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Thread: Great value on desktop audio monitors

  1. #1

    Great value on desktop audio monitors

    I've used some Klipsch 2.1 speakers with my desktop for roughly 10 years. These sounded OK,but the 1/8" headphone jack was starting to short out tothe point it wasn'y practical for me anymore, especially when I wanted to use headphones to avoid annoying the rest of the family. I had a FiiO K5 headphone amp/dock (for my FiiO X-1 portable hi-rez player) connected to my home theater. It has the standard 1/4" headphone jack and both stereo line in and line out, with input switch for either line or dock. I decided the best option was to get some desktop powered monitors that I could easily switch on and off. So connected the outputs from M-Audio 44 souind card to the FiiO K5, and then output the K5 to some monitors.
    When my wife heard my plan would allow me to listen on headphones without the sound leaking through the speakers, she offered to have the family chip in for the monitors for my birthday present.
    My first thought was the Audioengines, but I really didn't want them to spend that much.
    After looking at a number of reviews and doing a good amount of research, I decided to try the Tascam VL-S5 powered monitors at $80.00 each. These have 5.25" woofer and 1" silk dome tweeter, and are also bi-amped. My wife and family felt much better paying 160.00 versus 250.00. I spent much of the day cleaning my desk (something that was way overdue) and prepping the connections for the FiiO K5 and the cables to go on the Tascam VL-S5s.
    When they arrived, I was a bit shocked at how heavy they were. Then I remembered they each had TWO amps as well as being shielded.
    After connecting, I turned them up halfway, flipped my FiiO output to line, and cued up some tracks on Winamp with the Winamp output at 50%. I honestly didn't expect to have my eardrums nearly shattered! Stopped Winap, set winamp volume to 20% and realized I need to drop the amp setting on the speakers to about 2 instead of 5. Even then, the volume with Winamp at 50% was very substantial. The bass is very strong (but tight) for a speaker of this size, and the high end is slightly bright. The crossover point is slightly higher than other monitors of this size, but the sound of most vocal tracks I heard were exceptionally smooth and accurate.
    There is one YouTube review from a guy in the UK who said the general sound field of these was much closer to that of his top of the line Neumanns than any of the numerous other desktop monitors he had tried below the price of the Neumanns.
    These are an excellent value. If you are starting a studio and are on a budget, these are a great value provided you're not mixing heavy bass driven dance or rap.
    I decided to take a chance on these because they had free shipping because I have Amazon Prime, and I know I can easily return them if I have a problem with them.

  2. #2
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Yep, what they can do with small(ish) speakers these days beggars the imagination.

    i heard a Sonos tower in the doctorís office last week and was gobsmacked.

  3. #3
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Mesa, Arizona
    Sounds like I need a pair of Tascams. I've been considering upgrading from my M-Audio AV40s for a while now.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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