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Audioengine A2 with Audioengine D1 DAC and audioengine desktop speaker angled stands

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 

Greetings, 

 

This is my first post to an audiophile forum. I just purchased the aforementioned products listed in the subject line. I've tried to do some research on different setups with a limited budget that might improve the quality of the music I listen to on my laptop. Space is limited on my desk. Only thing I added to the audioengine equipment is a 10 dollar 3 foot 24 k gold plated rca wire. I'm using the 16 gauge speaker wire it came in. My main goal was to find something that sounded clear and did not take a big footprint and I was leaning towards a 2.0 setup rather than 2.1 with subwoofer. I just started downloading some flac samples today from various sites that give out free downloads and they do sound pretty good. Bass is a little tricky on some songs as the small woofers of the A2 pose immediate limitations, I'm sure. In fact anything this small is bound to have limitations on all aspects. I was also contemplating the bowers and wilkins mm1 which receive good votes from the apple crowd but not from audiophiles, especially when looking at price. I also tested at a store some genelec 6010a which sounded impressive for size but once again, much more costly. Can someone please give me some tips on speaker placement, setup of volume controls such as what should be maxed (software) what should dac analog be set at, and what should speaker analog volume should be set at...? I've read that the digital sound volume should be set at maximum but I'm not sure if there was a clear winner on the other two analog ones.

post #2 of 75
Thread Starter 

Also, I'm curious what other speakers would some have you chosen that cost less than 250 dollars. How important was the DAC that I got? I do use headphones occasionally which is supposedly good to have a headphone amp but can the A2's really show any difference with the dac? Honestly, I really don't know how a dac works...I'm not sure if every single mp3 (or audio file) I have played through it will sound a little better.....or if its only useful when playing songs that are recorded on a 24 bit level and only then it is capable of decoding it and actually reproducing the full bit rate through the speakers? Thanks for advice, tips, and information. 

post #3 of 75
Any speakers with small drivers will have difficulty with bass output. Best bet is to do 2.1 if that's important to you.

Speakers should place toed in toward the listening position with the tweeter aimed at your ears. If the speakers have rear ports they should be placed a few inches out from the wall.

A DAC is a digital to analog converter. Anything that plays digital music has one; some DAC implementations are better than others. I don't know how much the A2s benefit from that D1, but some speakers can, and certainly headphones will benefit from that setup.
post #4 of 75

Audioengine A2's would have a good clean treble as it's more of a tweeter size.

You're going to miss lots of bass with them, so just like cel4145 said, it would be beneficial to incorporate a subwoofer to the set-up.

 

D1 is pretty decent, however you could of gotten something better for that price.

 

For sub $250, i could have gotten a used A2.

With the leftover money i would of spent it on internal mods.

If you had a DAC/Pre-amp that uses tubes/op-amps, it would be beneficial to switch them out with warmer sounding ones.

That way the A2 would benefit a little from it, and may end up sounding warm enough to your ears.

post #5 of 75
Thread Starter 
probQuote:
Originally Posted by 2NE1 View Post

Audioengine A2's would have a good clean treble as it's more of a tweeter size.

You're going to miss lots of bass with them, so just like cel4145 said, it would be beneficial to incorporate a subwoofer to the set-up.

 

D1 is pretty decent, however you could of gotten something better for that price.

 

For sub $250, i could have gotten a used A2.

With the leftover money i would of spent it on internal mods.

If you had a DAC/Pre-amp that uses tubes/op-amps, it would be beneficial to switch them out with warmer sounding ones.

That way the A2 would benefit a little from it, and may end up sounding warm enough to your ears.

Thank you for the reply. The speakers were 200. The DAC was 169. Which brand/model DAC are you referring to? Although bass was not my biggest concern...I do see clearly now how much there is to miss. My desk/work area has a 7 or 8 inch high ledge on the back side of deskspace which my speakers are up against. This is probably an issue for any speaker that has a rear facing bass port. As far as speakers....is it just a matter of spending a little more and going with larger woofers and drivers/wattage....which should equate to better sound quality? The genelec 6010A's were 299 dollars each and I've heard that focal is very good....a focal cms 40 is 350 dollars each. Gen's have a 3 inch woofer. Focals have a 4. Focal has a front facing bass port which is good and it looks like a fairly compact footprint. How much of a difference is there in quality (overall) sound of genelec compared to something a little larger like the focals. Is the majority of the audible difference between what I currently have and the more expensive models going to mainly evident in the mids and lows? Thanks for all your input. I'm still capable of returning what I have. If I go the more expensive route I'd probably have to buy piece by piece a month at at time or so...but on the bright side....I probably wouldn't ever want to upgarde in future...

post #6 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Any speakers with small drivers will have difficulty with bass output. Best bet is to do 2.1 if that's important to you.

Speakers should place toed in toward the listening position with the tweeter aimed at your ears. If the speakers have rear ports they should be placed a few inches out from the wall.

A DAC is a digital to analog converter. Anything that plays digital music has one; some DAC implementations are better than others. I don't know how much the A2s benefit from that D1, but some speakers can, and certainly headphones will benefit from that setup.

I had heard that CD players had dac's. I know that my laptop's sound card is terrible. I have bose AE2 headphones, which I bought about a year ago b/c of how comfortable they felt on my head. They sound good with the headphone amp on the D1. Probably  true audiophile quality head cans would utilize the preamp more. Is it the DAC which allows the ability to play true 24 bit recordings at their recorded level? For instance if I was using speakers on the laptop without a DAC..then I should not really be able to discern between the 24 bit downloads (which are quite large) to the 320k mp3's that I have (quite small file size). ? Is the DAC just as important as the speakers? The D1 is power driven by USB. I would have figured it to have it's own power cord but I was wrong. Thanks for response.

post #7 of 75
When it comes to audio equipment, there are quickly diminishing returns on some things when you go up in price. DACs are one of those. Could you get a DAC better than the D1 with a headphone amp, too? Sure. If you spend some more money, but don't expect a huge gain like you got going from your computer sound to the D1.

Speakers, you can definitely get a better return for your money in increasing SQ by spending more. But you definitely need to go up in size if you can to get better bass response. Anyway to put speakers on stands on either side of your desk so that you can go bigger?
post #8 of 75
Thread Starter 

I was going to try and upload a picture but I think I don't have permission to do so yet. I'm sure that some small stands can be accommodated. I may upload a short video to youtube tonight. I think this system is letting me put a URL link to youtube. Is there a minimum woofer size you recommend, is needed, to provide a full spectrum of sound with clean and deep mids/lows without using a subwoofer? Or is that number going to be based on brand/quality/price of speakers? Thanks again. I really appreciate the help/advice. I do like the fact that the more expensive brands have each other their speakers powered, rather than audioengine's design with one active/one passive.... or powered directly.

post #9 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

When it comes to audio equipment, there are quickly diminishing returns on some things when you go up in price. DACs are one of those. Could you get a DAC better than the D1 with a headphone amp, too? Sure. If you spend some more money, but don't expect a huge gain like you got going from your computer sound to the D1.

Speakers, you can definitely get a better return for your money in increasing SQ by spending more. But you definitely need to go up in size if you can to get better bass response. Anyway to put speakers on stands on either side of your desk so that you can go bigger?

I love my D1. I wanted something I could also plug my Roku into, for headphone listening, and it is more than adequate. Has a nice signature through either input and you are 100% right about the jump in quality between the computer audio and through the DAC. I'm sure it was a gateway purchase, as I am already eying the Bifrost, in which case the D1 will go in my backpack and I will hook it up to my Macbook Air. But the step up in quality with the DAC is undeniable. 

post #10 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ravager View Post

I love my D1. I wanted something I could also plug my Roku into, for headphone listening, and it is more than adequate. Has a nice signature through either input and you are 100% right about the jump in quality between the computer audio and through the DAC. I'm sure it was a gateway purchase, as I am already eying the Bifrost, in which case the D1 will go in my backpack and I will hook it up to my Macbook Air. But the step up in quality with the DAC is undeniable. 

Just googled bitfrost - looks really nice. I had opened up link for emotiva xda2 for 399.99 a little while ago. Both seem very good.

post #11 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by chapa6sigma View Post

I was going to try and upload a picture but I think I don't have permission to do so yet. I'm sure that some small stands can be accommodated. I may upload a short video to youtube tonight. I think this system is letting me put a URL link to youtube. Is there a minimum woofer size you recommend, is needed, to provide a full spectrum of sound with clean and deep mids/lows without using a subwoofer? Or is that number going to be based on brand/quality/price of speakers? Thanks again. I really appreciate the help/advice. I do like the fact that the more expensive brands have each other their speakers powered, rather than audioengine's design with one active/one passive.... or powered directly.

If you can fit 'em on a stand, look for speakers with a 6" or 6.5" woofer that gets good reviews for clean, tight bass. It's easier to build a speaker with deeper lows with a bigger driver. I just got in some Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs to replace my Energy Veritas V5.1s. The V5.1s are known for having good bass for 5" drivers, where as the CBMs are for 6.5", and I can definitely tell the difference. The CBM's don't hit a lot lower, but is definitely tighter.

Have you looked at the Emotiva Airmotivs? They are very popular right now for powered monitors. Seems like everyone who gets them likes them.
post #12 of 75
Thread Starter 

I had replied but I guess it didn't take. I looked up the emotivas and the ones you acquired. Both look real nice. Yours are passive right? So you need an additional amp? Which dac did you choose? The emotivas are really futuristic looking. The ones with 5 inch subs are 450 for the pair which seem quite resonable. I'm uploading a short vid clip of my desk at the moment.

post #13 of 75
Thread Starter 

Ok. Here's a clip of my desk

post #14 of 75
Thread Starter 

Well not sure if thats working for whateve reason. Here's the link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG4-tio2Ls0&feature=youtu.be

post #15 of 75

Fixed it for you.

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