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Hi-

 

I'm looking to upgrade the speakers on my desk - I have a home theater setup downstairs, but the office/desk is where I realistically listen to 95% of my music. I'm looking to spend about $2000 for a pair of active speakers and a separate DAC (I'd prefer not to have the DAC integrated into the speakers). After looking through some reviews, I've come up with the some possibilities:

 

Speakers:

-Focal CMS 50

-Genelec 8020

-Audioengine HD6

 

DAC

-Schiit Biifrost w/ Multibit

-other suggestions?

 

Even though this will be a computer/desk location, I'd really like to make the setup "nice", as I listen to most of my music there. I've also read great things about the Maggie Mini's - but I figured by the time I added an amp and DAC to complete the setup, it would get too pricey.

Would appreciate input or suggestions!

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Thanks- I'm trying to avoid speakers with a built in DAC, though.

 

To clarify, I have plenty of music in both 192/24 and DSD. I haven't seen any of the speakers with a built in DAC able to handle that. Also I like the flexibility on keeping those two components separate. Thanks!

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The Emotiva Stealth is a nice DAC for $499. Has balanced out for feeding your powered speakers, can function as a preamp and has headphone capability if that is ever useful to you.

 

https://emotiva.com/products/dacs/electronics/dacs/stealth-dc-1

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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The setup of PC->DAC->Powered speaker has risks for ground loops and a hum generator the result, but all is not lost.

 

To avoid this pain from the beginning, the suggestion to use XLR from the DAC to the powered speaker also using XLR is highly recommended.

 

To add flexibility, these days many headphone amps contain DACs of very good quality, plus pass-through XLR outputs reducing the risk of a ground loop. You not only have a DAC but a small line stage to boost the signal, and can connect a set of good headphones in the future.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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Thanks for the replies!

 

esldude- looks like a very nice DAC for the price - but no DSD, which is a must for me

 

One and a half- thanks for the caveat on ground loops, good to know!

 

any other suggestions on active speakers- either the ones i'm thinking of or others? dsd capable dac's besides the bifrost?

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Thanks for the replies!

 

esldude- looks like a very nice DAC for the price - but no DSD, which is a must for me

 

One and a half- thanks for the caveat on ground loops, good to know!

 

any other suggestions on active speakers- either the ones i'm thinking of or others? dsd capable dac's besides the bifrost?

 

I thought Schitt have given up on DSD in total, so don't expect too much from them.

The oppo HA-1 is typical of suggestions earlier, xlr outputs, pre amp, hp amp, dsd256 capable for Usd1200.

 

I would also have a look at what Marantz offers, however not so sure of the XLR outs.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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Thanks for the replies!

 

esldude- looks like a very nice DAC for the price - but no DSD, which is a must for me

 

Okay, didn't notice the DSD. Give at look at the Teac UD301 or UD503. Both do high bit rate PCM even to 32 bit and double DSD for the 301 and I think quad DSD for the 503. 503 has the added advantage of doing network streaming. All of the UD models have xlr outputs.

 

UD-301 | TEAC

 

UD-503 | TEAC

 

https://www.amazon.com/Teac-UD-301-BK-Monaural-Digital-Converter/dp/B00L9HZ5QW

 

https://www.amazon.com/Teac-UD-503-B-Dual-Monaural-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B0179XNQUQ/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1474862857&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=ud503

 

 

$298 for the 301 and $999 for the 503

 

You also might find some UD501s left. They were discontinued. Basically a 503 without network capability. Some are still around for $5-600.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Okay, didn't notice the DSD. Give at look at the Teac UD301 or UD503. Both do high bit rate PCM even to 32 bit and double DSD for the 301 and I think quad DSD for the 503. 503 has the added advantage of doing network streaming. All of the UD models have xlr outputs.

 

UD-301 | TEAC

 

UD-503 | TEAC

 

https://www.amazon.com/Teac-UD-301-BK-Monaural-Digital-Converter/dp/B00L9HZ5QW

 

https://www.amazon.com/Teac-UD-503-B-Dual-Monaural-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B0179XNQUQ/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1474862857&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=ud503

 

 

$298 for the 301 and $999 for the 503

 

You also might find some UD501s left. They were discontinued. Basically a 503 without network capability. Some are still around for $5-600.

 

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll look into the Teac's...

 

Does anyone have suggestions regarding my speaker choices (or otherwise)? thanks!

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You also might find some UD501s left. They were discontinued. Basically a 503 without network capability. Some are still around for $5-600.

 

also- network streaming aside, is the 501 roughly equivalent to the 503? or has some of the hardware been upgraded too?

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also- network streaming aside, is the 501 roughly equivalent to the 503? or has some of the hardware been upgraded too?

I am not certain. I believe it was roughly equivalent. The 501 once was a $900 item.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Computer Audiophile mobile app

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Hi jsa,

 

I have been listening to Adam A7 two way active monitors as my desk top speakers for about 5 years now without a sub. In a word fantastic.

 

They have been replaced by the A7X, which has a 7" monitor driven by a 150w amp and a bottom end response of 42Hz. The ribbon speaker is claimed to produce frequencies as high as 50khz and is powered by a separate 100w amp. Both amps are placed after the active cross over.

 

If you search you can buy new as low as $1,175 a pair or even less if you are OK with buying used. They play very loud and have both XLR and RCA inputs. If the size is too large for your situation then consider the A5x with a sub located on the floor. FYI Adam speakers were used by Sir George Martin to remaster the Beatle's classic album "Love". Highly recommended.

 

A7X - Technical Data | ADAM Audio GmbH

 

Price leaves you with around $800 for DAC and cables and suggest you look at reviews on the Chord Mojo or the iFi DSD DACs, both around $600 and well within your price range and both play 256DSD.

 

https://www.amazon.com/CHORD-Electronics-ultimate-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B016W1X94O/ref=pd_sim_23_5/160-7604459-0904155?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MW0TRQW7DWZKT1W9CCCQ

 

With either Roon, J River or Audirvana as your front end the sound will be excellent.

 

Good luck

 

Ajax

LOUNGE: Mac Mini - Audirvana - Devialet 200 - ATOHM GT1 Speakers

OFFICE : Mac Mini - Audirvana - Benchmark DAC1HDR - ADAM A7 Active Monitors

TRAVEL : MacBook Air - Dragonfly V1.2 DAC - Sennheiser HD 650

BEACH : iPhone 6 - HRT iStreamer DAC - Akimate Micro + powered speakers

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Hi-

 

I'm looking to upgrade the speakers on my desk - I have a home theater setup downstairs, but the office/desk is where I realistically listen to 95% of my music. I'm looking to spend about $2000 for a pair of active speakers and a separate DAC (I'd prefer not to have the DAC integrated into the speakers). After looking through some reviews, I've come up with the some possibilities:

 

Speakers:

-Focal CMS 50

-Genelec 8020

-Audioengine HD6

 

DAC

-Schiit Biifrost w/ Multibit

-other suggestions?

 

Even though this will be a computer/desk location, I'd really like to make the setup "nice", as I listen to most of my music there. I've also read great things about the Maggie Mini's - but I figured by the time I added an amp and DAC to complete the setup, it would get too pricey.

Would appreciate input or suggestions!

 

These are all nice speakers but make sure you audition the JBL LSR 305 or LSR 308. They are MUCH less expensive than the Genelecs and way outperform their price point. As for a DAC I would recommend the Chord MOJO. Reviews for both of these can be found on youtube and online. You will even have money left over for the matching JBL LSR 310 subwoofer if you want, plus cables and a power conditioner.

 

Most of the movies and music we listen to are mastered on JBL gear, why not play it back on them?

 

If there is a Guitar Center near you go audition them. I am using their passive brothers on my desktop, the JBL 230's to partner with my carver amp:

Desltop 1.jpg

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Hi jsa,

 

I have been listening to Adam A7 two way active monitors as my desk top speakers for about 5 years now without a sub. In a word fantastic.

 

They have been replaced by the A7X, which has a 7" monitor driven by a 150w amp and a bottom end response of 42Hz. The ribbon speaker is claimed to produce frequencies as high as 50khz and is powered by a separate 100w amp. Both amps are placed after the active cross over.

 

If you search you can buy new as low as $1,175 a pair or even less if you are OK with buying used. They play very loud and have both XLR and RCA inputs. If the size is too large for your situation then consider the A5x with a sub located on the floor. FYI Adam speakers were used by Sir George Martin to remaster the Beatle's classic album "Love". Highly recommended.

 

A7X - Technical Data | ADAM Audio GmbH

 

Price leaves you with around $800 for DAC and cables and suggest you look at reviews on the Chord Mojo or the iFi DSD DACs, both around $600 and well within your price range and both play 256DSD.

 

https://www.amazon.com/CHORD-Electronics-ultimate-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B016W1X94O/ref=pd_sim_23_5/160-7604459-0904155?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MW0TRQW7DWZKT1W9CCCQ

 

With either Roon, J River or Audirvana as your front end the sound will be excellent.

 

Good luck

 

Ajax

I am considering these myself as well, the Adam A7X have quite a reputation

 

Sent from my HTC One M9 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

Hardware:

JCAT NET Card FEMTO -> SOtM tX-USBexp -> iFi iUSB 3.0 > iFi Gemini USB -> Schiit Yggdrasil -> Emotiva Stealth DC-1 (temporary preamp) -> Airmotiv 4s

Software:

Fidelizer Pro 7.3 -> Tidal -> Roon

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These are all nice speakers but make sure you audition the JBL LSR 305 or LSR 308. They are MUCH less expensive than the Genelecs and way outperform their price point. As for a DAC I would recommend the Chord MOJO. Reviews for both of these can be found on youtube and online. You will even have money left over for the matching JBL LSR 310 subwoofer if you want, plus cables and a power conditioner.

 

Most of the movies and music we listen to are mastered on JBL gear, why not play it back on them?

 

If there is a Guitar Center near you go audition them. I am using their passive brothers on my desktop, the JBL 230's to partner with my carver amp:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]29341[/ATTACH]

 

is the chord mojo generally preferred over the iFi iDSD?

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is the chord mojo generally preferred over the iFi iDSD?

 

They are apples and oranges, the iFi iDSD uses burr brown dacs. The chord mojo uses chords proprietary dacs. Which one you like is a matter of taste. I know kef demoed their $$$ blade 2 speakers last year at I believe RMAF using the $600 chord dac! I figured kef would want an excellent dac for the demo of their best speaker so that was a vote in my book. Have fun! Read reviews for both units on amazon.

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They are apples and oranges, the iFi iDSD uses burr brown dacs. The chord mojo uses chords proprietary dacs. Which one you like is a matter of taste. I know kef demoed their $$$ blade 2 speakers last year at I believe RMAF using the $600 chord dac! I figured kef would want an excellent dac for the demo of their best speaker so that was a vote in my book. Have fun! Read reviews for both units on amazon.

 

no issue with the only output being a 3.5" minijack?

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I wouldn't go for the Mojo in your case!

It is meant for portable use and it's USB input is not it's "good" one!

Some posts up there was a discussion about XLR outputs and now we went to mini jack to RCA?

There was a great "hype" for the unit but now some issues start to show, as I read!

I don't say in any means it sounds bad, but I wouldn't take it for the use you want!

Mac Mini with JRMC26 or Audirvana  / Raspberry4B_4GB(GentooPlayer_LMS) / Raspberry Rpi3B+: Allo DigiOne(GentooPlayer) - M2Tech Evo DAC Two Plus/iPurifier2 - Schiit Vali 2 - Densen DM20pre/30pwr amps - Spendor SP2/3E, Sennheiser HD600 & HD25Aluminum - Audeze Sine

Cables: Vovox, DIY, Furutech. 

Portable sources: iPad, DELL Laptop with JRiver MC26

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I wouldn't go for the Mojo in your case!

It is meant for portable use and it's USB input is not it's "good" one!

Some posts up there was a discussion about XLR outputs and now we went to mini jack to RCA?

There was a great "hype" for the unit but now some issues start to show, as I read!

I don't say in any means it sounds bad, but I wouldn't take it for the use you want!

 

Look at this link, it is not meant only for portable use and in this demo they had it hooked up to a macbook air via USB. The KEF speakers cost $8K, the 2 parasound JC1 monoblocks cost $4500K each, the JC2 preamp is another $4500 and they chose a $600 dac. Can you guess why they chose this DAC to mate with that gear?

 

KEF Reference 1 Speakers at AXPONA 2016 - AVSForum.com

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You will gets hundreds of recommedations LOL but of the speakers you mentioned all are very well reviewed. I also have a desktop system and recommend you get a DAc with headphone out in case you want to listen to headphones. I use them when my wife is in the room. If you like bass, think about adding a sub to your monitors. I have one and I totally love it. Genelec has some good sub to match their monitors. Happy hunting.

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