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HE-500 vs. Speakers

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Guys, I want your advice here. Having recently moved from an apartment to a house, I now finally have the freedom to get some nice speakers and to crank them up properly without disturbing the neighbors. For now, I can't afford speakers over $600 though and I am currently considering one of the bookshelf monitors with ribbon tweeters and I am pretty much set on the Adam F5, as it got some very positive reviews. The problem is that, being a student, I can't afford the speakers, unless I sell the HE-500s.

 

So my question is: How will the F5 or another speaker of a similar class, like Airmotiv, or maybe a BX5/8 compare to HE-500 in sound quality? I understand that I will be loosing quite a bit of sub bass extension, unless I also add a sub, but that's OK - I may add a sub later and I also have RE-400 and PFE that do sub bass plenty well. How about the rest of the spectrum though? Also, how much should I worry about room interactions with the small bookshelf speakers? Will I need to treat my room somehow? I'll be using my Xonar Essence STX as a source for the speakers. I am sure that at least some you guys who own HE-500 also own or have owned one of the aformentioned speakers or other speakers of similar class. Or even if you don't have experience with such speakers, I would still appreciate your thoughts on the matter and on what you may decide to do in the situation.

 

I intend to keep HD650 and ER4S as my reference headphones for now, which I think are both fantastic and close enough to HE-500 to my ears. I may buy HE-500 again later on if I'll really miss it, or I may step up to a higher end can once I finish college and get a decent paying job.

 

EDIT: I think this thread should be in the "Computer Audio" section. Oh well... Too many darn sub-forums! lol


Edited by Pianist - 1/4/14 at 7:00am
post #2 of 6
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

 

Also, how much should I worry about room interactions with the small bookshelf speakers? Will I need to treat my room somehow?

 

It depends on speaker placement, listening position placement, how big your room is, and what type of material make up the walls, ceiling and floor. I would start with speaker and listening position placement first.

post #3 of 6

I think you might get a better deal keeping the HE-500. IMO speakers sound better if you have more cash. Like $1500 speakers can beat the HE-500 probably. This is just my experiance though limited.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by yage View Post

It depends on speaker placement, listening position placement, how big your room is, and what type of material make up the walls, ceiling and floor. I would start with speaker and listening position placement first.

Agreed.

If your primary listening position is at the computer with the speakers nearfield, at least it can be a little easier dealing with room interaction since secondary reflections are often less of a problem in that situation.

However, I think you are focusing on the wrong thing in this thread. The speaker listening experience is necessarily different than the headphone listening experience. You can't use your HE-500s for listening to music with friends or if you have a girl over. Your headphones will never duplicate the experience of hearing bass heavy music and HT with a good subwoofer, for part of sub bass is being able to feel the bass. A good surround experience with an HT setup with movie watching is *different* from listening with headphones. Etc.

So headphones are good for some things, speakers for others. If you want those kinds of experiences, you have to start somewhere. If this is indeed a starting point where you might want to eventually build a multi speaker HT setup, I would caution you to think carefully about going the powered speaker/pro audio route. It can be much more expensive to build a surround setup, and even problematic in terms of speaker choice options. Among other things, the Adam F series does not have a dedicated center channel option, which would mean using the same exact speaker for a center channel as the left and right. While that's a little more optimal for center channel in terms of SQ, many HT setups can't accomodate vertical speaker placement for a center. There are other considerations as well.

If you go passive, you could start with Indeed TA2021 t-amp--which will run you about $75--or the Emotiva mini-X a-100. Get some Arx A1b or Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE speakers, you'll have an equivalent SQ experience to the F5s (or better--I like the Ascends better than the F5s) and start saving your money for a sub.
Edited by cel4145 - 1/11/14 at 8:56am
post #5 of 6

Agreed with yage above. If you have limited budget, vintage gear is the best option for you. For 600 usd, you can get vintage bookshelf ADS speakers like L400/L710. Paired those with vintage nad 3020. If you have very good placement and enough space for this set up, it might make you forget your HE500.

post #6 of 6

Bumping this thread, if I already have the Emotiva mini-x a-100, what kinds of bookshelf speaker should I be looking at? I was thinking of the Emotiva airmotiv series, but those are self-powered meaning that I am kind of "losing value" because I already have a capable amp...

 

It will probably be a long time till I'd be able to get speakers, and I don't even know if I will, but if I do, what should I look at?

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