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Speaker choice help & how to connect passive speakers to computer

SebasCyan

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Hello everyone

To quicky introduce myself to the forum as I am a new member, my name is Sebastian, I live in Romania and I currently find myself in quite a pickle regarding my audio setup. I’ve come to this forum in the hopes that it’s the best place where I can get advice on how to proceed from here on. I’ll try not to make this post too long, apologies if it turns out so. Let’s get to the story.

Current setup
At the moment I’m running the following: iMac -> Motu M2 DAC -> Yamaha HS5

I listen to a lot of rock/heavy metal and when I bought the HS5 I did so with the knowledge that they are quite analytical, cold, and with good detail especially in mid range. And I fully appreciate that midrage because in metal there’s a ton of details and small nuances that are revealed this way. Good or badly produced metal albums, these speakers still manage to ring these details to my ear and I’m a complete sucker for leaning towards the speakers and finding sounds to capture from the complex construction of this genre’s songs.

So, what’s the problem?
If I could sum it up in only a few words, I find the sound fatiguing and lifeless.

In spite of all that specific sound and detail that I’m looking for, the speakers can become too tiresome and too boring. There’s no warmth to them, no presence in the room (I’m aware that’s kind of the point since they’re studio monitors), no bass at all (I’m not a bass head but I feel like certain rock songs should, well, rock out more and actually vibrate the place a bit).

What am I gonna do about it?
Two options. Either sell the Yamaha’s, keep the DAC and buy a different pair of powered speakers or sell the Yamaha’s and the DAC and get a pair of passive speakers and an amplifier.

Why am I not doing something about it and posting on forums instead?
Because I have no idea what to chose that would make me happy with the sound I’m looking for. I want speakers that feel dynamic and punchy, warm enough to listen to hours on end, have crisp detail, soundstage, presence, decent but well articulated bass, etc. Sounds like I’m looking for the perfect speakers and I haven’t even mentioned my budget yet.

Time to laugh because if I sell the Yamaha’s and go for powered speakers I can spend ~600 Euros. Selling my whole setup and going for passive and amplifier I can go for ~700-750 Euros tops.

You now understand my struggle as my budget is quite low to ask for a setup that sounds the way I described above. But maybe hope isn’t lost yet.

That one stars that shines brighter in the night sky
My only research and options to pick from so far have been from reviews/impressions here and YouTube comparison videos/demos. Not quite ideal but it is what it is. And based on all of that, the option I would go for in terms of a powered speaker would be, God help me because I have no idea if this is blasphemy or not, the Edifier S3000Pro. Alternatives would be Airpulse 200 or 300 (non Pro). What do you think would be best to pick from these or do you have a better recommendation for a powered speaker?

Hold on, something’s blowing up there…
So I was pretty sure of the Edifier, so much so that I ordered it at a good price too (500 Euros).

But then I had the idea to research the second hand market here and I remembered a certain pair of speakers I used to like many years ago but could never imagine I’d afford. Didn’t even listed to them but they always struck me as sleek and sexy and hifi looking.

The B&W DM601 S3. Paired with an old Onkyo R1 A-8940. I was absolutely floored and realised I had never listened to actual hifi up until this point. How could I when before the HS5 I had another set of studio monitors in the form of Presonus Eris E4.5 and before that switched between various Altec Lansing 2.1 setups?

Suffice to say my whole world was shaken even though I have no idea if that amp if a good match for the B&W. But what I knew was that the sound was insane. They are a bit high on the treble but the detail and soundstage, instrument sepparation and resolve were fabulous. Bass wasn’t felt but more like heard in a very dynamic and punchy way. I also couldn’t understand how they could produce so much power and sound so clear at so high volume I wasn’t able to hear my own thoughts. By comparison, my HS5’s become a mush of a sonic wall where nothing makes sense anymore at high volume.

What do I do now?
What indeed. Should I still wait to hear the S3000Pro? Whould I buy the 601 S3? If so, what amp do I get with them? How do I connect the amp to my iMac since my only outputs from the Mac are USB C and a 3.5mm jack? Are there any other similar or better combos?

For all the questions above I would like your help as I am both awestruck and confused.

Final few mentions
- My living room is where I want the setup, it’s approx. 20 square meters and my desk is 186cm x 64cm. I don’t necessarily want to fill the whole room as I listed to music only sitting at the desk. Speaker placement could be on the desk or wall mounts.
- I’m not interested in adding a subwoofer, two good woofers should be more than enough for bass.
- I’m familiar with audiophile jargon and terminology even though I haven’t used it much in this post because I wanted to make it more like a story. So if you want to ask me things in a more technical manner, shoot.

Please help me enjoy music again
Seba
 

HarmonicTHD

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Even if you don’t like to hear it. Keep everything but add a sub or two. It will balance the sound and be most cost effective. Fine tune with EQ.
 

DSJR

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B&W 601 S3's are NOT high fidelity as my memories of them are a piercing razor sharp high frequency region which might cut through heavily compressed recordings, but it'll give you a headache after a while.

Why not try JBL 306? A bit more bass but a wide-dispersion top which may help a bit retain interest?
 

Mantra

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You just need to use EQ to create a downward slope with the Yamaha HS5. You don't need to buy or sell anything except maybe get a sub.
Hi
I use mostly windows , do you mean a software like apo equalizer or the 31 bands of foobar2000 or aimp or musicbee ,or a vst?
may i know if for create a downward slope do you mean use a very good mic?
under mac is there a software like apo?
thanks
 

DVDdoug

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Sebastian,

I’m familiar with audiophile jargon and terminology
Most audiophile terminology is non-scientific, meaningless, nonsense. The "real things" are mostly noise, frequency response, and distortion. And there are acoustic effects (reflections & reverb) and amplifier power, etc. See Audiophoolery.

It also doesn't help that much to tell us about your feelings... We don't know what makes you fatigued or bored. ;)

The sound of a speaker mostly comes down to frequency response. That includes the off-axis frequency response because it affects how it sounds in the room. To a large extent, frequency response can be adjusted with equalization, And of course, the speaker needs to go loud enough for you (without audible distortion.)

If you have weak bass (like from a small woofer), or standing wave bass cancellations, those can be virtually impossible to fix with EQ because it takes a tremendous amount of power. You can end-up distorting your speaker or amplifier without effectively boosting/correcting the bass.

A 5-inch woofer isn't going to give you "realistic bass" you can feel in your body.
 

HarmonicTHD

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Hi
I use mostly windows , do you mean a software like apo equalizer or the 31 bands of foobar2000 or aimp or musicbee ,or a vst?
may i know if for create a downward slope do you mean use a very good mic?
under mac is there a software like apo?
thanks
I am not Bobby.

EQ: Yes APO EQ would work, so would any other Parametric Equalizer software (e.g. Camilla DSP as part of Moode audioplayer). The key is, that it is parametric (set: gain, center frequency and Q), so not sure if Foobar does that.

Downward Slope: Have a look at Harman preference curves that will give you an idea and can be a start. In short it represent the preference of the average listener in a Harman listening study of an anacoically flat speaker placed in a room. Meaning, anacoically flat speakers when placed in a room always exhibit some frequency roll-off towards high frequencies (comb-filtering), depending on room reflectiveness and listener distance. The roll-off is often around -0.5 to -1db/octave. By adjusting this roll-off (it was formerly also called Tilt) you can adjust the "warmth" to your individual preference and room. However, in the case of the OP, a sub is more likely to help in order to better "balance" the FR by adding some low frequencies. That already is often perceived as "more warmth" even if the roll-off is unchanged.
 

BobbyTimmons

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Hi
I use mostly windows , do you mean a software like apo equalizer or the 31 bands of foobar2000 or aimp or musicbee ,or a vst?
may i know if for create a downward slope do you mean use a very good mic?
under mac is there a software like apo?
thanks
Your HS5s should be fine if you use parametric EQ to reduce the treble to create a more downward slope. From Amir's thread.
index.php
 
Last edited:

Mantra

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Your HS5s should be fine if you use parametric EQ to reduce the treble to create a more downward slope. From Amir's thread.
index.php
hi
well but under mac or linux what could I use?
apo eq is not avaible
thanks
 
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