Which speakers to get for a Very Large Room.

Hello All,

My system is at a point where I think I need to try new speakers. I currently have Ariel 7Bs and would like to try something a bit more efficient, more revealing, and open and forward sounding. I had to do a lot of messing around with the 7Bs to get the base out of them and ended up tilting them back to tame down the upper mids and tweeter. My room is about 22'x38' with a 17' flat ceiling. My current equipment is listed below and I will be changing a few things in the near future. I need something with good base because of the volume of my room and I really like a life like midrange for vocals, sax and acoustic strings. I listen to all rock from the 60s to today, nothing to heavy and adult contemporary with some jazz thrown in now and again.
Joule Electra LA 150 MK11 SE
Butler 2250 Hybrid SS/Tube amp 250/8 400/4
MHDT Havana Dac (may be getting a Burson 160D soon)
Aerial 7B speakers
Integra DPS-6.7 DVD/SACD
Wadia 170i
IPod classic (files in lossless)
Mac Mini on the way.

I very much appreciate the help!

You may have already been there, but I think everyone should try some big used Klipsch (ie. Cornwall, Lascala, K-Horns, etc.) at least once in their lives.
ocean way speakers
Please ,please, please people: It's B-A-S-S, not base.
No time to fool around. Best you get the JBL Everest or K2 speakers. JBL Synthesis is the line you should look at. All others are toys.
I would be looking for Von Schweikert 5's or larger;along with Dunlavy sc V or sc VI;what budget are you working with?
Horns are your best choice your space is massive a dynamic loudspeaker design would have much thermo compression since large power would be needed to fill rooms volume to create adequate SPL and dynamics. The voice coils would be near melting temp this will produce more distortion and could prematurely fail. This is why horns based systems are used in any larger space or in professional systems. Using a horn in such a space will yield the best sound quality.
A used Infinity IRS-V system should do the trick.


I like Aerial line and 9B or their newest 12t would certainly come onto consideration.
Though his argument has some merit, it should be pointed out that JohnK manufactures and sells the kind of speakers he's recommending.
If they are in the budget, the Classic Audio Loudspeakers do the job quite nicely. Efficiency is 97-98 db, impedance is 16 ohms and the low frequency cutoff is 20 or 22 Hz, depending on if you get the T-1 or T-3. In a room the size mentioned, one would be hard-pressed to overload a set of 100-watt tube amps.
This may be Much Ado About Nothing. I don't imagine you are going to place your speakers along the 22 foot wall and in about 3 feet from each side.

I suspect you will place them about 9 feet apart and set up your listening area about 9 feet back from the speakers. Go for the resolution you are looking for along with a clean and pure presentation. I wouldn't suggest monitor speakers but a good speaker with an 8" woofer or two should be fine. To accommodate your large room augment your speakers with a good sub woofer that you can adjust both volume and response, this way you can have your cake and eat it, (or listen) too.
Big speakers can really sound muddy and bloated and not as revealing.
Hi Guys, Sorry about the typo, of course it's bass. It was a tough day yesterday and I may have had one too many glasses of wine last night before starting this thread.I should add a couple of things to my original post.

My budget is around $4500 - $5000.00 although I could stretch that a bit. My room volume is large but my listening area is somewhat near field. The front speaker wall is 16' across and I sit about 10' from the front of my speakers. The ceiling is still 17' and no back wall. I also cannot move my speakers more than 2' from the back wall as they get too close to the end of my couches. One of the reasons I was looking for more efficient speakers Atmasphere is I was considering buying your m-60s down the road. My concern with horn speakers is my room is very lively with tile floors and a lot of glass. I didn’t bring this up because I want to keep room treatment off the table, I do have some. At times I listen at high spls and one of my concerns is how well efficient speakers can do this? Thanks again for everyone’s help.

Marakanetz, I am unaware of either an Aerial 9B or 12T. Their newest speakers to my understanding are the upgraded 7B, now called a 7T (total facelift/upgrade), and the 20T V2. They also have an SW12 subwoofer. Do you have information about new Aerial speakers?
It's 20t. 9B is actually quite long time on the market and it's still their largest speaker.
Looks like used 9b would do the trick. They spec to 140db SPL.
>Big speakers can really sound muddy and bloated and not as revealing.<

Some, but not all. Many monitors sound this way too. Personally I would opt for a well designed full range speaker than a sub/sat combo for the most realistic presentation.

I'm onboard with the Klipshorns as well. They won't have the problems you worry about in that room. They will rock your world.

With your budget, I would buy an older set, then get the upgraded Crossover, wood tweeter horn, and rpelace all of the drivers with new ones.

Great sounding upgrades.
How about a pair of used Dunlavy SC-V or SC-VI?
I will look into the speakers mentioned. Would the VR5s and the Dunlavys be room filling enough?

I'm also wondering how well a horn speaker would do in a lively room. I havn't listened to them much at all and worry about top end harshness in my space.

Unfortunately I can't put speakers in the corners, so I believe this rules out the Klipshorns. I have heard and liked them but not in my room.

Any other room filling speakers in my price range?

Thanks again for all the help.
sounds_real_audio. I do have to set them up on the short wall and you are correct in the spacing. I have no problem going with a sub if needed. Any suggestions on speakers with the above mentioned 8" woofers?

There is no such thing as an Aerial 9B. The Aerial 9 has not changed since it was introduced. I own a pair and they are wonderful sounding dynamic speakers for largish rooms, although not quite as good for small rooms. The downfiring port and front firing drivers are probably a good thing for your stated 2 feet from the wall. While these may work well in the room you describe, IMO the horn options would also work well with the benefit of requiring less amplifier power to drive. Even though the Aerials are rated 90dB at 2.83 Vrms and 1.0 meter on axis, I would not use less than your 400 wpc @ 4 ohms and preferrably higher to really make them come to life in your larger room. If you like the Aerial sound, the 9 will take you toward the direction you are trying to go, but may not be a night and day difference. Aerial also makes a great sub - you could add two of them with either the 7B or 9 for a very dynamic set-up. Although I really enjoy Aerial speakers, IMO, the horn options will provide a more dramatic sonic change in your large room.
I would think the dunlavy scV or scVI would pressurize and
fill the room with no problem;they are excellant speakers that still compete with todays models.
Mitch2, I think this time around I would like to try something besides the Ariel line of speakers. I would be interested in any suggestions for horn speakers somewhere in my price range. I would also like more suggestions for good full range speakers that would work in my near field application and still give me better bass response and open midrange than I am currently getting with the volume I'm working with. What would be a good full range speaker in general that if needed, I could add a sub to that would fill my room?
Rleff, I looked at the Dunlavy speakers and they seem like they would do the job. After reading a bit about them, I may not be far enough back at 10' for them to work there best. Thank You to everyone so far for your input.

I think it depends on our type of music.. Speakers that are engaging. At our shop we love the Wilson Benesch. In the past we have also enjoyed the Nola's. With your Joule Electra preamp you must be a tube lover, and that means spaciousness and truth of timber. Not sure what part of the country you are in so don't know what you can listen to in your area. If you come up to Denver there are about 8 real hi fi dealers so you could listen to just about any big name and a number of lesser name speakers....

If I would switch from Aerial I'd go with previously suggested Nola (Viper Reference in particular).
Thank you Marakanetz, I will look into them. I have not done so before.

Sounds real audio, I live in Seattle and there are not many places to go. The typical box store like Magnolia HiFi, (now Magnolia audio video) Which started here and Difinitive Audio who are way more into home theater. Denver sounds like a good get away to me.

I don't know if this will make much difference but, John Dunlavy told me that the recommended distance from listener to speaker, is based upon the actual distance from listener to speaker, not the distance from listener to the center of the plane of the speakers.
Tannoy DC10s, 94dB efficiency, 50W of tube power is more than enough.