or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Any good DAC+AMP+SPKS+CABLE setup under $150
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Any good DAC+AMP+SPKS+CABLE setup under $150

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi Head-Fiers,

One of my friends moved to U.S recently (Philadelphia) and wants to buy a stereo setup that'd provide him the most transparent music under $150. He was asking for a studio monitor, but I thought of recommending him a setup with a bit of fun, energy and thump. Since he has neither listened to a studio monitor nor a decent stereo setup yet, he might very well be disappointed after buying a studio monitor. 

His previous Setup -> Altec Lansing VS3521 connected to PC with Creative Sound Blaster sound card. 

IEM -> Galaxy S2 with Klipsch S4

 

I've narrowed down the selection to below combos

Pioneer SP-BS21-LR ($69) + AmazonBasics 16-gauge Speaker Wire ($10) + Dayton Audio DTA-120 60 WPC (Black) ($90) + Laptop/Phone Analog Output (already owned) = $169 + Tax (Probably the loudest of all 3 setup)

Pioneer SP-BS21-LR ($69) + AmazonBasics 16-gauge Speaker Wire ($10) + Topping TP30 MARK2 MK II DAC (PC/Android) ($95) + Laptop/Phone USB out (already owned) = $173 + Tax (Probably best source with Burr Brown DAC)

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR ($127) + AmazonBasics 16-gauge Speaker Wire ($10) + Lepai  LP-2020A+ ($22) + Laptop/Phone Analog Output (already owned) = $159 + Tax (BS22 worth the price difference? Will LePai drive BS22 to its full potential? Will the audio output of PC/Phone ruin the overall experience of this package?)

 

 

If the below mentioned speakers are better than BS-21 or other Pioneer speakers, please let me know.

Sony SS-B1000, Dayton Audio B652 and Micca MB42. 

 

Thanks,

Bharath

post #2 of 9

I would recommend to your friend to not buy all at once. Ultimately $150 will barely get you a DAC. I would recommend to spend the money on the speakers. Make him pay extra for proper studio monitors. M Audio BX5 D2's can be found for around $150-200. Get those. And then when he gets money later down the road invest in something like the ODAC. He will have a proper set of speakers that will blow whatever he has now. When he gets the DAC later on he will fall in love with speakers all over again. DAC is half the sound quality battle. Add a subwoofer later and enjoy heaven. The way I am enjoying them now :) The M-Audio have very good accuracy for the money but are still fun. You get what you pay for in audio so get good the first time. 

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your input buddy. I had initially asked him to opt for passive speakers since I thought it'd be future proof, if he wanted to get a 5.1 later. But he's not going to get a 5.1 anytime soon. So I'm gonna recommend him these powered studio monitors. Like the pioneers bookshelves, even this studio monitor (BX5 D2) has a low frequency range upto 50 Hz. I figured if he gets BX8 D2s he'd have a low end of upto 30 Hz and doesn't need a subwoofer for listening to soundtracks and other low end intesive genres.

Is the BX8 D2 worth the extra $150 ?

post #4 of 9

I have used my M-Audio with and without a subwoofer. I first got the BX5 D2's and thought the bass was great. My room is small so that is another thing you must consider. But when I added the sub there was a whole dimension I never knew existed. That being said a dedicated sub is always going to be better than bigger speakers. The BX8 are almost double in price though. I would rather get the BX5's with a good DAC than BX8's with onboard sound. Than later you can add a subwoofer to the mix and have an incredible setup. 

 

5.1 is useless. Music is stereo and if you get these monitors positioned correctly they are great for movies and games. I do game with these monitors and I can locate enemy footsteps quite easily. Plus you can actually still use active monitors in a 5.1 setup but it is not worth it. 2.1 is all you need. 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

For music, yeah 2.0 or 2.1 is all we need. But for movies, I badly need as many channels as possible. But opinion differs. Even he likes 5.1, but not at the cost of those disgusting cables around his place. Coming to the topic, I didn't know (still don't know how) we could connect a sub with a pair of active speakers. Will youtube it later.


 

So I'll suggest him to get BX5 D2 first, then a proper DAC and then sub if necessary. Like you said, I found one deal (dated 4/4/2014) for BX5D2s going for $160 + free shipping @guitarcenter.com via slickdeals.net. But the deal is off now. :(


 

Will keep you posted.

post #6 of 9

Connecting a sub to active speakers is possible but the options are not great. Typically you must get a studio monitor subwoofer that come with a crossover. M-Audio makes one, as do most others. Or you will need to buy an active crossover to manage the frequencies. I use my DAC which is 7.1 capable. My sub has no crossover. It thinks it is running in 5.1 but is actually working as 2.1. Receiver won't be necessary. Most home theater subs have crossovers but only with speaker wire not line in/out RCA or XLR. 

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTerminator View Post
 

Connecting a sub to active speakers is possible but the options are not great. Typically you must get a studio monitor subwoofer that come with a crossover. M-Audio makes one, as do most others. Or you will need to buy an active crossover to manage the frequencies. I use my DAC which is 7.1 capable. My sub has no crossover. It thinks it is running in 5.1 but is actually working as 2.1. Receiver won't be necessary. Most home theater subs have crossovers but only with speaker wire not line in/out RCA or XLR. 

 

I have Samson MediaONE active studio monitors and the Resolv 120a active sub. Like BigTerminate said, the crossovers in subs are on the power inputs/outputs, not on the line level input outputs. I added a dbx223 two channel, two way cross over, which has a much better crossover implementation (24dB/octave linkwitz rlley) than the one that is in the sub.

 

In general, if you aren't using a sub with an AV receiver with dedicated sub channel, then I think a stereo 2-way crossover is an excellent addition when adding a powered sub to powered monitors. Bheringer makes a fairly inexpensive crossover (maybe $80 on amazon?).

 

Cheers


Edited by ab initio - 5/7/14 at 9:14am
post #8 of 9

Can't get much better all rounders than BX5a's for less. I was amazed how long I had mine. They put most speakers under $500 to shame.

 

Just grab a set and some monoprice xlr-3.5mm/rca cable/s, put the volume on max at the rear and control volume via software untill you get a DAC. Then sell them for the same as the purchase price and get something better once the upgrade bug strikes.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmarbee View Post

For music, yeah 2.0 or 2.1 is all we need. But for movies, I badly need as many channels as possible. But opinion differs. Even he likes 5.1, but not at the cost of those disgusting cables around his place.

You gotta have the cables if you want a surround system, unless you go wireless for the surround speakers. Otherwise, you do what those of who own our homes do to avoid having the cables visible--hire an electrician to run the wires in the walls. (lol)

If your friend might ever want a surround system, then the way to start is with a receiver and passive speakers, not powered monitors. For example, this Denon AVR-1513 would work well with those Pioneers. The Denon would also be better suited for integrating a sub later on because of the bass management capabilities.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Cables, Power, Tweaks, Speakers, Accessories (DBT-Free Forum) › Any good DAC+AMP+SPKS+CABLE setup under $150