I recently made a thread, but have decided to spend a little more than I originally planned.
I am looking for bookshelfs in the $200-300 range. I have seen many recommendations including the Cambridge Audio S30, Kef iq10, htd level 2 or 3, hsu hb-1, paradigm atom, PSB alpha b1, Mordaunt Short Carnival 2, etc.
I realize there are lots of good choices and the choice is quite personal. However, I won't be able to audition these as no where close to me is likely going to have most or any of them. However, even though they are likely all solid choices with their respective pros and cons, given my specific scenario, which would you recommend (including ones that I did not specifically list). I have a triple monitor setup so the speakers will be placed 4-5 feet apart and probably 2-2.5 feet away from me (obviously nearfield for computer use, so I assume this is the main criteria for narrowing down recommendations). I will use them for music, games, and movies pretty evenly.
Next, is a sub going to be required? I would prefer to keep it down to a 8-10" for size, but if a 12" is going to be vastly superior, please tell me. Not really sure what type of budget I should have here to match the bookshelves, so any place to start would be helpful.
Lastly, hookup. I currently have no soundcard, only onboard via my gigabyte z77x-ud3h which has the VIA VT2021 codec and supports optical out. I also have a cheap lepai 2020 amp and had planned to originally use this with some cheaper bookshelves. Will this be good enough for this price range of speakers and to achieve respectable volume levels for nearfield use (it seemed like plenty when I used it to power some energy rc-10s for my bedroom TV)? Or is it worth looking into a soundcard, dac, amp, receiver, or some combination. Would like to keep costs down, so please keep that in mind. Additionally, I had originally wanted to save space as my triple monitors already take up a good portion of my desk. Add in the speakers and space is getting tight. This is the main reason I initially went with the cheap t amp over a cheap used avr. However, if this is clearly the superior route, please say so. Obviously, I don't want sound quality massively sacrificed if my onboard/lepai can't keep up with the speakers/sub.
Thanks for any input.
Would it just be wiser to simply go with active speakers? I had looked at swans but I guess I just don't know how they will stack up. However, given they are designed specifically for nearfield use, I guess that takes out some of the uncertainty. I really just want to get the most for my money. As for active monitors, I had some BX5a Deluxe monitors but was not blown away with the sound by any means. I don't know if I prefer a warm sounding speaker possibly. How exactly do powered compare to passive speakers? I know monitors are supposed to have a flat response, and I am guessing that is not what I am going for. Also, how would hooking up a sub work to say some of the m200mkii work?