I think you are pushing it with the D38's in that room. The D80's will be too large I'm afraid. You might consider the new D28 for that size space.
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Thanks for the reply Dodgealum. Wondering why you consider them (or even the 38's) to be too large? I received information from another person who indicated they didn't think it would be too much of a problem given the D80's aren't overly bass heavy, and ported at the bottom rather than the rear. Does this sound credible?
Just as a background - the D80's I have been offered are $7,800, and they are almost brand new - which is cheaper than a set of D38's! So obviously I would be keen to make the step up to the 80's if I am going to get a better sound in my room.
Any more opinions would be really appreciated. Any D80 owners out there in a 17' x 17'?
I auditioned the D25s and D38s in two separate rooms--one slightly smaller than your space and the other slightly larger. I also had a pair of D25's in my own listening room (14 X 23 X 9) for over two months. The D25's really needed my larger room to fully open up and I still could not get the bass to sound tight and tunefull. While all rooms are different in terms of materials used for construction, glass etc I'm worried that your fairly small and square (not good for standing waves) room simply will not support the larger Proac. I'm no expert here--I haven't even heard the speaker. However, based on my experience with the others I would caution you against it.
If your preamp has the tone control for bass, go to D80.
I was also considering D38, but D80 exceeds every way while D38 was also quite good. Its twin midrange drivers truly make heaven.(As you know, D38 is not 3 way speaker. It's a matter of design but take advantage of full 3 way design Mr. Tyler offers...)
My set up for D80 is 16' wide toe in set up at large size room but I think the bass is not that difficult to control because of its bottom port design.
Is the pair you are considering a used or demo pair? The price would be a steal but make sure its actual running time. It would take so long to break in.