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Passive vs. Active speaker setup? Need component suggestions. - Page 2

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enilder View Post
 

Thank you everyone for replying. I ended up buying M-Audio AV40 instead of passive speakers to get my feet wet first. I definitely see myself upgrading within a year or so because I can use another set. I still think that passive speakers are the way to go in terms of selections and being able to independently upgrade single component at a time.

 

Unless I come back with ~$1000 budget, it doesn't seem like I can get quality speakers without having any components. Since I have a set of active speakers coming in tomorrow, I need to look out for a sub that should last over couple years. I am trying to avoid spending money on multiple components at the same time (i.e. purchase speakers separately from other non-speaker components like DAC and amp...that's it I think(?)). Some questions to help me sort out my purchase path:

 

-Do active speakers take any advantage of external amps as if they are passives? For example, getting an amp for M-Audio AV40 + sub setup. This sound pretty stupid IMO since active speakers don't need amp (i.e. built-in already) but not sure if there are any advantages. What about external DAC? Any use in connecting with AV40?

 

-Like StratocasterMan linked, if I go after speakers like KEF Q300, am I safe to assume that I should go with external DAC rather than sound card?

 

In the end, I need sub, DAC, amp, and ... better speakers. I think the correct path is to get the sub, then DAC, and amp & upgrade speakers. What's the general breakdown of % spent on each component? I know for computers, GPU, CPU, then everything else follows in terms of % spent on components.

IMO, spend most of your money on speakers and an amplifier. Those make a bigger difference than a dac. 

post #17 of 25

So you've decided to ignore everyone's advice..? I wouldn't recommend those AV40s.

post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraken2109 View Post
 

So you've decided to ignore everyone's advice..? I wouldn't recommend those AV40s.


I ordered it when I had 0 advice for $300 budget. When I saw the Monoprice recommendation, it was too late for me to change the order. As someone pointed out, the budget was simply too low to work with anyways. I wouldn't be any happier with other alternatives under $150.

 

At the moment, it's either to go with Dayton sub 8" or 10". Any higher-end sub will require me to have an amp (I think) so leaning towards 8".

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enilder View Post
 


I ordered it when I had 0 advice for $300 budget. When I saw the Monoprice recommendation, it was too late for me to change the order. As someone pointed out, the budget was simply too low to work with anyways. I wouldn't be any happier with other alternatives under $150.

 

At the moment, it's either to go with Dayton sub 8" or 10". Any higher-end sub will require me to have an amp (I think) so leaning towards 8".


You can do much better than the AV40s with $300. And pretty much all good subs are active.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enilder View Post


I ordered it when I had 0 advice for $300 budget. When I saw the Monoprice recommendation, it was too late for me to change the order. As someone pointed out, the budget was simply too low to work with anyways. I wouldn't be any happier with other alternatives under $150.

At the moment, it's either to go with Dayton sub 8" or 10". Any higher-end sub will require me to have an amp (I think) so leaning towards 8".

It's not that your budget is too small to work with. Just have to be aware you are looking at budget entry level choices. The AV40s are not a bad choice, but you probably could have done better.

Meanwhile, you don't need a sub amp. The subs you will be looking at come with amps. One doesn't get into passive subs in home audio unless you get into DIY or much, much, much more expensive subs.

The reason to choose a 10" or 12" Dayton (or even 15" Dayton) over the 8" is (a) extra volume output (If you need it) and (b) deeper bass extension. The reasons to go with the 8" are (a) it's cheaper and (b) it's smaller. Otherwise, bigger is definitely better in this instance.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraken2109 View Post
 


You can do much better than the AV40s with $300. And pretty much all good subs are active.

 

Like I said in the post above, I decided to reduce the budget and save it for higher-end. StratocasterMan already recommended a product within my budget so I also think that it's the way to go if I kept the $300 budget. But, I decided to test what appears to be highly recommended AV40. It definitely is an improvement over my ~$50 computer speaker and for the price, I think it's acceptable. Thanks for checking in though. :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


It's not that your budget is too small to work with. Just have to be aware you are looking at budget entry level choices. The AV40s are not a bad choice, but you probably could have done better.

Meanwhile, you don't need a sub amp. The subs you will be looking at come with amps. One doesn't get into passive subs in home audio unless you get into DIY or much, much, much more expensive subs.

The reason to choose a 10" or 12" Dayton (or even 15" Dayton) over the 8" is (a) extra volume output (If you need it) and (b) deeper bass extension. The reasons to go with the 8" are (a) it's cheaper and (b) it's smaller. Otherwise, bigger is definitely better in this instance.

 

For the price, I thought it was worth a try. Not that I don't mind blowing $120 on speakers but it didn't seem like a bad start for a newbie like myself. I think it's safer to go 10" for this setup.

 

So if I understand this correctly, if I come back in couple months or a year with a budget of $1000 or so, I should considering getting DAC, amp, and speakers at the same time since passive setups require all 3 components. After that, should I consider getting a sub for $500 or so? I am just trying to set a budget goal for the next upgrade. :)

 

I heard good things about Salk audio but the budget needs to be quite a bit larger (>$2000) for speakers only. My guess is about $3000 for the whole package (DAC, amp, speakers). So many options!

post #22 of 25
Salk, Ascend Acoustics, Paradigm, Philharmonic Audio, Kef, Focal, Monitor Audio--there are a lot of good speaker companies to choose from. Best bet is to get out and demo some so you have a context for discussing various speakers with other people. And Salk's Song Towers are less than $2K, if I'm not mistaken.

Decent, entry level enthusiast class subwoofers start at $500, and depending on the room size and listening levels, you might need to spend more. When you get ready to shop for them, you should focus on the Internet direct subwoofer vendors such as SVS Sound, Rythmik, and HSU Research. The provide much better price/performance values than traditional speaker company subs.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 

Salk starts less than $2K but IIRC, it ended up being mid $2.5K with options. Also looked into Swan and Revel speakers. Had a chance to audition Revel speakers...It blew my mind.

post #24 of 25
Just keep in mind that if you demo in a good hifi store, their room treatments are helping a lot, too. Good to budget for room treatments in your setup if you have a room where you can use them. $1K speakers with good room treatments could easily sound better than $2K speakers without.
post #25 of 25

I went with the Active speaker way because I had very limited space on my table. I don't regret going down this track at all since the performance is amazing.

 

Luxman DA100 -> Darkvoice 336SE preamp -> SVS SB2000 sub -> Swan M200MKIII

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