All In One Active system or Separates Route for 45K Budget

samyboy_jssp

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Friends,

I am looking to buy a budget Hi-Fi system within 45 K budget for my home based out of Chennai which is currently under renovation.

I am currently having a budget for max 45K at the moment. While going through various posts, have short listed below three options :-

All in One Active Systems :-

1) QAcoustics M20 HD (seen lot of rave reviews on online posts as well as this forum)
2) Edifier R2850DB (having 8 inch woofer, haven't heard much reviews regarding the same, not sure if a subwoofer is needed in the future)

Separates Route :-

1) Norge Concerto Gold 1000 + Mission LX2-MKII speakers
(Including DAC + cables might touch the 50K mark)

Primary Usage is for music (70%) and movies (30%). Music mainly covers Western Classical / 80's and 90's pop, rock, blues and heavy metal.

While the size of my hall is 18 ft by 9 ft, my listening area is 9 ft X 7 Ft (distance b/w the wall panel and my sofa) which probably might qualify for nearfield listening.

The active system route seems attractive with DAC / AMP matching with the speaker all built into a single unit with minimal wiring, plus I can always upgrade to include sub-woofer and streamers like Allo Digione Siganture in the future once additional budget is available to further elevate the experience.

What would the experts recommend for such a small listening area ? QAcoustics M20 HD seems to be a compelling option considering drop in price to 40K as well as fantastic reviews. Having strong bass is necessary for me and as mentioned I can add an additional subwoofer later (like Yamaha SW50) in the future if needed but not sure if M20 HD will be more than adequate for my listening area in terms of bass and room filling sound.

Help needed from the group for below queries :-

a) Where can I audition M20 HD in Chennai ? Would like to audition before buying if possible.

b) Edifier R2850DB also seems to be a good buy for 29K but haven't heard any reviews regarding the same ? Would this be a cheaper alternative without compromising on sound quality ?

c) Are there any specific cables / additional wiring that needs to be bought for the above mentioned options or are the stock cables provided more than enough ? For Inputs which Optical / RCA cables would one recommend ?

d) In my area power cut-offs are common and might be prone to voltage fluctuations. Would going for a servo stabilizer (Maxine/ Vertex) help in such a scenario ? Have seen some folks in the group opting for double conversion online UPS with isolation transformer built in (Luminous / Legrand) though these are expensive. Which option would the experts recommend ?

e) Finally if separates route is to be chosen, does the Norge Concerto Gold 1000 + Mission LX2-MKII seem like an viable alternate option. DAC might be either Topping E30 or Allo Boss Player 2 ? Are there excellent Amp + Combo alternatives at this price point as well ?

Apologies for the long post ....

Thanks in advance...
 

quixote_1989

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I would wait for the more experienced folks to pitch in.

But just to share my experience, recently purchased the M20 HD and very happy with it. In the market for a subwoofer now.

But my room is fairly small compared to yours, it's 10x11 ft.
 

DB1989

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I am currently having a budget for max 45K at the moment. While going through various posts, have short listed below three options :-

All in One Active Systems :-

1) QAcoustics M20 HD (seen lot of rave reviews on online posts as well as this forum)
2) Edifier R2850DB (having 8 inch woofer, haven't heard much reviews regarding the same, not sure if a subwoofer is needed in the future)

Separates Route :-

1) Norge Concerto Gold 1000 + Mission LX2-MKII speakers
(Including DAC + cables might touch the 50K mark)
I have some experience with the M20 HD, Mission LX-2 Mk-ii and the Topping E30 so i might be able to share some bit of what I subjectively think of these components.

The DAC inside the M20HD is comparable in fidelity to the E30. With budget speakers, one won't be discernably better than the other, if at all.

Amongst the speakers that i have, the Mission LX-2 Mk-iis are my least favorite. While they image really well and they have pleasing bass weight and never sound harsh, they are slightly unrefined uptop and lack dynamism.

This is the one speaker that never got my foot tapping, no matter how much i tried to like them. I tried them with different amplifiers (Cambridge Audio CXA81, Marantz PM6006, Marantz SR6013, SMSL DA9, SMSL DA8s and FX Audio D502), different DACs (RME ADI 2 DAC FS, Chord Mojo, Topping E30, Ifi Zen DAC, internal DAC of abovesaid amps), different cables, different positions in my room, heck different rooms with room treatment and no room treatment and I've simply not been able to make them sing.

And while the Mission LX-2 Mk-ii have pleasing bass weight at low volumes, they do not dig very deep and distort rather soon when pushed to loud volumes in bass heavy songs.

This was rather surprising as my experience with Mission has generally been fantastic, especially the Mission QX-2 which is a stonker of a loudspeaker.

If you want to go the passive route, the PSB Alpha P5s are a much better bet if you can find them below 25K.
While the size of my hall is 18 ft by 9 ft, my listening area is 9 ft X 7 Ft (distance b/w the wall panel and my sofa) which probably might qualify for nearfield listening.
Both the Mission LX-2 Mk-ii, M20 HD and PSB alpha P5 will be plenty loud for personal listening, just not party loud unless a subwoofer is employed.
The active system route seems attractive with DAC / AMP matching with the speaker all built into a single unit with minimal wiring, plus I can always upgrade to include sub-woofer and streamers like Allo Digione Siganture in the future once additional budget is available to further elevate the experience.
This is a common misconception depending on the intended objective of having fewer cables compared to a passive loudspeaker system.

While an all in one active system will use lesser cables, it's actually messier and more difficult to manage when you place the speakers on stands, especially when you add digital sources like your streamer, TV, computer and what not.

It's much easier to hide away cable clutter behind an Amplifier (speaking from plenty of experience here :p ) than having numerous thick wires running into the back of one speaker which is in plain sight. It is a real eye sore unless you manage to figure out how to hide them, in which case, plese do share those tips and tricks for the benefit of all.

This can be got around by placing active speakers on a media Console or desk but then, you'll never experience the true magic of any speaker unless you place them on stands and position them as optimally as your living circumstances allow.

What would the experts recommend for such a small listening area ? QAcoustics M20 HD seems to be a compelling option considering drop in price to 40K as well as fantastic reviews. Having strong bass is necessary for me and as mentioned I can add an additional subwoofer later (like Yamaha SW50) in the future if needed but not sure if M20 HD will be more than adequate for my listening area in terms of bass and room filling sound.
Strong bass with a Yamaha Sw50? Oh Boy, are you gearing yourself up for disappointment or what.

If you want party loudness and great bass without a subwoofer, the Mission QX-2 should be on your shortlist. Forget about the Sw50, these Missions are capable of embarrassing the bass on the Yamaha SW200.
b) Edifier R2850DB also seems to be a good buy for 29K but haven't heard any reviews regarding the same ? Would this be a cheaper alternative without compromising on sound quality ?
I would strongly advise you to audition loudspeakers from Edifier and Hivi/Swan before buying them blindly. They have a rather flat response across the spectrum which may be great if you dig that kind of response or are going to use them for mixing but in a home environment without room treatment, they might be a bit bright/sharp (though not necessarily unrefined).
 
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