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Newbie with beginner budget and love for lower bass freqs undecided between BR03 and DBR-62

Mush888

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Hi all,

first post here, also a complete newbs on HiFi equipment so please be kind with me.

My current situation:
have been using some decent monitors for a while but will move them to my desk and want some more fun speakers for my newly refurb livingroom. Needs to be bookshelf speakers as space is limited (see at the end pictures of the area, they will stand on those shelves together with a TV, limited space behind them - shelves are 55cm deep). Not looking for floorstands.
Also speakers will work as TV output as my TV has terrible sound. Hence, I will need to combine a new set of (passive) speakers that can work both for music listening and home theatre, with an amp that drives them well.

Budget:
I am planning to stay under the €1k (I live in Europe) for this purchase (speakers + amp), but can extend a couple of 100s if it's really really really worth it.

What kind of sound I am looking for:
Well something fun with enough space, equilibrium and punch to work for movies, but also very nice bass - not only in terms of punchiness but also of reach of lower freqs, something like what you can find in this lovely track even in shit 480p YT quality:

I tend to listen to loads of reggae and dub, fast electronic music (psytrance, dnb, techno, generally between 140 and 165bpm) but also a significant amount of hip-hop, blues, storytellers, space rock, psychedelic downtempo, lo-fi and bossanova.

I am looking for a complete and deep bass feel (but won't buy a subwoofer as I live in terraced house with rather thin walls and I am not gonna pad them any time soon) but dont want the bass to overthrow the mids and highs, so still looking for a decent overall balance as I also listen to stuf that doesnt have the strongest bass too, and movies can be a bit daunting if bass is too forward.

Connectivity:
Well amp needs TV input, bluetooth and will probably plug into it a mixer too

What I found so far:
Triangle Borea 03 (not sure about the bass tho?) + IOTAVX SA3 (maybe with different amp bass sounds better? seems like warm amps that bring fwd mids are preferred with the highs reach BR03)
DBR-62 (know very little - does it fit my needs?) + NotSureWhatAmp (please suggest)


Any input is very much appreciated!

:)

IMG_20230713_170754397.jpg
IMG_20230713_170810785.jpg
IMG_20230713_172051463.jpg
 

dominikz

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Within that budget Sonos Amp + Kef Q350 might be a solid option. Note that you wouldn't have room EQ though (which I normally see as mandatory, but is difficult to fit in the budget - especially if you need an easy to use interface to the TV).
Instead of the Sonos Amp you could also look at some of the cheaper multi-channel AVRs that have room EQ (Denon seems to make fine units).
There are also all-in-one active solutions like Kef LSX or Klipsch The Fives (again no room EQ).
Good luck in your search!
 

staticV3

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Hi @Mush888! Welcome to ASR.

Amir has actually measured and reviewed both of these speakers using his state-of-the-art Klippel Nearfield Scanner. You can find the reviews here:

It is also possible to directly compare this data using the spinorama.org website: https://www.spinorama.org/compare.h...te+Audio&speaker1=Elac+Debut+Reference+DBR-62

If you're new to this type of data, there are some great videos explaining everything here and here.

At least to me, the BR03 and DBR-62 seem a bit outdated by now.
In the passive world, I'd take a long look at the Wharfedale Linton 85.

Also do take a look at active monitors from brands like Genelec, Neumann, Adam, Kali, JBL.
 
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dominikz

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Considering the demand for full-bodied bass I would say that these two options offer very little from this point of view
I'd go as far as to argue no classic bookshelf will provide satisfactory low frequency extension without a sub :D

Low frequency -6dB points ("bass extension") for some of the mentioned speakers:
  • Kef Q350: 39Hz
  • Elac DBR-62: 46Hz
  • Triangle Borea BR03: 51Hz
  • Kef LSX: 51Hz
  • Klipsch The Fives: 51Hz
 

bodhi

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I'd go as far as to argue no classic bookshelf will provide satisfactory low frequency extension without a sub :D

Low frequency -6dB points ("bass extension") for some of the mentioned speakers:
  • Kef Q350: 39Hz
  • Elac DBR-62: 46Hz
  • Triangle Borea BR03: 51Hz
  • Kef LSX: 51Hz
  • Klipsch The Fives: 51Hz
Oh, but it depends on the music. If you are just jamming with some Diana Krall with modest volume you are good to go with that list. :)

I tried OP's example with and without a sub (speakers are -6dB@33Hz) and I think it sounds pretty similar. Yeah, you can't feel the bass same way but I don't think OP is expecting actual miracles. The KEFs go to 39Hz, wouldn't be surprised if that was enough.
 
OP
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Mush888

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If you have no preconceptions about active monitors, these allow you a great experience of deep bass, excellent audio quality and a price well within your margins.
None of your options can have such consistent bass.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/m-audio-bx8-d3-monitor-review.43832/
I actually have an old pair of rather small M Audio active monitors (dont recall the name tho as I bought them ages ago and dont have them with me atm) - still going strong actually and have always appreciated their bass indeed. Was looking for something a bit richer and stage-y all around without sacrificing too much on the bass, but maybe I am asking too much
 
OP
M

Mush888

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Hi @Mush888! Welcome to ASR.

Amir has actually measured and reviewed both of these speakers using his state-of-the-art Klippel Nearfield Scanner. You can find the reviews here:

It is also possible to directly compare this data using the spinorama.org website: https://www.spinorama.org/compare.h...te+Audio&speaker1=Elac+Debut+Reference+DBR-62

If you're new to this type of data, there are some great videos explaining everything here and here.

At least to me, the BR03 and DBR-62 seem a bit outdated by now.
In the passive world, I'd take a long look at the Wharfedale Linton 85.

Also do take a look at active monitors from brands like Genelec, Neumann, Adam, Kali, JBL.
may I ask what do you mean by outdated? They are only 3 years old right? As technology evolved so much since?
 
OP
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Mush888

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I'd go as far as to argue no classic bookshelf will provide satisfactory low frequency extension without a sub :D

Low frequency -6dB points ("bass extension") for some of the mentioned speakers:
  • Kef Q350: 39Hz
  • Elac DBR-62: 46Hz
  • Triangle Borea BR03: 51Hz
  • Kef LSX: 51Hz
  • Klipsch The Fives: 51Hz
thats for getting all the data together..kefQ350 eems indeed the best option, wondering how it performs on the rest. Will research them a bit!
 

Talisman

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I actually have an old pair of rather small M Audio active monitors (dont recall the name tho as I bought them ages ago and dont have them with me atm) - still going strong actually and have always appreciated their bass indeed. Was looking for something a bit richer and stage-y all around without sacrificing too much on the bass, but maybe I am asking too much
Do you mean from an aesthetic point of view?
then if you like the style, someone above recommended the really excellent Wharfedale Lintons, the price goes up a lot but they can be considered definitive speakers without hesitation.

I suggested these m audio to you because Amir was also impressed by the clean and deep bass response for a bookshelf speaker, so given your request for full bass, I thought it could be your horse
 
OP
M

Mush888

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Hi @Mush888! Welcome to ASR.

Amir has actually measured and reviewed both of these speakers using his state-of-the-art Klippel Nearfield Scanner. You can find the reviews here:

It is also possible to directly compare this data using the spinorama.org website: https://www.spinorama.org/compare.h...te+Audio&speaker1=Elac+Debut+Reference+DBR-62

If you're new to this type of data, there are some great videos explaining everything here and here.

At least to me, the BR03 and DBR-62 seem a bit outdated by now.
In the passive world, I'd take a long look at the Wharfedale Linton 85.

Also do take a look at active monitors from brands like Genelec, Neumann, Adam, Kali, JBL.
ok so Wharfedale Linton 85 look intriguing. Sorry for the silly Q but I am wondering how easy is to interface active speakers with TV and eventually a mixer tho? Also need to check the bluetooth connectivity. Down the rabbit hole we go!
 
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Mush888

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Do you mean from an aesthetic point of view?
then if you like the style, someone above recommended the really excellent Wharfedale Lintons, the price goes up a lot but they can be considered definitive speakers without hesitation.

I suggested these m audio to you because Amir was also impressed by the clean and deep bass response for a bookshelf speaker, so given your request for full bass, I thought it could be your horse
thats a very valid suggestion! Aestetichs deffo would play a role but I was also under the impression that those other speakers I mentioned would offer a better all around experience, especially as they will be interfaced with a TV. Ideally would want the same bass quality of some M audio monitors with a hifi, fun representation of all sounds!
 

Talisman

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thats a very valid suggestion! Aestetichs deffo would play a role but I was also under the impression that those other speakers I mentioned would offer a better all around experience, especially as they will be interfaced with a TV. Ideally would want the same bass quality of some M audio monitors with a hifi, fun representation of all sounds!
certainly the kef q350 are excellent speakers that can make you enjoy music with good bass extension.
Lintons are clearly several steps above.
Probably with your budget I would look for the combination with the best speakers available, for example the Wharfedale Lintons, perhaps driven by a cheap but excellent Fosi audio V3 and a cheap but transparent DAC like SMSL C200 (with integrated Bluetooth LDAC)
it would be around 1000+100+150 = 1250 euros but an audio system of great value
 
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Mush888

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certainly the kef q350 are excellent speakers that can make you enjoy music with good bass extension.
Lintons are clearly several steps above.
Probably with your budget I would look for the combination with the best speakers available, for example the Wharfedale Lintons, perhaps driven by a cheap but excellent Fosi audio V3 and a cheap but transparent DAC like SMSL C200 (with integrated Bluetooth LDAC)
it would be around 1000+100+150 = 1250 euros but an audio system of great value
ok that looks like a serious candidate. A list of newbiee Qs: I guess I need the amp to have the speakers to interface the TV and the speakers (correct me if I am wrong) but do i need something else rather than the Fosi if i want to interface a mixer to the system too? Also, why do I need a DAC, besides for bluetooth capabilities?
 

staticV3

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may I ask what do you mean by outdated? They are only 3 years old right? As technology evolved so much since?
By outdated I mean that the measurements are to me indicative of a design process which did not take advantage of modern loudspeaker design tools, and so the response is full of resonances and the directivity is uneven and poorly controlled (in case of the BR03).

It's not that loudspeaker tech has moved on massively in the last three years, but that the BR03 design process most likely just did not make use of this tech in the first place.
 

Talisman

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ok that looks like a serious candidate. A list of newbiee Qs: I guess I need the amp to have the speakers to interface the TV and the speakers (correct me if I am wrong) but do i need something else rather than the Fosi if i want to interface a mixer to the system too? Also, why do I need a DAC, besides for bluetooth capabilities?
Do you get an optical or analogue signal from your TV? if you take an optical signal you need the DAC, otherwise you have your analogue output which can be taken directly to the RCA input of the FOSI.
What sources should and would you like to use? Based on this I can understand what to advise you
 

dominikz

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My 2 cents: when choosing an amplifier I'd prioritize functions/ease-of-use over measurements. One exception to this is power - it should put out enough to give you desired SPL; though I assume you will not need much since you say your home has thin walls.

E.g. if connecting an amp to a TV I find that having a device that you can control with the TVs remote is really a huge benefit. Not having this may not seem very important at the beginning, but I find it starts to irritate me to no end fairly quickly. :D
Whether you will require HDMI (e)ARC for this, or if you can use another kind input together with some kind of universal remote is something that may depend on the rest of your system.
You might also have multiple sources that you want to switch between, or you may want certain casting/streaming capabilities, etc...
I'd suggest to really take the time to think about what kind of functions you think would be useful, and how you want to control the whole thing - that might narrow the choices down.

I feel ease of use is an area where e.g. Sonos devices and various AVRs can bring a real benefit.
 

adam2434

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A pair of Kali LP-8 powered monitors and a DAC/pre-amp is a combo to consider, IMO.

Erin's Audio Corner has Klippel NFS results on version 2. F3 is 39 Hz.

I have a pair of version 1 and can say that they have very good bass extension/quality for a largish bookshelf size speaker, and can play as loud as I need without signs of distortion or stress. Audioholics has a review of version 1.

One caveat: I found the RCA inputs to be unusable. They produce a large amount of noise. I tried multiple sources and RCA cables to no avail. This is a YMMV type of thing. The issue does not exist using the XLR inputs.
 
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