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I would consider a Parasound integrated it has everything you need in one piece of equipment and plenty of power. You may want to consider the new smaller Magnepans with a sub this should give you terrific sound within your budget. I'm sure there are many other speakers like the Kef Ls50 with a sub that would also be great.
I haven't been impressed as I thought I would with the KEFs fof certain music. I love them in a home theater setting but lack a little on the high end on acoustic music. On the other side of that it feels like B&W can be a bit harsh on the highs give a bit of fatigue after a lot of listening...but both of these could always be from the amp they were hooked up too.
KEF LS50W. Not sure if a sub is needed in such a small space.
Audience 1+1 V3 need space behind them but they weigh about 5lbs and sound huge.
I owned the 1+1 and the KEF LS50, not LS50W. However, I needed acoustic panels in my room to make the LS50's sing. I doubt you would need acoustic treatment with the LS50W, since it has built-in DSP.
With the LS50 and 1+1 I used the Peachtree Nova 150. That would keep you under $5K for a complete system.
I also used the Benchmark DAC3 HGC and the Benchmark AHB2 with each of those speakers. I liked that combo much more than the Nova 150 however, a lot of people here may say that combo was not MUSICAL. I loved it. That combo was more than $5K.
While this may hold no appeal for you, one way to really open up the budget for better electronics would be to build the Parts Express Solstice speaker kit. These are just over 1K and will compete with speakers that would consume your entire budget. Can't imagine you would not be thrilled with their performance.
This would be a nice system for under five grand!
If you can get to Brooklyn, I would suggest visiting Bache and listen to these:
I picked up my Tribeca speakers a few days ago and they sound wonderful. They are less expensive than the Audio Physic Tempo Plus speakers I have but much better sounding, IMO. I also prefered them over the Harbeth M30.2's. And I also have Quad 57s.
Harbeth P3's, or possibly any of the LS3/5 derivatives. As I type,I'm listening to a pair of Graham Chartwell LS 3/5's in a similarly small room. (9x13x8) The sound,to my ears,very addictive.
You also may want to look into Fritz speakers. I have never heard them myself,but I have never read a bad thing about them. You also hardly ever see them for sale on the used market. I think that speaks volumes.
A pair of Vandy VLR's, and a Belles Aria integrated. If buying new, you'll probably get a nice discount over regular retail price.
If you want streaming source, add a Bluesound Node and Ayre Codex.
These you could buy used and save a bit of cash.
The VLR's could use a sub, but if set up properly, you could get by until funds allow- though I heard them with a set of AQ William Tell speaker cables and felt subs weren't necessary, though unfortunately, they do cost a bit. Once again, something you could add on later.
You'll get varying recommendations and I throw my 2¢ too. I likewise have a small dedicated room so my recommendation may count some. Harbeth P3esr and ProAc Tablette 10 monitors are at the top of my list. Glowing reviews everywhere from the audio mags, forums and youtube reviews. Both mate well w/ PrimaLuna tube amps amongst others. I have the Mystere tube integrated amp (PrimaLuna sister company) w/ the high rated Schiit Mani phono pre and I'm leaning to the Tablette10, but the Harbeth is considered a tad better by some.
I used to have a room almost exactly that size, except higher. No matter what I put in, it was not that great. Until I figured out the room itself.
Maybe someone more adept at it could guide you through the room treatments (which may make your room noticeably smaller, by the way). Size of the speakers will, obviously, matter. Bigger may not be better.
The Halo integrated is a solid choice. You may find an open box or 'B' marked unit at Sight and Sound audio. Plenty of options, at 160 wpch at 8 ohms, it has a lot of power. I own the Halo C2, purchased used via ebay, great unit, really good build quality.
You can purchase the Magnepan LRS direct from Magnepan, 90 day trial, if you don't like them you pay return shipping and that is all. Option 2 trade them in during the first year for a higher priced pair of speakers. They will never fatigue your ears. Qualified down side, they need to be 4 feet from the back wall, to sound their best. You will need a subwoofer or better a DBA swarm bass system. Magnepans are also vampires, no sunlight on them. If you are near a dealer they offer the same trade up option. Or call Magnepan direct they may have some returned models to choose from.
I have called both of these companies, the employees know the equipment and can help with questions.
Could Magnepan LRS be positioned sufficiently far from each other in this room? They are almost 15 inch width each. If they are at any distance from the side walls, they may be really close to each other. Aside from that, I was quite surprised how good they sounded. In a bigger room, that is. I have not heard them in a small one.
I'm in the same situation, and I'm strongly consodering studio monitors; for instance Dynaudio LYD7 (or 8) or Focal Shape 65 (or Genelec or any other) who could be placed close to the wall, with a RME DAC as a pre. (The RME ADI-2 DAC Pro fs has analogue inputs) - it has a 30 band EQ wich could cater for the worst dips in the room (I think).
I think it's easier than bying hi-fi speakers and trying to make them work in such a small space.
Good luck - and please let us know how it works out for you.
The most important thing, especially at your price point, is the room. And there you may be in luck.
The ratio 1 : 1.56 : 1.87 simulates VERY well at 50 cubic meters. You don't have that - only about half. Still, it's a better bet than anyone has a right to expect. I suggest reducing that 84" width to 77" with some thin bookshelves, which gives you 77" x 120" x 144".
Caution: a half inch, even a quarter inch, matters here - I just finished a room to 1/8" tolerances, and it's the best room I've ever heard. If you want to know more, PM me.
I’m in the Denver area with a small room. I was looking for speakers under $2k, and especially wanted to audition some.
I have gone to a number of dealers in our area — Crescendo, ListenUp, Soundings, Gold Sound, QAV. Gold Sound was a nice place to visit because they have a lot of new and used stuff; don’t let their retro website fool you. They’re nice and had genuine expertise.
For speakers in my price range, I have ruled out B&W, Focal, GoldenEar, Polk, Dali, Elac. Some of these speakers sounded very good at a higher price point (e.g. Focal, Spendor, Sonus Faber, Vienna Acoustics), but not at $1-2k. What I heard which really impressed me were Dynaudio Evokes (at Crescendo) and the Totem Sky (at QAV). I have not had the chance to listen to KEF LS50, which I hear is great.
I admit that I listened to some more expensive speakers, just in case they popped up used, e.g. at Tmraudio.com, which is a not-to-long a drive away for Denver area folks to drive to save on shipping. They list a number of very good deals on speakers and I’d be willing to drive up to bring some home for an audition. You might surf their site for deals, knowing that you can purchase, audition, and return without spending anything but a little time.
In the end, I headed the "direct" route and went for Salks; I was seriously tempted by Fritz, Buchardt, Omega, Zu, Ascend. Many of these companies seemed great, but there I didn't see models quite small enough for my listening room (nearfield, desktop). The Salk reputation and build options and quality seemed decisive. I chose a standard veneer, so I have 30 days to change my mind.
I have an ARC VSi55 integrated and Harbeth P3ESR speakers in my small computer room. It doesn't have the scale of my main system, but it's the best sounding system I have. Add in my Clearaudio Emotion turntable, MHDT Labs Orchid DAC, and Parks Puffin phono stage (all bought used) and this system is around $5K.
If you're handy, ditto on the Solstice from Parts-Express...Morel drivers and very well designed. Continueing on that theme, you can also build an Akitika PR-102 and GT-102. This will run you just over $2K, leaving room for some very decent cables and tweaks.
If you have to buy a factory made speaker, try the Dali Rubicon 2s with the Akitika stuff...$3500.00 with budget room for stands & cables.
In my apt: my kitchen/dining room/game&TV space is approx 12x12, with sloping walls 5' then angled in... I'm using a vintage Pioneer Elite DVD/CD Player ($50) into a vintage Parasound HCA-75a power amp with volume controls on the back ($250). Add a pair of KEF ONE bookshelf speakers, a Silnote Audio power cord and interconnect - and I' m golden for vocals (especially female), acoustic piano and vibraphone ("Crystal Silence"), what I call Ereathral (Enya, Dead Can Dance) and light jazz and rock... If I feel the ' need ' to really rock out: I add in a Monoprice Integrated amp ($250) with another interconnect (using the pre-out) for better definition and volume control, and swap out the KEFs for a pair of JBL L25 PRIMA speakers ($450) - and I've got bigger sound... There are so many choices in the vintage/used market - but as a core: I'd start with a PARASOUND HCA -75a or 1000a: good cheap power cheap power you can double up with 2 in mono. I believe the 1st key piece should be your power amp - the piece you will least likely change as you expand/refine your system over time... Ànd Vintage/Used is the way to go...
Tough to say, for sure, but I’ll give it a whirl as my “home office” is the same size in our basement but it has 7’ ceilings.
Belles Aria integrated. 75wpc and has MM phono stage. $2295 new but expect %20 discount.
muscular amp with smooth delivery.
mates well with:
Special 40s list for $3k, but can be bought new for $2400.
DH Labs cables do the trick for me. Huge value products.
what about streaming?
you have a DAC?
You haven't mentioned if you can get the speakers away from the walls or not. There's some great recommendations here, but some I'm not so sure about since you're not going to have much in the way of fudge factor. JBL and KEF are both good for near field type listening.
There's some interesting recommendations, I'll come at it from the cheaper end, as I always start low and work my way up. There's been some great integrated amps mentioned, so many good ones out there you really can't go wrong. Don't overlook companies like Schiit, that make budget and space friendly gear. Currently, you can buy the Polk LSiM 703 bookshelves for less than half off - about $600/pair. All the good Christmas sales are over - like LS50's for $900. At this point I'd never pay $1300 again.
Further improving your available space, I'd consider Elac Navis ARB-51's and kill 2 birds with 1 stone. That gives you a lot for your turntable/cart/cable, and a bit left over for streaming if you want to go there. Plus, the concentric design works incredibly well for near/close field listening. I prefer them a lot to something like the KEF LS50W's. For even less money, the Edifier and Fluance have been getting rave reviews. I've heard lots of positives from those liking jazz and classical.
You could go with Fritz Carrera 7 BE. In home audition is available. It’s not too hard to drive, so plenty of amp options. At Capital Audiofest 2018 they were paired with an 8 watt Modwright headphone amp
That amp is above your budget, but I just mentioned it as an example of amp choice flexibility. Plenty of nice reviews out there for this speaker.
Thanks so far for all the advice, I have been reading a lot over the past 2 days. I was kinda hoping a few speakers and amps would keep getting recommended so a could focus my search, but I can see just how subjective audio equipment can be.
I am going to research more into the sizing of the room to try and tweak the acoustics as much as possible.
I know I will be running vinyl on this system, as I have a brand new project carbon espirit turntable, other than that, I assume eventually I will stream of get a good cd player.
Overall, I want to try and keep the system simple, 2 channel amp, speakers, good interconnects and the turntable...although I am probably missing something.
I can't be more impressed with my large bookshelf kit 2-ways from Madisound. A ported "Klang-Ton" NADA speaker build with Scanspeak Illuminator drivers and upgraded xo parts. $1900. I had the cabs made by Lee Taylor. He builds lots of gear and these are his favorites. Over the top quality for about $1000. Could save there (dont skimp on build, just the finish). A used Rogue Sphinx II Class A/D amp from here on Gon for $900. REL T-7i 10 inch sub finishes it off for $950. Super open, clean and accurate down to 30 hz. Small room. Mixed vinyl and CD.
Came from classic JBL 4311b and NAD power.
A pairing that was nothing short of magical and that approached the best sound I have ever head regardless of price included the Raven Audio Nighthawk amplifier and KEF LS50 speakers. I absolutely loved the sound of this system with all types of music. Class A sound at your budget.
Just make sure you locate the speakers where the manual says to- no higher than 24" off the floor and the bass will be excellent.
I am heavily leaning toward PrimaLuna after researching, as I have always loved the sound of tune amps, I just need to find a place to demo it.
Still up in the air on the soeakers, seems like a few leans for the KEF LS50's, I have only listened to the R3's hooked up to a Rotel 2-channel amp.
I measured the room again and the outer dimensions can be 7.2' x 13' x 9.7' high, so I need to look at the dimensions a bit more to optimize the acoustics.
A different thought, perhaps, with a zero baffle speaker. Many report Spatial M4 Holgram speakers work well in small rooms as they interact less with the room. As low as $2k new with 60 day return policy. I don't own, and haven't heard, but I've been fascinated reading about them. Been daydreaming about matching with a Prima Luna amp, easily in your budget.
I can vouch for the Spatials. I have the M4 Triode Masters in my 10x12 office. I am using an Ekco EV55SE with KT88 tubes. I run it in triode with zero feedback.
With 26 WPC, it sounds fantastic with a wide soundstage. Acoustics and vocals sound much more intimate than the KEF LS50s in a bedroom system.