Audiophile/People who love sound

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by illibball087, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. illibball087 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #1
    Okay heres the deal, the budget is now 500, I need recommendations from people who know what sounds is (Golden Mac Kid has been a huge help already).
    I would really like to keep the system 2.0 but if I have to go 2.1 then I will. I need this system to sound great and have no "white noise/humming" when the speakers aren't in use or sitting idle...any and all help will be greatly appreciated!

    Also, I would like opinions on...

    -Audioengine a5's
    -Bose Companion 5's
    -Swan m10's
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    Just so I make this clear. You are going to get an overwhelming support from the AudioEngine and Bose crowds. I would def. go with the former over the latter, but I still like my Swans. A pair of $500 Mackie's will likely blow all three away. The only difference between AudioEngine and Bose is that some people actually despise Bose.
     
  3. illibball087 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #3
    thanks again man but could you supply me with some links if you have the time of where to buy each of these speakers you are talking about especially the mackie's
     
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #4
    These are the Mackie's. I would recommend the Yamaha's. They are 5" so not as loud as the Mackie's but for monitoring purposes the HS80 and 50 are quite amazingly balanced. Trying to find the HS80M's at your price range might be a little hard.

    A couple of other things:
    1. The 2.0 thing doesn't mean any of the professional options are small, a 2.0 set-up with 8" woofers, is exactly that.
    2. You will need an interface, so factor in that to the cost.
    3. You might want a sub with most of these monitoring options. The speakers themselves aim to be extremely flat in terms of sound to try to get the right balance. With most of these options it is expected that you will have an external sub.
    4. If you are not doing recording, you should seriously consider your options. These speakers are extremely accurate, but they aren't the greatest thing if all you want to do is enjoy the music, they are made for mixing and what not.
     
  5. illibball087 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #5
    thanks again well my purposes are going to be for listening to music, movies, and stuff like that with no sound recording/producing whatsoever...basically i just want some really good speakers that'll last me for years
     
  6. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #6
    I'd stay away from pro monitors. To some extent you can just start buying home theater stuff and amp at that price. Although the Swan's are a tad bit simpler answer.
     
  7. illibball087 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #7
    alright sounds good, yeah i understand that i don't need super accurate stuff just nice sounding and reliable
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    I depise Bose. :D

    I just order the A2s since I don't have space on my desk. I'll post what I think of them.

    Also does it need to be speakers? Some cans will do the job as well.
     
  9. illibball087 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #9
    i already have really good headphones i need something that other people can hear
     
  10. El Burro macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #10
    Price doesn't necessarily dictate quality.

    People think that by spending more you will receive more, but that's not always true.

    Swan M10s get good reviews, and goldenmacchild and others from other audiophile forums constantly recommend the Swan M10s.

    You have to remember that when it comes to things like audio, or video it's very difficult for an average user to tell what's quality --- they all look/sound good!

    Thus you end up getting lots of 5 star ratings on websites like Amazon, and though you will be happy with your purchase you can probably get a lot more bang for your buck if you learn a little more.

    This is the equivalent of comparing a $500 classical guitar to a $10,000 classical guitar --- to the untrained and even novice to intermediates - you will either most likely not notice a difference (and many times like the cheaper ones), or barely (JUST BARELY) notice something that is so insignificant to you.

    I think the Swan M10s would be your best bet for maximum happiness.

    Do some google searched on them, and try doing some comparison review searches on google too (i.e. swan m10 versus insert product here) --- you'll get some nice threads on others usually from audiophile/tech geek forums.
     
  11. El Burro macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #11
    also, any money you have left from your $500

    1) invest it in a ROTH IRA
    2) if you refuse, and you have a desire to burn your wallet, then upgrade your hard drive to the scorpio blue 500 gb 2.5 inch hard drive (neweggs)
    3) save it.

    Money is precious --- don't buy crap that won't give you significant pleasure from (in this case, for me, this was definitely a significant pleasure purchase that will bring long term comfort and use).

    Distinguish need versus want.
     
  12. illibball087 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #12
    thanks man well looks like this is the better route seeing that these are only 110 while the audioengine 5's are 350...are the swans reliable??
     
  13. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    I just got my Audioengine A2s; I will test their quality compared to the Bose Music Monitors I hate, but are very good.
     
  14. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #14
    I know I picked a bad handle.
     
  15. krimsen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    #15
    I'm using Audioengine A5's for almost a year now and I am a bit disappointed.

    They sound good and clear, just lack bass, so you'd have to add a subwoofer for movies.

    What I don't like is
    * when they don't play for some time, there's a short burst of noise which can frighten the hell out of you
    * they're not shielded from cell phones

    Other than that, they're good. But next time, I'm buying something else.
     
  16. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #16
    I am lost would you buy them again?
     
  17. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #17
    $500

    Once you spend $500 on speakers, you're never going to listen to music the same. You're going to be disappointed with sound everywhere else, except recording studios and Hi-fi stores. It will really change your perspective.

    That said, it's awesome!

    I used to work in recording studios and the only speakers I preferred to my $1000 Mackies, were Genelecs that cost $4000 for a pair.

    I have friends' with $2-3000 5.1 home theater set-ups and I prefer the sound from my carefully placed pair of Mackies. They do too!

    I have 10 year old Mackie 824s and I won't ever replace them, though I'll probably never spend $1000 on speakers again either.

    Whether listening to Yo Yo Ma (classical) or Massive Attack (bass heavy electronic), these speakers are awesome. The 8" woofers put out more than enough bass so no sub is needed.

    The Mackie speakers that thegoldenmackid linked to, are the newer budget-concious versions of my speakers. After 10 years, economies of scale and cheaper manufacturing allow Mackie to produce excellent speakers for so much less.

    If you really want to spend $500, these are what I recommend. You can spend less and still get good speakers. Stay away from Bose! While they sound decent, they artificially hype certain frequencies, therefore they don't give a true representation of the recorded sound. I personally think the $300 SoundDock is garbage, and I have alot of experience with it. That's also coming from someone who has heard much better speakers though.

    The Mackies will produce a sound that is the closest to what the musicians and engineers were listening to in the studio, at least in the $500 range of speakers.

    I never cared for the Yamaha's, they are meant to sound like the old Yamaha NS-10s, which were a recording studio standard. A standard only because they simulated the crapy quality of the average home bookshelf speakers. They were the speakers used to simulate a 1980s $150-200 low end home stereo. They were mainly used to double check the mixes produced on the main set of speakers. If the mix of the recording sounded good on the main speakers, and didn't sound horrible on the Yamahas, then the engineer knew the mix would translate fine to both high and low end systems.

    According to the specs of the Mackie MR8s, each woofer has its own 100W amp and each tweeter has its own 50W amp. So you're talking 300W of power.
    My HR824s have a total of 500W of power, and when I'm in front of the computer, I usually only run them on 10% or less of power. 50% of power can easily drown out the sound of a 20 person party, where people then have to be right next to each other, talking very loud just to hear one another.

    The Mackie MR5s (little brother of the MR8s) look very nice but I have never heard them. I have listened to the Mackie 624 (little brother of the 824) and they were great. The MR5s are $300 a pair at the site linked to above.

    Another consideration is that these are powered speakers. I highly recommend purchasing a high quality but affordable mixer such as the Mackie 402VLZ3. (usually $99) It's a 4 channel mixer that you could hook up both your computer and another 2-channel source such as DVD/Blue-Ray player or PS3/Xbox360.

    As far as I know, the Mackies don't have a way to control the level/power of the input signal, and they don't have their own volume knob/control. This is why I recommend a decent but cheap mixer to attenuate the sound level. Just not a RadioShack piece of crap. While the onboard audio chips in the Mac aren't great, you don't want to reduce the quality of the sound thru a terrible mixer. (I could be wrong on the volume knob)

    Alternatively, you could get a Mackie Big Knob or something like it, but I think they are around $200+. The Big Knob lets you choose between 4 different inputs and route the signal to up to 3 different pairs of speakers. On second thought, a cheap decent usb or firewire audio interface with volume control might be a better idea?

    Another consideration is where you are going to place the speakers. If you are going to place the speakers on the same desk as your computer, you eventually might want to buy monitor isolation pads so the speakers don't vibrate the whole desk and your computer, especially when listening at louder volumes. You can always start off without them or use small towels.
    These can run between $40 and $200, but the cheaper ones ( $40 Auralex) should suffice in any listening, rather than recording, environment.



    General Rules:

    If you buy powered speakers: They should be the last thing powered on, and the first thing powered off in your set-up.

    Set up the speakers in an equilateral triangle with yourself, meaning to optimize the sound, you should be the same distance from each speaker, and they should be the same distance from each other as from you, the listener.

    Any which way, if you spend $300-$500 on speakers, you'll gain a new appreciation for the music you already own, and for music in general.

    Sorry that was long, I have to stop procrastinating my work now.
    Hope this helps and post if you have any more questions.
     
  18. illibball087 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #18
    wow thanks for the great read man i understand a lot more now...so its safe to say that the audio engine 5's are a no go?
     
  19. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #19
    Mackie MR5

    I don't know anything about audio engine 5s, they seem kinda gimmicky. They could be great for all I know. I've been away from the home and pro recording studio arena for a few years. I just keep up with the main brands.

    Electronic Musician magazine gave the Mackie MR5s ($300 a pair) a 5/5 and a 2009 Editor's Choice Award

    http://emusician.com/speakers/emusic_mackie/

    "...Next, I hooked the MR5s up to my laptop — a typical entry-level setup. In spite of some grunge from the computer's built-in headphone output, the speakers sounded clear and smooth, with plenty of bass. I would recommend them to anyone needing a high-quality speaker for desktop music production, gaming, or even just listening to MP3s. The monitors are shielded to prevent interference with the computer screen."

    Goes on....

    "...Mackie's MR5 monitors provide very impressive quality at an attractive price. Good mixes sounded good indeed, while the flaws in inferior mixes stood out. That is the definition of a good monitor; I want to know when I need to keep working on a mix. Too many inexpensive monitors aim to make everything sound great. What's the use in that?

    ....If you're in the market for your first set of real monitors, or if you need a small set of close-fields to augment your existing system, give the MR5s a listen.

    Value (1 through 5): 5"
     
  20. Hot Snowboarder macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    Behind you...!
    #20
    I love Bang & Olufsen!

    Also, an Audiophile is not the same as a person who loves sound.

    Just like a pedophile is not the same as a person who loves kids.

    I'm just sayin... some people are mental bout their speakers.


    (yes i had a bad experience with an audiophile as a child. :p )
     
  21. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #21
    Be careful when looking at music monitors for music playback. Monitors tend to be overly detailed and are geared to separate sounds of different instruments (which is why they're valuable for mixing). This typically comes at a cost of sacrificing imaging, soundstaging, and dynamic presentation.

    FWIW, I own the Audioengine 2's. I find them to be an excellent powered speaker and a great buy in the sub-$200 range. As with any speaker, their sonic character is very much influenced by their placement.
     
  22. illibball087 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #22
    im leaning towards a pair of either Mackie MR5's or KRK rokit 5's...which one should i decide on (both are under 400 a pair) and also what will i need in order to connect it to my macbook pro ?
     
  23. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #23
    You posed your OP to "audiophiles". However, you have received responses from many people who are not audiophiles. Am I correct in assuming that you are not an audiophile? So why ask the opinions of "audiophiles" when your ear will be different than theirs? The bottom-line is that you'll be listening to music stored on your macbook and outputting that compressed .mp3 file to smallish speakers that are self-powered. This is the exact opposite of an audiophile set up. I'm guessing that you want a smallish speaker that you can fit on your desk, will play loud, have punchy, overpronounced bass and good detail. You probably don't rate imaging, soundstaging, and midrange neutrality as being high on your list of priorities (although these are very important to audiophiles). That being said, any of the speakers mentioned in this thread will serve your needs just fine. Go ahead and pull the trigger on something so you can begin enjoying your music.
     
  24. illibball087 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    #24
    im not quite an audiophile yet but i like the opinions of experienced individuals in the production/sound field who know what real quality is so that when i get to that point i will be happy with the purchases i made in the past...im not about to wait money on logitech, altec or anything like that...
     
  25. El Burro macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #25
    i agree with the poster above who basically said that an audiophile's ears are trained differently than the casual user --- but I also understand why teh OP asked for an audiophile's opinion because an average person can recommend something and not really know what hte hell they're talking (ITS A GREAT CAR BECAUSE IT GETS YOU FROM POINT A TO POINT B --- thanks, but there' sa lot mroe to it than that --- insurance, reliability, gas costs, etc. etc. etc.).

    You don't need an audiophile's speaker set, nor do you want something that will disappoint.

    If you buy $500 speakers you'er going to think that you the money bought you something that was maybe 4 or 5x better than the ones that were $100 , but that's not probably true.

    Remember --- your'e hooking this up to a macbook pro - which although a very nice computer --- has 2 things going against it 1) one line out and no splitter 2) lossy formats and low bitrate music that you'll be listening to.

    Anything over $200 will either be overkill and make you confused with the complexity of the instrument and all the settings.

    Just like how for someone like me or you a BMW 3 or 5 or 7 is more than enough car, you really don't need a Bentley or a Rolls Royce because you're not getting too much more out of it.

    Law of diminishing returns son.

    Check out the Swan M10s. They're aesthetically pleasing/have that ipod look, and sound great (I just received them today).
     

Share This Page