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Trying to decide on new near field monitors for casual(ish) listening

bitstream

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I've read tons of reviews here (and elsewhere) and am struggling to choose an active powered near field monitor for casual (and sometimes critical-ish) listening. I have really good ears and am treble sensitive so anything with a ribbon tweeter is probably out. The speakers will go on a fairly large standing desk and I'll be streaming, listening to uncompressed audio, and likely hooking up a turntable as well. I have an 8" B&W sub that'll be connected to the speakers to fill out the low end.

As a bit of background, my main system includes Martin Logan ESLs, Rega P8, Marantz pre-pro, and Rotel AMP... and I spin a LOT of vinyl. Hopefully that gives you an indication of the tonal quality that I'm used to. Of course, I don't expect this level of performance from a pair of bookshelves on a desk. Clarity is most important and I certainly don't mind some added warmth, though speakers with a fairly flat frequency response are great as I can EQ however I see fit.

Anyway, I'm not looking to spend big bucks here, but want to find a good balance between price and quality. Am I going to put a $1k+ pair of speakers on my desk? No. Thinking there's a sweet spot in the $400-800 range. Ones that caught my eye based on reviews and connectivity options include the Kanto YU6, AudioEngine A5+ but am open to suggestions preferably from those that own and/or have demoed multiple desktop speakers. I'd rather not deal with buying and returning if I don't have to. FWIW, the Kali LP-6 seem interesting but it looks like their connectivity options are limited and each speaker needs to be powered independently, which is a problem given the lack of outlets where my desk is located, so I'd likely shy away from designs like that.

So, given what I mentioned above, what do y'all recommend?
 

twsecrest

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My two cents
The 8" B&W sub-woofer (ASW608?) is not designed to work with studio monitors (self-powered speakers).
Best bang for the buck, a 2.1 setup (5" speaker & 10" sub) from Monoprice. Total should be under $500.
Or for a few dollars more, JBL LSR306 studio monitors, with the Monoprice 10" sub.
The Kanto YU6 and Audioengine A5+ are easy to setup consumer grade studio monitors.
Were as the JBLs are slightly more difficult to setup, but should offer slightly better audio detail.
 

dshreter

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I’m not answering what you asked, but if you’re willing to spend $800, spend $200 more and get Neumann KH 80. It’s one of the most accurate speakers ever measured here, zero hiss, and built in DSP. To do “better” you need to step up to Genelec coaxials at a much higher price.
 

Beershaun

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I'd start with the speaker review index on this site. Plug in your price range and speaker type and put together a short list based on your presences.

 
OP
B

bitstream

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I'd start with the speaker review index on this site. Plug in your price range and speaker type and put together a short list based on your presences.

Oh cool, didn't realize there was a sortable index. I'll play around with it and hopefully narrow down my selections.
 

Karu

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Collin

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"Active/passive Speaker Recommendation" vs "Speaker Review and Measurement Index". Questions:

1. That score is for studio work or audiophile listening? ...there are tons of info about how different are the preferences when is about music producing versus audiophile listening. Is there a trend for experienced ones to go for monitors instead of expensive nice looking gear when is about pure listening experience? (there is no indication about what is that score for...).
2. All speakers also have a score preference with a sub added. How should we interpret that score? For audiophile listening, can it beat a speaker only score, just because is lower?
3. Is it useful this measured score when we pick our "best speakers" just for audiophile listening? Why we don't see Genelec 8010a in the Recommendation list, despite their 8 score (+sub)?
4. Just for audiophile listening, what speakers perform better(with or without a sub) than Genelec 8010a with 8 score (with a sub), in the same price range? (or same, but different subjective criteria)

Side note:
I've been searching for these answers for a while, nothing clear enough to decide my next audio system. My experience is for audiophile listening only with a DAC and a good pair of headphones for lossless/good quality files on a pc, but I can't stand headphones anymore so I want to go for room speakers (preferably bookshelf); all I could test and come close to the headphones experience was some vintage floor speakers or 2.1 Genelec G4 but way to expensive.
The listening expectation is 3-4m away, at 30-50db, measured in the point of hearing, in a 40 sq m room.
Any comments appreciated! 10Q!
 

Digby

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What music do you listen to?
The listening expectation is 3-4m away, at 30-50db, measured in the point of hearing, in a 40 sq m room.
Any comments appreciated! 10Q!
3 to 4 metres? I wouldn't say that was nearfield. 30-50db is pretty low volume. The noisefloor on your room may not be much lower than 30db.

Are you sure this is correct?
 

Collin

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What music do you listen to?

3 to 4 metres? I wouldn't say that was nearfield. 30-50db is pretty low volume. The noisefloor on your room may not be much lower than 30db.

Are you sure this is correct?
Room noise is low (20-30 db) usually. Indeed, I am sensitive to any noise or distorted music, but I've decided to give it a chance to music listening with proper speakers, after a break of many decades (I am close to 50 ;-) )

Music: meditation/relaxation, guitar (Estas Tonne), piano/orchestra, but also classics: Roger Watters, Dire Straits, or Hans Zimmer... I just got in the process of discovering quality stuff.
 

10khz-lpf

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Room noise is low (20-30 db) usually. Indeed, I am sensitive to any noise or distorted music, but I've decided to give it a chance to music listening with proper speakers, after a break of many decades (I am close to 50 ;-) )

Music: meditation/relaxation, guitar (Estas Tonne), piano/orchestra, but also classics: Roger Watters, Dire Straits, or Hans Zimmer... I just got in the process of discovering quality stuff.
Even though OP already found speakers they are happy with, I wanted to chime in and say I am a fairly quiet listener too, It's actually not very often at all that I listen above ~75dB. For this reason I often enjoyed full range speakers with a smaller 3" woofer, or something like the very small Genelecs :)
 
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