Corsair SP2500's vs Mackie CR4's

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Astralogic, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Astralogic

    Astralogic Gawd

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    Hi, I'm thinking of selling my SP2500's to get some Mackie CR4's. Could someone tell me which of the two speakers are better for regular listening (I don't produce music).

    Should I make the switch basically.
     
  2. hfk

    hfk Gawd

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    I've never heard either but for general desktop entertainment, the corsairs are built for and excel at that. The Mackies are studio monitors so they will sound very clean and flat if you want to go in that direction. But the woofers are only 4" so they won't reach into the sub bass at all though. If you are not aware of this you may be greatly disappointed. By comparison your corsair sub has an 8" inch woofer which is as powerful bass you're ever going to need at a desktop. Also generally 2.1 speakers such as your corsairs sound great near field / for desktop use whereas bigger 2.0 speakers often need more space around and between the speakers and between the listener than your desktop setup allows for to sound good. 2.1 speakers are more flexible regarding placement and allows you to adjust the bass by moving the sub around too.
     
  3. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

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    Don't get the Mackies, or any studio monitor, for general listening. They're optimized to be as neutral as possible for accuracy in a production environment... in other words, from a general listening standpoint, they intentionally sound like crap. If you're looking for general listening speakers, I'd take a look at the KEF 300A or Audioengine A5+.
     
  4. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Completely wrong. Studio monitors are the tools the sound engineers design the sound balance with. Flat and clean is exactly the way the sound SHOULD be reproduced.

    You're confusing control monitors to 'radio simulating' Yamaha boxes that are doubling as second set of speakers in many studios. Those intentionally sound like a crap radio - not studio monitors.

    However having said that, I wouldn't get the Mackie CR4:s. They're pitifully small and will sound like crap like all small boxes do. It's especially so in small monitors because by design they have to be able to play loud - in the case of studio monitors it means that they have had to cut the small amount of bass otherwise would be possible from a 4".

    Personally I wouldn't even think anything below 6.5" for that reason.
     
  5. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich Gawd

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    Haven't I seen you recommend the LSR305s?
     
  6. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yes but those are an exception. Most of the ultra compact monitors sound very bad, including the Genelec hyper expensive models. 4" or less is just physically a damn small driver.

    The JBL with the horn/wave guide is a very different design compared to the Mackie.
     
  7. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

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    My point is that studio monitors are by design neutral and revealing. With music files for pure listening, I'd much rather listen to consumer speakers that are optimized for music and quite the opposite of neutral, than professional monitors that will reveal any flaws of source files. Monitors are not typically bass heavy, and will sound flatter than regular speakers as well. I use my monitors (Pioneer S-DJ05's and Sony MDR-7506's) for work. I use my KEF LS50 and HD-800's for listening. I CAN use my studio monitors for general listening, and they can sound good enough, but my experience with the KEF LS50's, and a short time with the X300A's, is that they will sound better than ANY studio monitor for just listening to music... I just can't work on them because they do color audio.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  8. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Super expensive consumer speakers are just as revealing as studio monitors lol. So what you're saying is you want a muddy and unoriginal version of your recordings, which you get with regular priced home speakers.

    Studio monitors, when correctly built and placed in the room, produce a very enjoyable and authentic music experience. It's a total myth that they're 'too revealing' or other BS unless they are either flawed by design or used incorrectly (out of near field in a room with hard surfaces abound).

    For near field use (computer desktop use) studio monitors are optimal. Just designed for the task.

    Most studio monitors are designed for a professional use so they're built to reproduce sound in a clean and unexaggerated way. If someone is used to listening to music through a crappy home speaker which compresses and boosts sound, monitors may sound bad at first.

    Of course there are monitors and monitors. I wouldn't buy the CR4 for example - but I could buy larger Mackie models or for example a larger Genelec monitor which are often used also for hifi listening.
     
  9. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

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    I hear you. But, no, muddiness is not what I'm after. Just something that can capture the detail of studio monitors, but a little warmer than neutral... something musical. If the OP is comparing a set of Creative speakers vs studio monitors, I will venture a guess that studio monitors are not what he/she is looking for. Adjectives like 'lush' and 'warm' don't apply to studio monitors. More like 'clinical', 'analytical' and honestly, 'sterile', which is what they need to be. Far be it from me to tell anyone what *should* sound good to their ears. If you like listening through studio monitors for your general listening pleasure, all good. I find them indispensible for working with audio, but I like my music delivered with a little more oomph and sparkle.
     
  10. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    A good set of studio monitors differs in no way from a very expensive set of home speakers. The 'oomph and sparkle' is a sign of a nonlinear frequency response (or even worse, power response and directivity index). This sort of sound may sound appealing at first and it's designed to impress and sell. For long term critical listening it's no good however.

    The more a speaker deviates from the ideal power response the more problematic it is with room placement. Its sound is heavily distorted by the room, which is not the case with a properly designed speaker.

    Active monitors have many inherent benefits that are not present in passive 'home' speakers. They're biamped and actively cross-overed and that enables 24db/oct Linkwitz-Riley bandpass filters. This gives a superior off-axis polar response critical for near field listening and enables the bass end to be limited very sharply at the bottom, meaning that you can play bass much louder than with a passive crossover because the high pass filter removes the sub octaves which are outside the natural range of the speaker.

    Of course as with any speaker there are good monitors and bad monitors. With Genelec you generally can't go wrong (except the 4" and smaller versions). Behringer made a copy of a very popular Genelec monitor, it's cheap and very good for the price (Truth B2030 and B2031) for the 6,5" and 8" models, respectively.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  11. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

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    I appreciate your understanding of speaker engineering, and, to be honest, a lot of what you just said went completely over my head.

    I will say that the lines are heavily blurred these days between professional studio monitors and good consumer speakers. But I come from a music and audio engineering background, and what each of those speaker types represents for me is very different. I literally just wrapped up a job where I had to mix down a VO, music track and about a dozen effects for a short video spot for a client. The VO was problematic because it was recorded with bad mic placement, and there was a ton of reverb and room noise. The task here was to find good audio sources for the job, and clean up the VO as much as possible. For these kinds of tasks, I WANT a chain that is as detailed and neutral as possible. Having experience with all manner of playback systems and their sound signatures, a neutral audio chain will allow me to trust what the final audio will sound like on a TV, computer speakers, planar magnetics, a sound bar, or iPhone earbuds. When I work on projects like this, I need a baseline for me to make creative decisions, and studio monitors afford me that. Now, would I want to listen to audio full-time through them? Personally (and I emphasize 'personally'), that would be a no. They're brutal on bad audio sources, too harsh for lengthy listening sessions and my ears will get tired eventually. But as a professional tool, they rule.

    Whether by cabinet design, driver type, or all the tech you mentioned, every speaker has it's own sound signature... even the neutral monitors typically have a house sound. To me, the job of a good studio monitor is to get out of the way and avoid heavily coloring the sound as much as possible. The LS50 I mentioned earlier is touted by KEF as having the ability to double as a studio monitor. Not to my ears, and I think this goes back to the blurred lines thing. Music through the LS50 can be heavenly. Rich, detailed, and with a surprising amount of bass that is warm and articulate -- they are voiced to play back music that is very pleasing to the ears. As such, the 'color' they add is too heavy to consider them neutral IMHO. Definitions are tricky, with all the marketing spiel and hype around products. But if I were to consider different types of speakers as tools, each addresses very clearly-defined tasks for me, and what would define 'good' for one would not apply to the other.

    Now, getting back to the OP, he/she clearly stated that the speakers would be for general listening, not producing. In my opinion, he'd be far better served with a nice set of computer speakers with sub, or something more along the lines of a PC compatible hi-fi system, than pro monitors. But horses for courses, of course.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  12. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's true that good speakers are very revealing and can make bad recordings sound just as bad as they are. This is true also in hifi speakers (try magnetostatic or electrostatic planar speakers for example.) In my mind that's a bonus because then the good recordings sound REALLY good.

    I would not recommend 'computer speakers' to anyone remotely interested in accurate sound quality. Having said that, audio is highly subjective and someone may be just happy with 'computer speakers' where someone else is happy with something more.
     
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  13. TechLarry

    TechLarry Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    Monitors are awesome but you must get a decent size Subwoofer to match with them.

    I have a set of M-Audio M3-6 monitors and a BX-12 sub and I'll put it up against anything.

    Granted, the set cost me $1000.
     
  14. Kintigh

    Kintigh n00bie

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    The JBL LSR305's are indeed exceptional. For near-field computer there quite acceptable sans a sub woofer.
     
  15. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Are you .... seriously saying this? omg man.

    Studio monitors absolutely do not sound like crap. I can't believe you said this. You sound exactly like those kids that go around saying you can't see anything over a certain blah blah blah frame rate on a monitor because, you know, that read that somewhere and want to sound important or whatever fukk the case may be.

    There is one rule and one rule only when moving over to monitors for desk top use, especially the tiny pieces of shit you guys seem to love and that is, get a sub.

    KRK 5's or 6's or 8's sound incredibly amazing along with an S10. I don't use the word incredible lightly. Ok?

    Also, you do know most people who own studio monitors use some type of virtual tube based mastering VSTi right?

    Hold on, this can't be true. Let me ask others on this tread if this guy really said what he said said. ?????

    "studio monitors sound like crap"

    Geesh.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  16. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

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    It was hyperbole. If the statement offended you, my apologies.
     
  17. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    People seem to have quite huge prejudice against pro gear. They fail to understand that control monitors are designed to do the job of sound mastering. They're the tool the sound engineer uses to create the sound which your speakers are then supposed to faithfully reproduce.

    Unfortunately most people have utterly crappy listening rooms and they have their setup done completely wrong. That's where misconceptions about pro gear most likely stems from - they're being used in a wrong way and/or someone buys a 100 dollar active 'pro' monitor and then complains it's bad. Well duh, no shit it's bad. It's a poor excuse of what it's supposed to be. Of course there are huge differences between pro gear and pro gear just as there are with 'consumer' gear.

    Most consumer audio sellers sell snake oil, myths and outright lies. And the end users love it all, can't get enough of it.
     
  18. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

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    I don't think there's a prejudice against pro gear. I've worked in pro audio environments for almost 20 years, and it's universally acknowledged that studio monitors are the professional's tools for the job. It's also true that these same professionals generally do not use monitors as primary speakers for their hi-fi stereo setups or home theaters, 'audiophile' or not. A short and decent description of the differences on the Neumann site:

    http://www.neumann.com/homestudio/en/difference-between-home-stereo-speakers-and-studio-monitors
     
  19. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Did you read the Neumann article you posted? They basically said most home speakers are utter crap with a passive technology (which is inferior to the active) and a smiley response designed to impress non-savvy end users who are preferring a sound that quote "It doesn’t really matter if the sound they hear is an accurate reproduction of what the artist intended".

    So you're not talking about hifi anymore - you're talking about budget level signal distorters.

    The best (and usually the most expensive) home speakers are just as revealing as the studio monitor, if not more. It's beyond me how someone can think that playing the record just as it was intended to play is not a virtue.
     
  20. Neapolitan6th

    Neapolitan6th Limp Gawd

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    I'm in the minority in that I will almost always choose speakers/headphones where I can hear the highest level of detail in all frequencies. I believe that's why I've enjoyed the monitors I've bought which are actually the first significant speaker purchase I've made.

    I took a chance and bought the relatively unknown 5-in. monoprice studio monitors because their price dipped down to 160$ for the pair when I bought them. I got them over a year ago because they would conect via xlr to my headphone amp/speaker preamp (xlr is mainly unneccesary for home nearfield use I know) They've been solid for me and even though they have 5 inch woofers, I suspect they aren't completely neutral as they have a very healthy amount of bass. (Almost too much simply because I have the bass port too close to my wall at present)

    Anyway, for me, those studio monitors make sense for my listening use. I'm in college and I really want to land some higher end speakers (Ohm speakers this week), but I know my listening space will constantly change until I settle down so I will force myself to wait. It's also nice to not have to worry about buying a speaker amplifier too.

    So I'd say some studio monitors can be quite enjoyable and would offer a step up from from some cheaper more budget oriented easy to drive speakers, but I don't think studio monitors should be anyone's "End Game" for audio listening. There was a time I was eyeballing some Dynaudio studio monitors... I'm glad I saved my money lol (I still want them though -_-)
     
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  21. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

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    I think everyone likes/wants detail. It's the EQ curve and soundstage that can excite people's ears.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
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  22. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    You need EQ only if your speakers suck. Unfortunately that's 90% of the case. Sound stage is something that a simple EQ can't deliver. It's not a frequency response dependent feature (especially when people use EQ totally wrong).
     
  23. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

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    Sorry if I wasn't clear. I was referring to a speaker's specific voicing, not an equalizer.
     
  24. VIC-20

    VIC-20 Gawd

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    I will never buy class D again for anything other than a sub. It sounds clean, but lacks warmth and low end, basically making a subwoofer essential. Find yourself a 30-50watt per channel Sansui/Marantz/Pioneer/Yamaha/Kenwood receiver from the mid-late 70s and buy a good set of bookshelves or maybe a set of Pioneer SP-FS52 towers if you have the space. I have a 1979 Marantz Model 1550 and it sounds far better than my 2016 Yamaha rx-v781 on every set of speakers I have tried.
     
  25. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Check yourself before you wreck yourself. There are high-end class d-class amps that are guaranteed to have warmth and low end lol. You bought one (probably cheap) amp that also may not have played well with your speakers. That's why passive speakers suck, their impedance curve and capacitance place high demands on amplifiers.
     
  26. mizer357

    mizer357 [H]Lite

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    I dunno fellas, I've been playing through a Bel Canto C7R amp (class D) and KEF LS50s (passive) all morning, and it sounds flippin fantastic.
     
  27. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yes there's nothing inherently wrong with class-D. It just got a bad reputation from the first very early technology products (and all the China 5 dollar crap that circulates in the online stores).
     
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  28. VIC-20

    VIC-20 Gawd

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    So what you are saying is, if I spend thousands of dollars, I can purchase an amp that can drive as well as a class A/B design that can be found in a garage sale for next to nothing or ebay for a few hundred. I don't understand your point. I am quite aware the sky is the limit, but the conversation started with a pair of $300 CAN speakers. For a similar price range you can buy a vintage amp and a decent pair of passive speakers, which in my opinion sounds far better.
     
  29. VIC-20

    VIC-20 Gawd

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    I'm sure it does sound good. But I challenge you to hook those KEFs up to a Sony 3200f, Sansui 9090, Pioneer SA-1050, Nikko Alpha II, etc. and have a listen. I think you would be quite surprised.
     
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  30. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    The Hypex Ncore amps are quite good and cost only about 500 bucks. With 300 dollar CAN speakers it's pointless to even discuss about quality. The amps will never in a million years have so big response deviations that they couldn't play the bandwith of a 300 dollar passive speaker :D

    Vintage amps have high amounts of distortion and not necessarily a flat response, which can make them sound better in a way. A really good amp sounds neutral and flat compared to a vintage amp which has warmth from the distortion. I've noticed the same effect. A bit like comparing a transistor amp against a tube amp.
     
  31. VIC-20

    VIC-20 Gawd

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    My Marantz Model 1550 is 0.1% THD. Compared to say, a Parasound Halo at 0.9% for example. My Marantz was $300 CAN dollars. The Parasound is $2500 US. I have found Sony 3200f amps on ebay for $275 CAN

    Have you listened to a vintage amp lately? Or are you just looking at specs on paper? Many people don't realize how good these units sound because they were running grandpa's old crap speakers.

    There are endless videos on Youtube of audiophiles testing vintage vs very expensive high end modern amps with speakers very few people can afford, and you would be surprised at their conclusions. Readers Digest version is that it is possible you can find a fantastic sounding piece of equipment sitting in grandpa's garage that can compete with equipment costing insane money.

    The OP in this thread can very well look at that as alternative to active reference speakers and could come up with something that would sound great for listening to music for little money. Nobody needs to take my opinion on that, there is endless reviewers out there that would make the same recommendation.





    http://www.iavscanada.com/receiver-shoot-out-vintage-vs-high-tech/
     
  32. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo [H]ardness Supreme

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    The problem with little speakers is they just don't have the umph to get sound in and around you. You want presence and to be enveloped. You will know what I'm talking about once this happens to you.

    I literally cringe to myself when I see / hear people talking about AV40's .... or similar sized speakers. For a lot of people I totally understand that desk space is a real issue or maybe you have an apartment situation that needs to be considered.

    I get all that.

    For people on a budget that want BIG sound, incredible sound, this is a set of speakers I've recommended to several people recently.



    For about $325 you get a Class D Powered 10" Sub and 2 x 8" Studio Monitors. I've personally used these over a few weekends back in March and I was blown away. I know a few guys with this setup and they are incredibly happy.


    https://www.amazon.com/Rockville-AP...rd_wg=dngh7&psc=1&refRID=0H3JDBRNXHNZGQJ961NM

    https://www.amazon.com/Rockville-AP...94434843&sr=8-1&keywords=10"+subwoofer+studio


    These have been reviewed extremely well, fit and finish is top notch, aesthetics and design is there. Performance especially.

    For $325 or so Prime shipping, for BIG sound, you can't go wrong. I know for a fact most of you have not had a 10" Sub under your desk. Once you go 10" you never go back to anything.
     
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  33. VIC-20

    VIC-20 Gawd

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    Despite my preference towards towers and no sub for music, I have to admit that is some great bang for the buck. Nice find.
     
  34. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    I liked the Salora orthoperspecta amplifiers a lot. They were designed by the famous Jaakko Köykkä. However their warmth was caused by zero feedback amp setup. Köykkä believed that the feedback that enabled low distortion was detrimental to the sound. I can witness that.

    Distortion is not a bad thing if it's done right. However the speakers are still the defining factor in the end result.
     
  35. VIC-20

    VIC-20 Gawd

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    I've been using ribbon tweeters which measure a lot of distortion compared to good silk domes, but I prefer the "airy" sound of the ribbons. So I do agree distortion in and of itself isn't always bad. What I do find suspect is always current. The 270wpc Pioneer SX-1980 is famous for providing more drive than many newer amps claiming wattage ratings many times higher. Seems to be some real BS going on in that area. An extreme example is the Pyle Pro P3001 rated at 3000 watts. But even my 95wpc Yamaha doesn't seem to deliver more power than my 35wpc Harman. My 50wpc Marantz will bottom out the 8" drivers on my Nuance towers if I turn it up past 40%. The Yamaha can't do that at full volume.
     
  36. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Power is very deceptive because the decibel range is logarithmic. A 50W amp can drive only 3db more sound at max power compared to a 25W amp. And each time amp power doubles, only 3db increase results. By that you can understand that speaker efficiency is a huge factor. You simply can't get more sound through amps after a certain level simply because you start to burn out the voice coils in the speakers even if you have a 10 kilowatt amp.

    My horn speakers produce 110 decibels with 1 watt, you'd need a 3000 watt amp at full power to get the same amount of sound from a regular shelf speaker that I get using 1 watt :)
     
  37. VIC-20

    VIC-20 Gawd

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    Very true. A very sensitive, efficient driver is going to be much easier to drive and it can be misleading at to what subjectively is going on when you switch amps. What is bothering me though, is that with the endless amounts of amps on the market, I still suspect of lot of spec BS is happening.

    Forget audio for a minute and take a look at PC PSUs. A Power Man PSU rated at 500Watts cannot deliver nearly the same power as a Seasonic rated the same. Fortunately we have websites (like [H]) testing PSUs against standards and claims. What I suspect is the audio industry has the same problem where the rating on amps is often complete BS, but very few websites dedicated to the same kind of testing.

    The following is a test performed on sketchy brands, but I don't see much of this on consumer mainstream or enthusiast halo equipment. Most audio reviews are just subjective listening tests as opposed to testing manufacturer spec claims.

    https://www.mobileedgeonline.com/mobile-edge-tests-the-real-world-output-of-2-amplifiers/
     
  38. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Price's have jumped nearly $200 dollars since I posted my links for the Rockvilles.

    Crazy. From $325 to $500ish

    Not sure a good deal any longer
     
  39. dook43

    dook43 2[H]4U

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    Emotiva airmotiv 4/5/4s/5s.

    I just got a pair of 5 for 330 shipped, and a XDA-1 DAC.

    The bass produced by this set of 5" woofers is incredible. Klipsch Promedia who?
     
  40. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo [H]ardness Supreme

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    What sub are you using for your low end?

    The Best Buy Chinese POS Klipsch Promedia's are junk compared to the American ( MADE RIGHT ) Promedia's

    You have to get lucky and find an old pair.

    Or buy something new.

    Yeah I've seen / heard the Emotiva Airmotiv demo'd. Nice mid range sound stage.