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What 2.0 setup should I replace the Audioengine A5 with?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So I just picked up a Macbook Air to replace my desktop rig and Audioengine A5 speakers. The A5's were wonderful as near-field/directional speakers, but doesn't really fill up a bedroom vibrantly.

 

I'm considering a T-Amp like the Dayton DTA-100a and a quality 2.0 bookshelf speaker to stream music to using a Apple Airport Express.

 

I will also be placing the speakers on a bookshelf and the height can be no taller than 12".

 

I did really love the warm sound and bass of the A5's, but I haven't really listened to other higher-end speakers to compare them to.

 

I listen to pretty much any type of music other than hard rock; mostly listen to Frank Sinatra, Miachel Buble, James Blunt, Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, etc.

 

Budget wise I would like to keep it around $300, but would probably be willing to stretch it up to $400 if the difference is worth it.

 

Thanks!

Anthony

post #2 of 11

Cambridge Audio S30s fit your size requirements and run around $220 (Crutchfield and Audio Advisor). Is 12" the absolute tallest? The reason I ask is that the Energy RC-10s are great speakers ($219 at Vanns.com), but are 13" in height. I've used both in a desktop setup, and find the RC-10s to be the better all around speaker. I would characterize both of these as having a slightly warmer sound.

 

However, both are rear ported. They really need to be out from the wall about six inches for the port to breathe. If you are going to have the speakers right up next to the wall in the back, you'll need sealed or front ported speakers. Front ported are probably your best bet since sealed speakers in your budget range generally have less low frequency extension and would need a sub, whereas both the speakers I listed above will have pretty good bass response for their size down to below 60hz before they start to roll of significantly. 

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks mate!

 

In that case, I can just remove a shelf and open it tall enough to fit up to 24 inch then.

 

Yes the speakers will be pretty much close close to the wall on the back, so front port would be the best. Though I did have the A5's pretty much against the back wall as well.

 

I'll definitely take a look at those speakers that you recommended.

post #4 of 11

Consider getting studio monitors

 

1. Theres less cables

2. Better components

3. Active crossovers which give better sound quality than the passive crossovers  used in passive speakers.

4. You can control the volume using your computer
 

post #5 of 11

With your music tastes, I'd look into the Emotiva airmotiv4.  They are on sale right now for 10% off so are right in your budget.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtkversion View Post

With your music tastes, I'd look into the Emotiva airmotiv4.  They are on sale right now for 10% off so are right in your budget.


Ribbon high frequency drivers with active crossovers at 314+shipping, if everything is implemented properly then thats a good deal, The 4.5' drivers do have limitations though in the bass of  course

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai_man View Post

Consider getting studio monitors

 

1. Theres less cables

2. Better components

3. Active crossovers which give better sound quality than the passive crossovers  used in passive speakers.

4. You can control the volume using your computer
 

This is debatable

 

1) But can only be hooked up to one device. Going with passive speakers give the OP the option of upgrading to a receiver with plugins for multiple sources and multiple types of inputs. 

 

2) Better than a t-amp? Sure. But the OP has the option of using other electronics. Moreover, the electronics are upgradeable without replacing the whole speaker. 

 

3) Maybe so on this one. 

 

4) Sounds like a myth. I control the volume on my receiver in my 2 channel setup with my computer. 

post #8 of 11

In the same boat as OP. I've seen the RC-10s pop up in most of my searches. I also ran into the HSU HB-1 MK2. Might be worth checking those out as well. Found a review here.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidchunks View Post

In the same boat as OP. I've seen the RC-10s pop up in most of my searches. I also ran into the HSU HB-1 MK2. Might be worth checking those out as well. Found a review here.

 

In case this helps, here's a thread over at AVS where two members end up doing A/B comparisons of the RC-10, HB-1s, and Energy CB-20s (the comparison is over half way into the thread, but there's other insightful posts earlier).  

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

This is debatable

 

1) But can only be hooked up to one device. Going with passive speakers give the OP the option of upgrading to a receiver with plugins for multiple sources and multiple types of inputs. 

 

2) Better than a t-amp? Sure. But the OP has the option of using other electronics. Moreover, the electronics are upgradeable without replacing the whole speaker. 

 

3) Maybe so on this one. 

 

4) Sounds like a myth. I control the volume on my receiver in my 2 channel setup with my computer. 

 

1) You can get a device that allows you connect and switch among different devices eg. passive preamp,preamp,passive switcher.

2) True but IMO the active crossover more than compensates for this, because the sound quality improvement with it is greater than changing amps

3) :)

4) I said you "can"

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawai_man View Post

 

1) You can get a device that allows you connect and switch among different devices eg. passive preamp,preamp,passive switcher.

2) True but IMO the active crossover more than compensates for this, because the sound quality improvement with it is greater than changing amps

3) :)

4) I said you "can"

 

Sure. And the OP could buy kits and build his own switches, too. At some point as someone starts to outgrow their first audio setup, a receiver makes the most sense for a variety of possible upgrade paths. 

 

As for (4), your original statement said, "You can control the volume using your computer." Since the point of your original list seemed to be that these were advantages of powered monitors, the implication to the OP would have been that you can't control the volume through your computer with a separate amp. Otherwise, it is not a reason to buy powered monitors over the type of setup the OP is considering. So it doesn't make sense that you would list that. 

 

Still, I would love to see some AB comparisons professional reviews that show that powered monitors are, on average, a better buy in terms of SQ over passive speakers. I hear the powered monitor advocates state this all the time. 

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