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Help me build a nearfiield "desktop" audio system

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I say desktop audio system, but I may end up mounting the speakers on stands. I'll only be sitting around 3ft away from the speakers, with the speakers maybe about a foot from the rear wall.

In my main system I use B&W 805S speakers which I absolutely love. I really like the B&W sound. I was considering getting the B&W MM-1 pc speakers, but are those really the best I can find? Cost isn't really too big of an object as long as I'm not spending over say 3k total.

Is it best to go with powered speakers, or a separates system for this purpose? Any reccomendations for either?

 

 

post #2 of 20
I do rather like my Adam A3X's with Sub7 subwoofer. I haven't heard many systems to compare anything intelligently, but these definitely satisfy me. Smooth, detailed sound, and I can crank the subwoofer when I feel like it. smily_headphones1.gif

One thing to look out for with my particular setup is that when I added the sub, the volume control of the mains is separate than that of the sub, so I needed to put my DAC through a passive mixer to control the volume comfortably.

The speakers are about $300 each and the sub was $650 but discontinued, I believe. I'm sure you could do better for your price range.

232
post #3 of 20

Well i have my music playing from my desktop pc which feeds the music to my Onkyo TX-8555 stereo reciever and into some KLH B Pro 6 Titan bookshelf speakers which sell for just under ten dollars at Radio Shack. For nearfield they are fantastic with immense clear detail beating my JBL Control One and Insignia Bass Reflex bookshelf speakers hands down. Its like am hearing the full sound now from its loud start to its absolute last fading note. For games its the same spectacular effect with everything having a very realistic extended range. Not bad for ten dollar speakers.

post #4 of 20

For 3k you can pick up some pretty good Genelecs.

post #5 of 20

with that budget why not grab some PM1's?  granted youd need to find somwhere for an amp.  is space an issue?

post #6 of 20

I got a set Magnepan Mini Maggies for a nice desktop setup.  Pretty happy with them thus far.

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by was ist los? View Post

I got a set Magnepan Mini Maggies for a nice desktop setup.  Pretty happy with them thus far.


I'm really curious... if they can be set up (proper source, amp, stands, cables, etc. - not on a desktop) to rival the 3.7's and 20.7's - as I've seen in some reviews / reports.  

 

I'm considering them to "experiment" and see if I can "get there" with them - though, I realize only in a small room.

 

So... keep us informed... if... you decide to really "go for it."  

 

post #8 of 20

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by was ist los? View Post

I got a set Magnepan Mini Maggies for a nice desktop setup.  Pretty happy with them thus far.

 

Any progress in achieving the sound of 3.7's, or 20.7's with the MiniMagies???

post #9 of 20

Hi Gradofan, 

 

Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure to listen to the 3.7s or 20.7s.  Currently, i have mine set up 1.5 - 2 feet away from the back wall.  i'm about 2.5-3 feet away from the speakers.  The sweet spot is relatively small and since the pic below, i've raised them a bit to get the tweeters at a better height for ear level.  My setup is a Twisted Pear Audio Opus with transformer outputs to a diy tube preamp.  My amp is an old Adcom GFA535 that will eventually be replaced - that likely won't be for a while.  I'm also thinking about adding a volume control to my dac, eliminating the need for a line stage, so that I can have the dac connect straight to the amp.

 

263

 

I didn't have much of a speaker setup to start with, just a pair of BX5As that I never really liked at all.  This is not even a remotely comparable comparison so I won't bother with that.  The setup is exactly what i was looking for - a high end setup for my primary computer setup.  Overall, I've been impressed with the imaging dynamics.  The midrange and highs are very smooth and natural. It could use a bit more extension as my measurements indicate bass rolls off around 50hz.  I've still more experimenting to do as my setup is far from perfect in terms of acoustic treatments.  


Edited by was ist los? - 4/21/12 at 8:13pm
post #10 of 20

Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus ($600) to Focal Solo6 Twin ($2,400)

post #11 of 20

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by romnation View Post

I say desktop audio system, but I may end up mounting the speakers on stands. I'll only be sitting around 3ft away from the speakers, with the speakers maybe about a foot from the rear wall.

In my main system I use B&W 805S speakers which I absolutely love. I really like the B&W sound. I was considering getting the B&W MM-1 pc speakers, but are those really the best I can find? Cost isn't really too big of an object as long as I'm not spending over say 3k total.

Is it best to go with powered speakers, or a separates system for this purpose? Any reccomendations for either?

 

 

 

Hey romnation, you'll probably get a lot of good recommendations for desktop monitors. (For good reason.) Note that the MM-1's have an incredibly small footprint though, and there's something to be said for their really sweet audio quality out of such a small package.

 

I did a demo recently of the MM-1 against the new Focal XS Book and Aktimate Micro, since they are all quite small footprint active desktop systems. I did like the Focal XS Book most out of all of them (especially considering their price against the MM-1) but I was pretty impressed by how much sound the MM-1's were able to put out with that size.

 

 

 

post #12 of 20

Try a pair of Kline hummel, they are now part of Neumann group of professional products. There is a range of them by the KH-120a would be really nice. http://www.neumann-kh-line.com/neumann-kh/home_en.nsf

post #13 of 20

I built this system over the past few months and must say I really enjoy it.  The speakers are Definitive SM-55's, amplification via a NAD 326BEE, source is Schitt Bifrost DAC via optical from PC.  A little over 2k excluding PC.  The soundstage from the SM-55's is fantastic.  

IMG_0773.JPG

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diaggen View Post

I built this system over the past few months and must say I really enjoy it.  The speakers are Definitive SM-55's, amplification via a NAD 326BEE, source is Schitt Bifrost DAC via optical from PC.  A little over 2k excluding PC.  The soundstage from the SM-55's is fantastic.  
 

 

Very nice setup, but you should maybe lift the speakers up from the table, use some kind of vibration pads under them, or place them on stands. Also as you have a 2k setup, you really should consider doing some acoustic treatment to your room imo! You're getting 60% of the performance of your rig if you place them like that.

 

Quote:
I was considering getting the B&W MM-1 pc speakers, but are those really the best I can find? Cost isn't really too big of an object as long as I'm not spending over say 3k total.

I have read a few reviews about those B&W's and I think any of these sets should outperform them easily.

 

-Focal CMS40+Focal CMS Sub. (many people swear by them.)

-Adam A3X+Adam SUB7. (quite popular here on head-fi, and well reviewed.)

-Genelec 6010+5040. (own these w/o sub, very good for the size.)

 

 

Quote:
Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus ($600) to Focal Solo6 Twin ($2,400)

In the same price range you could get also some Genelec's with GLM.

 

http://www.thomann.de/de/genelec_8240_a.htm x2

+

http://www.thomann.de/de/genelec_glm.htm

 

 

The GLM will make a huge difference in a bad sounding room. I also believe the G's got a dac built in. not sure.

 

Here is SOS's review of the GLM: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct08/articles/genelec8030dsp.htm

 

 


Edited by Headzone - 4/28/12 at 8:13am
post #15 of 20

I've wanted to experiment with placement and a method to help isolate the speakers from the desktop.  Unfortunately due to room constraints full size stands are out.  Acoustic treatment is something I'm interested in (and know nothing about in practical terms) but I want to wait until I'm not in a rental.  Any thoughts or suggestions on something for vibration dampening would be appreciated within the limitations imposed by the environment.

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