Let's see or discuss your desktop speakers!


I am very happy with my living rooms main system speakers, Von Schweikert VR4-5 towers. The image that is created by these speakers is spectacular. Having said that I want to bring higher fidelity reproduction into my home office. I've owned PSB synchrony one's in the past and they are great and all but the sound decayed too fast for my liking. But they were still great speakers and I am still a fan of PSB. 

I am looking into PSB Imagine mini speakers. How would these do as desktop speakers? They will probably be fed by a Parasound Zdac and a Zamp. I know nothing this size will compare to the VR4-5 speakers but my current audioengine desktop speakers leave more to be desired. 

Any audiophiles have good looking desktop speakers? Please feel free to post an image or let's discuss your desktops components of choice. 

I have the John Blue jb-3 speakers on my desktop. I like them for extreme near-field listening. The single driver makes them very coherent. The build quality is top shelf for a little desktop speaker. I power mine with a first generation Nuforce Icon Integrated amp feed by USB from either a windows laptop or a Mac Mini.

BTW, I could not find a retailer in the USA so I bought them directly from John Blue in Taiwan.

How do cymbals sound on the John Blue speakers? 

They have unexpectedly high efficiency, and will do amazingly well with a Zamp. :) However, you must build them yourself. On the plus side, this means you have an unprecedented ability to tweak the treble balance.



I own the Audioengine 5+ speakers and I'm very impressed with them. I also use the Audioengine S8 powered subwoofer. These speakers kick some serious butt without the subwoofer. IMO the Audioengine products are worth looking into.
These speakers would please an audiophile that has a good ear for music.
Powered studio monitors from M-Audio.  A little larger than I'd prefer and not the very last word in SQ, but more than good enough for the application and very reasonably priced.
I'm very pleased with AKG K241 600Ohm headphones at my desk powered by $12 DIY USB headphone amp purchased from Alibaba.

+1 for AKG’s K series, but the difference between a solid headphone amp and mediocre is striking with them. They are not as amp friendly as I’d like, but not as bad as some IEM's either.
Audioengine A2's hooked to Nuforce DAC via Kimber USB to my desktop at work ... decent sounding combo.

I run the PSB Alpha PS1-100 Powered Speaker and matching sub as I don't have a power amp to run anything else but I'm very happy with these little guys they do everything their big brothers do. they also have a huge dispersion pattern. I run them off the Audioquest dragonfly Dac and the combo make great music in my computer desk. they are fast not blotted and totally musical. good buy for the money imo



They have unexpectedly high efficiency, and will do amazingly well with a Zamp. :) However, you must build them yourself. On the plus side, this means you have an unprecedented ability to tweak the treble balance.



Did you build a model yourself?

I use the Audioengine +2 speakers for my PC.  Really nice quality build and sound.

I also use the  Audioquest Dragonfly Dac for my Grado RS-1 headphones.

Spotify is great for evaluating newly released music or albums that are recommended in the various magazines, or by friends. 
Adam F7 Active Monitor speakers for me - so no need for amplifier. Plugged directly into my laptop's headphone out. Terrific sound! Their ART (Accelerating Ribbon Technology) tweeter is awesome sounding. And they're front ported, which is great for a desktop setup. I like these better than any other monitor I auditioned (including JBL) < $1k.
I'll second the recommendation by ruebent of the John Blue JB-3 speakers for desktop listening. I use them with an iMac connected to a Simaudio 100 D DAC via the optical output of the iMac and on to a Jolida 10 watt El84 tube integrated. 

Of course it doesn't have the dynamic range or the volume of my main system but the coherence, imaging and sweetness of the sound make it a system I can listen to all day, and often do.
Thank you all for your excellent input.

I decided that I am going to build an LM -1 speaker. Hopefully I wont mess things up too bad.. 

Joe, you just waded into a swamp of pitfalls for audiophiles. I'm a reformed audiophile (all my big system gear is in storage) who now does listening on a desktop system &/or headphones. It's a different world. I've done a lot of research and discovered a few painful truths:

1 - Most of the equipment people treasure in desktop audio, particularly speakers, are either actual studio systems "voiced" for flat, accurate monitoring (and thus pretty miserable for recreational audio); or they're shoddy, wannabe imitations of same. There are very few truly audio-centric desktop systems--ie, that have no "monitoring" agenda, overt or covert.

2 - Most of the people searching for & buying desktop audio equipment lack an audiophile background and/or music appreciation history (ie, having logged time listening to at least some live, unamplified instrumental music, as well as amped/processed music)

There are always exceptions. There are always some who gravitate towards good sound. And there are desktop systems that satisfy. They're just hard to find.

My primary advice to you would be read as many user reviews as you can find for anything you're looking at. If it's powered speakers, for example, search for those speakers on Amazon, NewEgg, Sweetwater, and 2-3 studio/audio supply houses. Read & read 'til you can suss out the DJs (irrelevant to you), the studio producers (irrelevant to you) vs the music lovers looking for speakers that please them (totally relevant to you).

I can tell you the powered speakers that made the cut for me (Swan M200 MKIIIs--musical, spacious, "real"; plus SVS SB-1000 sub); and powered that really interest me--Adam A7X top that list--but so what? You still have to find your own way.

Conventional audiophile vendors mostly will be no help. There are exceptions (ie, Focal). But most of the names that matter in desktop audio are different. And to be honest, the sound one strives for in the desktop environment is realistically rather different, too: less emphasis on soundstaging & imaging (less material in nearfield listening; but just as much concern w/tonal accuracy, timbre, etc.
I'm really enjoying my ancient Monsoon planar speakers with subwoofer. Imaging is startling and the little sub makes it real.  I also enjoy my Vanatoo active speakers played through my Airport Express. 
Silverline Minuet Supreme powered by a Zamp v.3 and an Audioengine D1 for DAC and volume control. 
Wharfedale Diamond 6 and a T-Amp with a 10amp 13volt PSU. They just sound right with voice and YouTube.
Used to have Totem mites with Bryston 2B which was nice. Current Dynaudio BM6A powered/active monitors (check those out Joe) with DacPre. I feel no urge to upgrade. Another plus its clean and minimal. For late listening the Dac has a built headphone amp. I should pick out some better headphones one day.
The GENELEC G2 in combination with a nice DAC makes a wonderful desktop system.  I'm currently using the Marantz HD-DAC1 but also find the ARCAM irDAC-II a very fine performer.  Don't scrimp on the cabling.  Upgrade your power cords, USB, and signal cables to something nice from someone like Audio Quest. Paying attention to this final detail is well worth the effort and expense.  
I actually have 2 desktop type speaker systems. The one I use for my non linear video edit suite is the Genelec 8020 self powered bi amp speakers that I use with a sub and sometimes without.

The other is a blue sky EXO-2 (also self powered and comes with a sub for under $500. I use this as drum monitors for a Roland Vdrum setup.

Either sounds quite good and is meant for small mixing setups.

Spendor s3/5, with a Parasound Zamp3 and a MacCormack Micro Headphone Drive.  Add an SVS subwoofer (sealed port - S100?) and it all sounds good.
In my office I  run community leviathans with 4 altec 515b woofers,2- TAD 4001 on Iwata horns, pair fostex t500amk2 and a custom built subwoofer with 18inch driver and hypex amp. Works wonderful in nearfield I sit about 6-8ft from them. I've tried so many loudspeakers in this system the big horns sound so amazing at low levels and have near limitless dynamics. I can use them all day without fatigue my smaller loudspeakers would beat me up after a few hours. These just loaf along never sounding strained forced hard.
I just sold my BifrostMB/Lyr2 (physical ability reasons only) and I am now listening through my Oppo HA-1 into ZampV.3 which is powering my Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE's. For a subwoofer I'm using a Wharfedale Diamond 10sx.