Overkill for small room

Hello all - long time lurker, first time poster. I've enjoyed reading so many of these posts, and I feel like I'm learning so much from you guys. Thank you for that.

I am strongly considering a pair of Dynaudio 20i - I am aware they require serious amplification - but I suspect that they'll be too much for a small room

Room specs: (11 wide by 14 long, normal ceiling height with acoustical tile, carpet tile covering one entire wall, wall-to-wall carpet on top of cement slab, no basement).

Am I nuts? 

Thank you in advance.


I heard the Dynaudio Special 40 with Moon electronics at Quintessence Audio in Chicago, and man that was some music/sound. Immediately grabbed my attention and I could not just NOT sit down and listen. That was some special pairing. But the room also made a big difference.

I'm curious to know what you consider "very loud aggressive music.

Lately I have been listening quite a bit to Fear Inoculum by Tool.  I also like Orbital, NIN, Ministry, Big Black, Moon Duo, The Black Angels, Foo Fighters just to name a very small sampling, along with other genres like Folk, Jazz and classic Country.

And 4X 12" subs? What is your crossover

My main speakers are book shelf speakers, so two of the subs are slightly behind but in line with those, and those subs are low passed at 161 Hz using a 24 db Butterworth slope while the mains are high passed at 191 Hz using a 24 db Link/Riley slope which gives me a 6 db down point a little under 200 Hz. The actual down point and frequency will vary somewhat depending on the gain settings for the front subs and mains which varies from recording to recording. The other two subs are placed in an asynchronous (not the word I want but the only one I can think of right now) pattern in the room and are high passed at 79 Hz using a 48 db Butterworth slope. All four subs are high passed at 34 Hz using a 24 db Butterworth slope.

Are you feeding them with sub-outs or speaker-level?

My preamp connects to a XTA DP448  speaker management unit that handles the crossover duties, time alignment, gain setting, driver protection, and per channel input and output equalization if desired. I will never again use a speaker level sub connection.

Tool has been a fave of mine since Opiate. Big fan of RATM too. 

Your sub setup seems quite impressive, even if I only understood about 25% of what you described. I’m sure that processor handles everything amazingly well, but that stuff is WAY over my head at this point. I can’t even decide on what base gear is best for me. The journey continues. 

I would tell you my listening room is dominated by my wife who puts all her crap everywhere causing my listening experience to vary wildly. not at all sure that wool is the best choice, my wife suggested a blend of polyester and cotton, she says it is stretchable, which I had not realized was and audiophile thing,, any suggestions? 

Understanding how to operate a speaker management system which is a fancy term for a DSP unit, is really not that difficult. Their functions are pretty straight forward. The hardest part is training your ear so you can distinguish what you like from what you don't like and that just takes practice.

The biggest take away from all of this in my opinion is to figure out how to get your room under control. Once you do, your audio possibilities pretty much become, endless.

If you want to take a deeper dive into some of this stuff send me a PM. I would be more that happy to help.