General Speaker Advice and Recommendations

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by shotgunshane, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    +1 for Erin’s channel as well. Awesome measurements.
     
  2. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Random update - tried different 2 small subs and wasn't too satisfied with the sound regardless of price. Saw that the successor to my previous sub had a very similar sound but some of the same things, including a quiet but constant hiss whenever the unit was powered, were still present - acceptable at how much I paid for it then, but not at the current price.

    Ordered a Speedwoofer instead. Also, talked to RSL and most of the low level mishandling that made me establish a $250 price cap is not a problem at all. The person then proceeded to tell me about ways that his personal unit suffers low level mishandling at his home etc (and obviously warranty doesn't cover mishandling). Problem solved.
     
  3. AlPastor

    AlPastor Facebook Friend

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    Did you try the Elac Sub1010? Fits your price point and decently reviewed by Erin as well. I have one under my desk in my office without any hiss or issues.
     
  4. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    I didn't try the 1010 but my old ELAC had noise, swapped it, new one had noise and then was told that's how it is. Apparently the 1010 isn't that different from my old one and enough product reviews at retailers with people saying the same thing about noise that I figured I'd rather just get the speedwoofer.
     
  5. MLegend

    MLegend Friend

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    Has anyone heard or owned a pair of Wharfedale Denton 80th speakers? I'm starting to become interested in passive speakers after living with Vanatoo Encores for a while.
     
  6. Eric Rosenfield

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    Funny I just home demoed them. Gonna do a write up soon of my various speaker impressions. The Denton 80th I thought were really nice, warm and rich and not fatiguing at all. Paired with the Schiit Aegir I thought it was a little too rich and thick (though could still dig it with the right music) but it sounded great with more mainstream-tuned amps like the Peachtree GaN1 (where it counteracted the class D coolness in a pleasing way), the Audiolab 8300A, or even the Parasound Zamp sounded pretty good with it. If you’re looking for the most clean and detailed thing, this isn’t it, but it want rich, warm, and musical, they’re stellar especially for the price.
     
  7. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    So I ended up trying a Kreisel sub today and so far it's been pretty good. Still within the 30 day window for the RSL so the speedwoofer may be going back. However, it was a very good product, especially for the price, in the little time I was able to spend with it, and I would have very little hesitation recommending it to anyone in the future.

    But... the new sub makes my Vanatoo T0 for this desk setup sound low-fi enough to annoy me now... (admittedly, I knew they weren't going to be super hi-fi before buying them.. and they did sound low fi for a while every time after I listened to my Stellaris already). Given that the volume knob also has 2 very small dead spots in it now... I think I may eventually replace them later this year with a different set of desktop speakers.

    Considering a used Audioengine A5+ (if I go the cheap route), PSB AM5, Genelec G3, Neumann KH80, or maybe a Vanatoo T1 if it's significantly better performance than the T0.

    Want to see if there are other recommendations though:
    More important, keeping in mind these are just for general desktop usage:
    - $1k or less, ideally $500 or less, can be DIY if it's not too time consuming and the cabinet will be relatively agnostic to my mediocre at best wood working skills.
    - NO LOW LEVEL HISS when not playing music - this still bothers me with the T0 years later.
    - Must have better resolution and performance than current Vanatoo T0
    - Relatively neutral sound signature that works with media, music, and games
    - XLR, RCA, or optical in - allows me to feed sub with either LFE or L/R RCA or XLR outputs.
    - Integrated amp that doesn't run hot, speaker cabinet cool to touch even after hours of use
    - Works seamlessly with windows and mac plus whatever other common digital sources. I have no patience to screw with a ton of bad UX software, run separate players, or whatever else if I'm just opening youtube to watch a video, etc. even if it means a slightly better sound or cheaper speaker
    - Separate volume knob on speaker
    - 9.5" deep, 6.5" wide, 11" high at most. No more than 25 lb per speaker.
    - Relatively agnostic to placement / positioning, desk and room setup, distance to me, crap being placed in front of them momentarily, leaving dust covers on, etc. Ideally I can place them directly on desk without the need for a big stand, etc. Ok with placing on top of some foam or a small stand or something else small if needed

    Less important:
    - USB in with integrated DSP, etc.
    - Remote control
    - Bluetooth pairing
    - Generally no horns (i.e. small Klipsch) - I generally don't like horns as much without extensive tuning of the setup
    - Not looking for studio monitor (think NS10) sound, KEF (something about the highs), or the more metallic Focal speakers with the kind of raised highs
    - Don't need the speakers to get loud
    - Used is OK

    edits: fix typos from earlier, placed some stuff in wrong category.
    edit 2: I can't find that much feedback online for any of the 4 above speakers even though they seem relatively popular. I may end up doing a shootout between the 4 (with full disclosure to seller than I'm doing so and 3 will be returned) if I can't figure this out in a week or two.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2024
  8. artur9

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    I came across these (on the web) earlier today, Totem Play Mini. 6.37" x 10.62" x 7.48", optical in, subwoofer out, phono in. At the upper 8/10ths of your budget. There's a black pair on eBay for your lower price point. However, they don't look like the powered version.

    I own a Totem Tribe II and am very impressed with it. It's the center in my A/V so you know its clarity is superlative.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2024
  9. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Unfortunately every picture I could find of these showed setups with them further apart than my desk is big. Their own specs also recommend 4-8' apart. Big stands are not an option for my L shaped desk.

    I'm actually curious about these now though...
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2024
  10. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Could only find a few youtube reviews of the PSB AM5 and Vanatoo T1 +. None of the reviews seemed to say in a youtube reviewer kind of way "it's bad". Ordered both and have a used A5+ coming in for a small informal desktop shootout.

    Will most likely get the Genelec G Three or Neumann KH80 in as well for this comparison - something more studio monitor sound. Lastly, yes, I realize in advance that (most of) these are limited by a few different things including most likely class D amplification, at least one metallic tweeter or woofer (I prefer soft for smaller speakers, even with proper tuning etc), along with a few other things.

    If anyone in socal has a small powered speaker in about the same price range as these that they want me to casually write about with the above, I'll add them to the comparison.
     
  11. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    Genelec with it's Alu tweeter is not the sound you probably look for.
    In any case the older Genelecs with Class AB amps inside (8030A and 8030B) are more musical - better for music listening.
    When resolution you are after - the Genelecs deliver.
     
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  12. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    @penguins have you looked at Adam series powered monitors? It has been a while since I listened to them but recall liking them a lot..dB
     
  13. Polemarkos

    Polemarkos Facebook Friend

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    Have you tried doing some EQ to manage the desk reflections that are doing severe damage through the low-end and mid-range? I created a cuts-only filter using REW and implemented it with EqualizerAPO using the Peace GUI and I was angry with myself for not doing so a long time ago. I have the Vanatoo T1+ Encore (i.e. newest model) and it's taken them to another level.
     
  14. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Guess I should clarify - I generally don't like aluminum or metallic speakers. It can be mitigated when done right though as I have heard with some of the 8000 series Genelecs with proper setup. Which is why I'm still considering these.

    Yes, looked at 2 different ones in person, but they had too much background hiss for me. They didn't sound bad at all though, the ribbon integrated well enough with the carbon fiber woofer in the few songs I listened to.

    I haven't tried a lot of EQ - and I should probably do more in the future given the more casual use case, but I did try repositioning, adding a piece of felt / cloth under the speaker, and putting them on the very edge of my desk to help minimize reflections to see if any of this helped with the low level sort of in your face energy the metallic woofers of the T0 have for me. None of it really helped, but at the same time, it only bothers me after a long time, like several hours of music. If it's just media or games, I don't really notice it at all. With all of this being said though, I want more resolution and technical performance than the T0 offers anyways.
     

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