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Looking to "compactify" my home audio setup

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Right now I'm running PC (FLAC) to Music Streamer II to Yamaha Ax-596 to BW-602 speakers. However I'm thinking of getting a more portable setup, skipping the amp all together and going with smaller active speakers. I might sell that stuff, buy a Fiio X5 (DAC feature) when it becomes available and get some active speakers. 

 

How much would I have to spend on active speakers to upgrade from my Yamaha amp - BW speakers pairing? Any recommendations?


Edited by Stuff Jones - 1/22/14 at 11:43pm
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff Jones View Post
 

Right now I'm running PC (FLAC) to Music Streamer II to Yamaha Ax-596 to BW-602 speakers. However I'm thinking of getting a more portable setup, skipping the amp all together and going with smaller active speakers. I might sell that stuff, buy a Fiio X5 (DAC feature) when it becomes available and get some active speakers. 

 

How much would I have to spend on active speakers to upgrade from my Yamaha amp - BW speakers pairing? Any recommendations?

 

It's not so much "how much" given some components can sound different or similar regardless of price range, but definitely stay with generally the same size midwoofer, or at most one size down if you're using them nearfield and will get monitors with a two channel amp per side, so you'll stay within the same low bass range. In any case, how portable do you expect them to be? These will still be fairly large, and you'd have to keep the box to transport them easily or spend a bit on a case (or cases for each) with customizable foam padding.

 

You can read up on the Swans M200MkIII and KRK Rokit 6 as their sound signatures are a little similar to the 602 (used my NAD304 on them), but of course there are bound to be a lot of differences in the more subtle details.

post #3 of 11

Those B&W were good speakers in their day. 15 years ago. The cones probably need replacing by now anyway.

 

Things have moved on since then so you can certainly get something smaller and better sounding today for a reasonable sum.

 

B&W make good flat and accurate speakers which could be classed as monitors at a pinch.

 

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul02/articles/bwdm602s3.asp

 

So try and avoid the cheapest so called active monitors like the KRK Rockit range because they are more coloured (or 'voiced' as the marketing people like to say).

 

Magnets have got stronger, amplifiers smaller, cooler and more powerfu. So you could get the same SPL and frequency range from a contempory 5" cone as you get from the 7" B&W. Active crossovers are better than passive and tweeters, especially ribbon tweeters are now a bit cleaner and less shrill.

 

I'd go for a pair of ADAM A5X if you afford them (600 Euro). F5 if that's a bit steep (400 Euro and comparable to what you spent on the B&W new. so the 4 amps are effectively free).

 

The JBL 305, Mackie MR5 and Yamaha HS5 are all cheaper still.

 

Also look for Event 20/20, Equator D5 or maybe if you are mainly into house and pop music the KRK VXT 6.

 

The ADAMs are where it's at though. I just feel the need to offer alternatives so as to avoid looking biased. Best price/performance on the market. 5 year guarantee too. Try getting that out of M-Audio.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the recommendations. 

 

Do you think I could earn enough selling this old equipment to purchase any of those recommended active speakers? Does 15 year old audio equipment have any resale value?

post #5 of 11

No. Look on eBay.

post #6 of 11

Also look into Emotiva actives- a lot of raves for those

post #7 of 11
Here we go again rolleyes.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

Those B&W were good speakers in their day. 15 years ago. The cones probably need replacing by now anyway.

The cones on the original B&W 600 series are made of KEVLAR. Doubtful that they need to be replaced. LOL

During the 70s and 80s, some speakers were made with cheap surrounds. Having owned B&W original 600 series speakers, I have my doubts that the surrounds would go bad in 15 years. I certainly wouldn't try to generalize based on the fact that foam surrounds during the 70s/80s didn't last. I've owned 20 year Paradigms that worked very well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

B&W make good flat and accurate speakers which could be classed as monitors at a pinch.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul02/articles/bwdm602s3.asp

The B&W 600 series are called "monitors" because B&W labeled them as such. A lot of people knowledgeable about speakers would not agree that they are neutral.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

Magnets have got stronger, amplifiers smaller, cooler and more powerfu. So you could get the same SPL and frequency range from a contempory 5" cone as you get from the 7" B&W. Active crossovers are better than passive and tweeters, especially ribbon tweeters are now a bit cleaner and less shrill.

Huh? Speaker design has not changed that dramatically in the past 20 years. Certainly there are some new composites that offer some advantages for cone design, although paper is still considered one of the best. B&W has always been innovative in design, allowing their work on the top series speakers to trickle down to the 600 series. It would be a mistake to see those designs as dated.

Meanwhile, the dome tweeters in his 600 series are definitely not "shrill"--of course you'd have to hear them to know that, instead of jumping to conclusions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

No. Look on eBay.

Maybe is the correct answer if YOU had searched on Ebay. It depends on the condition of his speakers and the series number. S1s are liable to go for less than S2 or S3. As far as the amp, better to sell it locally because of the cost of shipping and the fact that it's not worth as much as the speakers. If it works well and is in good cosmetic condition, I'd try to get $125 for it. That would put his equipment value close or equal to some of the equipment you are recommending.

Perhaps could you share information that you know is accurate from now on? Or not share at all? LOL
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff Jones View Post

How much would I have to spend on active speakers to upgrade from my Yamaha amp - BW speakers pairing? Any recommendations?

I used to own the 601 S1s with matching center, and still have the B&W LM1s because I think they are undervalued on the used market and can't bear to get rid of them for what they will sell for.

My experience with the active monitors in that $500 to $600 range is that your setup would certainly be comparable in sound quality. Whether or not you prefer active monitors in that price range will depend more on your personal listening tastes than what active monitor fanboys will tell you. Of course, sometimes a speaker with a new sonic signature can sound better just because it's new to you. It's sometimes nice to have a new sound to experience.

So the active monitors will probably tend to be more neutral in presentation. Best bet is to go listen to some. If you are in the US, Guitar Center carries many active monitors. You can compare them to each other there to figure out which of them in your price range sound better to you. Then you could buy them there, bring them home, and see what you think. Makes it easy to return them if you find it's not enough of an upgrade for you.
Edited by cel4145 - 1/23/14 at 2:25pm
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

I checked and I have the BW 602 S2s. I like my setup but it seems a little too smooth, refined or laid back to me. Would like a little more punch, but not overly aggressive.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff Jones View Post

I checked and I have the BW 602 S2s. I like my setup but it seems a little too smooth, refined or laid back to me. Would like a little more punch, but not overly aggressive.

I understand. My experience was that while I liked the 601s because of how refined the tweeters are, they were also a little too polite at times. Midbass was not very strong on the 601s, either. Then again, there's sometimes that I miss how they sound.

My suggestion would still be to go listen to some speakers. If you only spend $500 to $600 for active speakers, you are not jumping in class over what you have. In that situation, the trick is to find something that fits what you are looking for in a different sound signature, not what everyone votes for as their favorite in an Internet forum wink.gif
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I understand. My experience was that while I liked the 601s because of how refined the tweeters are, they were also a little too polite at times. Midbass was not very strong on the 601s, either. Then again, there's sometimes that I miss how they sound.

My suggestion would still be to go listen to some speakers. If you only spend $500 to $600 for active speakers, you are not jumping in class over what you have. In that situation, the trick is to find something that fits what you are looking for in a different sound signature, not what everyone votes for as their favorite in an Internet forum wink.gif

 

OK, I'll check out Guitar Center. There's one near me. Obviously I can't hear everything there, so if I want to listen first I'm kind of limited. 

 

Even if I can't upgrade the sound, I want to have a more portable setup so I can put it in a different room easier or move my stuff easier (I move a lot).

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