price to go on, I recommend you take a look at stand-mounted Sonus Faber speakers. Several of their models are gorgeous (IMO), but the one thing owners mention in their ads is the high WAF. Don't be afraid to consider the older models as well. No, I'm not selling mine!
@bodotes mentioned Larsen 8. Note that Larsens are one of the few speakers designed to go against the wall rather than pulled out into the room. Depending on your situation, that could really help with your room aesthetics.
As you go up in capability and power, it's hard to keep the speaker footprint small. I have the active version of the ADAM Audio Classic Column Mk3. It's relatively slim (9" x 12" footprint) and doesn't call much attention to itself, but can fill a whole house with the presence of live music, and the bass is strong down to 30Hz. There's a bass shelving control if you want to move them closer to the walls.
I've heard the Larsen loudspeakers and agree that they have a high WAF. They are designed to be furniture first and audio gear second. They have a very 2 dimensional image and cost far more than I think they're worth. Mostly sold to people with money who "want the best" because can afford it, but also want it to look like furniture. Goes well with your McIntosh stack.
Not sure if they're still available, but there was a pair of Joseph Audio Pearls for sale here that are not too big, very nice looking, and will sound substantially more muscular. If not their Perspective speaker would also be worth a hard look. Best of luck.
I’ve owned many small floor-standers over the years, and WAF is always paramount in our smallish 1932 San Diego home. I would highly recommend Neat Acoustics’s Motive SX2. This phenomenal 30" tall 2 way delivers deep, articulate bass that is astonishing for their size. They’re dynamic, musical, tonally accurate, expansive, heavy on the FUN factor, and in the hi-fi realm, relatively affordable. Try to track down a dealer you can audition them at, then try not to fall for them.. Good luck!
If you're buying new speakers let her choose the color / finish. That way she's in charge of the décor. Worked for me with some boxy speakers that otherwise have a low WAF. She still loves how they look. Good luck.
I have the Focal 918 profile' and went to the Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 in walnut and the wife was very pleased with the looks. In sonics, they are much livelier and balanced than the 918's. The bass is very similar, but the midrange is... beautiful. The highs are very well extended and smooth. Not smooth in a bad way, but the cymbals sound like brass instead of steal. I don't regret the Venere's at all.