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Speaker Advice


tommortr
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Having moved in April of last year from solid state ( Lavardin C42 & Cyrus monoblocks) to the rather sublime Unison Research S6. I wanted to live with the system for a while to see if any improvements could be made.

Currently my sources are a Mitchell Gyrodec/P10 and a Cambridge Audio Azur 851 n.

Due to the nature of my listening room, the speakers have to sit very close to back wall, but are a meter from side walls. Room dimensions are 3.5 meters by 6.2 meters, speakers are on the narrower wall. Listening tends to be at the far end of the room, around 5 meters away.

I currently have Focal Chorus 816v as they are front and bottom ported and an easy load for the amp to drive, but wonder if a studio monitor would be a good move I.e Proac , Sonus Faber or Opera. My music tastes are varied.

I initially had studio monitors albeit the humble Mission 780se and later Mission 750’s, before I felt the irresistible need to move to floorstanders in the form of Leema Xones. I always felt I lost something more intimate from the music in moving from standmounts....but perhaps that’s nostalgia/ and unreliable memory!!

Many thanks in advance for any advice!

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22 minutes ago, tommortr said:

Having moved in April of last year from solid state ( Lavardin C42 & Cyrus monoblocks) to the rather sublime Unison Research S6. I wanted to live with the system for a while to see if any improvements could be made.

Currently my sources are a Mitchell Gyrodec/P10 and a Cambridge Audio Azur 851 n.

Due to the nature of my listening room, the speakers have to sit very close to back wall, but are a meter from side walls. Room dimensions are 3.5 meters by 6.2 meters, speakers are on the narrower wall. Listening tends to be at the far end of the room, around 5 meters away.

I currently have Focal Chorus 816v as they are front and bottom ported and an easy load for the amp to drive, but wonder if a studio monitor would be a good move I.e Proac , Sonus Faber or Opera. My music tastes are varied.

I initially had studio monitors albeit the humble Mission 780se and later Mission 750’s, before I felt the irresistible need to move to floorstanders in the form of Leema Xones. I always felt I lost something more intimate from the music in moving from standmounts....but perhaps that’s nostalgia/ and unreliable memory!!

Many thanks in advance for any advice!

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As a general rule smaller standmounts will require more power, will start to distort at lower levels than floorstanders and will not extend as low.

Your room is big enough for large speakers but there are many types of standmounts, some 3-way with large woofers. Since your listening distance is considerable you could try to move the speakers closer, say 2.5m. If you like the presentation better then perhaps consider panels (Quad, MartinLogan) or even horns ("real" ones are expensive though) because these have narrower directivity which is better suited to farfield listening in untreated rooms.

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Budget? ..

as to studio monitors how much are you prepared to sacrifice bass?   

What is wrong with the sound you are currently getting from the Focals? 

Personal view is you need to closely analyse the sound you are getting and work out what your ears do not like or think could be better than what you have now.

My personal view is the positioning of a studio monitor is just as critical as a floor stander and the same rules apply - if close to a back wall you want to avoid a read facing port (but there are many with downward firing ports now as well as front firing).  The differences with a Studio Monitor is many do not plunge the depths and so there are less room problems to be had from bass production but against that you have to weigh up the overall bass response.

Once you have worked out exactly what you do not like from your current speakers and what you are looking for then we can make some reasoned judgments on speakers you might like to get your ears around.

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I’ve got Focal 826v, and a similar size room, I have mine placed along the long wall, around 3.3m apart, slightly toed in, and sit roughly that distance away, maybe slightly more. It took a lot of tweaking before I got them placed just right, so I would say your speakers have probably got a lot more potential, but just need some positional tweakery. 

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I know of a few speakers that work near walls having similar limitations in my onw listening room 

  • Audio Note - most, but not all  models , AN-K would be a good starting point maybe 
  • Neat Ministra - this relatively new model is designed to work near the boundary wall - great bass for small speaker 
  • Larsen speakers - again these are designed to work against a rear wall 
  • Buchardt S400 - think this is also designed for close to wall placement 
  • MAD 1920 - these are the speakers I use - although rear ported they can also go up close to the wall behind them 
  • Xavian - this company also make speaker that work against the wall 

Surely something from  the above list would suit you ?:D

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The room dynamics are such, that the speakers can’t be moved from their current position. Moving them away from the wall, creates a obstruction to the door entrance.
The Unison S6 has brought a beautiful midrange and warmth, without muddying the sound. I am looking to build on those attributes.
A little bit less bass would help, as any little volume increase can make the sound boomy. This makes it tricky to listen to at reasonable levels.This I am sure is due in part to speaker position currently.
As to budget, I was hoping to pick up something second hand for around £1000


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7 minutes ago, tommortr said:

... A little bit less bass would help, as any little volume increase can make the sound boomy. This makes it tricky to listen to at reasonable levels. This I am sure is due in part to speaker position currently ...

Do you have room for something like a pair of Klipsch Heresys? Something like this? They can go right against a wall, not bass heavy and should work very well with valve amps.

cb97c5d79127119e50e68c44937b3a61--speakers-audio.jpg.c54aa337145bc476c74a8e901b470a90.jpg

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I know of a few speakers that work near walls having similar limitations in my onw listening room 
  • Audio Note - most, but not all  models , AN-K would be a good starting point maybe 
  • Neat Ministra - this relatively new model is designed to work near the boundary wall - great bass for small speaker 
  • Larsen speakers - again these are designed to work against a rear wall 
  • Buchardt S400 - think this is also designed for close to wall placement 
  • MAD 1920 - these are the speakers I use - although rear ported they can also go up close to the wall behind them 
  • Xavian - this company also make speaker that work against the wall 
Surely something from  the above list would suit you ?

Quite a list of speakers that I have not really heard of...will have to do some diligent research


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Do you have room for something like a pair of Klipsch Heresys? Something like this? They can go right against a wall, not bass heavy and should work very well with valve amps.
cb97c5d79127119e50e68c44937b3a61--speakers-audio.jpg.c54aa337145bc476c74a8e901b470a90.jpg

Those look very interesting, but doubt I would get them past the fashion police.
Interesting to see the range of different speakers that combat room requirements


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I’ve got Focal 826v, and a similar size room, I have mine placed along the long wall, around 3.3m apart, slightly toed in, and sit roughly that distance away, maybe slightly more. It took a lot of tweaking before I got them placed just right, so I would say your speakers have probably got a lot more potential, but just need some positional tweakery. 

Unfortunately I have no flexibility in moving them.....


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I used to have a pair of Focal 816 WSE’s that worked nicely in a room similar to yours with my Cyrus mono X’s. I’ve Focal 1027be which can get a bit boomy if not placed well, however there are foam bungs to put in the rear port to help control things , have you tried bungs or stuff a hiking sock in the ports to see if that helps with your boom issues?

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1 hour ago, tommortr said:

A little bit less bass would help, as any little volume increase can make the sound boomy. This makes it tricky to listen to at reasonable levels.This I am sure is due in part to speaker position currently.

Could be listener position too. Is your listening seat back against the wall?

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