whats up chuck? if you go analog and are serious you better cough up some coin for hi quality speakers or you won't get the benefit of the analog end of it. (assuming you are not buying a technics tt and a 40$ cartridge). you have a tiny space and only option is gonna be smaller monitors that can handle near wall placement o.k.. sealed design or front ported. room too small for true deep bass waves to develop. i reccomend you go to a quality dealer and tell him what you are doing before you start building a system you will regret. not being a know-it-all but you need some big picture advice before you start spending $$$ unless you have unlimited $$$ to blow. good luck! 'warm and tight'? i think we all want that man.
In a small room and on that budget I would look at the entry level Vandersteen speakers or a good old fashioned great budget speaker like DCM Time Windows.
Hey Chuckelator - welcome!
What are your other chosen components - source and pre/power/integrated? Knowing those will help others offer more pointed advice.
Small spaces such as yours are very good candidates for a near-field listening setup with high-quality monitors. Also...your small room will respond and benefit greatly with careful acoustic treatment.
So, let us know your overall plan...
NHT M-OO powered monitors with a Bellari VP-129 phono preamp. It has a volume control and a headphone jack. A passive pre-amp can be added for little money if you want multiple inputs and a sub if you need more bass. All this can be done incrementally. Your space is too small to warrant concern about most of the audiophile issues you see addressed here.
I wouldn't spend a lot of money unless you will be using headphones, in which case the room is not an issue. Not only is your room small, it is a cube. That's the worst acoustic obstacle you can face so headphone or very nearfield are your best bets.
Are you sure the 8' X 8' dimensions are correct? If so, the most difficult thing is that you don't have a "fairly small room", you have an incredibly small room. So small as to not be able to overcome the room issues that will present themselves.
While it may be surprising to many of us here, because we tend to deal with 4 to 5 figure pricetags, you can pick up a lot of good loudspeakers in your pricerange. You just need to play in the used speaker lot. Early 1970s Japanese loudspeakers from the likes of Sansui would be something to look at, they are very easy to drive and have a really engaging, yet not harsh, tone. Also, maybe a pair of used Vandersteen 1, Dahlquist, ESS, or Fried loudspeakers.
I second Macrojack good suggestion.
I'll give a third nod to Macrojack, especially if you have a standard 8' ceiling.
Problems associated with square rooms can be mostly alleviated by using a setup arranged on the diagonel .
Setup your speakers in one corner firing to the opposite corner where your listening position is . I learned this from an amp and speaker designer , it works for me in a 10'X10' room . The trade off , there is always a trade off , is that your soundstage will be compromised somewhat .
Good luck .
chuck, hate to repeat myself...but, you really should find a pro and have a good conversation with him before you start stuffing speakers into that space. it will save you tons of wasted time and $. dont be embarrased to talk to dealers in the know, they love to talk stereo and show their knowledge. Plus most of them work all day waiting for someone to ask for honest advice as opposed to being treated like salesmen. find a higher end shop and go at off hours.
Ear speakers, better known as 'headphones'. This should be your first stop, no room treatment problems. After that, find a dealer that does speaker loans'. Most will do so if you are looking for something small. Invest in a good pair of stands, that should be filled, spiked top and bottom. That will give you a try to see if the headphone sound can be beat. Also, some dealers have 'room analyzers' which they loan. The latter can go a long way to telling you what room reactions are in the room.
How about a pair of paradigm active 20's or some other active monitor; I think quad and wharfedale makes some as well.
You may not get the deepest bass response but I think the system could sound very nice.
Are you running a pre amp,intregated, or a receiver?
Buy the PSB Stratus Mini's (now on sale here). Great value. Newly manufactured speakers of that calibur likely would cost 3-4 times more. They do need some power to come alive. (87db) Good luck.
If the first thing I'd been told on getting into this hobby was that I lived in the wrong sized room to enjoy it, I might have walked away. No, a cube isn't ideal. And, yes, absolutely buy some good headphones at some point to take advantage of the Bellari's (or an integrated's) headphone amp. (A used pair of Sennheiser HD580 or HD600s would likely meet your tonal preferences: I run my HD600s from my NAD integrated and, even having owned a good headphone amp in the past, I think they sound just fine.)
But sometimes there's just no substitute for cranking up a pair of speakers. The specific recs above are a great place to start, and some present you with options of how to set yourself up--i.e., integrated with speakers or a Bellari alone into actives. Macrojack's idea is a cool one. You live where you live, and you can still buy some good stuff and enjoy the music.
go listen to a pair of Paradigm Atoms, they would be perfect for you and only cost around 300.
im going integrated most likely. primary source is gonna be a turntable, probably a vintage thorens or one of the nicer japanese models from the 70's or 80's
These would be hard to beatWOW
if you don't need pristine.
Oops, I see they have already been recommended.