Need recommendation on speakers based on room size/music [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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09-04-2008, 06:57 AM
I need some recommendations for new speakers based on a room size of roughly 10' x 15' with an 8' ceiling (basically an extra bedroom). My current setup is listed below, I am happy with the Klipsch Heresys but they are severely lacking in the low-end. I think they are great for listening to classic rock, indie-rock, and country but for jazz they come off as a bit nasally (esp. with the horn instruments, it seems to amplify the effect). I also listen to quite a bit of electronic music from techno/trance (hard driving beats around 120-145 bpm) to the more "intelligent" type such as Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, etc.

I listen to rock/indie about 50% of the time, electronic about 30%, country (mainly alternative and Texas artists like Lucinda Williams and Robert Earl Keen) 10% and jazz 10% (but increasing). I have heard B&W speakers but my amp is only 50 wpc so I would really like something as efficient as the Klipsch. I know I could add a small sub (8"/10") but space is already at a premium and I would like to keep it at two speakers.

Any recommendations are appreciated.

09-04-2008, 11:17 AM
Whats your budget? Floor standers or Bookshelfs?

09-04-2008, 12:23 PM
$3000 or less per pair (preferably under $2000) and floorstanders.

09-04-2008, 04:20 PM
Not really a very big room,which is good at this pricepoint, so there's a fair amount of options. With an easy 92 dB push the Focal Chorus 807 is a very nice speaker. It's a two-way bass reflex with a 7" woofer so it'll move some air.

I'm a big fan of KEF and the iQ9(91dB) might be a great solution. I've got a set of 7's that are great for rock and jazz. The fail a bit on classical but it reads as if that isn't a great concern for you. You know, for that matter a vintage set of 104/2's would really do a job with the Mac amps. That's some solid sounds right there!

The Dali Ikon 6 runs at about 92 dB. I haven't heard them but they seem to be quite popular in certain circles. Great fit and finish by all reports, two 6" woofers and front-ported which might be an advantage in small digs. Prolly worth checking out if you can find a dealer.

Good luck and have fun

Mr Peabody
09-04-2008, 04:48 PM
I don't think you will find much to compare to the Klipsch sensitivity. You might take a look at a Velodyne sub whose box is sealed and very small comparatively. I personally like Velodyne for HT but not my first choice for music. The SVS cylinder shape subs may also be a consideration.

Or.... you could go for something like this:

I've heard these and they sound very good. The built in amp will provide you flexibility. And, you are back to just one set of speakers. These will sound quite different than what you are used to but the presence and detail are incredible.

09-04-2008, 06:46 PM
I would normally suggest two good bookshelves with a tall, deep and narrow sub like the HSU VTF-1, Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Compact or one of the SVS cylinder subs to save space. The powered sub would relieve the strain on the amp to reproduce the lowest bass below 80Hz or so from the sub and clean up the power to the higher frequencies. This would also allow for a choice of placement of the sub to optimize the bass while lowering the effects of standing waves, etc.

However, you said floorstanders so here are some ideas. You could go with high efficiency speakers like the Klipsch RF-83 ($2800), RF-63 ($2000) or the RF-82 ($1100). These would all be a good high volume output for the Mac amp. You would gain almost an octave lower in bass extension over the Heresy's.

Another idea is to go with a lower efficiency non-horn designed speaker that perhaps has a more natural/neutral voicing and flat frequency response. It might require going with a much more powerful amp. Fortunately, with the direct to buyer companies I think you can still accomplish this within your budget.

I recommend you check out the Axiom Audio M80's at $1330 (no tax and free shipping). In your bedroom they could possibly be OK with your Mac but I have my doubts. (higher priced for custom finishes)

An awesome match might be the Emotiva XPA-2 (2 channels and 500 watts/ch into 4 ohms) at $799 (no tax). Or you could get the XPA-5 (5 channels) for the same price and future HT use.

The XPA-2/M80's at $2129 would give you about the same sound output level as the Mac/Heresy combo and perhaps superior sound.

Some food for thought. Good listening on your choice.

RR6 :p

Mr Peabody
09-04-2008, 07:53 PM
I'd like to hear that XPA-2, it looks too good to be true. A couple members bought the 5 channel amp though and seem to be happy with it.

09-04-2008, 09:43 PM
I would consider a pair of paradigm Studio 60's or their lower priced Monitor series. You should be able to drive these with 50 wpc.
for a small sub, consider the Martin Logan Dynamo. Its excellent for music. I think that its one of the best buys for $599.

09-05-2008, 05:50 AM
If you are looking for high sensitivity, then you should consider the new Paradigm Monitor V.6 Line... The Monitor 11 floorstanders are 97db and bass should not even remotely be a problem with triple 7.5 inch woofers...

You might also want to consider trying out less sensitive speakers... since 10x15X8 is not a huge room, so you could probably do fine with a speaker rated at just 90db... which would open up a world of options to you... My best advice is to go audition as many speakers as possible in your price range....

09-05-2008, 11:04 AM
Thanks to everyone for the recommendations, my biggest problem is there aren't many shops around here in my specific price range, it's either best buy or the store that designs multi-million dollar house systems. There are a few and one in particular that carries Dali so I will definitely check those out. The Paradigms also sound interesting. I guess I can also go with a sub later if I still feel the bass is lacking.

I may need to venture out to one of the larger cities here in Texas such as Dallas, or Houston, so if anyone is from this area and can recommend a place that would be great. Thanks again for the input.

09-05-2008, 11:45 AM
If you have a Best Buy with a Magnolia store then go listen to the Vienna Acoustic speakers and check out the Martin Logan subs. You may also want to consider upgrading your CD player to a dedicated CDP like the Marantz 8001 SACDP which has a very nice warm sound with excellent bass.

09-05-2008, 08:12 PM
I have listened to the Vienna Acoustics, they sounded nice but I would still like to compare them to others. I picked up the Oppo secondhand and SACDs sound pretty good on it, but CDs are very sterile sounding. I thought about just getting an external DAC for the CD output, but seeing the prices on that Marantz has me rethinking that. How are the Cirrus logic DACs, I am normally weary of a company that makes computer video cards as well.

I am slowly but surely upgrading, right now I have a Technics 1210 M5GSE turntable being customized from KAB and that should do it for the vinyl part (unless I find a good deal on a Linn Sondek someday). Next are the speakers, then preamp (?), CD player, and finally I may go to a Mac tube amp. The Oppo will then just be relegated to my HT where I now have a very boring HK DVD 48, of course by then someone may have a truly universal DVD player that does Blu-Ray too. I may pick up an am/fm tuner at some point if I can find a decent old Kenwood, Pioneer, or Sansui but I really only listen to the radio in my car.

Mr Peabody
09-05-2008, 10:03 PM
I have an Audio Note DAC listed on Audiogon asking about half the original retail of $1,500.00. I also have a CT-6 preamp I'd like to upgrade to so I would make you a deal on my PV-14ls2 if you'd like to try a tube pre. Magnolia should also have those Purity's. If you haven't heard the electrostats, you should just for the experience.

Ajani, I haven't seen that Paradigm series yet. They sound interesting and I trust from Paradigm they will also sound good. My dealer has the Excite series in now. Says they sound a lot like the Audience did but easier to drive. Planning to see one day.

09-28-2008, 03:28 AM
My recommendation would be a set of B&W 703 speakers, or if the budget you have stated is not flexible perhaps the 704 or 705. Since you indicated your penchant for floor standing the 703/705 would be perfect and are the best "bang for the buck" that B&W makes. You will have these speakers for a very long time. I have had my set for more than 5 years and they get better in time, the 703 should take care of the low-end frequencies without the need of a sub-woofer.

The XT4 is also another option and would be in the same 50 watt per channel minimum output as the 703 speaker My home theater is in a room approximately twice what you are dealing with, however I don't really think that would make big difference. My listening preferences are simiar to yours. Hope I have had added something to your search, if you have not already made a purchase.

Best Regards,


09-28-2008, 04:59 AM
Also check out Theil 2.4's if you can find them. If your considering a pre amp look at the Van Alstine Insight DAC, its got a very tube like sound with great bass slam. It blows away my Cambridge 840c cdp.