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Thoughts about speaker type for medium room

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#1
Thanks in advance to everyone who takes time to read this. I'm obviously new to the forums.

About a decade ago, I made a big move for work, which necessitated living in a smaller apartment rather than a small house. I had to sell my stereo system when I moved, and in the intervening decade I've mainly listened to music on headphones. At the moment I have a pair of Neumann NH20s (with some minor eq-ing) powered by an RME-ADI2 FME DAC. My music is mostly redbook or higher res.

I'm looking forward to putting together a two channel system again, but I am a decade out of date on how people are thinking about getting good results with speakers in medium-ish rooms. To give a measurement, the room is roughly 5.5 metres x 4.25 metres with a roughly 2.5 metre ceiling. It's a rectangle with no irregular features. It will have a set of bookshelves. It has wood floors, although we'll put down a carpet over it that will cover maybe 1/2 the total area. It seems to me like it's going to be difficult with all the reflections.

I'm not sure how it's best to handle a room like that. I can probably pay up to $6000 for a pair of speakers, although I would be very happy to pay less. I do not listen at high volumes and do some low volume listening – but mostly I listen at 'normal' volumes. For the most part I listen to classical music and jazz of various types. I would like to be able to reproduce sound across the full dynamic spectrum. I listen to a lot of organ music, for example, and appreciate being able to get a response down to 20hz. I'm not trying to shake the house down, however.

What I'd like to figure out is what sort of set up might work well – dipoles vs. directional speakers, using a sub-woofer vs using a full-range speaker, etc. I can say more about my preferences if that helps. But I should at least say that I can listen from a sweet spot much of the time, but it is important to put something together that sounds pretty good off-axis. I'm totally open minded, but totally lost. Advice would be much appreciated.
 

NTK

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#2
Welcome to ASR! Glad to have you here :)

I think your room may be a little small for dipoles. The late Siegfried Linkwitz (RIP) recommended placing dipole (or omni or cardioid) speakers at least 1 m away from the side walls and the wall behind. (See 3.2.1, item 3) https://www.linkwitzlab.com/The_Magic/The_Magic.htm

Personally, I think $2k USD is well into the point of diminishing return for stand mount speakers (floor standers go a bit higher as high quality cabinets are expensive to make). The speakers that I found highly interesting, although I haven't had a chance to experience them, are the Philharmonic BMR bookshelves. Don't know about its availability in your area. Here are 2 very informative threads on the BMR.

Erin's measurement and review: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/philharmonic-bmr-speaker-review.14781/
Steve Dallas' impression: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ve-review-road-show-stop-1.18828/#post-616561

Add a couple of subwoofers and getting organs to sound right should be very doable.
 

Jim Matthews

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#3
I'm a fan of the JBL LSR 7 series.

The 708i and one of the new VTV amps (with balanced inputs) should reach pretty deep in your room. You'll need subwoofer "support" to hear anything longer than an 8 foot stop.
 
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#4
I have a similar room, similar volume and genre preferences, and similar seating locations. I chose Focal Aria 906 bookshelf speakers, and they are excellent. We differ in that I don't care about 20 Hz and have no subwoofer.
 

amper42

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#5
Thanks in advance to everyone who takes time to read this. I'm obviously new to the forums.

About a decade ago, I made a big move for work, which necessitated living in a smaller apartment rather than a small house. I had to sell my stereo system when I moved, and in the intervening decade I've mainly listened to music on headphones. At the moment I have a pair of Neumann NH20s (with some minor eq-ing) powered by an RME-ADI2 FME DAC. My music is mostly redbook or higher res.

I'm looking forward to putting together a two channel system again, but I am a decade out of date on how people are thinking about getting good results with speakers in medium-ish rooms. To give a measurement, the room is roughly 5.5 metres x 4.25 metres with a roughly 2.5 metre ceiling. It's a rectangle with no irregular features. It will have a set of bookshelves. It has wood floors, although we'll put down a carpet over it that will cover maybe 1/2 the total area. It seems to me like it's going to be difficult with all the reflections.

I'm not sure how it's best to handle a room like that. I can probably pay up to $6000 for a pair of speakers, although I would be very happy to pay less. I do not listen at high volumes and do some low volume listening – but mostly I listen at 'normal' volumes. For the most part I listen to classical music and jazz of various types. I would like to be able to reproduce sound across the full dynamic spectrum. I listen to a lot of organ music, for example, and appreciate being able to get a response down to 20hz. I'm not trying to shake the house down, however.

What I'd like to figure out is what sort of set up might work well – dipoles vs. directional speakers, using a sub-woofer vs using a full-range speaker, etc. I can say more about my preferences if that helps. But I should at least say that I can listen from a sweet spot much of the time, but it is important to put something together that sounds pretty good off-axis. I'm totally open minded, but totally lost. Advice would be much appreciated.
For this size room and FR you desire I would suggest the New BMR Towers - $3500
https://philharmonicaudio.com
The RAAL tweeter is a wonderful silky sounding tweeter that I prefer over any other tweeter I have tried. The Revelator woofer provides useable response down to 20Hz. The price on these is an absolute bargain for the sound they produce.
 
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#6
Posting to give +1 to Focal. The standmounts seem to measure very similarly to the floorstanders, so I reckon giving the Aria 906 mentioned above a listen is a good idea. (With sub.)

Their floorstanders are outstanding, but probably a bit overkill for a medium sized room.
 

luft262

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#7
Focal 906 did measure well here on ASR. I'd recommend Focal 926 and get two small, but good subwoofers. I have a room slightly larger than yours that is open at the back, with porcelain tile flooring and I use the Focal 926 in my HT setup and really enjoy them. I have cheap subs currently, but I'm in the process of deciding on some better ones. I'm not a fan of bookshelf speakers. To me they can be accurate, but they lack the big or full sound you can get from a larger speaker. It could be a visual thing for me as well. I enjoy listening with headphones for critical listening and accuracy, but I enjoy tower speakers with subs for their fullness and power.
 
OP
O
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Thread Starter #8
Thanks everyone for the replies, and I am very sorry to be so slow to reply. I will reply individually; I hope that is not bad form.
 
OP
O
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Thread Starter #10
Welcome to ASR! Glad to have you here :)

I think your room may be a little small for dipoles. The late Siegfried Linkwitz (RIP) recommended placing dipole (or omni or cardioid) speakers at least 1 m away from the side walls and the wall behind. (See 3.2.1, item 3) https://www.linkwitzlab.com/The_Magic/The_Magic.htm

Personally, I think $2k USD is well into the point of diminishing return for stand mount speakers (floor standers go a bit higher as high quality cabinets are expensive to make). The speakers that I found highly interesting, although I haven't had a chance to experience them, are the Philharmonic BMR bookshelves. Don't know about its availability in your area. Here are 2 very informative threads on the BMR.

Erin's measurement and review: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/philharmonic-bmr-speaker-review.14781/
Steve Dallas' impression: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ve-review-road-show-stop-1.18828/#post-616561

Add a couple of subwoofers and getting organs to sound right should be very doable.
Thanks for this; it's very helpful. I appreciate the reference on dipoles. I thought that might be the case, but I wasn't sure. I read the MBR reviews. Both the numbers and the subjective comments make them sound interesting, and the price is attractive. I'll look into them a bit more. And thank you for the welcome!
 
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Thread Starter #11
I'm a fan of the JBL LSR 7 series.

The 708i and one of the new VTV amps (with balanced inputs) should reach pretty deep in your room. You'll need subwoofer "support" to hear anything longer than an 8 foot stop.
Thanks for this, too. It is nice to see a concrete reference to an organ! I take it that they roll off at around 60hz?
 
OP
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Thread Starter #12
Posting to give +1 to Focal. The standmounts seem to measure very similarly to the floorstanders, so I reckon giving the Aria 906 mentioned above a listen is a good idea. (With sub.)

Their floorstanders are outstanding, but probably a bit overkill for a medium sized room.
Great, and thanks to the others who recommend the Focals. Those I can audition locally. I live in Europe, and they are commonly stocked in hifi shops.
 

Jim Matthews

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#14
Per JBL spec sheet:


- 3 dB at 41 hertz.

Practically speaking, they "warble" on the longer stops.
I built a set of Bill Fitzmaurice's Tuba HT subs to handle up to 150 Hz.

This alleviates port noise from the 708.
 
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