New desktop setup and LR expansion decisions (Q150, 305p, Micca RB42)

Hey all, could use some advice. Mostly to make sure I’m not missing something better or consider an alternate setup. Last year I got the Micca RB42 for the desktop but have now moved them to the TV in a small/med living room with the SMSL AD18.

I figure the Miccas as the LR setup will be easier (and cheaper) to expand on later if I get surrounds/center/sub/etc. So I’m considering: Either the KEF Q150 (on sale for $300) or JBL 305p MkII for near field use on a desk. I tried the Q150’s last year and enjoyed them but having not really tried much else I want to make sure I’m not missing any obvious alternates or upgrades. Other options could be the Paradigm SE Atom or the Triangle BR02.

I have a D10/Heresy setup for headphones. So it would be nice to run from a single source off the D10 or (powered monitors) from the Heresy possibly, although not sure if that is recommended so I might be in need of a new speaker amp or amp/dac for the q150’s at least.

Edit: debating between the Topping PA3 and SMSL SA300 if I go with KEF. Another option is leaving the Micca’s on the desktop and getting something better for the living room but ideally for less than $500 total cost.

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I have the SA300 with the Miccas and I would say it’s 100% worth it. It’s a very clean power amp, and it’s either neutral or very little brighter sounding amp. Compared to the Loxjie A10 I was using it brought the bass under control and made the sound more natural. I will say though a DaC upgrade can be beneficial, as it sounds a little bit better with the JDS Labs Element pre-out.

Can’t say about the Synergy with the Kefs thought, maybe things can get a little too bright? Anyone with that kind of experience?

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Ah, yeah that could be a good point. I liked them when I tried them last year off of the Topping MX3, but if the SA300 is a bit brighter as well it could make a difference. I could swap it with the AD18 to compare possibly or use the SA300 on the Miccas.

That’s a good strategy. I would say, functionality-wise, seems better for a living room system with the remote. Also, forgot to mention (cause I don’t use it) but it has treble and bass control, so this can help calm down the treble with the KEF.

Also, keep in mind there are “two more variants” of the SA300: the SMSL DA8-s, which trade a DAC for balanced inputs; and the Loxjie A30, which is more expensive but add a headphone out and the coax and spdif inputs. They all use the same Infineon chip for the Power Amp stage, and AFAIK Loxjie and SMSL have the same parent company. Zeos did say the DA8s sounds the same from SE input compared to the SA300, and the A30 already has a video on Patreon that should appear soon. (which I haven’t seen, so can’t give an opinion to you).

It all comes down to what features you want really. =)