Desk speaker setup, hard budget of 800 US

Howdy folks

I’ve been looking for a pair of speakers for my desk for a few weeks and thought I found a wonderful pair in the Edifier S2000 Mkiii. That was not meant to be, however, seeing as they have cancelled two of my orders for “high probability of fraudulent order” or some bull like that. So they don’t want my money.

That brings us to today. I’m looking for a 2.0 bookshelf setup for now, could be powered or passive. I would like the option of adding a subwoofer in the future, but until then, I want the speakers themselves to be capable. Just no thin sounding speakers please. :smile: They’ll be sitting on a 55 inch desk, so there really isnt a size limit.

If we go the passive route, I do have the Schiit Modi 2 and the Schiit Vali 2. If theres any way to route the signal through those that might save me some money? I dont really know, I’ve never delved into passive speakers, so this would be a learning experience.

I will be using these for mainly for music and videos, but I might use them for gaming as well. As far as sound signature, I really love my Sennheiser 660s, not super bright, but smooth enough to be enjoyable for long periods of listening.

I appreciate any help or direction that might come from this!

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Well, that’s unfortunate lol

So what music do you listen to, and what games do you play?

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Tell me about it, I was so excited for them! Oh well.
I listen to quite a range of music, Metal, Jazz, Electronic, Rock, Hip-hop… easier to say what I don’t listen too. (country)
And I play racing games and FPS mostly. I do have good headphones that I would use for gaming more often than not though.

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Gotcha, then you do have lots of options. I personally think you might like the JBL Studio 530, as they are pretty natural sounding and well rounded speakers, very impressive and since you don’t have a desk size requirement it should work nicely, if you look around you can find them new for under 400 at times or less (don’t buy them at 600 a pair is what I’m trying to say lol)

Another speaker that you might be interested in would be the Klipsch RP600m as it would be a warmer, bassier, thicker sounding speaker with a nice pleasing coloration

For an amp for these speakers, I would either look into something like a denon pma600ne for an all in one, and if you wanted an amp only I would look into an emotiva basx a100. You would just split the rca from your modi dac into your magni and the speaker amp (or use the dac built in on the denon)

If you wanted to go the powered route, if you wanted something very clean and accurate with great imaging performance, the tannoy gold 7 is pretty sweet (although it can get a tad harsh but it personally doesn’t bother me)

For another option, the adam t5v is pretty nice for great separation and is smoother and neutral, decent punch and pretty good sound I would say

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I’ll check those out Mon, thank you!

I think I’m leaning toward the jbl 530s. I do have a few questions though. The first one is I’m wondering if the 25-125 watt suggested range for the speakers is per channel or for both of them? If its for both, I can see the emotiva 100 watt amp working, but if its per channel will that 100 watts be suitable? Z himself said that these love power…
Second question, would it hurt anything to have the input for the power amp come from the output of the Vali 2 headphone amp? I’m just trying to keep everything as clean as possible, both physically and audibly. If it would cause problems I’m sure a splitter is cheap enough

That is per channel, so the emotiva would have around 80 watts into 4 homs, and the denon would have 70 watts into 4 ohms which will both be plenty no problem. Personally I think if you can swing the denon, it’s a higher quality amp than the emotiva and would yield better sound.

So there are 2 things I would be slightly concerned about. 1 would be that you would have 2 volume controls inline with the amps, as the vali 2 has a pre out so the volume of the vali would control the volume of the signal, and the other two amps also have a volume so you kinda have to deal with that. You could solve that by getting a power amp instead which has no integrated volume control (like a parasound 275 V.2 or 2125v.2 (that would be sick) would be pretty sweet for the use case).

The 2nd concern is more preference, but you would be running the tube through the signal, so you would be adding a bit of tube to the signal (that’s a non issue but some people don’t like that)

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I ended up going with the JBL Studio 530s and the Emotiva BasX A-100! I did see a pair of kef lsx down to 779 I believe, almost got those, buuuut I havent had passive speakers before and wanted to give them a shot. Thank you for your help!


Sweeet, curious to see what you think about it :+1:

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So I’ve had the speakers for just under a week, and the amp just arrived this afternoon. I left the speakers in the box after they arrived for a few days until I thought to try to run them with my vali 2, since it has a pre-amp out. It worked, barely, just enough power to get the speakers up to quiet listening levels. I could tell I was pushing the vali a little harder than it wanted to run, so I was happy when the emotiva came in!

Plugging it in and listening, the first few seconds even, they sound so much more open and clean now that they’re getting good power. I’m really happy with the soundstage, I havent heard any real resonance, and they have great range! They go much lower than I was expecting! Over all, a huge upgrade from what I had before, so thanks again! Great advice!