Audiophile Noob's first speakers

This is a continue from my other thread over at here

  • Budget: 350USD
  • Music type: I can go from metal like Black Sabbath, to rock like Pink Floyd, To my main music of rap. I would enjoy nice bass but firstly want a full rounded sound first. I can always add a sub to my system down the road.
  • My current picks from my research is Paradigm Monitor SE Atom, or the DLAC Debuts 6.2s. They both seem to be great pairs for my needs.

Thanks for reading, and for any suggestions y’all will have.

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Are you looking to use them on a desk or in a room?

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They’ll be in my office, more than likely on my desk. I’m possiblity going to do stands, to get good placement. I’m not too sure just yet. Kinda just getting a feel on whatz best for my needs.

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Hmmm what amp do you have? And if you don’t have one would you consider a powered speaker?

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I actually have another thread over in speaker amps!

Currently debating on the SMSL AD18, Topping mx3, and a stack, consisting of the topping dx3 pro, and the topping PA3.

I’d prefer to do amp/passive speakers as I also will be buying headphones in the Future.

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Gotcha. Hmmmm, I would be concerned about bass performance for a bookshelf in this price range. I would think like an emotiva Airmotiv B1+ (if you can find them in stock) paired with a basx a100 and dac would be sweet (you could use another amp). You could pair it with a Airmotiv S8 down the line

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Thanks for the suggestion.

Looking at the basx a100, I seen a few reviews state it needs a pre-amp and doesn’t have a volume nob. Is this true? And if so, what would be a good pre-amp? And what makes it a good pre-amp?(trying to learn more about audio!)

The a100 is integrated with a volume knob and a decent headphone out. You might be thinking of the a150

Would you suggest it over the stack? I have a decent amount of audio I’d like to hook up (Tv, PC, turntable) the PA3 is about the same amount of wattage.

You could substitute it just fine. Does your turntable have a built in phono pre or you need a phono pre as well? You could get a smsl m100 which would handle your PC with usb and TV with optical, and the extra input on the pa3 would be your turntable

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I don’t think it has a phono preamp. It’s a marantz turntable tt 1080. Any suggestions for a cheaper phono amp?

Also would I benefit from a DAC between the TT and the PA3?

So, here might be a suggestion. Perhaps pick up a denon pma600ne, it has a phono pre, 2 dac inputs, and is pretty dang high preforming, and a pretty decent headphone amp (later on you could chain in a magni heresy or whatever other headphone amp)

I did look at the Denon PMA600NE, the only issue I had with it, was the 70WPC rating for them, is at 4ohms, while the 8ohm WPC is only 45. The PA3, puts out 70WPC at 8ohms, and sounded like heaven to me on Z’s review. Same speakers, and amp.

I guess my next question would be, think that extra 25w for a smaller office, would really matter while pushing the Paradigms?

Also, a huge thank you for all the help you’ve given me so far! Loving the forums a lot!

So power does not equal quality, and on a desk you will almost never touch the extra power on the topping, the denon is more than plenty. The pa3 is a quality amp, but I think the Denon is a higher tier and you pay for that. The monitor atoms would be more than fine on either amp

While power doesn’t equal quality, doesn’t it have an effect on bass though? The Danon seems more up my alley for my needs, and the price is a bit of a problem. But nevertheless, it seems more worth it in the long run. Also on the Denon, I see an analog/source direct setting. I assume that’s a switch for the DAC? Analog out would be on, and S.D would be off?

It depends on the speaker, with the atoms bass and punch will be simpler with both amps. If you want something that will dig deep, you will really want a sub (the denon has a sub out which is nice, the pa3 would be a bit more difficult to add a sub)

Try to look used or refurbished if you can

Analog mode will disable the digital components in the amp, it really is more marketing imo but perhaps it can help reduce interference if it happens. The direct button bypasses the tone controls if needed

Yeah, that pre-sub out is also really attractive for me. I may just sallow the bullet… and buy that new couch for the wife, when she makes me sleep on it :joy: :joy: The only small issue I see with the Denon is the lack of a USB input. I could solve that with a USB to an optical adapter.

Decisions Decisions :thinking:

  • Topping DX3 Pro/ Topping PA3
    Pros: Love the looks, headphone Amp already,USB
    Cons: Extra steps for a sub, Need a phono preamp

  • Denon PMA600NE
    Pros: All-in-one, Sub out, phono stage already, 2 sets of speakers.
    Cons: need a USB to optical, price.

I really do think the Stack is still the better choice overall. The price of the Denon, plus the fact, of having to purchase a headphone amp once I’m able to do headphones is a pretty big turn off to me tbh.

All-in, the Denon setup would be about $900USD for me, the Amp, Speakers, and the Magni Heresy, and a guess of $150 pair of headphones. But That’s also not including the USB-to-Optical, cables .etc

decisions decisions