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iPad -> DevilSound -> active monitors (which ones?)

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Hi all,


I'm listening (right now) to my iPad via Devilsound DAC to Audioengine A5s, which is sounding quite good. The iPad / Devilsound is a great sounding, very small footprint combo for portable use - only a notch below the Macbook Air / Wavelength Proton I also have.


I believe that the A5s are the weak link here - albeit great sounding for the $300 entry price - and I'm looking for reasonably sized (i.e. small is better) active mini-monitors for upgrade. I'll likely be getting a couple of pair so price IS a consideration, somewhat.


Think of this installation as a quality sounding, portable setup with the speakers as 'leave-behinds' in a vacation home setup.


I've NOT paid much attention to this type of speaker before, although I've heard names like Adam, ATC, at al. These speakers might also be used with a Wavelength Proton, as well.


Pro audio recommendations are fine!


have a great weekend, all!









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The USB adapter uses the same connection as power so they seem to be mutually exclusive.


I'm not a heavy iPad user but i never worry about battery life. It seems to last much longer than any similar electronic device ( that I use).


IMO. The devil sound DAC is worthy companion for the iPad.






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The camera adapter basically creates a standard USB out, and any DAC that has USB in should be able to cope with this. I've only tried two (my Nova and the one built into my Mini Zeppelin) and they work. I have a USB to optical converter, and that works with everything I can find with an optical input. But it is better to use the USB I think. The output is limited to 16 bit as far as I can tell, but I haven't heard anything ugly when playing 24-bit stuff. iTunes by default will lossy compress even lossless music when putting it on the iPad unless you instruct it not to.


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I'm sure you'll have a number of good choices. Let me put in a vote for a pro audio line that is readily available from pro audio sources but little known elsewhere: Klein and Hummel. They actually just got taken over by Sennheiser, but are found under K&H. The K&H O110 (that's an Oh, and then number 110) have great specs for small speakers ($899 each list price). What I like about K&H is that they give lots of specs on their web site and their speakers have incredibly low distortion. If you look at the specs of most drivers, they have Total Harmonic Distortion on the order of -30 to -40 db. The K&H's average around -50 for most of their range. I have a pair of the larger O410s and they sound superb. I wouldn't be surprised if you can bargain a little with the pro audio dealers too.


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I have had the K&H O110. They measure very well, but sounded a little like plastic. The Genelec 8030 and 8040 sounded better, I have had both, but slightly too unlive. For small monitors I am happy with the KRK VXT8 or VXT6 (for carrying with me), witch both I still have.




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I would look to Dynaudio, Genelec, Mackie, Adam, KRK and make sure the have unbalanced inputs for your DAC. Another one to throw into the ring that's more "audiophile" in sound signature than "pro audio" are the Quad active series (12L, 11L, 9L) with the former the largest and the latter the smallest, and can often be had for a steal on the second hand market. Beware that there are passive versions of the 12 an 11Ls though.




Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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I am sorry; I forgot this point, that the KRK are balanced only. Sure you can use an RCA to unbalanced 6.3 phone plug adapter (some cent) to connect your unbalanced source to it, but you will be never sure, whether you have them hum in your system or not. On the KRK you have also a ground lift switch, to take this situation into account, but I use my active monitors always with a balanced out of pro sound cards, so can can’t be of no further help on this point.


I have had also the Mackie and also the Adam. So it is more a question of personal taste, which one you chose.





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Thanks for all the recommendations (I think)!

lots of sorting out to do it seems.


Someone suggested it comes down to taste - which is always an important consideration with speakers.


Has anyone enamored of speakers like Devore / Reference 3A / Audio Physic made the switch and have an active speaker to recommend?


I'm rather sensitive to unnatural sounds in the upper mids.



Chris, I've not tried the Proton with the iPad, as Gordon says that it will not 'enumerate' due to it being 24-bit.


Perhaps some 24bit DACs will work with it?!







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  • 5 weeks later...

When I connect my iPad to the USB input of my Apogee mini dac the dac does lock and show 48kHz input signal, but nothing is decoded. The level meter does not respond, and the only sound is from the internal speaker.



Frank[br]Mac mini, Amarra, Pure vinyl, Resolution Cantata, Metric Halo LIO-8, dCs P8i,DeVialet 800, Goldmund Mim 20/36+/22/29.4, Epilog 1&2[br]Reference Turntable Ortofon Jubilee pickup

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Thanks for starting this thread. I have A5s in my home office for mostly near field listening and find them to be way more than satisfactory. They aren't perfect but the imperfections don't interfere with my listening pleasure. Like you, I wonder whether more expensive active monitors would be a worthwhile upgrade4.


I am also interested in using active monitors in other rooms where I am 10 feet away from the speakers. Most small pro sound active monitors are described as near field monitors so I'm not clear how they might work in a mid-field application.





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