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Audioengine A2 Setup - Page 2

post #16 of 24
For speakers, I would say choose whichever one you can find a better deal on. For example, I was able to pick up some used AV40's for $110, whereas the lowest I could find the A2 locally was over $200. It might be different near you.

My shortlist for you assuming a lower price bracket...
speakers: AV 40 (~$140)
portable dac/amp: e7 (~$80) or a used iBasso D2 (~$120)
cables: don't bother and buy some music instead
headphones: Shure SRH440 (~$90)
post #17 of 24

have being searching in UK?

hello Again
many thanks for all the help much appreciated..I have just done a quick seach and found The following two active speakers are available from Uk supplier


M-Audio Studiophile BX5A Deluxe

think this would be the lowest approx,for new ...but I maybe able to pick some up second hand or maybe B-Grade Stock? so if anyone reads this and either has some for sale or knows of where I can buy B stock please get in touch

And with the portables we are loking at either the FiiO E7 or the iBasso D2 ok if I can push it a bit more I really like the look & sound of the HeadAmp Pico Portable Amp (w/ optional upsampling 24/96 USB DAC) If suitable??maybe HeadRoom Total BitHead

I am in no hurry..which is a good thing gives me time to think and not to make expensive mistakes!!!! something I am very good at

all the best steve
post #18 of 24
I just swiped this from the m-audio forum: What exactly makes the BX5a's better than the AV40's ?
1. The AV40's are a speaker. The BX5a's are reference monitors. That's all I should have to say.... but that difference isn't always apparent.... so let's dig deeper.

2. The BX5a's have their own amplifier built into each speaker. The AV40's have both amps built into the left speaker.

3. The BX5a's reach nearly a full 30Hz lower (56Hz vs. 85Hz).

4. The BX5a's have a 5" vs. a 4" low frequency driver.

5. The BX5a's support XLR inputs - the AV40's do NOT.

6. The BX5a's use a 3 pronged, ground plug. The AV40's use a 2 wire polarized plug. (In the US anyway). <Long boring electrical explanation deleted >.

7. The AV40's have 20 watts per channel. The BX5a's have 38 watts for the high frequency driver, another 38 watts for the low frequency driver - PER SIDE. That's roughly 4 times the wattage.

8. The AV40's cross over at 2.7kHz, the BX5a's cross over at 3.0kHz.
That's actually a pretty good price for the BX5a's, so if you don't mind spending the extra cash I'd say go for those. However, they do not accept typical stereo or RCA inputs; they require XLR or 1/4" un/balanced inputs. The cheap option is to get a stereo 1/8" to RCA connector, split apart the two sides, and put an RCA > TS adapter on the ends. The expensive option is to get a dac with balanced outputs (which will typically start around $200 and increase rapidly from there)

If you're looking at portable dac/amps in the price range of the PICO, then others to consider would be Practical Devices XM5, iBasso D4 and D10, RSA Predator, Headroom Micro or Portable dac/amp, etc. (heh, I'm just making your choices more difficult now).

My current setup: I have the AV40s being fed balanced output from my Focusrite Saffire 6 USB which I think sounds fantastic, despite being a bit light on the bass (which is fine in my case, as my home has thin walls and any more will start to upset the roommates/neighbours). The Saffire is not a portable however. I don't think there are any portable balanced dacs on the market currently, although there are a few portable balanced amps in development.

For your purposes, just stick with a regular portable dac amp and use that to feed whichever speakers you choose to get.
post #19 of 24

Choise is a wonderful thing?

Hi Again My friend..
I really can not express my thanks to you enough..Yes you have given me a lot more options but..hey thats great..I hope I make the correct choice in the end...I will spend as much as I can afford?

Yep the prices of some of these Actives are quite good in the UK but not i`m afarid here in Norway Norway as the honour of being maybe second most expensive country on earth..and also many items freely available in UK and elsewhere are not always available here..annd when they are they caost a fortune..we pay 25% sales tax..ontop of already expensive stuff! and to import from UK would make those quite reasonably priced actives very expensive pieces of kit! there would be 35% in total import duty inclusive of Norway Post collection charge e.t.c.

So that is why I am favouring B-Grade stock?? where available or maybe second hand where I can find the right items..I am sort of thinking I maybe able to offset the high duties if I can pick up a few bits cheaper if you follow me.

I am really obliged to you for the imformation on the The BX5a's..last year I was almost sold on these but things happened and no speakers or anything else was purchased..the other actives were the Audio engines.

I have the AV40s being fed balanced output from my Focusrite Saffire 6 USB which I think sounds fantastic, despite being a bit light on the bass
I am very interested in your set up? Focusrite Saffire 6 USB?how much would this cost> and would you compare them to other similar items?
Must admit a lot of this goes right over my head..but I am enjoying learning...
likewise I am hearing Balanced DACs e.t.c without fully appreciating what it really means/

As I think I said earlier today I have time to get this as right as I possibly can..getting the actives right is my first priority..followed by the AMP/DAC combo..if only I can slim the choices down a bit

but anyway many thanks for all the great advcie

all the very best Steve

post #20 of 24
I feel your pain on trying to import goods. I'm Canadian, and even trying to get stuff that's widely available in the US can be very difficult for us. The Saffire goes for $200 in the US, and it starts at $300 up here (I lucked out and found it for $240). I remember I once tried to order some headphones from the US that were $125, and by the time I calculated import duties and taxes I was at $250

Maybe something to consider is also the size of the speakers. Depending on your desk and computer setup, you may not want large speakers/monitors hogging up all that space. Large ones may even need to be set on separate stands away from the desk.

Have you tried ebay or even local classifieds? Amateur recording artists can go through equipment cycles very quickly, so you should be able to find some good used stuff for cheap. Also excellent bang for your buck is in vintage receivers and bookshelf speakers.

I just recently reviewed the Saffire here:

For your purposes, going balanced is utter overkill unless you eventually want to go into balanced headphones down the line, but that's a very expensive game to play (we're talking into the $1000's by then). Balanced audio is typically only used in pro audio and recording environments. In my case, one of my hobbies is dj'ing, so I do make use of balanced outputs from time to time (it's also overkill for me, but sometimes I just like to have fancy toys )
post #21 of 24

Think I Have Seen the Light...Finally?

Hi Again
Have not being to good,last few days...but I was cheered up by Nu-Force who replied to my many questions re-there portable products e.t.c.after taking on board what was suggested re-portable rig..I have decided to forget, for the time being the portable bit....and rather concentrate on the Static Rig?

But before I continue I just want to thank you for your continued good advice..much appreciated.I thank you for the sympathy over the importation question/Pain!! 35% total charge I have to apy here in Norway!!!!

Jason from Nu-Force..linked me to a couple of there products at Amazon .com--->Nuforce Icon (Integrated Desktop Audio Amplifier & Nuforce UF-30 Headphones

I was very impressed by the first class reviews both on Amazon and elsewhere for these products especially the ICON...

I have decided As I do not go anywhere very often?(due to long term illness) It makes much better sense to put all my limited resources in to my main listening source my DELL LAPTOP!

Now I am still thinking about the A2s or A5s or M-Audio AV 40 my favourites (possibly?)---> The BX5a's

But we can leave those a while...I have time to choose:

Back to AMP & DAC question?If I understand it correctly,remebering I am still in a learning curve... I would not require the NuForce Icon uDACIf i eventually went for the Nu-Force~Nuforce Icon (Integrated Desktop Audio Amplifier) Hope I have understood that correctly...

Ok! so now we have DELL-->AMP/DAC? -->ACTIVES?-->
One or Two Alternatives (Amp/Dac) would be good..if you can help.

And anything else I have missed or would be improve the above(cables e.t.c.)

I will look forward with great interest to hearing further

and many thanks for your continued assistance

all the very best Steve
post #22 of 24
If you're looking at some of the Nuforce stuff, why not just get their entire package then? That way you know all the components will match and you might be able to save on shipping costs as well. That would be the Nuforce Icon + S-X speakers + W-1 subwoofer + UF-30 headphones. It's perhaps a bit more than you were looking to spend, but that's a lot of good gear and has excellent reviews.

The Icon is a combo amp/dac with headphone out plus lineout for the subwoofer. You wouldn't need any other components. Although the uDac and HDP are both superior dacs, neither are as multifunctional as the Icon.
post #23 of 24

Not sure?

Hi There
Good to hear from you...
Nu-Force was just the first to reply,and when I read the reviews I thought wow must be good...
Not sure if I wish to buy the full package though..even though I agree with your logic.

I wish to buy the best I can..and it is a bit flexible...So the ICON would be a good start the actives..and the UF-30s if they are as good as the reveiws are saying..I was thinking of a pair of the lower priced GRADO`s?before I heard about the UF30s.

If there are alternatives at the Price point it would be interesting to hear

all the very Best Steve
post #24 of 24
The Icon is a speaker amp, meant to drive passive speakers. That said, you *could* simply use it as a dac or preamp to feed into active speakers. In general though, the Icon is considered to have a better amp than DAC. If you want a higher quality dac, then get either the uDac or HDP.
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