I have had my head turned around a few times in this search which has become more desperate in the last few weeks when I blew out one of my 25 year old free college speakers. The mono setup is just not working for me at all and needs to be replaced...
However, being a grad student, my uses are wide and varied, and my space is challenging. The room is about 10' x 13' x 8' (LxWxH) and functions as my office, listening room, and home theater. I am planning on putting up some foam panels on the sides and back wall as a start at acoustic management...nothing high tech, just some insulation from Home Depot. Whenever I am in the room, some audio is playing, probably about 75% music, 25% movies.
As for room setup, my desk is parallel to the short wall, offset about 2' from the wall so that my speakers have about 3' to the wall. I have 3 24" displays on my desk (about 60" wide) framed by my 2...erm...1 bookshelf speaker. About 4' behind my desk is a small couch. I was planning on getting a projector so that I didnt have to watch movies on my 24" screen anymore, but it looks like I am getting speakers instead...
For the speakers I have a MAX budget of $1000 to include the speakers, shipping, and any necessary stands, cables, DI boxes, etc.
I have an old, but good quality amp that delivers 2x70W at 8ohms, so that may or may not make it into my next system.
I have gotten a lot of conflicting advice from people at Guitar Center, home theater stores, and online forums. I originally was thinking that studio monitors would be perfect for my uses since the max listening distance is about 5' and the normal listening distance is 3' (when I'm working on my computer which unfortunately is most of the time). However, after talking to the guys at Guitar Center and another online forum specializing in recording, they seem to suggest that a studio monitor would sound horrible for normal listening. I was under the impression that it will give me the closest sound to what the audio engineers heard and since my room was not completely untreated and some thought was put into the speaker placement, that they would give me the best sound, especially since i will be within 3' 90 % of the time.
In the studio monitor category I have been eyeing the Mackie Hr824mkII, KRK VXT 8, and JBL LSR 2328P.
However the naysayers in the recording business have given me doubt and I started looking into more traditional consumer speakers such as the Polk LSi9, RB-81 II, Emotiva XRT-6.2 or XRM-6.1, or maybe even something like the Paradigm Studio 60. I am concerned about the listening distance and related fatigue with these options since they are designed to be listened to at far greater distances than 3'.
I plan on building a subwoofer next summer, so while bass extension is always appreciated, I would prefer a smoother, flatter mid-range than a booming bottom.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I was ready to pull the trigger on the Mackies, and then they made me doubt...
Thanks in advance!