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DAC+Speakers Less than 2k$


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as for dacs, there are loads at the 1k price point...Benchmark, Lavry, Wavelength, Apogee, PS Audio,... Apogee and Wavelength have Firewire and Async USB interfaces respectively. For speakers, I'd look at active monitors like Dynaudio (as previously mentioned) or ADAM. The AVI ADM 9.1 also received some good feedback and combines Dac and active speakers at around 2k.

 

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You might want to check Audiogon for used speakers. I picked up a pair of AVI ADM9.1's for a

thousand bucks and I am VERY happy with them. You could also check out the Valab DACs on Ebay.

I'm currently using one of those with the ADM9's and it sounds superb!

 

 

 

Rich W

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Everyone has suggested studio moniors so far but these aren't necessarily going to suit your environment - as I commented in another thread - studio moniors are designed for close to listening and are missing features such as remote controls.

 

If I was looking to spend your money (assuming around £1500 GBP) and based on equipment I've had in past, I'd start by looking at a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic (£225) with Rotel RA1550 (£500) and B&W 684 (£800) speakers. There are many alternatives to these devices but personally I'd look at "domestic HiFi" kit rather than studio moniors. The AVi ADM9.1 are an alternative that I would look at by the way.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Like Gabriel Kinight, I like the Dynaudio powered monitors but I'd rather go for the Bm6a which have deeper bass and should be able to fill a medium size room. I think the Bm5a are a little short.

Then I would take a lavry Da11 which is a good dac with usb and toslink input and is also a preamplifier. It can be remotely controlled.

It was the set up I was looking for before I listened to the Focal 1037be but that's another story.

 

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If you are going to go with separates, go with a Rega Brio 3 amp, and a good budget tower speaker like a Monitor Audio Bronze BR5, or Rega RS3. As far as a DAC goes, you need to decide what interface will be your priority, (USB or Toslink etc.). If you go USB, buy a DAC that makes that input it's priority. Several highly rated DACs give their USB input the short shrift, and the sound is not as good as on the other inputs.

I am not a fan of powered monitors, but in order to put more money into a $1000 DAC, they might be the way to go until you can afford separate amp and speakers.

 

Rob

 

desktopaudioboutique.com

 

 

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Thanks Eloise.

I couldn't find a Rotel model "RA1550". By any chance is it RX? plus i don't really understand the difference between pre amp, amp, stereo amp, receiver etc.

 

I am really considering purchasing your recommended setting. Should i be thinking about anything else? different DAC? different Amp? I like the B&W.

 

Why go with the amp and passive? i don't mind no remote and stuff.

 

Thanks again.

Sorry im asking so much its just important that i purchase the right stuff, and understand what i'm buying.

 

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Sorry ... I meant the RA1520 - only 60w but very good 60w by all accounts (not heard the current model but was mightily impressed with the previous version of the "little" Rotel integrated powering B&W speakers. The Rega Brio that Rob mentioned is also good. An alternative would be the speakers I mentioned, with a DAC with built in volume (i.e. Beresford, Benchmark, Wavelength, etc, etc.) and a power amp.

 

As a quick primer ...

A Pre-amp takes the signal from a source (CD Player, DAC, turntable, etc.) and makes it suitable for a power-amplifier. It also contains electronics for switching between inputs and controlling the volume.

A Power Amplifier takes the relatively low level signal from the pre-amp and increases it to a level required for powering speakers.

An Integrated Amplifier combines the functions of the pre-amp and power amp into a single box.

And a Receiver combines an integrated amplifier with a radio tuner.

 

My "system" I listed was just an example ... there are many, many good components out there with too many combinations. If you have access to a dealer, then make use of him. Go and ask what speakers and amp they suggest for your money. My personal thought is that HiFi speakers would suit your living room better than monitors, but that is just an opinion without really knowing your layout and taste in music/listening its difficult to tell. My first question would be - do you like a clinical, analytical sound, or are you more interested in a relaxed, perhaps warmer sound?

 

By the way - when you say a medium to large living room, what are it's dimensions?

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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