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Downgrading from Logitech Z-5500 to 2.0 or 2.1 Apple iMac speakers

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have owned more than few Logitech Z-5500 speakers in my day and have gotten them all for around $180 a piece (I have patience). I enjoyed this set for the longest time but I bought a house and put together a HT that made me realize I was missing something with the Z-5500's. They are still wonderful and very loud but these days I am looking for frequency response quality and a smaller package. I enjoyed the optical audio out on my Apple iMac as it produced no static or feedback typically associated with using a standard 3.5mm analog out.
Now I am looking for something that has a better overall quality of sound, in a 2.0 or 2.1 setup, that doesn't need to ever be as loud as the Z-5500's. The office I am in proves the Z-5500's overkill, to many speakers and I never crank it above a few bars. I was thinking powered bookshelf speakers (briefly), B&W MM-1's (although massively expensive), Focal XS Bookshelf's (although they look too tiny and I haven't read enough reviews), Harmon & Kardon Soudstick III's, and a few others before I realized asking the wisdom of crowds is my best solution. I have been reading these forums for years now and have gotten great information from it's audiophiles. So today I joined, first post, and ask for your experiences -- plus if there are like minding people like me out there they like solving problems.

cool.gif

What I Have:
  • 27" Apple iMac
  • Optical/Toslink Output
  • USB Output
  • 3.5mm Output
  • Logitech Z-5500

What I Would Like:
  • Smaller form factor (2.0 or 2.1)
  • Better frequency response
  • Less power than Z-5500 (which has a car amp strapped the the back IIRC)
  • Powered speakers. I am not looking to take up more space with an amplifier
  • >= $500

Inevitably I will be doing more research myself, but thank you in advanced for your time and patience. biggrin.gif

P.S. If this is the wrong forum let me know, I will remove and move appropriately.
Edited by frankstallon3 - 2/3/13 at 6:27am
post #2 of 10
what is your budget . fwiw, like i mentioned in an earlier post take a look at the definitive tech's studiomonitor 350's at newegg$180 and the small dayton audio dta-100a t-amp$90 at parts express just a recommandation for under $300
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

what is your budget . fwiw, like i mentioned in an earlier post take a look at the definitive tech's studiomonitor 350's at newegg$180 and the small dayton audio dta-100a t-amp$90 at parts express just a recommandation for under $300

That's a good question, I'll update my post but the B&W MM-1's seem like the height of my pay wall. So figure >= $500.

Will look up @smasher50's suggestions later:
  • Definitive Tech StudioMonitor 350
  • Dayton Audio DTA-100A
post #4 of 10
I've just bought an iMac so I'm in the same boat. If you value online reviews the Audioengine A5+ seems to be the powered desktop speaker to beat. They're $399/pair ($469 for bamboo). The downside is that although they're nice looking--the bamboo especially--at 10.75x7x7.75 they're also quite large. Those B&W MM1s are fine looking, unobtrusive and have a lower frequency response (38Hz vs. 50Hz for the A5+'s)* but I have yet to be impressed with the value:performance of any B&W product. And then there's that pretty widespread complaint about the MM1's hissing.

* Frequency response of the B&Ws are stated as 38Hz. How they can manage that with 3 inch woofers while the 5 inch woofers in the A5+'s wooden box only dips to 50Hz seems...interesting.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
@repete66211 Thank you for your input! I too am suspicious of the MM-1's 3" woofer that claims to such a close low frequency response as my 12" BIC PL-200 (~22Hz). The Audioengine A5+'s look great, especially in Bamboo, and I'll be checking out reviews as well. Would you be considering these with a DAC?
post #6 of 10
That's the thing. If you're going to bother upgrading speakers you have to go all the way and get the DAC, right? I'm a bit mixed on this. First, I anticipate 99% of my music listening being on my Salk 5.2 setup so I don't want to get too geeky with my computer audio, especially considering I'm trying to streamline things (cords, etc.) with the iMac. Things might start to get a bit cluttered with big box speakers and a DAC. But yeah, I'd get a DAC. Dammit.
Edited by repete66211 - 2/4/13 at 4:22pm
post #7 of 10
Any developments?
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Not yet Pete! Still doing research but there are so many other things going on in life. =) It will end up being a DAC + bookshelf speakers though I bet. I am re-arranging my desk and wishing I had a standing desk right about now!
post #9 of 10
I had the z5500s for years (and the z5300e before that) but trust me, once you get a nice pair of speakers you'll hate going back. My friend has my z5500s so I still hear them from time to time and it's almost painful, I gave them to her for free because I was so sick of them. I have the Audioengine A5s and think those are an excellent choice for the price. If you need deep bass, get a sub, but for most music you can get away without one.
post #10 of 10
I would recommend that you buy a pair of Audioengine 2 speakers.

They are simply the best you can get in a small powered speaker.

Add a small subwoofer and go. That's what my desk PC has, and the sound is very good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by frankstallon3 View Post

Not yet Pete! Still doing research but there are so many other things going on in life. =) It will end up being a DAC + bookshelf speakers though I bet. I am re-arranging my desk and wishing I had a standing desk right about now!
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