Get a RAAL SR1a headphones with the RAAL HSA-1b headphone amp and then the room is no longer an obstacle to good sound. You get 2 inputs RCA and XLR with the HSA-1b. I have the SR1a and I like it as much as my Thiel CS3.7 floor standers (which I will never get rid of). I do not use the HSA-1b but have had it in the house for a few weeks so I know it is great with the RAAL. I use 2 channel amps for the SR1a.
The RAAL do not sound like headphones but 2 channel speakers.
True Ribbon Headphones & Amplifiers | RAAL-requisite
BTW - my room is small and I have the Thiel in there but that required a lot of acoustic work and outside expertise to make it sound great. If you are listening alone the RAAL is an incredible choice for your 10 x 10 room.
Stereophile will have a review of the RAAL SR1a and HSA-1b soon. I am sure saying how great it is, like I am saying.
For your 1st system I like the option 2. number one isn't overkill but passive preamps can be great or awful IMO. The integrated will be a good start. You have a TT and speakers now. Only thing you need is a streamer to go with the DAC. Or consider the Bluesound Node 2i for an all in one digital unit. Try the system and see how you like it.
Sounds like fun, Tarkus!
If you do not go to headphones, one of the first things I'd be thinking of is where you are able to place your speakers.
In that space, will you need to place them tight to the front wall? Many speakers like room to breathe, but there are some designs that do pretty well close to boundaries.
If you will be playing them "near wall," I'd research designs that do better that way. Looks like the Triangles are front-ported, which is probably a help, but not a guarantee. What do other owners say about this?
For that small of a room that’s square to boot, look into active nearfield monitors. There are options made for your situation but it will take some research. I would start with Genelec smart monitors and their GLM calibration system which is about the best but there are cheaper options that would work.
My impression is that for someone that says they are a newbie to the HiFi world, seems to me that you already did your homework. I think any one of your options would work out.
Hopefully you bought the speakers from a dealer that has a 60 day return policy, just in case the Triangles are too much in your room.
The PSB Alpha P5 is a speaker that might sound good with jazz and have gotten good reviews.
Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out.
@yyzsantabarbara , those headphones look quite impressive but I'm afraid they're way out of my budget at the moment. Thank you!
@artemus_5 Thanks! For the time being I'll be using a Chromecast audio and pair it with the Schiit DAC for streaming. I will certainly look for a more premium type of unit, like the Bluesound you recommended, in the future. As for your suggestion to go with an integrated amp, I was leaning that way too but yesterday I found quite a few reports of bad experiences with the Iotavx brand, especially when it comes to post-sale service and some QC issues. I think I may play it safe and go with Schiit even if it costs a bit more.
@jdoris I've seen some opinions and reviews online saying that the Triangles can be placed near to walls without issue, but as you say it will be a matter of trial and error. I place my current speakers (which are also fron ported) at least 1 foot from the wall and I get a bit of boominess from the room accoustics but it doesnt sound bad. If I place them in a more nearfield listening arrangement, the boominess goes but I feel the sound loses a lot of body. I'll be playing around with the Triangles to see what they can do. Thank you!
@djones5 Thanks for your suggestion on nearfield monitors. This is something I hadn't considered. Given that they are monitors, I assume they are super neutral. Would you say that is the case for the Genelcs you suggested?
@dougsat Thank you! I started getting into this world about a year ago when the world had to spend a LOT of more time indoors. I've learned quite a bit from forums like this one and Steve Hoffman, audiosciencereview and youtube reviews. The only downside is that because I live in Mexico I don't really have a chance of testing equipment that easy and even if the brand has a good return policy, often times the international shipping is on the buyer. I bought the Triangle speakers from Amazon US so I still have about 3 weeks to return them. The bad thing is that the Schiit power amp I ordered will start shipping around April 21st, so I doubt I will have a chance to test the speakers before the return window closes.
Yes they are very revealing. There are other active speakers more domestic friendly like Elac, Dynaudio, Buchardt. The Kef LS50 has gotten good reviews , for passive Kef R3, Revel 126be
Any LS3/5A sealed woofer design would be worth looking into. Harbeth, Spendor, Falcon, etc., etc., make this type of speaker!
By all means enjoy what you have coming in, like I said you’ve already done you research it’s now time to relax and enjoy. Don’t over think it, if you do you will get on the merry go round of changing out equipment like most of us have. Circumstances will change and the opportunity to expand your system will come over time, if you get the audiophile bug. Lastly let us know how it turns out, I suspect your room being small and square will be your biggest challenge.
Look into acoustic treatments first. Especially with your small square room. This will be your best first investment.
@dougsat I'm absolutely with you there! I want to avoid the neverending money pit that the hifi hobby can turn into! My wife is ok with me making this "investment" now that we're only beginning to save for our future permanent house in a few years so better make it count!
What you and @slaw mention is something I haven't really though much of. I've also done some research on room treatments but don't really know where to begin. Is there some way to have a general idea or a rule of thumb of what I would need? diffusors, bass traps, how many of them and where?
The LS3/5a was designed as a control room monitor and excells in small spaces. However run the triangles w Schitt and get a few acoustic panels. How big is the gaming screen aka reflector ?????
GIK has a room analysis tool online that will make tiered recommendations, don’t go crazy... start with a few first reflection point absorbers and ceiling if you can.. and a screen treatment
Thanks tomic! I have a 55 inch screen on the same wall where the speakers are located. I’ve read online that covering it with a thick piece of cloth could help. Would you recommend anything different?
I also need to buy volcanic sand from our local home depot to fill the new speakers stands I bought for the triangles. When I flick the switch to turn on my active speakers the stands ring like crazy.
I will definitely check GIKs site out, thanks for the suggestion!
I also have (several) small rooms to contend with. Sounds like you’re on a good path. Room treatment, to the extent space allows, will be important. Also, avoid equal distances between speakers and boundaries where frequencies may start getting cancelled out. Consider getting a microphone to do some testing. That helped me quickly narrow down speaker location. Final location to be done by listening. Consider working the room at an angle. My systems are largely tube, low power - so I can’t comment on the electronics. I would say my issues have always been getting decent soundstage (not enough space behind the speakers) or pressure. Pressure is hard to generate at low volumes, which nearfield listening usually lives. I find large speakers are better to generate pressure at low volumes - so a sub may be a good add. A loudness button would probably also do the trick, but that’s not as fun. I started with Audioengine, went through some Dali’s, and ended with F-15 open baffle full range drivers - with another 15” woofer.