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Bookshelf speakers and small amp recommendations

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey all

I posted a long rambling question (seen here) and got no responses, probably due to it being a massive wall of text.

So, cliffs of that:

I need a pair of speakers and an amp, or a pair of powered speakers, that I can take with me as I expat my way around the world. Amp and passive, or active, no real preference. As to size, I need it all to fit in a large suitcase, so the towers and AVR I have are not going to work. Bookshelf or smaller. Company insures everything, so I'm not too worried about it getting damaged on the plane. Must work with 120-240v, 50-60hz.

Will be used in hotels, apartments, and rent houses depending on where they put me and when they move me. I understand I'm not going to get house shaking bass, but I want to do better than tv/laptop speakers.

Budget of $200 for small actives, $400 for 5 inch+ and separate amp.

Gogogogogogo
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by hg1027 View Post

Hey all

I posted a long rambling question (seen here) and got no responses, probably due to it being a massive wall of text.

So, cliffs of that:

I need a pair of speakers and an amp, or a pair of powered speakers, that I can take with me as I expat my way around the world. Amp and passive, or active, no real preference. As to size, I need it all to fit in a large suitcase, so the towers and AVR I have are not going to work. Bookshelf or smaller. Company insures everything, so I'm not too worried about it getting damaged on the plane. Must work with 120-240v, 50-60hz.

Will be used in hotels, apartments, and rent houses depending on where they put me and when they move me. I understand I'm not going to get house shaking bass, but I want to do better than tv/laptop speakers.

Budget of $200 for small actives, $400 for 5 inch+ and separate amp.

Gogogogogogo

Dimensions and allowable weight of that "large suitcase" ?
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at the dimensions of the A5+ or MTX 5i for speaker size, coming to about 11x7x9. Pair of A5+ is about 25lbs, Rokits would be 30lb for a pair. I think that's about as heavy and big as I want to deal with.

I've been looking at the small Class T amps (see this Topping) to go with something like these MTX Monitor 5i if I feel cheap, or these JBL Control-1 Pros if I hear they are good. That brings the total cost down to about $275, which I would be perfectly comfortable with if it's a decent setup.
Edited by hg1027 - 1/22/13 at 2:09pm
post #4 of 18
fwiw, dayton audio dta-100 tri path amp $90 ( parts express)and a pair of cambridge audio s-30 speakers $220 ( audio advisor). 2 of my favorite "small" great sounding audio components
Edited by smasher50 - 1/22/13 at 6:44pm
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much for the recommendation. I'll investigate.
post #6 of 18
While not owning a pair, the S30s would be on my very short list for affordable book shelf speakers. Go here for further reading http://www.avsforum.com/t/1327952/almost-got-floored-by-cambridge-s30. Cambridge also offers the smaller S20s if size is a further consideration.

Further info from Audio Advisor-

S30 http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CAS30

S20 http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CAS20
Edited by citizen arcane - 1/22/13 at 6:54pm
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
I read that thread, and several other reviews. Sounds good.

Regarding the amp, I'll primarily be feeding this from a desktop or a laptop. Would the USB on the topping tp30 be enough of an improvement over the Dayton to recommend it?

Thanks for any help.

Edit: I guess a better question might be, Would some sort of DAC, whether integrated as in the Topping models or discrete (make recommendation here) be an improvement over running line out from a computer?
Edited by hg1027 - 1/22/13 at 7:18pm
post #8 of 18
KRK rokit 5 or 6's. Or any pair of book shelves with the Wharfedale diamond 10.1's and Screw a lepai amp to the top of one of them?
post #9 of 18
The new DefTech SM45-65s are awesome and would suit your need nicely.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
It looks like the DefTechs would be significantly more expensive than I was looking for. Thanks for the suggestion though.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by hg1027 View Post

It looks like the DefTechs would be significantly more expensive than I was looking for. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Newegg have the DefTech SM350 for $180 a pair and the SM450 for $280 a pair. Not a whole lot of difference between them and the new SM45/55 sonically. An Emotiva mini-X a-100 would probably be sufficient to drive them. The SM350 and mini-X would be $400 total and would be better than the Audioengine A2 and possibly the A5+. The Dayton Audio APA150 would probably work as well but would be larger in size. The same $400 would get you either the Audioengine A5+ or the Emotiva Airmotiv 5's powered monitors which, to me, sound better than the A5+.

Only reason I wouldn't touch any of the Topping stuff is because USB Audio is only 16/48. Something like the Audioengine D1 would be better at USB Audio.
Edited by jevans64 - 1/25/13 at 8:52pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by hg1027 View Post

It looks like the DefTechs would be significantly more expensive than I was looking for. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Your option/choice >
However I prefer the Cambridge S30 over the Definitive SM350, for music.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Any opinion on the Infinity Primus series vs the Cambridge S30s? I understand the front port on the Infinity allows it to be placed closer to the wall, but I've also read several people suggest jamming a sock in a rear port and putting it where you want.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by hg1027 View Post

Any opinion on the Infinity Primus series vs the Cambridge S30s? I understand the front port on the Infinity allows it to be placed closer to the wall, but I've also read several people suggest jamming a sock in a rear port and putting it where you want.

The Cambridge tiny 4.5" woofer can't hold a candle, bass wise to the 6.5" in the P163:

Cambridge tiny 4.5" woofer
Freq,Hz Max SPL, DB

10 61
20 73
30 80
40 85
50 89
60 92
70 95
80 97
90 99
100 101
110 102
120 104
130 105
140 107
150 108
160 109
170 110

P163 6.5 inch

Freq,Hz Max SPL, DB

10 67
20 79
30 86
40 91
50 95
60 98
70 101
80 103
90 105
100 107
110 109
120 110
130 112
140 113
150 114
160 115
170 116

All other parameters but woofer size held equal...

The Primus 6.5 inch woofer is still not too large to match up well with the dome tweeter.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
The 153 is on sale at my local Frys for $50, so I'd be looking at that one. I've actually already bought it to pick up after work, and I'll try to listen to them before I walk out with them. The larger woofer and the front port, as well as the decent reviews on this site caught my eye, and the discount pushed them over the edge. The only problem might be the size, they are significantly bigger than the S30s, so I have to decide if I'm willing to haul them around.

I'm also ordering both the dayton DTA100a and the APA150 to see if the power of the 150 is worth the size and weight.

I'll have plenty of time to return and reorder if you guys tell me I'm doing it wrong.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by hg1027 View Post

The 153 is on sale at my local Frys for $50, so I'd be looking at that one. I've actually already bought it to pick up after work, and I'll try to listen to them before I walk out with them.

Chances the demo at Frys will tell you nothing to how these will sound in the future.
Edited by arnyk - 1/28/13 at 2:10pm
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well if the Infinitys don't sound good (not that I have a great ear, and now that I'll have a mostly empty, echoey house to listen to them in...) I can always still go for the S30s. We'll see.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The Cambridge tiny 4.5" woofer can't hold a candle, bass wise to the 6.5" in the P163:

Cambridge tiny 4.5" woofer
Freq,Hz Max SPL, DB

10 61
20 73
30 80
40 85
50 89
60 92
70 95
80 97
90 99
100 101
110 102
120 104
130 105
140 107
150 108
160 109
170 110

P163 6.5 inch

Freq,Hz Max SPL, DB

10 67
20 79
30 86
40 91
50 95
60 98
70 101
80 103
90 105
100 107
110 109
120 110
130 112
140 113
150 114
160 115
170 116

All other parameters but woofer size held equal...

The Primus 6.5 inch woofer is still not too large to match up well with the dome tweeter.
the infinity' are in much larger cabinets 15x11x8 and weigh 16#
the cambridge s-30's 9x8x6.3 and weigh 6.6# for their size they can put some nice bass out and honestly what would you rather lug around through the airport
Edited by smasher50 - 1/28/13 at 3:57pm
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