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Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make.

74.61.60.138

Posted on April 18, 2011 at 22:38:12
newbflat


 
So it has been some time since i have posted here. Nice to be back.

Yes.. this is another "help me chose speakers" post..... But this is a tricky one!

I having moved from a house with a large dedicated listening room to a 650 square foot houseboat with a small living room, dining room, kitchen listening space all in one. Im having to rethink everything and its not an easy task.

This is the problem... My Meadowlark Shearwater hot rods will not fit, not at all . There just way to big.. So they have gone.... : - ( This makes me sad as i really loved those speakers.

To make this short-ish, I need a sub satellite system. Yes i understand the compromises and I'm going to need to make even more. The speakers need to be very small and wall mountable..... And.... i need to mount them basically in corners.

The ceiling is 6.5 to 7' high for about 2' from the wall and then goes straight up to 10'. The speakers need to be mounted under the shorter ceiling and close to the corner (wall meets ceiling) angled down into the room. There is no were else to put them as there are doors, windows, built in cabinetry and a wood stove in the way. There is no room on the floor ether................sigh.............

I have come to grips with the idea of just having music filling the room and giving up on much of what i enjoyed with my Meadowlarks. ie: imaging, sound stage, flushed out rich midrange....

Sooooo.... I'm looking for small corner placable speakers with a small sub.
The only things that come to mind at the moment are both of the round speakers like Orb and Gallo. I have not heard ether. Or something like NTH SuperZero 2.0's or Absolute Zero speakers and a sub. Im guessing they should ok in corners as there both sealed and have essentially no bass... just a guess though. The two NTH speakers are about the max size i can use.

I haven't heard any small sub other than a Totem Storm some time ago and was impressed. I would be interested in hearing any opinions of the subs from any of the makers i mentioned above.

As you can see my options are far from optimal and Im just trying to get as good a sound as i can in the space and limitations that i have... of which there are a lot.

My budget tops out at $1500... but $1000 is about as much as i should spend!

Things i would like (be it fantasy or not)....

1. Some midrange weight

2. Not too directional... being as it will need to 'fill' a room.

3. Not to bright sounding.... neutral or the the warmer side of it is what my ears like.

4. Small sub..12"x12"x12" or so... I don't need 20hz... an accurate musical and real 30+hz is fine.

5. Coherent at low volume... As this is a small multi purpose space with others around, the music will often need to be played at relatively low volume.

6. Not make me feel like I'm listening to a sub and two tiny speakers up to high and mounted in a bad place..... :- (

Equipment
Audio Refinement Multi 2 amp and Pre 5
Raga p-25 with OL-1 arm and Monolithic PS-1 HC-1 premap
Paradisea+ DAC

Thanks for sticking with it if you made it this far..... any thoughts will be most appreciated!

Bill in Seattle.

 

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RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 19, 2011 at 05:16:19
gentlegiantfan
Audiophile

Posts: 994
Location: central florida
Joined: November 25, 2002
Sorry I can't be of help in choosing a speaker system for you. Seriously glad I'm not the one that's going to try and level a Rega P-25 turntable on a houseboat! :)~

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 19, 2011 at 07:28:56
Neil G
Dealer

Posts: 267
Location: Saskatchewan
Joined: May 4, 2003
The only thing I can think of would possibly be the Focal Dome 2.1 sub/satellite system.

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 19, 2011 at 08:08:44
Pro Sound Guy


 
Ok ..im thinkin boat/water/moisture etc

Hows about considering a audiophile type "outdoor" loudspeaker with a 10 year waranty?

Why not put a couple of them outside as well on the boat?

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 19, 2011 at 08:10:02
Pro Sound Guy


 
Pinnacle Weatherproof indoor/outdoor

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 19, 2011 at 08:51:45
newbflat


 
As for the turntable. Thankfully the houseboat in very stable and walking around does nothing in terms on movement. I'm beam on to any boat wakes or chop so i only rock side to side and only occasionally. The arm on the turntable is oriented port to starboard or at right angles to the rocking motion. When it does rock its slow and smooth. I have been sitting listening when a big boat goes buy too fast and really sets me rocking... I can't really tell a difference as there are so many other noises like creaking lines, slapping waves and such. Its flat again in a few seconds. .... much to my surprise it hasn't been an issue.

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 19, 2011 at 08:54:44
newbflat@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 10
Location: Seattle
Joined: December 29, 2007
For got to add this...

I have no issues with moisture. The bilge is dry and so is inside. My kitchen sponge dries in a few hours even in winter. Thanks for the suggestion though......

Those Focal Dome's look interesting. I have was unaware of them. I think there is a place very close to me that has then in stock.. Thanks for the tip. I will check them out. Not sure about that downward firing sub though. Just to add to my, i have a 2' space under my wood floor that i fear might not like a downward firing sub.... I might need a different sub.

 

here you go, posted on April 19, 2011 at 09:24:52
mbnx01
Audiophile

Posts: 5829
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Joined: October 22, 2004
I've owned LOTS of little systems for my office. Now I'm listening to Silverline Minuet Supremes and a small Martin Logan Dynamo. They have a new Dynamo with an 8" woofer that is only $300.

I also have a pair of Peachtree D4's, they are VERY similar to the Silverlines.

Either of these with a little sub would work great in a small room. I think the D4's work a tad better in a larger room and they open up a bit more. But the Silverlines have an uncanny midrange and in a smaller room might be the better choice.










"We are all in God's hands... and God is a malign thug."

-Mark Twain

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 19, 2011 at 14:22:36
Pro Sound Guy


 
Ok...turntable on a boat that is hard core!
:)

Although I do not have a house boat I have a inboard/outboard mercruiser 160/18 footer
I plug my Ipod into the on board car stereo system

With all the water noise and motor noise that is about as audiophile
as its gonna get!



 

I have the Shearwater HRs too, posted on April 19, 2011 at 15:04:34
Prisoners
Audiophile

Posts: 4078
Location: Chicago
Joined: June 13, 2004
As such I can say this: I'm very impressed with how my pair of Klipsch KSB 1.1 sound in my work area. No sub required for very satisfying sound but I'm sure it would help. I'm typically not a fan of the Klipsch sound, but these are very different. I could be very happy with them if space was an issue for me.

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 19, 2011 at 15:39:59
AudioDwebe
Audiophile

Posts: 1162
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: November 12, 2001
Rather than attempting to replicate anything remotely like your last system in what sounds like a difficult space, have you considered getting a headphone rig for serious listening and essentially any small speaker for background music?

I ask because for the dollar amount you're looking to spend, you could get some terrific headphones. You'll lose the soundstage, but you're gonna be missing that anyways.

Just a thought.






"Man, that mouse is Awesome." - Kaemon (referring to Jerry, of Tom and Jerry fame)

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 19, 2011 at 17:21:35
jimdgoulding@yahoo.com
Manufacturer

Posts: 942
Location: Le workshop
Joined: May 24, 2007
That you have to place your speakers in the end of the room with the low ceiling is not a downer. You'll have the benefit of room loading where you wouldn't have otherwise. This should warm up your sound, too. The Silverlines mentioned above sound tasty or you might look for some speakers with over and under 5" mid/bass drivers like the Gallo's. You might not need a sub if you've space for speakers with single 6.5" mid/bass drivers. A few can give you 40Hz cleanly and some serious impact to boot. Check out PMC. They use a transmission line for lower bass. Best to you.

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 19, 2011 at 18:04:27
Wojciech
Audiophile

Posts: 882
Joined: June 23, 2009
Proac Response 1SC is quite satisfactory even without a sub and used I've seen prices from $1100-1500. Nice speaker with civilised sound and also relaxed sounding.

 

Try the B&W 302 speaker, posted on April 19, 2011 at 18:49:02
Scott Woebcke
Audiophile

Posts: 1051
Joined: October 27, 1999
Look for the older model with the soft dome tweeter and paper cone woofer/rubber surround. They are great speaker to wall mount. The local record shop has them mounted quite high up but they still put a very nice open sound with really nice bandwith. As long as you don't crank them the soundstage is very dynamic. I think you could find a pair for under 200$...

 

+1, posted on April 20, 2011 at 04:08:32
geoff
Audiophile

Posts: 2069
Joined: April 5, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
September 10, 2003
I have them in my smallish woodshop, set up high. I wasn't expecting much, but the sound is as you describe. They replaced some Boston A40's that basically presented background music.


 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 20, 2011 at 04:19:12
mnilan
Audiophile

Posts: 290
Location: Central New York
Joined: April 18, 2005
Bill:
Some good options for speakers posted already. I recently put some ERA D4s (recommended by mbnx01) into a smallish bedroom up near the ceiling and was quite pleasantly surprised. With a small REL subwoofer (new T3 for $500 delivered off of Ebay) I think you'd have a sweet, space-filling setup.

Good luck.

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 20, 2011 at 07:26:03
Pro Sound Guy


 
Picking up a set of mounting brackets leaves you open to just about
any small monitor

The new Totem Dreamcatchers had a good review in Stereophile this month

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 20, 2011 at 08:09:50
newbflat@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 10
Location: Seattle
Joined: December 29, 2007
I spent a part of yesterday listing to to some Gallo A'Diva's and Focal Domes both with there or other subs.

The Focals were ok but were very colored and thick and a bit rolled off in the high. I was not very impressed with the sub. The Gallos lasted 1/2 a song before to decide it was not in the cards.

I also tried the Sunfire TS-SJ8 tiny sub and HRS-SAT4 satellite speakers. This combo was much better than the Focal or Gallo's. The tiny speakers were open, detailed and rendered voices in a much more natural way. Sub integration was ok but more time would have helped. At $2000 for the pair its more than i can spend, but gives me hope of finding a good sounding system with tiny speakers.

With some time last night i came up with a short list.. (with help.. : - )

Role Kayaks... (small and acoustic suspension design.. good reviews.
NSMT 10s... (acoustic suspension + the most confusing website ever..
Silverline Minute.... (a little concerned about putting a bass reflex in a corner.
Peachtree D4 ..(about as big as i can go. Bass reflex.
ERA D4...... ( same as the Peachtree, same company?
Sunfire HRS-SAT4.... (small, acoustic suspension. The only one i have listened too.
NHT SuperZero 2.0... ( Acoustic suspension, cheap, depending on review ether amazing!! or over rated.

Any small sub recommendation appreciated.

 

ERA = Peachtree now - nt, posted on April 20, 2011 at 14:17:11
mnilan
Audiophile

Posts: 290
Location: Central New York
Joined: April 18, 2005
nt

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 20, 2011 at 16:29:42
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 9034
Joined: August 8, 2001
The Audio Note AX Two might work well here and runs $700. It will happily compete with everything I've heard at $2k beating most - they simply didn't waste piles of money on fancy cabinets and glossy catalogs and spent practically zero money on marketing them. Audio Note speakers love corners basically using the wall as an extension of the speakers so you always get far better bass than size would otherwise indicate. You may still need a sub but placed in a corner you might be very much surprised what you get out of them. They sound better on piano than any other $1000 speaker yes that is including the MMG under $1k. I didn't much care for the AX One however so the extra money to me is worth it.

Other speakers that are sealed or front ported can work - I'm just not a fan of the sound of some of them. An old Celestion in corners sounded very good to me as well and could be had cheap used and may have enough grunt not to need a sub. The Audio Note K/Spe is sealed infinite baffle design with 90db sensitivity and easy load. In the corner it produced bass below 40hz but new it runs $3k. But you would not need a sub in a small room.

The AX Two is pictured in the link with some description - scroll down - see they are very plain jane with boring cabinets - but...

 

remember Rogersound?, posted on April 20, 2011 at 20:12:27
hifitommy
Audiophile

Posts: 12846
Location: shaky sylmar calif, orig from buffalo ny
Joined: June 9, 2000
i just heard the speakers linked below and for that money, WOW. howard rogers just got back into biz and these are tasty. the sub goes down VERY nicely also.

i see you havent registered on AA officially and i do believe it will be to your benefit. this is a fun ward but some conformance to convention is looked upon with respect.

anyway, i heard these speakers at evolution audio in agoura hills california at a meeting of the audio society here in LA/OC and was pleasantly surprised. the larger satellites arent quite as good as the smaller ones. i think howard will be doing a little more development on them in the near future.

these are the stands he sells on his site and the price doesnt up the ante very much.


...regards...tr

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 21, 2011 at 05:59:44
jimmyjames
Audiophile

Posts: 4277
Location: Raleighwood
Joined: February 20, 2001
the only small speaker I would even consider is the Harbeth P3ESR or an earlier iteration of same, used for less money. They can be placed anywhere as they are sealed and they are just about the last word for detailed midrange in this size and price point.

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 21, 2011 at 15:05:22
JimL
Audiophile

Posts: 3691
Location: New Mexico
Joined: November 24, 2002
Second. I have an earlier version of the Harbeths and think they sound great! They are an advance over the classic BBC LS3/5a's IMHO.

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 21, 2011 at 16:27:57
vanman
Audiophile

Posts: 69
Location: New Westminster, BC
Joined: February 20, 2002
I just finished reading this review at TPV. Price as tested was $1399 for 5.1, $920 for 2.1

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 21, 2011 at 19:26:50
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 399
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
Tannoy mini Autograph would IMO sound great in a small space as they are "dual concentric" and phase-coherent, plus I think their retro looks would look coooooool in a boat! they might even sound good in corners...

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 22, 2011 at 23:38:51
jimdgoulding@yahoo.com
Manufacturer

Posts: 942
Location: Le workshop
Joined: May 24, 2007
Boy, did they ever! I think they're a sealed box design which might help explain the rave review they got to include their bass. Really nice review. These should be included for audition. Heck, I might buy them on the merit of the review they are so inexpensive.

 

Proac 1SC is very good , posted on April 24, 2011 at 09:21:46
Jay Buridan
Audiophile

Posts: 3741
Location: Michigan
Joined: January 21, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
February 27, 2012
And will be coherent at low volumes if mated with, e.g., Art Audio Jota HC monoblock with optional volume pot which makes it an integrated with channel balance control. This combination would give extremely good sound depending on the source and cables.

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 26, 2011 at 06:21:38
Joe R.
Audiophile

Posts: 116
Joined: February 16, 2004
I have owned a few of the Gallo systems (Micro, A'Diva Ti, and Due). My favorite of the bunch was the A'Diva Ti. It is a bit larger than the Micro so has more midrange weight, has much better highs (but not at all bright), and is not very directional. Any decent small sub (Gallo, REL, etc.) should fit the bill. As an upgrade, I would seriously consider a sub w/built-in EQ or an outboard EQ for the sub to help deal with room resonances.

Hope this helps.

Joe

 

RE: Tiny speakers... unfortunate choices i must make., posted on April 27, 2011 at 20:14:25
Teejay
Audiophile

Posts: 179
Joined: June 7, 2000
Here's a review of the SZ 2.0 and sub, albeit in more of a theater setting. And there is a link (within the review) to a review of the Golden Ear Super Cinema line, which seem to be getting nice mentions.

http://www.hometechtell.com/hometechnologytell/comment/hometechtell-review-nht-superzero-2.0-mini-monitors-and-super-8-subwoofer/

 

How about these sweet little monitors ..., posted on May 2, 2011 at 07:48:02
woober goober
Audiophile

Posts: 570
Location: Atlanta
Joined: November 6, 2009
I just took delivery of a brand new compact speaker/amp combo I cannot use. They sound terrific in a small space, even without a sub (from Stacey Kent to Stevie ray Vaughan to Carl Stamitz). NAPA Acoustic NA-208S are 9.5"(H) x 5"(W) x 7.8"(D). Comes with a very nice 25wpc compact hybrid tube integrated as well, See my ad here on AA

[url]http://trade.audioasylum.com/ca/listing/Speakers-Monitor/NAPA-Acoustic/NA-208/Booshelf-Speakers-and-Tube-Integrated-System/47427[/url]

 

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