Small speakers would always need stands, which dwarf the size of the speakers anyway. Have you come up with a solution to that first?
You have enough power for Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor, but those might stretch your budget (used).
If you come across Red Rose "Ruby" then you ought to give them a try as well. Both sets offer an extended and dynamic sound, including a respectable bass response.
My vote goes for the great look of the Cremona, unless it's still too big...
Check out Royds. Sounds like you like the British speakers already and these little ones are really cool. Hard to find in the USA but they are designed for small rooms and can be placed near the back wall with no sound problems. I heard the Doublets and Minstrel SEs and was VERY impressed with their bass and musicality.
They are little (most of them) but are considered floorstanders.
Good luck! Arthur
About the stands, we do realize they are a necessary evil.
She just wants something that doesn't "look" so large.
I'd imagine there might even be some small towers that would fit the bill. I don't know about placement when it comes to towers.
She thinks 24" x 12" x 12" is big?! Take her to a store and show her what "big" really is!
How about down-sizing her area of the home? Like, "Get outta' my music room woman!!!" :-)
You might also explain that even if you do get a smaller speaker, you have to put it on a stand, which takes up the same amount of room anyway.
Suggestions? Gawd, there are so many choices. There are probably more speakers available than anything in Audio. Browse through the threads on this forum, look at show reports, which have pictures and comments. Then research the one that intrigue you.
If you have to put them close to the wall, rear-porting is not a good idea. Wilson Benesch makes a good little speaker called the ARC, which is bottom-ported, and looks very sharp. http://www.wilson-benesch.com/arc/arc.html
She let's me go play golf ANY time I want and never reminds me about her levity.
For that alone I'm willing to make sacrifices.
She sounds great. Speaker swapping is fun. Thanks for letting us in on it. Here are my ideas:
1) Totems. The Arro mini-tower sounds very musical to me, is small and can go right next to a wall. Very nice-looking wood veneer, amazing sound for a small driver.Totem floorstanders
2)Aurum Cantus. These guys made the Red Rose monitor that sold for three grand. The Leisure 2 SE model has a ribbon tweeter, a Kevlar-carbon fiber mid-woofer and 14 coats of lacquer over real wood. It looks gorgeous, sounds pretty decent in the bass and mids and is magical in the highs.Canadian Aurum Cantus distributor's page
(Sorry I don't know the US source for these.)
I still thing the Ohm MicroWalsh talls are the most WAF, while still sounding great. I think they're 36x6x6. The finishes aren't furniture grade, but atleast they're small. These are definitely "music-listening" speakers, not "hi-fi-listen-to-my-rig" speakers.
I just built a pair of Eska floor standing monitors which I think are a bit special, at least with my home-built Alan Kimmel-designed EL34 amp. I like the way that George "voices" his speakers, and he is "the man" when it comes to passive crossover design. Also, I think his North Creek Spirits got favorably reviewed recently in one of the mags. Check out
Hope this helps!
The Platinum Audio Solo's currently for sale have excellent WAF since they are not tall, but rather a little deeper front to back than other stand-mounted speakers. The sound quality is surprisingly wonderful for the price, with a musicality, and bass capability, qualifying it as a used best buy.
Not affiliated with the seller, just a fan who remembers them in one of my past system setups.
Have you listened to the Spendor SP 3/1P's. They are smaller than the Sp 1/2 and the Sp 2/3 but larger than the S 3/5. It uses the same tweeter and midrange as the SP 100. If you like the Spendor sound but the SP100 or even the Sp 1/2 are too large then SP 3/1 could be ideal; kind of like having your cake and eating it too. I have owned both the Sp 1/2's and the SP 3/1P's and much preferred the SP 3/1P's.
I second the Totem Arro's. Great speakers & high WAF!
Your existing speakers are 24x12x12 = 3,456 cubic inches
Magnepan 1.6QR speakers are 65x19x2 = 2,470 cubic inches
That's a 28% reduction in space! Not even counting your stands.
I know that doesn't help but I couldn't resist. My wife hates the look of my Magnepan 3.6's, but they're in the basement so she tolerates them. I've got Silverline SR12's on Sanus Ultimate Foundation stands upstairs in the living room (15' x 12') and she's never complained about them.
The Green Mountain Audio Callisto's are a excellant speaker for your room size. My room is approx. the same size and I have not found any speaker in this price range that can compete. I heard the Spendor line at the Rocky Mountain Audiofest and liked the Spendors until I heard the Callisto's. The Callisto's are a keeper and for your wife's appeal, you can pick out the wood that goes with her decor. GMA is a great company. They will have a new dealer list out soon on their website. Website and review below.
I kind of fall in the same category as "Golden_ears," but I have a different take on your dilemma. Sure you can get a LS3/5A sized-
speaker which do have a small footprint. But you are going to have to buy a sturdy speaker stand for them. In other words, you will lose much of the advantage of a small footprint by buying a sturdy speaker stand with a near identical footprint to your Spendors.
If you like the speakers, there's a reason. It's not worth kicking yourself if the new speakers don't have same impact.
Look at the Opera lineup...they are made of real woods, have narrow baffles, look "cute."
I have the A308cr Amp with a Herron VTSP-1A/166 tube Pre-amp. I'm running B&W Silver Signature's, about $3,000.00 used.
The Reference 3A MM DiCapo i's are really nice too, brand new $2,750.00 in piano black (really sharp). Acoustic Planet (www.acoustic-planet.com) has their demo pair for sale. They're asking $2,150.00. Pat is the owner and Jim is his assistant.
Spendor 3/5s and a sub? I use the 3/5s in a bedroom/study about the same size. Work well on actual bookshelves- sealed box.
Go listen to some Cremona Auditors if you can, which your wife may find attractive. They can be had used with stands at times for as low as 3k. They sound great in a small room like yours (a large room is a different story).
For a different though also very nice sound, AVI makes some nice, reasonably priced monitors - the Neutron IV and Pro-nine Plus (around 1k and 2k respectively). AVI speakers are the standard in many U.K. recording studios and provide very accurate reproduction of music. They are little hard to find here, as they have just started to be imported into the U.S., but worth listening to if you get a chance. The Pro-nine's are what you want, but if your wife insists on small, they don't come much smaller than the Neutron IV, and they are very solid at their price point.
I have owned many speakers over the years but only two have recvd my wife's approval. They are Thiel 1.5s and Meadowlark Audio Kestrel Hot Rods. If you are familiar with these speakers, you will notice they have a similar appearance with the sloped baffle. This makes them much less visually imposing in a room. Although they have similar appearance, the sound of the two speakers couldn't be more different. I suggest looking at small towers with similar appearance but the listening is up to you.
Check out the small Harbeth speakers; they require power as do most quality small moniters but you have that with your Musical Fidelity. Excellent units.
The spendor 3/1 is another excellent choice but I'd go with the Harbeth first.
Second the Totems,akso IF you want to think about active speaks,check out KRK's,good luck,Bob
I will recommend the Consonance Eric-1 monitor. It has the ability to involve you in the music and not draw attention to electronics. I've never been a monitor fan per-say but the Eric-1 is absolutely amazing. I've been listening to monitors ranging up to 3K and have decided to go with these on sheer toe-tapping, grinning, melt into the music sound. Great extensions at either end.
The real kicker is their price! For right around a $1000 you get great sound wth lots of money left over for quality stands and more music.
I agree with the Eric-1 recommendation. They are my favorite mini-monitors at 1K or less... The looks may not be to everyone's taste, but sound-wise they are phenominal.
Even better IMO (but over 1 and a half times the price) are the Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitors as $1.6K/pr. new.
I think either one of these choices would fit the bill nicely depending on your tastes...
I've mentioned this before, but if possible I would try to hear the Focus Audio FS688. The burr oak finish is stunning-they are small and one reviewer picked them as the best monitor at any price. (I realize that is totally subjective) but at @ 3K they are in your price range. In my opinion the only downside might be that there are not a lot of dealers in the U.S. and they are 85db, but your amp which I believe is 250wpc should be a nice fit. You don't see them for resale so would probably have to purchase new.
My previous system has all been sold. (except CD player)
The Spendor 1/2E's (great speakers) are sadly gone, the amp and preamp both have new homes. (Can't go wrong with an Audio Research LS-15)
A Blue Circle NSCS integrated amplifier is on order. And I found the perfect speakers.
The speakers require no stands or spikes and are only 26" tall.
They acheived my goals' of sounding excellent, fitting the room, being aesthetically acceptable and don't bring attention to themselves but rather hightlight the system as a whole.
I say this after hearing the speakers on a vintage 1970's Denon PMA-770 integrated amp I drug up up from my father's basement and while using vintage seventies lamp cord for speaker wires.
I realize the speakers are not for everyone, (I've never seen a set for sale on Audiogon) but they are the speakers for me.
Thanks for the update, Hbarrel. It's great to hear about lesser-known units, and I'm glad these suit you. If I ever get a chance to hear the Arcs, I'll be sure to take it.