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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:39 am
Posts: 190
Location: toronto, ON, CA
I've enjoyed a listening space that has housed, at first, a full home theatre and then a dedicated 2 channel audio setup. Digital Apple media server. Lots of power. Floor-standing tower speakers. Tubes. A couple of subwoofers. Glorious sound. You get the picture.

But, I'm downsizing and the new home doesn't accommodate a dedicated room system. So I was torn with what to do? As I spend a lot of time in front of a computer monitor, I decided a desktop near field 2-channel setup was the best option. One bonus with this is I won't have to deal with room acoustics as a near field setup eliminates this. This is a huge plus. Include a decent headphone amp to switch things up as I've already a decent headphone amp built into my DAC, and a nice pair of headphones. To keep things simple and eliminate as much wiring as possible, and to try something new, I opted for active bookshelf speakers. There's much conversation on active vs. passive speakers, so this is a perfect opportunity to experiment.

Has anyone else had to downsize in this way? Are there audiophiles out there who have a love for their near-field desktop systems? I've had mine running for a few weeks now before I move, and I have to say I am really enjoying it. You can see my gear in my signature below and I'm attaching a couple of pics.

Making the best out of a less-than-ideal music listening situation is yielding another form of music appreciation. I enjoy being able to be productive and enjoy music at the same time.


Attachments:
DeanQuadActive-12L.jpeg
DeanQuadActive-12L.jpeg [ 317.35 KiB | Viewed 1120 times ]
DeanMacMediaServer.jpeg
DeanMacMediaServer.jpeg [ 308.08 KiB | Viewed 1120 times ]

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2.2 Channel Audio Nearfield Setup
Quad Active 12L Speakers
PSB HD8 Subwoofers
iFi Audio Micro iDSD DAC / PreAmp, iUSBPower
MacPro Tower Media Server
iPad Mini Controller
Audirvana Playback
APC H15 Power Conditioner
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:08 am
Posts: 957
Location: burlington, ON, CA
Have you considered using some type of panel speaker for bass only? Like a super tweeter think super woofer at ear-aimed height maybe for desk you’ll only be able to fit one maybe in the middle above your screen hung on some support system. To get the frequencies into that panel and the rest over to the higher frequencies bookshelf speakers might be easiest to run all three/four speakers full range to start as splitting the frequencies will get more complicated. DSP and processors are not there yet to fine tune the way you need so you have to improvise. I dont know who make the smallest panel to fit the bill. You are not going to get the bass your used to from the wee speakers.
Good Luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:37 am 
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
I’m not worried about bass. I do have an external crossover and subwoofer if I decide to add bass. But at the moment the Quads have a very nice, balanced sound. I haven’t had time to hook up the crossover and subwoofer to experiment. And keep in mind, I am aiming for a minimalistic setup.

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2.2 Channel Audio Nearfield Setup
Quad Active 12L Speakers
PSB HD8 Subwoofers
iFi Audio Micro iDSD DAC / PreAmp, iUSBPower
MacPro Tower Media Server
iPad Mini Controller
Audirvana Playback
APC H15 Power Conditioner


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:00 am
Posts: 1236
Location: Guelph, ON, CA
I tried it but found that the speakers' positioning on the desk was not at all independent of room acoustics. I ended up only having a DAC/Pre + a monitor/keyboard/mouse on the desk and the speakers sitting on stands well in front of the desk, in roughly the same positions the speakers would be in dedicated listening room.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:45 pm
Posts: 273
Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
I'm very happy with my nearfield desktop setup, which you can see in my sig file below.
I have several rigs around the house, but since I spend much of my day at my desk with just music to keep me company, my "best sounding" rig is this one.
My laptop serves as the server, Firefly DAC feeds the appropriate seasonal amp. Will transition to the tube amp shortly. With the Gallo speakers it sounds spectacular.
I suspect my aging ears are reducing their resolving power faster than I can save money for equipment with better resolving power, so this may be my terminal system. I'd been considering changing the Firefly for a Chord MOJO as budget permitted, but I'm afraid my ears would not appreciate the investment. :(

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At my desk right now: Kavent CD-731, Gallo Stradas, Gallo TR3D Sub, Raysonic SE-30A mk II (winter amp), ShengYa AS90 (summer amp), Dragonfly DAC2


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:49 am
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Location: Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC, CA
noway wrote:
I tried it but found that the speakers' positioning on the desk was not at all independent of room acoustics. I ended up only having a DAC/Pre + a monitor/keyboard/mouse on the desk and the speakers sitting on stands well in front of the desk, in roughly the same positions the speakers would be in dedicated listening room.


I had room issues also, mostly rear wall bass boom, despite front ported Adams active monitors. Ended up measuring with REW and then correcting with Peace Equalizer, UI for Equalizer APO. https://sourceforge.net/projects/peace- ... extension/

I agree that nearfield can be very fun: nearly headphone resolution plus much better spatial/location effect.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:43 am 
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Location: Kitchener, ON, CA
I'm in the middle of building a desktop system. Can't wait to finish it actually. It consists of a Mastersound Piccolo integrated SEP tube amp. Some Neat Iota's are en route as we speak for near field listening. The Piccolo has been modified to have a headphone jack on it for listening via a few different cans that I have. The only decision I have to make is what digital source I want to use. Right now I have a Resonessence labs concero but i'd like to take the Ayre Codex from the main system upstairs and insert it here. The Concero may have to do for now. I'm also planning to use a Tivoli radio as a source for FM and am curious how this will sound through the system. Once it gets set up, I'll let you know how things sound.

Matt.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:07 am 
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Location: Stratford, ON, CA
noway wrote:
I tried it but found that the speakers' positioning on the desk was not at all independent of room acoustics. I ended up only having a DAC/Pre + a monitor/keyboard/mouse on the desk and the speakers sitting on stands well in front of the desk, in roughly the same positions the speakers would be in dedicated listening room.


++ for this post.

Those Quad 12 actives are beauties, but 'near-fields' they are not. They are mini-monitor style full rangers. Let me explain this as there is a lot of confusion about 'near-fields'. The original near-fields were used in pro-audio situations, where the tape console jockey in the recording control room had to have some idea what the music in the studio sounded like. Usually they were dropped onto the back edge of a 24 track tape recording console, about six feet from the listener. Ditto for sound jockeys running mixing consoles in live theatre situations.

A popular choice in some recording booths was the Yamaha NS10, not because it was hi-fidelity or easy to listen to, but because it was useful to gauge through them what a car radio might sound like. Console jockeys loathed it. Later Auratone had a popular model, a little square box with one mid/tweeter driver. Even later NHT Super Zeros were used. The common element with all of these was 'limited band-width (100 Hz to maybe 3500 Hz) and mid-range presence and emphasis'.

Then computers came along and DAWs arrived and near-fields were what you thought you got when you decided Logitech speakers were no longer good enough. All the big players jumped in but mostly their drivers were 'full-range' types and because audio is sometimes a specs race, everybody started selling small full-rangers (sometimes as actives) as if they were near-fields.

The ancient 'near-field' that they all seek to emulate is the BBC LS3/5a design which goes back to about 1970. It was a full-ranger and also a near-field, but designed for a special purpose. It was not intended to be listened to sitting right beside you. It was designed to be fitted into fairly large recording and broadcasting vans used on location by the BBC for monitoring their FM broadcasts. The van sat outside the venue and the guys in the van had to know what was happening in the hall, so they designed a speaker to do that but they were mounted in the upper corners of the van about ten feet away from the sound engineers sitting at their desks.

So, back to 'noways' observation as copied above. If you can get the Quads on 28" stands and behind the computer so they are about four feet apart and five or six feet from your ears then you will have a pair of headphones that don't have to sit on your head.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:12 am 
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Filbert96 wrote:
I'm in the middle of building a desktop system. Can't wait to finish it actually. It consists of a Mastersound Piccolo integrated SEP tube amp. Some Neat Iota's are en route as we speak for near field listening.
Matt.

Very nice! Let us know how it sounds.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:18 pm
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Location: Richmond Hill, ON, CA
I have found that raising my bookshelf speakers off the desk surface improves the sound. The ones I am using now are sitting on Minimus 7s, turned on their side. (They were handy.)

Cheers,
Alec


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:10 am 
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David_big_ears wrote:
I'd been considering changing the Firefly for a Chord MOJO as budget permitted, but I'm afraid my ears would not appreciate the investment. :(

As an owner of both DACs and a pair of 59 year old ears, I can pretty much guarantee that you will be able to appreciate the investment of a Chord MOJO in your system in a BIG way. I don't think you'd regret the purchase at all!

edit: I'm pretty sure you mean the Audioquest Dragonfly.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:24 pm 
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Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, NB, CA
".The ancient 'near-field' that they all seek to emulate is the BBC LS3/5a design which goes back to about 1970. It was a full-ranger and also a near-field, but designed for a special purpose. It was not intended to be listened to sitting right beside you. It was designed to be fitted into fairly large recording and broadcasting vans used on location by the BBC for monitoring their FM broadcasts. The van sat outside the venue and the guys in the van had to know what was happening in the hall, so they designed a speaker to do that but they were mounted in the upper corners of the van about ten feet away from the sound engineers sitting at their desks."


So......has anyone actually mounted their LS3/5a's in the upper corners of the room?

Ever?

Anyone?

I'll confess to a LOT of experimenting with mine, over a (gasp) 42 year love affair with them.

The most effective was 2 pair stacked, tweeter to tweeter, perched upon two Yamaha YST Series subwoofers. Sorbothane sheets sandwiched at all contact points.
I heard no "smearing", or "lobing."

But, in the upper room corners???? ........no, but wish I had!

Cheers, del Sol


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
I converted an Ikea paper tray into a stand with glass shelves for a desktop system I once had.
Attachment:
2014-03-02 17.54.10.jpg
2014-03-02 17.54.10.jpg [ 233.97 KiB | Viewed 753 times ]

another set up once that performed very well
Attachment:
IMG_0610.jpg
IMG_0610.jpg [ 315.25 KiB | Viewed 753 times ]


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:39 am
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
mpublicover wrote:
I converted an Ikea paper tray into a stand with glass shelves for a desktop system I once had.
Attachment:
2014-03-02 17.54.10.jpg

another set up once that performed very well
Attachment:
IMG_0610.jpg


Are those th3 Zparadogm Shift active speakers? Never heard them read many good reviews.

_________________
2.2 Channel Audio Nearfield Setup
Quad Active 12L Speakers
PSB HD8 Subwoofers
iFi Audio Micro iDSD DAC / PreAmp, iUSBPower
MacPro Tower Media Server
iPad Mini Controller
Audirvana Playback
APC H15 Power Conditioner


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:11 pm 
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Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

I wrote: 'but they were mounted in the upper corners of the van' and del Sol noted that.

A 1970s British van was not much like our glorious Sprinter vans of today - they were generally not too tall and not very big inside. Standing up in them you would brush your head. Upper corners were effectively like having the speakers on tall stands.

Cheers,
David Neice

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