• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Advice on speakers for near / mid-field setup

andrew

Active Member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
192
Likes
42
I’ve gifted a pair of KH80DSP speakers to my son and am after advice on replacement options. The speakers will be situated on a desk, either side of a monitor, and about 1.2m from the listening position. (The desk is up against the front wall which is untreated due to there being a (closed) glass door and lack of space.) The room has bass traps in all four corners and a couple of subs with x/o in the digital domain.
  • Note: I'd like to have the option, if possible, of speakers that will also perform well in a more normal mid-field set-up down the track. The hope is that as work slows I'll move the speakers to the opposite end of the room with a more standard listening distance of around 2.0 to 2.4m. I'd retain the room treatment and subwoofers but just move from a desktop to freestanding listening position.
My historical preference has been for 3-way speakers due to a combination of better mid-range performance and lower-extension allowing simpler integration with subwoofers. The Kef Meta 3, Genelec 8351b, KH310 and Mesanovic CDM65 seem like good options. That said, it seems that the combination of DSP, low distortion mid-bass drivers and waveguide tweeters - along with high-power class D amplifiers - has good a long way to addressing the issues of 2-way speaker with March Audio Sointuva, Revel M126Be and upcoming Purifi SPK16 all seeming like options.
  • Note: I’m a fan cardioid speakers but in-room measurements of the KH80 showed not depression in the 100-300Hz range associated with SBIR off the front wall.
  • Note: Open to active (DSP) speakers but remain concerned with issues (having experienced an amp failure in my 8c and the power management issues with KH80)
So, yes, a lot of great options across 2-/3-way and active / passive designs. All the speakers appear to measure and score well. It feels like a situation in which listening is needed to select a speaker when there are no bad options but that’s difficult and extended listening in my room is more or less important. I'm not so much after individual speaker recommendations but rather any views on suitability to my requirements as well as advice on how to think about the 2 vs 3-way and active vs passive options in today's context.
 

kemmler3D

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 25, 2022
Messages
3,305
Likes
6,674
Location
San Francisco
I think everything you're looking at has the oomph to perform well at 2-3M, so like you say, it's a situation with a lot of good options. The room is treated, you have subs... you've had the 8C and a KH80 is a kids' speaker in your house, so I think you're well past the point of there being any serious deficiencies in your setup. :)

In this tier I would say active vs. passive is more a comfort level thing, but in general you get smoother response with a DSP active.

For 2 vs 3-way, I would pay attention to recommended listening distances. For example, some of the genelecs won't sum properly at close distances. If close-up listening is important then maybe (?) you should keep thinking about 2-ways. But for >2m I think most of these options should be OK.

You're pretty focused on monitor-type speakers with a lot of coax in there, so I assume that's intentional, but have you considered horns or even OBs for the new setup? They do give qualitatively different sound without being technically inferior (in certain ways).
 
OP
A

andrew

Active Member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
192
Likes
42
I think everything you're looking at has the oomph to perform well at 2-3M, so like you say, it's a situation with a lot of good options. The room is treated, you have subs... you've had the 8C and a KH80 is a kids' speaker in your house, so I think you're well past the point of there being any serious deficiencies in your setup. :)

Yes, some background might be useful. The 8c are paired with subs in a separate room used for music and (2-channel) movies. I’m a big fan of having a shared, family system, and that is the 8c set-up. That said, my goal, here, is for a system to be used when working or, ultimately, when I need a sanctuary into which to retreat and re-charge. All the other components in this new system are left overs from the evolution so it’s just about adding some speakers.

In this tier I would say active vs. passive is more a comfort level thing, but in general you get smoother response with a DSP active.

For 2 vs 3-way, I would pay attention to recommended listening distances. For example, some of the genelecs won't sum properly at close distances. If close-up listening is important then maybe (?) you should keep thinking about 2-ways. But for >2m I think most of these options should be OK.

You're pretty focused on monitor-type speakers with a lot of coax in there, so I assume that's intentional, but have you considered horns or even OBs for the new setup? They do give qualitatively different sound without being technically inferior (in certain ways).

I’m a big fan of horns and used to run Unity Horns with 18” mid-bass drivers but, of course, this doesn’t work given the listening distances and footprintnt. The reason for the focus on monitors, and co-axial, is due to the near-field / constrained space but if there are horns and/or open-baffle speakers that might work in this setting let me know.
 
Top Bottom