Top Speakers for Nearfield Listening in Small Room

Hi, everyone. I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions for top speakers in a small room. I now have an Essence tube preamp and solid-state amp, whic is some very nice gear, SME/Graham analog front end, JL Audio subwoofer, and Wilson Watt Puppy 7 speakers. My issue is that I am in a very small room and have to sit nearfield between the speakers, as well as requiring a relatively small speaker footprint. I am in no way dissatisfied with the sound of the WP7's on rock, jazz, soul, etc, but just wondering what other experiences someone may have had in nearfield listening. For years I had some Essence Super Gem monitors but would find it difficult to give up the bass, dynamics, and soundstaging of the Wilsons. I do have a sub, so extreme bass extension is not paramount, but I don't want to run the sub way up in frequency. Any ideas out there? My budget would be approx $20K. Thank you in advance.
Magico Mini?
Merlin TSMs'?
Wow- this is exactly the situation I found myself in- room is 11 x 14. I own Karl Schuemann's amazing Ultimate Monitors (Audiomachina). Sadly no longer in production and somewhat of a niche product to be sure; they feature a sealed enclosure, first-order series crossover, carbon fiber cabinet with drivers mounted on an aluminum baffle, waveguide on the tweeter, 6 inch wide baffle. Anyway sorry for the rambling but I listen approximately 8 feet away and they totally disappear. They replaced Avalon Diamonds and I am very happy with them.
At that price range for a small two way monitor the world is your oyster. What is best will depend on your taste but you can afford something extremely well finished at that price, as small montors are rarely that expensive. What don't you like about the current setup?
Cain & Cain Super Abby's - Nearfield Version
I had the opportunity to hear the Sason speakers from Ridge Street Audio at our NEWAS meeting. Not only did the speakers sound fantastic in a difficult room but Robert and Steve were great to work with and be around. Check out the review from one of our group on the page. It is a large monitor speaker but with the granite enclosure they weigh in at 137 pounds each! Good design work and execution with great support. What more could you ask for.

Thanks for the responses so far. There are more options than I originally envisioned. There is nothing inherently wrong with my current WP7 setup. Great bass, dynamics, soundstaging, detail. Don't get me wrong, I would certainly consider monitors but it might be difficult for me to go back to greatly reduced bass and dynamics of most monitors. Not-too-tall loorstanders with small footprints like the WP7's have worked well in my room. Thanks again.
Check out Role Audio. Wonderful little speakers use an acoustic suspension design which makes them much easier to place. For maximum flexibility stay away from rear ported speakers. And be prepared to give these little guys some power.
several questions

1. What are your room dimensions?
2. How far apart are your WP 7's
3. How far back are you now?

If you fall within the guidelines set by Wilson Audio of distance from tweeter to tweeter X 1.1 to 1.3 to give you the listening position......and provided your speakers are 4-5 feet from the front wall and at least 30 inches form each side wall I wouldn't change anything given that you are happy with the sound. I might suggest however that in a small room you should consider giving up your sub as the WP 7 IMO produces plenty of bass and your sub could be producing room nodes.....or are your walls treated?
SP technology Timepiece 3.0
The answer is:

Whatever speaker you like the best...
There are several nice options that come out of the professional studio environment. I can personally recommend passive ATC 7s or 11s and active 16As and 20As. These are pro studio monitors designed for small mixing rooms with nearfield sound. Very neutral and honest of the recording source. Tannoy also makes a similar line. I only see them in the UK at home studios of musician friends and you should inquire about their US distribution. ATC products are represented by a pro equipment distributor out of Las Vegas and they are wonderful to work with in sizing the equipment to a room.

Blue Sky Audio also makes several studio grade products. Their active EXO is a steal at $200 to 400 and is one of the few products that really compressed MP3 files sound great on. I always use these as a reference speaker to preview iPod oriented mixes.

If you are looking at more traditional consumer home electronics, Zu Tones are a very efficient speaker that can be played in small spaces. I do not own these, and they are sold directly via under a 60 day return policy, but I have heard them at numerous shows and was impressed at their ability to recreate music at low volumes. Other small speakers are Paradigm Atoms and Studio 20s which deliver a great deal of musicality for their money. If you desire a more relaxed British sound, with good mids and vocals, I would recommend the new B & W 685 speakers, a Chinese made version with many of the same characteristics as their noted 800 series.
what distance constitutes nearfield listening (as opposed to mid field?)

Right now my speakers are 6.5 - 7 feet from the listening position.

I am considering getting another speaker in house that according to the
review needs 10-12 feet to sound their best, so I'm kind of in a dillemma
over whether a superior speaker that is too close will be better than an already excellent speaker that sounds just right at that distance.

I actually at one point had my current speakers in a larger room, and they actually sounded best sitting approximately at the distance I am now.
try the escalante fremonts
I am about 5 feet from each speaker and the speakers are about 6.5 feet apart measured from the insides of the speakers. I still get a full soundstage with no dropouts in the center of the soundstage. Again, thanks for the replies.
You should consider the YG Acoustics Kipod. There is another Agoner that recently sold his WP7s and bought the Kipod Studios and was very happy. The Kipod Main Modules with stands retail for $18500. They also mate very well with the JL Audio sub. We have the Kipod Studio's set up with an F113 in our showroom.


I am the YG Acoustics dealer in Texas. Email me if I can help in any way.

Advanced HT

"Escalante Fremonts" a nearfield/small room application? What the #@&%$!
I second the SP Tech Timepiece 3.0 monitors. Mine are on order now. No sense in spending $20k on speakers in my opinion.
I love my Tonian Acoustic NFSM monitors in nearfield
Not much on these. see 6 moons review for a very honest portrayal IMO
although this speaker seems outclassed by the others in this particular topic/forum. I'd like to add in the harbeth HLP3es2. this is a small speaker that sounds big in a small room. Not much bass to speak off but they sound great!
For extreme nearfield listening, I'd suggest single-driver speakers or coaxial speakers or speakers with the highest crossover around 1 kHz or less, and with a fairly steep slope. For the record, the SP Tech Timepiece mentioned by several here falls into the latter category.

Rlawry, I've been wondering what the Watt/Puppies would be like in a small room?

I currently enjoying the Duettes. The cable/resistor package allows the Duettes to become less affected by surroundings at the expense of the 'size' of the presentation.

The Duettes go low enough for my small space, but I can only dream of how a pair of Watt/Puppies would sound. It sounds like space is no issue for you, you may want to read the latest issue of HiFi+, Roy Gregory is playing around with the Duettes and the Watchdog subwoofer(s). He alludes to getting a pair of Watchdog subs to review with the Duettes in the future.
Have you ruled out Dale's Intuitive speakers? I understand that he's built a new amp that's incorporated into the speaker base that, together with the speaker, creates some awfully nice music.