Lugnut needs your advice on small speakers

I'm building a system for a friend on a limited budget and hope to listen to Triangle Titus 202's and Omega Super 3's while in Portland, Oregon next week. If any of you know where I can give these a listen I'd be able to eliminate a lot of self induced stress from trying to do the best job possible.

It would be helpful to have your opinions about these speakers even if I don't get to listen to them. I'm guessing that the Triangle's would be a better match since most users of the Omega's drive them with SET amps. Has anyone heard these and what do you think is a better match with the rest of the system consisting of:

BIX turntable/RB 250/ZYX R100H Yatra MK II
Supratek Syrah
ASL Wave 20's
Spletz anti-cables

I'll be buying a VTA adjuster for the arm as well as a heavyweight counterweight and using Twl's hifi mod that he has so graciously shared with all of us.

Other speakers in the $600 range new or used would be considered as well but they do need to actually be available for purchase. Other speakers I've been looking for, even if a little more money, are the Merlin VSM's, Harbeth's, Revolver and Coincident. Obviously with these speakers I'll definitely need to buy used.

The system will be installed in a small, nearly square room. The room is being gutted and purpose remodeled for audio use so we should be able to make the most out of it. Even comments about building the room are welcome. Consultation with an acoustic designer is not budgeted.

My friend listens mainly to rock but loves the mixed bag of music I play for him at my house. He appreciates an excellent recording of a great performance of good music just like I do regardless of genre. I look for him to seek out all types of vinyl that meets this description based on my carbon based library.

Thanks in advance for you reasoned responses.

Considering the amp and your friend's taste, look for a spk. which is easy to drive and has good bass. Forget Spendors S3/5's and Harbeth HL-P3's as they require lots of juice. Buy a small floorstander, Tanoy MX-3 for $315 new are a very good deal. Also, the MX1/MX2 bookshelf spks. are available as well the last I looked. Haven't personally heard the Triangle's you mentioned but they may match well w/a warm amp? They will not give the bass for rock unless a sub is used. Good Luck!
I have heard the little Triangles (in fact had them @ home for a while). I enjoyed playing music through them.

To simplify description: they are pleasant to listen to as long as one doesn't have inordinate expectations. They are neither the most detailed spkrs nor do they have huge extension. One shouldn't expect that. However, the pair I had a system q of ~1, was nicely rounded in the mids, and imaged well as expected from a small box.
As I don't know the ASL's, I can't comment on that marriage. My amp is a classA ss and didn't have any sonic problems.

I'm sorry I have little to contribute... maybe I know s/thing & can't think of it now??? Cheers
I personally think the tyler acoustic speakers are a very good value in a bookshelf. At a cheaper pricepoint, I like the totem dreamcatcher and the vonschweikert VR-1.

Glad you included Speltz sp cables,but what about the new Speltz Anti-Connect ICs ???

Speakers:Stop wondering about the speakers,get your friend Merlins !TSM or VSM,I would recommend to push the budget a bit on this.

Hi Pat,

When I had a pair of Waves, they had no trouble driving mu Audio Note AZ3's, AR8a's, an old pair of Dynacos's, and even my Legacy Harmonies. They also worked really well with M&K's, but needed a sub to sound the best. As you may know I also had a Syrah, that saw use with the Waves and all of the above speakers. I can tell you from first hand experience that Audio Note speakers just loved that combo, more so than any of the others I tried, and I haven't heard of anyone else that has tried the Wave/Syrah combo in a vinyl based system. There was great synergy there.

You may want to try and find someplace to listen to the Audio Note bookshelf speakers. The lower models of Audio Note seem to be overlooked by the "cognoscenti". The AX Two for $600 new or the AZ One for $800 (both full retail) would put a spankin' on most of those you are looking at.

FWIW, YMMV, and all of that crap, but if you can find a pair to listen to you may be surprised!

The Green Mountain Audio Europa is an excellant speaker that is easy to drive with a simple crossover. They are on Audiogon from 575.00-650.00 range. Roy Johnson of GMA recently told me he has a dealer in Portland, OR. The new dealer list is not on their web site yet, but comtact GMA for the info. One Agon member I know just upgraded to the GMA Callisto's and may be selling his Europa's soon. These are amazing speakers.
Thanks guys. Yeah, I'd already decided upon the new interconnects but I thought they were a secret for now. Anyway, I like the opinion expressed by Joe as he understands the synergy thing with the rest of the equipment. I've seen some TSM's for not too much moeny but not of late. I can wait a couple of weeks for something to show up too. Keep the advice comin' guys. Chris, do you think these amps are powerful enough for the Merlins?
Hi, Patrick:

I've recently been auditioning smaller speakers with a good friend, and we've heard several that impressed me. And, if your friend is willing to buy used gear, then there are 6-8 very good choices that he should consider:
1. Totem Rainmakers ($900 MSRP)
2. B&W 602.5 S3 ($700 MSRP)
3. ProAc Tablette Reference 8 ($1200 MSRP)
4. Bohlender Graebner Radia Z ($800 MSRP) -- Taller than a small monitor, but performs like one.
5. Krix Equinox ($600 MSRP) -- I have ap pair of these in my "office" system, and like them very much. Infact, I think the entire Krix (Australian) line deserves more recognition than it gets.
6. Spendor S3/5 ($1100 MSRP)

And, last, a speaker which gets very little notice today, but which is one of the finest small monitors on the market (I owned a pair for 4 years and loved them):
7. the Sequerra Pyramid MET-7 ($850, direct sale from Sequerra Audio). If you can find a used pair, they'd be a fine buy. They are also quite efficient, rated at 91db sensitivity. For more info on these speakers, go to the following link:

Best regards, Patrick. Hope this post finds you doing well.

Scott C-
How about this pair of Soliloquy SM2a3's:

A great little pair of speakers that are easy to drive and a steal at $485. I am not related in any way to the seller.
Good luck,
Given the variables (SET amps, analog, budget) he might consider a pair of Klipsch Forte's. Might even be able to forgo the need for a sub as well.
Enjoy your trip to Portland.
Diapason Adamantes II, very musical speakers,I dont think
the Anti Cable interconnect are being sold yet, I am auditioning one,according to Paul, He likes to get some feedback,who are auditioning them,before he will put them on the market. I will keep mine.Thanks
Oh, and definitely listen to the Triangle's if you can. I found them to be rather bright/thin across the model line. Jond's suggestion of Soliloquy is also excellent, IMO. He could want a sub, but they will handle the mids/highs quite proficiently.

You may want to listen to the Spica TC 60. Best with a good sub, REL or Velodyne. Spicas are small and sound incredible for what they are. Need good weighted stands, to make them shine. Just nother thought.

Merlins have a min imp of 6.5 ohm(Uses a Zobel network)so, a very easy load for a amp.Sensitivity is 88dB for the TSMs and 89db for the VSMs.
Denis may be able to elaborate on this point,ask him as well ,when he comes back from the UK.

I have to agree with Boa2, I found the triangles on the thin and annoying side, but that was with solid state amps, maybe with a warm tube amp... First order crossover, sounded best around 15 feet away! As for the Spicas, if your friend is really into rock, I wouldn't do it. I think they are a little on the delicate side. Now if I could just come up with some positive recommendations! Actually, I heard a great $800 pair of Dali monitors while on a forray with Marco (Jax2), and I also really like the Epos 12.2 - which are available in Portland for around $800 as well. Good luck Pat, and tell us what you come up with.
This sounds to me like a perfect excuse to build a set of Voigt Pipes.

Fostex drivers, and DIY construction will fit the budget.
Lowther drivers, and DIY construction will push the budget up some, but will sound like $10k speakers.

Crossoverless, active(direct-driven) system "totally rules" for low power systems. I prefer the Lowther over the Fostex, but there is no doubt that the Fostex is nice for the lower money.

You can't know what immediacy is until you try something like this. Not the last word in bass response, but it is very tough to beat in the rest of the spectrum. Not a perfecly "ruler-flat" response curve, or anything that can be described by any specs. Just really good sounding, quick, and natural. You can add a sub if you have to, but I'd try it without first, just to see how you like it.

BTW, I am aware of at least one member of Audiogon that has replaced his Merlin VSM-M with a set of Lowther Voigt Pipes, and it's not me. Also, another member has replaced his Triangle Antal speakers with Lowther Voigt Pipes, and another member replaced his Silverline Sonatas with Lowther Voigt Pipes, and they all said the same thing,"Never going back again to what I had before". One other member had a tough time deciding between a set of Lowther Voigt Pipes, and a pair of JM Labs Mini-Utopias, and finally decided on the JM Labs, because of the large size of the Voigts taking up too much of his bedroom.
Following up on T's diy route, other killer kits are also available.
One strong contender (and Voigt competitor) is the Hammer Dynamics kit.

A good Voigt or a Hammer should, in most (all) respects, outperform small commercial spkrs...
Thanks for all the input. I'm copying all the advice you've given and will try to listen to as many as I can later this week. You guys are the best.

Hi Pat,
As you may remember, I was building some of these when we last talked. They've turned out extremely nice! The ScanSpeak tweeters and VIFA woofers are extremely well matched with George's spectacular crossovers (aka Crossover King). The parts quality is worlds better than most stuff until you get to Merlin range (which also uses ScanSpeak drivers).

Check them out on North Creek's website

The only bad news: you'll never find a pair to audition. I think one of the audio mags did a favorable review of the North Creek Spirits sometime recently. Try googling that?

Anyway, good luck with your friend's system. It sounds pretty damn nice!