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Active bookshelf/desktop speaker/monitor speaker recommendations needed, please…

Clay49

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Jan 20, 2024
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Hi folks! Brand new to the forum today. Looking forward to engaging with this community in the days ahead on all things audio!

My background: I am a professional musician, with both undergraduate and master degrees in music (in the areas of classical guitar, vocal performance, choral conducting and composition), and it has been my life’s work (in the realm of church music) creating and producing musical experiences and landscapes, including about a dozen CDs over the last 3-decades (some choir and symphony orchestra, some contemporary worship with band and a handful of singers).

As a part of those projects, we would always take them to MasterMix (in Nashville) for the mastering process and I had the privilege of sitting in Hank Williams (no, not “Jr”) studio and marvel at his mastery with taking a raw mix and creating a 3-dimensional audio portrait that literally wraps around your head! Of course, that breathtaking sound was courtesy of a $650,000 wall of PMC monitors of various shapes and sizes.

All of that to say, I have been blessed to have heard music in a way that few will ever experience. And, unfortunately, my mind and ears won’t let me forget that! Knowing that I (realistically) can’t experience that in my personal studio, I’m looking for an “honorable mention” option for my desktop setup for listening to and working on music.

I need active speakers. I’m looking for musicality with clarity and definition; good soundstage and instrument separation; and balanced tonal spectrum (near flat) but not sterile and ear-wearying

I tried a set of Adam a7x but found them ultimately too technical and almost piercing in the high frequencies. And granted, those are true studio monitors designed for mixing, not necessarily enjoying music playback. I am currently using a set of Klipsch the Fives, which are decent for the price, but just not enough clarity and definition for my ears. So I’m looking to upgrade a few levels from those.

My room: my office/studio is probably 20 x 12, and my desk sits about 2 1/2 feet from the back wall, and my speakers sit on my desk (on Kanto slanted desk stands) about 40 inches apart from each other, and about 33 inches away from my head, so that gives you probably close to 5.5 feet from the speakers to that back wall, which is covered with professional grade 1-inch absorption panels, five of those that are 8 inches wide, 4 feet tall and spaced about 4 inches apart. From the sides of my desk, the speakers are about 3 feet away from each of the sidewalls, which also have scattered absorption panels, so the area is pretty neutral. There’s probably another 14 ft from the back of the speakers to the back wall that has another triangle of 7- 12” x 12“ absorption panels, so again, reflectivity is probably minimal in the room.

In some of my research, I’ve come across some options which are: Barefoot FootprintO2 , acoustic energy AE1, ELAC Navis ARB51, and I’ve also heard good things about the Dynaudio line, although I’m not very familiar with them. Looking to keep my total purchase under $2500, and I’m not afraid to buy used or open box.

My rig is extremely simple (and probably could use some additional assistance/recommendations, but I don’t want a desktop cluttered with gear), right now I am running from my MacBook Pro out of the headphone jack using a Moon Audio Silver Dragon cable into the analog input of The Fves. I figured using wired set up is better than Bluetooth, keeping the signal chain pure and at a higher resolution… I may be wrong.

Given all this information, I would love to get some recommendations from you guys about any of the speakers I have mentioned, or maybe some others that I should consider (Focal Shape, etc)???

I listen to mainly orchestral and choral music, piano jazz, such as David Benoit and contemporary worship music. Thanks for your patience on this very long post, look forward to getting to know you all and learning from your vast experiences.
 

sweetchaos

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Welcome to ASR.

Active Speakers Under US$2,300/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Neumann KH 120 II (Amir)6.78.539
Genelec 8040B6.3**??36**
Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Plus (Erin)5.87.638
KEF LS50 Wireless 2 (Erin) PROMO UNTIL JAN 175.87.642
Genelec 8330A (Amir)5.77.946
Kali LP-6v2 (Erin)5.77.641
Kali IN-5 (Erin)
Kali IN-8v2 (Erin)
5.4
5.4
7.3
7.2
41
39
Adam T5V (Amir)4.46.748
Focal Alpha 65 Evo (Amir)4.36.138
-Genelec 8010A or 8020D or 8030C is no longer mentioned since 8040B exists at this price point.
-Neumann KH 80 is no longer mentioned since KH 120 II exists at this price point.
-Genelec 8320A is not longer mentioned, since 8330A exists at this price point.

From my thread. See signature.
 
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Clay49

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Jan 20, 2024
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Welcome to ASR.

Active Speakers Under US$2,300/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Neumann KH 120 II (Amir)6.78.539
Genelec 8040B6.3**??36**
Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Plus (Erin)5.87.638
KEF LS50 Wireless 2 (Erin) PROMO UNTIL JAN 175.87.642
Genelec 8330A (Amir)5.77.946
Kali LP-6v2 (Erin)5.77.641
Kali IN-5 (Erin)
Kali IN-8v2 (Erin)
5.4
5.4
7.3
7.2
41
39
Adam T5V (Amir)4.46.748
Focal Alpha 65 Evo (Amir)4.36.138
-Genelec 8010A or 8020D or 8030C is no longer mentioned since 8040B exists at this price point.
-Neumann KH 80 is no longer mentioned since KH 120 II exists at this price point.
-Genelec 8320A is not longer mentioned, since 8330A exists at this price point.

From my thread. See signature.
Thank you! May I please ask what the three right hand columns are? I don’t know what those abbreviations mean… Thanks!
 

HarmonicTHD

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The Neumanns and Genelecs measure best. Preferably with their sub and their respective Room EQ system. That will also be useful to fine tune tonality to your individual preference. A lot of their speakers have been measured and reviewed here.
 

sweetchaos

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PSPreference Score (with no subwoofer added). Value can be negative (for really badly designed speakers) and goes up to a 10 (theoretical limit). Higher is better.
PSwSubPreference Score (with theoretically-perfectly-integrated subwoofer added). Value can be negative (for really badly designed speakers) and goes up to a 10 (theoretical limit). Higher is better.
LFXLow Frequency Extension (in hz). This is the bass output at -6db point. This was computed, not estimated. Lower is better.
 
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Clay49

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PSPreference Score (with no subwoofer added). Value can be negative (for really badly designed speakers) and goes up to a 10 (theoretical limit). Higher is better.
PSwSubPreference Score (with theoretically-perfectly-integrated subwoofer added). Value can be negative (for really badly designed speakers) and goes up to a 10 (theoretical limit). Higher is better.
LFXLow Frequency Extension (in hz). This is the bass output at -6db point. This was computed, not estimated. Lower is better.
Excellent
 

HarmonicTHD

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Clay49

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Welcome. I see you probably accidentally double posted.

Post in thread 'Active desktop/bookshelf speakers recommendations needed, please…'
https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/active-desktop-bookshelf-speakers-recommendations-needed-please….51582/post-1856931

I asked the mods to merge both. Hope that is alright
Absolutely! I think what happened is that I did my original post, then came back to edit it, and could not find it so I thought that it had not been posted so I did another listing. Sorry about that!
 

HarmonicTHD

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Absolutely! I think what happened is that I did my original post, then came back to edit it, and could not find it so I thought that it had not been posted so I did another listing. Sorry about that!
Don’t worry.
 

AdamG

Debunking the “Infomercial” hawkers & fabricators
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Hi folks! Brand new to the forum today. Looking forward to engaging with this community in the days ahead on all things audio!

My background: I am a professional musician, with both undergraduate and master degrees in music (in the areas of classical guitar, vocal performance, choral conducting and composition), and it has been my life’s work (in the realm of church music) creating and producing musical experiences and landscapes, including about a dozen CDs over the last 3-decades (some choir and symphony orchestra, some contemporary worship with band and a handful of singers).

As a part of those projects, we would always take them to MasterMix (in Nashville) for the mastering process and I had the privilege of sitting in Hank Williams (no, not “Jr”) studio and marvel at his mastery with taking a raw mix and creating a 3-dimensional audio portrait that literally wraps around your head! Of course, that breathtaking sound was courtesy of a $650,000 wall of PMC monitors of various shapes and sizes.

All of that to say, I have been blessed to have heard music in a way that few will ever experience. And, unfortunately, my mind and ears won’t let me forget that! Knowing that I (realistically) can’t experience that in my personal studio, I’m looking for an “honorable mention” option for my desktop setup for listening to and working on music.

I need active speakers. I’m looking for musicality with clarity and definition; good soundstage and instrument separation; and balanced tonal spectrum (near flat) but not sterile and ear-wearying

I tried a set of Adam a7x but found them ultimately too technical and almost piercing in the high frequencies. And granted, those are true studio monitors designed for mixing, not necessarily enjoying music playback. I am currently using a set of Klipsch the Fives, which are decent for the price, but just not enough clarity and definition for my ears. So I’m looking to upgrade a few levels from those.

My room: my office/studio is probably 20 x 12, and my desk sits about 2 1/2 feet from the back wall, and my speakers sit on my desk (on Kanto slanted desk stands) about 40 inches apart from each other, and about 33 inches away from my head, so that gives you probably close to 5.5 feet from the speakers to that back wall, which is covered with{ professional grade 1-inch absorption panels, five of those that are 8 inches wide, 4 feet tall and spaced about 4 inches apart. From the sides of my desk, the speakers are about 3 feet away from each of the sidewalls, which also have scattered absorption panels, so the area is pretty neutral. There’s probably another 14 ft from the back of the speakers to the back wall that has another triangle of 7- 12” x 12“ absorption panels, so again, reflectivity is probably minimal in the room.

In some of my research, I’ve come across some options which are: Barefoot FootprintO2 , acoustic energy AE1, ELAC Navis ARB51, and I’ve also heard good things about the Dynaudio line, although I’m not very familiar with them. Looking to keep my total purchase under $2500, and I’m not afraid to buy used or open box.

My rig is extremely simple (and probably could use some additional assistance/recommendations, but I don’t want a desktop cluttered with gear), right now I am running from my MacBook Pro out of the headphone jack using a Moon Audio Silver Dragon cable into the analog input of The Fves. I figured using wired set up is better than Bluetooth, keeping the signal chain pure and at a higher resolution… I may be wrong.

Given all this information, I would love to get some recommendations from you guys about any of the speakers I have mentioned, or maybe some others that I should consider (Focal Shape, etc)???

I listen to mainly orchestral and choral music, piano jazz, such as David Benoit and contemporary worship music. Thanks for your patience on this very long post, look forward to getting to know you all and learning from your vast experiences.
Duplicate Threads merged here. Please do not start duplicate threads. If you think you started a thread in the wrong section ask a Moderator to Move the thread for you. Creating duplicate threads is an easy mistake and I bet we all have done it once.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Welcome Aboard @Clay49 :cool:
 
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Clay49

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Duplicate Threads merged here. Please do not start duplicate threads. If you think you started a thread in the wrong section ask a Moderator to Move the thread for you. Creating duplicate threads is an easy mistake and I bet we all have done it once.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Welcome Aboard @Clay49 :cool:
Thank you! So grateful for all of the excellent responses so far, looks like I’m going to enjoy being a part of this group.
 
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