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Options for speakers for a near-field/desktop system (small home office layout)


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I'm not a music producer or looking to go down that route

 

I'm simply interested in options/ideas for some active monitors for a desktop system for my home office, to be fed via music from my iTunes account and internet radio via my 2012 Mac Mini running BitPerfect and via a DAC (USB or optical) etc...

 

Currently have a NAD/Monitor Audio system, but want to get rid of the large amp, speakers and all the cables and simplify with active speakers via a small footprint DAC etc

 

I'm in the UK, so some ideas may not be available over here. But so far, the speakers that have caught my attention are:

  • KRK Rokit 5s
  • KRK Rokit 6s
  • M-Audio BX5s, BX6s and BX8s
  • Possibly the Focal Alpha 65s

Ideally, at this time, I'm looking to buy 2nd hand as if it comes down to it that I don't like them, I'm not going to lose out on money paid out for them, but then again, some of them I could buy new via Amazon and send them back within 30days etc

 

Music I mainly listen to is electronica and house, but I do also listen to stuff like Martini in the Morning (internet radio - jazz/rat pack type music) to Jethro Tull to Nat King Cole to Motown & Soul etc... I want decent low-level capabilities, but also to be able to crank it up every so often to rattle the office with stuff like Flume, Mount Kimbie, London Elektricity, Hed Kandi, Massive Attack et al

 

Thanks for all/any advice

Music source: 2012 i7 Mac Mini running (16GB RAM/1.25TB FusionDrive) > USB into a Presonus AudioBox iOne interface > JBL LSR305s

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The ADAM F5 is a relatively inexpensive option that I like. It is not my primary desktop listening system (which is headphones) but it is good. If I were looking to spend more then I would be going straight to a Genelec M030/M040 or their G series if I could get by with only single ended inputs. The 8000 series get very expensive but they are very good. Dynaudio makes some good monitors too but they tend to become a bit pricey very quickly. (I am in the USA, so pricing over there might be different.)

 

At the less expensive end of things, the JBL LSR305s are an astoundingly good speaker for their modest price. And they can rock out too.

 

I have never liked what I heard of the KRKs, but these weren't particularly great listening conditions, but based what I have heard, I would stay away.

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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Thanks for that

 

The Swans I've considered before; very hard to find here though and never crop up 2nd hand!

 

The Genlecs I've already ruled out; can't stand their looks (sorry)!

 

The ADAM's I have considered, but again, pricey and rarely crop up 2nd hand, although I'll keep looking!

 

I've read a lot of great reviews for the KRKs as well as bad reviews; I'd have to listen to them myself to make a decision, wouldn't buy them or reject them based on other reviews etc!

Music source: 2012 i7 Mac Mini running (16GB RAM/1.25TB FusionDrive) > USB into a Presonus AudioBox iOne interface > JBL LSR305s

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So, just to update this

 

I'm going to listen to the ADAM F5s, Focal Alpha 50s and KRK Rokit 6s next week - chosen those 3 as they're all around the same size, the Focals are above the budget that I was sticking to, but will be worth a listen IMO

 

The ADAM F5s tick all the boxes, so will be interested to hear those as I've only ever heard the A5Xs in the past; but again, they're over budget at this time!

 

**Edit: Another set added; the JBL LSR305s. These look very interesting too!

Music source: 2012 i7 Mac Mini running (16GB RAM/1.25TB FusionDrive) > USB into a Presonus AudioBox iOne interface > JBL LSR305s

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So, just to update this

 

I'm going to listen to the ADAM F5s, Focal Alpha 50s and KRK Rokit 6s next week - chosen those 3 as they're all around the same size, the Focals are above the budget that I was sticking to, but will be worth a listen IMO

 

The ADAM F5s tick all the boxes, so will be interested to hear those as I've only ever heard the A5Xs in the past; but again, they're over budget at this time!

 

**Edit: Another set added; the JBL LSR305s. These look very interesting too!

 

JBL would be my pick. Honestly I've not come across many bigger speakers including FS that image so well. Its amazing in that department, clear highs and mids, and goes quite low too... though some might want a sub. Do check it out before you make a purchase decision.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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JBL would be my pick. Honestly I've not come across many bigger speakers including FS that image so well. Its amazing in that department, clear highs and mids, and goes quite low too... though some might want a sub. Do check it out before you make a purchase decision.

 

Not interested in a sub, no need for it

 

They'll be sat on my desktop, in my office, for mainly low level, near-field listening

 

I've already got a separates system in the dining room worth around £3k, that suffices for deep, low & taut bass, when it's called for! :)

 

The JBLs do look interesting, I like their looks too!

Music source: 2012 i7 Mac Mini running (16GB RAM/1.25TB FusionDrive) > USB into a Presonus AudioBox iOne interface > JBL LSR305s

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Well after today's demo (please note all speakers were very well run in); I used music from MAW, Eric Morillo, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin, Flume, Hed Kandi, London Elektricity, The XX, Massive Attack, Beastie Boys, Jurassic 5, SOAD and Rammstein. The findings are/were:

 

 

- Adam F5s; lovely. Great sounding speaker from the off, but it just wasn't clicking...

- KRK Rokit 6s; yeah, ok... Very coloured to suit dance music only IMO

- Focal Alpha 50s; tinny as they come, thin and a bit painful... Looked great though!

- M-Audio BX6s; same as the KRK's, coloured, bass dependent and that's it... Great to push loud with some MAW blasting through them, but they couldn't handle much else IMO

- JBLs; wow! And I mean wow... They sounded fantastic. Very taut bass, plenty of slam and power when turned loud, but don't lose that ability at lower volumes! Great midrange, very detailed on vocals, but not painful Not bright, just open/dynamic at the top end which worked well with all the music I tried!

 

 

Thoroughly enjoyable afternoon before training where I appear to have buggered my left shoulder again; so was nice to get home, tidy my desk/office a bit and get the JBLs set up

 

 

Some pics:

 

 

IMG_20160627_192040_zpseghx392n.jpg

 

 

IMG_20160627_192046_zpsnym85heh.jpg

 

 

IMG_20160627_192051_zps88jjt8oq.jpg

 

 

The interface (USB from my Mac Mini in, 1/4" cables out)

 

 

IMG_20160627_192059_zpsrinohi9j.jpg

Music source: 2012 i7 Mac Mini running (16GB RAM/1.25TB FusionDrive) > USB into a Presonus AudioBox iOne interface > JBL LSR305s

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Nice setup! Room for a bigger monitor though:-)

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBTouch ->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: iPeng (iPad Air & iPhone); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: iPhone 12 ProMax & Radio Paradise or NAS streaming; Sony NWZ ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  

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Well after today's demo (please note all speakers were very well run in); I used music from MAW, Eric Morillo, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin, Flume, Hed Kandi, London Elektricity, The XX, Massive Attack, Beastie Boys, Jurassic 5, SOAD and Rammstein. The findings are/were:

 

 

- Adam F5s; lovely. Great sounding speaker from the off, but it just wasn't clicking...

- KRK Rokit 6s; yeah, ok... Very coloured to suit dance music only IMO

- Focal Alpha 50s; tinny as they come, thin and a bit painful... Looked great though!

- M-Audio BX6s; same as the KRK's, coloured, bass dependent and that's it... Great to push loud with some MAW blasting through them, but they couldn't handle much else IMO

- JBLs; wow! And I mean wow... They sounded fantastic. Very taut bass, plenty of slam and power when turned loud, but don't lose that ability at lower volumes! Great midrange, very detailed on vocals, but not painful Not bright, just open/dynamic at the top end which worked well with all the music I tried!

 

 

Thoroughly enjoyable afternoon before training where I appear to have buggered my left shoulder again; so was nice to get home, tidy my desk/office a bit and get the JBLs set up

 

 

Some pics:

 

 

IMG_20160627_192040_zpseghx392n.jpg

 

 

IMG_20160627_192046_zpsnym85heh.jpg

 

 

IMG_20160627_192051_zps88jjt8oq.jpg

 

 

The interface (USB from my Mac Mini in, 1/4" cables out)

 

 

IMG_20160627_192059_zpsrinohi9j.jpg

 

great post and pics. Thanks. Happy listening.

1070957250_Imprimatur.NihilObstatSepia3Crop(2).jpg.2162a44365e84a5df7d456bf8026ed67.jpg

 

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Nice setup! Room for a bigger monitor though:-)

 

Thanks; but no

 

I've just stepped down from a NAD C352 integrated powering Monitor Audio RX2 speakers; they're an 8" woofer and near field they were too much, bloody brilliant when turned up though ;)

 

The JBLs are more than enough and kick out sound and bass-depth/punch that belies their size!

Music source: 2012 i7 Mac Mini running (16GB RAM/1.25TB FusionDrive) > USB into a Presonus AudioBox iOne interface > JBL LSR305s

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great post and pics. Thanks. Happy listening.

 

Thank; thoroughly enjoying them!

 

Now to decide what to do with my Cyrus & KEF system that's feeling a bit redundant in the living room!

Music source: 2012 i7 Mac Mini running (16GB RAM/1.25TB FusionDrive) > USB into a Presonus AudioBox iOne interface > JBL LSR305s

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Thanks; but no

 

I've just stepped down from a NAD C352 integrated powering Monitor Audio RX2 speakers; they're an 8" woofer and near field they were too much, bloody brilliant when turned up though ;)

 

The JBLs are more than enough and kick out sound and bass-depth/punch that belies their size!

 

LOL...I meant your screen.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBTouch ->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: iPeng (iPad Air & iPhone); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: iPhone 12 ProMax & Radio Paradise or NAS streaming; Sony NWZ ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  

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LOL...I meant your screen.

 

Ah; haha... No ta. 24" is enough at the distance I sit at!

 

Had a Thunderbolt display before that, that went bust, and I don't miss it!

Music source: 2012 i7 Mac Mini running (16GB RAM/1.25TB FusionDrive) > USB into a Presonus AudioBox iOne interface > JBL LSR305s

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