Blue Sky Exo with my Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by richpjr, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #1
    The subwoofer on my Klipsch iFi's I was using as speakers with my Mac Pro died so I have been searching for replacement speakers for a while. I researched quite a few bookshelf and monitors and among others, the Sky Blue Exo 2.1 system kept getting good reviews and comments from various places. I work near a Guitar Center and they had them listed for $349 on their web site. I stopped by after work to check them out and they were discontinuing carrying this particular model. They had a clearance price of $199 for a new system. I jumped on it (I was considering it at full price) and brought it home and set them up. For the price I got them for they are a steal - these things rock! The satellites are just the right size for a desk and the volume and subwoofer output controller fits perfectly under my monitor. It also has a headphone input and iPod input on it. The speakers are very detailed and put out pretty decent volume. If you are in the market for speakers I highly recommend these!
     
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    Congrats!!!

    I only recently discovered Blue Sky as well... and wow! I got the Pro Desk 2.1 setup on sale at Guitar Center as well and they sound stunning for the price. I listened to a lot of pro-audio studio monitors and these compete with speakers twice their price. I found it impossible to get full sound from a decent sized pair of studio monitors with 5 or 6.5" mid-bass drivers... a sub is really essential with satellites that size and few companies offer a sub that integrates with the satellites so well. The sub on the Blue Sky blends in perfectly... Not boomy... just good tight bass that picks up right where the satellites leave off. A characteristic derived from their sealed enclosure designs which are fairly unique these days (most companies opt for ported designs which allow for smaller cabinets at the expense of a more boomy sound and port effects).

    The Exo are ideal for someone who wants pro-audio influenced sound from a package that's not any bigger than a pair of cheap-ass computer speakers.

    It doesn't hurt that Skywalker sound uses Blue Sky either... If they're good enough for George, their good enough for me! :D
     
  3. richpjr thread starter macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #3
    I'm going to try a DAC feeding them to see if that makes much of a difference.
     
  4. Chilz0r macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #4
    Yeah I have the Exo as well. Very nice but just be careful, they had a few problems with manufacturing defects in a small batch of the units. Make sure you get a warranty of some sort!
     
  5. richpjr thread starter macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #5
    I got a 2 year replacement from GC for $20. Normally I pass on those things, but for $20 and the big discount I got on them I made the impulse buy for it.
     
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #6
    I'm using a Lexicon U22 USB audio interface with a decent integrated DAC which is a fantastic form-factor and has nice controls with great Mic pre-amps as well. Good price too!

    Here's a pic of the 4 input version (U42)...
    [​IMG]

    There are lots of choices out there for both interfaces and just simple DAC's but the prices can get very steep. :(
     
  7. richpjr thread starter macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #7
    How do you like that Lexicon? I was leaning towards the Emu 0404, but that Lexicon looks kind of interesting.
     
  8. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    No complaints. It works as expected and the form factor is great. I like the LED level meters, the styling, the big volume knob, and the "just works" plug and play operation. I think the Emu 0404 is perhaps more for less though, so what you trade in style you make up for in value. Both seem to be good units so I doubt you can go wrong with either one.
     
  9. richpjr thread starter macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #9
    The difference in price isn't that big and it certainly looks better than the 0404. I like the knobs on the front as opposed to the back since I could place it under my monitor and still have access to the knobs, instead of the knobs on top like the 0404.
     
  10. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #10
    Agreed... the ergonomics of the Lexicon are fantastic.
     
  11. richpjr thread starter macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #11
    How do you have it hooked up to your Exo? Looks like unbalanced cables are the recommended way.

    And while I'm at it - do you leave your Exo powered on all the time? My subwoofer is under a desk and it's a pain to crawl under there to turn off the power.
     
  12. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #12
    I have the ProDesk 2.1 setup so I use balanced TRS cables from the Lexicon to XLR's on the sub. I leave the speakers on all the time... as you say, it's a PITA to turn off everything all the time (in my case I have power switches on the sub and both satellites).
     
  13. richpjr thread starter macrumors 68030

    richpjr

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    May 9, 2006
    #13
    One last question for you - how is the DAC in the Lexicon?
     
  14. ncc1701d macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    #14
    Whenever the bimonthly topic of "what speakers" comes up, I have always given my support for the bluesky range (I also have the EXO), but I seem to be largely ignored or not many others know about them. I'm glad someone else is having as much enjoyment out of them as I am.

    richpjr is correct about the on off switch being in a cumbersome spot and as such I also leave mine on 24/7. This has always been my only complaint. But, I don't think they like being switched on and off all the time any way.
     
  15. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #15
    Not having much to compare to, I can't say... However, the blue sky and Lexicon combo sounds extremely clean, with solid punchy bass that is not boomy, a clear mid-range and crisp highs if not a tad bright to my ears (which is consistent with other reviews)... hence I think the DAC can only be described as transparent.
     
  16. richpjr thread starter macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #16
    I picked up the Lexicon U22s the other day and so far am pleased. It's bigger than I expected from the pictures, but still fits nicely on my desk. I had read somewhere that Blue Sky did not recommend leaving the speakers powered on all the time so I plugged both the speakers and the Lexicon into a power strip that I can easily reach so I can turn them both off at night.

    Registering Cubase could be the most arcane pain in the rear of anything I have ever had to do on a computer! I eventually got all that foolishness done and plugged my guitar into it and recorded a few minutes of noodling around on it. I am very happy with the quality of the recording (which I could say that about my playing!) - this thing is a keeper. Thanks for answering my questions on it.
     
  17. richpjr thread starter macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #17
    Okay, I did find one thing that sucks pretty bad and has me wondering about this thing: I have it hooked up via the USB cable to my Mac Pro and whenever I am playing audio back through it and I use the scroll the wheel on my Logitech MX Revolution mouse (also USB), the sound completely cuts out for a second or two. I even notice a couple of times that when I move the mouse quickly and clicked on the screen, the sound cut out. This is incredibly annoying and could be a deal breaker for me. I imagine the USB bus is getting saturated by the mouse, but I love this mouse and am not in a hurry to replace it. Ugh.
     

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