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New bookshelf computer setup suggestions

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, work just got a set of Yamaha HS80M speakers for the recording booth, and has got my thoughts on my setup again. 

Current setup:
Xonar D2X 
Shure SRH-440 headphones
Swan D1080 08 mk 2 speakers.

After hearing the Yamaha's again (friend has a set too) I'm looking at putting my 1080s as my parents TV speakers and upgrading mine again. I've auditioned some if the other 'HiFi' Swan speakers when I got the 1080s like the T200s but wondering if there is another option also.

Room is ~3*4m, will be setting them on either side of 3 24" screens (or a single 27" in the near future) so fairly wide apart. Considering a Sub also, but I know the hs80s can provide sufficient in that area too.

Thinking $1k or so at Max (ATM) (600ish would be better) and size wise a footprint not much larger than the 1080s is needed.
This is a thought for me ATM, and if you think there won't be a huge advantage I'm happy to sit with what I have + a sub or something too.
Considering atm the Swans M200 Mk III - and probably looking at a sub also (of which i have no further thoughts other than a Audioengine S8).

 

Main reason for looking at Swan equipment is the main distributor for them in Australia is a 15min drive away and they have a setup there where i can audition things.


For these powered speakers im assuming the D2X's output is generally going to be sufficient ?
Happy to hear (hehe :/) suggestions. 

Thanks.

post #2 of 20

Heya,

 

I guess it begs the question... what you are looking to upgrade here actually? What about the HS80M made you think you needed something new? Was the sound difference that different for you to think you needed something else? Is your current setup not working well enough for it's roll? I'm curious because you've said subwoofer... and I'm just confused where that comes into play with what you're doing (which is I assume recording/mixing/mastering?).

 

Very best,

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

What the HS80s did different: To me, a whole lot of additional clarity in the mids, and a more 'forceful' yet clear bass.

 

Work is just the mixing (and occasional recording), this is my home listening setup - for enjoyment/background music/occasional games etc

 

Currently bass is served with the D1080s audibly (for the most part) however there is significant drop off with some music im listening too with parts inaudible on these speakers. Ive attached my old speakers (Logitech X-530) with just the sub plugged in and its rather muddy and really has just been a stop gap.

What i feel im missing is any 'impact' bass, clarity in the bass - and the mid/lower mid range. Im going to try on Thursday to take my 1080s into work to run them next to the HS80s to do a side by side comparison.

post #4 of 20

Heya,

 

Got it. Makes more sense as a home listening the way you are talking about a sub.

 

Are you married to the idea of active monitors? Have you considered simply getting a decent amplifier (or receiver) and getting passive bookshelves? With a $1k budget, you can get better audio if you leave the packaged world of active monitors and get into selective passive monitors where you can choose every aspect of your setup.

 

As you are probably aware, when it comes to bass impact and clarity, it is all about the size of the woofer and it's speed (which relates to power). It has to be able to move fast, recover fast, and move a lot of air to generate that sound pressure to give you impact and become clear instead of sounding muddy. It takes a lot of energy to produce bass, compared to mids/treble. So this is where you can look for bookshelves with 6.5" woofers or better, and go from there. You'll hear a big difference in impact. Going from the 5" woofer of your Swans to something bigger will be an easy way to give you more impact as they can drop lower, hit harder, etc, assuming you have the power to drive them (hence going passive to get an amp). 

 

This is probably why you liked the HS80M right away, it's a bigger woofer. It will produce more pressure in a room and fill it up with lower mids and upper bas, mid bass and that will sound more clear and have more impact to you. It's an 8" woofer, right?

 

I'd start looking at bookshelves with 6.5" or larger woofers. If you look at passive you'll have more options. Then simply get a good amplifier to drive them.

 

Very best,

post #5 of 20
I can recommend the following setup: Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE, Indeed TA2021 t-amp, and SVS SB-1000 sub. The Ascends have excellent transient response with a neutral sound signature.

Not sure how much Ascend would charge to ship to Australia. Could be you could find something better locally for the price. SVS does have a distributor in your area (check their website).
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hey,

 

Thanks for the responses thus far, been quite appreciated.

 

I guess i like the portability/cleanness of the solution with active monitors. My desk is already completely dominated by screens and doesn't really allow much room for an amp

Pic: http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x8/scottath/IMG_5874.jpg

Also the ease of walking into a place and picking them up and leaving and not sourcing things from all over is appealing (although i dont mind the latter).

 

My current speakers have a 5" Mid-Bass cone, vs the HS80 which you correctly assumed was an 8 inch - and the 2 speakers i listed prior are a 5" and a 5.25" respectively (T200, M200).

As for the budget - $1k is the upper limit (hence looking at ~$600 Monitors to give me some leway for any other things i should get, eg a DAC over my D2X which i hear is a rather good DAC in itself).

 

Thanks for those links cel4145 - ill have a look into those products and i guess more importantly the local pricing. The Australian dollar in the last few months has dropped ALOT compared to the USD so the prices are likely to have sky rocketed 10+%


Edited by scottath - 9/10/13 at 3:31pm
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, didnt get a chance to try the Yamahas again today, but i think what MalVeauX said about the larger woofer is correct in the 'punchyness' over my current Swans.
I did however do some hunting around in the storeroom and found some older speakers that look in reasonable condition still.
They are B&W DM601 S3 speakers, i plugged one of them in (both inputs) and it would seem that they sounded ok (didnt have the cable to have both tweeter and woofer plugged in at the same time) - the second speaker i didnt test externally was in a better condition.
The fact they are front ported makes them appealing too, as they will be fairly close to the wall (isnt helping my Swans in that regard either)
They have been sitting in a very musty room for probably 2yrs (no ventilation) - so that probably hasnt helped them.

If i got those cheap from work and found a reasonable amp would that be an upgrade over my Swans, or a 'side-grade' ?

Thanks for the help so far guys, there are so many brands and variables in this whole 'world' that im quite lost in it.
Edited by scottath - 9/11/13 at 11:17pm
post #8 of 20
I used to own the B&W DM601 S1s. Good speakers in that series, and definitely a good step up from any $150 multimedia speakers.

You don't have to have the little metal brackets to connect the two negatives and then the two positives. Just make a jumper out of speaker cable. Works just as well in terms of SQ.

Combine the B&W DM601s with an Indeed TA2021 t-amp (and here's a review), and you'll have a speaker setup that will be in the class as $500 or $600 powered speakers. That doesn't mean you might not like some other pair of powered speakers better because of your particular taste in speakers, but that's a good setup. smily_headphones1.gif
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

Finally got access to run the speakers (the B&Ws from work) at home, and turns out the amp im using (old Sharp unit - lists 8Ohm, 190W total - 5.1 system) cannot power them justly (Vocal/highs all die once it gets loud at all. Probably about 2/4-3/4 normal volume).

So now in the position of not being able to audition them properly.

I have another amp - apart of a Yamaha HTiB setup thats listed on the back as 6 Ohms (Speakers listing 8 Ohm, 100w). Would it be worth me giving that a go or will i end up screwing something too? I assume it should be ok, id just have to push more for the same amount of volume as normal?

Still am unsure if i can secure these speakers, but hesitant to buy an amp if i cannot get these at this stage.

 

EDIT: Had a play with the sharp unit - it was doing some strange pro-logic thing and sending parts of the vox into the (unplugged) center channel.

Enabled its 'bypass' mode and it sounds much better.

Compared to the D1080s, there is a slight increase in the bass department, but not a huge deal. Looks like (unless i get these really cheap) ill look elsewhere and into the above options again. Unless the sucky (i assume) amp has something to do with it too in this case.


Edited by scottath - 10/4/13 at 12:51am
post #10 of 20

KRK rokit 8's pound haha

 

the best speakers I have are my Wharfdale diamond 10.2's

post #11 of 20
Sharp is definitely not known for high quality receivers. Good bet that the Yamaha will do better.
post #12 of 20

Heya,

 

Sounds to me like you're going to do better just getting a set of really good bookshelf active monitors so you can avoid the need for an external amplifier that is separate and all that jazz. Get some with an 8" woofer. You shouldn't need a subwoofer unless you are seriously into 25~40hz bass drops and have to have it (in which case, that's fine, just get a separate 12" to 15" sub, and set the crossover frequency appropriately; I would start with a BIC F12 for this, it has serious sound for it's price tag).

 

As for some active monitors, look into these M-Audio M38's. They are gorgeous, 8" woofer, mid-woofer and a tweeter in one box.

 

Very best,

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottath View Post

EDIT: Had a play with the sharp unit - it was doing some strange pro-logic thing and sending parts of the vox into the (unplugged) center channel.
Enabled its 'bypass' mode and it sounds much better.
Compared to the D1080s, there is a slight increase in the bass department, but not a huge deal. Looks like (unless i get these really cheap) ill look elsewhere and into the above options again. Unless the sucky (i assume) amp has something to do with it too in this case.

That would definitely mess up the sound.

I still would try the Yamaha receiver. I just wouldn't expect the Sharp to have very good overall fidelity.
post #14 of 20

I couldn't find any good reviews for these other than articles which are basically speculation based on M-Audio's product info and press release. Can you recommend some good reviews?
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottath View Post
 

Hey guys, work just got a set of Yamaha HS80M speakers for the recording booth, and has got my thoughts on my setup again. 

Current setup:
Xonar D2X 
Shure SRH-440 headphones
Swan D1080 08 mk 2 speakers.

Have you though about replacing the Xonar D2X and upgrading from the Shure SRH-440.

 

Or get a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier to plug into the D2X's line-out/headphone jack

and hook an a A/V receiver (with passive speakers) to the D2X using optical cable.

 

Replace the SRH 440 with SRH 840s?

Plug new headphones into the Magni.

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