Suggestions for Endgame Desktop Speakers?

Hey y’all,

So I’m looking to jump towards an Endgame level set of desktop speakers. The desk is positioned against a wall, but the speakers can be on stands on the desk. Speakers would have max 2 feet from the wall. Currently there’s a KEF Q150 there.

I’ve been thinking about the

  • Buchardt S300 mk2
  • Buchardt S400
  • KEF R3
  • KEF LS50
  • Swans M3a (though this might be hard to get in Europe).
    I’d say budget is within $2500 for speakers alone.

I’d really strongly prefer to not have to get a sub, due to space around the constraints (and the terrible acoustic performance of that setup in my space - I’ve tried it).

Any suggestions here for what would be the best option?
Any not suited for desktop use?

Thanks!

So are you leaning towards a powered speaker or more towards passive?

Also what type of music do you listen to?

I’d be cool with either actually. The idea of powered makes a lot of sense to me and it cuts out on amplification costs (potentially). Though if the speaker does have DSP of some sort, I’d hope it had a damn good DAC in it as my current DAC is an RME ADI-2 DAC and it’s incredible.

I listen to all kinds of music, but most often I’d say Ambient Electronic, R&B, Soul House, Hans Zimmer, Chill house, Yosi Horikawa, Hip-Hop, etc.

Do you like something more neutral sounding, or perhaps something a bit brighter? Or Warmer?

Genelec is good choice, the SAM Studio range.
GLM helps a lot with room acoustics.
Probably would not need change speakers again (unless going for bigger G’s :wink: ). Just upgrade the rest of gear, if needed.

Neutral to warm. As a comparison, on the headphone front I own and love the Hifiman HE-1000v1 to death (will be upgrading to 1000SE soon) but always want just a tad bit more low end so I bump the sub 200hz low end about 3db

What about a Polk l200? That’s around neutral to warm and also has plenty of low end without needing a sub imo. Very nice sound, and would be very engaging

The SVS ultra bookshelf would be up your alley as well, but they don’t have that much low end output at times so I think that’s probably off the table

The Dynaudio Evoke 20 is pretty sweet too, but can be a bit amp picky

What Sam monitors are in the under 2k price range again (for a pair)? That is definitely something too look into for sure

Rb42’s aren’t endgame!? :exploding_head:

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The can be for some (but I would just argue there isn’t an endgame anyway lol)

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You may want to look into the Polk LSiM703, pleasantly warm and the PowerPort makes placement near a wall less of an issue. I used to run LS50 nearfield, and while they were really good, I prefer the LSiM703 more overall. The Polk Legend L200 (like @M0N suggested) is essentially the replacement flagship for the LSiM and would also be great, but the LSiM703 is currently on blowout all of over the place right now to clear stock and is a tremendous price-to-speaker ratio at the moment.
I’ve never used my S300 mk2 in nearfield, but they definitely need some room to keep the lowend from becoming overwhelming in a small room. You could probably mitigate it a bit with EQ or some room treatment, but I think they’re better served being in a normal setup more than they would in nearfield.

Yeah the s300 mk2 nearfield isn’t my favorite either. The s400 is pretty good nearfield tho. The l200 was just crazy good when I heard it, and much preferred it to the outgoing 703, but the value prop of the 703 is obviously higher by nature, but at that price I would actually pick the jbl studio 530

Out of curiousity, do you remember what you liked more about the L200 in particular? I actually ended up scooping my 703’s because I was looking at the L200 and couldn’t resist the price. I don’t regret it at all, but I’m still keeping my eyes on the Legend series for when they’re outgoing, too…

They sound much larger (as they are pretty large), have better refinement and technicalities (detail is better presented, soundstage and imaging combine to present space very well). Bass is super impressive but they do need a beefy amp to get there. I don’t think they were as warm sounding as the 703 so that’s either a good or bad thing depending on your view.

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Interesting. I hadn’t even thought of Polk in a long time. The L200 and 703 seem to measure very well too. It’s worth mentioning that while neutral warm is probably the general signature I’m looking for, I still massively appreciate detail retrieval.

Interesting that you mention S400 is good at nearfield. I heard some others say that this isn’t the case, Zeos being one of them.
Could you potentially surmise why someone might feel that way with the S400?

I can’t seem to find anywhere selling the Polks here in Europe, let alone where I am, Switzerland. May have to reach out to some local dealers.

How’s the amplification needs of the L200?

Yeah the l100 and l200 revived interest for me because of how good it was, and I was pretty surprised it was from polk lol. Regarding amp pairing, what budge are you thinking of?

Regarding the s400, it is good for nearfield but I would say it’s not the best out there for that application but I do like it more than the s300 nearfield. I think for your use case I think there are other options that would preform better than the buchardts. It’s mainly their design with their large waveguides and other ways to shape sound that aren’t designed to be used that close.

No idea yet on the amp budget as I haven’t yet familiarized myself with the power amp market. Only so far know from options I’ve been looking into on ASR due to measurements (I’ve been more of a headphone and IEM guy for years, and as I’m pretty much in headphone Endgame territory, it’s time to venture into speakers haha).

But I’ll say this much, I do want to try to avoid getting things that are overly picky in matching. This is the primary reason why I’ve been staying away from the LS50 (and the LS50 wireless is because of potential introduction of latency from source of up to 150ms which is unacceptable for certain kinds of gaming).

So I guess you could feel free to make suggestions there too. I’d obviously appreciate it greatly.

Do you have a list or some brands that you can get over there? It’s not too picky with amps, it just wants a larger amount of good clean power.

@M0N, any Focal recommendations for him? I’ve heard a few but only the towers, well beyond the price limits and I can’t remember models anyway. Some very nice speakers and available in Europe.

I was thinking that as well. The focal speaker setup kinda has a hole from like 1k to 4k of speakers. The Focal Aria 906 would be nice but it wouldn’t be my first pick personally

If you wanted to go focal I would actually rec the Shape 65, as it’s a great powered studio monitor, and I would take that over teh aria