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~ $500 nearfield setup help

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!

So I'm trying to design a good 'HI-Fi' speaker setup for my bedroom and I'm looking to get something out of the ordinary logitech z 623 that I was originally considering.

I've been doing plenty of research and have found some viable options, but having not heard any of them and being the next best thing to a giant n00b I come to you head-fi community for help.

I've been somewhat on a journey going through otpions: logitech - audioengine - aktimate - dac / amps + passive speakers - studio monitors, so I would love to have some input on these options I've come up with and also for any other options and input.

Will be connected to a macbook pro and an xbox 360 another input for plugging in someones ipod or something on occasion would be a bonus and want headphone out.
Also as stated it will be on my desk, I should be able to spare the minimum 6" behind the speakers if they're rear ported but this setup may affect some of the options below.

 


Aktimate Micro 
all in one convenient package
whathifi 5 stars
~$300
doesnt have headphone out though which I would like.

 


Cambridge Audio s30 + nuforce icon 2
I have spent a LOT of time researching DACs and amps and such and i think this one is the most perfect for my needs, however there are quite a few other choices and I'm open to anything
These speakers also get what hifi 5 star review
can be had for ~$260
nuforce icon 2 has all the inputs and outputs i want
potentially getting the icon2 second hand for ~250 if not new for 350
$500 - $600

 


KRK rokit 6 or 8
It's my understanding I will need to have a seperate DAC for these, I would be looking for a cheap dac with multiple inputs and an headphone amp although I'm not sure if i would be putting a weak link in my system by going for a cheap dac?
~300 + DAC

 


M Audio bx5 d2 or bx8 d2
Same deal as with the rokits
~360 - 550


I'm not looking for anything to make a houseparty jump or anything like that, but I do enjoy feeling bass when its there. 
The 8" woofers in the krk and m audio i'm guessing would be far too big for the desk setup?
With the smaller speaker options I'm not adverse to adding a sub into the mix however I won't be spending over 600 dollars at this point in time.
I have little experience but from what I've read maybe the studio monitors won't give me a very enjoyable sound after all they are designed for accurate reproduction not listening pleasure..

At present I am most in favour of the s30 and icon2 combo (also tying with the m-audio for sexiest option)

I apologise for rambling on and being a bit all over the place, but even if nobody replies I think I just needed to get this post off my chest.


Any input, criticism, opinion, experience, response is greatly appreciated

Kind regards
Di$coCat5.

(p.s for a budget subwoofer option, could you connect the logitech z623 to the icon 2 somehow and just not connect its satellite speakers? would they becontrolled by the central volume control? I dont know jack about crossovering so there may be some of that needed?)

post #2 of 9
If you like EDM, hip hop, or rap, and you want good bass, you have to get a sub. None of the speakers you have chosen will do a good job (if they can at all) of producing lower bass frequencies common to those genres. Bookshelf sized speakers just DO NOT do that. Most of them start to roll off pretty hard around 50 to 60hz. In fact, the Aktimate Micros are only rated by the manufacturer down to 70hz.
post #3 of 9

- Define "feeling bass" please - if all you have experience with is the tiny, non-specific "thump" of a small cheap system like a logitech, then even a 60hz cutoff is going to knock your socks off, and you won't have heard anything like it. 

 

- The 8'' woofers with the Rokit's are huge, but can be put on a desk - it really depends on the desk and monitor.  Make sure to measure before buying (the speaker measurements are available online). 

 

- If you do get the 8's, you won't need a sub.  Very little music goes below 40hz outside of pipe organ music, and you won't notice it missing with music such as rap or electronica (except perhaps the stupidest of dubstep, in which case you shouldnt be wasting your money on fidelity in the first place :D )

 

- Accuracy IS enjoyable... and if you don't like a flat signature, you can always add EQ... to suggest you need to buy flawed speakers (and pay a premium for flaws) in order to enjoy music, is the stupidest lie in audio, and it would be best if you nipped this misconception at the bud before you start believing it! 

 

- That logitech "subwoofer" is just a 7'' driver in a small box with bad porting.  Not only does it not go deep enough to justify calling it a sub (it's not a sub), it is also of very low fidelity and would not compliment any decent speakers at all.  Even though you could in theory integrate it into a monitor setup, I would highly suggest scrapping the idea. 

 

 

A DAC is NOT going to be the weak link in your chain at this level.  If it were me, I'd go for the Rokit 8's and an Emu 0202 usb (which has a headphone chip amp in it too)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoCat5 View Post

I'm not looking for anything to make a houseparty jump or anything like that, but I do enjoy feeling bass when its there. 
The 8" woofers in the krk and m audio i'm guessing would be far too big for the desk setup?
With the smaller speaker options I'm not adverse to adding a sub into the mix however I won't be spending over 600 dollars at this point in time.
I have little experience but from what I've read maybe the studio monitors won't give me a very enjoyable sound after all they are designed for accurate reproduction not listening pleasure..

...

(p.s for a budget subwoofer option, could you connect the logitech z623 to the icon 2 somehow and just not connect its satellite speakers? would they becontrolled by the central volume control? I dont know jack about crossovering so there may be some of that needed?)

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

- Define "feeling bass" please - if all you have experience with is the tiny, non-specific "thump" of a small cheap system like a logitech, then even a 60hz cutoff is going to knock your socks off, and you won't have heard anything like it. 

And yet, if you already buy--or as soon as you buy--a set of headphones with any kind of good low end bass response, you'll know exactly what you are missing. And a sub provides that tactile feel that a set of headphones cannot. That's one of the benefits of having a system with a subwoofer for anyone who is into EDM, hip hip, or rap.

I've owned the Cambridge Audio S30s. Great speakers for all kinds of rock. They have enough bass to reproduce bass guitar very well. But for electronic music and other bass heavy genres, you definitely miss out on something without a sub.
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

- If you do get the 8's, you won't need a sub.  Very little music goes below 40hz outside of pipe organ music, and you won't notice it missing with music such as rap or electronica (except perhaps the stupidest of dubstep, in which case you shouldnt be wasting your money on fidelity in the first place biggrin.gif )

You may be OK with the 8" Rokkits. KRK claims that they go down to 44hz. Their frequency response charts look pretty good, although you will likely be getting some distortion from them below 50hz. Most speakers tend to have some distortion below their tuning point. This is another reason why bass affiandos prefer using a sub for the low end instead of relying only on speakers. Better to rely on a sub for producing that bass than to boost bass from the speakers that is already rolling off.

However, this claim that below 40hz doesn't matter always comes from people who don't like the genres where it does (thus the negativity about dubstep in that response).
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

- Accuracy IS enjoyable... and if you don't like a flat signature, you can always add EQ... to suggest you need to buy flawed speakers (and pay a premium for flaws) in order to enjoy music, is the stupidest lie in audio, and it would be best if you nipped this misconception at the bud before you start believing it! 

And yet, of the many popular headphones from $50 to $500, very few are neutral. It's a psychoacoustic fact that most people don't like a perfectly flat sound signature. I thought the KRK Rokkit 8s were pretty good, but I much prefer my Energy V5.1s with HK 3390 as amplifier because of the particular sonic tonal coloring that they have.
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

- That logitech "subwoofer" is just a 7'' driver in a small box with bad porting.  Not only does it not go deep enough to justify calling it a sub (it's not a sub), it is also of very low fidelity and would not compliment any decent speakers at all.  Even though you could in theory integrate it into a monitor setup, I would highly suggest scrapping the idea. 

A DAC is NOT going to be the weak link in your chain at this level.  If it were me, I'd go for the Rokit 8's and an Emu 0202 usb (which has a headphone chip amp in it too)

I agree with those statements. Desktop multimedia subs are more mid-bass modules than true subwoofers. Not a good choice for building a hifi system. If you want good bass, you have to save your money for a better sub.

And then putting a lot of money into the DAC will give you the least sonic quality return in building your system. In fact, if you have room for it, buying a used AV receiver and pairing with passive speakers and a sub can be the best way to get into a hifi setup. The AVR will have a built in DAC. And depending on what kind of headphones you have, the headphone jack on the AVR can be a good starting point until you get a better headphone amp.
post #5 of 9
This may help. Check out the JBL SUB150P on Newegg for $179. Good sub for your budget range for a smaller room. And if you are an FPS player, you'd definitely enjoy the bass it provides for special effects.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses guys!
I do listen to primarily hip-hop, but not exactly club thumping hip-hop.
Also due to being in a close confines share house I think I will have to do without a sub for the near future (headphones can fill this void for the time being)

I made an embarrassing error with the rokit 8s, I was looking at the price for just a single monitor, the privilege of stereo sound would place the option out of my price range frown.gif

Also the Logitech sub idea was more just a curiosity than an avenue I was going to explore, thanks for clearing it up.

I'm liking the rokit 6s on eBay for $540 (australian dollars, forgot to mention in in aus which can sometimes complicate things) delivered with bonus aiaiai Tma-1 headphones plus a cheap dac with multiple inputs - does anybody know if such a thing exists? (The emu previously mentioned might be good but cheaper and sexier would be welcomed with open arms)

Also I have read somewhere that the second input on the aktimate micros can be used as a subwoofer output, if this is indeed true does that mean it could also be used as a headphone output?
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoCat5 View Post


Also I have read somewhere that the second input on the aktimate micros can be used as a subwoofer output, if this is indeed true does that mean it could also be used as a headphone output?

Sounds like a line level output. You would need to hook a headphone amp to it.
post #8 of 9

Would you consider some nice full sized bookshelf speakers and amp/receiver... With the right setup you may find that you do not need a sub... and you could always add one later

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Maybe, the Cambridge speakers and the nuforce dac/amp is kind of the version of that I'm open too, as I'm looking for it to be as compact as possible (needs to go on my desk)

 

My line of thinking at the moment is going with the Aktimate micros and buying some new headphones as well, I was looking at the Audioengine a2's because I've decided I want this to be as compact and minimalist as possible but for the same price I can the Aktimates which have better sound more inputs and a built in dac.

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