Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › M-Audio BX5a vs Audioengine A5 short review
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

M-Audio BX5a vs Audioengine A5 short review - Page 2

post #16 of 27
thanks alot for the info. guess I'm ready to go hunting for A5 now XD

sigh, getting A5 is such a hassle in a small town like here. and price is about 400USD = =
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operandi View Post
Just because they don't have a lot of bass output doesn't mean they won't benefit from being properly crossed over to a sub. The mid range will be noticeably cleaner when the woofer is relived from the work load of the bottom registers.

Besides any good subwoofer is going to have a built in crossover. If it dosn't it's probably not worth looking at.
I have the M-Auduio BX8a speakers along with an EQ that has an adjustable hi pass (a.k.a. low cut) filter. The BX8a sound better when the hi pass filter is enabled and the speaker doesn't have to try to reproduce low bass. Course you lose the low bass production from the speaker, but the tradeoff is that the rest of the frequencies sound clearer. I don't have a sub with my BX8a but the hi pass filter experiments indicate that the BX8a would really prefer being paired with a sub and a crossover point around 80 Hz or so or maybe even higher.
post #18 of 27
hey, thanks again for the info...are the adjustable crossovers found on studio subs, soundcard software, and other monitors (sadly bx5as don't have any) all doing the same thing? i.e. my cards the basic xonar dx but it has an "lfe crossover frequency" menu adjustable from 50-250hz. Say i get a cheap sub and plug it via rca adapter into my soundcard along with the monitors via a y splitter, now if i set the xonars crossover to 80 will frequencies below it only go to the sub, or does this just drop frequencies below 80 altogether, for both monitors and sub?

also...the card also has a center/sub out jack but it seems the manual says thats only for 5.1/6.1/7.1 setups
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duperman View Post
hey, thanks again for the info...are the adjustable crossovers found on studio subs, soundcard software, and other monitors (sadly bx5as don't have any) all doing the same thing?
The original BX5's did have adjustable crosovers but stock didn't sound that good. Tonal balance was ok except lack of bass which the BX5a's somewhat corrected. They just lacked any sense of inner resolution. Depth cues were completely lost. I think the BX5a's were better in this regard but I never really got to listen to them in my setup.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duperman View Post
hey, thanks again for the info...are the adjustable crossovers found on studio subs, soundcard software, and other monitors (sadly bx5as don't have any) all doing the same thing? i.e. my cards the basic xonar dx but it has an "lfe crossover frequency" menu adjustable from 50-250hz. Say i get a cheap sub and plug it via rca adapter into my soundcard along with the monitors via a y splitter, now if i set the xonars crossover to 80 will frequencies below it only go to the sub, or does this just drop frequencies below 80 altogether, for both monitors and sub?

also...the card also has a center/sub out jack but it seems the manual says thats only for 5.1/6.1/7.1 setups
All crossovers do same thing functionally, some are better than others though.

If it says "crossover frequency" then I would assume its functioning as active crossover in software, if its not I don't know what it would be doing. You'll have to use the dedicated LFE (sub output) though otherwise that 80HZ and below is going nowhere.

Also keep in mind if you go that way you'll have to use software volume controls to control the volume.
post #21 of 27
Are you planning on using the BX5a and sub for music listening, games and movies, or a combination of both?

For music listening the preferred setup would be to use a "studio" style sub that has an adjustable crossover. By studio style I mean a sub that has TS/TRS and/or XLR and/or RCA connections and an adjustable crossover knob. This style of setup better integrates with music. It's simple and less complicated than trying to do the home theater style bass management. The sub becomes an extension of the main speakers, making a 2 way speaker like the BX5a more like a three way speaker.

The home theater style sub setup can get complicated. More difficult to understand all the settings and get the sub properly integrated for music listening. What you end up with is a sub that is a separate thing that is managed separately from the music and the main speakers. The behavior and specifics of how to manage the sub depends on your sound card or home theater receiver. There is a whole range of bass management features that they may or may not implement. You'll have to check the manual and the specs for the sound card or HT receiver to know what they can and cannot do. Some may not do a proper high pass (low cut) crossover to the main speakers, which means that the main speakers will still be trying to reproduce low bass even when the sub is activated. That's something that can work fine for movies and games that have a separate LFE channel, but is not good for 2 channel stereo music.

The studio style sub setup is much simpler and the way to go for 2 channel stereo music listening. You can often find used studio style subs on for sale sites like craigslist and similar places where musicians sell used gear. It's easier to buy locally cause shipping for a sub can get a bit expensive.
post #22 of 27
The term "studio sub' doesn't really make any sense, any good "studio" is going to use an out board crossover. Besides there really isn't much of a difference between music and HT subs.

I would say the best place to crossover is at the source; if you soundcard has that function I would use it. If you are using the subs crossover thats just one more component you running the audio signal through, and some of those crossovers are not that great.

Used is a good idea though, audio equipment has pretty high markups and the higher you go the higher the markups.

Even better would be to build your own, Parts Express sells prefabbed sub woofer cabinets that are ready to except the driver and amp. A sealed sub would be just that simple.
post #23 of 27
thanks guys, i'll probably keep an eye out for cheap craigslist subs with line level input/outputs, can't spend 400+ at the moment and i don't have the know how for anything DIY yet
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operandi View Post
I bet if both were measured the M-Audios would measure flat in comparison to the A5s. Consumer speakers often dip the midrange and sometimes boost the top and bottom end either through crossover design or tunning.

I was going to ask if you thought the M-Audio's sounded more "forward" but then I saw you mentioned it towards the bottom . In my experience flat or neutral tends to sound "forward" when it's not what you are used to hearing. If the M-Audios sound a bit harsh it's most likely due to driver distortion, neutral response and driver distortion = harshness. A dip in the midrange would probably make them more forgivable but then they would be less of a monitor. These are budget monitors after and a compromise has to be made somewhere.

Nice review. Kinda how you would think a "consumer" speaker would compare to a "pro monitor", its nice when the world actually works they way you think it should.



I would say build your own unless you have really deep pockets, even then your money will always go further DIY. There are several designs in the $200+ (parts) that are using better quality components and non-compromised designs. Personally I know I won't be "buying" anymore speakers.
On my BX5's which have four EQ switches in the back the so called flat settings in fact boost the midrange above all else. the true flat setting are indeed exact opposite of claimed. Setting all the switches to the lowest settings results in the flattest response & the best overall sound in my setup. In a different room I would have to boost the mids some if for example I placed the speakers in a square room or against the long wall of a rectangular room as that would result in a midbass-upper bass bloom that the mids would have to balance with. In a sqare room you can counter this though by placing the sound setup in one of the corners facing the opposite corner. In a rectangular room placing the speakers along the short wall is best I found then using a subwoofer to get the extended bass.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thought I'd add an interesting note.

Had people over for a party recently, and I wanted a few opinions about what was better to them. I had 5 people do an brief auditioning test, 4/5 preferred the BX5a and 1/5 preferred the A5. Those who preferred the BX5a said the BX5a was very clear and clean sounding to them in comparison to the A5.
post #26 of 27
I have actually been trying to decided between these two speakers and I am still unsure which one to purchase. I don't really want to have a sub in my computer room anymore so I am thinking that the A5s might be the way to go, it is just a big decision though.

No matter what either of them has to be a huge upgrade from my Z680s.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
If you don't listen to much pop, trance or hip hop it's possible to do without a sub for the BX5a otherwise I'd go with the A5 if you do listen to those genres
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › M-Audio BX5a vs Audioengine A5 short review