dealsaudioengine - a2 - powered multimeda speaker…

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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...

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@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.

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@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.

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@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).

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@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?

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@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?

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@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?

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@thatwunguy: Ok, here it is. This would work beautifully for just about any audio related soldering work.

http://tinyurl.com/wellerSP40L - 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. http://www.partsconnexion.com/ These are guys who used to design all the Sonic Frontiers and Anthem equipment. Very good people.

Hope this helps!

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@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!