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I need some self powered speakers..

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
So, I am currently in the market for some speakers.

Right now, I have the Logitech X-540's, and an Auzentech Forte sound card. Based on my current speakers, you might not guess it, but I am, in fact, in audiophile in the making.

I bought those speakers a while back because they were cheap, and the surround sound seemed cool. The surround sound still is cool, but as I find myself turning in into more and more of an audiophile, the SQ is not coming close to cutting it. Time for an upgrade.

At first, I was trying to find a good 5.1 speaker system. What I have recently learned is that 5.1, and "good", are two words that don't seem to go together in the speaker world. So, regretfully, I set out to look for a good pair of 2.1's.

Now, I would love a home audio setup, but I simply can't afford a reciever AND a pair of good quality speakers, let alone a sub to go along with it. So, I set out to find a good pair of speakers, that didn't require a reciever, but still delivered amazing sound quality.

As for my music tastes, I listen to hip hop of all kinds, techno/trance/hardstyle/ and black/celtic folk metal. I am a huge bass head (hence my inclination toward a 5.1 setup) but I need my bass to be tight and fast (hence my decision not to go with the Z-5500's). This means that I need a subwoofer in my setup. I might be able to handle the transition from 5 to 2 speakers, but I definatley need a sub. I am prepared to get a set of 2.0 speakers, as long as I can find a subwoofer to go with it, and this usually ends up being extremely expensive.

So, I auditioned the M-Audio speakers AV-40's, and though the SQ was decent, it didn't blow me away. They didn't seem very loud either, and of course, there was no sub. After the M-Audio's, I have been extremely hard pressed to find another pair of speakers that didn't require a reciever/amp to power them. The closest I have come are the Audioengine A5's. I have heard that the SQ is quite incredible for self-powered speakers, but again, THERE IS NO SUB!!!!

As I said earlier, I am prepared to buy an extra sub, but it usually gets very expensive, and I need a sub that will compliment whichever speakers I end up going with, while still providing substantial power (I need 150W MINIMUM out of my sub). Audioengine offers their own subwoofer, but it is too expesnive. So, to sum up, my subwoofer dilemma goes as such: the sub needs to be relativley cheap, but it needs to provide lots of power (remember, I love my bass, but it also needs to be tight and controlled), and I need to know it is compatible and compliments the sound of whichever speakers I decide to go with.

I have been looking lots at Swans speakers, but they are extremely hard to find. theaudioinsider.com said they might be getting the M50's in by spring, but the M60's (a 5.1 audio system from Swans) aren't available anywhere. I have heard great things about the M200's, but they are pretty old. Will they be able to compete with all of th newer offerrings? Which subwoofer would you recommend for me to pair with the M200's.

K, I know this is a lot to take in, so I will leave it to you. I realllllllllyyyyyy want a 5.1 setup, but if one that fits my parameters simply can't be found, then so be it. A 2.0 setup with a seperate sub seems best so that I can get lots of power out of my sub, and get good SQ out of my speakers. With a 2.1, the SQ is usually good, but the sub usually lacks power. I have a $600 maximum budget on this one. Also, they need to be able to run from an Auzentech Forte sound card.

So, where should I start? What would you recommend?
post #2 of 35
You don't need a sub.
post #3 of 35
For your $600 budget, you'll get the best results with studio monitors. Truly active speaker systems (as opposed to powered), with separate amps for each driver, and active crossovers before amplification can achieve clarity and control that is pretty amazing. They won't be pretty. They will work better fairly close up, and I can't quite get it all in for $600, but in that price ballpark, I'd start with a pair of these:



Yamaha H550M, $199 each, and add the sub, $499, when I got a bit more money together...



P
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
I find that I don't really like studio monitors.
I like my sound to be rich, colorful, and fun. With monitors, I tend to find that though the SQ is quite good, they usually produce a bland, gray sort of sound. They are meant to monitor the sounds, and though they do it with good SQ, they are not meant to enhance the sound.
Also, I couldn't really find much info online for those yamahas. Whats the name of the sub?

Any other suggestions?
post #5 of 35
monitors will destroy standard 2.1 systems. Its true monitors are meant for recording but there are also for hi-fi. Most people want to here the music the way it was recorded not with unrealistic bass and treble. I would look into krk rokit systems. there amazing for the price.
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Again, monitors can have fantastic SQ, but the problem is, they aren't exactly polite. I use only mp3's, and not all of them are great quality, and with mp3's, thats saying something. Most of my MP3's range from 192 to around 250 bit rate. Some are below that, and a few are above. I'm not saying I wish to deny the fact that my MP3's are bad quality, cause they are, its just that thats really all I have available. Monitors will shine and sound great when fed good recordings, but they will make everything else sound like crap.
I want some speakers that can bring out what little good there is in MP3's.
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ckaz View Post
Again, monitors can have fantastic SQ, but the problem is, they aren't exactly polite. I use only mp3's, and not all of them are great quality, and with mp3's, thats saying something. Most of my MP3's range from 192 to around 250 bit rate. Some are below that, and a few are above. I'm not saying I wish to deny the fact that my MP3's are bad quality, cause they are, its just that thats really all I have available. Monitors will shine and sound great when fed good recordings, but they will make everything else sound like crap.
I want some speakers that can bring out what little good there is in MP3's.
if u have terrible quality mp3s they will sound terrible no matter what you play them on.
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
You are getting me wrong here.
They aren't terrible sounding, in fact, they have the capabilities to sound nice with the right hardware, I'm just saying, they aren't going to be cd quality, which is where a monitor speaker shines.
post #9 of 35

Audioengine and Swan

I have just started looking for some powered desktop speakers. My budget is under $200 b/c I'll hardly ever be using them. However, during my search I've seen more expensive speakers that look nice. I wasn't familiar w/ Swan or Audioengine until I started researching 'computer' speakers, but I'll probably end up buying one of their less expensive models. You'll find plenty of reviews of Audioengine speakers, not as many for the Swans. Also, someone already mentioned KRK Rockit:

Here's some links:

Swan M200MkIII

Swan S200A Merlot

Audioengine - Upgrade your music

http://www.krksys.com/index.php
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
Swans would be nice, but I can't really seem to find the M50's or the M60's, which are the only ones I would really want.

Right now the Audioengine A5's are looking like the best choice
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
My bad about the double post. I don't really know how to delete posts :s
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ckaz View Post
You are getting me wrong here.
They aren't terrible sounding, in fact, they have the capabilities to sound nice with the right hardware, I'm just saying, they aren't going to be cd quality, which is where a monitor speaker shines.
Unless you have terribly low quality files "MP3" is not really an issue. A good speaker will reveal bad mixing and recording regardless if they are monitors or higher-end Hi-Fi speakers. The only real difference between a monitor and a consumer speaker is the frequency response, a monitor should have a flat response so as to not to color the presentation of the music. A Hi-Fi speaker may not measure as flat as a monitor but any good speaker will still measure reasonably flat.

Just for a reference I built five of these for a friends 5.1 system.


The design is the Linup F4, a 4" Ti full range speaker and probably the most detailed thing I've heard, including speakers and headphones. I had them setup on my desk hooked up my AC97 audio and used all MP3s for testing. The result was it was very easy to tell what was properly recorded and mixed and what wasn't but unless it was an exceptionally bad recording or mix these speakers didn't really ruin anything for and in no way was "MP3" a limiting factor.
post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
indeed. Well, a pair of Rokit 6's, along with a KRK RP10s sub is starting to sound more an more appealing. It will stretch by budget though. Would I be ok to buy speakers and a sub like this, but used?
post #14 of 35
If you get a sub you can go with the smaller RP5s.
post #15 of 35
Yeah if you are set on getting a sub 5 - 5.5" woofers will be fine and a 6" won't really won't be of any advantage.

I would also recommend buying used gear, its usually babied and people are always upgrading. I actually might know someone selling their selling their Rokit 5s to make way for some DIY speakers. Are you located in the US?

For the sub you might want to consider DIY since subs are really pretty simple when you get down to it, just an enclosure, driver and amp, a $300 DIY sub is going to equal or beyond a $600 retail sub. PE even sells prefabbed and veneered cabinets so all you have to do is put it together, here is the 1.0 cuF in maple.
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