~$200: Powered monitors or bookshelves and an amp?

viivo

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I am unable to wear headphones for longer than 20 minutes at a time, so I'd like to add a simple pair of speakers so I can enjoy games and such again without discomfort.

Monoprice's 5" and 8" powered monitors look pretty good, but I'm wondering if better quality could be found by getting a pair of bookshelf speakers and a small amp. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

delita

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Craigslist if you can.

M-Audio is good, Audioengine is alright, Emotiva is great if you can find used ones - but you'll get out of that price range REAL fast. My favs are higher end Emotivas and Adams like A7X. But they are pricey.

Bookshelf speakers + amp combos are definitely going to cost you over your budget unless you are at the bottom of the barrel quality wise. Probably be better off looking on Craigslist again or going to yard sales to find a decent home theater stereo receiver to use as an amp, but they are gigantic of course.
 
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viivo

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Thanks for the responses. The budget is so low because quality isn't the goal - just something to take over when headphone fatigue sets in. I'd never be able to match the quality of my headphones with speakers so I'm not even trying.

I think since time isn't an issue I'll go the piecemeal route and either build one of the many DIY designs, or order a Chinese knockoff kit and worry about speakers later.
 

delita

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Thanks for the responses. The budget is so low because quality isn't the goal - just something to take over when headphone fatigue sets in. I'd never be able to match the quality of my headphones with speakers so I'm not even trying.

I think since time isn't an issue I'll go the piecemeal route and either build one of the many DIY designs, or order one of the better Chinese knockoff kits and worry about speakers later.
To each their own I guess. My headphone set up is in my signature but truth be told sometimes I prefer less revealing sound through powered amps with lots of Eq. I love my headphones but I’m into a lot of metal and less well produced music that doesn’t always sound amazing through high end cans.
 

atarione

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I didn't see a budget listed but I'll assume it is around up to $200~ as that seems to be what the monoprice 8" monitors cost.

You can certainly get something decent~ if entry for $200~ with a small class d amp and a couple bookshelf speakers

I'll list this LoXJIE A10 $70 because it has the TPA3116 chip and is shaped like a dang triangle?? how cool is that.. I absolutely don't need this amp but I absolutely want this little triangle amp on my desk =p
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H5BV3FY/ref=twister_B07PRMWLGW?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

speakers wise you could get a decent little pair of Polk T15's for $60~ from amazon right now... (I haven't used these in awhile but my first bookshelf speaker computer audio setup was these and a little SMSL T-amp and I was quite pleased with it at the time.

https://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-T15-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B002RJLHB8/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=polk+t15&qid=1573458542&sr=8-1

and of course the beauty of the bookshelf speakers + amp option is you really have world of speaker options... Elac, NHT, Monitor Audio, Wharfedale ... etc

you could also explore used speakers I have had great luck with this I have some Vintage Yamaha 10" 3ways I got for $50 that work perfect and look great, I have some Vintage JBL L1's as well $40 some NHT SuperZero's $50/pr a number of Realistic Minimus 7's (these actually make pretty good pc speakers and are a desk space friendly size.. or their bigger brother Minimus 77's

here is my desksetup luck / patience has played a role.. but any of my amps / speaker setups come in under your budget (including amusingly??) the massive sony ES Stack + yamaha NS-344 10" 3ways (sony stack $75 and speakers $50~) I like me some headphones as well but I will argue that my Sony ES stack will give your headphones a quite good run for their money.

desk_jun18.jpg
 

viivo

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I decided to check out a few pawnshops because I've gotten some amazing deals on audio and electronics stuff in the past and found a Luxman L-3 ("Solid State Integrated Amplifier") for $110. I didn't buy it but I'm considering going back and getting it and want to ask first if anybody has experience with Luxman equipment? It looks nice, is quite heavy, and says Made in Japan - all of which are meaningless of course.

Anyway, any help appreciated.




Edit: well I bought it anyway. Thankfully it was the pawnshop with the cool guys who said I can bring it back if there are any problems.

20191115_132534.jpg
 
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lightsout

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I didn't see a budget listed but I'll assume it is around up to $200~ as that seems to be what the monoprice 8" monitors cost.

You can certainly get something decent~ if entry for $200~ with a small class d amp and a couple bookshelf speakers

I'll list this LoXJIE A10 $70 because it has the TPA3116 chip and is shaped like a dang triangle?? how cool is that.. I absolutely don't need this amp but I absolutely want this little triangle amp on my desk =p
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H5BV3FY/ref=twister_B07PRMWLGW?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

speakers wise you could get a decent little pair of Polk T15's for $60~ from amazon right now... (I haven't used these in awhile but my first bookshelf speaker computer audio setup was these and a little SMSL T-amp and I was quite pleased with it at the time.

https://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-T15-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B002RJLHB8/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=polk+t15&qid=1573458542&sr=8-1

and of course the beauty of the bookshelf speakers + amp option is you really have world of speaker options... Elac, NHT, Monitor Audio, Wharfedale ... etc

you could also explore used speakers I have had great luck with this I have some Vintage Yamaha 10" 3ways I got for $50 that work perfect and look great, I have some Vintage JBL L1's as well $40 some NHT SuperZero's $50/pr a number of Realistic Minimus 7's (these actually make pretty good pc speakers and are a desk space friendly size.. or their bigger brother Minimus 77's

here is my desksetup luck / patience has played a role.. but any of my amps / speaker setups come in under your budget (including amusingly??) the massive sony ES Stack + yamaha NS-344 10" 3ways (sony stack $75 and speakers $50~) I like me some headphones as well but I will argue that my Sony ES stack will give your headphones a quite good run for their money.

View attachment 199220
Sweet audio setup!
 

IdiotInCharge

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I am unable to wear headphones for longer than 20 minutes at a time
Is this something that you would be willing to try to address?

Not that good headphones are by any means cheap -- but comfortable ones most certainly do exist.
 
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viivo

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Is this something that you would be willing to try to address?

Not that good headphones are by any means cheap -- but comfortable ones most certainly do exist.
It's me more than the headphones. Since my optical prescription precludes contacts I must wear glasses and the pressure earpads put on the frame arms above and behind the ears becomes very uncomfortable. Even my main headphones - MDR-z7 - light and comfortable as they are with little clamping pressure lead to pain.
 

atarione

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I decided to check out a few pawnshops because I've gotten some amazing deals on audio and electronics stuff in the past and found a Luxman L-3 ("Solid State Integrated Amplifier") for $110. I didn't buy it but I'm considering going back and getting it and want to ask first if anybody has experience with Luxman equipment? It looks nice, is quite heavy, and says Made in Japan - all of which are meaningless of course.

Anyway, any help appreciated.




Edit: well I bought it anyway. Thankfully it was the pawnshop with the cool guys who said I can bring it back if there are any problems.
Luxman is generally quite well regarded.. that is a good get assuming it works fine.. you may find you need a little contact cleaner on the pots ..but that's generally to be expected.. over on audiokarma there is a pretty good deoxit guide and a post about checking DC offset before hooking expensive speakers up to it.. or you know hook cheapies up and make sure it don't blow them up (it probably wont).

I'm glad you bought that.. that is KEWL... I want that =p for $110 with a option to return.. SWEET..

oh wow the inputs are on the bottom??? wow.. that actually seems like a bit of a pain in the ass.. but no matter once you get it set up...

luxman.jpg

do tell how it works out for y'all.. that is a neat little integrated amp 42wpc.. should be fine.

oh in case you want / need manuals / schematics..

https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/luxman/l-3.shtml
 
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IdiotInCharge

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It's me more than the headphones. Since my optical prescription precludes contacts I must wear glasses and the pressure earpads put on the frame arms above and behind the ears becomes very uncomfortable. Even my main headphones - MDR-z7 - light and comfortable as they are with little clamping pressure lead to pain.
I get that- I do have a set of the MDR-Z7, they're my most comfortable closed cans, and well, you'd be hard pressed to beat them in terms of comfort and quality.
 
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viivo

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oh wow the inputs are on the bottom??? wow.. that actually seems like a bit of a pain in the ass.. but no matter once you get it set up...
It's a strange design choice, especially when there's more than enough room on the back. Maybe they assumed most people wouldn't need to use it as a pre-amp.
 

xmadror

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I decided to check out a few pawnshops because I've gotten some amazing deals on audio and electronics stuff in the past and found a Luxman L-3 ("Solid State Integrated Amplifier") for $110. I didn't buy it but I'm considering going back and getting it and want to ask first if anybody has experience with Luxman equipment? It looks nice, is quite heavy, and says Made in Japan - all of which are meaningless of course.

Anyway, any help appreciated.




Edit: well I bought it anyway. Thankfully it was the pawnshop with the cool guys who said I can bring it back if there are any problems.

View attachment 200069

A relative has a very similar Luxman (can't recall the model of the top of my head) that is a 60W rms and it is pretty good. For 110$ that's a great find!
As mentioned before, if there is "static" noise while playing with the controls it's an easy fix and it just needs a good cleaning with some deoxit which is kinda normal maintenance for those older receiver.

If you wanted to try your luck for a better receiver I'd recommend a Sansui (anything from before 1980 is pretty good from Sansui).

oh wow the inputs are on the bottom??? wow.. that actually seems like a bit of a pain in the ass.. but no matter once you get it set up...
Yes and that might have been fine with the rca cable of that time but it can be a problem with newer rca cable...
Even 90 degree adapter wont work well if you need to connect 2 inputs that are next to each other.
 

B00nie

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A relative has a very similar Luxman (can't recall the model of the top of my head) that is a 60W rms and it is pretty good. For 110$ that's a great find!
As mentioned before, if there is "static" noise while playing with the controls it's an easy fix and it just needs a good cleaning with some deoxit which is kinda normal maintenance for those older receiver.

If you wanted to try your luck for a better receiver I'd recommend a Sansui (anything from before 1980 is pretty good from Sansui).



Yes and that might have been fine with the rca cable of that time but it can be a problem with newer rca cable...
Even 90 degree adapter wont work well if you need to connect 2 inputs that are next to each other.
RCA cables haven't changed at all during these times, you can still get the thin black cables, they're cheaper too!
 

Dodge245

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I'd go buy a second hand Denon DM37 (or newer DM41 ) with the Denon Speakers.

I run a DM37 with some Dali Zensor 1 Bookshelf's and in my opinion that's a perfect pair, but the standard Denon speakers that come with sound good too.

P.S

The DM37 is the same width as my computer case and sits on top..
 
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