dealsaudioengine - a2 - powered multimeda speaker…


these really are the best bang for the buck in speakers. I can't afford these now, but I want to make a dumb impulse purchase soooo bad...


@thatwunguy: I agree. I am an audiophile and I am using one pair of these and find them listenable (hardly any other computer speakers are listenable to me, except these, the M-Audio AV30 and the OLD Cambridge Soundworks).

Great bang for the bucks indeed. There are better and way more expensive speakers, but those are overkill for a computer system.

These also work just fine as studio monitors, too.


@lll0228: Your reply is pretty interesting to me. I too am an audiophile, perhaps a budget-audiophile (oxymoron?), and find that most reasonably sounding speakers are anything but reasonably priced.

You mentioned that the av30 are on your short list of recommended computer speakers. I actually bought the av30s from woot when they went on sale about a year ago. To me, they get the job done, but don't have the clarity or bass response I wish they would have. Are the A2's leaps and bounds ahead of the AV30, or are they at all close in quality. I paid I think $60 for a refurbished pair of Av30's for use as computer speakers and studio monitors, but I've always wanted to splurge for a pair of audioengine speakers.


@thatwunguy: Glad to meet another audiophile here.

When I bought the AV30, my expectation level was really low; not much higher than any Logitech or Altec Lansing etc at this price point. For $60, it's basically "nothing" in the audiophile world. I know that it wouldn't have incredible low bass response given that specs are inflated, and even with that they listed it at 90 Hz at -3dB. I use it with a spare cheap subwoofer from Polk and that did the trick ($90-ish at Amazon Warehouse).

For the detail issue, since I teach electrical engineering...I cheated a little. I opened up the AV30 and replaced all the internal wiring with Kimber cables, soldered in with silver-infused solder. The detail immediately improved by a good amount. I have also made some small alterations to the circuit (swapped a few components), and now it sings very nicely. I used the RadioShack SPL meter (with correction factor) to measure the response and setup the sub. And it's all good (enough).


@thatwunguy: The AudioEngine A2 is an improvement on the AV30 (sans modifications). It does have a bit more mid-bass response and the general tone quality is a bit warmer. The AV30 can be a little "clinical", in comparison.

The AV30 is a great modification candidate, since the cabinet is well built and solid.

Is the difference worth the $80 (retail) difference, I'd say yes. That said, I also opened up the A2 and made changes (wiring, most importantly), and added some isolation to the circuit elements.

It's perfectly fine to be a budget audiophile, it's not an oxymoron at all. A true audiophile "maximizes their budget to get the best sound they can". Any one with money can buy a ton of expensive stuff; most don't know what to do with them. (I used to write for a British audio magazine, and do have those kind of equipment, but since I am an engineer myself, I can also do a lot of DIY).

Does this help a little?


@lll0228: Yes actually, those posts were quite helpful.

I just graduated from college in the spring and have entered the world people call the "real" one. I read a decent amount about customizing speakers and headphones when I was in college, but I never had the time or money to really dive into it. Now that I'm working and have more free time, I do plan to get into a bit of speaker modification. I have a pair of Insignia bookshelf speakers that are supposedly a modders dream and I may start with those, since they cost less than $40 and are passive and thus contain no circuitry.

I've heard many people say that changing wiring alone can cause a major difference, so I may mess around with replacing the wiring in my insignias and the AV30. If I royally mess it up (which is very unlikely) I may have an excuse to buy some Audioengines!

Further, can you recommend a good solder kit to get me started in the mod world? For instance, do I need a solder gun/pen with variable temperatures?


@thatwunguy: You don't need anything fancy. Any soldering iron would work. Unless you do more intricate work, just get a low cost set. If I have time tonight I will look up a few for you. Sounds good?


@thatwunguy: Ok, here it is. This would work beautifully for just about any audio related soldering work. - under $20, too. Silver solder is easy to find just about anywhere.

You can find very good and high-purity wires from my friends at Parts Connexion in Canada (Kimber hookup cables). They ship to the US. These are guys who used to design all the Sonic Frontiers and Anthem equipment. Very good people.

Hope this helps!


@lll0228: Thanks a lot for these very helpful links. I think come December I'm going to start messing around with rewiring my insignias with the Kimber connects you recommend.

I'm really glad I chose to comment on your deal because you have given me that final push to get into the world of audiophile customization.

You're the best!