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Floor-standers in a small room

Oxfordian

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As previously mentioned in other threads and posts my new listening room will be a bedroom approximately 9ft by 9ft, now my logic is too look for a pair of small stand mount speakers which will work well in this room, my local dealer is going to loan me some ATC SCM7’s to try with my old Arcam Alpha 8 amp and also let me test a few amps from their stock as well, which is great and really helpful. I also want to test a few other speakers such as the Quad S2 and AE300’s to find a sound that works well for me

It has also been suggested that a sub woofer could also be used to help with bass, now this makes sense as bass from a small set of stand mount speakers is not going to be great.

But, this leaves me confused, the speakers will be on stands and would probably not take up any more room than a pair of floor standing speakers, the expense of the smaller speakers, stands and sub woofer will not be cheap, so my question is, why not just go for a pair of floor standing speakers, costing maybe around £800-£1000?

Are floor standing speakers a big no no for a small room, should a floor standing speaker only be used in a large or largish room?

My listening tastes are MOR, jazz, female vocal, blues and a bit of anything else that takes my fancy with vinyl going back to the 1970’s and CD’s to the 80’s.
 
I think the emphasis on bass response is the main concern here and it doesn't matter if it comes from a floorstander or a subwoofer. If your room cannot handle it then it isn't going to do much for the overall sound.
The standmounts you mention should provide ample bass response for a room that size.
There are floorstanders designed for small rooms, like the Neat Iota Alpha, but they tend to be expensive.
 
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Oxfordian

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I think the emphasis on bass response is the main concern here and it doesn't matter if it comes from a floorstander or a subwoofer. If your room cannot handle it then it isn't going to do much for the overall sound.
The standmounts you mention should provide ample bass response for a room that size.
There are floorstanders designed for small rooms, like the Neat Iota Alpha, but they tend to be expensive.
Thanks for the reply, I certainly don’t want dance music thump, that is not what I am looking for but where there is a bit of double bass in a classical or jazz track, the thump of the bass drum or a bit of bass guitar it would be nice to hear it.

If my son had his way he would have a couple of sub’s installed, heavy duty bass weighted floorstanders and if a bass control was fitted on the amp that would be turned all the way up and the foundations would be rocking.

In all honesty I think I was getting confused and mixed up, a good pair of small speakers will be fine, anything more will be overwhelming.
 

rainsoothe

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Imo, they're not a definite no-no, since, in my experience at least, most bass issues happen in the 100-140hz region (at least in my room, which is of similar size), which standmounts do np. It has more to do with wall proximiti and voicing of the gear (for instance, stuff that has a bass hump). You can only know once you have them in your room, playing music.
 
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rainsoothe

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Also, in a room that size, Spendor A1 should work wonderfully, and should also be easier to drive than ATC - so try to demo those as well. Or, if you can find a used pair, B&W PM1 with their matching stands are amazing. (they used to be 2k new, and the stands 400 pounds).
 
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ProgDr

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The wavelength of a 100hz is 4m so the only way you are going to really hear those kind of frequencies is with reflected waves from the rear wall. This is going to make your sound muddy. If you stand your speakers a foot from the wall and you sit 2 foot from the back wall you only have 6 feet for your sound to form.
The SCM-7 on good solid stands are a very good call.
 
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nopiano

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I agree the ATCs are a great little design. Bear in mind they go up on 1 May, from £875 to £950, so check what’s on offer.
Also bear in mind that ATC’s least powerful amplifier is 100wpc, and frankly I think they might be better with a newer and more punchy, but good luck with the home trial. I think your Arcam Alpha 8 was rated at 80wpc, and the speakers are 75-300 recommended, so fingers crossed!
 
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rainsoothe

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The wavelength of a 100hz is 4m so the only way you are going to really hear those kind of frequencies is with reflected waves from the rear wall. This is going to make your sound muddy. If you stand your speakers a foot from the wall and you sit 2 foot from the back wall you only have 6 feet for your sound to form.
The SCM-7 on good solid stands are a very good call.
huh! that's the size of my room...
 
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Oxfordian

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Also, in a room that size, Spendor A1 should work wonderfully, and should also be easier to drive than ATC - so try to demo those as well. Or, if you can find a used pair, B&W PM1 with their matching stands are amazing. (they used to be 2k new, and the stands 400 pounds).
Thanks for the heads up on the Spendors, my hifi store does list them on their website so whilst a bit more than I planned to pay they may well be a solution.
 

Oxfordian

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Mar 20, 2021
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The wavelength of a 100hz is 4m so the only way you are going to really hear those kind of frequencies is with reflected waves from the rear wall. This is going to make your sound muddy. If you stand your speakers a foot from the wall and you sit 2 foot from the back wall you only have 6 feet for your sound to form.
The SCM-7 on good solid stands are a very good call.
Thanks, the 7’s are going to be first up on a demo, so I’ll update once I have given them a listen.
 

Oxfordian

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I agree the ATCs are a great little design. Bear in mind they go up on 1 May, from £875 to £950, so check what’s on offer.
Also bear in mind that ATC’s least powerful amplifier is 100wpc, and frankly I think they might be better with a newer and more punchy, but good luck with the home trial. I think your Arcam Alpha 8 was rated at 80wpc, and the speakers are 75-300 recommended, so fingers crossed!
Sadly the AA8 is 50wpc, so it may well struggle with the 7’s but I am going to look at some alternative amps, to see what works, suggestions include Audiolab 8300a, Musical Fidelity M2si and something a bit different a Quard Artera Solus as my CD player is producing good music but only when you can prise the tray open as that is still sticky even with a bit of a clean, so the Quad is a bit of a wildcard.

Still it’s going to be fun doing the auditions.
 

AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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In those rooms I would either
- go for small bookshelve speakers
-sound wise isolate the room to a satisfactional degree in which the speakers blend in the best possible way.
-just accept the given conditions.
 
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nopiano

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Sadly the AA8 is 50wpc, so it may well struggle with the 7’s but I am going to look at some alternative amps, to see what works, suggestions include Audiolab 8300a, Musical Fidelity M2si and something a bit different a Quard Artera Solus as my CD player is producing good music but only when you can prise the tray open as that is still sticky even with a bit of a clean, so the Quad is a bit of a wildcard.
They’re all decent amps, but see if the ATC dealer can demo something better, like one of ATCs own, or a powerful Naim, Rega or whatever they have?
 
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DIB

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Sadly the AA8 is 50wpc, so it may well struggle with the 7’s but I am going to look at some alternative amps, to see what works, suggestions include Audiolab 8300a, Musical Fidelity M2si and something a bit different a Quard Artera Solus as my CD player is producing good music but only when you can prise the tray open as that is still sticky even with a bit of a clean, so the Quad is a bit of a wildcard.

Still it’s going to be fun doing the auditions.
Good call on the Quad Artera Solus. I've home demoed the Quad Artera Solus Play version (which is the same with streaming tagged on) with my Spendor A5r floorstanders. Those speakers actually have a smaller footprint than the stands and standmounts that they replaced. Playing CDs on it was a revelation, the sound was superb. It was only when I tried the streaming aspect which I found very poor, and frankly useless, that I decided against buying it. However the Non Play version is top notch, and well worth a demo.
 
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Oxfordian

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They’re all decent amps, but see if the ATC dealer can demo something better, like one of ATCs own, or a powerful Naim, Rega or whatever they have?
Thanks for the reply.

My hifi shop does list the ATC amps but wow, they‘re a bit pricey starting at £2500, that is a fair bit higher than I had planned to go. They also list the Naim (lovely but not in my budget) and Rega’s, never thought of Rega for amps, but the Elex-R is definitely worth a look.
 

Oxfordian

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Good call on the Quad Artera Solus. I've home demoed the Quad Artera Solus Play version (which is the same with streaming tagged on) with my Spendor A5r floorstanders. Those speakers actually have a smaller footprint than the stands and standmounts that they replaced. Playing CDs on it was a revelation, the sound was superb. It was only when I tried the streaming aspect which I found very poor, and frankly useless, that I decided against buying it. However the Non Play version is top notch, and well worth a demo.
Thanks for the feedback on the Quad Artera Solus, I have just come off the phone with the HiFi store and will be getting one on home demo in the next few days along with the ATC SCM7’s, very much looking forward to having a listen for 7-10 days.
 

millennia_one

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@Oxfordian Really depends on what sort of sound you like. ATC speakers are designed around being a tool rather than an appliance. And to be honest I really don't like them. The passive version that is. They're many more speakers that do the monitoring thing far better and far more fun to live with. ATC are overly difficult to drive for the sealed enclosure which has the downside of not making them not very lively at low listening levels and I tried them with a naim 200 and 250dr amp along with powerful Rega's and even ATC own. Compare them to something from Revel or BW using the same amps and you soon realise what you're missing, dynamics. ATC like to be played at the "healthy" levels thats when they really open up, that's what they're designed for, you only have to look at the magnet structure to realise that. They need the power to shift that big heavy magnet.

And sealed encloses don't necessarily like being close to the wall at all and to get everything that people talk about with ATC speakers they still need to be at least a foot or so from the wall.

In photography terms do you want the RAW image, completely flat (though tests have shown ATC's are far from it) or the graded image with vibrance and contrast? and seeing as you like Arcam and quad id say you like the latter sound.

The people that love them seem to really love them though.

However, having said all that, the actives are a completely different story and for me, that's where the range really starts.

On a side note I've had stand mounts that overpower the room ( 5x5 meter) and floorstanders that don't get anywhere close. It's not about the size TBH honest (well it is and it isn't)

The best advice I can give being into this hobby for 25years is to buy the most efficient speakers you can get your mitts on! 90db and above. Let the speaker do the amplifying allowing you to be less choosy with amps, I have 99db efficient speakers running on 23 watt amp, sounds like 100 monoblocks.

Have fun with the auditions though! i always like that part of it
 
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Oxfordian

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@Oxfordian Really depends on what sort of sound you like. ATC speakers are designed around being a tool rather than an appliance. And to be honest I really don't like them. The passive version that is. They're many more speakers that do the monitoring thing far better and far more fun to live with. ATC are overly difficult to drive for the sealed enclosure which has the downside of not making them not very lively at low listening levels and I tried them with a naim 200 and 250dr amp along with powerful Rega's and even ATC own. Compare them to something from Revel or BW using the same amps and you soon realise what you're missing, dynamics. ATC like to be played at the "healthy" levels thats when they really open up, that's what they're designed for, you only have to look at the magnet structure to realise that. They need the power to shift that big heavy magnet.

And sealed encloses don't necessarily like being close to the wall at all and to get everything that people talk about with ATC speakers they still need to be at least a foot or so from the wall.

In photography terms do you want the RAW image, completely flat (though tests have shown ATC's are far from it) or the graded image with vibrance and contrast? and seeing as you like Arcam and quad id say you like the latter sound.

The people that love them seem to really love them though.

However, having said all that, the actives are a completely different story and for me, that's where the range really starts.

On a side note I've had stand mounts that overpower the room ( 5x5 meter) and floorstanders that don't get anywhere close. It's not about the size TBH honest (well it is and it isn't)

The best advice I can give being into this hobby for 25years is to buy the most efficient speakers you can get your mitts on! 90db and above. Let the speaker do the amplifying allowing you to be less choosy with amps, I have 99db efficient speakers running on 23 watt amp, sounds like 100 monoblocks.

Have fun with the auditions though! i always like that part of it
Thanks for the response, really appreciated.

I have my reservations about the 7’s, nothing suggests that they are going to be what I want but the shop I am borrowing them from is keen for me to try them so I have nothing to lose by giving them a demo.

If I am honest I don’t know what my sound is, the last few weeks have got me back into music and I know that I want a system that will suck me into the music, I know that my current set-up doesn’t do that, it’s good but not brilliant, so will try a few things to see what makes it better.

As for RAW or JPEG, well it has to be RAW all the way.
 

nopiano

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They need the power to shift that big heavy magnet.
Great post above, which is not exactly what I’ve found, but a very fair and well observed comment, if I may say so!

I did just want to mention the quote above, which I’m sure was a slip. The magnets move nowhere of course. They are fixed, and indeed very powerful. It’s the voice coils that move and draw their power from the amp, isn’t it?
 
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nopiano

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My hifi shop does list the ATC amps but wow, they‘re a bit pricey starting at £2500, that is a fair bit higher than I had planned to go. They also list the Naim (lovely but not in my budget) and Rega’s, never thought of Rega for amps, but the Elex-R is definitely worth a look.
Yes, they are costly, though well engineered and British to boot. It makes the point that the SCM7 aren’t necessarily comparable to say KEF, Revel or Monitor Audio that might be a similar price. Rather a scaled down domestic monitor. The Quad is a good call to try out though.

I was wondering from your ‘handle’ if you live in Oxford as I know Oxford Audio Consultants carry ATC.
 

millennia_one

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Great post above, which is not exactly what I’ve found, but a very fair and well observed comment, if I may say so!

I did just want to mention the quote above, which I’m sure was a slip. The magnets move nowhere of course. They are fixed, and indeed very powerful. It’s the voice coils that move and draw their power from the amp, isn’t it?
Little slip yep voicecoils take the power, magnets to keep them in check. meant to say overcome those magnets
 

millennia_one

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Thanks for the response, really appreciated.

I have my reservations about the 7’s, nothing suggests that they are going to be what I want but the shop I am borrowing them from is keen for me to try them so I have nothing to lose by giving them a demo.

If I am honest I don’t know what my sound is, the last few weeks have got me back into music and I know that I want a system that will suck me into the music, I know that my current set-up doesn’t do that, it’s good but not brilliant, so will try a few things to see what makes it better.

As for RAW or JPEG, well it has to be RAW all the way.
Not at all, I'm just giving a jing to the jang/managing expectations as people place ATC on this god-like pedestal sometimes and no brand is this far from it there's always a con. My Hifi dealer did the same with me.

Raw v jpeg, people always say that. And in my experience when say they want the raw they really don't. But we're all after something different, im after (as close i can get) the live experience and the excitement and willing to take a hit in other departments to get it.

but see how you go i look forward to reading your findings.
 

Oxfordian

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Mar 20, 2021
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The wavelength of a 100hz is 4m so the only way you are going to really hear those kind of frequencies is with reflected waves from the rear wall. This is going to make your sound muddy. If you stand your speakers a foot from the wall and you sit 2 foot from the back wall you only have 6 feet for your sound to form.
The SCM-7 on good solid stands are a very good call.
Thanks to my local hifi store a pair of ATC SCM7’s are now sat on a pair of big stands, don’t know the make, they may be ‘Custom Designs’ but not sure, they are being driven by a Quad Artera Solus, and I am loving it. So very very different from my set-up in my signature below, but this is a good different.

I have the kit until next week so plenty of time to give them a good work out.
 

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