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eddiey2k
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Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved?

Any minimonitor that has real bass? Any "slim" floorstand that delivers top notch sound? is this a market underserved?

- need to move to a mini-studio in nyu so spent some good time searching for a pair of right speakers but found either:
1) good bookshelf that has no bass (e.g. cremona auditor)
2) bookshelf that's more capable of full range but after adding the stand is as big as full-sized floorstands. (e.g. micro utopia)
3) "slim" floorstands that is "mid-end" only (e.g. audio physic spark, pmc gb, totem arro)

interested to know your thought?

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

You need cabinet vol to get real bass. Just the laws of physics at work.

Look in the "Phile" speaker review archieves, but most will stop strong at about 50 HZ, some may go slightly lower, but with little in the fundamental range. Most of these will have a minimun of a 6 1/2" woofer.

Do you not have room for a smaller floorstander? You might consider:
Epos
Check the Epos ELS 303 which is under $800 a pair I believe. They would have a much better chance of giving you some more believable bass.

The M5 goes lower in freq. than the ELS3 ($329/pair), but is closer in price to the floorstanding 303.

Good luck.

Monty
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

I use a pair of older, PSB 400i speakers in a small room and with boundary assistance get 30hz -4db. The PSB B25 is the newer version and a steal at around $400 a pair. If you can stretch the budget, the Dynaudio 52SE is among the finest monitors around without spending silly money and go as deep with a little more pitch definition. Both share a similar tonal balance that is easy on the ears...not analytical and perfect for nearfield listening if you are after musicality.

Edited to add: Wes Philips recently reviewed the Dynaudio Focus 140 and his description was very familiar to the 52SE that I have spent some time with. I'd bet they are very similar.

RGibran
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

Very good suggestions from Jim re: the Epos line. Very believable bass from small enclosures.

The Monitor Audio Silver RS6 might be a contender.

I was very impressed with the Linn Ninka.

RG

ohfourohnine
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

I don't know whether the market your describing is underserved as such or just underserved if you must stop at a pair of bookshelfs. One reason good bookshelfs are what they are is that a lot of good music lives above 50Hz. You're not going to find musically satisfying mini monitors that will go much below 50hz on their own. If you feel you really need the bottom for rock or orchestral stuff why not add a sub to the best monitors you can afford? Good luck.

jackfish
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

I have Rock Solid monitors by B&W. They sound very good and when pushed hard you can feel the air moved by the port quite a ways away from the speaker. However, they cannot produce very good bass below 50 Hz as amazing as the bass is from these small enclosures. About 3 years ago I added an AR powered sub I got on eBay for $185. With the lower bass enhanced the sound is truly astounding. I know of several establishments around town that have several pairs of the Rock Solids and if they ever go out of business or want to get rid of them I will be knocking at their door. If I got another couple of pairs of them I would finally spring for a good home theater receiver.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

Cheapskate is right on the money. There are so many truly remarkable monitors on the market right now for under $1500, and many good ones under $1K. If you add a powered sub you will not be missing much if anything. And as usual, with a simpler crossover design phase issues are less...of an issue.

Most monitors are very good to 50hz and give the sub crossover a low enough entry point in the system to be almost invisible. Once you start crossing over above 70 hz it is often locatable within the sound stage. Crossing over lower is always better. Good subs are not cheap, but can be very magical for less money.

I doubt that any one who has Triangle Cometes or Dynaudio 140s with a good sub feels cheated these days. This monitor area has become very competitve and we all get to win.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

Yes, after placing a bookshelf on a stand, you have a footprint about the same size as a floorstanding speaker. And, since the tweeter has to be at about the same height for either design, the bookshelf on a stand still looks about the same size as a floorstander. But the two designs are hardly the same otherwise.

Most mini-monitor fans buy small speakers for their ability to disappear and do wonderful things with three dimensional effects. These owners do not expect greatly extended bass response from their point source designs. Floorstanders are purchased for the opposite reasons. Of course, you can get both qualities if your budget, and your room, happens to be large enough. If you're really after deep bass response, however, you might want to make the concession to floor space. Either in a floor standing speaker or with a subwoofer.

While the enclosure volume is essential in reaching deep down into the lowest octave, the ability to move air is still the most important aspect of creating extended bass response. There are a few motor designs available today which do a reasonably good job of getting extended bass response out of a moderate package size. You don't indicate just how low you want the system to play nor in what size room you'll have these speakers. Or, even if the room is capable of deep bass response. You might want to go to one of the on-line calculators to help you figure out just where the room problems might exist in this room and determine whether the room can really let you hear a solid thirty Hertz before you put a lot of time searching for a speaker to reach that deep. Without that knowledge you are wasting a lot of time, and possibly money, trying to get something you can never attain.

You also don't indicate a top budget point.

Otherwise, if you are not afraid of trying a speaker from a small company that sells on-line only, let me suggest you try this design; http://www.us.alegriaaudio.com/Emma.htm

I've heard these speakers produce exceptional frequency extension in a medium sized room. They might not be your cup of tea, which you don't describe either, but they can reproduce deep bass from a reasonably small package.

Also you might look into the NSM line or one of their sister companies; http://www.nsmaudio.com/. I own a pair of 5-S's and while the bass response isn't going to knock down walls, it is still surprising for the very small package size. Dynamics are very good for anything short of a horn loaded design and the speakers are quite easy to live with. Many of the NSM monitors are sealed enclosures rather than the ubiquitous ported design. In a very small room the sealed enclosure's 12dB per octave roll off below system resonance (rather than the ported system's roll off of 24dB per octave) will very likely offer better perceived, in room bass extension than many of the big name company's offerings.

Both companies offer thirty day trials so you can give a listen and be out nothing more than return shipping. And, that isn't much on a pair of mini-monitors.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

Here's the basic information on the low frequency driver used in the Alegria design.

http://www.adireaudio.com/Home/ExtremisMidwoofers.htm

and

http://www.adireaudio.com/Files/Extremis6.8Datasheet.pdf

This is a less than seven inch driver with a resonant frequency at 30Hz. Notice the driver's motor system allows very long excursions with very low distortion product. In a less than 1 cubic foot enclosure, the Extremis driver can reach the mid thirty Hertz range with further extension coming from room gain. This is no joke as I've heard the driver do exactly what it advertises. Alegria and Adire both exhibited at the 2006 CES. You might inquire about them, if you know anyone who attended that event. These drivers are not as well known as SEAS or Focal but they get the job done with a very nice sound quality.

Buddha
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

I've used Chario's Academy speakers in smaller rooms with good result.

I have an older Academy 2, but their new Academy line carries on in the tradition.

I've found that if a speaker goes lower than it looks like it would, then for some psychological reason, the bass sounds better, even if it's not subteranean.

The Charios take up little room and can get to around 35-37 Hz.

Mr. Tavegia mentioned cabinet volume, some speakers can get you close with small enclosures, but at a cost in efficiency.

The Charios are only 86 dB/1 watt.

__________________________

In smaller rooms, I've also found that side firing woofers seem to match the room more readily than front firing woofers. Pardon this generalization, there are exceptions on each side, but it can help choose some audition targets.

_____________________________

Lastly, consider some Acoustat 1+1's.

They blend into a small roon surprisingly well, and are wonderful at "loading" a room.

They give the feeling that as soon as they move, the whole room is filled with their sound.

Room coupling?

They have good "speed".

Pardon my lack of adequate decription.

They can get down into the low 30's and can play surprisingly loud.

You can also have fun with various electronic upgrade paths and change the color of their "grills" to match your room.

Check Audiogon or Ebay, they run surprisingly cheap, too!

Jan Vigne
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

Another alternative would be a transmission line system. While normally associated with large enclosures, PMC has developed some small bookshelf designs which utilize a TL loading. Their LS3/5a sized cabinet has received favorable reviews in the Brittish press. Ken Kessler included it in his survey of 3/5a replacements and was quite favorably impressed.

http://www.pmcloudspeaker.com/index2.html

If you have a cabinet maker or good skills yourself, the Omega Quarter Wave Reflex enclosure designed by Rick Schultz has the ability to extend the low frequency extension of any driver by as much as 1/2 octave in a fairly small enclosure. The Adire driver works very well in this type of cabinet. Schultz's work has been published in AudioXpress, October, 2005. You can also find references to his work on the internet. Place "Schultz/Augspurger/M.L. King" in a search engine.

Martin King has also published articles on TL designs which he has modified to become Quarter Wave designs. Much of the recent work on TL, or Quarter Wave, designs had been to reduce the physical size of the package and to make the design and building process more predictable. His work is mostly on the web and most is available at no charge. By installing his MathCad program you can use the TS parameters of any driver and deteremine with very high accuracy, the frequency extension of any driver in the various enclosure types or size. You can also check the "DIY Forum", if this tweaks your interst.

http://www.quarter-wave.com/

http://www.diyaudio.com/

Of course, this might be more work than you were expecting if your plan was to simply buy something off a shelf.

CECE
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

When you buy something "off the shelf"..ever wonder if they also have a do it yourself plans for making those shelves? Which held the factory produced speakers? If you make the shelf as a do it yourself, are you even allowed to put factory produced speakers on them? Seems to me, there may be an imcompatiblity issue. Kinda like DIY cables and factory assembled ones. You should be getting "off the shelf" shelves, to go with "off the shelf" speakers. DIY speakers will only sound good on DIY shelves. That goes way back to the MOE law of physics. The MOlEcules of DIY material is always incompatible with the MOlEcules of factory assembled items. MOE, and his research assistants, Curly and Larry.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Anything great for small rooms? Is this a market underserved

While having the utmost respect for the solid research and results driven work done through the years by Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard, I have to say, "You knucklehead!"

The best DIY shelf is no shelf at all. This is in line with the well known "MOE effect" of tablesaw safety. If you cannot sharpen the blade of your saw while it's running by sticking your head in the blade, read on.

Some of you may remember the article in Stereophile several, or possibly many, months ago which detailed the many problems which result when "bookshelf" speakers are raised above the floor. The consequences include a phase discontinuity due to the timing cues of the direct and floor reflected signals. The answer to this dilemma is to throw away all DIY or store bought stands of any height more than three inches when dealing with true mini-monitors.

Placing the speakers at floor level has instant benefits for small speakers. The first is to take advantage of the "pressure zone" which results from the location of the drivers in close proximity to the floor. Not only do you gain bass response and extension but the muddiness of many stand mounted speakers disappears into a seamless whole. The timing effects of direct and reflected signals are put in phase with one another and the soundstage and clarity improve dramatically. Additional benefits result from the out of phase signals which are reflected off the ceiling being lower in amplitude and therefore less bothersome.

I use my LS3/5a's on a two inch Corian platform, though I began my experiments with a simple $1.09 concrete paver from the home improvement Big Box. The solid Corian platform offers a stable support for the speaker so the effects of speaker movement are all but eliminated. A single large TipToe placed under the front center of the speaker enclosure provides the correct tilt to give high frequency dispersion a good chance at hitting my listening position. In my case, with a very wide separation of speakers side to side, the cabinets are toed-in to point toward my listening position.

The result is an enlarged soundscape over even the best stands I've tried (Sound Anchors). Wall to wall to wall - and beyond - positioning of players is the norm in my room. Since most small mini-monitors can benefit from near field listening, and this certainly is true of the BBC design, I sit about 7' from the speakers' plane.

This placement is suggested by both Crown in their very successful PZM (pressure zone microphone) design on the recording end of the transducer chain and by MapleShade Audio with their low to the floor monitor stands. While the MapleShade stands might offer benefits for some listeners, trying this speaker positioning should only require about $2.18, plus tax, and a trip to the hardware or garden supply store.

Does it work? Soitenly!

Will you like the results? New details will be revealed in "The Curly Shuffle".

Now, get to work!

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