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This is not my exact area of expertise but, i'm not sure you can get what you want for less than $1,000. If you want to blow the roof off that size of a room, you are looking at spending much more! What do you have for amps?
 

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From that list I would go with the Pi Fours, and upgrade the woofers to the JBL 2226s. The 2226s are regarded by some as the best midwoofer available. The frequency response and dispersion of the Fours (and Threes) are very impressive. They can also be run on any AVR because they have a very undemanding impedance load. However I don't know if the Pi speakers come with flat packs, you will have to drop Wayne Parham a email and ask about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is not my exact area of expertise but, i'm not sure you can get what you want for less than $1,000. If you want to blow the roof off that size of a room, you are looking at spending much more! What do you have for amps?
About the room, I know the size effects the compression and how loud you can get it(right? just starting to lean my stuff here) but I really only need the bass to be tactile loud in a very small area. So like, with my current set up, I have these towers from the 70's (no, not kidding) and I feel like if I could only push them a bit more, I could be happy. It wouldn’t sound great overall and the highs suck what with cone tweeters, but I could keep lying to myself that it's acceptable. I have them both 3' away from me aimed directly at my face, and directly at each other for that matter. They're raised a bit on these short shelves and box in the desk rather nicely. Now I'm starting to understand that doing that can destroy stereo imaging or something.

So, lets say any high efficiency design that can get the entire space between the minimum distance you should reasonably place them apart to tactile loudness levels in this environment will satisfy me. That's all I ask. The rest of the room can be ignored.

I don't have too terribly much in the way of an amp, it's just an old Pioneer from the 80's, but I'll be buying some of the infamous inukes or possibly europowers and a minidsp before this is all over. Like I said ideally I would spend about 800 on towers and another 800 on subwoofers, then something else on amps. I need to replace the weakest link which is the main speakers first. So in the end I will be spending more, just not now.

However having said that I can't actually support thousands and thousands of watts being driven. My entire audio rack will probably have to be on the same circuit as a 1200 watt computer, six monitors, a PFsense firewall box which is another computer, yet another computer in the form of a Android x86 automation control station, and - oh yeah - a big 70 pint dehumidifier. So basically a medium sized in window AC unit. Not to mention the wiring in this place is wimpy anyways. Freaking old building. I was impressed that we have the neutral wire in the light-switch boxes (Yay for wireless light-switches!), but the rest is pretty bad. There might actually be two circuits so like the dehumidifier could not have to share but I haven’t thoroughly looked at is since the breaker box is behind a mountain of crap and the circuits are laid out in the most nonsensical way I have ever seen. Not that I've seen too many.

So I do want to get a the highest efficiency design within reason.
 

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I don't think a huge high efficiency speaker is right for this scenario.

First off, you are sitting 3' away, you won't be using more than 10 watts even at ear bleeding levels. With this budget, I would look into some active speakers. They are easier to position, come with amplification, and are better suited for a nearfield application. They need to be in front of you, toed in, to form an equilateral triangle with your listening position.

I would recommend the JBL LSR308, the 8" woofer is going to give you a nice thump and these will play louder than you can care to listen, at about $450 a pair, they would be a great deal. Crystal clear sound, and no need to buy a receiver/amp.

Then go and grab an SVS PB-1000. Put this in nearfield and it will give you plenty of chest thumping bass. It also has a built in 80Hz high pass filter so your 308s will blend well.

A Schiit Modi 2 uber combines a DAC and preamp into one unit and lets you control everything. You would hook up the DAC via USB to your computer, and then run RCA from the DAC output to the Sub input, and then from the sub output to the speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't think a huge high efficiency speaker is right for this scenario.

First off, you are sitting 3' away, you won't be using more than 10 watts even at ear bleeding levels. With this budget, I would look into some active speakers. They are easier to position, come with amplification, and are better suited for a nearfield application. They need to be in front of you, toed in, to form an equilateral triangle with your listening position.

I would recommend the JBL LSR308, the 8" woofer is going to give you a nice thump and these will play louder than you can care to listen, at about $450 a pair, they would be a great deal. Crystal clear sound, and no need to buy a receiver/amp.

Then go and grab an SVS PB-1000. Put this in nearfield and it will give you plenty of chest thumping bass. It also has a built in 80Hz high pass filter so your 308s will blend well.

A Schiit Modi 2 uber combines a DAC and preamp into one unit and lets you control everything. You would hook up the DAC via USB to your computer, and then run RCA from the DAC output to the Sub input, and then from the sub output to the speakers.
I was thinking about monitors. I don't like the idea of active though, modularity and flexibility is the name of my game. I'll also state that I would like to get the most possible output I otherwise can, while retaining high efficiency, for the money. But if a studio monitor would be considerably better for the type of music I listen to, then sacrificing the maximum output I guess is a good choice. Just as long as the total power requirements is basically the same on both types of options. Like I said I can almost get whatever and put them where they need to be, along with one extra caveat, relative to me sitting 3'- 4' feet from a wall. If I was was to get larger towers, then if they need to be farther away, so be it as long as it's still able to reach tactile levels. Just trying to get the most for the money.

That extra caveat being, I feel like I've read that you're supposed to arrange speaker in triangles before and now I feel kinds foolish. I have a electronics shelf in the corner to one side of the desk and a server rack to the other side. I didn't feel like moving them so I just put the speakers to the side. I can move those, but positioning still won't really work if it has to be equilateral. Like I said I have three 24" and three 21" monitors (the visual kind) in a 3 by 2 array on a desk clamp stand. Oh, and on the right side I have a humongous full tower computer case also blocking the way.

Doing the math, the best I can mange without obstruction is a 135 degree angle and even that puts the speakers at 12' away and 18.5' apart. A more reasonable distance of 6' has them at a 95 degree angle and trying to fire squarely through my side monitors. To get around this they would have to be on 6' stands above the ground pointing downward quite sharply. I didn't even think of any of this.

Also, I appreciate the thought, but I'm sure my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is more than equipped for output from a PC. And for the record, if I needed it, I'd much prefer an ODAC/O2 over anything Schiit makes.
 

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Speakers placed at your sides is not going to work, and having them that far apart is not good either. Do you have any space below the monitors? Your best option seems like mounting them above and angling down. It's not ideal, but it's better than any of the other choices.

I know you are concerned about output, but you need to realize that nearfield power requirements are in the single digits. The speaker sensitivity is the SPL you will get with 1 watt of power at 1 meter away. To add 3dB to the SPL, you double the power. So an 89dB speaker, will hit 92dB with 2 watts of power, and 95dB with 4 watts. 95dB is like listening to a jackhammer across the street, it is uncomfortably loud for any considerable amount of time. The THX reference level is 85dB with 20dB of headroom for dynamic peaks, so you can see that it doesn't take much at all to get the speakers loud enough when they are so close.

It's hard to beat the value of studio monitors, and those JBLs are very popular. To get chest thumping bass, you need a sub, buying bigger speakers isn't going to be as cost effective, and it will only be harder to mount them given your limited space.

The O2 is a fine DAC, but I recommended the Modi 2 Uber because it also has a pre-amp for your active speakers, and volume control. The O2 is more geared towards headphone users. Your Focusrite is a perfect substitute though, it gives you a USB DAC and volume control for active speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Speakers placed at your sides is not going to work, and having them that far apart is not good either. Do you have any space below the monitors? Your best option seems like mounting them above and angling down. It's not ideal, but it's better than any of the other choices.

I know you are concerned about output, but you need to realize that nearfield power requirements are in the single digits. The speaker sensitivity is the SPL you will get with 1 watt of power at 1 meter away. To add 3dB to the SPL, you double the power. So an 89dB speaker, will hit 92dB with 2 watts of power, and 95dB with 4 watts. 95dB is like listening to a jackhammer across the street, it is uncomfortably loud for any considerable amount of time. The THX reference level is 85dB with 20dB of headroom for dynamic peaks, so you can see that it doesn't take much at all to get the speakers loud enough when they are so close.

It's hard to beat the value of studio monitors, and those JBLs are very popular. To get chest thumping bass, you need a sub, buying bigger speakers isn't going to be as cost effective, and it will only be harder to mount them given your limited space.

The O2 is a fine DAC, but I recommended the Modi 2 Uber because it also has a pre-amp for your active speakers, and volume control. The O2 is more geared towards headphone users. Your Focusrite is a perfect substitute though, it gives you a USB DAC and volume control for active speakers.
I guess you're right. Thank you. I'll be going studio monitors and dual subs. I thinks it's partly about curtailing expectations. Part of me want to compensate for my lack of a SO by getting something with as low a spouse approval rating as possible! But it's not necessary. All I’ll really be missing out on is the ability to deafen myself while piddling around the room.

Still, any passive models you would recommend? Even if it's a slight less of a value, if I could get a bit more speaker for lack of an integrated amp, that would be cool.

I actually need to adjust the setting on my stand. That should give me about 7-9 inches of clearance under the bottom bezel of the monitors.

Also, I'm reading that sealed subs have less output, sensitivity, and mostly extension; but should be faster and punchyer. I don't know if you're familiar with my genres of choice (I don't expect most people to be) but for something like that would the tradeoff be worth it?
 

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I guess you're right. Thank you. I'll be going studio monitors and dual subs. I thinks it's partly about curtailing expectations. Part of me want to compensate for my lack of a SO by getting something with as low a spouse approval rating as possible! But it's not necessary. All I’ll really be missing out on is the ability to deafen myself while piddling around the room.

Still, any passive models you would recommend? Even if it's a slight less of a value, if I could get a bit more speaker for lack of an integrated amp, that would be cool.

I actually need to adjust the setting on my stand. That should give me about 7-9 inches of clearance under the bottom bezel of the monitors.

Also, I'm reading that sealed subs have less output, sensitivity, and mostly extension; but should be faster and punchyer. I don't know if you're familiar with my genres of choice (I don't expect most people to be) but for something like that would the tradeoff be worth it?
Make no mistake, those JBLs would have no issue deafening you ;) They will hit 112dB at 1 meter away which will damage your hearing, they would have no trouble filling a good size room.

If you wanted to step up to something nicer, take a look at the Emotiva Stealth series, these are some serious studio monitors with tons of power.

You have tons of options for passive speakers, I would recommend going and listening to various brands to see what you like. With active speakers, an ultra flat response is the goal so there is less deviation in sound compared to passive.

What is your budget for subs? Sealed is typically less boomy sounding, but if you want that chest thumping bass, a good ported will probably suit you better. I would shoot for a single HSU VTF3-MK5 to start, or perhaps a pair of Rythmik LV12R.
 
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