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.