Bookshelf Speakers for Small Room

labelman68

Active member
Jan 9, 2021
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I have a small room and listen rather closely. I'm using a Uniti Atom and some older Martin Logan 4s and looking to upgrade the whole system with a great turntable, tube amp and a different DAC. A local dealer demo'd me on the Harbeth P3 XD's and the vocals came through with crystal clarity- loved the sound! But he played it loud and I'm playing at very low volumes (kids, wife, small house).

What are some good bookshelf options for a small room and streamed music (and vinyl) played at lower volumes? A good tube amp/DAC to match??
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
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I can only comment on the P3's, but I do have a different amp to you, I find them excellent at any volume; the XD version are damned expensive though. If I've read correctly I believe Harbeth and tubes work very well together. I think many will say a high sensitivity speaker will give you more at low listening levels, though in my situation I have not found this to be the case.
 
Yes, I very much think it's going to end up b be governed by which tube amp you decide to go for. However, I believe you're going to be best looking at pretty efficient speakers.
If you were keeping the Naim I would have said Focal
 

Gray

Well-known member
I have a small room and listen rather closely. I'm using a Uniti Atom and some older Martin Logan 4s and looking to upgrade the whole system with a great turntable, tube amp and a different DAC. A local dealer demo'd me on the Harbeth P3 XD's and the vocals came through with crystal clarity- loved the sound! But he played it loud and I'm playing at very low volumes (kids, wife, small house).

What are some good bookshelf options for a small room and streamed music (and vinyl) played at lower volumes? A good tube amp/DAC to match??
Covid may have changed things*, but would it not be possible to revisit the dealer? Maybe even take your Naim.
Explain what you've said here and try at your preferred level.
It would be a shame for you to unnecessarily miss out on speakers you said you loved.

*Even more reason for a home loan, which is always better.
 
Last edited:

labelman68

Active member
Jan 9, 2021
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I can only comment on the P3's, but I do have a different amp to you, I find them excellent at any volume; the XD version are damned expensive though. If I've read correctly I believe Harbeth and tubes work very well together. I think many will say a high sensitivity speaker will give you more at low listening levels, though in my situation I have not found this to be the case.
Yes, this is what i'm hearing from people (low sensitivity of these speakers will result in having to crank up the volume to get good bass). Good to hear you're getting a different result. So you like the bass w/ volume at lower levels? I'm looking at a Luxman tube amp w/ loudness control.
 

RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
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I have a small room and listen rather closely. I'm using a Uniti Atom and some older Martin Logan 4s and looking to upgrade the whole system with a great turntable, tube amp and a different DAC. A local dealer demo'd me on the Harbeth P3 XD's and the vocals came through with crystal clarity- loved the sound! But he played it loud and I'm playing at very low volumes (kids, wife, small house).

What are some good bookshelf options for a small room and streamed music (and vinyl) played at lower volumes? A good tube amp/DAC to match??
I can warmly recommend Quad's S2 which I have used in my previous system. Its lovely made too. Quad also makes an even smaller version and I am sure it sounds good too. I can't comment on what tube amplifier to pair this with though. The S2 have a nice warmth and 'body' to it which helps at lower volumes. Still, there are so many good speakers available now. Hope this helps.
 
D

Deleted member 116933

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Personally, i think the Harbeths are a bit rich for the naim, The Naim is good but the harbeths deserve more.
I wouldn't spend any more than around 1k on speakers for the atom (sweat spot would be the LS50/neat iota level) the amp inside is on a par with a nap 100 and I think that's being a bit generous tbh considering naim still see that as an upgrade for the atom.

The speakers won't be a problem at low level and I'm sure that naim has the power to drive them you might just have to get used to just turning it up to a slightly different level than normal is all ie 30 is the new 20 on the dial.

If you fancy a different flavour of amp remember with these amps efficiency is king and always will be I regards to speakers. Id be looking at tannoy for example.

As a starting point I'd look at the

unison research simple Italy

Primaluna

Luxman

If you don't wont tubes, personally I really cant be fussed with them as they wear out id look at class-A transistor

like sugden, first watt, luxman

dac pick your poison but i quite like the chord qutest
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
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I can warmly recommend Quad's S2 which I have used in my previous system. Its lovely made too. Quad also makes an even smaller version and I am sure it sounds good too. I can't comment on what tube amplifier to pair this with though. The S2 have a nice warmth and 'body' to it which helps at lower volumes. Still, there are so many good speakers available now. Hope this helps.
These are indeed great, as long as you don't place them up against a wall. Spendor A1 might also fit the bill quite nicely.
 

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