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Looking for pair desktop speakers high sensitivity (89Db+)and Bi-wireable


Thunktank
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Due to current workload I am spending more time in my study than my listening room. I am currently using Trends Audio USB DAC - Trends T class amp - Genexxa pro x7 speakers. I would occasionally like a little more wallop from the little 15 watt amp. Like most people here I enjoy tinkering around with setups so I am contemplating getting another Trends amp and a pair of speakers that are capable of being bi-amped. This is where you guys come in; can anyone recommend a speaker small enough to sit on a desktop that has a reasonable sensitivity (89Db+) and bi wire terminals?

This is just a pure fun tinkering about project so nothing over £150 a pair ($216). At the moment I have a short list of one which is the KEF IQ1.

I love tinkering about with these diminutive Trends amps, I can see a time coming soon when I have them dotted all over the house.

 

Thanks

 

Paul

 

New price can be over £150 if I have a chance of finding a pair on Ebay.

 

Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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After reading your suggestion I did some surfing and found a couple of favorable reviews. My only concern is that they are from a manufacturer we do not see here in the UK. I will certainly save it as one of my EBay searches. Many thanks for the suggestion, I now have a shortlist of two, or looking at it more optimistically, my options just doubled.

 

Paul

 

 

Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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As a Yorkshireman, you could keep an eye on eBay for some of the smaller Castle speakers. They did a very small pair just before Castle themselves went bust. I think some people must have got hold of clearance stock as drivers and enclosures have been appearing in the speaker components part of eBay (so in theory you might be able to put together your own).

 

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I have looked at castle but as well as the sound I want to consider aesthetics, and wooden boxes would not fit in with the décor. I do however have access to excellent panel machining facilities, so remaking the cabinets in an alternative material would be a possible option.

I am now contemplating the alternative solution of modding my existing speakers, by isolating the crossover components and installing terminals for bi-wire. Sat in front of me as I type this is a speaker with the back panel removed while I attempt to draw a circuit diagram of the crossover. If I where to describe my electronics knowledge as basic I would be being generous, but I think I should be able to get by. The main problem is going to be getting four binding posts and the crossover to fit on the small panel; I may have to have the crossovers outside the cabinets............Well I was talking bolox again, having examined the crossovers I can not isolate the components as they only contain a single inductor and a single capacitor. It appears that the tweeter uses the capacitor in series and the inductor in parallel, and the woofer has both in parallel. This does not seem to correspond with any of the designs I have found on DIY audio sites. With my very limited knowledge and no info on the individual driver characteristics I will leave modding well alone. I will therefore go with the more expensive but easier option of buying speakers.

 

Just as an aside I did once audition a pair of Castle floor standers and so wanted them to beat the opposition because they where so well made, as it was they where beaten in the sound stakes (to my ear) by the pair of Ruarks I ended up buying (ugly cabinets).

 

Paul

 

Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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Sorry Paul, I didn't take into consideration you location in the UK. The BG's would probably be expensive and/or hard to get. And to add another one to the mix, I completely forgot about the JBL L830's. Bi-wireable and are 90 db. I know here in the US you can get them for $350 new, but I haven't looked around for used. Hope this helps.

 

~AaronB

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Unless the speaker was designed for it, I'm not sure I would bother. Some manufacturers deliberately avoid bi-wiring (I've no idea why). It has advantages for bi-amping using two amplifiers, important if you're committed to amps with low outputs. It might be better to sell the existing speakers unmodified (before you cause their resale value to take a dive) and look at a bi-wired speaker kit from the likes of Wilmslow or ILP.

 

FWIW, I had a bi-wired kit from Wilmslow and adding the extra cable did make a difference, but it was a complex crossover. My later Jordans had a very gentle crossover at 500Hz and bi-wiring made no difference.

 

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Thanks Aaron, I will take a look at the JBL's and perhaps add them to the growing list.

 

Cambridge Audio S30 (Rear ported so would probably have to sit too far forward on desk)

KEF C1

KEF iQ1

Mordaunt Short 902i

B&W DM601 S3

Monitor Audio Bronze BR2

 

Favourite at the moment is the Monitor Audio BR2's

 

As for "cause their resale value to take a dive" not likely, allthough not a bad little speaker, the Genexxa's have little or no resale value. Anyway you will be releived to know they are back in one piece and in use in my study.

I am not paticularly "commited to amps with low outputs", but I am impressed by the bang for buck that Tripath amps offer. I currently use one in my kitchen connected to an airport express a Beresford DAC and a pair of Mordaunt Short speakers, ideal as the whole setup takes up a tiny amount of cupboard space and is out of site (Thats out of view not the old hippy expression "out of site"). I have a similar setup in the study, again ideal as the amp takes up very little space and consumes very little power. I do have a spare Naim Nait Amp kicking about but it takes up too much room, I want the whole house wired for sound but not looking like the starship enterprise. I think that Tripath amps will suit all but my listening and living room. They also appear to be good candidates for tinkering, with the opportunity to Bi-amp, upgrade caps or run from battery, with no major loss of cash if things go wrong. The only amps I can find at a similar price point are old Quad, Naim etc which are probably suffreing the degredations of age. Unless someone knows better, but that is better left to another thread.

 

Paul

 

 

Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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The next time I spend any large sum it will be on a new DAC for my main system. I could probably live with my desktop setup for a while, but I fancy having a muck about with Bi-amping as much as a distraction from work as anything.

 

Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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I have told my brother he can have the Naim Nait and my Ruark speakers when he has finished decorating his living room. I tried to persuade him to use a laptop as a source but he is a technophobe and wants to stick to CD.

 

Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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Wharfedale Diamond 9.1

 

Paradigm Atom

 

and of course the Epos ELS-3.

 

All three of them at an incredible price tag.

 

PC / Pro-Ject USB dac (modded)/ Musical Fidelity X10-D (modded)/ Musical Fidelity X-A1 (modded)/ B&W CDM1 SE/ Supra Power Cables/ Nordost Flatline Speaker Cables

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Cheers for all the suggestions

I did have my eye on a pair of B&W 601 S2’s, they had been dropped and the cabinets where trashed but cones where perfect. As I work in the CAD department of a furniture manufacturer I am idealy placed for making a new set of cabinets. I had it in my head to make a pair of cabinets out of Velstone (similar to Corian). If you are not familiar with these products, they are a cast resin very heavy, rigid, easily machined and joints are invisible. Unfortunaltey the speakers sold for more than I was willing to pay, considering the work involved.

 

Anyway on to your suggestions

 

LAMF

The Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, was not a speaker I was familiar with but I read a few reviews and they certainly seem to be well thought of. My only concern is the slightly low sensitivity of 86dB. The amps I am using are 15w at 4 ohm and 10w at 8 ohm. So lets say 12w at 6 ohm (diamonds are 6 ohm). I would only drive the amps up to 8w, As I am bi-amping I will be putting 16w max in to each speaker. If my sums are right then this will equate to 98dB. Which should be fine for my little study, unless someone wants to pitch in and tell me I have my sums wrong.

 

Paradigm Atom

Unless I am mistaken are not bi-wireable

 

Epos ELS-3

Rear ported, not ideal for my desktop as I would have to pull them forward of the wall, taking up valuable desk space.

 

IamKirk?

Not sure, your link took me to a pair of floorstanders, these would take up far too much desk space, and the sound would fire straight over my head :-)

 

AaronB

Cambridge Audio S30

Same as Epos ELS-3.

Sorry I should have given more details of the room layout when I posted the original question.

 

Thanks again for all the suggestions, favourites at the moment are the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1’s.

 

I will keep you posted.

 

Paul

 

 

Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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  • 1 month later...

I have got the same Trends Audio setup.

The speakers I use are the Klipsch RB51.

As I am concerned, this is a perfect match.

The Klipsch speakers have a 92dB sensitivity, and an amazing sound.

No distortion, and a great soundstage.

Great value for the money.

 

 

 

 

 

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Later this week I am picking up a pair of B&W DM601 S2's, while only 89dB they have connections for bi-wiring which I will be using for Bi-amping. Things have been improved further as I received a Cambridge Audio DacMagic (latest model) as a birthday presi. The output from the Cambridge Audio is quite a bit higher than Trends so the speaker sensitivity is less of an issue. I am reserving judgment on the new DAC until it has had time to burn in, but first impressions are favorable, not a main system DAC but should make a great desktop system.

 

Final (ha final who am I kidding) desktop system is as follows

 

Itunes AIFF - Cambridge Audio DAC - 2xTopping TR10 mkII - B&W DM601 S2

 

Next step will be to find a better power supply for the DAC, vocals can sound a bit grainy which I am attributing to the crapy wall wart type PSU.

If I have the time I am going to make new cabinets for the speakers and possibly upgrade the crossover components at the same time.

 

Anyway thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions and advice, once I have the speakers I will post details of how it all adds up. As I now have a Trends DAC a Beresford and a Cambridge Audio I will be in a position to do some comparisons.

 

Regards Paul

 

Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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