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Want to upgrade from my Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 to a better 2.0 (for my PC)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I want to improve audio quality over my current Klipsch Pro Media 2.1.
I just bought a Audio-GD NFB-15.32 (DAC/Amp) for use with my Win 8 computer.
So the 15.32 will be the DAC for whatever new speakers I get.
I normally use headphones (music, movies, gaming), but sometimes my ears need a rest.
I will use the speakers for music or video in 2.0 stereo.
I live in an apartment and really looking for audio quality, not something that wakes up the people living below me, so not looking to use a sub-woofer now or in the future with the 2.0 new speakers.
So I guess I want self powered 2.0 speaker setup in roughly the $200 range.

Currently looking at Resolv SE5s and M-Audio BX5s

What would someone like to recommend?


Edited by PurpleAngel - 11/3/13 at 11:20am
post #2 of 9

I'd recommend the Audioengine A2+ → http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Powered-Speaker-Systems/A2-plus-B-Powered-Desktop-Speakers

post #3 of 9

If you are considering a set of M-Audio BX5s you might consider Monoprice's 5" Studio Monitors they are well reviewed so far and have been analyzed as rebranded versions of the BX5a.   For $165 a pair they are a pretty great deal.  They might even have a sale around black Friday.

 

Musician's Friend is doing a closeout on the Fostex PM0.4N as well.  They are selling the black version for $129 with free shipping at the moment. These are considered a pretty big step up from the A2.  These are biamped studio monitors that are very well reviewed at both their MSRP of $299 and the street price of $199.  I just scored a used pair of these from ebay for $100 shipped, so in a few days I will be able to give you my personal opinion of them.

 

If you want to you could also go with passive seperates and a cheap T-amp.  The Micca MB42 was reviewed as one of the best budget speakers out their by cnet and a few other places. They were already considered a large step up from the Dayton B652 Bookshelf speakers.  However testing showed they had an issue with a certain frequency that needed a crossover to tame.  The Micca MB42x is the upgraded version with that crossover already installed and they hit well above their price range while remaining compact enough for a desktop.  If you team it with a cheap T-amp you would have a really high quality passive 2.0 setup for about $100. 

 

If you are willing to go all the way and enjoy diy projects,  the Overnight Sensation (8 ohm $128/pair) and Overnight Sensation MTM (6 ohm/$198 a pair) designs from Paul Carmody are some of the most well known and best sounding diy speakers you can get.  Check out this site for more information on the Overnight Sensation MTM.  These options are also passive speakers and would require a separate amplifier or receiver. When properly built though you would be hitting with audio quality way above the price range though. These speakers are compared favorably with retail speaker pairs in the $400-500+ price range 


Edited by cheapfi - 11/4/13 at 6:29am
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheapfi View Post
 

If you are considering a set of M-Audio BX5s you might consider Monoprice's 5" Studio Monitors they are well reviewed so far and have been analyzed as rebranded versions of the BX5a.   For $165 a pair they are a pretty great deal.  They might even have a sale around black Friday.

 

Musician's Friend is doing a closeout on the Fostex PM0.4N as well.  They are selling the black version for $129 with free shipping at the moment. These are considered a pretty big step up from the A2.  These are biamped studio monitors that are very well reviewed at both their MSRP of $299 and the street price of $199.  I just scored a used pair of these from ebay for $100 shipped, so in a few days I will be able to give you my personal opinion of them.

I've been checking out the Monoprice studio monitors and trying to figure out what minor differences there are compared to the M-Audio BX5a, have to wonder if the internals on the Monoprice stuff has any improvements over the BX5as, I believe the tweeter is different.

 

Guess I'm leaning towards integrated amps and maybe smaller in size stuff, so those Fostex PM0.4N seem like what I might want, hopefully you post back as soon as possible on your opinion on them.

Otherwise I'm watching several pairs of used Resolv (SE5, SE6, SE8) on eBay.

post #5 of 9

Will do, I have to wait for them to ship from Texas to Indiana.  Should probably be around the end of the week..  I am hoping to get my Chinese Grado earpads for my MS1s as well,   Will be interesting to see how Shenling foam compares to the oem.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if minor differences in the design made the Monoprice version sound a little better or just different from the BX5a.  The only issue is that most of us who consider the Monoprice one can't afford to buy the BX5a as well to do a head to head comparison.  The new (redesigned) Monoprice premium 5.1 speakers actually sounded better than the energy takes according to cnet.  They just don't look as cool and were larger.   If the same oem is involved we may have an improved BX5a which would be the best deal available.  Their just aren't any head to head reviews I could find.

 

I am looking forward to getting the Fostex monitors and will update with a review asap.

post #6 of 9
The Resolv SE5s and M-Audio BX5 are $300/pair speakers, and I think you'll have problems finding them for less. In the same price range, the Emotiva Airmotiv 4s are a good choice (I was impressed by them). I've also read some very good things about the JBL LSR305s on Gearslutz (which is a good site for reading discussions about studio monitors) that suggests they might be an up and coming best recommendation in this price range. Some of the Behringer Truth speakers have a history of good reviews.

As far as $200 powered monitors, I don't know. It seems the $300 price point is where you tend to get a good return on price/performance with speakers that actually sounds pretty good. A lot of the powered $200 stuff is cheap multimedia monitor stuff or has its flaws--even the M-Audio stuff is cheaply made in that price range. For example, the Audioengine A2s have a very peaky upper midbass response because the amp artificially boosts them to make up for the tiny driver. That's why in the $200 range, something like the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR and then a t-amp are considered to be one of the best options for SQ. In fact, those BS22's have been down around $100, and I wouldn't be surprised if they reach that price around Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Or if you would eventually want to add a sub, the Super Zero 2.0s are a great bargain at their current price of $60 each, but they do rolloff starting at 100hz.

So I would wait until you have the money for $300 speakers, unless you go the passive route.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The Resolv SE5s and M-Audio BX5 are $300/pair speakers, and I think you'll have problems finding them for less. In the same price range, the Emotiva Airmotiv 4s are a good choice (I was impressed by them). I've also read some very good things about the JBL LSR305s on Gearslutz (which is a good site for reading discussions about studio monitors) that suggests they might be an up and coming best recommendation in this price range. Some of the Behringer Truth speakers have a history of good reviews.

As far as $200 powered monitors, I don't know. It seems the $300 price point is where you tend to get a good return on price/performance with speakers that actually sounds pretty good. A lot of the powered $200 stuff is cheap multimedia monitor stuff or has its flaws--even the M-Audio stuff is cheaply made in that price range. For example, the Audioengine A2s have a very peaky upper midbass response because the amp artificially boosts them to make up for the tiny driver. That's why in the $200 range, something like the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR and then a t-amp are considered to be one of the best options for SQ. In fact, those BS22's have been down around $100, and I wouldn't be surprised if they reach that price around Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Or if you would eventually want to add a sub, the Super Zero 2.0s are a great bargain at their current price of $60 each, but they do rolloff starting at 100hz.

So I would wait until you have the money for $300 speakers, unless you go the passive route.


I can get used Resolv studio monitors (SE5, SE6, SE8) off eBay and have the total price (with shipping) under $200 (if I win the bid).

I might sacrifice a little sound quality because I would prefer smaller speakers, the Fostex PM0.4N seem to be smaller in size.

And I'm not sure I want to have to deal with a separate amplifier (limited desk space).

My computer shares a room with an Yamaha RX-V671/Infintiy Beta 5.1 setup, so a simple optical cable will give me good sound.

So I'm really just want a simple 2.0, one speaker on each side of my monitor, for when my ears need a break from headphones.

Money is not an issue, I have spent (wasted?) $100 on my nephews in a single afternoon.

post #8 of 9
The indeed t-amps should fit on top of your Audio-GD; their TA2020 is particularly small at (W)72mm x (H)26mm x (D)108mm. Since you like Infinity, Amazon and Frys often put the Infinity Primus bookshelves on sale. They are fairly high sensitivity, so easy to drive with a t-amp.
post #9 of 9

I'm not going to write a full review of my Fostex PM0.4n's but as of right now I am really impressed.  I will probably be using them in the living room for a little while, but they are definitely near field monitors.  They sound amazing from the sweet spot, but still very good from other places.

 

The treble is clean and detailed.  The mids are clean and very detailed you can hear the vibrations in a singer's voice or guitar string clearly. Vocal's are right up front and centered. Imaging is good when you have both volume controls properly adjusted.  The bass is clean but not overpowered.  A bass guitar or tuba sounds right.  If you are in the sweet spot the bass is very good.  Off axis or at a distance a sub would make a wonderful addition.  They easily fill an 8x14 room to my satisfaction at half power.  I will probably invest in a cheap sub to improve the off axis listening and fill the room even better.

 

I am currently listening to them on mid volume from the other end of the house and they sound very clear from three rooms away, in spite of the fact that they are at a moderate listening volume in that room.  As you get closer they sound better and better.    I was afraid they would be horrid with a low quality source, but I am using an iPod nano 4g with a fiio line out dock and an old generic 3.5mm to RCA cable and they sound fantastic. They are relatively large compared to something like the audio-engine a2 but they are smaller than most bookshelf speakers.

 

My 5yo has spent the last 40 minutes listening to kid's music on them in utter bliss.  She ran in and sat down in the sweet spot. :D

 

If you toss a quilt over them covering the speakers and sit off axis....  they sound like Bose pc speakers.

 

As long as you don't muffle them behind soft furnishings, I suspect you would really like them.

 


Edit:

 

After sitting in the sweet spot for a bit,  I have realized something.  With the same sound and source the Fostex PM0.4n sounds almost exactly like quarter modded Alessandro MS-1's from the sweet spot. The sonic signature is pretty darn close. If you like those headphones, you will like the Fostex.


Edited by cheapfi - 11/9/13 at 2:43pm
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