Looking for a budget desktop system, £150-£200. Suggestions?

ElGofre

New member
Jun 8, 2012
5
0
0
Visit site
Hi all,

So yeah, pretty much what the title says. I'm first and foremost a headphone listener and have just spent most of my annual income for the year on a set of custom IEMs and a portable source/amp capable of doing them justice. However I spend a lot of time at my desk and sometimes would rather just let speakers do the work rather than having to strap a set of headphones to my head. However the speaker dock I currently have, as nice as it is for an ipod dock, isn't really cutting it anymore and I know very little about speaker audio, so I thought I'd consult the lovely people here [=

So yeah, I'm looking to spend somewhere between £150 and £200 (And an extra tenner if anything comes from Amazon, for which I have a gift voucher) on both the speakers and amplifier. As said above I'm looking for a desktop solution, so a relatively compact amp and a couple of of bookshelf speakers (And a dedicated subwoofer if that's achievable in this sort of setup/budget) would be ideal. For my source I'll be using a MacBook Pro (Or Mac Mini, depending on what WWDC brings next week) and a FiiO E17 USB DAC with L7 line-out adaptor, although if that's not suitable I can sell off the E17 which will probably bring another £60ish into the budget.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
445
0
0
Visit site
It's difficult at that price, especially if you want a sub.

I've seen these recommended though and they do look great VFM.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CA-SP211UK-SP2500-Gaming-Speaker/dp/B004LWZ8ZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329231223&sr=8-1

Another option is to look at Audioengine 2 powered speakers or maybe even some cheap actives (check out the range at Studiospares, and perhaps ask the question over at the Avi forum ([LINK REMOVED - house rules])

Or, if you aren't wanting to listen at high volume, get a good budget speaker such as Wharfedale diamonds, and a good T-amp such as the Bantam (I had one running with Mordaunt short 902s to good effect).
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
445
0
0
Visit site
Here is a review made by a hdd contributor on some cheap active monitors from Studiospares...

[LINK REMOVED - house rule 15]
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
I'd agree with the audioengines, they're good (but bass can get out of hand if youre in a corner), but as fr0g says you'll be lucky to get a sub.

Diamond 9.0s might work with a small amp. The 9.1s are better and still available for 100 quid or so but they're pretty chunky for a desk.
 

omnibeard

New member
Dec 7, 2010
27
0
0
Visit site
Not sure if I'm missing the point here, but a set of Harmon Kardon soundsticks (which come with sub) might not be a bad idea, and well within budget. I've got a set I use with an iMac - sounds perfectly OK if you're not too critical.
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
445
0
0
Visit site
omnibeard said:
Not sure if I'm missing the point here, but a set of Harmon Kardon soundsticks (which come with sub) might not be a bad idea, and well within budget. I've got a set I use with an iMac - sounds perfectly OK if you're not too critical.

I think something like the Aego system for not much more would be much better in the same vein.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Acoustic-Energy-AE26-06B-active-speaker/dp/B000MN96T6/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1339169113&sr=1-1

*edit, scrap that from Amazon....6 to 9 months! Odd.
 

ElGofre

New member
Jun 8, 2012
5
0
0
Visit site
Thanks for the suggestions guys! A sub isn't essential, I just wasn't sure of what's achievable in this price range.

I've found a pair of Wharfdale Diamond 9.1 for £100, what are your thoughts? I haven't read a bad word about them so far.
 

ElGofre

New member
Jun 8, 2012
5
0
0
Visit site
John Duncan said:
The 9.1s are fantastic but, as noted above, they're big...

Size isn't an issue really, as long as they fit on a desk I'm fine! What would you recommend in terms of driving them? I'm willing to spend a bit extra if needs be. I also need some help in terms of cabling, I really don't know the first thing about speakers =P
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
445
0
0
Visit site
With what you already have I would seriously consider the Seiwin monitors. From around £130 for a pair and nothing else required apart from an interconnect.

http://www.studiospares.com/headphones+speakers/studio-monitors/icat/heastudiomonitors/

But if you fancy the Diamonds I can recommend the Bantam classic t-amp. Very nice quality(at low to medium volume), or maybe look for 2nd hand amp from ebay, Nad 3020 or similar.

http://www.templeaudio.net/bantam.html

or

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=nad+3020&_sacat=0
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Tbh the only reason I was shying away from those selwins was because of physical size, like the Diamonds, but if that's not a problem...

Still, not sure I'd have something that big on my desk.
 

vtokmak

New member
Jul 29, 2011
7
0
0
Visit site
Harman Kardon Soundsticks 2 or 3

This speakers sounds rich and with detail if you are looking for a speaker in that price range.Bass from subwoofer is controlled and powerful but since tweeters are made from neomydium or something like this it sounds a little bright.You should definetely audition them somewhere.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Harman-Kardon-Soundsticks-Channel-Multimedia/dp/B003ZXDOMA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339239742&sr=8-1
 

stuartybass

New member
Dec 21, 2007
4
0
0
Visit site
I bought a pair of Studiodock 3i's for exactly your purpose and love them. £120 or so online.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samson-SAM-SD3I-StudioDock-3i/dp/B0014HO9QY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339261456&sr=8-1
 

Messiah

Well-known member
I have some Aktimate minis in my beadroom sat on a desk and I am very impressed with the sound and no need for a sub.

Definitley worth an audition if possible. They are a bit above budget but there are some Open Box Minis on there if you don't mind red.

(Mine are red and I love the looks).
 

ElGofre

New member
Jun 8, 2012
5
0
0
Visit site
Thanks for all the suggestions guys! In the end I settled on the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1s after getting a chance to demo them, and they're being coupled with the amp my father has given me after deciding to sell his hifi system, an Arcam Alpha 8.

My problem now is cabling. Am I correct in thinking that the style of binding post found on the 9.1s mean that I use bare wire rather than any sort of plug/connector? The cables provided by my father terminate in banana plugs which are quite apparent to be the wrong sort.

Thanjs again [=
 

TRENDING THREADS