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Speaker downsizing advice needed - goodbye to big Tannoys?

Real Ramona

Standard Member
I have owned for many years a pair of Tannoy Mayfair T225. These are late 70's units, floorstanding each with a single 10" dual concentric speaker with a passive radiator below.
Big warm sound, great with jazz and classical, which I like - not a lot of cop on rock music, which I also like but good all round tone.
These have lived in various houses and rooms and really have never had the space to work in that they deserve. Now I have bought a new house that has a small listening area and I really think that they are too big for the room. They are just too close, and at that distance midrange is a bit shouty, and they just do not sound their size at low volume.
I only have one possible placement for speakers:
Room is 3.3 m x 3.3m and speakers stand 0.4m away from the back wall (chimney breast in centre) and are 2.8 metres apart on their centres.
This places the driver at 2.2m from listening position.
They have to toe in a little bit so there is that too.
I am thinking about getting some small standmount units. I realise I will lose some of that big low end, but here is my shortlist and I would love some advice. All have 7" drivers apart from the Monitor2

1. Dali Oberon 3 - great price
2. Dynaudio Emit M20 - way more than the Dali, is it that much better, or suitable?
3. Mission QX2 - I always liked the sound of Mission speakers, tight and clean
4. Monitor Bronze 2 - a bit smaller, but crazily cheap and well loved it seems.
5. Bowers & Wilkins 685 S2

Thats about it really. My amp is a Cambridge Audio Azur 640A which some may scoff at but I find it has a nice sound with quite a lot of weight to it which I like.
I am no expert but I think that as the speakers will live a little distance from the wall, and downward or rear firing port would be better.
Sound source is CD player, another Cambridge Audio model, plus Plex media server streaming FLAC and high res MP3 wirelessly to Chromecast, then out the optical jack to a little FiiO DAC.
Taste in music is all sorts really, except C&W probably!
I have no audio expert mates so really need some help here. Thanks!

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There are some really good standmounts available up to £700 where the outgoing KEF R300s are priced. With 65 watts into 8 ohms available from your amp and with the size (if not the shape) of the room quite small there is not going to be a problem with volume from anything that you are likely to hook up.

You are completely right though, the room is far too small for the Tannoys. I would say that the Bronze are possibly the weakest in your list, as good as they are they are not as good as the others mentioned. I find Dali a bit bright for my taste and from your list I would prefer the B&W. However whatever you decide on you must get an audition taking your amp with you.

Real Ramona

Standard Member
Hi, thanks very much for your thoughts. I now have another contender for the list. The Wharfedale 11.2. Of course I remember them from when I was younger and I thought that they had gone bust years ago. Seems they are making some nice speakers again though. In China of course, but what can you do?


I think everyone of a certain age quite possibly had a Wharfedale speaker in their house, I certainly did in the 1980s. I think mine were still with me in the late 1990s when old age and bad seals made them needing replacing with Mission.

You always seem to have a soft spot for speakers that in the past you've really enjoyed listening to. A lot of speaker manufacturers have their speakers built in China. My KEF R series are all built there.

No matter what is recommended it should always be the speakers that put the biggest smile on your face that eventually gets the nod.


Well-known Member
The bronze 2s would work well in that size room as would the others I am sure, are you going to put them on stands?

I suggest you try out q acoustic concept 20s if you get a chance


Distinguished Member
You’re going to miss the mass of the Tannoys and I think it’ll take a while to adjust...if you do.

So... have you considered a 2.1 set up?

A pair of these...

Dali Oberon 3 Light Oak

Dalis latest midrange speaker with the much vaunted new magnet structure...

And one of these...

B.K. Gemini 2 Subwoofer in Light Oak Veneer NEW + Warranty | eBay

The sub is a proper hifi one and is small enough to not offend the eye

Both the Dalis and the sub come in lots of finish combinations.

It’ll get you closer to the heft of your Tannoys.


Distinguished Member
One more thing though.

Is it necessary to have standmounts? They take up the same space as floorstanders on stands and generally are not as good looking in situ.

These for instance, again in many finish combinations sound like they are the bargain of the moment in floorstanders for small rooms.

Dali Oberon 5 White

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I had to Google those Tannoys to see what they looked like - they're beasts!

I agree with Paul - you don't necessarily have to rule out modern floorstanders, some are actually designed to work close to walls and in relatively small spaces.

Like most people, I started off my Hi-Fi journey with a pair of standmounts (Tannoy M20 Gold) due to budget and space restrictions (I was still living with my parents), but once I had my own place and made the switch to floorstanders there was no going back.

Yes, you've got the option of going 2.1 as Paul suggests above, but a pair of floorstanders will do the same thing and look better too. Speaker design, use of materials, computer analysis and measurement; all these things should make modern floorstanders far more efficient and tighter-sounding than the Tannoys in a smaller space.

Good luck!:)


Distinguished Member
I too was about to say the same as Paul. Why standmounts?

They take up just as much space as floorstanders, so you're missing out on that cabinet volume for nothing.

Plus, by the time you've bought decent stands, they are no less expensive either!

Real Ramona

Standard Member
Hi all, thanks for your thoughts. Yes I am sure I will miss the sheer weight of the Tannoys, and I have thought about a little sub to go with new smaller speakers.
The reason I am going for standmounts is height. Layout of the room dictates that speaker has to go in corner and is in front of the TV as you can see. Tannoys stand 72cm high and that is as tall as I can go with anything. All new floorstanders are tall and thin, usually 80cm + rather than short and stocky like these old guys.


Real Ramona

Standard Member
Thanks to John at Richer Sounds in Bath I just auditioned some speakers. They did not have the Diamond 11.2 but they did have its smaller sister the 11.1
This did sound remarkably good, lots of midrange information, and quite smooth. I did have to have the bass cranked up on the amp to get any kind of heft out of them though.
Then tried the Monitor Silver 100 as that seems to be the only standmount speaker with a large bass driver. This sounded a lot better, with more polite top end and much deeper bass. However its nearly twice the price.
We then added a small sub and things changed for the better. I was able to level the amp off and now we are sounding much more to my taste. Put the Wharfedales back in and its a really nice full sound. Can also sit quite a way off-axis and the stereo picture is still good.
Got back home and put on the same test tracks through The Beasts - and yeah....a hella lot more sound...of course.
But for late night listening, and to reclaim some floor space I am not ruling out a smaller rig. But I think I would miss the Beasts.
Generally I like things to be over-specified - engines, computers, you name it. And the Tannoys are as well, but maybe too much so. Got some thinking to do.

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