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Green Bow's picture
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Desktop speakers

I am in the common place of choosing between possibly buying the Ruark Audio MR1, or the Q-acoustics Q-BT3. I wanted to add the  What Hi-Fi reviews for each below but I can't paste in.

Anyway my pro and con list:

Ruark Audio MR1 (pro list): - according the What Hi-Fi they are the best desktop speakers in my price range. I love the look. The comments What Hi-Fi make about them straddling into hi-fi qulaity audio is very appealing. Excellent size. I believe the driver magnets are shielded to protect monitors they may stand near. (Thye would be next to a monitor for me.)

(con list) What Hi-Fi say they are better placed near a rear wall or the bass takes quite a hit. (I can;t be sure I can always get them next to a solid wall.) Limited connectivity of one line in and bluetooth. My PC would be permanently connected and if I want to plug in a portable player it means switching cables.

Q-Acoustics Q-BT3 (pro list) What Hi-Fi say set them wherever they look ok as they are not fussy for placement. (I don't necessarily know if this means you can freely place them away from a wall.) Better connectivity with lots of inputs.

(con list) While not clearly a con the What Hi-Fi account of these says they sacrifise a little speed and pep. This being conducise for longer listenings. My DAC is a Meridian Explorer which itself has a softer sound which is better for longer listenings. Therefor pairing two items like this might produce something without enough sparkle. ...They are bigger than the MR1.

 

I could of course up my budget and get an amp speaker combo with some nice cabling.

Any thoughts please.

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At first glance a similar

At first glance a similar scenario featured in this thread

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/speaker-recommendations-office-setup

Maybe you should consider the Adam A3x as well, although they arguably do not look as nice as the Ruarks.

Green Bow's picture
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Not really what I am mean.

I am wondering more what on opinions on my choices and why the pro and cons are relevant. Which is the better option. The idea of going for an amp speaker combo is because it's a move in the direction of hifi.  It would need speaker stands though and therefor be moving away from desktop speakers.

The requirement is audio from my PC initially. However hi-fi gear is probably inevitable for this set up either sooner or later. The MR1 and Q-BT3 are quite competent so a good stepping point.

I listen to music via headphones from my PC, plus I love PC gaming. Therefor some audio without headphones is what I am looking for.

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Green Bow wrote:

Green Bow wrote:

I am wondering more what on opinions on my choices and why the pro and cons are relevant. Which is the better option. The idea of going for an amp speaker combo is because it's a move in the direction of hifi.  It would need speaker stands though and therefor be moving away from desktop speakers.

The requirement is audio from my PC initially. However hi-fi gear is probably inevitable for this set up either sooner or later. The MR1 and Q-BT3 are quite competent so a good stepping point.

I listen to music via headphones from my PC, plus I love PC gaming. Therefor some audio without headphones is what I am looking for.

That provides some context, which does show that you anticipate your needs changing with the passage of time. So probably your best strategy is to create a timeline of where you want to be with your overall music system at various points of time. I will create an illustrative one for you, but leave out naming specific brands and models, because other forum members have far more knowledge about those aspects.

Today

You have your PC as the audio source, a USB Dac, which drives headphones

Short term

You still want to use your PC as the audio source, but now use speakers rather than headphones.

You are already looking at active speakers. They have an advantage that it is possible to get good speakers, that are also good  value for money, because the manufacturer has not needed to spend money developing an amplifier case that looks attractive to customers (because the speaker case is performing this function).

The cheapest solution will always be if you can use a cable from your Explorer, directly to the speakers, which will need to also have their own volume controls.

Mid term

This is a halfway house, but you might decide that it could be your short term solution as well.

If you replace your Explorer by a combined DAC/headphone amp/preamp you could still use your PC as an audio source, but you would also introduce the flexibility to add an external network drive as a source, plus use the volume controls from the amp/preamp, and still drive your active speakers. You also still have the option to listen using headphones, if needed.

Long term

Here we are reaching your vision of a hifi solution.

You add a power amp, plus passive speakers/stands. Your DAC/headhone amp/preamp forms the input to your power amp.

 

I have just tried to be illustrative of the importance of clearly thinking through your needs/requirements for your system, before rushing out and spending money. Often your views about the relative importance of some of those needs/requirements will change slightly, as you demo various items of kit.

This has the benefit of helping to avoid the situation that we often read about on the forum, where people have been seduced by a magazine review, or an advert, or a salesman, into buying a sexy looking piece of kit, then discovering that it does not meet some of their requirements (often the first mention of needs/requirements is after the money has been spent). 

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Found another idea.

With me having an external DAC I can feed many devices well. I found What Hi-Fi have reviewed the Denon DM40 DAB. I can't help wondering how that at £350 with the accompanying Denon speakers would compare with Q-Acoustics Q-BT3.

My DAC would run either an optical signal into the Denon and utilise its DAC. Or run a line-in into the Denon's analogue input.

I think I would chose on sound quality between the two. CD player is not vital as I aim to buy a portable player which would serve as a source. Or PC as source too. Radio would be nice but I have a portable DAB which I can plug into either.

With me being this stuck I think the best plan is a pros and cons list of everything. Or just do nothing until I get fed up not having music by speakers near my PC. Then I will jump at whichever jumps out at me.

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Shielding isn't an issue for

Shielding isn't an issue for LCD monitors anything like it was for CRT.

N-Rays - I believe therefore I see.

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I bought the Q Acoustics BT3.

I bought the Q Acoustics BT3. I didn't regret it. Once I bought the QED Reference Audio J2P, the BT3 were just gorgeous. The BT3 can also be bought for a good price reduction these days too.

Green Bow's picture
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Upgraded from the Q Acoustics BT3

I bought the Dynaudio Emit M10, and paired with a suitable amplifier, the Rega Brio (2017).

Very substantial upgrade over the Q Acoustics BT3. Money well spent.

 

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