Bookshelf speakers

Still toying with changing my Dynaudio Focus 110’s currently working with my Nova. Generally quite happy with the sound but wondering if improvements in the mid range performance would be worth the upgrade.
The following are possibilities(bearing in mind lack of auditioning opportunities currently).

  1. Dynaudio Evoke 10 - same sound(ish) and probably a sideways step.
    2)Harbeth P3 ESR
    3)Spendor Classic 4/5
    4)Proac Tablette 10
  2. PMC Twenty5.21i - probably too big
    Focus 110’s are on stands up high in corners of the room, so not ideal, but going to have to stay that way. Therefore the replacements will have to be no larger than the current 110’s, especially depth wise because the stands are already at the limits of extension and weight allowance, otherwise I might be tempted by the Dynaudio Special 40’s.
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Have a look at which speakers are easiest to drive, I have Harbeth P3ESR, superb speakers but they need lashings of current , if I was going for a Nova speakers 3 & 4 would be my choice to audition

Trying some neat ministra’s this weekend.

Ministra’s are fantastic. Currently using with Nova, you won’t be disappointed


Son just bought a Nova. The Ministra caught his eye. Isobarik FTW.

Has anybody heard the Falcon LS/35a? Strong legacy and might be a fun small speaker.

I was more drawn to the Ekstra or the chubette Explorer.

I have a pair of nSats to lend him but they sound pretty good around here. Fun on a 500 system.

Hadn’t thought of the Ministra. I’ll have a gander. Thanks

The Harbeth P3 ESR isn’t actually a difficult load at all:
Minimum impedance 5.5Ω, -10° @ 160Hz
Maximum load point 6.5Ω, -30° @ 120Hz
It’s not so much that they require a lot of current, but that they get very much better when given an amp that can deliver changes in current very quickly; without this they may sound less dynamic.

These are the only speakers in your list for which I can find any real data, so the others may be an easier or a more difficult load - I can’t tell as I don’t have access to the necessary data.
The one to stand out as a real possibility for an easier load is the ProAc Tabletet 10 (however although it has a higher nominal impedance, that is no guarantee of an easier load as ProAc - just like almost every other speaker manufacturers - doesn’t specify the actual impedance, just the ‘nominal’ impedance and that figure tells you almost nothing about the load an amplifier sees).

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Just to check, are you seeking speakers to be on bookshelves, where things may be packed around them (beneficial with the right speakers), or speakers on stands?

I’m using Graham/Chartwell LS3/5s with a Nait 1 and they’re fantastic. My favorite of the LS3/5 types.

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Audiovector R1 series is a good choice.

Tablette 10s are amazing if the room is not too big; they shine with a 35W nominal Marantz HD AMP1 (almost 70W real with a valve like touch) in a 4mx3m room. With the NOVA they must sound fantastic. I can’t talk about the rest.

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Indeed: i heard them when audition my UQ2. Was the Best of the group i tested.

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The speakers are mounted on brackets in the ceiling corners toed in and angled down about 20 degrees. Probably the worst positioning you can get, I know.

A bit too tall for my requirements

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Someone else mentioned the Grahams LS3/5 the other day suggesting it may be a viable alternative to the Harbeth

I think the Proac May be a sideways step and perhaps a little bright whereas the Harbeth could offer a good enough upgrade. I haven’t listened to either yet though, so I can’t discount either at the moment.

I like the look of the Ministra but they are too big for where they will be placed unfortunately

How are they with rock or reggae?

Anyone here tried the Spendor A1?

You indicated that the new speakers would need to be in the same position? In that position you need corner speakers, but such things are rare beasts! PMC and ATC make speakers specifically intended to be wall mounted, their response appropriately tailored. PMC Wafer 1 & Wafer 2, both mini transmission line designs. I believe their DB1 can also be used wall mounted, with a a bracket sold for that purpose. All come up fairly regularly on eBay. ATC have the HTS7 and HTS 11, developed from their well respected SCM7 & 11, which are new introductions so may be unlikely secondhand, though they are cheaper than the PMCs being less complex designs. Personally I find transmission line bass better sounding than other designs I have heard, but haven’t heard these PMCs, nor do I have any idea what the ATCs sound like, but it may be worth researching both.

Buying speakers without first hearing, which I gather is your position, is like Russian roulette - so the best I can suggest is to get a range of suggestions, as you are, then do a lot of research (reviews etc -ideally comparative reviews with more than one of your list), and when you think you have a shortlist start individual threads here for each speaker seeking people’s experiences with them. An advantage if you buy secondhand, aside from increasing your buying power, is that if you you don’t like them, you may be able To move them on at only small loss.

Otherwise, if your reason for current lack of auditioning capability is remoteness from any suitable dealer, you might be able to find a dealer prepared to send to you on a trial basis, paying upfront as a deposit. I’ve done that with electronics, though I guess might be more difficult with speakers.