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Looking for budget bookshelf speakers + power amp

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Alright guys I have thoroughly enjoyed my headphone setup and now want to get a decent budget speaker system for my bedroom. I have a MHDT Balanced Havana Dac that is connected to my RSA Apache which will be used as a pre-amp. I am looking to get some passive bookshelf speakers that would provide me a warm and detailed sound. My budget for the amp and speakers is anywhere between $500-$800. I have looked for some speakers on Audiogon and found an Energy RC-10 selling for $250, B&W 686 for $400. I used to own a pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE but they did not provide enough punch and depth. Any other recommendations?

 

I found a few people selling mid-1990s Rotel Integrated and Power amps for $150-$300. Are these worth buying?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 39

I'm not sure about other speakers, but I can tell you that PSB makes great value speakers if you can find them being sold used on local classifieds or so.

I was going to get the PSB Image B6s for $300, but the guy turned his listing into a freaking auction. Annoyed the hell out of me.

So I ended up picking up his PSB Image B15's which resemble the Alpha line but at a entry level for the Image series.

 

They sound good, and what PSB says about their technology in the driver is actually true.

The driver design does improve the midrange, and I can tell from my AudioEngine A5's which doesn't have the same type of midrange.

post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the recommendation. Took ages before someone responded. I ended up getting a Rotel 970BX and an Ascend Acoustics CMT-340SE for a total of ~$650. I think it should great in my bedroom, let's see.

I had considered the AudioEngine A5's but I don't like the concept of active speakers

post #4 of 39

Why not? What's wrong with active speakers?!

 

All speakers are literally passive anyways, active just means the amp is inside the speakers.

 

However, you don't get as much flexibility as you do with actual passive speakers + external amp.

 

I personally like active speakers, as they're pretty much what studio monitors are. 

They represent the true sound of the music.

 

I think passive speakers are great for all round listening, but studio monitors are my choice. (Which are mostly active speakers)

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 

Well I prefer the flexibility in that I can upgrade my amp instead of changing out the speakers. Similarly, I prefer to have a separate DAC and amp rather than them bundled together. 

 

post #6 of 39

If you can, perhaps try some active speaker sets first?

Compare them to some good passive speakers.

 

See if you like the sound of monitors compared to passive speakers.

post #7 of 39
Thread Starter 

Well I would like to audition a pair someday to compare and contrast. I did get a good pair of passive speakers for now.

post #8 of 39

Yeah. Go for it!

 

I'm still comparing my passive to my actives. 

Having the speakers on the desk really does make a difference than if they were raised off the desk.

Active or passive on the desk adds a lot of midrange.

 

So I have reason to believe the early reflections really harm the sound from the speakers.

 

 

post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 

By the way at what height do you recommend I place my bookshelves at? 24", 30"? This is what I got http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html They are 21" tall so they are bigger than your average bookshelf.

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by sizzlincok View Post

Why not? What's wrong with active speakers?!

 

All speakers are literally passive anyways, active just means the amp is inside the speakers.

 

However, you don't get as much flexibility as you do with actual passive speakers + external amp.

 

I personally like active speakers, as they're pretty much what studio monitors are. 

They represent the true sound of the music.

 

I think passive speakers are great for all round listening, but studio monitors are my choice. (Which are mostly active speakers)



According to whom ? One cannot make such a definitive statement based upon individual perceptions....what is gold to one set of ears may be garbage to another.

 

Peete.

post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricklely Peete View Post
According to whom ? One cannot make such a definitive statement based upon individual perceptions....what is gold to one set of ears may be garbage to another.

 

Peete.



According to pretty much all high end music studios, recording industries, and where accurate audio reproduction is crucial?

 

That is pretty much what monitors ARE. To reproduce the audio as accurately as it is from it's analog input state which comes from a digital state.

 

Which in my words, would be the true sound of the music.

 

Refer to Wiki for a definition of studio monitors, and them vs hifi speakers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studio_monitor

 

 


Edited by sizzlincok - 6/11/11 at 7:57pm
post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 

Aren't most of the high-end monitors active speakers? My knowledge of speakers is pretty poor in this regard in comparison to my vast knowledge of all things headphone. biggrin.gif

post #13 of 39
^ Yes. Most professional monitors are active single speakers.
Paired with another of the same speaker makes it a stereo setup.

However, there are passive monitors as well.
post #14 of 39

Yeah most high end monitors are active, I think. With monitors, they are meant for studio production and mixing, so they are really meant to reproduce the sound as flat (same as source) as possible, so having the amp included makes it easier for the studio to just buy and set up. Just two XLR cables and power and you are set up, not worrying about amps to put behind it that might or might not be as flat as others, and they might not match the monitor as well as others. Active monitors just make the most sense for the sake of simplicity, because the flat sound reproduction is really what matters.

post #15 of 39
Pretty much simplicity and size as well.

They're meant for near-field listening, so they don't need a lot of power because they're not meant to go night club loud.

I do agree. Different amp's give out different sounds.
You would need a very good amp that retains the flatness of the original audio.

Don't forget the really big passive monitors which obviously need an amp.
But if you're going that big, you would be spending a lot for high end amps and what not anyways.

So yes, based on pretty much monitors reproduce the "true" sound of the audio being played.
Otherwise, why would they be called monitors, or why would we even need speakers designed to reproduce audio as accurate to the source as possible?

It's easier to go straight for monitors designed for reproducing accurate audio than looking around finding good speakers and an amp that do the same.
Edited by sizzlincok - 6/12/11 at 1:14am
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