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Old school PSB Image 2b - wish to upgrade


Xannen
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Hello all,

 

First time poster looking for some opinions.

 

I have had a pair of Image 2B Bookshelves that I've used with my computer, hooked in with a Marantz receiver and Focusrite Safire LE interface. I've used this setup for quite a few years now (The speakers and amp I bought close to 15 years ago!), but feel that it may be time to update to some newer speakers, a new DAC and amplification.

 

I primarily listen to Drum and Bass, Trap.. mostly bass heavy music. I'd like speakers about the same size or smaller than the Image 2b.. I have read on here that the Elac B6 are an amazing speaker for the price, and I measure them to be about the same size as my PSBs.

 

My main question is, would new speakers like the B6 or any other comparable $300-600 speakers be an upgrade over the 2Bs?

Also, I'd like to be able to downsize from having to use this large receiver as an amp to drive them, and invest in a mid-range dac like the Big-Ego to boost quality from my computer output.

 

Any input on a direction I could go would be much appreciated!!

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Hello all,

 

First time poster looking for some opinions.

 

I have had a pair of Image 2B Bookshelves that I've used with my computer, hooked in with a Marantz receiver and Focusrite Safire LE interface. I've used this setup for quite a few years now (The speakers and amp I bought close to 15 years ago!), but feel that it may be time to update to some newer speakers, a new DAC and amplification.

 

I primarily listen to Drum and Bass, Trap.. mostly bass heavy music. I'd like speakers about the same size or smaller than the Image 2b.. I have read on here that the Elac B6 are an amazing speaker for the price, and I measure them to be about the same size as my PSBs.

 

My main question is, would new speakers like the B6 or any other comparable $300-600 speakers be an upgrade over the 2Bs?

Also, I'd like to be able to downsize from having to use this large receiver as an amp to drive them, and invest in a mid-range dac like the Big-Ego to boost quality from my computer output.

 

Any input on a direction I could go would be much appreciated!!

Have you considered active monitors with their own amplification?

 

http://emotiva.com/products/powered-monitors/speakers/airmotiv-5s

 

 

 

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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Those are very nice speakers indeed. I assume you really like the PSB sound, or is there something else you would like in your speakers?

 

Bass is very tricky to me in speakers this size, as are drums. The 'speed' of the speaker is pretty critical. However, your milage and or taste might vary. Also, the $300-$600 range is tricky indeed in this arena.

 

The PSB Imagine B's are the ones I would normally look at, but they have two issues - first they are $1100, and second, they are rear ported, which may not work for you on your bookshelf. (Then again, it might...)

 

The PSB Imagine XBs are going to sound a bit better than your Image 2Bs, but may be a tad bit bass shy. They come in at around $500/pair, and are rear ported.

 

The Martin Logan Motion LX16's reproduce percussion very very well indeed, and I like them a lot. The tweeter may sound a little hot to you, depending upon where you put them. They are available on sale now for about $500/pair, but again are rear ported. I would give them a try however, as they may be just the ticket for you!

 

Elac Uni-Fi UB5's sound just amazing, come in at just under $500/pair, and will fit where you need them. Again, rear ports.

 

Focal Chorus 705s run about $550/pair, and sound great, if a little "hot" to me. They are front ported too, so I would definitely try to get a listen to a pair of these.

 

Cambridge Audio Aeromax 2s are also front ported, but range up to just under $700/pair. (I know, you put $600 in and I gave you two examples over the top of your budget. Sorry! :))

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Have you considered active monitors with their own amplification?

 

Airmotiv 5S Powered Studio Monitor Speakers | Emotiva

 

 

I hadn't actually, would these be a good alternative to needing to go with a separate amp? I really love the sound of the Marantz receiver I'm using (SR4200) even though its old and not at all power efficient. I'd love to get something with warm characteristics like this in a smaller desktop unit to drive the speakers. The emotiva stuff looks really good though.. I'm thinking I should probably just go have a listen in some stores here in town to get a better sense.

 

Those are very nice speakers indeed. I assume you really like the PSB sound, or is there something else you would like in your speakers?

 

Bass is very tricky to me in speakers this size, as are drums. The 'speed' of the speaker is pretty critical. However, your milage and or taste might vary. Also, the $300-$600 range is tricky indeed in this arena.

 

The PSB Imagine B's are the ones I would normally look at, but they have two issues - first they are $1100, and second, they are rear ported, which may not work for you on your bookshelf. (Then again, it might...)

 

The PSB Imagine XBs are going to sound a bit better than your Image 2Bs, but may be a tad bit bass shy. They come in at around $500/pair, and are rear ported.

 

The Martin Logan Motion LX16's reproduce percussion very very well indeed, and I like them a lot. The tweeter may sound a little hot to you, depending upon where you put them. They are available on sale now for about $500/pair, but again are rear ported. I would give them a try however, as they may be just the ticket for you!

 

Elac Uni-Fi UB5's sound just amazing, come in at just under $500/pair, and will fit where you need them. Again, rear ports.

 

Focal Chorus 705s run about $550/pair, and sound great, if a little "hot" to me. They are front ported too, so I would definitely try to get a listen to a pair of these.

 

Cambridge Audio Aeromax 2s are also front ported, but range up to just under $700/pair. (I know, you put $600 in and I gave you two examples over the top of your budget. Sorry! :))

 

Thanks so much for your comment Paul.

 

Honestly I have nothing against the sound of these PSBs necessarily.. they still sound great, but I'm just looking for as good or better in a smaller package. On my smaller gaming PC desk these take up a large amount of room, and ideally I'm looking for speakers that can also pack a good punch for electronic music. I will also likely be moving my setup to a different room in my house once my wife and I start having kids, and then I won't be able to "crank em up" as high as I normally would, so I'm prepared to lose some bass weight in place of better sounding highs and mids, as well as to free up the needed desktop space.

 

Currently I feel like these 2Bs are very bass heavy, almost to a fault, as it can muddy up the low mids quite a bit with the music I listen to.. and in many cases this bass is entirely unnecessary since they only sit 3 feet away from my ears. Most of that rich bass lands ten feet behind me anyway!

 

Thank you for your suggestions for speakers.. I like the look of the Martin Logans and the Elac, but then it also makes me wonder how much a higher end dac would improve me experience along with new drivers.

 

Sorry to jump gears, but after looking around a lot recently I'd like to get away from this firewire interface as well. I no longer need the I/O that the Focusrite provides. Although the headphone pre-amp on it sounds awesome, again I'd like to try to find a nice quality dac to keep up on the desk to pair with a smaller package amp.

 

I was looking into the TEAC UD-501 and it sounds like its an awesome little unit. I've also been looking at some of the Emotiva stuff.. there are so many options its tough to figure how much better these units would sound over my Safire LE.

 

For speakers though I think I'll do goo to head in to the local hifi shop and listen to see how these stack up with what I currently have.

 

Thank you again!

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Welp, I had a look online today and found my local hi-fi shop was selling the UD-501 for a discount of over $500, so I nabbed the last one they have! Got it for $850 new in box and am super pumped.

 

I realize this isn't actually about speakers, but am now wondering if Emotive Airmotiv 4S would be a good option to pair with this DAC?

 

Ideally if that works well enough, I can bypass my current receiver entirely since the Airmotiv are self powered. From what I've been reading, the 4S would be a good desktop option.. not too big for space saving, but big on sound, and then spend $ elsewhere on a USB Signal Cleanser or Power supply.

 

Thoughts?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Welp, I had a look online today and found my local hi-fi shop was selling the UD-501 for a discount of over $500, so I nabbed the last one they have! Got it for $850 new in box and am super pumped.

 

I realize this isn't actually about speakers, but am now wondering if Emotive Airmotiv 4S would be a good option to pair with this DAC?

 

Ideally if that works well enough, I can bypass my current receiver entirely since the Airmotiv are self powered. From what I've been reading, the 4S would be a good desktop option.. not too big for space saving, but big on sound, and then spend $ elsewhere on a USB Signal Cleanser or Power supply.

 

Thoughts?

Try changing one aspect at a time, to approach your goal. It may be that something as simple as the stuffing from an Ikea pillow behind your current woofer will tame some of your excess mid bass response.

 

Play with the features of your new electronics, first. I suspect that the damping factor of your current amplification let's the driver overshoot a bit. Personally, I prefer this 'warmth' to amplifiers with higher levels of feedback.

 

In my experience, holding onto an amp that is musical through the range of human voices is a good thing, even if it is just hauled out for comparison.

 

FYI - I picked up a ClassD audio amp for Summer use and it is VERY good in many ways. I doubt these amps will resell well, but they're bargain priced.

 

http://www.classdaudio.com/complete

 

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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Try changing one aspect at a time, to approach your goal. It may be that something as simple as the stuffing from an Ikea pillow behind your current woofer will tame some of your excess mid bass response.

 

Play with the features of your new electronics, first. I suspect that the damping factor of your current amplification let's the driver overshoot a bit. Personally, I prefer this 'warmth' to amplifiers with higher levels of feedback.

 

In my experience, holding onto an amp that is musical through the range of human voices is a good thing, even if it is just hauled out for comparison.

 

FYI - I picked up a ClassD audio amp for Summer use and it is VERY good in many ways. I doubt these amps will resell well, but they're bargain priced.

 

www.classdaudio.com/complete

 

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

 

Thank you for your input! I think after some days I have decided to keep my Image 2B for a while yet and improve in other areas. With this new UD501 its already made the speakers sound far better than with my previous soundcard.

 

I picked up a REGEN which I will be grabbing from the post facility tomorrow (Thank you Doak!) as well as a WireWorld Ultraviolet 7 cable on order which I'm hoping will improve the 501 even further.

 

So, I'm now thinking my best bet would be to just downsize to a more compact amp I can have with the UD501 on the desktop. It will free up a lot of drawer space since its a full size receiver that is currently driving the speakers.

 

But, not in any rush for that :)

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Read the thread and it looks you went from looking for $300-$600 speakers to a dac that retails for $1350?!!

 

Quite a leap there. In keeping with your "leap" into spending more than you first said, I'd recommend a Naim UnitiQute as a compact amp solution that will drive those little PSB speakers to distraction.

 

You MAY even find that the UD501 is not needed after you try the dac in the UnitiQute!

?

 

Ps. Get the 2.

David

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I know right? I was able to get the Teac for such a good price I couldn't refuse. Listening to it last night with a REGEN I just got and it sounds simply amazing already.

 

I am no longer really looking to change out the Image2b at this point.. I realize now it is less the speakers and more the gear that was pushing them before. They sound better than they ever did now, so I'm thinking I will stick with them for a while longer.. rather than spend money there, I'd prefer to get a compact amp to replace that large receiver and also act as volume control since the 501 doesn't have have that capability.

 

Definitely won't be spending more than 500-600 on it if thats at all possible.

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