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Full range system for < $1200

HooStat

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#1
I was trying to figure out how little I could outfit a medium sized room with high quality full-range sound. I am thinking of my room (14 x 20 with vaulted ceiling that ranges from 8' to 11') but I asking more of a general question. I thought I would make it a challenge to see what people come up with. The price limit is a bit arbitrary -- feel free to exceed it by a little if you have an awesome solution but let's keep a hard limit of $1500.

Some additional rules: The system must include speakers and all electronics including cross-overs, DACs, and amplifiers. Don't include the source -- assume that the user will provide a computer with a USB out from a streaming service and that the computer will do the digital attenuation. Feel free to suggest another way to connect to a digital streaming source and provide volume control, if you like. Exclude costs for wiring or speaker stands or room treatments.

I think, in a perfect world, the system would include more than 1 sub.

I am defining full-range as a -3db point of <= 30 Hz. I am defining "high-quality" as something that has been (or likely would be) tested on ASR and found to be well-engineered and sold by a company with a reasonable reputation for the product.

All prices in USD but feel free to convert to your local currency. All prices should be list prices and should be for new products.

The best I could come up with was the Kali Audio LP-6 active speakers ($300), the Kali WS-12 sub ($600, which includes a built in cross over for the LP-6) and something like the Schiit Modius DAC ($200) with all balanced connections. It might be possible to add one of the $99 mono price subs that @hardisj reviewed to even out the bass, but I am not sure how well it would work in practice (may depend on the actual room modes).

I picked Kali because their speakers seem to be well-engineered and a good value. Plus the matching sub takes care of the speaker-sub integration without needed another piece of equipment.

Anyone else want to try?
 
Joined
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Victoria, BC
#2
I spent around $1300 CAN for my system but had I bought the whole thing new it would have been closer to $1700 CAN which is ~$1000 US for what I paid or ~$1400 US for everything new but it only has one 8" sub

I have the Audioengine A5+'s and the matching Audioengine S8 sub. The A5+'s are rated for 50 watts/channel RMS and the sub at 125 watts RMS. The system's frequency response is 27hz-22khz +/-1.5db so it is both wide and very flat. The A5+'s are widely regarded as a fantastic deal for $400/pair US but the only review I found on my sub was less positive but I love both the sound and volume it produces

My source is Youtube via my 17" Acer laptop which cost me ~$600 CAN years ago
 

ernestcarl

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#3
Kali Audio LP-6 active speakers ($300), the Kali WS-12 sub ($600, which includes a built in cross over for the LP-6)
Great value... I would probably pick a pro audio interface that has at least 6 balanced channels out, though. That way one can later upgrade to a 4.1 or 5.1 mch system. Actually, I'd probably move the LP-6 later to the rear, and then get Kali IN-8s for the LR/LCR channels.
 

Blumlein 88

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#4
What you've chosen can be pretty darn good. One could go with the JBL LSR 308 mkII speakers and matching JBL lSR310 sub. I think the JBL and the Kali might be pushed just a little in a room the size of yours at highest volumes even with subs. I used a pair of the original 305's with a single LSR310 in a 33 ft x 19 ft room with 10 ft ceilings. It only rarely seemed strained, but one could push it that far.

I didn't mention DACs, as plenty are available tested by ASR already.
 

ernestcarl

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#6
Very interesting idea -- any suggestions? I am not very familiar with those options.
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$1,297 minus taxes & shipping (might be none depending on the address)

So you'll be a bit over $1,200 but not by much. Just bypass the AVR and go direct to a HTPC system. Lot's of cheap single-board computers can be used if one wants a truly customized, compact, dedicated system. It's true that there are only a few streaming platforms for mch content e.g. Netflix and the Microsoft store -- hopefully, Amazon eventually supports it in their Prime Video app in the future -- but external blu-ray players are also quite cheap so if you have a lot of discs with mch content, you can play those very easily as well.

I myself upmix all stereo content to mch anyways using JRiver.
 
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