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Help a guy move from a High-end portable setup to a speaker setup )=

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey Speaker sub-forum biggrin.gif


After reading some of the more 'educational posts' around various forums and hearing similar things from people in real life, I've decided to get rid of a 'super brick' portable setup and go for speakers :) hopefully upon seeing this thread some people went




First of all, I'd like to say that my speakers will not be here with me in Rhode Island, but in Singapore. Experience with speakers: my family recently acquired and shares a Meridian DSP7200 system. Me, being the selfish boy that I am )= , would like a nice speaker setup to listen to in my room with the Air-con on and a nice drink while reading (80+ degrees farenheit gets irritating after awhile)


Basically, I've sold off/am about to sell off a lot of my portable gear to raise money to fund a speaker setup.

After searching around the forum, I couldn't find anything that matches my situation very well.

I'll be getting a table/some stands (need advice about that too...) that are about 1.5m high, and placing the speaker + the setup on it, facing my bed. Thus, the smaller the speakers, the better.


I'll be about ~2.5 meters away from the speakers, is this considered near-field/?


For my sound preferences: I like a balanced and slightly warm sound signature (Similar to my Sennheiser HD25's). I found that I listen to my HD25s a lot more than my SM3v2s as the mids on the sm3v2s get quite annoying for me sometimes...


In order of importance for me:

1. Mids: Overall

2. Treble: Sparkle without any sibilance

3. Bass: Impact

4. Bass: Extension

5. Soundstage: Must be reasonable (no cramped alley soundstage... as big as it can get in terms of width and depth without compromising the 4 above)


Active vs. Passive: Passive would be preferred as I'll probably upgrade components later on. For my source, I'll probably be using an iPod Video with an iPod transport to get the digital signal to feet into a Amp/DAC/??? and out to my speakers. Might upgrade that too.


My budget will likely be around $1000, and the longer I wait and save the budget will slowly move up.


Well, thanks for reading, and I hope to get some advice soon!



post #2 of 8

On one hand you say: the smaller the speaker the better. And on the other hand you want bass extension/impact. Since cabinet and bass are directly related this might be a problem. You might want to consider a sub, place is underneath the table. 


I think you have set your goal a bit too high. Treble without any sibilance...that would be around the 1500$+ speaker range I am afraid. Do you want to spend the 1000$ on just speakers or both speakers and amp? In my general experience speakers have more sparkle than headphones anyhow. If you like the HD25s you won't be looking for speakers with extra sparkle. IMO the HD25s have a rather 'dry' sound with very recessed highs(not balanced IMO). With neutral sound you'll have way more volume around 6kHz and from 16kHz and up. Resulting in a more agressive sound. If they sell mission speakers in your region you should definitely check them out. These are very dry sounding. Mordaunt short also comes into my mind.  


If I had to pick some monitors myself I would get some Totem's. They don't really match the profile of the type of speaker you are looking for but Totem is a very good brand IMO. They have a type of joyfull sound, the HD25 are a bit boring IMHO. Everybody hears different though, it's your choice/money. I live in Europe and don't know much about American speakers so I can't help you out much further I am affraid. Though I can definitely recommend the Naim nac A5 speaker cable. Good bass extension and a bit of a mellow/warm feeling. Combining some Totem monitors with the Naim cable would not be a bad idea at all. Also, adding a Supra LoRad 2.5 will profide for a more lush/mellow sound. 


2.5m should be enough space to let all the frequencies blend. It's also about the distance you want to keep to soften the highs a little without too much decay of bass. Though a wall directly behind the listener would not be preferable. There are a lot of articles about acoustics. You might want to dig into some.


hope it helps!



post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply @mcmalden!


I think I phrased that sentence very badly. I meant to say that I don't mind the size of the speakers, as long as they can perform well and aren't gargantuan floor standers that are about as tall as me.


My budget is very flexible, for now it's for a complete setup (Pure i-20 + speakers + amp). I don't mind saving up more ($2k range even) if the speakers are worth it and bring me lots of eargasms and enjoyment, I just want a setup that can last me for a few years before the upgrade itch kicks in.


As for the speakers themselves, I know I'll have to audition them at some point and not just buy them based on recommendations. Judging from your advice, speakers are WAY more different than headphones/IEMs than I'd thought (Should have seen this coming). Thank you very much for mentioning specific brands, I'm already looking into them.


As for the wall, sadly I have no choice, I'll need to have the speakers shooting at me from 2.5m away, right at the wall behind me. My wall isn't a regular wall though; it's a kind of thick cotton fabric. Trying to dig into some articles to find out if this is good/bad.


Thanks again!

post #4 of 8

You should still consider active speakers, upgrading compnents is very overated from my experience, Ive owned several active speakers that beat hands down passive speaker systems that were worth much more.

post #5 of 8
Originally Posted by Kawai_man View Post

You should still consider active speakers, upgrading compnents is very overated from my experience, Ive owned several active speakers that beat hands down passive speaker systems that were worth much more.

Technically separates would be better though(in terms of vibration and electronics). On the other hand, with actives the manufacturer can tweak a little with the amp(or EQ the sh*t out of it) since it's speaker specific (ofcourse), I'll give you that. Upgrading components can be a lot of fun though, creating your own sound if you will. My uncle has owned some very expensive Marantz gear and some rotel's. He now has 1000euro/pair active speakers with internal DAC which, he claims, is the absolute best he has ever heared. Maybe costing a tenth of his original equipment. I haven't heared them yet, though I never shared his taste in terms of sound(by a long shot). As long he is happy.


check them out: http://www.avihifi.co.uk/adm9.html


As far as speakers vs. headphones are concerned, in numbers:






my speakers @ 2.5m



Add the B&W ASW750 sub(left curve)






          Me Gusta




No disrespect towards the HD25s, just my philosophy;). Moreover: with a headphone you won't throw a party and you are a student for god's sake. Everyone should know what you are listening to 24/7:P. Just kidding. Next year I'll go to college to. Though not in Singapore(which is fricking awesome dude), you must have some roots there or something. I've been there once, it's definitely the place to be. I'll stick in Holland but leaving the house is worth my while anyhow. Might do a year in America or whatsoever(my sister is in Berkley(SF) right now). 


About acoustics: don't let it get inside yoor head. My dad bought a 47" tv because,at some point in life, we got some kind of a home theater thing going on and he decided this would really add up to the experience(who to blame?). It turned out my sub had to stand right where the tv should be due acoustics. So I put the tv on the ground and it really does the tv a bit short. Moreover you can't even have a table between the couch and the screen. Nobody really appreciates this around here. So acoustics can lead a bit of a life on it's own. "Enjoy responsibly" is what they say in America right? The cotton fabric wall should be just fine. it's all about echo's and resonance. Resonance would be the worst IMO.


photo (12).JPG


"Look: that's my subwoofer blocking the view!"


How's that for a selfish boy:P. No need for AC in this place though(it's -10 degrees Celsius around here, which is 263 degrees Kelvin, Fahrenheit makes no sence to me so I'll leave that to you). Just the audio equipment is mine btw, the rest is my dad's.


I think you'll really enjoy speakers(but you have experienced that already). Having the sound right in front of you, feeling the vibrations of the sound, you're favorite band playing 'live'. Snaredrums hitting you with force, It's just so much fun. The details with headphones are great but it simply doesn't beat the fun of speakers IMO(and I have plenty of detail).


Let 'us' know when you picked up some speakersbeerchug.gifcheers! 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mcmalden View Post



Whew, that was another nice read :)

I'm a Singaporean who's here in Rhode Island for studies, still miss home.

Whew -10 Celsius, that's more than 30 degrees colder than Singapore :O I can barely stand 0 Celsius right now D=


As for active speakers, I'm looking at those as well. I suppose I don't really mind active/passive as my system will be staying the same for a few years :)

I will definitely update when I get speakers, which is probably around next month I guess...

Already got some recommendations here + @another forum, first thing I do when I get back is audition audition audition!



post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've been looking at these:




These look pretty attractive, can't find much info about them though.

post #8 of 8

Those bookshelves look pretty neat(though bass extension and impact?). I am sending this message to tell you that I just picked up a Classé  cap-101. I can definitely recommend it. It has very punchy bass. And a kind of smokey, dark espresso kind of flavour to the mids. That probably makes no sence at al but there is a lot of weight and air. There is also a lot of detail and the positioning is just superb. Now my setup actually sounds realistic instead of merely neutral. There is a lot less sibilance in the highs, it's amazing. Compared to the classe the marantz is a absolute joke. But then again: the classe costs about 6 times as much as the marantz(in Holland). If you can find one on the secondhand market: buy it! It paires extremely well with my arcam cdp so that might be a considiration for the future.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Help a guy move from a High-end portable setup to a speaker setup )=