The most obvious and quite good would be ERA Designs.
ERA Design 5 or 4.
ERA Design 5 or 4.
There are lots of good choices, probaby too many to list:
Monitors - ERA (as mentioned by Muzikat), Linn Kan/Tukan, Rega R1, Triangle, Von Schweikert VR-1 (my personal choice)... almost any good monitor > 87db efficiency will do, depending on how loudly you need to play. That's probebly not a big problem in your room.
If you choose carefully you could also use some floorstanding speakers. I have tried a pair of Klipsch KG4s w/ a Peachtree Decco and Dave Brubeck sounded pretty good!
i vote with br3098--for a 50w amp in a smallish room the von schweikerts or regas are a good choice, with the von schweikert being essentially full-range, while at $300 or so used the regas are especially good value. if you wanted to step up, the paradigm signatures s2 are really outstanding--some dealer is listing a new pair on agon for $1295 ($2400 srp. i haven't heard jaybo's castles--i should check 'em out, since jaybo's usually spot on.
not to be a bad influence but the Nova with Zu essence speakers seems to have set tongues wagging at some show or another last year. Saw it written up in stereophile, tone audio, and a couple other places. makes a mess of the budget but it catches my eye when a cheap-ish combo gets that kind of attention. Sell a kidney maybe?? $3500 direct from Zu. As for the above I can only speak on the ERA choices and of them I would do the D5 over the D4. Given that the other choices are pretty high rep items and may well beat the D5's.
I auditioned it with several speakers, and found that with the Rega R-3's it ran out of steam and clipped. We were looking for floor standers and ended up with the Audio Physic Yaras - a good match. Vandersteen 1c's were a good match too. I don't think it's a very strong amplifier though, so make sure your speakers are easy to drive.
Hey Peter - Great input! I'd forgot about that. So the Yara's are 90db at 4 ohms and the Era 5's I've heard are 85db at 8 ohms and sounded great in the small room they were in pushed by a Nova. I don't recall whether they were pushed very hard though. The Ohm Micro Walsh that we both have (I have short, Peter has tall) is 87db at 6ohms. How do you think they'd do? I was looking at the size of the OP's room (unfortunate proportions), and what they listen to also. I thought in a smaller space like that, and a square room, omnidirectional may fair well if the Nova had enough juice.
OHM Walshes almost always sound fuller with dedicated amps that generally deliver more current, but I would have to think 80w/ch in general should do a decent job.
I've run larger OHM Walshes off an 80w/ch Tandberg receiver in the past in a much larger room with very good (but still not optimal) results.
Thanks guys... You've given me some great suggestions. I've never seen the Ohm's before. I would love to hear them. I live in a very limited market on high end audio. We have a B&W dealer and the Magnolia room at Best Buy. That's it! Lots of installers who can "get me" speakers, but no where to audition them. So your help is very valuable to me.
What do you guys think of the Quad 12L2?
For what it's worth, I was using a Unison Unico (80 watt/ch, tube-SS hybrid, integrated amp) with the Ohm MWT's and (later) the Ohm 100 S3's. In terms of volume without distortion in a 13 x 15 room, they gave me all that I needed. I've since moved up to separates bought used here on Audiogon, and the sound has improved substantially. But I can report that 80W into 8 ohms is more than enough juice to drive the MWT's and 100's... can't speak for the new 1000's, though. But the Ohm speakers do definitely reward improved electronics with better performance.
Ok, everyone has given me some great suggestions for monitors. My plan is to just get a monitor and add a sub later. But would I be better getting a floor stand speaker with a good low end? I'm not really into booming base, I want a natural sound but a full sound. Do you think I would be ok with the base response in the floor stand speakers.
Again, my room is only 12"x12"x10", so I'll only be about 5 foot from the speakers when the room is set up right...