First serious non headphone purchase - Looking for guidance in 2.0/2.1 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-01-2012, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all, this is my first post. I'm currently an Electrical Engineering student at George Washington University and I have been working very hard this summer to save up some money to get the privilege of listening to music. Growing up in Cleveland less than a mile away from one of the best concert halls in the world, I have always had a huge appreciation for music. To this point in my life, I largely care for quality over quantity, and as such have made very few purchase, but I intend them to last me an extremely long time.

Getting to the point, I'm looking to make a pretty serious jump into a 2.0 or 2.1 set up. As a college student, I value something that will be physically small, and as such will probably want to stay away from getting Amps/Receivers, and will probably stick with a pair of bookshelf monitors. For the next year, I will have them in my small bedroom (I don't have the measurements currently but something like 10 x 15). I would like to not only use them to listen to music, but also use them when playing video games occasionally or watching movies. I am guessing that after college I will have significantly more space, and would like the speakers to be able to fill a much bigger room. I have a desktop computer to play back media from. Musically, I would like to be able to listen to an extremely wide range of genres (I know thats not helpful, but I guess I'm hinting at all around performance).

Current listening devices: Sony MDR-7506 (Girlfriend currently has them) and B & W P5s. Have no real experience with actual audio equipment, but the parents do have a Bang and Olufsen 2.0 set in the living room that isn't set up with any care. A good friend of mine has a pair of low end M - Audio monitors, and they sound decent, but nothing life changing.

Goals:
  • 2.0 or 2.1 - I don't think I need a sub currently, but always would be willing to come back later if that need changed.
  • Last indefinitely. I would much rather spend an extra 50% upfront to not have to buy a replacement or have to buy something that functions better. I know this is a dangerous/impossible game in the A/V land, but I want a pair of speakers that will shine for a long time.
  • Be less than $1400.

I guess one of the things that had intrigued me were the Focal CMS series, which looks quite extraordinary, but I wanted to explore all of my options before taking the leap.

And please move this if I have placed this in the wrong forum.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-01-2012, 06:02 PM
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It sounds like you are in the market for some active studio monitors. I would go to some pro-audio stores, like Guitar Center, if you have em near, and listen to what they have available. A few highly regarded brands are Genelec, JBL, and Adam. Mackie and Alesis are decent as well. Some subwoofers to look at which aren't too large are the Hsu VTF1, Emotiva X-Ref 12, SVS SB12, and Rumba 12.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-01-2012, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply!

That was the vibe that I was getting. Would you mind pointing me to some resources that I could learn the differences in the brands and different monitor designs? I want to learn what to look for. Also, what brands are known for reliability?
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-01-2012, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassypants View Post

Thanks for the quick reply!
That was the vibe that I was getting. Would you mind pointing me to some resources that I could learn the differences in the brands and different monitor designs? I want to learn what to look for. Also, what brands are known for reliability?

Do you understand that studio monitors are designed for near field listening? Not much long term musical value if you intend to move them into a larger room.

Better to me to look at good quality small bookshelf models and an integrated amp. I like Paradigm and PSB, because most people would find the sound of one or the other to their liking. Not sure about price.

Here are some pics of recording studios - look at where the speakers are relative to where you'd sit at the board.

linkage

Eve: I thought I was through getting involved with men who were trouble. Falling in love on a look. I can't look at you.

Mickey: You have perfection about you. Your eyes have music. Your heart's the best part of your body. And when you move, every man, woman and child is forced to watch.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-01-2012, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Again, thanks for the advice!

Right, so I guess I don't really understand the difference between integrated amp bookshelf speakers and monitors. I guess I will always have small spaces in which I will want to listen to music. What are the ranges in which monitors sound best? And I'd be happy to read any resources, but I don't think I know where to look
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-01-2012, 08:43 PM
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The kind of speakers you want are generally called "active" speakers. Google "active speakers" and you'll get lots of hits, probably mostly pro monitor stuff. There used to be a market for home active speakers, but it seems to have died? Too bad, I always liked the idea and almost got a pair for myself once upon a time.

I said integrated amp meaning - get a pair of home speakers and power them with an integrated, 2-channel amp. "Active" means the amp is built into the speaker.

Eve: I thought I was through getting involved with men who were trouble. Falling in love on a look. I can't look at you.

Mickey: You have perfection about you. Your eyes have music. Your heart's the best part of your body. And when you move, every man, woman and child is forced to watch.
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