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Switching from Passives+amp to Actives

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#1
My partner and I are going to be moving in a month or 2 and possibly again in another 6-12 months, and again in another 6-12 months and again, etc.
We have decided we want to keep our belongings to a minimum. (I really can not be weighed down right now)

I currently own a pair of B&W 602s2 that are powered by a NADc372 for my stereo system and a 5.1 B&W 601s2+cc6 set with a BK xls300 subwoofer powered by a Denon 2310 for my movies setup. (actually, another pair of B&W601s2 with a NAD3130 for my PC setup)
This is waay too much equipment to keep schlepping around with us once or twice a year.

So I am thinking of switching to some Active speakers like the Adam t5v, Kali LP-6, or JBL 305p/306p, probably 2 setups, 1 pair for the TV and 1 pair for the PC.
I may consider getting a subwoofer but something smaller than the BK, that thing is a beast.

I know it is going to hurt going down from 5.1 to stereo (especially the center speaker) but sound-wise how do you guys think the active speakers mentioned above will fair compared to the B&W602/601s and the NADs?

I will most likely pick the Adam t5v or JBL 305p instead of the Kali LP-6 or JBL 306p due to size, I feel like it will just make life easier atm.

What do you guys think?

Is this going to be a Downgrade? Sidegrade? Upgrade? I think for the PC setup which is nearfield it will probably be an upgrade vs the B&W601+NAD3130 I currently use.

EDIT: the pricing here in the UK is
Kali LP-6 £300
JBL 306P MKII £300
Adam T5V £270
JBL 305P MKII £220

This is roughly my budget if I play to get 2 pairs.

All setups will use a decent DAC or minidsp
 
Last edited:

q3cpma

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#2
Listening distance is important. If it's typical TV distance, I'd consider the Behringer B2031A.
For the desktop, the Adam is probably the less worst because JBL and Kali hiss like mad.

In the end, remember that those are all cheap speakers with compromises everywhere. If you want to go into the "problem solved" zone at a reasonable price, look at Neumann's KH120A or Genelec's 8030C (look at these brands on the used market in general).
 
OP
T
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Thread Starter #3
Listening distance is important.
Thanks, unfortunately, I wont know what the listening distance will be but we have a 42" TV so I would say around 6ft away most likely.
I will have a look at the Behringer.
I am trying to keep the costs down atm so unfortunately, my budget can not stretch to the KH120A or 8030C.
I really need to sort this out pretty soon so I dont really have time for used, unfortunately.
Thanks for the input though.

EDIT: I may just get a pair of Adam t5v for my PC setup now and try it on the TV setup for now to see what I think.
 
OP
T
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Thread Starter #4
Wow, I am really considering a pair of Genelec 8010A for the Desktop setup now, they are so small, seems perfect.
 

Head_Unit

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#6
What do you guys think?
I think that the smaller the speaker, the smaller the sound. It's called "physics." I'd be wanting 8" personally, and streamable. Actually for a small form factor, the JBL ControlX Active are quite good, I've bought 3 pairs for various purposes. But those are background/light duty; I'd want something with more beef for primary.
https://www.audioholics.com/bookshelf-speaker-reviews/kali-audio-lp-8
PreSonus Eris E8 XT Active Studio Monitors Review | Audioholics
https://audioxpress.com/article/fresh-from-the-bench-vanatoo-transparent-one-encore-powered-speakers
https://audioxpress.com/article/fresh-from-the-bench-kali-audio-lp-6-powered-studio-monitors
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=625881
 
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#7
Ok... You are going to hate this but, get a sonos arc. For one it's dead simple, and just use it as a test run of the technology. It sounds very good, and gives you the center speaker which very much helps dialog intelligibility. You do want it with the sub if you can swing it. When you land in a few years at a place you can have gear again then sell the sonos, their resale is very good. Make sure your TV has an arc port.

Keep the 602s and the NAD for your computer setup. I find I always want a physical knob for volume and I find it just as annoying to have two cables going to speakers (signal and power) as having an amp somewhere. Sometimes it's more annoying because I feel like I'm always out of power outlets and IEC cables are stiff and lame to route cleanly along a desk.
 
OP
T
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Thread Starter #11
I think that the smaller the speaker, the smaller the sound. It's called "physics." I'd be wanting 8" personally, and streamable. Actually for a small form factor, the JBL ControlX Active are quite good, I've bought 3 pairs for various purposes. But those are background/light duty; I'd want something with more beef for primary.
https://www.audioholics.com/bookshelf-speaker-reviews/kali-audio-lp-8
PreSonus Eris E8 XT Active Studio Monitors Review | Audioholics
https://audioxpress.com/article/fresh-from-the-bench-vanatoo-transparent-one-encore-powered-speakers
https://audioxpress.com/article/fresh-from-the-bench-kali-audio-lp-6-powered-studio-monitors
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=625881
Ideally I would love bigger speakers but like I said, if I am moving every 6-12 months I want something small and easy to pack.
I also dont know what type of places we will be staying in.
I miiiight be able to go for some 6" but atm I am looking at 5" or smaller, those Genelec 8010a are temping but quite pricy.
 
OP
T
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Thread Starter #13
Ok... You are going to hate this but, get a sonos arc. For one it's dead simple, and just use it as a test run of the technology. It sounds very good, and gives you the center speaker which very much helps dialog intelligibility. You do want it with the sub if you can swing it. When you land in a few years at a place you can have gear again then sell the sonos, their resale is very good. Make sure your TV has an arc port.

Keep the 602s and the NAD for your computer setup. I find I always want a physical knob for volume and I find it just as annoying to have two cables going to speakers (signal and power) as having an amp somewhere. Sometimes it's more annoying because I feel like I'm always out of power outlets and IEC cables are stiff and lame to route cleanly along a desk.
Im not sure about the Sonos Arc, its pricy and I will still be using the TV area for music listening so Im not sure how good it would be for that.
Ill probably settle on the Adam t5v and potentially keep the BK Sub.
For my computer I really need to make it as small as possible (hence why im thinking about the Genelec 8010a).
Atm my 601+NAD take up more than 50% of the space on my desk and I really need more room for other things.
The 602 are giants so they def have to go.
I have thought about keeping the 601s and getting a smaller class D amp but then I figure I might just go for some active speakers.

I think my best option is to get some Active speakers and try them out for 14 days and see how i like them vs the B&W.
 

FrantzM

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#14
Hi

Often in this forum the JBL LSR305 and 306 are favorite. IMHO and according to Amir's reviews the JBL LSR 308 is a better speaker and by a good margin. It can play loud enough and if corrected by some DCR, punches way above its weight/price :)
I have 3 in my HT and the LSR 305 as surrounds plus 3 Parts Express SuB15 ... I have reached >108 dB at the LP which is a good 10 feet from the LCR....
 
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#16
I think you'd be surprised by the quality of the Arc+Sub for music. It is pricy for sure, and the cost is more for the ecosystem which you may or may not use. I do love the Play One, I think the are one of the best speakers of their size on the market, but there isn't a good cheap way of integrating them with a computer.
 
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#17
Hi

Often in this forum the JBL LSR305 and 306 are favorite. IMHO and according to Amir's reviews the JBL LSR 308 is a better speaker and by a good margin. It can play loud enough and if corrected by some DCR, punches way above its weight/price :)
I have 3 in my HT and the LSR 305 as surrounds plus 3 Parts Express SuB15 ... I have reached >108 dB at the LP which is a good 10 feet from the LCR....
What do you use for your processor?
 
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#19
We install both Genelec and Sonos and I have personal experience with both the 8010 and the ARC. IMHO, I'd take the 8010 any day of the week, both need a sub. I will give the ARC the edge in ease of use and of course music streaming. I have done a number of TV set ups with active speakers using the TV's analog outputs. This also has ease of use as then your volume is controlled with your TV, Cable/Sat or streaming device remote if capable. I do that in my own home and have tried a number of sound bars. I haven't found any sound bars that beat a nice 2.1 set up for music and TV. Note, not all TVs have analog or headphone outputs so it may not be possible to do a simple 2.1 system like this for TVs that don't have this feature. The other disadvantage of a 2.1 system to the TV is the TV needs to be on for music streaming. For many it is not a problem if they are controlling their music service with the TV.
 
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#20
I could never get into 2.1 for TV, I miss the center channel too much.

Would be nice to have cheap eARC HDMI to 5.1 analog available.
 
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