High end speakers at low volume

After having got accustomed to my new Vitus RI-101 mk II, I came to the conclusion that I need to improve my system's performance at low volume to enjoy music more.

Current sources: LinnLP12, Holo Spring 3 KTE, Nucleus. 
Speakers: Avalon Idea. 
Shunyata Delta NR V2 and Hemingway Indigo PC, Tara Labs Forté, TQ 2 Black diamond IC.

I am looking at replacing the Avalon Idea with speakers that could improve the low volume listening experience. I listen to 60 / 70db, I can afford to go up to 85db for very short time (neighbours).

I am also considering to purchase a Loki Max which I understood being quite a neutral EQ unit.

I have selected a few speakers which should match my musical taste based on what I have read:

- YG Carmel 2
- Wilson Sabrina X
- Vandersteen treo ct

I don't have the chance to listen to them except the TAD ME1 which I have enjoyed very much but not in my apartment.

Budget max $15k new or used.

I am looking for speakers sounding musical, with wide soundstage, not cold, detailed yet not analytical.

I mostly listen to classic rock, blues and jazz.

The system sits at the end of the long wall in a living room measuring 33x13ft, listening position 8ft from the speakers.

Unfortunately I have to face a tough WAF putting several limits:

- speakers must have a clean design, not black, not too hifi looking... and not too big
- distance from the wall behind the speakers 25cm

I don't mind changing amplifier if it will be necessary to match the next speakers.

I haven't found a preamp that I could consider a good candidate except a very expensive CSport featuring a loudness button which works very well (tested at Ana Mighty Sound).

I would much appreciate some advice from who knows well the above speakers or who had similar needs.


I’m no expert at all since I’m looking for my first pair of speakers myself. But I’ve come across the Zu Audio, as you mentioned, and the Buchardt, both of which are high efficiency that supposedly play well at low levels. The Buchardt even have built in compensation for low level accuracy. 

Back in the day receivers normally had a “Loudness” button for boosting the bass at low listening levels. Don’t see that much anymore but it worked. At very low levels speakers with limited bass output to begin with will not sound very good. At these levels I think my Cornwalls with the huge 15” woofer sound much nicer than my little Spendor 4/5’s do. 

I have a similar situation to what you described, especially for the need to mostly listen at low volumes.  After a lot of trial and error (including several Klipsch models and Zu Dirty Weekends), I finally tried Wilson.  Used the Tune Tots for a while and then stepped up to Sabrina X.   For me, the Sabrina X’s offered the best overall low volume experience. (As an added plus, they are a blast when you can crank them up a bit 😁).


My lesson learned is that an extended live audition is absolutely worth the hassle despite it being hard sometimes to find a way to hear all the options you want to consider.  Best of luck to you in your pursuits!

@jackjohnson316 thanks I’ll check the Buchardt. Problem with Zu is that there’s no dealer in Europe and I should buy them without listening. Also I didn’t understand if working well with classic rock music.

@pscar glad to hear your feedback. First one to consider Sabrina X good at low volume perhaps !