Speaker choice, help please.

I am thinking of getting a new pair of speakers. My current set is Sonus Faber Signum on its wood stands.
- Distance from speakers: 9 ft
- Distance between speakers: 8 ft
- Room dimention: 22' x 12' x 9'
- There are equipment rack and TV set between speakers
- Distance from front wall to speaker: 1' or less
- Front wall (facing me): usual apartment wall, no treatment is possible.
- Monitor on stand preferred (but can be flexible as long as it is not too big).
- Have subwoofer (REL Strata II, not III): need to change as well?

Now, given conditions above, I am looking for something with very wide and deep sound stage, and easy-to-disappear kinds + of course great sound. My kind of music is classic - violin, piano, orchestra - relatively warm side, and accurate from top to bottom is required if at all possible. Yes, I like Sonus Faber sound, but would like to have broader recommendation. Budget is not much of concern for now. Thanks in advance.
Just to get things going I will state my opinion.
I am enamored with single driver, crossoverless speakers, and will be from now on. I am presently the owner of a wonderful pair of Ocellia Tilias, which use an 8 inch driver from Phy-Hp and a custom designed Piezo cone for frequencies above 11KHz, and they won a "golden Ear" arward from The Absolute Sound magazine, and a pair of Diatone based full range speakers from EIFL in Japan with bass relex cabinets from Wood B. Lansing. If you are in search of musicality, single driver crossoverless speakers speak the truth, even with their bandwidth limitations. I drive my main system with a custom made 300B from 3D Audio, and a custom made passive preamp.
I have heard Sonus Faber speakers in systems before, and have found them great to listen to for awhile but not for me as far as living with them. I listen to MUSIC, not Sound.
Best of luck in your search for the Truth in Music.
If you like Sonus Faber, you might want to consider Chario Millenium 1 or 2, supposidly very good.
shahinian or gradient revolution.....or stck with the signums
I couldn't say it any better than Array1138. It sure sounds like your headed towards the single drivers! I never heard the PHY-Hp ...but would love too. Very high quality drivers no doubt!

If budgets not a concern .You have a host of great single driver speakers out there that will do exactly what you want. Given the distance from the rear wall .You probably need a speaker cabinet that vents to the front or side.

I also have spent much time listening to Sonus Faber. Very easy to listen too speaker. But a crossoverless single driver will make them sound like you threw a blanket over them. There's so much more info delivered from the midrange in this type of speaker IMHO. Strings have a electrostatic quality..very fast and immediate. Also don't get caught up on just the dealer network wide range speakers.There's plenty of smaller companies that give you more of what you pay for. Here's a few links to get you started.

Good luck!

ZHorns. The JORDAN JX92S driver TL maybe a speaker to look at or the zHorn Heruka uses the Fostex FE 168 E Sigma driver, a 6.5 inch driver.

Carolina Audio. Basically the same Jordan driver implementation..different company.

Brines Acoustics. Maybe a LT-2000 or the FT-1600 MK2 if you want to eliminate the subwoofer in the system.

The Horne Shoppe. If you want to go with the corner loaded approach.This maybe the speaker.

As I said plenty more ..this is just a start! The good thing about some of these companies is a money back guarantee..try before you truly buy.
I was just checking out your speakers Cellia ! Man those are lovely!! The Calliope.30 looks like a force to be reckon with as well. When you get tired of them..hit me up.:-)

Good listening!

Konus Audio Essence ... designed by the European distributor of 47 Labs gear. Excellent sound with within inches of any wall.
Thank you, everyone. I am very intrigued by the idea of single driver, network-less.
One more naive question:
Wouldn't I need subwoofer? I mean, piano is said to need strong bass capability... I know I would have to listen for myself, but just want to know what you thought about it when you first listened to those speakers.
My 2 previous sets of speakers were horns--(Lowthers and SAP audio)(Quartetts) ---A good horn speaker makes many speakers sound like they have a horse blanket thrown over them.----Not so for Merlin's--they do everything you have described,and more.(and you won't miss the horns)--well,I didn't.
>There are equipment rack and TV set between speakers
- Distance from front wall to speaker: 1' or less<

These two things alone are going to dictate the sound of whatever you buy. And it is going to be severely limiting. Nothing will perform optimally, just so you know going in....

Thank you.
I have listened to Merlin at various shows more than a few times, but somehow was not impressed. Must be the room, though, or different cup of tee.
I know the limitation. I know everybody recommends against it. But I have to live with what I have. Not everybody is fortunate to have a dedicated audio room, especially in NYC apartment dwellers. Thanks anyway.
As far as the sub question goes. It depends on your taste.Some of these single drivers benefit from the addition of a subwoofer or subwoofers. There are a few that work well without a sub. The Bob Brines FT-2000s get down around 30 Hz. The FTA-2000's are also spec to do the same. From living with these speakers I've concluded they go lower than what the specs say. I'm getting into the 20 Hz range without boom in my room with single drivers. The room loading is different from room to room.So your results may vary. The Jordan TL may be your best bet mated with a sub.
Thanks. I will try both ways. If I decided I don't need it, I will get rid of it :-)
Like you pointed out, I am leanig toward trying out Jordan stuff. Must be very interesting.
Thanks again for your suggestion.
Khokugo there's one pair of Bob Brines FTA-2000s in New York city.Audiogon member Bemopti123 (AKA Paul) owns them.
He may give you a listen. Do a members search and email him. He's a nice fellow. FYI there's only four pairs of this speaker in the world built by Mr.Brines and one is close enough for you to get a listen.

Good luck!
Thanks. But FTA-2000 seems to be too big. I may, however, contact him in the future. Thanks.

By the way, how far can those single drive speakers by apart? This may be a dumb question - depends on the design, etc., but since there is already something between my speakers, I MUST keep the speakers 8t apart from 9ft distance without worrying about the sound stage gap. Please share your experiences. Ken
Ken my speakers are 8ft apart..no problems. I've listened to 5 inch single drivers that were 10ft apart..no gaps.LOL
You have nothing to worry about in that area.You would be surprised with how wide the stage can be with some 4 inch drivers..probably amazed .If you haven't experienced it before , your in for a shocker!!

Infact you'll spend several days trying to figure out how the designer got so much sound out of one driver. I find it quite amazing ...that's why I'm constantly looking for and reading about the designs of these speakers.

I figured the FTAs would be too big. It was more for field trip experience.So you can get an idea of how some of these different implementations using a wide range driver sound.

BLH or backloaded horns have their strengths. They play a little louder before compression than the Transmission line designs.The BLH is also more efficient. The TL's are not as efficient but have much better low end response.In order to get the same low end response the BLH cabinets must be huge.

In your and my position the TL is where it's at. The cabinets aren't overly large but don't sacrifice low end grunt.As you look through the different types. Look up the prices on some of these drivers.You will quickly realize that a good portion of the cost of some of these speakers. Is attributed to the very high grade expensive drivers some of them use. We're talking $3000 just for a pair of drivers!!

Here's a good site to give you more to think about Full-range Driver & Loudspeaker Theory.
Look into the Green Mountain Audio Callisto's. They do everything you want. You can see a review from Sixmoons.com here:
I got Essence second-hand here. The coherence, musicality, and enjoyment of this single driver speaker is truly amazing. I know I may be missing real low bass as well as extreme treble, but so far I don't feel I am missing much. I got rid of subwoofer also. I like Essence more than Sonus Faber + REL combo, from musical enjoyment stand point. Really happy with less and smaller equipment. And another amazing aspect of Essence is they can be separated apart, I mean really apart. Almost 10ft apart, with listening position is just 8ft or less. Stereo imaging seems infinite, even though there are equipment rack and TV set in between. If only I can sit back further, I would try even further apart. Thanks, Jeff and everyone! Ken

PS: Sead of Konus is very kind to guide me through the set-up as well as other questions, although I bought them used. He was happy that I was happy. I think he is one of the friendliest manufacturers out there.

PPS: I put Symposiums's Svelt Shelves under the speakers. It give another notch, for sure. Anybody should try them.
Don't know whether I am too late with a suggestion. However, I have a system in a room almost exactly the same size as yours, with similar constraints -- speakers must be close to the wall behind them, room treatments not an options, relatively near-field listening position, etc.

I was planning on Sonus Faber Cremona Auditors at a time when I was also planning Cremonas in another room.

I bought Zu Druids for the 22' x 12' room and Zu Definitions for the other system. The Druid uses a full-range driver plus a supertweeter. There is no crossover -- the signal goes directly to the FRD and the supertweeter is on a high-pass network rolling in at 12kHz as the FRD naturally rolls off.

Zu's speakers are 101db/w/m efficient and the Druids specifically are 12 ohm. They are an 11"w x 6"d x 50"h column on a 12" x 12" base-plate, so their footprint is about what a standmount would be. They can be used very close to the wall and even corner effects are quite limited. You get uniform transient speed, clarity, definition and punch up and down the range from just under 40Hz to 22kHz or so. The Druids can deliver true high-end sound from any of several inexpensive, low power amps, and yet fully justify amplification 10X their cost. Anyway, if you haven't committed, Zu Druids will deliver what you're looking for in a form factor you can assimilate. They are well worth considering.