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Speaker advice for a novice

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#1
Hello everyone. I'm a newbie trying to replace his broken speaker. Could use some advice.

Budget: Around $1500.

Usage: Primarily for songs (played from htpc or Spotify), and then for movies/tv shows.

Current setup: Xbox (for blu-ray) and Raspberry pi (will be replaced by PC soon) connected to Sony 4K TV, which is linked to my now broke Mackie CR3.
Bought that speaker w/o any research to just have some improvement over my TV's speakers. For $100 it did an ok job. Now, I'd like to step things up.

Room: 25 x 10, small studio apt. I sit 6 feet from my TV. Can play songs reasonably loud, since I don't share a wall with my neighbor.

These are some possible options suggested to me:

Active monitors (bookshelf):
Focal Alpha 65 ($800) - seems reasonable.
Neumann KH 120 ($1400) - is this worth the price and significantly better than other in list?
Audioengine HD6 ($700) - not very keen on bluetooth and fancy features

DAC
I was told a DAC would be better me than an AVR. And with a DAC I could also make use of optical connection. But I'm not sure if I really need a DAC, do I? If I do, what would be a good enough DAC?

Can you help me make a decision? Audio is subjective but I want to make a good start. Also I don't want to buy something under the illusion that just because something is expensive/popular it's going to sound better. Thanks!
 

NorthSky

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#4
• Floorstanding: https://www.themasterswitch.com/review-svs-ultra-towers
• Bookshelf: https://www.cnet.com/news/the-audiophiliacs-speaker-of-the-year-the-kef-ls50/

The floorstanding above will give you all the bass you want from music and films in your long 25' room. ...250-foot square. On sale it would be still within your budget.
The bookshelf below with give you the essence, coherence, realistic finesse.

They are simple suggestions (worth checking) from several reviews. With speakers, auditioning is best, in your room.
 

NorthSky

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#5
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NorthSky

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#6
You said you watch movies. If you watch movies like me on Blu-ray, you value audio sound...from the full audio spectrum of the human range,,,plus good vibrations.
Bookshelf speakers for movies, IMO, require two subwoofers.

Some floorstanding speakers within your budget will give you that extra oomph without subs.

It's your choice, your habits, your room, your Music and your Movies.
...It's your sources, your amplification (some bookshelf speakers are active, with their own integrated amps), it's your own listening experience.

I cannot make recommendations, I am not inside your ears and life.
I can make suggestions, like here.

Floorstanding speakers I personally like first. Bookshelf speakers I use for secondary listening enjoyment. I could live with them for main listening, but I would need to tune them in sync with two subwoofers. That would require some serious work and acoustic balance.

Fall's coming up, walls are falling down, it's open season.
 

NorthSky

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#7
https://www.cnet.com/reviews/elac-debut-f5-review/
http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/elac-debut-f5/

From the prices mentioned in your first post those seem to fit best, and all your other criteria, plus your room.

http://www.hifi-review.net/475-elac-debut-f5.html

For less than your $1,500 budget you get the full 5.1 speaker system (5 speakers plus sub):
https://www.soundandvision.com/content/elac-debut-f5-speaker-system-review
https://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/elac-debut-loudspeaker-system
 
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NorthSky

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#9
Tough choice isn't it. ...You can spend more, you can spend less, have more, have less, bigger, smaller, ... but those are from a good speaker designer.

* $550 USD (list price...on sale, less)
 
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#11
@NorthSky hey, thanks for many suggestions! My studio is, as you can imagine, quite filled with furniture and stuff. I'm not sure if I'd get the benefits of floorstanding speakers. But I'll check them, thanks!
 

NorthSky

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#12

NorthSky

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#13
All the speakers I gave links to, they all need amplification.
From the three active you mentioned you seem to know best...the Focal ones.

As for a DAC, this site is loaded with them, excellent ones and supremely affordable.
The ESS Sabre PRO DAC chips are the right path.

You are a musician?
 

andreasmaaan

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#14
@ping I had a pair of the Neumann KH120 at one point and was not impressed. They measured worse than the graphs provided by Neumann, with a 4-5dB dip at the crossover point that was mitigated only if the mic was placed (IIRC) about 15° vertically off-axis, suggesting the crossover was poorly implemented. Also, the cabinets were quite resonant (rattly even, on one of them). I may have got a bad pair, but that was my experience.

Not terrible, but wouldn't recommend them.
 

Blumlein 88

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#15
Second hand something like these month old Revel F36 would be sweet. Or some F35's if you happen across them.

https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649459016-revel-concerta2-f36-speakers/

You'll need an amp as they are passive speakers. But they aren't too bad a load, and while floorstanders they are pretty slim.

Of those you list I think the Focal Alpha's would be my choice. Probably add at least one sub in a room that size.

If you intend to stay stereo only , then a good DAC/pre would be the ticket.
 

Soniclife

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#16
I think you need to try and decide between active and passive, and floorstanders or standmounts with subs.

I think I would lean towards active standmounts with sub(s).

I'm surprised someone has not told you to buy some JBL's yet.
 

RayDunzl

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#17
I'm surprised someone has not told you to buy some JBL's yet.
I have JBL LSR 308 (were $400).

I like them for what they are. I was going to use them in the garage, but they stayed in the main room.

I don't tell folks what to buy, though.

I've posted measurements of them elsewhere on this site.

They have become my daily drivers in an 18 x 14 x 9 room, open on left rear corner.

When I get serious, though, I still immediately fire up the big system, because it is better, but beyond the stated budget.
 

NorthSky

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