Need advice on a killer near-field setup...
Oct 25, 2008 at 5:54 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

earwicker7

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I think I've found the headphones I can live with... the Ergo AMT/Amp2 combo. Nothing else I own is as fun as these, so I'm thinking of unloading the majority of my headphones and using the money for a near-field setup. So, I'd be selling my electrostatics and maybe all but one of my dynamics (I might as well keep one set, probably the Ed9, since my pre-amp has a balanced headphone output).

Since I already have a pre-amp, I'd need a balanced amp (or two monoblocks), speaker cables, near-field speakers, stands and a subwoofer. I'm pretty much set on the 10" Velodyne sub; I owned a Velodyne years ago and it was utterly amazing.

My room is fairly small, so I need reasonably sized stuff. I'm looking at around a $10k budget.
 
Oct 25, 2008 at 6:14 PM Post #2 of 10

earwicker7

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Anyone have any experience with the Esoteric MG10 speakers?
 
Oct 25, 2008 at 7:13 PM Post #3 of 10

JadeEast

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If you like the AMT maybe check out the Adam line of monitors.
A friend has monitors built by them in his studio and they are quite nice same technology used in them as the AMT.

Another interesting technology is the Manger driver Manger Audio - Speakers I haven't heard them but they sure look interesting.

The favorite near field that I've heard were old Tannoy 15 inch studio monitors
but they were not something if you wanted something modern looking and home friendly.

Good luck on your search!
 
Oct 25, 2008 at 7:20 PM Post #4 of 10

panda

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why not go actives?
an active set of atc scm-10 (or 20 if u can find a good price) should blow you away within half your budget... once i went to atc, i could never live with a different brand for a serious setup. w/ the scm10 you're not going to need a sub. im highly against subs to begin with as youre not going to get any real coherency plus the tonal balance will be off, and especially timing. if you must have that extra thump, atleast go stereo subs, say two 8" down firing sealed boxes (unported).

just use kimber 8tc for speaker wire.
 
Oct 25, 2008 at 8:14 PM Post #5 of 10

jenneth

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You could also get a pair of Genelec 1038B / 1037C (these are active monitors).
 
Oct 25, 2008 at 8:42 PM Post #6 of 10

4N6

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How big is the room you are going to set up the system in? I have been enjoying near-field listening for about 8-10 years now. The room I currently use is a small bedroom (10' x 9') and I am only 5' away from the speakers. The sound is incredible with the speakers completely disappearing from the soundfield.

If it is a small room and you are close to the speakers, the power amp does not need to be too large. Obviously you need to have the amp power and speaker efficiency/impedance to be a good match, but moderate power tube amps are very good in these situations, as are full Class A solid state. PrimaLuna (and its cousins), Cary, Manley, Pass, Luxman, and Bryston make some terrific amps.

The biggest concern in a small room is not overloading it with too much bass. It is MUCH better to err on the side of too little bass than too much. If the speakers are too large for the room, the bass will overdominate and be muddy, and will mask the midrange and treble detail. I much prefer the bass to be tight, tuneful, and full of detail, than just "thump, thump, thump." For my listening, I have kept with high quality 2-way "bookshelf" speakers on good stands. I have had the B&W 805, ProAc Response 2S, and currently the Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento. Totem and Harbeth make some terrific small speakers as well. Should these not provide the amount of bass you want, then you may want to add a sub. But you may be amazed at what a small speaker can accomplish in a small room.

Make sure to have some room treatment equipment in the budget. Sound absorbtion panels placed judiciously on the walls can really help turn a good system into a great one by removing unwanted reflections and lessening bass resonances.

Good luck!
 
Oct 25, 2008 at 8:58 PM Post #7 of 10

earwicker7

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It's a pretty small bedroom... I'm guessing about 8' x 10' or so. However, there are already 4 racks in the room to hold all my equipment (and the bed), so there is very little space. I'm actually considering putting the speakers in the living room, which is much larger (probably around 10' x 20')... I could drill a hole through the wall separating the two rooms and run a set of interconnects out there. If it's the bedroom, I'm going to be about 2' from the speakers (that was always my impression of what a near-field is); the living room would get me about 6-7'.

I definitely don't need a bass-heavy setup, but I'd like to have extension down as far as possible. I have some monitors set up with my daughter's keyboard and, not being full-range, it is really obvious that something is missing when you get to the lowest octave.

As far as active speakers... the purist in me is wary of them. I'm sure they exist, but I haven't personally ever heard any that sounded very good.
 
Oct 25, 2008 at 10:36 PM Post #8 of 10

jenneth

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Eh, on second thought, with that kind of budget, you could probably get a pair of used Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage.
 
Oct 25, 2008 at 11:27 PM Post #9 of 10

Duggeh

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If you're loving the AMT sound, Adam Audio do a large range of home and studio speakers, active and passive with ART drivers (slightly changed AMT drivers).
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 12:00 AM Post #10 of 10

earwicker7

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As much as I love the AMT sound, I'm thinking that the speakers should maybe be a different flavor... you don't want to eat lobster every night.

Bagels with Swiss cheese, microwaved for thirty seconds and spread with spicy mustard, well, I pretty much do have those every night before bed... but that's a different story.
 

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