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I bought a pair of MKIIIs ~1.5 yrs ago. The 1st pair had issues (they had been re-packed and obviously used by someone), so I returned them and got a 2nd pair, which was
perfect. At the time these speakers were a distinct upgrade in sound quality (not to mention appearance) over my 10 yr old NHT M-00's. I have used these w/a sub since
day-1: first w/the NHT S-00 (8" ported), and about 6 months ago, with an SVS SB-1000 (12" sealed). So I can't comment on deep bass...
I did a lot of research before buying these. What I found is there are very, VERY few powered speakers designed for audio appreciation/music listening--while there are
SO MANY "powered studio monitors" designed for professional use (mixing & mastering). The Swans are definitely in the "audio appreciation" camp--they sound pleasing,
full, and "friendly" to the ears (ie, not mercilessly "accurate" and revealing of every last breath by studio musicians). The tradeoff is the Swans are less than audiophile perfection
in upper frequency "air," resolution, etc. I never cared to have speakers that sounded like electron microscopes, dissecting every tune, so this tradeoff was well worth it to me.
Recently I decided to upgrade monitors--not because I'm unhappy w/the Swans (I'm definitely not), but because I've extensively upgraded the rest of my signal chain (DAC,
preamp/headphone amp, headphones, cabling) and am very curious to hear more of the truly subtle stuff my system is capable of; I also want a minimum 6" woofer. So for
months I researched powered studio monitors, hunting for the very few that are (per reviews and/or user comments) capable of being used for music enjoyment. A number
of designs that interested me a lot either don't fit on my desktop or cost as much as good used car. Finally I ordered a pair of Yamaha HS7's, brand new and modded by
ZenPro Audio. They're burning in right now (3 more days to go) and already sound quite promising.
All to say, anyone needing to step from el cheapo "computer speakers" will find the Swans (MKIIIs) a HUGE upgrade in sound and capability. Highly recommended.
Definitely agree with Pharmaboy. I've kept these for my casual listening as I don't think I will be finding a "proper" upgrade unless I upgrade to the KEF LS50's, which are $1500 per pair, and also requires a separate desktop amp. There is severely limited options for powered desktop speakers and I think the next step up are the KEF X300's or the Adam A7's, which are also possible more sidegrades as they are more studio monitors. For critical listening, I've upgraded my entire chain of headphone gear, from the DAC (Chord Mojo) to the AMP (Bottlehead Mainline) and then to my headphones (HD800's). I still love my MKIII's even now though and keep it if I want to fill the room with good enjoyable music :)