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Computer Speakers - Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Steve Freides, Sep 4, 2019.


  1. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    I just moved my main work area in the house, now in the basement and with permission to use speakers instead of headphones hooked up to my computer.

    Recommendations for computer speakers? I'm running a 4-year-old Mac laptop, and for sure would like something that reproduces bass, particularly orchestral bass, well, but I also need it to be pretty high-fi, not just bass-worthy. My main use is working in Sibelius (notation program with playback) but I do listen to music otherwise, too.

    Requirements:

    Plug in to the laptop port on my machine. (No need for bluetooth because the lag drives me crazy.)

    2- or 3-piece. A subwoofer is OK - I have room.

    Powered or not. If they aren't powered, recommendations for a suitable stereo amp, please.

    The left and right speakers would go on a bookshelf facing my desk so they can't be huge, but they could be, well, bookshelf speaker size. :)

    Thanks in advance, folks.

    -S-
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
  3. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Interesting, Chris. They are one powered and one not, so I assume you plug the input to one and there's wire connecting the two of them. That's not a problem for me. The price is certainly right.

    I worry, as a bass player, about when it says the frequency response is only down to 70 Hz - that's why I'm wondering if I should think about a sub.

    Let's not start talking about Avid. What they did to Sibelius, had I not known all the keyboard shortcuts, would otherwise have driven me to other software. And their tech support is non-existent. Well, I guess I talked about Avid. :)

    -S-
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  4. onestone

    onestone

    Jan 18, 2013
    Dabndug likes this.
  5. JKos

    JKos

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    A pair of JBL 305 or 306 monitors? Or Kali LP6.

    - John
     
    Element Zero likes this.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Yeah, Avid blows chunks. I will never, EVER, purchase another product from them. Still using Sibelius 6. If it gets outgrown by the Mac operating systems in the future, I'll find another program to use rather than give that toxic waste dump of a company another red cent of mine.

    Whether to think about a sub or not is up to you. I can tell you that I have a set of (pre Avid) smaller M-audio monitors with either 4" or 5" drivers in my workout room, with a similar published frequency response, and they are clean and crushingly loud. No need for a sub to hear real bass on those. At the price those mackies are listed at, they are worth a shot, and you could always add a sub later if you felt you needed it. I doubt you would, though. And yes, the power unit is all in one speaker. Heck, if you ordered them from someplace with a return policy, you could try them out and see how they do.

    For a little more money and power, these also get great reviews, and I've had good luck with the brand: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ErisE5--presonus-eris-e5-5-inch-powered-studio-monitor

    My wife has a pair of little Samson monitors that were even cheaper than the mackies I originally wrote about. They sound good, and are insanely loud for little boxes with only 4" drivers.
     
  7. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
  8. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Good stuff, everyone - thanks. Getting ready for a rehearsal, will try to check out some of these online tomorrow.

    -S-
     
  9. Neon Scribe

    Neon Scribe Supporting Member

    There are so many speakers out there, at prices from $50 to $2000 and up. You can find some excellent deals in the used market, on Craigslist in your area. If you can audition them before buying then your risk is quite low, since they tend to last for decades.
     
  10. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    @Neon Scribe, I have almost no free time these days, and a limited budget. I will get something based on these recommendations.

    I appreciate the thought; it's a good one, just not in the cards for me now.

    I may just call Sweetwater with some of these recommendations and let someone there help me decide.

    -S-
     
  11. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    I bet they get Stup-id Loud.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  12. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    Klipsch 2.1 speakers. I found mine for approx $150.
    Loud,lots of bass.
     
  13. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    charlie monroe and marcox like this.
  14. I got a pair of KRK RoKit G3s (https://www.thomann.de/intl/krk_rp6_rokit_g3.htm), which are fantastic - I started hearing details that I had no idea were even in the recordings.
    Of course, I also put them on stands and connect them to a mixer (the computer's output is only one of the sources) so there's also that.

    Worth considering if you're not 100% happy with the ones you've already decided to test. Just beware that they do take a while to break in, so don't sound their best initially.
     
  15. I know it's too late to offer meaningful advice to you, but for the archives, my wife gave me a set of BOSE computer speakers for Xmas a few years back.

    IMHO, there are none better, especially for a bass player.
     
  16. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    @Who da Ville, thank you, but more than I dislike Avid, I absolutely, positively will never pay money for anything from Bose, and if it's given to me, I'll sell it or give it away. There is something about Bose that has always, always sounded phony/enhanced to me, "too good to be true" sounding.

    -S-
     
    Who da Ville likes this.
  17. Hmmm. I agree with the 'almost' too good to be true assessment; just never thought of that as a bad thing. I especially like the Bose PA systems. They really are almost too good to be true. No monitors needed; just put the speakers behind the band and you hear what the audience hears. Again, I don't see that as a bad thing, but maybe I'll listen more critically next time.
     
  18. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Bose products are for cork sniffers, not musicians.

    IMHO, YMMV, etc.
     
  19. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Well, I think that's being a little too harsh.

    Back in the day, I considered myself a budding audiophile. I still have a pair of Rogers LS35A bookshelf speakers, if anyone might even remember that those are. For me, there's always been a distinction between choosing a sound I like, which is what I do in instruments, and looking for completely honest sound reproduction. All and everything I want from speakers is to produce what's put into them as faithfully as possible.

    Live sound amplification is a different thing than sound reproduction - picking a PA is like picking an amp for an electric instrument - it's part of the sound you make, and you're certainly entitled to go for the sound you like best. I have no argument with that. And when you get into things like amplifying an upright bass, now you're into the grey area - do you go for a sound you like, or do you go for the sound of "my bass, just louder?"

    Different strokes for different folks. For me, for playback purposes, I don't feel I can trust what I hear from Bose gear, so I stay away from it.

    JMO, YMMV (just my opinion, your mileage may vary)

    -S-
     
    charlie monroe likes this.
  20. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    Who da Ville likes this.

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