What direction to take.

Hello all hope everyone's having a good day.

I am a musician by trade and I have finally decided to begin and assemble a music listening room. The room in question will be double as an office. My room is 11 1/2 X 18 X 10 ' tall. I don't know how much I want to spend because I don't really know how much it would cost to get a decent set-up. If anything right now I am willing to spend around 6-800 dollars. Now here's my delima.

I spoke to one of my friends and he suggested with my budget I should get some really good studio Active monitors. That would yield the best bang for the bucks. He recommended two brands to look at Genelecs and Dynaudio. Such as the Genelecs 1029a and dynaudio bm-10. My questions two all of you is what is the difference in listening enjoyment with active monitor with hi-fi speaker set-up?

Now the other route I can take is just using my computer and getting a good integrated amp (don't know what that means) and then get some decent speakers. Onix online has a good sale of a onix a-60 amp with their .5 reference monitors. is that good? I don't know. Would this type of set-up give me more choices and flexiblity later on. My biggest worry about getting studio monitor is sound quality and listening enjoyment.

Maybe this can help with the type of sound I like. I am a big headphone collector and I own and enjoy the Senheissers hd-580 and the Etymotics 6 and 4s and also own a pair of shures 3's.

My main question to everyone is in what way should I spend my money. Buy some good active monitors or start buying components slowly? What yeilds a better sonic quality and listening enjoyment?

Finally feel free to list what you would do with the budget listed. If the budget needs to increase say a to maybe a thousand I would be willing to do that aswell. So have fun and help me out please.

Thanks alot everyone
$800 bucks? Are you serious?
Actually, you can build a pretty darn good system for this amount.
Here's what I suggest:
Sony STR-DA1000ES HT Receiver (I own one 100 watts X 7),
KEF Q1 monitors (I own 'em too),
Cheapy Sony DVD player with SACD (I own DVP-9000ES -paid full boat. Ouch! Depreciation!),
Generic wire.

Dealer are furiously dumping HT receivers with no HDMI connections. I got my Sony for half price ($300).

The KEF's can be had for about $250/pr.

The cheapo DVD player is $200-$300.

I've owned high-priced gear (ARC, Classe, Levinson) and am thrilled by how just plain GOOD my current system SOUNDS!

I admit I in no way crank it to free-man levels but my movie watching volumes more than reveal the quality of this setup (oh, I forgot to mention my main speakers are Thiel 1.6s. I am using a KEF Q9c center channel which holds it's own with the Thiels -and is based on the Q1).

You could spend something extra and get some Nordost Blue Heaven wire.

Anyway, I hope this helps. Remember us 'Goners like to know if our advice was useful so drop a line if it was...
Active monitors, like any engineering solution, have a downside and an upside.

The upside is that the amps are custom-matched to the woofers and tweeters, and the IM distortion generated by passive crossovers is eliminated. The sound turns out very clean and dynamic. Also, you have one less box to place and you don't have to buy speaker cables. You may need quite a long interconnect though.

The downside to actives is that you are limited to the quality of the electronics installed in the speakers--no upgrades are possible, realistically speaking. You have to go with new speakers AND new amplification if you ever want better than what you have.

In your situation I would not choose active monitors unless I got a great deal on a pair whose sound I liked. I would look for a good entry-level integrated amp (perhaps a NAD C320BEE, or the Onix amp you mention) and passive monitors. BTW, an integrated amp is one with both the preamp with its controls and the power amp in the same box. It's a very cost-effective design and can sound as good as separate components.

I would use my computer as a source as long as having it in the same room with the stereo were practical and quiet. I'd get the best USB DAC I could afford, starting with the minimal Griffin iMic or similar and going up through the Digidesign MBox to the Apogee Mini-DAC. (There are others too that are well-liked here--do a search on USB DAC in the Forums.) I'd save up to buy decent cables later, both interconnect and speaker, and for now use something at around $30 for the IC and $2 a foot for the speakers.
You hit on the mark. I do eventually want to upgrade my eq so I figured seperates would be better and would give me the flexiblity not supplied in active monitors.

Thanks for the reponses Dweller, Tobias. What have you heard of Marantz intergrated/amps? Was thinking one of them. Should I buy an amp that is surround sound capable while am at it for future or just stick with simple 2-channel?

Give me more suggestions on speakers and intergrated amps people much needed. thanks.

First of all don't forget to go out and listen. With that said. Using you computer as a source is a good way to start. You can use .wav files or flac files with the right media player.

A squeezebox ($250.00) connected from your computer via ethernet or USB to an integrated is one way to go.

As far as an integrated NAD is a good choice. C320BEE is $400.00.

I am a devout B&W fan so my choice would be DM600 S3 at $350.00 a Pair. These are monitors so you would need stands.

That puts the total at $1000.00 which is already pushing your budget and does not include wire and speaker stands.

Panasonic XR55 Receiver $250
Unbeatable for sound & versatility at its price point.

Alegria Audio Ling $389

Radio Shack, Blue Jean Cable or Home Depot.

Good Luck!