Speakers for my room

Room is 15 foot cathedral ceiling. Glass on one side at about 20 feet depth. Other side opens to a kitchen. So it's pretty big and I have rather inflexible placement options. I currently own an NAD 326bee but could potentially upgrade. We listen while moving about, off axis and sometimes 20 feet directly away on a couch. Source equipment is rather low end both digital and vinyl. 
We listen to classic rock, female and male vocals as well as some newer stuff like tha Alabama shakes. We are not huge bass heads. 
I would like to find some speakers that do well when one is away from the sweet spot. I would love a pair that I can hear details even at lower volumes. I'm not opposed to used. 
I'm a bit of a mess trying to decide. I've considered bookshelves (Kef 300 and ls50, Nola boxer and Polk lsim models) as well as Towers from psb, vandersteen ( 1ci) and KEF. 
Any advice?

With a room as large as yours I would go with towers. Your NAD is a great amp and will do a great job with speakers like the PSB X2T or the B&W 683S2. Another great speaker is the Monitor Audio Sliver 8. Good luck with your speaker search.

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I have a pair of Shelby+Kroll monitors with matching subs that will give you exactly what want. The monitors were designed for studio use and home audio. They throw a huge sound stage with spooky real imaging. With the size of your room, the S+K’s sound are superior for off axis listening. Do a search and see my many posts about them and some pics of how good they look.
If your in the Greater NJ, PA,NY area I can demo them for you.



It sounds to me like kmurp places a high priority on what’s happening outside the traditional "sweet spot".

It is possible to get not only correct tonal balance, but also pretty good soundstaging, for listeners well outside the sweet spot IF the speakers are designed to do so and IF they are set up properly. Here is what’s called for, in my opinion:

Good tonal balance outside the sweet spot, including well off to the side and/or far away from the speakers, depends on the speakers’ off-axis sound having essentially the same spectral balance as its on-axis sound. So that’s the first design requirement.

But good soundstaging from well outside the sweet spot is more difficult to pull off, because the image will tend to be pulled strongly towards the near speaker. However there is a technique that works well by taking advantage of the characteristics of human hearing.

The ear localizes a sound source by two mechanisms: Arrival time and intensity. When we listen from off to one side, obviously the near speaker "wins" arrival time. But if we could somehow make the far speaker "win" intensity, we stand a very good chances of hearing a reasonable spread of the voices and instruments instead of hearing them as coming from the direction of the near speaker.

The way to accomplish this is to use speakers that have very well-controlled radiation patterns in the horizontal plane, ideally -6 dB at about 45 degrees off-axis to either side (in other words, a nominally "90 degrees wide" pattern). This well-controlled radiation pattern is the second design requirement, and it often accompanies the first.

Now for the setup requirement: We need to toe these speakers in very aggressively, such that their axes criss-cross in front of the normal listening area. We might use 45 degrees of toe-in, for example.

So let’s look at what happens for a listener well off-axis: The near speaker still "wins" arrival time of course, but he will be nearly on-axis of the FAR speaker, yet very far off-axis of the NEAR speaker! So the far speaker "wins" intensity, at least in the more imaging-critical upper midrange and treble regions. I’ve shown such speakers at high-end audio shows for years, and always provide at least one seat that is way off to the side. When someone ends up sitting there, I ask them how it sounds, and they are always pleasantly surprised. The technique works and works well. Credit to Earl Geddes - he was my teacher.

The secret here is, the output of that near speaker must fall off rapidly and smoothly as we move off-axis. In other words, this technique will not work well with most speakers. But if listening outside the normal sweet spot is a priority, imo it’s well worth seeking out speakers that have a roughly 90 degree radiation pattern over most of the spectrum, and then toeing them in aggressively so that you get that wide, wide sweet spot. Of course the imaging will be best up and down the centerline, but it will still be quite enjoyable from well off to the side, and the spectral balance will be correct throughout the room and probably even into the next room.

I know it seems counter-intuitive to think that you can actually get a wider sweet spot by using narrow-pattern speakers, but with the right kind of narrow-pattern speakers (the pattern must be uniform) and with the right kind of setup, the speakers work WITH (rather than against) your ear’s two localization mechanisms to significantly outperform wide-pattern speakers as far as off-centerline listening goes.

Imo, ime, ymmv, etc.



You have a problem room....If you have (or even if you don't) a liking for Vandersteen speakers touch base with John at AudioConnection in New Jersey.  He can surely help.  Even if you don't buy from him, he's loaded with ideas.