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Active monitors for hi-fi listening

Postby Tex Willer » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:37 pm

Dear all,
I'm going to buy a pair of active speaker to listen hi-fi music (mainly rock and jazz, some pop).
Listening distance is about 3,5m and the room is 90 square meters.
Unfortunately I have to install the monitor quite near a wall, so I prefer speaker with front bass reflex.
I'll connect directly them to a DAC via XLR.
Budget is about €250-400 for each speaker.

Looking around, I've narrowed down the choice to the following ones:
  • Behringer B2030A
  • Dynaudio BM5 MKIII
  • Fluid Audio FX8
  • Kali Audio IN-8 or LP-8
  • KRK Rokit RP8 G4
  • Presonus Eris E8 XT or R80
  • Focal Alpha 80
  • Adam T8V.

Which one do you suggest me?

Thanks!

p.s.: Hope to post in the right section!
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Re: Active monitors for hi-fi listening

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:44 pm

Welcome to the SOS forums.

Given your musical tastes (implying loud-ish listening), the size of your room, and the listening distance, I'd be concerned that none of your short list will be up to the job.

You're well outside the nearfield zone at 3.5 metres, and compact nearfield speakers just aren't going to be beefy enough to fill that void of a room with practical listening volumes. As a result, there's a very strong chance you'd be hitting the protective limiters all the time, potentially reducing the lifetime of your speakers considerably, and you'll definitely lack low end oomph.

I'd urge a budget review and examination of somewhat larger and more substantial speakers.
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Re: Active monitors for hi-fi listening

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:41 pm

Just one other thing to consider, does your DAC have some form of level control? Or will you be controlling the level of the signal going in?
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Re: Active monitors for hi-fi listening

Postby Arpangel » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:58 am

What are your reasons for wanting near field active "monitors"?
There are lots of very good passive floor standing speakers out there, in the hi-fi category, that will move plenty of air at that distance, power them with good secondhand amp, about 100 watts per channel, something like a big old Japanese amp would be perfect, and shouldn’t cost that much, Onkyo, Pioneer, Trio etc, that’s what I’d do.
You may have to up your budget a bit though, at least £500 per speaker, minimum, and about £200 tops for the amp, look at classifieds, not dealers.
Just throwing in an alternative option.
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Re: Active monitors for hi-fi listening

Postby Tex Willer » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:00 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Welcome to the SOS forums.

Given your musical tastes (implying loud-ish listening), the size of your room, and the listening distance, I'd be concerned that none of your short list will be up to the job.

You're well outside the nearfield zone at 3.5 metres, and compact nearfield speakers just aren't going to be beefy enough to fill that void of a room with practical listening volumes. As a result, there's a very strong chance you'd be hitting the protective limiters all the time, potentially reducing the lifetime of your speakers considerably, and you'll definitely lack low end oomph.

I'd urge a budget review and examination of somewhat larger and more substantial speakers.
Thanks!
Aren't 8" woofer speakers enough powerful?
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Re: Active monitors for hi-fi listening

Postby Tex Willer » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:01 pm

blinddrew wrote:Just one other thing to consider, does your DAC have some form of level control? Or will you be controlling the level of the signal going in?
Thanks!
I'm considering DAC that can work also as preamp (for example SMSL SU-9).
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Re: Active monitors for hi-fi listening

Postby Tex Willer » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:07 pm

Arpangel wrote:What are your reasons for wanting near field active "monitors"?
There are lots of very good passive floor standing speakers out there, in the hi-fi category, that will move plenty of air at that distance, power them with good secondhand amp, about 100 watts per channel, something like a big old Japanese amp would be perfect, and shouldn’t cost that much, Onkyo, Pioneer, Trio etc, that’s what I’d do.
You may have to up your budget a bit though, at least £500 per speaker, minimum, and about £200 tops for the amp, look at classifieds, not dealers.
Just throwing in an alternative option.
I was thinking about an active monitors solution for 'simplicity' and to have a smaller footprint: from DAC directly to Monitor with XLR cable. Done.
Another alternative solution with similar budget can be: Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 + power amp based on Hypex NC252.
What do you think?
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Re: Active monitors for hi-fi listening

Postby forumuser931182 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:57 pm

I have also discarded the old hifi setup of amp and passive speakers and use powered monitor speakers - so much easier and trouble free. Using Benchmark dacs and Apple express to stream audio - adjust volume on iPhone ( Spotify ).
I have 5inch Mackie’s in a 3x4 metre room and 8inch ESI’s in a 4x4 metre room. Both speakers are around 50+25watts and the larger speakers have survived a number of teenage parties.
Also have a Mackie 402 mixer on one system to mix in TV audio and the other room has the Mackie Passive Big Knob for easy volume adjustment and selectable A/B input.
Definitely get 8 inch speakers for acceptable bass and try and have a listen to the speakers in a music shop - with some favourite reference tracks.
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Re: Active monitors for hi-fi listening

Postby ef37a » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:35 am

Hi Tex, I too intend to go for active monitors , eventually! I have pretty much decided on the Result 6 but then my room is much smaller than yours, 4x3x2.4mtrs and my tastes are rather more 'classical' although I do enjoy the odd headbang. Cream, Zep' Beatles.

Pity you are not in UK (I don't think?) as I would be happy to sell you my Mission 775s! Way to big for my room and rather bass heavy*. I am also not going for a DAC in fact how I send signal to the speakers and control it is a bit of a problem. As many of my sources are HDMI the best solution would be an "AV pre amp" but such a thing does not seem to exist outside professional circles and they are way out of my budget. I think I shall have to find a cheap AV amp on the Bay then mod it for balanced outs.

Hard to advise. Yes hi fi speakers are the best solution but good, loud ones are silly money. I have not kept up with the tweaky, sillysubjective hi fi scene and my memory stops at about the time of the Kef R105! A pair of those in good order would do ya!

*Yes! Yes I know I should treat the room! Not much point though until I get the Sixes AND decide on their position? Odd too that nobody AFAIK mentioned room treatment to Tex? Of course, having 'trapped' the buggery out of the space he will need even more acoustic watts to get his desired rock levels!

Dave.
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Re: Active monitors for hi-fi listening

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:51 am

Tex Willer wrote:
Arpangel wrote:What are your reasons for wanting near field active "monitors"?
There are lots of very good passive floor standing speakers out there, in the hi-fi category, that will move plenty of air at that distance, power them with good secondhand amp, about 100 watts per channel, something like a big old Japanese amp would be perfect, and shouldn’t cost that much, Onkyo, Pioneer, Trio etc, that’s what I’d do.
You may have to up your budget a bit though, at least £500 per speaker, minimum, and about £200 tops for the amp, look at classifieds, not dealers.
Just throwing in an alternative option.
I was thinking about an active monitors solution for 'simplicity' and to have a smaller footprint: from DAC directly to Monitor with XLR cable. Done.
Another alternative solution with similar budget can be: Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 + power amp based on Hypex NC252.
What do you think?

Could be a solution, I’m not familiar with those things though.
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