Standmounts or SMALL floorstanders good for close to wall and corner placement - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-05-2013, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I've done a lot of research here and on other sites but am still having difficulty coming up with candidates to replace my Monitor Audio Bronze BX2 speakers with something more suitable to my taste and listening room. The BX2s do a remarkable job of providing bass extension with only a bit of (not unpleasant) bloom, but, in my room at least, the upper mids tend toward harshness and the treble loses step with the timing of the rest of the range at moderate to loud listening levels. Resolution is much less than I would hope, as I am missing detail that I enjoy when I plug in to headphones, or when I have recently auditioned a few speakers at nearby retailers (none of which unfortunately will work with my room and budget constraints).

The quirks of my room (12'x13'x11'h) dictate that one of the speakers be placed no farther than a foot from both walls of a corner, and the other can extend only 18" into the room (e.g. in the case of the BX2s, only 5" from the front wall given the 13" depth when seated on their stands). The speakers can be placed only either 5 feet or 9 feet apart (there is a doorway in between), and the room's seating is about 10 feet back from the front wall. Further, it is an acoustically "bright" room with little on the walls to combat refraction. Lest someone suggest room treatment as an obvious solution, let me say that this a non starter with the spouse, so I'm stuck with the room as is.

I use a Peachtree Decco 65 for amplification, and listen almost exclusively to digital files at their native resolutions sent from my Mac mini. A good 60% of my music collection is lossless since I have developed the ability to hear clear differences between 256 AAC and lossless files (though not through the BX2s), but I will always have enough compressed files to want only perhaps 95% accuracy and 5% forgiving warmth. In terms of musical styles, I am ecclectic in my listening. Large scale orchestral and electronic dance music are probably the types of music I am willing to hear compromises in the most, suggesting perhaps I'm least concerned with dynamism of all the musical qualities in which a speaker can excel. While soundstaging is a fine quality as well, most of what I listen to is recorded on separate tracks in a studio so that pinpoint imaging is not absolutely crucial. Accuracy in pitch and timbre for acoustic instruments and drums is what I tend to listen for first. I do like me some shimmering cymbals, appropriate slam from the kick drum, and I want to be sure to at least have enough bass extension to make the lowest acoustic bass notes sound correct in timbre and pitch. Female vocals can easily sound harsh through the BX2s, and I am most keen to rid myself of this problem with new speakers. Lastly, adding a sub is not possible because there is literally no place to put it that wouldn't be in the way (there are four doors off this small room, and three windows!).

I've been looking only at closed box or front ported due to positioning restraints, and am having a hard time coming up with a short list other than the sjofn clue and guru qm-10. I want to spend no more than $1,200, and am willing to buy used.

Suggestions warmly appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-03-2013, 08:59 PM
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I've heard the Clue.

They are SPECTACULAR. Huge soundstage, unbelievable bass from a box that size, very natural sounding.

Quite an amazing little speaker.

30 day trial, buy all means TRY A PAIR!
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Wasn't aware of the free trial, and that seems like a good idea indeed. Still skeptical that they could engineer a resonance frequency (Fb) in the neighborhood of 30 Hz from such a small enclosure and driver, but hearing is believing I suppose.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-04-2013, 03:31 PM
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The Sonus Faber Venere 1.5's have a small front port slit, but they aren't exactly the most efficient speakers. I have them connected in a near-field setup to a $150 Dayton Audio APA-150, running music via my Macbook Pro through a DragonFly usb DAC. I absolutely couldn't turn the dial passed 11:00 (starts at 7:00), as they just get too loud. I don't know if they'd go as deep as you'd like, but I am certainly satisfied.

My number one bookshelf speaker for the money is the Goldenear Aon 3. I'm hesitant to recommend it in your situation because they have side mounted bass resonators/radiators (not sure what term they use), so being that close to a wall might be an issue. I will say that I have owned these for 2-channel music, and they certainly went deep for a bookshelf. That tweeter makes a sweeeeeet sound, and I never found them harsh.

Granted, they aren't the best looking speakers (they have a cloth "sock" around them with plastic base and top), but they make up for it 1,000,000x in their sound.

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post #5 of 12 Old 03-11-2013, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guteLaune View Post

The Sonus Faber Venere 1.5's have a small front port slit, but they aren't exactly the most efficient speakers. I have them connected in a near-field setup to a $150 Dayton Audio APA-150, running music via my Macbook Pro through a DragonFly usb DAC. I absolutely couldn't turn the dial passed 11:00 (starts at 7:00), as they just get too loud. I don't know if they'd go as deep as you'd like, but I am certainly satisfied.

My number one bookshelf speaker for the money is the Goldenear Aon 3. I'm hesitant to recommend it in your situation because they have side mounted bass resonators/radiators (not sure what term they use), so being that close to a wall might be an issue. I will say that I have owned these for 2-channel music, and they certainly went deep for a bookshelf. That tweeter makes a sweeeeeet sound, and I never found them harsh.

Granted, they aren't the best looking speakers (they have a cloth "sock" around them with plastic base and top), but they make up for it 1,000,000x in their sound.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'd forgotten about the Goldenears. I seem to recall reading that some actually prefer the radiators pointing at each other rather than the wall, so placement might work. Now if i can only get some into my home for demo...
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-12-2013, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hizzonerdan View Post

Thanks for the suggestions. I'd forgotten about the Goldenears. I seem to recall reading that some actually prefer the radiators pointing at each other rather than the wall, so placement might work. Now if i can only get some into my home for demo...

For two channel listening (bookshelf style) the AON 3 is an amazing speaker. The passive radiators are on both left and right sides.

If this is not a good fit for you and you don't mind a bit of a larger speaker - check out the Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 65. It too has a passive radiator but it is on top rather than on two sides. Also, it is with one tweeter and 2 mids. Seems that people that have them (and the few reviews) rave about them.

My personal taste is for the AONs because of the folded ribbon tweeter. However the Def Tech SM 65 reaches as low (perhaps lower slightly) and has an excellent stage. The SM 65 is just slightly less expensive than the AON 3.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-12-2013, 01:45 PM
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The KEF Q300 is front ported. In that price range it and the DefTech SM65 both seem like good options. (For music I prefer the KEF over the DefTech, but that is a strictly personal preference.) In your space I would be leery of speakers with side mounted drivers ...

The NHT Classic 3 bookshelf and NHT Absolute Tower are both sealed design speakers, they might also be an option. (I haven't heard them - others would need to comment on their sound.)

They are a bit above your budget, but the Ascend Horizon is front ported. A friend just got three as his LCR and I'm still stunned by the sound/detail. (He actually had the Sierra Towers LR and originally bought a Horizon as the center, but liked the sound of the Horizon so much he replaced the towers.) Ascend often has b-stock so you can get a slightly better price. (But call for that, the web page is often behind.)

With your room limitations though, my primary suggestion would be to only purchase speakers that come with a 30 day return policy so that you can audition them in your space!
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-27-2013, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I have a pair of the Aon3 at home now for a three week audition. i really liked them in the showroom, and I got some good placement advice regarding the possibility of too much mid-bass emphasis from the one speaker I will have to place close to a corner. If anyone is interested, I'll give a report in a couple of weeks when they've had some time to breathe a little bit.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-27-2013, 03:10 PM
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You have good speakers and while better speakers will offer a slight improvement room treatments would give a greater result. Good acoustics is all about location, location, location. Location of seating, speakers/subs, acoustic treatments. If you don't have the ability to move your speakers much, do you have the ability to add some room treatments?
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-27-2013, 04:52 PM
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JBL Studio 570 towers ( http://www.crutchfield.com/p_109ST570C/JBL-Studio-570-Cherry.html)

or 530 stand mounts.

Not the prettiest and not too many reviews but the deep horn it should really minimize side wall reflections. They come with port plugs. Check them out.

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post #11 of 12 Old 03-28-2013, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

JBL Studio 570 towers ( http://www.crutchfield.com/p_109ST570C/JBL-Studio-570-Cherry.html)

or 530 stand mounts.

Not the prettiest and not too many reviews but the deep horn it should really minimize side wall reflections. They come with port plugs. Check them out.

I will, if I'm not pleased with the Aon3, or (the clue), a pair of which are being sent in the very near future for an in-home audition. Though I haven't heard (the clue) yet, I feel compelled to report that Lars Erickson, the man behind Sjofn Audio, is delightful to work with, and if his speakers are as good as he is witty, I'll be done with my search.

The KEF Q300 is front ported. In that price range it and the DefTech SM65 both seem like good options. (For music I prefer the KEF over the DefTech, but that is a strictly personal preference.) In your space I would be leery of speakers with side mounted drivers ...

The NHT Classic 3 bookshelf and NHT Absolute Tower are both sealed design speakers, they might also be an option. (I haven't heard them - others would need to comment on their sound.)

They are a bit above your budget, but the Ascend Horizon is front ported. A friend just got three as his LCR and I'm still stunned by the sound/detail. (He actually had the Sierra Towers LR and originally bought a Horizon as the center, but liked the sound of the Horizon so much he replaced the towers.) Ascend often has b-stock so you can get a slightly better price. (But call for that, the web page is often behind.)

I did audition the Q300, but found that they need space from the wall to avoid really boomy bass, despite the front port. The DefTech could be an option if the Aon3 don't work.

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Originally Posted by BobL View Post

You have good speakers and while better speakers will offer a slight improvement room treatments would give a greater result. Good acoustics is all about location, location, location. Location of seating, speakers/subs, acoustic treatments. If you don't have the ability to move your speakers much, do you have the ability to add some room treatments?

Unfortunately, acoustic panels, bass traps, etc. are out due to peacekeeping efforts in the family room! I have been thinking of asking an artist friend if she could come up with any ideas for working on acoustically transparent cloth. I might be able to "sell" the idea of art to my wife. Until then, I'm stuck with things as they are.
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-28-2013, 03:05 PM
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There are a number of acoustic companies that print art or photos on acoustic panels, that can help with SAF.
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