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Want to buy speakers for <£200/<$300, have an Audinst HUD-MX2 headphone amp/dac and am confused...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi. Planning on buying a speaker set-up soon for uni in the uk for dorm/bedroom use. I'll bring my Audinst HUD-MX2 to university with me but I'm not sure what it can function as for a speaker set-up. Is it sufficient as a receiver and/or speaker amp? If not, should I be looking for an active speaker or an amp+passive speaker or some other configuration?

 

Any specific recommendations appreciated too!

 

Thanks,

Andrew

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Dying_Wren View Post

Hi. Planning on buying a speaker set-up soon for uni in the uk for dorm/bedroom use. I'll bring my Audinst HUD-MX2 to university with me but I'm not sure what it can function as for a speaker set-up. Is it sufficient as a receiver and/or speaker amp? If not, should I be looking for an active speaker or an amp+passive speaker or some other configuration?

 

Any specific recommendations appreciated too!

 

Thanks,

Andrew

 

Heya,

 

Your HUDMX2 is a USB DAC/AMP. But, it can function for speakers as a DAC. It doesn't have the ability to drive speakers though. You will need an amplifier (or receiver) with passive speakers, or active (self powered) monitors, with stereo (RCA) or optical intputs.

 

Personally I would not get active monitors. They are limited and cannot be expanded. They are convenient but again, if anything goes wrong with the power source, amplifier, etc, you've got a dead set of speakers. I would get a basic amplifier or stereo receiver and a set of passive speakers. This gives you the ability to add sources, get new stuff over time, use a remote, etc. It's more universal and can grow over time. Also if anything goes bad, you can replace one part, not the whole setup.

 

What's your budget?

 

Very best,

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
 

 

Heya,

 

Your HUDMX2 is a USB DAC/AMP. But, it can function for speakers as a DAC. It doesn't have the ability to drive speakers though. You will need an amplifier (or receiver) with passive speakers, or active (self powered) monitors, with stereo (RCA) or optical intputs.

 

Personally I would not get active monitors. They are limited and cannot be expanded. They are convenient but again, if anything goes wrong with the power source, amplifier, etc, you've got a dead set of speakers. I would get a basic amplifier or stereo receiver and a set of passive speakers. This gives you the ability to add sources, get new stuff over time, use a remote, etc. It's more universal and can grow over time. Also if anything goes bad, you can replace one part, not the whole setup.

 

What's your budget?

 

Very best,

 

 

Thanks a lot for your reply! My budget is about 200 pounds so not a lot. I'm aware of some very nice amp+passive combos that exist in the US (infinity primus, dayton et al) that I can't get/find in the UK. I have found some common active stuff like audioengine A2, Klipsch promedia 2.1 and m-audio AV40. For 200 pounds (300 dollars or so I think), is it still worthwhile to get separate amp + speakers + subwoofer? I'd ideally like a 2.1 setup.

 

Currently using a cheap set of swans M10w which I find largely passable

 

Thanks

post #4 of 13

Heya,

 

It's absolutely more worth while to get a separate amp with passive speakers. Especially since you stated you want a 2.1 setup (speakers with a sub). Those boxed active monitors (A2, AV40's, etc) do not have outputs for a subwoofer. But, I don't know prices and stuff in the UK on these things, so not sure where to steer you at this point. Have any websites you can post that you shop at?

 

Did some searching around, found some options maybe:

 

Auna AMP-9200

Magnat 200's

 

Let's you add more speakers later. Let's you add a sub. Under budget.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 9/4/13 at 6:11am
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Dying_Wren View Post
 

 

 

Thanks a lot for your reply! My budget is about 200 pounds so not a lot. I'm aware of some very nice amp+passive combos that exist in the US (infinity primus, dayton et al) that I can't get/find in the UK. I have found some common active stuff like audioengine A2, Klipsch promedia 2.1 and m-audio AV40. For 200 pounds (300 dollars or so I think), is it still worthwhile to get separate amp + speakers + subwoofer? I'd ideally like a 2.1 setup.

 

Currently using a cheap set of swans M10w which I find largely passable

 

Thanks

 

The yamaha mx50 sound are suprisingly superior to my ears than the audioengine A2's. They are active, small, hassel free and all for £70. What I want to really say is that these yamahas sound absolutely phenomenal, but I'm not very experienced in the world of speakers, so statements like that I try and avoid.

post #6 of 13
Wharfedale Diamond series speakers are very good (search for reviews on the different models), and even are popular here in the US where they are more expensive in the UK. See if you can find some used Diamond 9.1s (older series) or 10.1s (Lots of good reviews for those).

A good t-amp would work well for powering those for desktop use. See this article about the Lepai t-amp and Dayton speakers on CNET: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57439115-47/build-your-own-desktop-stereo-for-under-$70/ Note that the reviewer liked that setup better than the Audioengine A2s.

Wharfedales are better speakers than those Daytons. You can also step to a better quality t-amp. I use the Indeed TA2021 in my desktop setup. Better build quality, a little better SQ, and a bit more power than the Lepai.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
 

Heya,

 

It's absolutely more worth while to get a separate amp with passive speakers. Especially since you stated you want a 2.1 setup (speakers with a sub). Those boxed active monitors (A2, AV40's, etc) do not have outputs for a subwoofer. But, I don't know prices and stuff in the UK on these things, so not sure where to steer you at this point. Have any websites you can post that you shop at?

 

Did some searching around, found some options maybe:

 

Auna AMP-9200

Magnat 200's

 

Let's you add more speakers later. Let's you add a sub. Under budget.

 

Very best,

 

Thanks for your tips. Can't seem to find many reviews of the magna 200s which makes me a little cautious. I've done a bit of looking around myself. There's the Q audio 2010 which seems to come recommended and costs 125 pounds and its big brother the 2020 which costs 165 pounds at superfi.co.uk.  Don't think its possible to fit a subwoofer under budget though. The cheapest I can find are 80 pounds+ and I don't even know if they will fit nicely with the speakers. Might have to settle for a 2.0 set up if I go the amp + speaker route. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post
 

 

The yamaha mx50 sound are suprisingly superior to my ears than the audioengine A2's. They are active, small, hassel free and all for £70. What I want to really say is that these yamahas sound absolutely phenomenal, but I'm not very experienced in the world of speakers, so statements like that I try and avoid.

 

Isn't the mx50 an amp? Can't seem to find it in the UK anyway thanks.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Wharfedale Diamond series speakers are very good (search for reviews on the different models), and even are popular here in the US where they are more expensive in the UK. See if you can find some used Diamond 9.1s (older series) or 10.1s (Lots of good reviews for those).

A good t-amp would work well for powering those for desktop use. See this article about the Lepai t-amp and Dayton speakers on CNET: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57439115-47/build-your-own-desktop-stereo-for-under-$70/ Note that the reviewer liked that setup better than the Audioengine A2s.

Wharfedales are better speakers than those Daytons. You can also step to a better quality t-amp. I use the Indeed TA2021 in my desktop setup. Better build quality, a little better SQ, and a bit more power than the Lepai.

 

Thanks for the recommendation on Wharfedales! Amazon carries them which is super convenient. Can't seem to find Indeed TA2021 but amazon has MUSE M21 EX TA2021 T-Amp Mini Stereo Amplifier 25WX2 - Gold. Would it be equivalent? http://www.amazon.co.uk/TA2021-T-Amp-Stereo-Amplifier-25WX2/dp/B0093KZS5A/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1378313380&sr=1-2-fkmr1&keywords=Indeed+TA2021

 

I take it TA202x refers to a circuit configuration? Is it a 2.1 amp or some other configuration?

 

Thanks.

 

EDIT: Seems like the Indeed TA2021, which I can get off ebay, is dual channel. No chance of adding subwoofers I guess. Need a speaker with decent bass on its own.


Edited by A_Dying_Wren - 9/4/13 at 10:52am
post #9 of 13

You're right my friend. The MX50 is an amp, though the NX50 isn't!!

 

You're in singapore..they sell in the UK. I'm sure in Japan, china or where you are there are retailers around.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Dying_Wren View Post

Thanks for the recommendation on Wharfedales! Amazon carries them which is super convenient. Can't seem to find Indeed TA2021 but amazon has MUSE M21 EX TA2021 T-Amp Mini Stereo Amplifier 25WX2 - Gold. Would it be equivalent? http://www.amazon.co.uk/TA2021-T-Amp-Stereo-Amplifier-25WX2/dp/B0093KZS5A/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1378313380&sr=1-2-fkmr1&keywords=Indeed+TA2021

I take it TA202x refers to a circuit configuration? Is it a 2.1 amp or some other configuration?

Thanks.

EDIT: Seems like the Indeed TA2021, which I can get off ebay, is dual channel. No chance of adding subwoofers I guess. Need a speaker with decent bass on its own.

I don't know about the MUSE t-amp. Should be similar, but not all t-amps use the same quality components. So I went with the Indeed which ships directly from China (only) via Ebay because of their excellent reputation. The Topping TP21 was an alternative that came highly recommended by searching forums about t-amps.

Home audio subwoofers usually come with their own amplifiers (you don't want one without). If you can get one with speaker level inputs and outputs, you run the speaker out on your amp to the sub, and then run the speaker out on the sub to the speakers. This passes through the amplified speaker. This then allows you to control the volume through the amp if you like.

Alternatively, you can split the audio signal coming from your source and send it to both and amp AND a sub that has left/right RCA inputs. But this means you would have to calibrate the sub and amp together by setting the gain/volume on both, and then using your computer to control the volume.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I don't know about the MUSE t-amp. Should be similar, but not all t-amps use the same quality components. So I went with the Indeed which ships directly from China (only) via Ebay because of their excellent reputation. The Topping TP21 was an alternative that came highly recommended by searching forums about t-amps.

Home audio subwoofers usually come with their own amplifiers (you don't want one without). If you can get one with speaker level inputs and outputs, you run the speaker out on your amp to the sub, and then run the speaker out on the sub to the speakers. This passes through the amplified speaker. This then allows you to control the volume through the amp if you like.

Alternatively, you can split the audio signal coming from your source and send it to both and amp AND a sub that has left/right RCA inputs. But this means you would have to calibrate the sub and amp together by setting the gain/volume on both, and then using your computer to control the volume.

 

Huh that's pretty neat about the subwoofers thanks. Always nice to have the possibility of upgrading. How do you deal with the overlap between speakers and subwoofers though? Unless they come from the same manufacturer I'm hazarding a guess that the frequency responses won't meet nicely leaving peaks and/or troughs.

 

The topping TP21 is even more expensive. I'm probably going to go with the Indeed if I go that way.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Dying_Wren View Post

Huh that's pretty neat about the subwoofers thanks. Always nice to have the possibility of upgrading. How do you deal with the overlap between speakers and subwoofers though? Unless they come from the same manufacturer I'm hazarding a guess that the frequency responses won't meet nicely leaving peaks and/or troughs.

The topping TP21 is even more expensive. I'm probably going to go with the Indeed if I go that way.

An alternative is to see what's available on the used market. Here in the US, it's pretty easy to find a used audio/video receiver or stereo receiver for under $100. Not sure what the used market would be like for you. You might want to ask at AVForums as they are a UK based home audio/video community. Most likely they would know where to look for deals on used equipment.

Home audio subs almost always have an adjustable low pass filter. So you set the that low pass to somewhere around where the speakers roll off in bass. Some more expensive subwoofers have left and right RCA inputs and outputs, with a high pass filter on the RCA out. My sub has an 80hz analog high pass filter for the RCA out, and so then I set the adjustable low pass filter to 80hz as well. There is some advantage to using a crossover above the speaker rolloff like this as speakers tend to have more distortion in bass at and below their tuning point. If you have a good sub, then best sound will come from letting the sub take over before that point is reached.

BTW: One advantage of AVRs if you can find a used one is that they typically have some kind of bass management system, with more modern ones allowing you to choose from a range of crossover points for the speakers and the sub.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


An alternative is to see what's available on the used market. Here in the US, it's pretty easy to find a used audio/video receiver or stereo receiver for under $100. Not sure what the used market would be like for you. You might want to ask at AVForums as they are a UK based home audio/video community. Most likely they would know where to look for deals on used equipment.

Home audio subs almost always have an adjustable low pass filter. So you set the that low pass to somewhere around where the speakers roll off in bass. Some more expensive subwoofers have left and right RCA inputs and outputs, with a high pass filter on the RCA out. My sub has an 80hz analog high pass filter for the RCA out, and so then I set the adjustable low pass filter to 80hz as well. There is some advantage to using a crossover above the speaker rolloff like this as speakers tend to have more distortion in bass at and below their tuning point. If you have a good sub, then best sound will come from letting the sub take over before that point is reached.

BTW: One advantage of AVRs if you can find a used one is that they typically have some kind of bass management system, with more modern ones allowing you to choose from a range of crossover points for the speakers and the sub.

 

 

Thanks so much for your help. Maybe in the future I'll think about second hands for upgrades. I've had lots of success in Singapore with the used market but its also a much smaller market where you can actually meet the seller/buyer. 

 

I think I'll go with the topping tp21 + wharfedale 9.1 for now. Just one last quick question: The topping tp21 comes with a US110V cord. Is it a problem if I were to use it in the UK without a converter?

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