speakers for small room

I have a small living room. My amp is an Accuphase powering some Harbeth P3ESRs and a KEF KC62 subwoofer. Sounds great for acoustic and jazz. However, I also like big symphonic works and the Harbeths don't cut it for that. I'm looking for something more dynamic and something that can push more air to give me that grand experience of listening to big works. Any recommendations? Assume a budget of $10000.




"The room is 13’ x 11’ with 3 walls, the other side opening up to the rest of the house."

If I understand correctly, one side of your room is effectively a large opening into the rest of your house. If this is the case, then in the bass region your airspace is effectively your 13’ x 11" room PLUS "the rest of the house". This is good from the standpoint of modal effects in the bass region, but challenging from the standpoint of moving enough air to generate good bass impact.

Is the missing wall on an 11 foot side, or on a 13 foot side?

"Would a floorstander be too much?"

It depends on the specifics of course, but imo a floorstander is more likely to do what you want than a stand-mount speaker is, if I’m understanding correctly about your room essentially "missing" one wall. Imo some way of adjusting the bass characteristics of the speaker would be desirable.

"I’m looking for something more dynamic and something that can push more air to give me that grand experience of listening to big works."

What are your constraints as far as loudspeaker enclosure size goes?

And, what are the constraints on placement of those speakers?

Is this primarily for just one listener, or often for multiple listeners?  In other words, does the width of the "sweet spot" matter? 

Ime "that grand experience of listening to big works" is enabled when the spatial characteristics of the recording are perceptually dominant, as opposed to the "small room signature" of the playback room being perceptually dominant. To put it another way, envelopment/immersion is already on the recording (assuming it’s decent), and we want to keep the room from masking that. Briefly, this can be facilitated by minimizing the early reflections while encouraging the later-arriving reflections (and I can explain why if you’d like). Which leads to my next question: Can you orient your system such that the opening into the rest of the house is behind your listening position?


KEF Ref 1 really good.  Also DALI rubicon 6 for a smaller floor stander.  AB’d them both and was a very close call.

An update on how to use RAAL phones. I sold my amazing RAAL VM-1a tube headphone amp because I needed money for an amp for the Magnepan LRS+.

I had the new RAAL TI-1b 2-channel amp interface box ($800). I use that with the following:

  • Schitt Yggi+ Less is More DAC
  • Schitt Aegir amp ($800)
  • Schitt Mjolnir Class A preamp ($1100)

The above setup gets me to about 90-95% of the VM-1a tube amp ($7k). So one can get almost the best sound out the RAALs for a rather low price. I got this Schitt gear not because of the price, it was because of the sound.


BTW - The Mjolnir (sp?) is a headphone amp / preamp but I use it as a preamp only. It is not powerful enough for the RAAL CA-1a as a headphone amp. I also cannot use SR1a with them due to the need to do baffle compensation. I use the above Schitt setup as a 2-channel system.