Jump to content

standmounts or bookshelves for small room


Recommended Posts

Greetings from Melbourne, Victoria aka 'the state of disaster'.

 

I'm settling into a new apartment and quietly letting go of dreams of floorstanding speakers, big amps, concert hall-like room acoustics.

 

The challenge now is to find a standmount or bookshelf speaker that will sound good in my smallish loungeroom - specifically something that will still sound okay positioned close to the back wall. Current speakers seem to need about 6-inches from wall to be their best - wondering if a front ported or sealed design might let me save a few precious inches of floor space?

 

Anyone faced the same challenge and found a good option?

 

Would hope to keep the budget under 1k new or secondhand. Have been thinking of hunting down some B&W 685's as I like the house sound and they are front ported. Also considering these as manufacturer offers them with wall mounts, so assume the must sound okay with no breathing space:

 

Rig at the moment is as follows: mac mini - MF VLink - Schiit Modi 3 - Emotiva Basx A-100 - Klipsch RB51 - little Velodyne sub

 

Any insights, or tips on other resources, much appreciated!

Edited by el toro
Link to post
Share on other sites

What music do you mostly listen to ?

 

You would likely benefit from better sensitivity than the B&W 685's,  87dB/  with the Emotiva amp ( as nice as the B&W's look )

 

Front port or sealed would be easier to implement given your constraints..

 

I checked out your post to suggest some smallish, efficient floorstanding speakers. then saw you had discounted using them...

 

They may take up more "visual" space but much the same "physical" space as stand mount speakers, with the benefits of a larger enclosure... perhaps even a driver dedicated to, or to reinforce the low end, could provide very satisfying audio.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the response. I hadn't considered the sensitivity but that's a good tip - the Klipschs I have were picked up for exactly that reason (92db).

 

After OP I plugged in some old Tannoy M1's I had put away - they're front ported and sound quite good backed up a couple of inches from the wall.  So I think front port or sealed is the right direction to go.

 

Floorstanders - yep, there are definitely some small foot-print versions out there that I'm sure would sound great but it's really a visual thing for me. In my small place, I think they'll just cut into the space a bit too much. And the velodyne sub I have takes care of bottom end duties quite well.

Edited by el toro
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, music wise, it's a pretty broad remit.

 

Everything from Wilco to Wu Tang, Bird to Burial, Swervedriver to Sufjan Stevens! 

 

Guess you say I'd be shopping in the 'all-rounder' category? 😂

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites


I'm sure they would. Unfortunately I'm trying the keep the look of the place minimal (to de-emphasize dog-boxiness) so probably not on the cards.

 

I'm trying to strike that devilish bargain between aesthetics and sonic performance - not easy! 😕 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Standmounts are generally bigger with larger 6-7 inch woofers vs 4-5 inch and might sound a little louder, bigger in scale, impactful and fill the room more but it depends on the design.

 

Some narrow floorstanders have the same internal cabinet volume as a mid to larger standmount so it can be deceiving and you might miss out. Also, some floorstanders have a section of the cabinet partitioned and sealed but effectively the same internal volume as a standmount, although you won’t know unless you can peak inside.

 

For used options also look out for various Dynaudio, Lenehan, Jamo Concert 8, Kef Ls50, Spendor, Sonus Faber, Proac, ATC, Focal, Harbeth p3esr and others. If they have a rear port you can also plug them with foam inserts provided.

 

A used option for $1000 could get you a $1500-4000 rrp speaker with much better sound, build quality and driver components than a $1000 new option that would only be worth about $500 used as soon as you walk out the shop. 

Edited by Al.M
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

6" from the wall?
I reckon the  Monitor Audio Bronze 2, Usher 520, Or Elac Debut 6.2 will be nice. They are all front ported.

Or if you can get more coin, the B&W 805 is a lovely speaker. You won't regret it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites


I have tried that. Seemed alter the sound of them so much it kind of defeated the exercise.

 

In fact I've had no luck plugging ports on any speaker over the years.  Seems to alter the tonal balance so much that they lose the character of the speaker.

 

I find the mid-range is often what really draws me towards a speaker's sound and plugging ports affects that band as much as taming the lower boom. Then I turn up the sub to compensate, then the neighbours start slipping narky notes under my door.....

 

And people in Melbourne are itching for a scrap at the moment. 😒

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, petetherock said:

6" from the wall?
I reckon the  Monitor Audio Bronze 2, Usher 520, Or Elac Debut 6.2 will be nice. They are all front ported.

Or if you can get more coin, the B&W 805 is a lovely speaker. You won't regret it.

What hifi seem to reckon the MA Bronze 2 need about 30cm from back wall to really sing - might count them out. And I've owned the Usher 520 before - capable and imaged really well but I found them a bit clinical.

 

The Elac's may be an option - selling cheap on Amazon at the moment.

 

The B&W's may have to be on the wishlist until after Jobkeeper ends! 😂

Link to post
Share on other sites


5 hours ago, el toro said:

I have tried that. Seemed alter the sound of them so much it kind of defeated the exercise.

 

In fact I've had no luck plugging ports on any speaker over the years.  Seems to alter the tonal balance so much that they lose the character of the speaker.

 

I find the mid-range is often what really draws me towards a speaker's sound and plugging ports affects that band as much as taming the lower boom. Then I turn up the sub to compensate, then the neighbours start slipping narky notes under my door.....

 

And people in Melbourne are itching for a scrap at the moment. 😒

What are you plugging the ports with?  Something that is a partial plug you can tune a bit might work better.  Of all the stupid stuff I have tried over the years the humble sock is probably the thing I have had the most success with, largely because you can wad them up for a full block or drape them around artistically in the port 🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a smallish room as well. Went for a front ported speakers and I consciously went for warm and non-fatiguing sounding gear.  I sit either nearfield so the room doesn't really factor in or about 5 ft from the speakers. I noticed sitting at the other end of the room or more than 6ft away, the music gets a bit icky...  

 

Not sure if that's the best way to go but seemed to work for me. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, my gear is warm enough I think. Emotiva amp, schiit dac.  I'm about 7 ft from speakers.

 

Can I ask what speakers you went for and how close to back wall they're positioned?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites


A little aside. Pulled out some old Tannoy mercury M1's that I had stored away.  Front-ported and a fair bit smaller than more modern standmounts.

 

I have them backed-up about 3 inches from back wall, low down on some tilted stands and I'm really enjoying them. No hint of boominess.

 

Suggests that front port or sealed design might be the way to go.  Also that more expensive or newer isn't always the answer!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a pair of Sonus Faber Concertos and they are about 1.5 ft from the wall. They used to be about 1ft but I also have another speaker that is rear ported, so I pushed the speakers outward into the room. 

 

I think one issue is the strange sensation when you have the singer 'appearing' from behind the speakers but then you visually see a wall in front of you or in my case.. curtains. The brain goes .. huh?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just bought a pair of Acoustic Energy AE100 from Hey Now Audio. They sound great mounted on 50cm Stands and can be used very close to walls ; driving them with a Marantz Integrated and they really are high energy. For less than the RRP of $580 they are a very good option.

Cheers

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 5L15 said:

Thanks for the tip.

 

Haven't hurt much about this brand, so I'll do some digging. At first glance I'm not that crazy about the look (and I'm a Collingwood supporter so should love the colours 😀) but that's what grills are for, I s'pose. They may be a little deep for the aesthetic side of things.

 

But good to have a brand I wouldn't have considered thrown up - cheers!

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, 075Congo said:

Just bought a pair of Acoustic Energy AE100 from Hey Now Audio. They sound great mounted on 50cm Stands and can be used very close to walls ; driving them with a Marantz Integrated and they really are high energy. For less than the RRP of $580 they are a very good option.

Cheers

Nice one!  Another brand I've never owned - will check them out.  The price certainly sounds keen.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 075Congo said:

 

Can I ask what amp you are using?

 

The AE100 have a lot going for them (look, size, reviews) just wondering if relatively low sensitivity 87db and 4omh will suit my little Emotiva with 50wpc. 

 

I listen at low to moderate volumes most of the time and wonder if they'll sound their best with my amp.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Marantz PM 6005 and it works very well (55 watts per channel 4 ohm spec). Again I don't play ay loud levels and your Emotiva is a very classy amp.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Mick!

 

A What-hifi review advised a some moderate to low-ish powered amps too so I guess, I'll be okay. But there's nothing like a real-world opinion.

 

Hey Now hifi are just down the road from me so I'll give them a call today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Be interesting to take your Emotiva along to see how it goes with the AE100. The other speaker he has in that price-range comes from the Scottish company FYNE AUDIO. Worth a look too!

Cheers

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea and in normal times I'd do just that - unfortunately our lockdown counts that out for now.

 

And.... I just called Geoff and pulled the trigger on a pair of the AE100's.  They ticked all the boxes on paper and with a bit of a discount, seemed like just the ticket.

 

Should arrive by Monday. 😋

 

Geoff is a great bloke to chat with - anyone in Melbourne should put Hey Now on the list if they're shopping for gear.

 

And thanks for your input Mick! Invaluable to have some real world insight as you wade through reviews and specs all the rabbit holes on the net!

 

I'll whack some listening impressions up on this thread after the recommended week of run-in.

 

Thanks to everyone that chipped-in with advice!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve owned, and still own Acoustic Energy speakers across various ranges. They sound fantastic  haven’t heard the new models, but would be surprised if they weren’t anything other than awesome. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...