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post #1 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking for an inexpensive set of decent passive bookshelf speakers to use for a pc set up. My budget is under $300, prefer $150-$200 max though. I am considering the polk monitor 30's or 40's but am interested in other options as well. Any thoughts and advise would be appreciated. I will not be using a sub at this time, and likely never will, so a more fuller range speaker would be better I think. Mostly for music listening and some light gaming.


Also if any one wants to recommend a t-amp I would be grateful...I have my eyes on the Dayton Audio DTA-100a, but am interested in other options as well. Budget - under $100, prefer $50 max.

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post #2 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 06:02 AM
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Take a look at the KRK Rokit 5 G2. Great sound, already amplified, made for near field listening which i perfect for PC setups.
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post #3 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 11:51 AM
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The Lepai t-amp works surprisingly well (I have one), so much that it makes me wonder if the more expensive Dayton actually can perform much better. I'd say get it, save your money, and then one day upgrade to something really nice like the Emotiva mini-X a-100 or a full size HK 3390 or 3490.

I have a pair of Energy RC-10s in a PC setup. They work great; they have a good amount of mid-bass for such a small speaker and go down to 50hz. They are rear ported, so they need room to breathe out the back. Probably want to give them 6" from the wall.

Also look at the Behringer B2030P and B2031P passive studio monitors.

BTW: What kind of sound card do you have in your PC?

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post #4 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions guys.

I have considered the Lepai t-amp but it was such a cheap price I thought It might be junk, plus I was unfamiliar with the brand. I think I will get it though.

Still torn on the speakers, the engergy's seem nice, but are they that much better then the monitor 40's from the egg?

I have not considered near field monitors yet, I got some research to do....

My sound card for now is just the onboard audio from my mobo (5.1)...once I get it set up and if I feel it sounds like crap, I will change it out for a better sound card. The PC wont really be used for any critical listening...I have my living room rig for that. I'm just looking for better then normal PC speaker sound.

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post #5 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 12:57 PM
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I am using the Audioengine A2 speakers, which got such a rave write-up in Stereophile. They are self-powered and have excellent sound for only $200; a real steal. I am just using the analog stereo sound output from my motherboard (AC97), which is surprisingly good.

I use them with a Sony SA-W2500 sub, which I got for $70. Since I don't play music super-loud, this is enough to do the job.

Quite an amazing sound setup for only $270; highly recommended.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

I am looking for an inexpensive set of decent passive bookshelf speakers to use for a pc set up. My budget is under $300, prefer $150-$200 max though. I am considering the polk monitor 30's or 40's but am interested in other options as well. Any thoughts and advise would be appreciated. I will not be using a sub at this time, and likely never will, so a more fuller range speaker would be better I think. Mostly for music listening and some light gaming.


Also if any one wants to recommend a t-amp I would be grateful...I have my eyes on the Dayton Audio DTA-100a, but am interested in other options as well. Budget - under $100, prefer $50 max.

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post #6 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Any thoughts on the Arx A1? The ribbon tweeters seem nice. But again, are they that much better then the monitor 40's to justify their cost?

I'm not looking for anything super high end or super expensive. I have no plans on running a sub at this point and likely never for this rig (there is just no room for a real acitve sub). Just wanting an inexpensive set up that is better then your average PC speaker rig.

Im sorry that I keep comparing everything to the polks, but I am familiar with them and they do offer decent performance and are an increadible value at the prices newegg has for them.

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post #7 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

I am looking for an inexpensive set of decent passive bookshelf speakers to use for a pc set up. .

The best speaker in your price range is the PSB Alpha B1


Forget Polk and all that junk, PSB owns this price point. There is simply nothing comparable on the market.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #8 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 01:38 PM
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 01:43 PM
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TRUE!

PSB ALPHA B1

Forget Polk and all that junk, PSB owns this price point. There is simply nothing comparable on the market.[/quote]
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post #10 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

My sound card for now is just the onboard audio from my mobo (5.1)...once I get it set up and if I feel it sounds like crap, I will change it out for a better sound card. The PC wont really be used for any critical listening...I have my living room rig for that. I'm just looking for better then normal PC speaker sound.

Yeah. Most motherboard analog out audio is not that great.

The reason I asked is if you have room for a receiver and listen to high quality audio files, you could do better in SQ to look for a used surround receiver in Craigslist if your PC audio has optical out or HDMI audio out from your graphics card. That can also be more cost effective than getting a sound card for $80 to $100 later on. I've seen receivers on my CL for less than or about the same price of that Dayton.

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post #11 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Yeah. Most motherboard analog out audio is not that great.

The reason I asked is if you have room for a receiver and listen to high quality audio files, you could do better in SQ to look for a used surround receiver in Craigslist if your PC audio has optical out or HDMI audio out from your graphics card. That can also be more cost effective than getting a sound card for $80 to $100 later on. I've seen receivers on my CL for less than or about the same price of that Dayton.

Like I said, the pc set up is not really going to be for critical listening. All my flacs are sent over the network to the living room set up.

Just for fun, I just installed my sons marantz sr225 and his monitor 40's and it is pretty good....the 40's are too big for my desk though..lol.

I think I narrowed the speakers down to the psb's or the ARX A1's.

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post #12 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 05:16 PM
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You better give your son's system back to him before he gets upset (lol)

If size is an issue, the NHT SuperZeros are nice small monitors, but they do need a sub for the below 100hz range.

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post #13 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You better give your son's system back to him before he gets upset (lol)

If size is an issue, the NHT SuperZeros are nice small monitors, but they do need a sub for the below 100hz range.

lol my son is 10 yrs old and besides I paid for his gear.

I did ask him before i borrowed his stuff though.

I did look at the NHT superzero's, but lack of freq response and needing a sub as a must disqualified them.

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post #14 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

lol my son is 10 yrs old and besides I paid for his gear.

I understand. My son is 12 and has a pair of Cambridge Audio S30s and an old HK receiver in his room at my house, both hand me downs from me

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post #15 of 27 Old 01-29-2012, 06:34 PM
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Ever think about Tannoy? Powered monitors are in your price range...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004BA4236
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post #16 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 07:58 AM
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I'm on a similar search with a slightly larger budget. Cambridge S30 is one set I will audition, although it was reported that it may not be a good desktop speaker.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1391677

For your budget, the best bang for the buck appears to be Energy RC-10, right at $300 from Vanns. Adding another more economical choice, NHT SuperZero, which was suggested to me and I have since dismissed.

Good luck! Please report back what you decide upon.

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post #17 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

I'm on a similar search with a slightly larger budget. Cambridge S30 is one set I will audition, although it was reported that it may not be a good desktop speaker.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1391677

For your budget, the best bang for the buck appears to be Energy RC-10, right at $300 from Vanns. Adding another more economical choice, NHT SuperZero, which was suggested to me and I have since dismissed.

Good luck! Please report back what you decide upon.

With all respect your suggestions are garbadge.

Read my prior post.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #18 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

With all respect your suggestions are garbadge.

Read my prior post.

With all respect, so is your respect. You suggest one speaker, give no justification for that suggestion, and dismiss all other feedback on the subject.

Go crawl back under your rock.

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post #19 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

With all respect your suggestions are garbadge.

Read my prior post.

Your response is not respectful, but rude--and uninformed.

The Energy RC series would be considered by many people to be the same class as the higher PSB Image series, not the lower level PSB Alphas.

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post #20 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Your response is not respectful, but rude--and uninformed.

The Energy RC series would be considered by many people to be the same class as the higher PSB Image series, not the lower level PSB Alphas.

God bless.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #21 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

With all respect your suggestions are garbadge.

Read my prior post.

Care to elaborate on why the PSB Alpha B1 is the only option someone should consider in that price range?

Not that I'll agree with you anyway, but you could at least back up such bold claims.

BTW, your ignorant reply to Nethawk is the only garbage in this thread...
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post #22 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 10:16 AM
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Here is a good post comparing Energy RC10 with PSB Imagine B.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post21026160

The Energy speakers compared well even with the better PSB speakers.

FWIW, while I will audition the PSB Alpha's while at Crutchfield, I have already dismissed them as inferior to many of the other contenders on my list, for a couple of reasons - user reports of overly "bright' highs and mediocre lows.

Jason, I might suggest adding to your research methodology the type of music you listen to most, and compose your searches with this in mind. It may help to narrow your search. For example, Stereophile praised rude dude's choice for orchestral music, while pointing out the deficiencies I mentioned.

http://www.stereophile.com/budgetcom...psb/index.html

Good luck in your search.

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post #23 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 10:23 AM
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 10:28 AM
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The PSB Alpha B1 gets the attention it does for good reason, but it's not the only good $300 pair of speakers out there

Stereophile's Stephen Mejias also liked the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 in comparison to the PSB Alpha B1. He listed it as one of his favorite budget components of 2011. And the full Stereophile review of the Diamond 10.1 was about as good as you can ask for when it comes to a $350 speaker - coupled to solid measurements.

I spent a couple days comparing the Diamond 10.1 and Energy RC-10 in my room, A/B level matched. Personally, I prefer the RC-10. I think the Diamond 10.1 is a very nice speaker - coherent, smooth, and pretty well balanced, with surprisingly extended and punchy bass. That said, I found it a little darker sounding compared to the RC-10, and just not as engaging.
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post #25 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 10:33 AM
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I for one believe you have to go higher than the PSB Alpha, to challange
the Cambridge S30. As far as desktop use, one would have to expierment
and see if the S30 is right for them on the desktop - I have mixed feelings
on that. For one on a tight budget. I would also look at the EMP E41 book
shelf speakers.
http://www.emptek.com/e41b.php
It was measured down to 70hz -3db
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...-40.2-overview

Also good for one on a tight budget - HTD Level Two Speakers
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-tw...shelf-Speakers

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Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #26 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Jason, I might suggest adding to your research methodology the type of music you listen to most, and compose your searches with this in mind. It may help to narrow your search. For example, Stereophile praised rude dude's choice for orchestral music, while pointing out the deficiencies I mentioned.

That's a great point. I've just been upgrading my main HT setup from B&W 601s to the Energy RC series. After spending a few months comparing the 601s with the RC-10s, I found that the RC-10s do much better with house/trance/techno/trip hop, rock, and the blues that I listen. Yet, I'm sure when I go through my classical music phase again and start comparing the Beethoven sonatas of Brendel, Kempf, Ashkenazy, Richter, and Perahia, I'll miss the 601's a little. They have a sweeter upper mid range and a little better tweeter.

However, the 601 tweeter is very polite--very forgiving--and the low midrange is demure, and then mid-bass is not existent. So, the RC-10s will often sound a little harsh with the high end of the tweeter because they are more revealing, giving them better detail--it's a tradeoff--and Led Zeppelin sounds a hell of a lot better because the growl of Page's guitar has more presence, is more distinct and detailed thanks to the better lower mid-range. I won't even get into how much better the dance genres sound with the better lower mid-range and strong mid-bass.

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post #27 of 27 Old 02-04-2012, 10:54 AM
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I listen to alternative, indie, rock, classic rock, reggae, jazz, world and classical. Unfortunately, in the price range I can afford now (in the space I'm looking to fill), I can't hit perfection with everything I listen to. I know I will have to make compromises, and am carefully adjusting my reference songs for the audition process. But, by focusing my online searches and composing notes based on comments of those who have auditioned and/or owned specific contenders I believe the task ahead will be more fulfilling, and more fun.

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