Originally Posted by arnyk
The Adam X-series has a good reputation as near field monitors for audio production. I don't know where your comment about not being widely used comes from.
That depends on so many specifics that I don't think you really know about, that giving it a try would be an absolutely and totally smart first step.
There's a big market in overpriced headphone amps that seems to be more based on fashion and style than actual need. That all said I use headphone amps with both of my main computers - one computer has a Fiio E5 and the other has a Boosteroo. They both perform extremely well, both in use and on the test bench. One cost less than $20 and the other less than $30.
Sorry, I meant to say widely used in Hi-fi setups. Although reading back I realize that was an idiotic comment, as it doesn't really matter. Good point about the headphone amps, I'm trying to keep the cost of my headphone amp down, which is why I was looking at the all-in-one products. Despite what I mentioned above, an device that operates only as an HP-AMP would be the last thing I would buy, because, like you said, anything better isn't really necessary for me.
Originally Posted by cel4145
It's debatable whether or not an active or the passive system would give you the better price/performance value. The Sierra1s are undoubtedly considered to be some of the best speakers in their class. Personally, I would pair them with the HK 3490
because it seems unlikely to me that the Peachtree integrated would give you significantly more SQ performance over the HK to warrant double the price. Then the Sierra1/HK 3490 pairing is much closer in price to your other considerations.
That being said, mostly like your own personal taste would be the biggest determining factor. We all have different sound preferences, and how and where we set our speakers is up is a determining factor, too. You'd be best off buying two setups (either the passive and the active or the two active), auditioning them in your home for a week, and then returning the one you like the least. See the cost of return shipping on one setup as just part of the overall cost. I've done it, and so have others on AVS, and no one has ever said that they weren't glad that they did it. Not to mention that it's kind of fun comparing the two
I am starting to feel I didn't give the HK enough of a chance. I will go back and look at it for sure. I also am realizing that auditioning is my best bet, so I will try to finalize two systems and then try them out.
Originally Posted by amirm
I only have experience with the Nova in the list of gear you have proposed and there, I don't find its USB input all that great. Adding an external asynch USB to S/PDIF adapter improved its subjective performance relative to USB. With that change, it is a very audiophile product.
At home, I run powered speakers (NHT) with a sub. I like the bi-amp configuration in these as it keeps the distortion from the woofer from bleeding into the tweeter as it gets near its limit.
All of these are subpoints though. Likely the sound of these speakers is very different so the difference in active vs not will be secondary. For these reasons, it may pay to shop locally and go and listen to this stuff rather buying them mail order.
And oh, is that a walnut desk? Seems nice
I wasn't planning on running it out of USB. There seems to be debate over which connections to use, and I thought I might as well not use the one in question. I have one store nearby, will go see what they carry. And yes, it is walnut. It's not totally done yet, but the raised shelf was to get the speakers off the desk (I have a tiny room).
Originally Posted by Nethawk
I went through the same decision a few months ago and decided that a passive setup with receiver/amp/speakers gave me more flexibility and better performance for the same amount of money. My greatest challenge was finding passive speakers that were friendly enough to be placed on my desktop, and for this, as cel states above, auditioning is essential.
Looks like an audition is coming up. I am paying close attention to what speakers I think would work in my situation.
Originally Posted by localhost127
if you have the given real estate, it would be wise in such a setup to place the speakers on stands many feet in front of the desk such that the desk blocks the floor reflection. speakers on the desk are going to induce early-early (1-3ms) high-gain colored reflections that are destructive to intelligibility, localization, and imaging - as well as edge diffraction from a variety of sources.
I had the desk built with that shelf in order to try to minimized desk related problems. These will be kept in a room in which I don't have much freedom with placement, so I had to compromise. If I notice problems I will maybe put them higher up.