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Small 2.1 active setup for space constrained desk

Geo2160

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I've been looking to replace my Audioengine A2+ speakers with something better, that's doesn't try to push bass with 3" drivers. They will exclusively be used with music at pretty low volume and close listening distance (<1m). I would appreciate your input, since I've been reading reviews for the last couple of weeks and can't make up my mind and I don't have the option A/B most of these monitors/speakers.

Current setup:
- Audioengine A2+ (don't really like how they sound and they lack any DSP options)
- Cambridge Audio Minx X201 woofer (decent enough for my needs)
- RME ADI2 DAC FS

Limitations/desires:
- Have to mount the speakers on the desk, under LCD monitors, so that leaves me with a hard 9in / 23cm height limit and all the issues that come with mounting them horizontally
- LF tuning switches would be nice
- Preference for standard connectors (e.g. don't like the "proprietary" cable of the Kali LP-UNF 6)
- Availability in Europe
- ~800 euro budget

What I've come across during my research:
- Genelec 8010 (maybe 8020)
- iLoud MTM (can be mounted horizontally according to manual)
- Adam A4V (tweeter can be rotated, but still pretty bulky)
- Tannoy T5 (coaxial driver, so I think it should work horizontally too)
 

staticV3

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Here's a list of speakers that would fit under your monitors "right side up":

Some possible setups:

-PC->USB->Vanatoo Zero+/Kanto ORA/EVE SC203->RCA->Sub

-PC->USB->ADI-2->RCA->HT Sub (SVS?)->RCA->iLoud Micro

-PC->USB->ADI-2->XLR->Studio sub (WS-6.2?)->XLR->8010A

-PC->USB->Kali IN-UNF

The reason you'd want to connect the Vanatoo, Kanto, and EVE via USB is that those speakers typically use digital crossovers and so connecting digitally removes an unnecessary DA and AD conversion from the chain.

For LF tuning, use EQ via your ADI-2 or EQApo/SoundSource.

No measurements have been published for the ORA, but the inclusion of a proper waveguide gives me hope.

Unless you have one already, buy a measurement microphone like the UMIK-1 or Micbooster EM258.
It'll make integrating the subwoofer and correcting desk bounce a lot easier.
 
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Geo2160

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So, what you're saying basically is that I have to replace my subwoofer with one capable of crossover output or give up my RME. I have to admit that I haven't considered that yet. I'm so mad at myself for not doing more research before buying this woofer.

I've looked at the WS-6.2 and the SVS SB-1000 PRO, since they're similarly priced in my region. Am I right to assume that the SVS would be the better option if I'm not space-constrained? The room is 14sqm / 150sqft.
 
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staticV3

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So, what you're saying basically is that I have to replace my subwoofer with one capable of crossover output
You don't have to.

The Vanatoo, Kanto, and EVE all have SW outputs and work just fine with subs that don't have Line out.

The iLoud and Genelec, too can be used with subs that lack Line out, by simply connecting the sub in parallel with the speakers to the ADI-2.

Though by doing that, you forgo the ability to high-pass the small speakers, which would boost the dynamic capabilities of your system by not making the poor 3" woofers play deep bass.

Afaik, the Vanatoo will automatically high-pass itself when you plug a sub into it. The EVE and Kanto may have similar mechanisms.

The original SB-1000 and PB-1000 had high-pass filtered Line outs, just like the WS-6.2 while the newer Pro models lost that feature.
 
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Geo2160

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I think we're just rephrasing each other :)

Option 1 - Keep ADI2, but replace sub with one capable of high pass filter output to monitors
Option 2 - Replace monitors with ones that have high pass filter option. Remove ADI2 from chain since high pass likely requires USB.

Vanatoo is not unfortunately not available in Europe atm. Kanto is only available from amazon.de. Eve and other pro-tier brands (genelec, iloud, adam) are easily accesible from local stores in my area.

Though by doing that, you forgo the ability to high-pass the small speakers, which would boost the dynamic capabilities of your system by not making the poor 3" woofers play deep bass.

I would like to avoid that, since that's the issue that I have with Audioengines right now.
 

Soniclife

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Afaik, the Vanatoo will automatically high-pass itself when you plug a sub into it. The EVE and Kanto may have similar mechanisms.
The eve has a switch on the back to high pass itself.
 

staticV3

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Option 1 - Keep ADI2, but replace sub with one capable of high pass filter output to monitors
Option 2 - Replace monitors with ones that have high pass filter option. Remove ADI2 from chain since high pass likely requires USB.
That's what it boils down to if you want to high-pass the monitors.

To be fair, you could still use the ADI-2 even with the Vanatoo, Kanto, or EVE in case you like the ergonomics, volume control, hardware EQ etc.

It's just that from a pure fidelity standpoint, there would likely be no point.
USB or Toslink to the PC would be as good or better.
 

staticV3

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A snippet from Kanto's blog post about the ORA's tech:
Screenshot_20240426-004846_Chrome.png

So yeah: digital crossover means there's no point in the ADI-2 for fidelity.
And yes: the ORA will also high-pass itself with a sub plugged in.

Kanto apparently also endorse placing the ORA horizontally below a computer monitor:
Kanto-ORA_Gaming_Lifestyle.jpg

Here's the link to their blog post:
 
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Midwest Blade

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I just heard a neighbor’s desk top system - Genelec G1 along with the F1 subwoofer. The G1’s are just the neatest little speaker I’ve seen. I was impressed with the quick demo and how it was set up.
 

paradoxical3

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I have a KEF LSX II and SVS Micro 3000. It's a great setup running with Dirac on my mac. If you have to mount them horizontally the Kefs will also perform better than the other options due to the coaxial driver, I think.
 
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