High-End Powered Bookshelf Speakers? Studio Monitors? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-23-2005, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I've recently moved into a new place and have trimmed my home theater considerably and am now only concerned with getting good two-way sound for music. I only listen to music using airtunes from my Mac so rather than buy a receiver / amp I figure I can just buy a nice set of powered bookshelf speakers and plug them right into the airport express (this would make the presence of audio equipment in the room besides the speakers non-existent). I'd prefer to avoid a sub if I can but I realize that may not be possible if I want reasonable low end.

My constraints:

-wood paneled room with vaulted ceilings
-speakers are roughly 15 feet from the listening location
-Ideally the speakers should fit in a 15" shelf opening of the bookcase. Placing on top of bookcase is an option, though less optimal. Top placing issues *might* be mitigated by the long throw to the listening area...not sure.
-This is a transitional system so spending under $1500 for the whole deal is required.

I was considering the Mackie HR824 / 624 (possibly paired with the HRS120) but studio monitors are typically near-field which means things might be muddy by the time things get to where I'm listening. Perhaps this can't be avoided in the size and speaker distance I'm dealing with. I'm also concerned that studio monitors might sound "dead". Flat response seems like a good thing, but would a monitor be too flat?

Any ideas? Does someone make great powered bookshelf speakers designed for listening, not studio work? All I've found are the Logitec satellite-type stuff designed for computer games.

Thanks very much!

Grom
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-23-2005, 11:13 AM
 
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Near field monitors really only imply that they CAN be used for close range listening with the listener close to the speakers and the speakers/listener both distant from the walls or in an otherwise dead room. I don't have them myself but I know at least one person who uses HR824s for their home theater. I've never heard them myself but knowing their design and knowing what other people have to say about them, I'd say they're a safe bet.

Another option is that you could look for a pair of used Paradigm Active-20s or Active-40s. Check on Audiogon, they pop up every now and then. They're biamped too, but they'll probably run more money even despite being used. On the other hand, they're also a bit nicer looking than the Mackies. Either way, I don't think you can go wrong.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-23-2005, 11:21 AM
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Look for a pair of SP-150 Miller & Kreisel's. They are powered and are supposed to sound very good!

CHuck
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-23-2005, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the guidance so far. The S-150Ps do look grand, but they also look to run about $1500 a speaker.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-23-2005, 02:32 PM
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The Sp-150's or whatever are expensive, but they will last a long time for you. Plus when you are ready to upgrade the mac soundcard, you will have speakers capable of really showing off.

Chuck
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-23-2005, 05:48 PM
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JBL has some interesting new powered monitors, see their pro site under broadcasting. I think the 6inch woofer 1inch tweeter model might fit your budget.
There are a few Mackie 824 reviews on the net and they seem to be mostly positive.
Music stores sometimes have them hooked up and available for demo. I lilstened to the smaller ones, I think 624?? They were ok, didn't knock me out but could have been just a crapie room.
Good luck.

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post #7 of 9 Old 11-23-2005, 08:06 PM
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For about $2K I can get you into a pair of PMC DB-1's with a set of the Flying Mole DADM100 pro amps. Do a search on PMC DB1SA. This is the same thing. VERY hard to beat!

"Did you make 'em fine-ass-soundin' speakers over there what would sound gooder than hell comin' out of the back of my truck-boat-truck?"

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post #8 of 9 Old 11-23-2005, 08:28 PM
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I think you are going in the wrong direction actually. HR 824s, which I have audtioned as well as the KRK V8s are for mixing and the response is so uncolored and flat that music sounds dull.

Better near field studio monitors for listening are made by Genelec and NHT studio Pro ones actually. But they are way beyond your budget. Just my opnion. Listen to some passive offereings with your fav CDS and compare to Mackies or other stuff like that and see what you think.
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-25-2005, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rysa4
I think you are going in the wrong direction actually. HR 824s, which I have audtioned as well as the KRK V8s are for mixing and the response is so uncolored and flat that music sounds dull.
So I'll play dumb here. Don't I *want* my speakers to be flat? Is this the same argument of solid state vs. tube amplification? Why would I want to add color that the artist or recording engineer never intended? I'd prefer to avoid monitors just because they tend to be a bit pricey but as I mentioned earlier in the post, I'm having a hard time finding powered speakers of moderate quality that aren't monitors. (Excepting the $1500 a speaker M&K S-150Ps mentioned earlier in the thread.)

Thanks,

Grom
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