Mid field hifi - A home office upgrade

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Doheth

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Re: Near field hifi - A home office upgrade
« Reply #20 on: 26 Sep 2020, 06:28 pm »
Thanks again for the input everyone.  I'm looking a bit more at smaller speakers, and active speakers now.

I saw the new KEF LS-50 Metas too, and Mr. Gutenberg's review.  Those might be a better option than the Tekton's I was initially looking at.

Those new Buchardt A500 are quite interesting, but getting pretty expensive.  But, considering some of the components and speakers I was looking at, I might consider saving a while longer if that's the route I decide on.  It's quite different than the "tube-hybrid pre-amp, class-AB amp, small/mid sized floorstanders" I was originally thinking about.  Initial reviews on the A500s look pretty good.  The digital features, along with some room treatment, might be rather nice for getting a sound that is good for me.

Anyway, more searching and reading to do...

I took a little time and measured out the room.  This prompted me to try out LibreCAD (mostly so you don't have to suffer my poor drawing and handwriting. :))

Some info about the room:
  • Ceilings are 8 ft
  • Floor is carpeted
  • Walls are painted dry wall
  • No diffusers, absorbers or bass traps (yet)
  • Speakers are currently about 7 inches away from either side of the desk, and 10" away from the wall.

This desk position is just what I have now and could be changed.  I have thought about moving the couch to the wall on the right (below the window), and putting my desk facing the bay window, about 6 or 7 feet back.  Then the speakers could be a foot or two into the room from the corners, facing to the right, or toed in toward where I'd sit.



JLM

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Re: Mid field hifi - A home office upgrade
« Reply #21 on: 27 Sep 2020, 11:41 am »
So this is a near-field setup.  And your desk is too small to properly hold speakers or anything but the smallest equipment.  Thanks for the sketch, very helpful.  Like your setup as is, it keeps the bay window clear and allows for proper enjoyment of the audio system from the couch. 

Now what's your budget and musical genres do you most often listen to?  Are you a "speaker guy" or do you tend to focus on the electronics?  As you haven't mentioned sources I assume you use digital. 

I auditioned JBL 305 (original and Mk2) mid-field in my 8ft x 13ft x 21ft room and could life with them for a very long time.  Owned Dynaudio BM5 Mk3 that cost 3 times the 305 but were marginally better.  Both askew digital circuitry.  But have also owned JBL 708P, much bigger/more expensive and uses digital circuitry, too big for your application but were superior to nearly any speaker available for home use IMO. 

Professional active monitors, like the well respected Neumann KH120 or the afore mentioned Genelec 8040, can be overly clinical/accurate for home enjoyment.  But home active monitors, like the KEF LS50 Wireless 2 or Elac Navis ARB-51 are available. 

Doublej

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Re: Mid field hifi - A home office upgrade
« Reply #22 on: 27 Sep 2020, 12:58 pm »
So this is a near-field setup.  And your desk is too small to properly hold speakers or anything but the smallest equipment.  Thanks for the sketch, very helpful.  Like your setup as is, it keeps the bay window clear and allows for proper enjoyment of the audio system from the couch. 

Now what's your budget and musical genres do you most often listen to?  Are you a "speaker guy" or do you tend to focus on the electronics?  As you haven't mentioned sources I assume you use digital. 

I auditioned JBL 305 (original and Mk2) mid-field in my 8ft x 13ft x 21ft room and could life with them for a very long time.  Owned Dynaudio BM5 Mk3 that cost 3 times the 305 but were marginally better.  Both askew digital circuitry.  But have also owned JBL 708P, much bigger/more expensive and uses digital circuitry, too big for your application but were superior to nearly any speaker available for home use IMO. 

Professional active monitors, like the well respected Neumann KH120 or the afore mentioned Genelec 8040, can be overly clinical/accurate for home enjoyment.  But home active monitors, like the KEF LS50 Wireless 2 or Elac Navis ARB-51 are available. 

I think you are wrong regarding the JBL LSR305s. But perhaps they are different than the 308s. At 11:20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQgoss_adIo


Doheth

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Re: Mid field hifi - A home office upgrade
« Reply #23 on: 27 Sep 2020, 06:03 pm »
Yeah, it is pretty much a near-field.  I changed the subject to "mid" though!  :duh:   It maybe borderline mid-field, since I might spend some time on the couch listening.  Most of the time though, I'll be at my desk.

Yeah, no speakers on the desk.  My desk is only 36 inches wide, and is used up by the computer monitor anyway.  That's why I was initially considering floorstanders as a potential option.

Genres...  pretty varied:
* Rap
* Rock (all kinds, grunge, classic, oldies, progressive)
* Metal (heavy, progressive, mathcore)
* Electronic (dance, experimental, classic [Silver Apples!])
* Funk
* Some classical

I might be listening to a ton of Frank Zappa, then need a change and switch to Animals as Leaders, or Talking Heads, or Run the Jewels, or Kool Keith, or Beck, or The Mars Volta, or Tom Petty, or BEAK>, or Parliament, or Genesis, or Jamiroquai, or Crystal Method, or Soundgarden, or The Cure, or Lamb of God....

My source would be digital.  At the moment, it is my computer through a USB DAC to an old "all-in-one" AIWA system with some scavanged Pioneer speakers (hence the desire to upgrade).

I may hook up my old record player at some point, so it would be nice to have at least one additional input.  Not sure how likely that is though.

Budget... that's somewhat flexible.  I started out considering floorstanders and an integrated amp, using a DAC I already have.  That would have been about $2000 (USD).  I've had some good experiences with Schiit headphone components at work, so I was also considering a Schiit hybrid pre-amp and Vidar amp instead of an integrated solid state amp.  That bumps the price up maybe another $500.

But, if I find something that really gets my motor running, I'm open to saving up a while longer.

There is one consideration that might affect my choice:  I have been thinking about tinkering with making music.  So having a system that can be accurate enough for a newb (in a non-studio environment) would be nice.  I have some good heapdhones to work with too.  The Schiit Freya+ allows bypassing the tubes and can even be passive, so that might help avoid the system "coloring" the mix.  It wouldn't be the same as pair of active speakers though.

Primarily though, this system will be for listening.  I like detail and sound stage, but I think clinical would grate on me unless I was specifically trying to make something of my own.  I really want some bass.  I doesn't need to shake the room, but I need to hear and enjoy it.

I wonder, would feeding something like the Genelec 8040 with a Schiit Freya+ using tubes make it a bit less clinical for enjoying while I work?

JLM

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Re: Mid field hifi - A home office upgrade
« Reply #24 on: 28 Sep 2020, 12:23 pm »
Thanks for the additional information.

I home auditioned an original Freya, it did nothing for me regardless of which setting I used or even swapping in really nice NOS tubes. 

For your situation I'd pick up something like a Schitt Jotunheim ($500 with USB DAC) and JBL 305 Mk 2 ($300/pair, 2-way active monitors).  This simple setup would allow for analog input and subwoofer output.  Just add a pair of decent stands (adjusted to your ear height when listening at your desk).