Suggestions for small bookshelf speakers?

I want to set up a second system for the bedroom. I have to set a size limitation on the speaker of about 8"x10"x12". I also want the speakers to look pretty nice.

I'm new to bookshelf monitors. Off-hand I'm thinking of Totem Model 1's, Meadowlark Swallow or Vireo, Sonus Faber Concertinos, NHT Super One's, etc. I want spacious sound at low to moderate volumes for jazz, blues, vocals and some rock. I welcome any suggestions.

I'm planning on using a tube integrated amp. Budget for the amp and speakers is around $2K. That means a budget int. amp such as Jolida or S.F. leaving about $1300 for speakers or else a better amp such as Rogue or C.J. leaving about $800 for speakers. Any suggestions on how to balance the cost would also be appreciated.


The speakers will be set on a low dresser about 4 ft. apart. The room is alsmost square, 12' by 14'. The speakers wiil be in the center of on of the shorter walls.
Try these

VON SCHWEIKERT VR 1 (very holographic)
HARBETH HLP3ES-2 (Transparent & Musical)
TANNOY M1 Mercury (Terrifically full range for a small inexpensive speaker)
Spendor S 3/5. Beautiful mid-range. Decent low-end and a soft top-end. Perfect for everything you're asking for except perhaps rock.(Any loudspeaker given this size would not be the best candidate for rock.) However, only 84db effecient, so you'll need some power. I doubt you will have any problems driving them given what's left of your budget and the size of your room. Bill
If you have rear space...the new QUad 11L.....the tweeter and midbass driver each have there own distinct chambers...each with their own port...hence they dont sound "boxy" and small as some monitors..they are very open...with superb imaging,transparency,detail, and very good bass considering the size...with a tube prepared to have your jaw hit the ground...they are that good...and build quality is world class...
Linn Classik with a pair of NHT SuperOne's. You'll come in under $2k and have a killer bedroom system.
You can't go wrong with the audio refinement complete powering a pair of B&W CDM 1 NT's. Sound fantastic. Used, that combo can usually be had for about 1350. Leaves money left over for cables, music, etc...
Reynaud Twin Mk 3's. See the review at; it's almost right on with my experience. $850 list, there's something very special going on there. These MAY be a little bigger than you were looking for, but check them out.

I can also recommend if you don't have a local dealer. Anthony gave me a good deal on a trade-in, and was fast with communication and shipping.

Good luck.
Unico integrated/Soliloquy 5.0. My 2 bits.
proac tablettes, or 1sc....leaves money for tubes and sounds great.
There is a pair of ProAc Signature 50s for sale on A'gon. These would be ideal for your needs.
I own a pair of Totem's Arro speakers in my den's system. Very nice. They are made to work well in small room and close placement to the back wall. I also own a pair of toem model 1's and I would not suggest placing these on a shelf or using a small amp, they need quite a bit of power.
Hmmm, lot's of possibilities. Looks like it's time for more research.

Rbstehno-Thanks for the tip on the Totem 1's. I was originally going to buy Arro's until we bought this low dresser. Now I'm looking at monitors to go on the dresser.
I have heard a red rose with the plannar tweeter connected to the linn classik and the sound was wonderful for such a set up. I was amazed at the base response as well as the overall sound. You may have to look long and hard for the speakers at that price but it is worth it.
You should check out a pair of the Von Schweikert VR-1 . They retail for 1k and sound awesome. The top end is precise and crisp without sounding tinny and if you are putting them close to the rear wall the base is no problem. But better yet, you will still get a great and deep soundstage. To me they sound like the best electrostatics with a great rich base to-boot. The finish on these speakers are the iceing on the cake. It is mirror smooth and the colors and the grain patterns of the wood rival any of the 10k+ speakers that I have seen. You can't go wrong with a pair of these!
Buy a lower priced small monitors and install Mi-Horn. Mi-Horn will give you a musical satisfaction in small monitors. Also, if you have a sub-woofer, Mi-Horn will give you a good balance between powerful low bass and mid and high frequencies. The speaker with Mi-Horn will sound clearer and musical. If you have seen Burmester B99 (, you will see why Mi-Horn will sound great.
Personal favorite these days is the green mountain audio europa. High build quality, effortless seamless sound, rock solid package - and within your budget. I'm considering them for a second room for myself.
Green Mountain Europa. I have a pair and love them.
Check out the Kinima G1 from Zetag. Right now you can probably get them for 500bucks or so (google Kinimag1) They have great sound and a finish that is found in more expensive speakers.
As a happy owner of ProAc 1SCs and Tablette 50 Signatures I would definitely recommend them especially if you're looking for small speakers that throw a large, spacious soundstage. When I owned Concertinos I was able to compare them directly to the Tab 50 Sigs and felt the ProAcs won in those categories handily.

Last weekend, I got together with A'Gon member Viggen for an afternoon audition of different equipment. The Tab 50 Sigs sounded very good through his 47 Labs Gaincard amp. We did a temporary trade where I took his Pass Aleph 3 home with me to compare to my Blue Circle BC22. I'm using a Blue Circle BC21 preamp. Through the BC21 the Aleph mates very well with the 1SCs.

The fact that you're leaning towards a tube integrated I feel is another plus for the ProAcs, as they seem to be at their best when tubes are in the path in front of them.