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KEF LSX, Genelec 8020D, iLoud MTM, or JBL A130 for desktop use?

Walter

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Does anyone have experience with any two (or more) of these to compare? Or has tried one and found it unsuitable? I am looking for general use speakers for my desk, which is where I spend most of my waking hours. This includes low level (60-65db) background music as well as 85db peaks when relaxing and watching videos or listening to music. I do no video or audio mixing or production. I prefer to have my desk about one third of the way into the room, facing out, which puts my head 6 inches to 2 feet from the back wall. I will put the speakers on stands with the tweeters at ear height. Once I get a good system, l will change to a more conventional positioning with the desk against and facing the wall if necessary for bass reinforcement or to reduce rear wall reflections. My current room is about 3m x 4m x 3m, but this is a rental house so that could change. The absolute maximum would be about 50 cobic meters. I listen to a mixture of rock, jazz, classical, and metal--absolutely no rap, dance, or electronica. Bass is not a primary consideration, but of course it is of some importance. My hearing stops at around 14kHz.

I live in Cambodia, so my options are very limited. I can buy pretty much nothing worthwhile locally, other than maybe Dali if they are still available and would even be suitable--literally the only options for actual near-field speakers are Edifier (at good prices), Presonus Eris (yuck), Klipsch (limited models) and various Chinese brands that yield no search results in English, weigh next to nothing, and most likely sound hideous. However, once I can travel again I can get the Genelecs for about $900 per pair in Thailand, and the LSX for around $800 if they are still available from Amazon Warehouse in the USA. If buying the A130, I'd probably combine it with an MA12070-based amp like the SMSL AO200 or Loxjie A30, which I can either bring back from the USA or have delivered here from Aliexpress. I need to make a trip to both Thailand and the USA when I can, anyway. The speakers I'm considering are all small and light enough to bring back as insured luggage, especially the iLoud, which can go in a carry-on bag. Most other brands like JBL and Adam Audio are much more expensive in Thailand than the USA.

I use three computer monitors, which means the speakers have to be almost 60 inches (1.5m) apart at their inside edges, with each 36-48 inches (.9m-1.3m) from the closest ear. The latter distance would the more critical, as that is the distance when I am leaning back and relaxing with the volume turned up. If I DO change the room layout to have the desk against the wall, then I'd like to also be able to occasionally listen from the loveseat which will then be about 2 meters directly behind my desk against the other wall. I suspect that might rule out the MTMs due to lack of volume, but I don't really know. I'll be using Linux-based room EQ with the PC as the only source, either via USB, optical, or coax. The room is not treated, and while I am certainly willing to add some basic treatments, it will most likely be limited to a large medium-thick rug and very basic DIY treatment. Walls are invariably plaster on brick. I can't audition any of the speakers in my room, and if buying in Asia, there will be no returns possible except for defects. The closest I could come would be to listen in a hotel room in the USA if I can get deliveries there or at a friend's house, and since I'll probably only be back for two weeks or so, I won't want to spend much time in the hotel auditioning gear.

FYI, due to COVID and other factors, I currently have neither the money nor the ability to travel and purchase any of these right now, but I expect that to change next year and so I am planning vicariously. If I could afford it, I'd buy 8030Cs or Revel M16s + a Buckeye 252 and call it a day, but my max budget is around $1,000. The 8020D + D10S Balanced + UMIK-1 would be the absolute limit at about $1100, and I won't even go that high unless I really feel it will be a substantial improvement over the other options. I might buy a sub later, but that is by no means certain. Good subwoofers are equally unavailable here, and even in Thailand, an LSR310S costs almost $600 and then I'd still have to get it home somehow. No thanks! Sadly, the most likely options are the Presonus Eris Sub8 for $300 or various Klipsch models for 30-50% more than the USA. Neither sounds very appealing. There is also the Edfifier T5 but I have my doubts as to whether even two of them would be worth bothering with.
 
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Walter

Walter

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OK, so making a long post on what was Monday morning in the USA and Europe was probably not the best way to get responses, so I'll add a little info to bump it up: I have not completely ruled out the Adam Audio T5V, but their depth and weight are a bit of an issue. I'm willing to consider other speakers, but I just don't know of any others that meet my criteria and sound good:
  • Good for near field
  • No audible hiss at 1m
  • Prefer under $800 but will stretch to $900, or $1050 if DAC is built in (Cambodia, Bangkok, or USA price with tax included if USA)
  • No more than about 8 inches/200mm wide, with 6 inches or less preferred
  • No more than about 10 inches/ 250mm deep, with 8 inches or less preferred
  • No more than about 25 lbs./11.5 kilos per pair, unless I can actually buy them in Cambodia
  • Enough bass that they can enjoyably be used without a sub for at least a year or two
  • Strongly prefer class D if powered due to both heat and electricity usage--and some type of auto-standby feature would be great since I am likely to pretty regularly forget to turn them off, but with class D that is not that big a deal.
I'm not buying a damn iPad, so please don't suggest the KH 80 DSP even if you do know somewhere to find it in my price range. ;)
 
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kuf

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I think the 8020D, that I have, tick all your requirements and probably your preferences about dimensions too.
I was very satisfied, even before adding the 7040 subwoofer.
At least for my hearing distance (almost 1 m) and the music I listen to (all kinds of rock, from classic and blues to metal and thrash crossover).
 

preload

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I have both the lsx and the 8020. Absolutely no comparison, 8020 way better for sound quality. But 8020 is also way uglier.
 

jonfitch

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I agree 8020 sounds better. Genelecs do have higher hiss level than other powered speaker brands like Focal or Adam. Also the LSX not only has hiss but has some kind of high pitched whine from its swirching power supply.
 
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Walter

Walter

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I agree 8020 sounds better. Genelecs do have higher hiss level than other powered speaker brands like Focal or Adam. Also the LSX not only has hiss but has some kind of high pitched whine from its swirching power supply.
Is this from personal experience? (I'm not disputing you, just wondering about the source of this info.) I had never read of the Genelecs having any hiss or the LSX having coil whine, so that is why I am asking.
 
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Walter

Walter

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I have both the lsx and the 8020. Absolutely no comparison, 8020 way better for sound quality. But 8020 is also way uglier.
I don't find the smaller and non-coaxial Genelecs ugly. The Ones, yeah, they are hideous, but if I could afford them I suspect their sound would win me over in short order. The LSX is a really good looking speaker so most anything else in the price range is going to come up short in comparison. Do you use EQ with either or both? Any hiss or other noise from them?
 

preload

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I don't find the smaller and non-coaxial Genelecs ugly. The Ones, yeah, they are hideous, but if I could afford them I suspect their sound would win me over in short order. The LSX is a really good looking speaker so most anything else in the price range is going to come up short in comparison. Do you use EQ with either or both? Any hiss or other noise from them?
Eq is almost required on the lsx, or at least adjustments within the app. I don’t need eq with the 8020 they sound good right out of the box. My lsx gets horrible ground loop noise with analog in, so I only use the toslink input. No hiss from the 8020 so you can focus on the ugliness.
 

jonfitch

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Is this from personal experience? (I'm not disputing you, just wondering about the source of this info.) I had never read of the Genelecs having any hiss or the LSX having coil whine, so that is why I am asking.

Yes this is from my personal experience. Also the LSX issues regarding smps whine are well documented from reviews. As far as hiss, we have a document here circulating on ASR showing measured noise floor levels of powered monitors of various brands and models. Genelecs tend to be consistently above average in terms of idle noise levels.
 
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Walter

Walter

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As far as hiss, we have a document here circulating on ASR showing measured noise floor levels of powered monitors of various brands and models.
Not sure how I could have failed to come across that. If you can provide a link I'd very much appreciate it.
 
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theyellowspecial

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I don't have any particular suggestions but my $200 Swan D1080-IV speakers sound better on my desk than my JBL 530s, Focal Aria 906s and SVS Primes, all of which sound better in farfield than the Swans.
 
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Walter

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If I could buy Hi-vi/Swans here in Cambodia--and it really shocks me that I can't, considering the proliferation of Chinese electronics--I'd definitely take a chance with them, either the 1010, 1080, or 1100. They could go to the kids when/if I can afford to upgrade. I had a 5 speaker home theater set when I lived in China 15 years ago and they were absolutely incredible for the $800 or so I paid--although not much of a bargain for the $3000 they were selling for in the USA a few years llater.
 

LTig

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You need to keep the data in perspective (were these measured?). Almost all Genelecs listed here are big ones with high SPL capability (means high power amps) which are not meant for close listening.

FWIW I own 2 pairs of Genelec 8020a, one for my desktop and one for my wife's system in a 20 sqm room where they sound incredibly good regarding their size (room gain helps in the bass). Neither system has problems with hiss or needs EQ except for room modes below 250 Hz.
 

Trell

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Is this from personal experience? (I'm not disputing you, just wondering about the source of this info.) I had never read of the Genelecs having any hiss or the LSX having coil whine, so that is why I am asking.

I've two pairs of Genelec 8330A for desktop in my small home office and when it's very quiet I can hear a little hiss from them when I'm sitting less than 1 meter away. By setting the volume level down about 5dB (from GLM) the hiss is a fair bit less. It's not bothersome or distracting, but I'm a little sensitive to hiss. That includes our PC's that I've made silent either by being passively cooled or using excellent CPU coolers and fans from Noctua as well as a silent PSU.
 
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Walter

Walter

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I do wish that noise spreadsheet had more info on how the data was collected. However, I have a PC with multiple, although fairly quiet, fans under my desk, and either a fan or a split type air conditioner running at least 80%-90%, so if hiss is barely audible in a quiet room at 1 meter, it is unlikely to bother me at all unless the frequency is unusually high. Coil whine is a different matter; the power supply in my PC was disproportionately expensive partly to be sure of avoiding this.
 
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Walter

Walter

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It is hard to know how much the 8020D differs from the 8320A or the 8030C. I'm hoping Amir or Erin will measure them before I have to make a decision--and the success or failure of a new business venture may make it for me--but as so many other Genelec models have already been tested, that may not happen.
 

Vict0r

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I use the MTM's and the whole volume thing in small rooms is a moot point, in my opinion. They can go ear shatteringly loud. :D There is some port farting if you have them set to 40hz on very loud volumes, but in daily use I haven't noticed it at all. I didn't compare them to the Genelec 8020, btw, but I did to the 8010a. Prefered the MTM's easy DSP and lower bass. The MTM's were less hissy as well, when fed a balanced signal.
 
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Walter

Walter

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JBL A130 (when it's on sale) plus a SVS 1000 Pro series subwoofer.
or two Elac Sub 1010.
There is a lot of appeal to the A130, or more probably the A120 due to its size, combined with maybe a Loxjie A30, as it would let me upgrade components one at a time if I felt the need--say to maybe a D10S Balanced or MinisDSP 2x4 HD and a Buckey NC252MP. The problem is the subs, as I mentioned in my OP. I'd have to ship either the Elac or SVS (or a JBL LSR310S or Speedwoofer) here and also pay customs duties. That would double the cost and also make sending them out for service if needed prohibitively expensive, so it is just not something I will consider.
 
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