Speaker Suggestions

Hey everyone,

I’ve been using Vanatoo T0s with a sub woofer as computer speakers for about 3 years since they were a local company and had good reviews I figured why not. But now I realize they are even better than I first thought three years ago. I moved a few months ago and I really need to get living room speakers.

Originally I was going to try some M-Audio M3-8 studio monitors since I really like the idea of a 3 way driver design with a concentric tweeter and mid-range, they had 220w of tri amplified power, room correction on the back, and they were cheap at $700. But they sold out and I don’t think they are currently in production.

I’m working on a DIY speaker build which is actually a super easy build but I want to do a CNC carved front baffle. I’m new to CNC and the design I 3D modeled might be biting off a little more than I can chew so its taking a while. So I’d like to keep the cost low. So around $700 for speakers and amplification if they are passive. I can see going up to $800 and then $1000 if I can forgo a sub woofer for a while.

I absolutely love my Vanatoos and I really can’t think of a better desktop setup without going with substantial bigger speakers that I just can’t fit on or next to my desk. For the living room I don’t have as big of space requirement. Its not a huge room at 15’x20’ at 7.5’ ceilings but the vanatoos definitely struggle. So I’m basically looking for something that will sound comparable just with more volume and a larger room filling sound.

I’m a bit off a bass head but not at the expense of the mid-range. And while I’m not treble shy I find a lot of audiophile oriented gear tends to have waaay too much treble detail for me on top of already subdued yet accurate bass. I like a V shaped sound but not too much as to noticeably recess the mids. I listen to every type of music but I’m definitely not spending most of my time on vintage jazz recordings. I need something that can also rock out or do EDM. The Vanatoos do this thing where the center image is pinpoint accurate and vocalists sound like they are dead center and slightly behind the speakers even when applying a slight V-shape to the EQ. I am the most impressed with their imaging and sound stage width.

Not sure what DAC yet. Probably and E30 since my two favorite DACs so far the Earstudio ES100 and the SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKI. I don’t care what anyone says about DAC chips not having a certain sound I really do not like the ESS sound. I’ve heard ESS DACs that sound better but even they had a slight hint of that same ESS prickly sounding treble going on. I do think I’m going to get a Garage 1217 headphone tube amp to also use as a pre-amp.

Any suggestions? I don’t really have a preference as to floor standing or stand mount speakers. Nor do I care if they are active or passive. Elac UB5s seem really tempting since I know of an amplifier case you can buy to house ICEpower amp boards or then there’s the Crown XLS amps both should have plenty of power for UB5s but I’m not really sure if that’s a good match since its class D. And then I’ve seen that while the UB5s do some things really well their sound signature and forward nature is a bit polarizing.

I’m not going to recommend a specific Brand of speaker but your sound and volume preferences to me, SCREAM out, “tell him to purchase full sized towers! Good luck in your search, that Is my single recommendation to help you better focus and not throw away money and continue to upgrade later on wondering why…:hugs:

As for speakers/monitors… I have the Kali LP6 monitors that are amazing with unbelievable highs and lows for what they are, 6.5 woofer and using nearfield. connected to a smsl su8 temporarily until my Bifrost2 dac arrives. To me no sub needed here.
I also have the Adam T5v’s and a subwoofer on my sim rig and they are also amazing. Just my 3 cents.
Kali’s will run about 300 a pair and the Adam’s about 400

Yeah towers are really tempting. Unfortunately I haven’t really come across any in my budget that go much lower than bookshelfs and I’ve heard its harder to get a tower to image well and “disappear” since they have larger baffles than smaller bookshelf speakers.

I was just looking at those and the JBL 306p MKIIs. They caught my attention with how wicked flat the 305p is for such a cheap speaker. I definitely prefer the back panel options on the Kalis but it looks like the JBLs have a bit more powerful amplifier in them.

Sim rig nice! Quarantine had me wanting to be irresponsible and drop a lot of cash into a full motion sim rig and VR headset. Outside of FPV sims racing games are all I really play now.

I use Klipsch WF34 towers next to my desk, they disappear, image incredibly, and have great soundstage and depth. They are older, not available, and MSRP’d at triple your budget so that part is true. It can be done but requires work. They use 1 klipschhorn tweeter and 3 x 3” woofers.

My next favorite speaker for “non-audiophile” music That is also a bookshelf is the monoprice K-bass. I don’t speak about it much because many folks Seem to have a Negative view and bias towards monoprice products. I prefer to let my ears be the judge, but again this is subjective. It plays low and loud and because it is a front ported transmission line design can also be up against a wall. Very pleased with it and have no desire to let it go.

As an option you might consider check out http://gr-research.com/skinny6s.aspx GR research skinny 6 speakers. They may be right up your alley but just past your budget. Good luck i hope you find something that brings you enjoyment.


I’d do some research and keep in eye out on Polk LSiM 703 to see if you can still snag them for cheap. I used to use them as my stereo setup and they did everything very well. It had a good amount of warmth, while providing good bass slam. They were great for EDM and energetic music.

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I have to concur with @Veritas on what he says about the Polk LSIM 703, 3 way speaker, it is a wonderful bookshelf especially if you can find them on sale to make your budget. They are on the larger side though and take up a good amount of desk space and are heavy. Speaking from experience i own and use these speakers too.

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