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Opinion on the computer speakers ever? Harman Kardon GLA-55?? Other opinions?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm really into computer speakers, perhaps even more so than headphones *gasp*. Haven't seen a thread on speakers so I think I'd ask around.

 

I've owned:

 

Focal XS 2.1

Klipsch Promedia Ultra 5.1

Klipsch Gallery G-17

Bowers and Wilkins MM-1

Bowers and WIlkins Z2

Bowers and Wilkins A7

Logitech Z623 

Antec Soundscience 2.1

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III

Harman Kardon GLA-55

 

 

In my mind, the Harman Kardon GLA-55 blows everything away. Granted it is $999, that's not toooo much from the Focal XS ($600). Harman Kardon also only made a limited edition of these (3000 units total), so they're kinda hard to find right now, except there's one on amazon. Maybe the value of these will go up b/c of the rarity?

 

The soundstage trumps everything I've heard. The bass is better than the Focal XS 2.1, which HAS A SUBWOOFER. The GLA-55's look beautiful and are a work of art. The treble is sparkly clear because of the dedicated tweeters. And somehow, the engineers and Harman Kardon made a 3" mid/bass driver cover the rest of the spectrum beautifully, even sub-bass without a subwoofer. 

 

Amazingly, the $200 Antec Soundscience 2.1 come in at my #2. Deep but controlled bass, better than the GLA-55 (granted the 2.1 has a sub). Check out the glowing PCMag Review here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385376,00.asp

 

 

Any opinions on iPod dock speakers and computer speakers that are worth trying out, that might beat the GLA-55? My budget is $1500. 

 

 

*note, I have not tried the B&O BeoLab*, which are also at $999.*

post #2 of 10

Price will go up on used ones, sure, but not above msrp lol. Occasionally b-stock ones are sold by the Harman Ebay Store, they come with warranty and I've seen them sell at $350-400/pair. But I see used ones with no warranty going for ~500 all the time, so the price is dictated by demand at the time, and limited quantities. But certainly I wouldn't drop $1000 on these when you can get a used pair of Dynaudio BM5As for $500, and even brand new Kef X300As msrp is only $799.

 

They are neat for the size but the best small speaker on a "budget" IMO is the Genelec 6010A, which some Best Buys are selling at under $400/pair clearance price.

 

MSRP kinda blows my mind though, $999 for GLA-55s and $1,264 for Revel Performa F12 floorstanding speakers being offered by the same company, lol.

 

I still say nothing beats the best PC speakers of all time, the NHT Xd :D


Edited by astrallite - 2/5/14 at 8:40pm
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

The NHT is that good? It's $500 which places it around the B&W MM-1, but online comparisons seem to favor the MM-1...

post #4 of 10

The NHT Xd was a 2.1 active system that was sold for $6,000 back in 2008 but is discontinued. You can find a system for probably around $1600-1800 used. $500 would be a steal if you could find it at that price :P

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Oh I think I was looking at a different model -- the NHT not the NHT XD

post #6 of 10

You could look into the Paradigm Millenia One system. Now I suspect you already know this, but I was in the same boat as you, looking for high end PC speakers for my PC, and had pretty much the same budget. In the end, going with proper separates and bookshelf speakers just sounds miles upon miles better.  For $1500, you could likely build a killer system that would massacre all the speakers on your list. I still own a pair of Midiland S2 4100, went through an Acoustic Energy Aego M, and had the Paradigm Millenia Ones for a few months. Trying the Millenia, made me realize that, no matter how much reviews wax poetic about a satellite speaker's soundstaging, they just simply can't do depth at all in reality. I moved on to slowly putting together a system with separate components, integrated the Midiland sub into it, and the difference in everything, especially soundstaging width and depth, is tremendous. 

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradofan1 View Post

The soundstage trumps everything I've heard. The bass is better than the Focal XS 2.1, which HAS A SUBWOOFER. The GLA-55's look beautiful and are a work of art. The treble is sparkly clear because of the dedicated tweeters. And somehow, the engineers and Harman Kardon made a 3" mid/bass driver cover the rest of the spectrum beautifully, even sub-bass without a subwoofer

Harman's specs say -10db, 60Hz – 20kHz. Not trying to say you are not enjoying the bass. But I'm sorry. It's practically impossible to believe that a 3" driver in a 2 way speaker design would produce useable subbass, and Harman's not claiming that. In fact, they even have a subwoofer output built in the GLA-55s.
Edited by cel4145 - 2/6/14 at 3:44pm
post #8 of 10

Been in a similar boat for a while. Vertigo-1 your option is of course a much better way of going about this but those of us (like myself) who have the budget but lack the room/space, something like the KEF X300A seems like a good choice. I was interested in the GLA-55 a while ago but they seemed too expensive for what they were (gorgeous though). There are a couple of pairs on eBay at the moment for $900 + postage. There's also a NHT XD system on there for $4500 :eek:

A brand I regularly recommend is Swan. Their H4/H5 + H6 2.1 system would be a great buy as you get exactly what you pay for (quality and sound wise). If you don't want a sub, the M200mkIII or even the H4/H5 on their own would be a worthy option. Happy listening! :wink_face:


Edited by coolguyalex - 2/6/14 at 4:03pm
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Harman's specs say -10db, 60Hz – 20kHz. Not trying to say you are not enjoying the bass. But I'm sorry. It's practically impossible to believe that a 3" driver in a 2 way speaker design would produce useable subbass, and Harman's not claiming that. In fact, they even have a subwoofer output built in the GLA-55s.


I don't know if Harman is lying about those specs, but I believe it's a heavily DSP'd system and people have complained about tweeter noise so it sounds pretty typical of systems with a lot of DSP. In other words it probably can hit those specs but THD has to be quite high, probably over 10% at 60Hz.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolguyalex View Post
 

Been in a similar boat for a while. Vertigo-1 your option is of course a much better way of going about this but those of us (like myself) who have the budget but lack the room/space, something like the KEF X300A seems like a good choice. I was interested in the GLA-55 a while ago but they seemed too expensive for what they were (gorgeous though). There are a couple of pairs on eBay at the moment for $900 + postage. There's also a NHT XD system on there for $4500 :eek:

A brand I regularly recommend is Swan. Their H4/H5 + H6 2.1 system would be a great buy as you get exactly what you pay for (quality and sound wise). If you don't want a sub, the M200mkIII or even the H4/H5 on their own would be a worthy option. Happy listening! :wink_face:

 

That Xd on eBay is way over priced, I think it's because it's signed by the president of NHT and it's brand new with factory warranty. But you can get used ones for much less. There's a guy on Audiogon selling a Xd 6.2 system for $3500 :eek: (that's $18,000 msrp lol. Three XdA processor/amplifiers sells for $9,900 brand new alone from DeqX :eek:).


Edited by astrallite - 2/6/14 at 8:35pm
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