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Speaker Suggestions For Nearfield Listening That Sound Exciting

thedantestyle

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Hey all, as the title suggests - I'm wanting to set up a near-field listening situation with speakers set up on a large desk, toed in with the front of the speaker about 70cm from my head and 130cm away from each other (a large monitor)

Obviously, I could go for studio monitors, but my understanding is that they're purposely built with a very flat frequency response - but I want something a bit more engaging to listen to.

I am happy to get something active or passive - I have an integrated amp here already.

I will also be hooking the speakers up to a subwoofer.

Speakers will be close to a wall, so I guess I'd need something front or down-ported?

I do enjoy a bit of a warm sound - but not afraid to eq.

Space wise - again I'm working on a desk albeit a big one - so probably a 5" main driver would be the biggest I'd want to fit here - smaller would be better if I can still get decent 'warmth' out of them as they'll be accompanied by a sub for the lower registers.

Budget-wise - talking USD even though I live in Australia, I'd like to stay under $600ish USD so the kef's that i've seen to be popular in these discussions would be out of the budget.

I'd love some ideas or input here - I love my Wharfedale 4.2evos but obviously, they're way too big for the task.
 

tonycollinet

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If you are happy to go for EQ, then get studio monitors. Even if the FR is not to your taste, EQ can give you whatever FR you like.

In any case flat FR doesn't mean "dull" or "uninteresting" It is basically what speakers should be delivering for a correct sounding in room response.
 
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thedantestyle

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If you are happy to go for EQ, then get studio monitors. Even if the FR is not to your taste, EQ can give you whatever FR you like.

In any case flat FR doesn't mean "dull" or "uninteresting" It is basically what speakers should be delivering for a correct sounding in room response.
Interesting - my EQ experience is limited to headphones (but obvioulsy the same premise) Some headphones don't take well to eq - others area amazing - like my LCD-X

Would it be the same with monitors? Some eq'ing without sounding rubbish than others?
 

NiagaraPete

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You want exciting and warm? Budget under 600.
 

LTig

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If you are happy to go for EQ, then get studio monitors. Even if the FR is not to your taste, EQ can give you whatever FR you like.

In any case flat FR doesn't mean "dull" or "uninteresting" It is basically what speakers should be delivering for a correct sounding in room response.
I second this. If budget allows go for Neumann KH80DSP or Genelec 8x20, perfect with the matching sub (Neumann KH750 or Genelec 7x40/50) or any other decent sub with builtin line level crossover. You won't be disappointed.
 

Doctors11

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Hey all, as the title suggests - I'm wanting to set up a near-field listening situation with speakers set up on a large desk, toed in with the front of the speaker about 70cm from my head and 130cm away from each other (a large monitor)

Obviously, I could go for studio monitors, but my understanding is that they're purposely built with a very flat frequency response - but I want something a bit more engaging to listen to.

I am happy to get something active or passive - I have an integrated amp here already.

I will also be hooking the speakers up to a subwoofer.

Speakers will be close to a wall, so I guess I'd need something front or down-ported?

I do enjoy a bit of a warm sound - but not afraid to eq.

Space wise - again I'm working on a desk albeit a big one - so probably a 5" main driver would be the biggest I'd want to fit here - smaller would be better if I can still get decent 'warmth' out of them as they'll be accompanied by a sub for the lower registers.

Budget-wise - talking USD even though I live in Australia, I'd like to stay under $600ish USD so the kef's that i've seen to be popular in these discussions would be out of the budget.

I'd love some ideas or input here - I love my Wharfedale 4.2evos but obviously, they're way too big for the task.
If you love your Wharfedales why not the Evo 4.1?
 
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thedantestyle

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If you love your Wharfedales why not the Evo 4.1?
I could - but not sure if they're well suited for such nearfield listening? Also, I believe these require lots of distance from walls.. That's what I've read
 

Jim Taylor

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I'm wanting to set up a near-field listening situation with speakers set up on a large desk, toed in with the front of the speaker about 70cm from my head and 130cm away from each other

Have you considered mounting speakers on the wall https://www.amazon.com/speaker-brackets-wall-mount/s?k=speaker+brackets+wall+mount or ceiling? https://www.amazon.com/ceiling-speaker-mount/s?k=ceiling+speaker+mount

The correct mount will allow you to use larger speakers, keep them out of your way, and use a greater degree of adjustments than if they were mounted on your desktop. Most probably, you can still acheive the nearfield position that you desire.

Just a thought. :) Jim
 
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thedantestyle

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I second this. If budget allows go for Neumann KH80DSP or Genelec 8x20, perfect with the matching sub (Neumann KH750 or Genelec 7x40/50) or any other decent sub with builtin line level crossover. You won't be disappointed.
I definitely couldn't budget this high... These are studio monitors though - wouldn't they also be very flat? Or are you suggested to get them an EQ?
 

dshreter

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Like others have said just get monitors…

…. And a subwoofer with the bass EQed up a bit.
 

tonycollinet

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I could - but not sure if they're well suited for such nearfield listening? Also, I believe these require lots of distance from walls.. That's what I've read
They still have the slot port around the base as far as I could see, so should be better than any rear ported speaker for "close to wall" placement.
 

Jim Taylor

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These are studio monitors though - wouldn't they also be very flat? Or are you suggested to get them an EQ?

I'm confused. Do you want to listen to speakers or do you want to listen to music?

Jim
 

Mal

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I love my Wharfedale 4.2evos but obviously, they're way too big for the task.
What about Wharfedale Diamond 9s? They are quite a bit smaller than even the Evo 4.1s. Same size as KEF LSX. I'm using them near field as computer speakers. They are front ported. If you don't love them, at least you'll not have spent much money, and have something half decent to use, while you save for a pair of KEF LSX IIs,... or Genelecs... and you *might* love them...
 
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thedantestyle

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I'm confused. Do you want to listen to speakers or do you want to listen to music?

Jim

What do you mean exactly? So its entirely possible I'm understanding teh nature of monitors wrongly if so my apologies.

I was asking about eq becuase I've been led to believe monitors don't really sound 'nice' - they aren't meant to, they're meant to be very honest and flat, rather than colouring the music in a pleasant to listen to way. Since they're used for mixing. A bit like the colour settings on my monitor being a bit more muted when I do video work.

I come from the world of audiophile headphones where the Harmann curve is a sort of vague benchmark for what people like hearing. And I lean that way to, I like a bit of a higher low mids and upper base lush, and a bit of a peaked uppers for example.
 

DVDdoug

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I THINK the Harmon headphone curve is supposed to approximate the sound of flat speakers in a good room (speakers that measure flat in an anechoic chamber). And MAYBE the bass boost helps to compensate for losing the deep bass you normally feel in your chest.

I think you want a subwoofer (a good one) and then maybe some EQ to boost the highs.
 

Jim Taylor

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What do you mean exactly? So its entirely possible I'm understanding teh nature of monitors wrongly if so my apologies.

I was asking about eq becuase I've been led to believe monitors don't really sound 'nice' - they aren't meant to, they're meant to be very honest and flat, rather than colouring the music in a pleasant to listen to way. Since they're used for mixing. A bit like the colour settings on my monitor being a bit more muted when I do video work.

I come from the world of audiophile headphones where the Harmann curve is a sort of vague benchmark for what people like hearing. And I lean that way to, I like a bit of a higher low mids and upper base lush, and a bit of a peaked uppers for example.

I apologize for not being clearer. Here is how I view this subject:

One segment of listeners want a speaker that is an accurate reproducer of the recording. Some monitors are of this ilk, and some are possibly less so. To these listeners, the equipment is simply a means to an end, and that end is to hear the recording, no matter what it sounds like. If the recording is glorious, then they will hear a glorious recording. If the recording is garbage, then they will hear a garbage recording.

Other people want the recording to sound a particular way. You mentioned the word "exciting". Some other people might want "smooth", or "musical" or "lush". To this segment, accuracy is of secondary importance; they want something that is, to them, attractive. Of course, any equipment that displays these properties displays them all the time, and modifies all recordings with this "flavor" or "attractiveness" .... even the glorious ones.

I call this "listening to the speaker". You could also use the same terminology for people who "listen to the tube amp" or "listen to the moving coil cartridge."

Some people find great satisfaction in this, and some don't. Some retain the same affections for many years, and some change rather quickly, feeding the "upgrade-itis" monster.
It helps a person to know which they themselves are. That way, they don't get waylaid by unscrupulous retailers or advertisers, ending up spending money for unrealized goals. That can be frustrating and expensive!

Generally speaking, the qualities listeners find "attractive" are distortions. You can buy apps (or get some free) that give a person the same effect. And you can apply them to an accurate speaker. That way, you have the best of all possible worlds, so to speak. You have a speaker that provides attractive sound, or exciting sound, or musical sound, and with a keystroke, you also have a speaker that provides accurate sound. :)

Jim
 

JohnJCallanan

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Just get the Kali lp6 or in5 monitors. Flat is good, and they eq well and come with a DSP for EQ dip switches in the back
Hey all, as the title suggests - I'm wanting to set up a near-field listening situation with speakers set up on a large desk, toed in with the front of the speaker about 70cm from my head and 130cm away from each other (a large monitor)

Obviously, I could go for studio monitors, but my understanding is that they're purposely built with a very flat frequency response - but I want something a bit more engaging to listen to.

I am happy to get something active or passive - I have an integrated amp here already.

I will also be hooking the speakers up to a subwoofer.

Speakers will be close to a wall, so I guess I'd need something front or down-ported?

I do enjoy a bit of a warm sound - but not afraid to eq.

Space wise - again I'm working on a desk albeit a big one - so probably a 5" main driver would be the biggest I'd want to fit here - smaller would be better if I can still get decent 'warmth' out of them as they'll be accompanied by a sub for the lower registers.

Budget-wise - talking USD even though I live in Australia, I'd like to stay under $600ish USD so the kef's that i've seen to be popular in these discussions would be out of the budget.

I'd love some ideas or input here - I love my Wharfedale 4.2evos but obviously, they're way too big for the task.
 
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thedantestyle

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I apologize for not being clearer. Here is how I view this subject:

One segment of listeners want a speaker that is an accurate reproducer of the recording. Some monitors are of this ilk, and some are possibly less so. To these listeners, the equipment is simply a means to an end, and that end is to hear the recording, no matter what it sounds like. If the recording is glorious, then they will hear a glorious recording. If the recording is garbage, then they will hear a garbage recording.

Other people want the recording to sound a particular way. You mentioned the word "exciting". Some other people might want "smooth", or "musical" or "lush". To this segment, accuracy is of secondary importance; they want something that is, to them, attractive. Of course, any equipment that displays these properties displays them all the time, and modifies all recordings with this "flavor" or "attractiveness" .... even the glorious ones.

I call this "listening to the speaker". You could also use the same terminology for people who "listen to the tube amp" or "listen to the moving coil cartridge."

Some people find great satisfaction in this, and some don't. Some retain the same affections for many years, and some change rather quickly, feeding the "upgrade-itis" monster.
It helps a person to know which they themselves are. That way, they don't get waylaid by unscrupulous retailers or advertisers, ending up spending money for unrealized goals. That can be frustrating and expensive!

Generally speaking, the qualities listeners find "attractive" are distortions. You can buy apps (or get some free) that give a person the same effect. And you can apply them to an accurate speaker. That way, you have the best of all possible worlds, so to speak. You have a speaker that provides attractive sound, or exciting sound, or musical sound, and with a keystroke, you also have a speaker that provides accurate sound. :)

Jim

Wow, this was interesting to read - okay so yes I listen to the speakers most definitely.

So what apps would do this on the computer? I use APO on the pc for eq on my headphones - but I'm guessing you're talking about something different to this?

So this does make sense.. It's hard to find a review about any monitor that talks about how much it likes getting eq'd - but I suppose any good monitor should happily handle a bit of eq fiddling.
 

Tupisac

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So what apps would do this on the computer? I use APO on the pc for eq on my headphones - but I'm guessing you're talking about something different to this?

Yes. We're talking resonances, harmonics and other tricks. I'd go with a VST plugins like tube simulators, compressors and other effects. Maybe OP knows some easier routes like certain apps.
 

Jim Taylor

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okay so yes I listen to the speakers most definitely.
So what apps would do this on the computer? I use APO on the pc for eq on my headphones - but I'm guessing you're talking about something different to this?

I am definitely in the "accurate" camp. I don't have any use for euphonics. At one time (years ago), I did, but I got overwhelmingly dissatisfied and bored with the concept. I am totally out of touch with the current apps that would give you what you want, but these pages may head you in the right direction:


Be aware that many of these apps are made for musicians for instruments, and can be quite heavy-handed. Use the effects sparingly.


It's hard to find a review about any monitor that talks about how much it likes getting eq'd - but I suppose any good monitor should happily handle a bit of eq fiddling.

In the OP, you used the word "exciting", which generally relates to frequency response shaping rather than emulation. However, "exciting" is one of those subjective terms that has no transferable meaning, so I'm unsure of exactly what you mean.
Fiddling with the frequency response of speakers is easy and yields interesting results ....... if done wisely. Please remember that 3 dB of acoustic boost is double the electrical power. And double the perceived loudness boost is TEN TIMES the electrical power. So depending on the effect that you wish to achieve, you can boost a lot and get in trouble really quick! Loudspeaker systems are generally robust, but ten times the power can, in certain circumstances, be damaging.

For that reason, I suggest trying apps that change the nature of the sound first, rather than EQ the amount of sound at any one segment of the spectrum. There's no guarantee that you'll find what you want, but the search will be safer for your equipment. ;)

In the OP, you described three conditions, two of which were to your advantage and one of which was not. The fact that you want to use speakers in the nearfield is to your advantage; they will need less power to give you the reference SPL, and are therefore more amenable to boost. OTOH, you said that a 5" main driver was probably the largest that you would want. 5" drivers don't generally tolerate much boost. But again to your advantage, you want to use a sub, and that will greatly reduce stress on a 5" system.

Good luck! Hope this helped! :)

Jim
 
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