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damballah's picture
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Mini Monitor Suggestions

Hi all,

  Long time watcher but brand new poster here.  I'm in the US and looking for a great set of mini monitors for my home office which is quite small.  I've looked at the following speakers so far, and was wondering if there's anything else out there that should be on my short list.  Mini Monitors seem to be hard to audition in the us for some reason, so I might have to buy unheard and take my chances.  Just so everyone knows, my definition of mini is about 12x10x10" but the smaller they get the higher the wife acceptance factor is, so there's a benefit to something smaller. 

 

Harbeth P3ESR - Really liked there
Leema Xero's - Liked these
PSB mini's - Didn't really find these very engaging
Spendor S3/5R2 - Haven't gotten a chance to audition yet but look promising

The recent ones I saw online that looked interested that I wondered if anyone knew about were the T+A CS Mini's, they appear to be made from aluminum and are super small, but look pretty impressive from what little I've seen of them.  T+A isn't common in the US at all, so perhaps someone has heard them.  I'm also a big Linn fan, so I was looking at the Kiko, but it doesn't appear to be around much at all yet. 

Thanks for all your opinions as they are most appreciated,

Steve

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

There are some small Genelecs, which look very nice. Not sure of their dimensions, but they do look small.

Have a look on their website.

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

Yes, agree with the Genelecs, but you'd need a preamp. Have a look at the new Kef x300As too, they're meant to be the dog's b*ll*cks.

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

See if you can get a demo of the ATC SCM7 or search out the older SCM10.They are my favourite mini-monitors I have heard over the Spendor S3/5R and SA1, PMC DB1i (DB1S+) and a few others.

Not heard the Harbeths but heard nothing but good reviews about them.

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

Welcome, Steve.  It won't have escaped your attention that the new KEF LS50 is highly rated.  There are at least three HUGE threads about them here.  It is pretty much exactly the size you describe, and you may think it looks cool.  Definitely a 'monitor' in presentation.

The Linn Kiko is a complete system comprising a streamer/amp plus a pair of speakers costing 2500GBP, so maybe 4000USD or more.

There are some budget Pioneer speakers in the USA that we cannot get over here.  They are raved about and only cost around 129 dollars, so if you didn't like them it would not be too much of a risk.  You can read about them here:-

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/pioneer-sp-bs22-lr-loudspeaker/ 

A pretty diverse range there, without any idea of your budget or tastes.

 

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

Thanks for the ATC7 suggestion.  They're on sale here in the US prior to the 2013 price increases, so that might be a good choice.  There's also a set of Esoteric MG10's for sale in my area that might be a good one as well.  They're a bit big, but I've always loved their non-colored presentation.

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

The Harbeth P3ESR which you have already auditioned and liked is well worth considering and probably has a better balanced sound compared to the Spendor 3/5R2 which may be a tad bass-light.

The other mini-monitor I would recommend is the Dali Mentor Menuet which I think looks and sounds great. T&A stuff is supposed to be very good - German-made, which means engineering quality would be top-class, though probably quite expensive.

What amp are you using and what are the sources?

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

It's worth having a listen to ProAc's Response D1s too. 

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

I'm either going to be using a Leema Acoustics Elements with the built in DAC, or a PS Audio NuWave DAC with that new Naim NAP100 down below.  I'm trying the PS / Naim combination right now.  Source is FLAC collection stored to NAS.  My full size listening room uses a Majik DSM as a source.  The response D1 looks like a promising speaker, but the closest ProAc dealer to me is too far and in too odd of a location to audition.  I've heard lots of good things about them though. 

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

Harbeth is a fine match with Naim, so it would be the P3's for me... take a look over on the Harbeth and Naim forums

Mac.

Electrocompaniet EMC1UP, Accuphase E350, Harbeth SHL5 Siltech 25th anniversary 33i XLR, Auditorium 23 SC, HiFi Racks Podium Reference rack.

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

Audiosmile Kensai i would add. I liked the Spendor SA1 too when I heard them powered by Naim

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

damballah wrote:

I'm either going to be using a Leema Acoustics Elements with the built in DAC, or a PS Audio NuWave DAC with that new Naim NAP100 down below.  I'm trying the PS / Naim combination right now.  Source is FLAC collection stored to NAS.  My full size listening room uses a Majik DSM as a source.  The response D1 looks like a promising speaker, but the closest ProAc dealer to me is too far and in too odd of a location to audition.  I've heard lots of good things about them though. 

Harbeth's designer Alan Shaw always takes great pains to emphasize that his speakers can be easily driven by any competently designed amp, so I'd say you'd have no problems with either the Leema or the new NAP 100 into the P3ESR.

Good luck!

PS It's a pity about the ProAcs because I think the Tablette Anniversary offers very strong competition to the P3ESR.

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

Yes - Those ProAc Tablettes look really nice.  It is a shame that there's not a dealer anywhere around here.  What does anyone think about the ATC SCM11?  They're a bit taller, but the footprint is still in the range that I was looking for... 

Thanks,
STeve

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

James7 wrote:

Audiosmile Kensai i would add. I liked the Spendor SA1 too when I heard them powered by Naim

I will concur, the SA1s soung fantastic with my Supernait..................

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

ATC has a very flat response... very neutral, if that's the sound you're looking for, they are amongst the best.

Mac

Electrocompaniet EMC1UP, Accuphase E350, Harbeth SHL5 Siltech 25th anniversary 33i XLR, Auditorium 23 SC, HiFi Racks Podium Reference rack.

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RE: Mini Monitor Suggestions

I've always been a fan of the neutral, so maybe I'll give them a try.  I'll let you all know what I end up with.  Thanks for all the input!

 

-S

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