I’ve been heavily invested in researching various desktop setups over the last couple weeks and after multiple orders/cancellations feel that it’s best I get the help from everyone here to make this decision.
- $500-$750 budget, but I am flexible here.
- I live in the US
- Can buy from pretty much anywhere
- This will be used in my office for music/podcasts mostly. Music mostly.
- Desktop use only, have IsoAcoustics ISO-155’s on order to use as stands.
- These will be used at lower-moderate volume. Think a reasonable listening volume in a private office with the occasional bump. I would say it’s more likely to be mid-volume than low FYI.
- Prefer passive, but totally open to Powered.
- Amp needs to fit comfortably on a desk. No longer than 12" and ideally smaller. Width needs to be within 8" or so. Maximum speaker dimensions around 7-8" W x 12-14" H x 11" D
- Don’t really want to upgrade down the road. This should be the setup I stick with.
- I have ZMF Auteur headphones and like some bass response in my music. I would say I don’t want the music to be too heavily skewed one way and warm/neutral would be my preferred choice. Bright is not something I need.
I have considered a number of options so far and have things narrowed down to the following (am open to suggestions, these are just what I am currently considering):
Amp: Topping PA3, Parasound Zamp V3, Vista Audio Spark
Speakers: Elac UB5, Elac UB52, Triangle BR02, KEF Q150, Vanatoo Transparent One Encore
DAC: Topping E30 (I own this, so this will be used)
My thoughts: I like the footprint and cost of the PA3 but am concerned about it’s performance with UB5. If this amp could perform well with these the value proposition of PA3/UB5 is hard to pass up with the current pricing. I have narrowed down to Triangle BR02’s from various sources and other people’s advice, but I can’t deny the renown that the Elac stuff has. KEF is on the list due to thewirecutter’s strong recommendation. I am not opposed at all to purchasing used.
TLDR: Need help picking a setup from the list above. Please give me thoughts!