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OT: commercial "desktop" speaker recommendations?

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  • OT: commercial "desktop" speaker recommendations?

    Okay, I'm having a devil of a time with this. I currently have no access to a woodshop so I'm looking to buy for the first time in 5 years. I've got a pair of full-range 4" bookshelfs on my desk that beam on higher frequencies. They're great on axis, but my head's in a vice, effectively. They're only about 3-4' from me, and I can't move them farther back from me. I want to replace them and a receiver and do 5.1 surround in the office. I want something better than Overnight Sensations. And I need to mount the surrounds on a wall arm mount.

    I tried going to a hi fi place and they basically said, "oh, you can't use bookshelf speakers for near field" and they recommended Audioengines (which won't do surround sound). I'd be fine trying that out if I didn't want surround sound. I would probably be checking out something like the S2000s if I had a place to build them. If there was a mini version of the Kairos, I'd be all over that. I've been thinking stuff like Martin Logan Motions, Emotivas with the AMTs, KEFs, and Elacs, but it's hard to make sense of it all. I once had a pair of Polks (TSX300) that I thought were thoroughly outclassed by the Overnight Sensations. I don't want to make a step backwards in quality. The OSs are not the be-all end-all, but they're my reference for decent bookshelves.

    Can anyone help me out? I'm willing to spend up to $500 per speaker if it's worth it.

  • #2
    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1384594 SB Acoustics has their "Micro Kit" a 4" two way that looks very nice. It's basically just assembly, the cab is totally finished. The crossover is done, with finished leads. About 400 a pair, available at a well known Madison, WI based speaker retailer.

    PE is coming out with a kit of their "Passive Aggressive" ND90 2 way with PRs. Flat pack. Fun speaker.

    Can you handle a flat pack? DIYSG Paul Carmody S2000s use same Baltic Birch flat pack as the OS. Very nice speaker

    Edit. I see you mentioned the S2000, shoulda read better. Actually both flat packs mentioned can be put together just using tape. If you can't do any sort of woodworking, the SB kit seems like the ticket.
    Last edited by djg; 08-07-2018, 07:18 PM.


    • #3
      I'm really on the fence about whether I can attempt even a kit with a flat pack in my current situation. The shed has no power and is not particularly watertight, and there's no place else I can really sit anything to let glue and/or paint dry. Unfortunately that shed is the only place I can store my table saw right now. The back porch leaks. And it's been raining almost every day. So I can assemble things, and cut holes in baffles, but I think the most DIY I can do right now is put something into a pre-assembled cabinet and maybe cut driver holes in baffles.


      • #4
        I use Legacy Audio Studio HD's on my desktop. I found them for $1100 for the pair in immaculate condition, so if you look around, deals can be had. Needless to say they sound great.


        • #5
          KEF Q series bookshelves are perfect for nearfield.
          "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche


          • #6
            Fry's seem to have the Klipsch R-15M for sale for $119:

            Might not be too bad at its current sale price.

            Found the following review with measurements:


            • #7
              Hey Scardeal,

              I had a similar situation to you when i built my Quarks (Jeff Bagsby, thanks to Erich at DIYaudio).
              I used blue painter's tape to preline up the panels, and titebond1.
              I built it in my bedroom. For sanding, I just glued some sandpaper to some plywood as a flat surface.
              The only reason why it took me a long time was because a.) I've never wired a crossover before; b.) I was veneering and frenchpolishing the speakers.

              They turned out really, really great.


              • #8
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  You could also reach out to the people here, and see if they'd be willing to build some speakers for you.
                  Some of us are hobbiests that just want an excuse to make something nice.

                  If I had time, I'd do it at cost....but I don't have time.

                  Something like the Quarks, Bantams, or Heliums, might do the trick for you.


                  • #10
                    Yeah, I got speakers out the wazoo. Could probably spare a pair.


                    • #11

                      What I suggest for commercial desktop or computer speakers are studio monitors sold at Guitar Center or similar music and pro sound stores. Look on the web to see what they offer or visit one of their stores to listen to the studio monitors. They offer a wide of speakers--both powered and passive--are available. Studio monitors are usually sold as single units so just buy two for stereo. The prices range from $100 per speaker and up. Guitar Center also has money saving used equipment appended too their on line listings of new equipment. Thus a set of great speakers in ready made form can be had for reasonable money.

                      For my desktop I use a set of Emotiva powered speakers with 4 inch woofers and AMT tweeters. i feed the digital audio from my computer through a Dragonfly USB DAC (about $100) and viola great sound and less than $500 for the speakers and DAC. For me the small monitors have adequate bass without a sub because they are less than two feet away from me. Thus I can work and listen without sound fatigue or pounding bass.

                      Bottom line for you is to choose the speakers you like and enjoy.



                      • #12
                        Excellent idea. If you don't want a sub.

                        I looked at guitar center, they have lots of near field stuff.


                        • #13
                          5" Two-Way Powered Studio Monitor Bi-amplified Studio Monitor with Magnetically-Shielded 5” Low ...
                          "It is only Scrooge McDuck and others with a personality disorder who have money as their goal"


                          • #14
                            If you're interested in the JBL LSR305s I have a barely used pair that I'll sell for $125 plus shipping. I bought them shortly before we moved to a smaller house and I just don't have room for them. I'm in NE Iowa so the shipping shouldn't be too bad. Or plan a weekend visit to the Toppling Goliath brewery and pick them up for free! Send me a PM if you're interested.
                            Last edited by ernperkins; 08-12-2018, 11:57 AM. Reason: Typo
                            The elephant in the room is the room


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by scardeal View Post
                              Can anyone help me out? I'm willing to spend up to $500 per speaker if it's worth it.
                              Have you considered something like this from pro audio rather than consumer audio?