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

abdo123

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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.

What brands can you buy without 'repercussions' ?
 
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Walter

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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.
I keep reading really good things about the MTMs, and they go on sale for under $600 pretty often, which is a big plus. That is getting a lot closer to my original planned budget. I only stretched it to include the LSX and 8020D because I found the LSX so cheap on Amazon Warehouse and the Genelec for $150 cheaper "next door" than I had seen it listed in the USA. Yours is the first post to really mention them being usable at decent volumes with te 40Hz setting, so that is good to know. If I can get true 40Hz extension, I'll definitely be good without a sub for as long as it takes for something decent to show up on the second hand market here, or maybe even new. Plus, if it doesn't look like I'll make it back to the USA next year, the MTMs are light enough that I might be able to bribe a friend to bring them next time he visits.(If you are reading this post and think I might be talking about you, you are probably right. ;))

Love the size of the 8010, but definitely would want a sub, and I don't see them listed for sale in Thailand, anyway--only the 8020D, 8030C, and various others that are too expensive for me to consider. Any idea how many decibels you are talking about when you write, "port farting if you have them set to 40hz on very loud volumes?"
 
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Walter

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What brands can you buy without 'repercussions' ?
The info is buried at the end of my lengthy OP, so I'll repeat it here:

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.

NOTE: Cambodia was booming before COVID-19 and there is a lot of Chinese money here, so the situation may improve soon. Or it may not. No way to tell. I was thrilled when I saw a JBL store open 10 minutes from my house, then I went in and found out they only sold Bluetooth portable speakers and "party boxes," and could not even order any of the good stuff.
 
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Walter

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JBL A130 (when it's on sale)
While I admit that I have not looked, as I have been mostly focused on powered speakers, but how is the A130 (or A120 if you have heard them) at 1-1.2 meter distances?
 
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Walter

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While I admit that I have not looked, as I have been mostly focused on powered speakers, but how is the A130 (or A120 if you have heard them) at 1-1.2 meter distances?
By the way, I just noticed that you are in Brussels. I have a friend who lives there, and has family here. If there are any really good deals on something there--like Focal 906s are in France, for example--that is under 12Kg a pair or so or so and small enough to fit in a suitcase, I might be able to get him to bring them on one of his trips. Obviously, this would have to be done with no ability to hear them first, and he is not an audio guy as far as I know, so I probably would not be able to get him to audition them. Not sure about his son, however.
 

abdo123

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While I admit that I have not looked, as I have been mostly focused on powered speakers, but how is the A130 (or A120 if you have heard them) at 1-1.2 meter distances?

I own a pair for my living room and they're great even at longer distances. A lot of headroom on tap.
 

Vict0r

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I keep reading really good things about the MTMs, and they go on sale for under $600 pretty often, which is a big plus. That is getting a lot closer to my original planned budget. I only stretched it to include the LSX and 8020D because I found the LSX so cheap on Amazon Warehouse and the Genelec for $150 cheaper "next door" than I had seen it listed in the USA. Yours is the first post to really mention them being usable at decent volumes with te 40Hz setting, so that is good to know. If I can get true 40Hz extension, I'll definitely be good without a sub for as long as it takes for something decent to show up on the second hand market here, or maybe even new. Plus, if it doesn't look like I'll make it back to the USA next year, the MTMs are light enough that I might be able to bribe a friend to bring them next time he visits.(If you are reading this post and think I might be talking about you, you are probably right. ;))

Love the size of the 8010, but definitely would want a sub, and I don't see them listed for sale in Thailand, anyway--only the 8020D, 8030C, and various others that are too expensive for me to consider. Any idea how many decibels you are talking about when you write, "port farting if you have them set to 40hz on very loud volumes?"

I haven't measured the listening volume I need to set them to before they start farting on me, but it's louder than I'm comfortable with. It really depends on the application as well; I use them as desktop/multimedia speakers (they're about 120cm apart) and when I listen to music (which in my case is mostly rock and metal) they never distort, since those genres don't often have very deep bass in the mix. When I use them for movies and gaming, I haven't noticed any bass distortion either at my preferred volume setting. I'm sure they'd fart a little if I cranked them up during LFE effects, though, but they'd be so loud that it wouldn't be comfortable anyway. The only time I could audibly hear the farting was when I went actively looking for it by listening to genres like trap and bass test tones, at a volume that would damage my hearing if I kept that level as my default.

It really helps if you treat your room, I think. I have the first and second reflection points, as well as the rear wall, covered with absorbers. I have two skyline diffusers in the room as well. They're also calibrated using DSP. In my opinion this makes them sound pretty good (I am deliberately avoiding esoteric subjective terms like "crystalline", "holographic" and "transparent" :p) even at moderate volumes.

I had a thread here, asking for help finding small desktop speakers. Looked at a lot of the suggestions and in the end it was a toss-up between the Genelec 8010a, Eve Audio SC203 and the iLoud MTMs. A friend of mine, who produces AAA movie and game soundtracks for a living, just bought the MTMs I was looking at by coincidence and was very enthusiastic about them, so I bit the bullet on them too. I figured if they're good enough for him, they're good enough for me. :p

As with anything audio; your mileage may vary. ;)
 
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Walter

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I own a pair for my living room and they're great even at longer distances. A lot of headroom on tap.
I know they are very good for living room distances. They'd be one of the very few speakers under $500 I would consider for that usage, and it is this flexibility that makes them so appealing. Have you ever used them in a near field setup?
 
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Walter

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I haven't measured the listening volume I need to set them to before they start farting on me, but it's louder than I'm comfortable with. It really depends on the application as well; I use them as desktop/multimedia speakers (they're about 120cm apart) and when I listen to music (which in my case is mostly rock and metal) they never distort, since those genres don't often have very deep bass in the mix. When I use them for movies and gaming, I haven't noticed any bass distortion either at my preferred volume setting. I'm sure they'd fart a little if I cranked them up during LFE effects, though, but they'd be so loud that it wouldn't be comfortable anyway. The only time I could audibly hear the farting was when I went actively looking for it by listening to genres like trap and bass test tones, at a volume that would damage my hearing if I kept that level as my default.

It really helps if you treat your room, I think. I have the first and second reflection points, as well as the rear wall, covered with absorbers. I have two skyline diffusers in the room as well. They're also calibrated using DSP. In my opinion this makes them sound pretty good (I am deliberately avoiding esoteric subjective terms like "crystalline", "holographic" and "transparent" :p) even at moderate volumes.

I had a thread here, asking for help finding small desktop speakers. Looked at a lot of the suggestions and in the end it was a toss-up between the Genelec 8010a, Eve Audio SC203 and the iLoud MTMs.
This may not be an easy question to answer, but if you could take the bass out of the equation, how do you think they would compare to the 8010s? I'm asking in order to possibly get a better idea of their comparison to the 8020s.
 

Vict0r

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This may not be an easy question to answer, but if you could take the bass out of the equation, how do you think they would compare to the 8010s? I'm asking in order to possibly get a better idea of their comparison to the 8020s.

I can't answer that question in any meaningful way, alas. I picked the MTM's because the entire package appealed more to me than the 8010s. The built-in DSP, sound quality, impressive bass for its very modest size, the adjustable sliding stand, the included calibration microphone, the possibility to tune them even further with ARC software, the design and the way they look on my desk... I'm sure the 8020s are excellent too. People are raving more about those than they are about the MTMs, I guess. Amir here measured them very favorably too. I think the 8020s are a "safe" buy for anyone not able to audition a speaker and want the peace of mind that they've bought a solid, well regarded and professional audio tool.
 
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Walter

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I can't answer that question in any meaningful way, alas. I picked the MTM's because the entire package appealed more to me than the 8010s. The built-in DSP, sound quality, impressive bass for its very modest size, the adjustable sliding stand, the included calibration microphone, the possibility to tune them even further with ARC software, the design and the way they look on my desk... I'm sure the 8020s are excellent too. People are raving more about those than they are about the MTMs, I guess. Amir here measured them very favorably too. I think the 8020s are a "safe" buy for anyone not able to audition a speaker and want the peace of mind that they've bought a solid, well regarded and professional audio tool.
Amir measured the 8320, which is not quite the same. Usually the 83xx measures slightly better than 80xx, plus having SAM. I had forgotten that the MTMs include a mic. That saves another $79 over a UMIK-1. However, I also just did the conversion rate math on the 8020 in Thailand rather than a rough estimate, and they are only $830. I think it will probably just come down to my budget, and whether I can catch the MTMs on a good sale. The MTMs cost more in Thailand than Genelec 8030c, so I won't be buying them there!
 

Johnnyg

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While I admit that I have not looked, as I have been mostly focused on powered speakers, but how is the A130 (or A120 if you have heard them) at 1-1.2 meter distances?
I just got the JBL stage a130's and am running them from my MacBook off a Loxjie a30. Amazing setup for around $380 all in when purchased on sale. I ordered the a120's to compare and after a few songs I boxed them up and sent them back. No comparison to the a130's. Anyhow I've got them on my small desk and given how great they sound the size doesn't bother me anymore. Highly recommend this setup.
 
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Walter

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I just got the JBL stage a130's and am running them from my MacBook off a Loxjie a30. Amazing setup for around $380 all in when purchased on sale. I ordered the a120's to compare and after a few songs I boxed them up and sent them back. No comparison to the a130's. Anyhow I've got them on my small desk and given how great they sound the size doesn't bother me anymore. Highly recommend this setup.
Thak you very much for your reply. I'm considering this exact combo, as it would mean that if my circumstances change and the room becomes more of a den than an office, I could just move them to far field usage. Might need a more powerful amp, but can at least keep the speakers. Was the A120 only lacking in bass, or was it inferior In other ways, as well?
 

Chromatischism

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I keep reading really good things about the MTMs, and they go on sale for under $600 pretty often, which is a big plus. That is getting a lot closer to my original planned budget. I only stretched it to include the LSX and 8020D because I found the LSX so cheap on Amazon Warehouse and the Genelec for $150 cheaper "next door" than I had seen it listed in the USA. Yours is the first post to really mention them being usable at decent volumes with te 40Hz setting, so that is good to know. If I can get true 40Hz extension, I'll definitely be good without a sub for as long as it takes for something decent to show up on the second hand market here, or maybe even new. Plus, if it doesn't look like I'll make it back to the USA next year, the MTMs are light enough that I might be able to bribe a friend to bring them next time he visits.(If you are reading this post and think I might be talking about you, you are probably right. ;))
I also use them with the 40 Hz setting and don't have issues with volume levels. I mean, how loud do I need it at the desk?

Keep in mind you'll want to send them a balanced signal via XLR or TRS. That means running an outboard DAC with balanced outputs. I am using the Topping EX5.

I did not have great results with the ARC system, so I used my UMIK-1 to create EQ filters with Room EQ Wizard, which I loaded into Peace (a UI for Equalizer APO). This made a big difference to the sound because the desk really mucks things up.
 
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Walter

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I also use them with the 40 Hz setting and don't have issues with volume levels. I mean, how loud do I need it at the desk?

Keep in mind you'll want to send them a balanced signal via XLR or TRS. That means running an outboard DAC with balanced outputs. I am using the Topping EX5.

I did not have great results with the ARC system, so I used my UMIK-1 to create EQ filters with Room EQ Wizard, which I loaded into Peace (a UI for Equalizer APO). This made a big difference to the sound because the desk really mucks things up.
I had pretty much decided to go with the MTM and D10 Balanced, and then I read about the coil whine issue people are having when using them in 230v systems. Now it also looks as if I will be opening an office soon (fingers crossed) and doing most of my work there, so the room may get transformed into more of a den/man cave, or at the very least I might be able to switch to only using a single 34 inch widescreen monitor, which would allow for larger speakers. Hence I'm starting to give passive speakers + a sub more consideration. The MTM and 8020d are too underpowered for far field use, and the 8030c costs more than I can justify spending any time in the near future. Not sure about the Focal Alpha 50 Evo, as far as far field suitability goes, but it is another one I would consider if I have the room on my desk. There used to be a dealer here who sold Dali. They are on the other side of town so I don't know if they are still in business. If so, the Oberon 1 might be an option if I go passive, but the A130 is so much cheaper that the savings from buying a pair on sale would make up a substantial part of the airfare to pick them up.
 
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Johnnyg

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Thak you very much for your reply. I'm considering this exact combo, as it would mean that if my circumstances change and the room becomes more of a den than an office, I could just move them to far field usage. Might need a more powerful amp, but can at least keep the speakers. Was the A120 only lacking in bass, or was it inferior In other ways, as well?
This is all very subjective but when I was comparing them not only do the 130's crush the 120's in terms of bass output, I believe they are exponentially more dynamic sounding and my perception was woofer distortion is likely much lower with the 130's. I could hear much more detail from the 130 woofer than the 120 one. I would consider the 120's for surround duty but not a stereo system. The 120's are smaller but how often do you really have to move them around and with the 130's being $30 more(on sale) they are so worth it. I'm probably not gonna add a subwoofer to my desktop setup with the 130's unless I move to a bigger space. You'd need one with the 120's.
 
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