Reference 3A Grand Veena vs DeVore Nines: RoomSize

I'm considering purchasing a pair of Grand Veenas, but I cannot decide if it will be too big for my room. Another speaker I am considering instead of the Grand Veena are the Devore Nines, as they are a bit smaller and equally well reviewed. I have heard the Grand Veenas a few years ago and have been totally enamored with them, although my first encounter with them was in a large room of about 25x30 driven by McIntosh tube gear (C2200, MC2301). I have never heard the Nines, but I think I can put together a good system around them with a Leben integrated.

My room size is about 14x17x12 (vaulted ceilings) and there is no real rear wall where the listening position would be, which would be about 10 feet from the speakers. It's an open space with one split wall (about 8 feet up) that is shared with the kitchen and family room. I would place the Grand Veenas along the 14ft wall (probably 4 ft from the rear wall, and 3 feet from the side walls). The actual listening area would be about 14x15, and I would sit 10ft away.

There are mixed reviews as to what size room the Grand Veenas should be in. UltraAudio's review mentions they are best placed in a large room. Stereotimes recommends them for small to medium sized rooms. Not sure what to think? The GVs are 51" inches high, while the Nines are 38", a pretty significant difference. Demos are out of the question.

I also have concerns about the Grand Veena's ability to be driven with low wattage tube amplification. I don't think the sensitivity (90/91dB) is a problem as much as the impedance of 5ohm. Forum member Lacee mentions driving them successfully with a 2 watt SET decware amp, however I think decware are one of the few tube amps that prefer low impedance. I would like to use a Leben integrated CS300XS or CS600, which can run in 4 or 6 ohm mode as well. By contrast, the Devore Nines are 91dB at 8ohm and there are several positive reviews of them being driven deliciously by Leben amps.

This is my predicament, any responses would be appreciated. Please, if you have Grand Veenas or Devore Nines, let me know how you think they operate in your room and please list any tube amps you may think is good match. Thank you!
I have a pair of Ref 3A Dulcets which I really enjoy. I'd suggest calling Reference 3A in Canada (number is on their website) and talking with Tash Goka, the President. Both he and Diane, who sometimes answers the phone, are very friendly and helpful.
Hi Rebbi,
Thanks for the response. I think I'm getting closer to pulling the trigger on the Grand Veenas now, but it would be good to speak to Tash. I've read the he recommends turning the rear spikes to move the speaker down in a vertical direction for smaller rooms.

Curious, what amp do you use to drive your Dulcets?
my vote goes the Nines...i've yet to hear a great demo on the Ref's at all, felt like i had to stand up to hear them sound just ok.

I'm running Nine's with Shindo.
I guess I'm the opposite. The Grand Veenas were my first exposure to hifi and they were the best I've ever heard. I've heard a few other system that had Harbeth SHL5 (very nice), Audio Note, Paradigm. Now, I've never heard the Nines but I know a great system can be built around them with Shindo and Leben gear from all that I've read.

My issue also comes down to price. The GVs should I buy them may be $750 cheaper then the Nines. I feel the GVs are more speaker for the money, in addition to my predisposition to think they would be superior to the Nines.

Still, I know to make good music, you need to have a good system not just good speakers. Not sure what components I'd put around the GVs. If I had the Nines, no question I would go with a Leben integrated, and if I felt the need, upgrade to Shindo separates.
Jcote - Can you also list the size of your listening area, and what model Shindo pre/amp you are using?


I am running my Dulcet's with "budget" tube gear – a pair of Manley "Mahi" mono-blocks. Even in "triode" mode where they only put out 20 or so watts per channel into 8 ohms, they sound great and my volume knob almost never gets beyond nine o'clock because they play plenty loud. :-) Hope this helps!
My full system can be seen in the "System" section but i'm running the Masetto/Cortese combo. The Cortese puts out 8w and I put the dial to about 10-11 for "live" level volumes. Otherwise 9 for easy listening levels.

My room is rectangular about 22' x 14'. I have the speakers on the "long" wall but i quote "long" because the wall breaks into the open living kitchen area. Ceilings are 8' high.

I'm considering moving up to a pair of Silverbacks so my Nines might end up on the marketplace soon.
Hi Rebbi,
Thanks for your response, that does help. What kind of space do you have your Dulcets in?

If the Grand Veena was 91db into 8ohms, I would not be so concerned about driving it with low powered tube gear. But, it is 91db into 5ohms, which is a more difficult load for a tube amp. Not sure by how much.

My main concern is whether the GV is too large for this listening area, about 14x17 with vaulted ceilings and an open wall that leads into the rest of my house.

Anyone who has used Leben gear to drive the Ref 3A's, I'd like to hear your impressions as well.
Hi Jcote,
Thanks for your response. I've been trying to find a way to send you a private message about how much you may want for the Nines.

My room is smaller than yours: about 13 x 16 with a 10 foot ceiling. Livelier than ideal, but somewhat damped with an area rug, window shades and some furniture. Hope this helps.
Well, let me start by saying the Grand Veenas are one of the few hi-end speakers I've had the privilege to spend some time with. As always, I listened to the system which was all Mac tube based gear.

The GVs, to me, did everything right tonally and excelled at all the audiophile qualities of sound. The perfect imaging and soundstage jumped out first. I could virtually locate all the performers and instruments on the sound stage. Voices were simply awesome, male and female. Patricia Barber sounded sweet and life like. Another CD we tried consisted of African music, where the raspiness of the vocals came through with emotion, the sound of hands banging on drums had me convinced there was an African percussionist in the room. We rocked out to some Dire Straits, again I felt the performers were in the room. Excellent rhythm, tonality, dynamics. Totally musical and jaw-droppingly good in the audiophile aspects. Everything I could ever want in a speaker.

Undoubtedly, if my listening room were bigger I would have purchased the GVs by now. As it is, I think they may overpower my room. When I first demo'ed them it was in a large room, the GVs were placed almost in the middle with a good 8 feet to the left and right and another 8 feet between them, and about 10 ft behind them. Lots of breathing room. In my room I would only have 3 feet to the left and right, and about 7 feet between, with almost 4 feet behind. Very different listening rooms.

Enter the Devore Nines, which are supposedly room friendly unlike the GVs and probably won't overpower my room. They are smaller with less amount of drivers, and supposedly they sound great. I have never heard them, but I read that a good system can be built around them using Leben/Shindo gear, which I am planning to purchase regardless of speakers.
Well, after a long post praising the qualities of the Grand Veenas, I made my decision and put some money down on a pair of Devore Nines. We'll see how they do. I will report back with my impressions. Anyone else who has had the opportunity to hear these two speakers, please continue to chime in :-)

Thanks for the responses!
Hi Jcote,
I am also considering the Shindo Cortese an as amplifier for the Nines. Tell me, in your opinion do they have enough power for rock music? I have read about other people pairing Shindo preamps with the Cortese amp driving the Nines, and about half of the comments do not suggest there is enough power, the other half is satisfied.

I would fall into the satisfied camp. This is a very revealing combo though very musical. It won't mask any bad recording but a good rock recording will sound phenomenal. Hope to hear more from you as your system comes together. I'm not sure where you're located but there is a used Masseto at the west coast dealer if you're looking into Shindo pres. The Cortese rarely comes up for sale although there may be one still available private party on another audio site.
Cfernandez86, I'm curious as to how you made out with your decision. I am also in the market for some speakers in the <$5K price range used at this time, and these two speakers are high on my radar. I am leaning towrads the Nines.