Small Room Question

I need some help from some of the more experienced folk out there. I am currently driving B&W Nautilus 805s with a SF Power 2 (or occasionally a McCormack .5 Rev A) in a small room (12x14x8). In general I like the sound and don't necessarily need/want deep deep bass (<35 or so), although a little more than the 805s 45hz would be helpful.

My problem is that my headphones sound way better than my speakers with regard to openness, seamless integration of frequencies, lack of boxy sounds, feeling of envelopment.

I want to seriously upgrade my speakers and would like to hear the experiences of anyone who has is similarly restricted/challenged (?) with regard to available listening space. I can place speakers about 3ft from rear wall (covered with heavy curtains). Would floorstanders/electrostatics go berserk in a room this small?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Haven't decided on price yet but would like the speakers to match the quality of my anciliary equipment so $4 to $6k, maybe cheaper if used.

i have a similiar size room (13x13x9) and went from floorstanders to monitors/sub. the monitors are almost 3 ft from the rear wall. the monitors simply disappear. the rel sub was fairly easy to match up with the monitors and the room. I also added 4 asc tube traps in the corners, 2 14"x4' in the front and 2 10"x6ft in the rear.
Those speakers should be sufficient to deliver the sound you seek. Did they sound better in a previous room? What are you using for a speaker stand? What do you have between them? Do you also have a thick absorbing carpet and soft cushy furniture? Are opposing walls hard and bare?

You are eventually going to have to experiement with some setup issues to get the sound you want anyway, you might as well spend time first with these. It will inform your shopping, and you might be surprised to find all you want is a sub.

There's no reason you shouldn't be able to get at least damn fine sound out of a pair of 805's. And if you are not, you wont be getting your money's worth out of the next pair either.
I too had the same problem.
Floor standers were way to big in my 11" X 13" room.
Went to a pair of monitors with stands.
Less bass was the trade off,no more standing bass waves.
I have tube traps and acoustic panels that i'm also using to dial in the room.
Small rooms are not the best but can be made to sound good with a little time and patience.
In your price range the selection is huge.
Try to audition the speakers in you're room with you're equipment and with you're choice of music.
Just my $.02 Rick.

Check out the Gershman Acoustics Avant Garde RX 20. It will give you really great bass and detailed sound in that size room. I own a pair and they are beautiful as well as great sounding. They are 4500 new but can be gotten used for 2300-2800.
If you stick with the 805 you will need a sub - they need one - most places that I have been to have them setup that way. The best I have heard them with is the Vandersteen sub. The RX 20 needs no sub at all.
Electrostats will be different and to get better bass you would have to go with a sub say with the Martin Logan Aeon i. The Ascent or Odyssey which I also own would not thrive in a room that size and you would need them to get deeper bass than you have now.
There was a related thread last week, check this out: "" I intend on trying this out in the future since I too have a small room with questionable acoustics.

My room is 14'x12'x9' and I'm using a pair of monitors right now. I also have a pair of floorstanders that I use too (just interchange them from time to time). In both cases, I bettered the sound of my room by using a set of DIY Room Lenses. They give more detail, air and a wider soundstage. For $60-100 a set/3 you can't do wrong. I also use a carpet over my hard floors(ceramic tyle over a cement foundation), courtains to cover my glass windows, two DIY accoustic panels at the front corners of the room, and a DIY 72"x30"x2" decorative foam panel behind my listening position that helps to absorv the back-reflecting sound.

Even with my monitors (Madisound Geminies with Dynalab drivers in D'Appolito) the bass is pleasent enough and don't need a subwoofer.

Before investing that sum of money for the new speakers, try:
1- to move things around using different settings,
2- move your speakers around at different lenghts from back/side walls,
3- a near field configuration do the trick sometimes, even when you get used to seat farther,
4- have someone near you with Room Lenses to take them to your home for a demostration (or check how to make a set at tweaker asylum).

Keep us informed and good luck.

My room is very small, (12'x11'). I have been through many speakers and even a sub/monitor. Floorstanders did not work. Linn speakers worked well, also ATC an AVI monitors worked very well. I finally settled on Joseph Audio RM7si. They do every thing right, they are front ported. I listen in the nearfield with a futon as my seat and a large dhrury (sp?) rug hanging on the wall behind me.
Good Luck
Thanks to everyone who replied. There is certainly lots of food for thought here. Without trying to answer all the questions posed I will note the following:

1. I have tried a number of different speaker/listening positions and I think I have just about the best I can get. I'm listening in the nearfield (6ft)to remove as many reflections as possible
2. The entire floor is covered with carpet.
3. The speakers did sound slightly better in my previous room (approx 25x15x9) since they were "miles" from the side walls (?) Although they never came close to the headphones and were always a little bass shy.

Having read a little bit about acoustic theory today I did a clap test in the room and definitely noticed a little ping as the sound decayed (Not as much as my bathroom but a good deal more than my bedroom). Probably caused by bare side walls.

Based on my reading and advice here I will take a closer look at some treatments, echo busters or whatever and let you know

Thanks guys!