Standmount speakers for low volume listening levels

ErwinC

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Nov 24, 2009
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I am planning tor replace my current speakers by standmount speakers that can be placed close to the back wall (10 inch). At this moment i consider the KEF R100, LS50, Dynaudio Excite X12 and (since yesterday) the B&W CM5.

Since i listen mostly at low volumes, the speakers must still sound good at low listening levels. Which of the above speakers do you think would still sound good at low listening levels?
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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For low level listening, I would generally recommend speakers with higher sensitivities and ideally an 8ohm impedance. These types of speakers will usually sound more exciting and energetic, which is quite noticeable at low volumes. There are one or two exceptions to the rule though, so only use that as a guide.

Your choice of amplifier will also affect how good the speaker will sound at low volumes. A more capable amp will sound more dynamic at lower volumes, and without sounding lean.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
ErwinC said:
I am planning tor replace my current speakers by standmount speakers that can be placed close to the back wall (10 inch). At this moment i consider the KEF R100, LS50, Dynaudio Excite X12 and (since yesterday) the B&W CM5.

Since i listen mostly at low volumes, the speakers must still sound good at low listening levels. Which of the above speakers do you think would still sound good at low listening levels?
Pretty much as David's suggestions. From personal experience PMC DB1is are fabulous at low levels but need to be about 12" from back wall.

Don't know your kit but Arcam, Creek and Roksan are good in this area, hence why looked at these. Likewise, if you can stretch your budget Leema + PMCs or + Totem or + Monitor Audio will sound good at idling levels.
 

ErwinC

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Nov 24, 2009
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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
For low level listening, I would generally recommend speakers with higher sensitivities and ideally an 8ohm impedance. These types of speakers will usually sound more exciting and energetic, which is quite noticeable at low volumes. There are one or two exceptions to the rule though, so only use that as a guide.
Thanks for the feedback. May i conclude from this that the CM5 is the best solution for me for low volumes? The sensitivity is the highest (88dB), impedance is quite similar as the other ones.
 

ErwinC

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Nov 24, 2009
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plastic penguin said:
Don't know your kit but Arcam, Creek and Roksan are good in this area, hence why looked at these. Likewise, if you can stretch your budget Leema + PMCs or + Totem or + Monitor Audio will sound good at idling levels.
I have a Cyrus 6XP which is quite good for low volumes imo. PMC i like but is very difficult to buy/hear where i live.
 

hoopsontoast

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Oct 1, 2011
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Whats the Budget, Rest of the Kit and room size?

I thought the Spendor S3/5R and SA1 were very good at low volumes for a stand-mount. Overall I prefer the ATC SCM7 but they tend to sound a little to lean for most people at low volumes (would be my choice though).

You may have issues with rear ported speakers that close to rear walls, YMMV though.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
ErwinC said:
plastic penguin said:
Don't know your kit but Arcam, Creek and Roksan are good in this area, hence why looked at these. Likewise, if you can stretch your budget Leema + PMCs or + Totem or + Monitor Audio will sound good at idling levels.
I have a Cyrus 6XP which is quite good for low volumes imo. PMC i like but is very difficult to buy/hear where i live.
Have to say, albeit a few years ago, that when I had the 8VS2 on dem it didn't impress at all at low levels. Actually, it was okay but compared to my Arcam A65+ it didn't quite have the cohesion I was expecting.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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ErwinC said:
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
For low level listening, I would generally recommend speakers with higher sensitivities and ideally an 8ohm impedance. These types of speakers will usually sound more exciting and energetic, which is quite noticeable at low volumes. There are one or two exceptions to the rule though, so only use that as a guide.
Thanks for the feedback. May i conclude from this that the CM5 is the best solution for me for low volumes? The sensitivity is the highest (88dB), impedance is quite similar as the other ones.
From your list, it'd be between the KEF's and the Dynaudios for me. The KEF's would probably edge it as the Dyn's are 4ohms, but despite that, they do sound good on Cyrus.

Following on from a point that Hoops made, I think when choosing speakers for low level, it may also depend on your priorities - some might want a good bass response or plenty of exciting mid/top end detail, whereas others may want the whole nine yards.

I want to make a point that those who have only heard older Cyrus amps (up to the 6vs or 8vs models), haven't heard what the new Cyrus amps sound like. Since the XP models, they're not as lean and bright, and now sound fuller.
 

ErwinC

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Nov 24, 2009
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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
From your list, it'd be between the KEF's and the Dynaudios for me. The KEF's would probably edge it as the Dyn's are 4ohms, but despite that, they do sound good on Cyrus.
I also like the KEF R100 most. Did not hear the LS50 though.

FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Following on from a point that Hoops made, I think when choosing speakers for low level, it may also depend on your priorities - some might want a good bass response or plenty of exciting mid/top end detail, whereas others may want the whole nine yards.
I very much like the exciting mid/top end detail from the Q Acoustics. I am only missing deep bass. I never expected that a speaker costing less than £200 would give me so much musical pleasure. I owned many far more expensive speakers in the past and except for the deep bass, i don't have the feeling i am missing something.

FrankHarveyHiFi said:
I want to make a point that those who have only heard older Cyrus amps (up to the 6vs or 8vs models), haven't heard what the new Cyrus amps sound like. Since the XP models, they're not as lean and bright, and now sound fuller.
Agreed.
 

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