Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › What's the next step up from the Audioengine A5's
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What's the next step up from the Audioengine A5's

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 

 

Hey gang,

 

I took a 6 month hiatus away from Head-Fi and it feels damn good to be back! The last time I was here you guys convinced me to get the A5's and I have never looked back. So, I need help one more time for you all to point me in the right direction.

 

I absolutely adore my A5's. The crispness of the highs and smooth mids have left me impressed every single time I turn them on. The only problem I have right now is that my dads old Polkaudio speakers hooked up to a Luxman R-115 (which many believe is one of the better music recievers made in the past 25 years!) that absolutely destroyed the soundstage and clarity that I thought I had in my A5's. Don't get me wrong the A5's still kick the crap out of anyone elses speakers i've listened to but my dad being a semi-audiophile, honesty those speakers seriously rock!

 

I understand that powered speakers have their limitations and that going to passive speakers with a good reciever is probably the best route. With that being said, what would you recommend without killing my wallet whether that be powered or passive speakers with a reciever. 

 

FYI, right now I use my MBP > Musiland 06 > A5's. 

 

P.S. I didn't know whether to post this in the Computer Audio forum or here. Sorry if its wrong! 

 

Thanks!


Edited by Aiml3ss - 6/12/10 at 9:14pm
post #2 of 76

Define "killing your wallet". What is your budget?

For around $500, I like the Usher S-520. I almost bought a pair, but it's worth considering that $500 is a good chunk towards a solid pair of speakers. I ended up skipping the Ushers, thinking I would use the $500 towards a pair of Monitor Audio RX-6s. I ultimately splurged a bit and bought Zu Druids.

post #3 of 76

I have the Audioengine A5s and Adam A7s (active monitors) and the A7s destroys the A5s in any conceivable way. To me, the A5s sound really EQed and unnatural. You should definitely go to a Guitar Center near you to try out the Adam A7s.

post #4 of 76

The Energy RC-10 is a very good set of bookshelf speakers in it's price range ($350).

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/reviews/542469405/energy-rc10

 

I would suggest going to AVSForum or Audioholics and asking around there as well.

 

Do you already have an amp or a receiver? If not, you'll need to get one as well in order to power them.

post #5 of 76

Paradigm Atom + Trends Audio 10.1 amp.

 

P.S. This is my first post in the hi-end forum.


Edited by VALIENTE - 6/13/10 at 12:41am
post #6 of 76

The Swan M200 MkIII is way better than any Audioengine, no amp required. They cost $400. If you're going to go the passive route, expect to spend more than that, perhaps considerably more. I would suggest an integrated amp over an A/V receiver. Don't waste your money on cheap DACs, gutless multi-channel amplifiers and video switching if you're not going to use any of it.

 

Considering you have a limited budget, you'll want to look on Audiogon for deals. Something like an Arcam or Musical Fidelity integrated combined with a decent pair of monitors (Paradigm, Neat, Castle, Monitor Audio, Totem, Silverline, take your pick) for $1000-1500 will easily beat nearfield monitors, most of which have the warmth and musicality of a slab of concrete.

post #7 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

Considering you have a limited budget, you'll want to look on Audiogon for deals. Something like an Arcam or Musical Fidelity integrated combined with a decent pair of monitors (Paradigm, Neat, Castle, Monitor Audio, Totem, Silverline, take your pick) for $1000-1500 will easily beat nearfield monitors, most of which have the warmth and musicality of a slab of concrete.


Second that, either that or private sellers on ebay. If you go the passive route i'd recommend the MA gs10's, b&w cm5's are good for a slightly warmer sound and if you can find them dynaudio speakers are pretty much all good (X12/X16's maybe or focus 110). As for amp, if you get MA they pair well with arcam amps, b&w with rotel? dynaudio i tried with naim and rega amps, they all sound pretty good, just some recommendations.

post #8 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonboy403 View Post

I have the Audioengine A5s and Adam A7s (active monitors) and the A7s destroys the A5s in any conceivable way. To me, the A5s sound really EQed and unnatural. You should definitely go to a Guitar Center near you to try out the Adam A7s.


100% Agree.  The Adams are just amazing.  The have a sense of soundstage and imaging I've never heard from a speaker that is purely cone driver driven.  They are really flat and with the built in room EQ you can get a flat response from 50hz - 20khz.

 

If you want to see some measurements, look at iXBT Labs

post #9 of 76

While your are there, check out the Dynaudio BM5a's.  They are available on ebay for ~600-650. 

Be sure you take music you know very well.

 

George


Edited by gsawdy - 6/13/10 at 9:25am
post #10 of 76
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the great replies. I thought I was sure of getting passives with an amp or reciever but a good chunk of you thought powered speakers are great as well.

 

As for "killing my wallet" I would like to spend $500 hundred ish for speakers new or used. As for an amp or reciever if I go the passive route, not sure.

 

 

Quote:
Paradigm Atom + Trends Audio 10.1 amp.

Those have excellent reviews and they are under $500. I could probably find them cheaper used. I really like the look of the speakers! 

 

How good is that combo?

 

Also the B&W CM5 and the MA GS10 look lovely. How do those compare with the Paradigm Atom?

 

 

Quote:
Considering you have a limited budget, you'll want to look on Audiogon for deals. Something like an Arcam or Musical Fidelity integrated combined with a decent pair of monitors (Paradigm, Neat, Castle, Monitor Audio, Totem, Silverline, take your pick) for $1000-1500 will easily beat nearfield monitors, most of which have the warmth and musicality of a slab of concrete.

I think this is the route I would like to go. I've read that passive speakers with a good amp kick the crap out of MOST powered speakers PLUS it's way easier to upgrade in the future.

 

If I were to spend $500 ish on passive speakers and $150 ish on an amp, what would be the best pair?

 

Thanks again for all your guys help! This is why I love Head-fi!


Edited by Aiml3ss - 6/13/10 at 11:30am
post #11 of 76


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiml3ss View Post

If I were to spend $500 ish on passive speakers and $150 ish on an amp, what would be the best pair?

 

Thanks again for all your guys help! This is why I love Head-fi!


There are NAD and Rotel amps on Audiogon available for less than $200. That might be a good place to start. New Silverline Minuets are on sale on Audiogon for $469. Or just do a search for Speakers: Monitors and put in a minimum and maximum price range.

post #12 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post


 


There are NAD and Rotel amps on Audiogon available for less than $200. That might be a good place to start. New Silverline Minuets are on sale on Audiogon for $469. Or just do a search for Speakers: Monitors and put in a minimum and maximum price range.

 

What exactly do I look for in an amp? I don't have much experience with them so sorry. 

 

And regarding speaker selection. There seems to be sooo many different choices out there. Can I really go wrong with any of the passive speakers mentioned in this thread? And do some of these brands cater to certain genres better then the others? 
 

EDIT:

 

I've been doing research for the past hour and it seems like the B&W CM5, Monitor Audio Silver RX1 (Or GS10 I dont know which one is better!), any dynaudio, and the Adam A7 all have wonderful reviews. Now, if you were going to pick any of these listed, which would you and why? And with this pick, which amp?

 

Again, sorry to bombard this thread. I get a little to excited with this stuff! 


Edited by Aiml3ss - 6/13/10 at 1:29pm
post #13 of 76


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiml3ss View Post

EDIT:

 

I've been doing research for the past hour and it seems like the B&W CM5, Monitor Audio Silver RX1 (Or GS10 I dont know which one is better!), any dynaudio, and the Adam A7 all have wonderful reviews. Now, if you were going to pick any of these listed, which would you and why? And with this pick, which amp?

 

Again, sorry to bombard this thread. I get a little to excited with this stuff! 

 

I'm not a particular fan of B&W speakers. Most Monitor Audio products on the other hand are excellent. The Gold GS series is a notch above the Silver series, and is Monitor's second best. The GS10 would be a great choice. Dynaudio (for me at least) is very hit and miss.

 

I have not heard the A7s, but I generally do not like studio monitors. Every studio monitor that I have experienced has been a cold, clinical sounding piece of equipment for a mixing engineer to do his job with, and not something I got any enjoyment from whatsoever.

 

As for the amp, I don't know what everything sounds like, so I would suggest searching out reviews once you have a few choices in mind. The GS10 is an 8 Ohm speaker, which is probably a spec you should stick to. It's not a great idea to run a 6 or 4 Ohm speaker on a budget amp. Even with a speaker that stays around 8 Ohms, it's important to avoid under-amping. A clipping amplifier is a great way to ruin those new speakers. I would suggest looking for something that produces at least 50W into 8 Ohms. If it can double that amount (or at least get close to doubling it) into 4 Ohms, that's usually a good sign. If you listen at very high volumes, the more watts the better.
 

Also, if you're looking at new A7s, remember that studio monitors are sold individually, as opposed to consumer speakers which are usually by the pair. So a pair of new A7s would be $1000. If you can drop $500 on an integrated amp to go with $500 speakers rather than $200, the resulting sound will be a lot better.


Edited by DaveBSC - 6/13/10 at 3:37pm
post #14 of 76
Thread Starter 
Awesome response. To clarify, i've pushed my budget for speakers up to 600 ish and my amp to 400 ish. I would like to spend under 1k on speaker amp combo.

Why did you not like the b&w's? They have great reviews.

I'm going to keep an eye on audiogon for the gs10's, rx1 and cm1. I will try to get an integrated rotel amp to power them. Does this sound like a good plan? Or should I switch/add some other speaker in my 'watch list'?

Thanks for your help so far!
post #15 of 76

B&W's tonal balance tends to lean towards the cool, dry and analytical side. With a truly reference grade speaker this isn't necessarily a deal breaker, but with affordable models where significant compromises have to be made, I prefer a speaker that leans in the other direction - something that smooths over flaws, rather than shining a spotlight on them.

 

Some speakers on Audiogon right now that I think would be great choices - Paradigm Studio 20 V3 ($450), NHT Classic 3 ($495), Castle Acoustics Warwick 3 ($450), Onix Ref1 Mk2 ($400 and 450), Gradient Prelude ($500) - big question mark on this one. I don't know much about it, but it certainly looks interesting. Canton Ergo 603 ($550), and the Silverline Minuet which is on special at $469.

 

You should be able to easily find reviews for just about all of these with a Google search.

 

As for amps, there are two that stick out for me at around the $500 range - Musical Fidelity A3 ($550) and NAD C372 ($525). Both have ample levels of power for any of the above mentioned monitors. The MF probably has the edge on detail, but it may be a bit bright paired with the NHT, or Canton. It should do very well with the Castle and Onix especially. The NAD's is pretty neutral and should work with pretty much anything, and its defeatable tone controls will allow you to adjust the treble to your liking.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › What's the next step up from the Audioengine A5's