I’ve set up an additional music system in a spare bedroom, small with wall to wall carpeting.  My current system, all purchased used  on Audiogon or AudioMart, consists of a Hegel 590 integrated amp, an Ayre C-5 Universal CD player, Synergistic interconnects ,Nordost Heimdall speaker cables and Synergistic Research and Shunyata power products.  Currently I’m feeding the cables into a Tannoy D-100 monitor I purchased 30 years ago and which sat in the garage for the last 20 years. It sounds pretty darn good but of course, the bass could be better, the limitation of small speakers.  But as technology for small monitor speakers has advanced over 30 years, I’m looking for recommendations for monitors that sound great but give a little more bass.   I’ve been looking at the Totem Signature One and the Dynaudio 40 Anniversary models, based on reviews.  But I’d very much like to hear the recommendations of this experienced group.  Thanks, appreciate it.


What’s your budget, and what specific sound characteristics are you looking for?

I recommend getting a small subwoofer and then the speakers you like best.

SVS Micro Sub

Buy a pair of Vandersteen VLR's and put them near the room corners. You'll have plenty of bass.

Yes, they look like something so basic that they wouldn't work, but don't let that fool you. With the output of the Hegel, they will rock.


The Falcon Acoustics Q7 is sold factory direct. I just put the kit together for a friend. These are outstanding stand mount speakers. They were shipped from Falcon in about one week for about 1300 dollars no tax. For about 3 hundred dollars more you can get them factory built. If these were not factory direct they would be well over 3 grand!!

Quad Z-1 & 2 might work. Focal makes a nice book shelf as well.  Add small sub to cover the low end

Save some money and find a nice old pair of Castle Acoustics Richmonds and pair them with a small REL sub. Trust me on this. 

I am a big Dynaudio and Totem fan. I wasn't as impressed with the Special 40 as with other models (Evoke, Contour) though

Does it have to be close to the wall?

if you live in SoCal, you can easily try Harbeth too for a month, I can lookup the dealer

Fritz Carrera BE. Incredible standmount speaker.....Frankly, I am certain every Fritz Model will sound great.




Thank you gentlemen for your suggestions.  Actually, I hadn't considered a sub woofer, don't ask me why. You've given me much to consider. Thank you.

Agree on the Fritz line.  I have a few years old pair of Rev 5’s and they're great speakers.  No need for a sub here.

I’ll always recommend the Philharmonic Audio BMR Monitor. They are excellent and dig very low. 

The small subwoofer just might be the most cost effective option.

I own Frtiz Carbon 7se MKII which are wonderful and provide good bottom end for a stand mount. 

I would also be tempted to try the Falcon Acoustics Q7 at the price mentioned by yogiboy. 

The Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 would go great with your Hegel.



and I would be careful with the LSAs. Don't buy anything without the option to return it, don't be stuck with it.

re sub, I have been meaning to do it myself. But I am not confident what and how, and if my amp would handle it, and e.g. the Dynaudio subs cost more than my speakers. Which doesn't compute for me, why are they so freaking expensive?

I read the article offered by hilde45 about the Carrerra's.  Very interesting, I'll check it out. Thanks hide45.

@sunshdw it was really really bad, when I purchased from them 2 years ago, like $250 + shipping 

@sunshdw that was about the easiest part of my story with my LSA speakers but I do hope others have much more luck with them than I did

legacy calibres have very deep bass flat to38hz, and don't need a subwoofer


they sound great with Hegel



Save and Troy

Audio intellect NJ

Legacy and hegel dealers



Look into Amphion.

also consider one or two small subs (baby REL?) with Eight inch woofers.

I like the Aerial 5T as a small but excellent sounding bookshelf, with an amazing midrange, surprisingly solid bass. 


Aerial Model 5T Loudspeaker - The Absolute Sound

A lot of good suggestions mentioned (the ProAc and Vanderstein are two of the best).  I wanted to toss in my vote for Legacy Studio HD stand mount/bookshelf.

I had an older pair of Epos ES12 speakers forever (still have, still love!!!) that I replaced last year with Legacy, and it has been mind blowing how good these are.

Very efficient (91db), super solid build, nothing is 'off the shelf', hand made in the USA, and STUNNING.

Recently purchased and really enjoy the throwback Wharedale Linton Heritage book shelf units. $1700 a pair with stands. Nice value for the’s a time travel thing back to the 70s. Three way big box with rear ports, but with modern Kelvar mid-range and woofer. They’re bit sensitive to wall placement with the rear ports, but sound rich and decently detailed with my high voltage connected Rel T5i sub. A bit big to actually be book shelf mounted, but a familiar sound....often paired in tests with KLH 5s. These are warmer than the KLH units with a bit less tweeter resolution.


Alot of bookshelf speaker choices at many different prices.   At the $2K price point, I considered Amphion Argon 1, Musician Knight 1, Buchardt S400 MKII, among a few others.  There are a couple of build kits that compete at that price level for less.

Cheaper options were Elac Carina, Sonus Faber Lumina II, and some others.

Write down constraints, what you need to have in a speaker and what you can do with less of.  Is it for near/mid/far field listening? Efficiency/sensitivity may be important in achieving SPLs you want. Reviews showing measurements might be helpful.

While there are other speakers at much higher price points, the marginal improvements may or may not be noticed in a way that supports the price increase, but that's for someone to decide for themselves.

I wanted a small speaker that would work well enough with my small amplifier and I just picked up a the Dali Opticon 1 under $400 NIB on clearance and its' fine until I find something else, if I so desire.  My constraint is small, preferably no more than 13 in tall but would not have to be too far in the room to achieve its' best sound.  Didn't need alot of bass and no longer play loud but needed enough of the attributes I was looking for.  Its a good listen, was inexpensive and resale won't be an issue, if I need to.

Regardless of price, having decent resale helps in the decision process as well as relative value.  You have a mighty amp and it should have good synergy with most speakers, bringing out the best they can do. You may not have to spend $$$$ to get the sound you want.  But if you have the $$$, there are alot of speakers, so many options up to $8K and even beyond. 

Listen to some of the reviewers on YT and what they have to say, especially Steve Huff and those with some really good equipment. Take your time, enjoy the journey.






I may have missed the budget portion, I am very smitten with the Sonner Legato Unum. 


Audel Magika MK 2, not sure if there is a U.S. or even Canadian distributor by now. But it is easy to contact Walter Carzan and get them directly.  Incredible tone, midrange, just a great speaker that delivers in so many ways.

Aerial 5T's are excellent speakers. I have had mine for over five years. Hard to beat.

Used or new:   Joseph Audio Pulsar, Raidho D1, Sonus Faber.

? Golden Ear BRX, Legacy

I think it's probably best to understand the type of sound you enjoy (and for how long at a time if the speakers are on the analytical or forward side).

I root for Heil/AMT and ribbon type tweeters, clarity without fatigue (or soft domes otherwise).

I have a pair of Usher BE-718 bookshelf speakers ... and of course, I think this particular speaker would potentially do what you're wanting them to do.

The two things that've both surprised me and pleased me the most, and it's really kind of a toss up, which one's more valuable to me the bass extension and how it gets the high frequencies so right.

I challenge you to come up with another bookshelf that'll do both so well, for the money. Period.

The caveat is that they're power hungry ... what a good problem to have, right?

I read a lot of reviews before I bought them ... and a couple of the reviews said that, so it wasn't a surprise to me. What the review said is, when you feed them well they sing like nobody's business. I concur.

The thing I also read, which is real cool is how low they go w/o being the least bit boomy. It's a trip ... for a bookshelf. I have an interesting observation for the reason, potentially. I set them up in my main room right next to my Martin Logan Summits and I noticed that the cabinet is damn near the same shape as the, I guess you call it the bass module, of my Summits. And that serves pretty much as a subwoofer, that's tied in to the electrostatic panel. All I can say is you've gotta hear it to believe it.

The other thing about the speaker is the Beryllium tweeter. All I have to say there is that it's very special. I'm not sure I could even do it justice, like a lot of folks on this site but I know that not very many speakers have Be in their tweeter, and the ones that do are pretty remarkable. Focal comes to mind.

So the other thing the reviews gave it high marks for consistently is imaging and soundstage. I think getting both ends right has a lot to do with that in this particular speaker.

Another interesting fact ... I guess Usher makes some of their own speakers (?) and apparently they use their nicest 7" for this particular model.

Oh btw, one of the reviews actually called it "one of the best speakers you can buy, for the money". Something real close to that. I was like, Hmmm ... but I agree after owning them for a while now.

@jerryg123 that's a pretty sexy Legato Unum you got there ...      : )

those are some cool looking stands, can you post a better pic?

Silly me. I guess I could open the file and see. I just glanced at it while I was reading the thread.