full range or mini's and a sub

Guys I'm not the most seasoned audiophile so I'm sorry if this is a stupid question.  However, here it goes...  I have heard many audiophiles talk about the magic of mini-monitors and their ability to disappear and soundstage.  Many say that it is very difficult to get the same advantages with full-range speakers.  Still most reference systems seem to be built around full range speakers.  If there is a true magic to mini-monitors why don't I see more reference systems with mini-monitors and subs for the lows?


IMHO the mini monitor + sub only matches full range speakers if an active crossover is included, or, at least, some high-pass on the main amp.

Otherwise, you will still be limited by power handling and distortion from your 5inch main "woofers", and dynamic capabilities / max SPL will be limited.

Such an active crossover could introduce noise and distortion (may I advise Sublime Acoustic’s K231 crossover or the brand new K235 currently at reduced launch price?)

I was recently forced to switch from my huge 4 ways active horn system to a pair of tiny Dali Zensor 1 mini monitors and I have to admit, there are a few things that the cheap and tiny Dalis do better than my monsters (out in the room on stands, they really disappear and throw a deeeeep soundstage) but ultimately I was really missing the scale, the slam, and the flow of my big system.

Thanks for all the great responses guys.  My own system is in a  10 by 15 room with 8 foot ceilings...... so not small but not big.  I run some B&W 804's with a Krell integrated but I'm about to get the new Caladan's so I'll let you guys know how it goes when they come in.  If I wanted to integrate some subs, what tutorial on youtube should I watch.


It sounds like Mini-monitors with subs can be a good option depending on room size and if done correctly can achieve world class results.  However, could be much more difficult?  Am I reading that right.?

I'm a lazy idiot. Twelve years ago I bought two subs that remotely control fourteen low frequency based slopes, levels and parameters within eight discrete frequency bands. As low frequency sweep tones are played through the mains they automatically (or manually) adjust themselves to the mains and the room in about twenty minutes.

They worked equally well in both our casa Grande and the empty nest pequena with a variety of speakers.  

The monitor/sub route is certainly valid, but it can cause the OCD parts of the brain to fire up due to the numerous options presented as far as placement, crossover points, volume, etc. a good 2-way floorstander or larger monitor can provide satisfying bass, coherence and the ability to disappear. You won’t get the bass power of dual subs, but it can make for a more relaxing experience, if that’s what you want. I have a friend who recently gave up the subs and found the same. I know subs can be trouble free once properly integrated, but many audiophiles always have the urge to tweak anything that can be tweaked. Your choice. 

yeah I'm not a huge tweaker.  Really in my dreams I add some subs maybe a swarm and a Bach and call it a day.