Powered Speaker Recommendation


I have a AudioTechnica LP1240 turntable that is currently running into a pair of active powered Mackie SRM450's via an Allen & Heath 16 channel mixer. I have gone through the turntable setup procedures for the AT100E cartridge. The overall sound lacks depth and provides an inferior sound field. I have used the SRM450 for live PA and thought I would try these for sound production in my man cave. The room is approximately 20x20. I have been looking at powered "bookshelf" speakers and most specifically at the Audioengine A5+. Anyone out there have an opinion on if this would create better imaging versus my current setup? I would like active/powered speakers. I have also looked at the Yamaha HS8. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
bdavenpo
Many people have criticized me heavily for my comments on active studio monitors. Your problem is a perfect example as to why I make those claims. 

Studio monitors are made to serve a different purpose than traditional home audio. I think the right solution would be to buy home audio speakers instead, and drive them with an integrated amp that is also meant for home audio. Also, keep in mind that every component in the system contributes to imaging/staging. It only takes one mismatched component to ruin the imaging properties of the whole system. It doesn't matter how good the speakers are, either. Its not enough to compensate for other flaws.
KEF if they fit your budget
There is nothing wrong with using active studio monitors for high end reproduction, in fact, there are numerous advantages. However, the Mackie speakers you are using are designed for portable PA use. 

Unfortunately, it's difficult to audition good studio monitors and they usually must be purchased based on reviews or word of mouth recommendations. I know that Ethan Winer (of RealTraps) used (and may still use) the Mackie HR624 in his home system. So that would be a decent choice. 

I've owned several pairs of active studio monitors, but none from Mackie. I've used the KRK VXT6 in my office system for several years. It's a tremendous value and I recommend it highly.

I think that $800 - $1000 per pair active studio monitors easily equal any comparably priced passive audiophile speakers I've heard. Of course, that's my ears, not yours.

Here's a link to a pretty comprehensive list of available active studio monitors: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Studio-Monitors/ci/8617/N/3992462085

I've also owned studio monitors from JBL, Neumann and Klein + Hummel. I've heard the Focal Solo6 extensively. Let us know your budget and we can better make suggestions. Higher priced models come from Focal, Dynaudio, Genelec, Neumann. My K+H O300D monitors were $5200 per pair and are the best speakers I've ever owned or heard. It's been upgraded when Neumann bought K+H and the price is now lower.

Your room is fairly large, so you might want to consider nothing smaller than a 6.5" driver -- 8" might be better, especially if you don't use a sub. I would also suggest you consider using a subwoofer regardless of the monitors you end up with. I've never heard the Audioengine products, but they are not active and I would place them more in the low end desktop category.

You can find many professional reviews of active studio monitors here: http://www.soundonsound.com/

Best of luck.
"Many people have criticized me heavily for my comments on active studio monitors. Your problem is a perfect example as to why I make those claims. "

yes zd you are still compelled to respond to any forum post here talking about your disdain for active monitors . Why is this ? You must have had a real bad experience that scarred you . 

To the op if you have not heard any it is definitely worth checking out . If you do like them they give you better cost to performance ratios than "hifi" brands . No speaker wires to buy . 

Dynaudio Excite X14A , there’s one on sale @ Audiogon.
" yes zd you are still compelled to respond to any forum post here talking about your disdain for active monitors . Why is this ? You must have had a real bad experience that scarred you ."

Some of the reasons I've stated many times over. This is from my first post just to save me some typing.

" Studio monitors are made to serve a different purpose than traditional home audio. I think the right solution would be to buy home audio speakers instead, and drive them with an integrated amp that is also meant for home audio. Also, keep in mind that every component in the system contributes to imaging/staging. It only takes one mismatched component to ruin the imaging properties of the whole system. It doesn't matter how good the speakers are, either. Its not enough to compensate for other flaws."

For this thread, the OP is asking to fix a specific problem. Imaging and soundstaging.  Given they're intended application, powered studio monitors, and pro gear in general, isn't the right tool for the job. Studio speakers are meant for nearfield listening, they have all types of processing built in (gain, xover, eq, .....), high feedback low quality power amps, etc.  If your goal is to improve imaging, a speaker like this is exactly the opposite from where you need to be. It directly works against you. All you need to do is look at that type of gear that images well and contrast that with studio gear. 

" To the op if you have not heard any it is definitely worth checking out . If you do like them they give you better cost to performance ratios than "hifi" brands . No speaker wires to buy ."

Looking at your statement here, performance how? Remember, he already has similar equipment. Yes, you may be able to do a little better than what he has now with some different studio gear, but why not just fix the problem altogether?

Another big issue I have here is cost. For all the talk of price/performance ratio, powered monitors are way overpriced for the level of sound quality you get. I just don't see the value.

I could keep going on, but I think its best stop here for now. I know from past experience a debate like this will go on forever, and in the end nothing will come of it. That's not meant to be an insult, as I'm fully aware that most of us genuinely want to help the OP. I've always been a big believer in putting my money where my mouth is. Here's how we can resolve the issue. The OP can give us a complete list of his system and how much each piece costs. I'll take the total value of his system, cut it in half and make up a list of components that the OP can find locally in a store like Best Buy. He can pick the gear up and I'll work with him on setup, and then he can do some listening and see how a different system will image first hand. The new system will be sitting right next to his current system, so he can go back and forth between the 2. When were done with all this, everything can be returned. 

This is a better way to resolve the issue than just arguing with no end in sight. Nothings better than hands on experience. And remember, I'm not saying I can fix his problem by spending more money on "better" components. I can outperform the current system for half of what it costs. Its the best solution I can think of.