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2.1 Speaker setup for PC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Nitesh9999, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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    Hi,


    I have a PC with the following

    AMD 3700+ @ 2750Mhz
    DFI nf4 SLI-DR
    OCZ PC4000 VX
    Sony DVD player
    Lite-On DVD RW
    6600GT
    19" LG Flatron 12ms
    Nebula DigiTV PCI card


    and i'm using on-board sound, however i am looking to buy a new audigy 2 card, either

    audigy 2 zs

    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=52229

    or the platinum version with the external box...

    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=74928

    I had some 2.1 creative speakers which have just failed (the subs making a rattling noise). They cost about £60-70 about 3 years ago. And received a good thrashing throughout my time at uni. :rolleyes:


    I would like to replace the current speakers and sub with something a little meatier. The creatives were fine for music (alot of hiphop and R&B, with oasis and coldplay thrown in for good measure :)), but when playing a DVD, watching TV or playing games the bass was too much at high volume, and often had to reach for the bass knob at the back of the sub. Not really ideal...



    A few questions about the new setup (please don't laugh :D )


    1. Is an AMP neccessary or can speakers be driven direct from the sound card?

    2. If an AMP is a must then will the external box of the audigy 2 platinum do the job?



    Finally budget,

    minus the soundcard I want to spend about £250 on the speakers (and £300 if an AMP is needed too)


    What would be the recommendations?


    If an AMP is not needed then would these be any good?

    http://www.bwspeakers.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.models/label/Model DM601 S3


    I have seen them in a local store (they sounded great!!) for £250.




    Thanks


    Nit
     
  2. The Dude

    The Dude
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    You'd need a half decent amp along with the B&Ws... :(

    If you want good quality stereo sound for your PC, you can't go wrong with something like the KRK ROKIT 8s, or their little brothers the KRK ROKIT 6s

    A mate uses them in his studio, I very much doubt you'll find better active (no amp needed) speakers for the money. they're big, AND clever... :devil:
     
  3. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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    Hi,


    thanks for the reply.



    They are £400 and £320,


    would it be a better option to get the B+Ws and a cheapish amp, i've seen some for around £100.


    This would take me to about £350 for speakers and AMP.


    I will only be connnecting the 2 speakers to the outputs of the AMP (and in the future a sub, when funds allow) and obviosly the output from the soundcard (3.5mm jack) to the input of the AMP (2 phono left and right).



    Seen as I would only be powering the B+Ws what would be suitable?


    This was within my price range...

    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo-1.cfm/Product_ID/1115


    Is it underpowered for them speakers?



    Thanks



    Nit
     
  4. The Dude

    The Dude
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    apols, I thought you meant you had an extra £300 for an amp if needed... :devil:

    Speakers like those B&Ws need decent amplification really, do you know what they were fed from when you heard them?
     
  5. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    Well I recommed the Logitech Z5500, they are pretty much one of the Best PC speaker set on the market, and go well with the audigy 2, I have them both, audigy connected via 3 * Phono cables for 5.1 Analogue Audio...but the Logitech's also have 2 digital inputs and a built in Dolby/DTS Decoder, so you can hook up your dvd as well as Xbox to it, The Speakers are of good quality the stand have an in built wall mount bracket and the SUB is BIG!!!, put's out alot of base, you can set the volume on each speaker and sub via the Decoder Box that comes with it, the center and rear speakers can go twice their volume, and the whole system can be cranked up to twice it's volume if you are playing back low sounding music...oh and it's THX certified and support the new 96HZ/24Bit DTS Format via SPDIF, it has a seperate 3.5mm Line input in case you want to hook up your Ipod and has a headphone output on the decoder box....oh the Sound Blaster X-FI is coming out this month so you might want to hold out for that instead of getting an Audigy 2, it £100 for the Music Version of it, but it has the same features of the other versions minus the Breakout Box and 64MB of RAM...
     
  6. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Just found this offer while looking for some other stuff... If you've got the cash to hand, and fancy 5.1 check out the Acoustic Energy Aego 2 B-Stock offer...

    I've just got the 2.1 setup for my laptop, they are very high quality, (the sub is a bit on the massive side though) and the 'B-Stock' label is nothing to worry about.. ;)

    For £300 you wont get any better. You'd better be quick though, as I've just ordered a set for myself... :devil:
     
  7. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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    Cheers guys!!


    Right The Dude,


    What sort of AMP are we looking at to power them B+Ws to there full potential? I have no idea what they were being powered by when I went down.


    meansizzler them logis do look so damn sexy!!

    The thing is with such a big sub will I have the problem I had with my creatives and have too much bass when only watching TV??? I loved the creatives, apart from the fact the bass kicked in too much for TV and DVD. So I thought 'proper' speakers would be a better way to go? I'll definately consider the 5500's if the amp to power the B+Ws is too expensive...


    The reason I wanted 2.1 was because my room is pretty small... but it seems all the beefier options only come in 5.1 and above.


    If someone could point me to the kind of AMP required for the B+Ws i'll have everything I need to make my decision.


    Thanks


    Nit
     
  8. The Dude

    The Dude
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    OK mate, here's my advice:

    (I'm assuming you want to use your HTPC as the source for everything.)

    If it's quality 2ch you want for now, forget the creative soundsbollox and get yourself an MAudio 2496, cheaper, and far better SQ.

    for Amplification, you want a half-decent power amp ideally, with something like 100W @8ohm rating preferably, a bit less than 100W will not be a showstopper.
    have a look in the classifieds here for starters, something by Rotel/NAD etc would be ideal if you can afford one.
    If you cant find a nice power amp, an integrated with the same spec will do just as well, and you get a volume knob which is handy.. ;)

    Maudio 2496 (£65)
    B&W DM601
    75-100W @8ohm Power/Integrated amp (£100-£250?)

    that setup will put a HUGE smile on your face, for a long time. :D
     
  9. rdhir

    rdhir
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    I agree with the Dude. PC speakers are not the best, even the good models. I have a set of Klipsch 4.1 speakers which are nice, but honestly when I used my old Arcam Alpha plus budget amp and a pair of decent hifi speakers it was better, Logitech and Creative are a bit overrated although to be fair their sound to space to value is not bad.

    Cheers


    Rajiv
     
  10. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    MAudio 2496 is a bargain. Have a look in the HiFi forum for amps, and the speakers section for... speakers. I haven't heard Rokits, but I do like avctive speakers, and they'd suit your situation well - would probably give you best sound per pound.
     
  11. rdhir

    rdhir
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    the three amigos have spoken:thumbsup:
     
  12. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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    OK first off thanks for the advice this place is becoming invaluble experiece!! :smashin:


    The Dude


    First off my 'thing' is PCs, i'm an overclocker and have built my own for a while, but have never even heard of the soundcard you recomend! I will look into it cheers.


    The setup you suggest maybe the route I go.

    601s plus an AMP. And the closer the AMP can cost to £100 the better.


    When looking for an AMP I want to look for 100W of power and 8ohm. This will help me get decent performance out of the speakers.


    Total cost about £350 (ish, I can hear the GF moaning already... :D )


    Thanks for the extra advice raghiv and Triggaaar, I will pop into the HiFi section for a recomendation on an AMP.



    Thanks


    Nit
     
  13. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Since we're here. Do not skimp on the amp, and consider 2nd hand (I would actually not even consider new in your price bracket, but some people don't like buying 2nd hand). I've got 3 2nd amps that I've bought in the last year and they're all great - they're not the sort of thing that go wrong often.

    General advice in the Hi Fi forum will be to demo (and it's good advice) but unless you're used to good systems, you might not know what your looking for, and a demo might not be long enough. My personal preference is to demo what I can, and buy 2nd hand bargains on advice, knowing that I can sell them on without loss if I decide to try a different brand 6 months later.
     
  14. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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    Cheers, I have asked the question in the Hi-Fi section and have mentioned second hand isn't a problem.


    Nit
     
  15. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    There is not much base when watching TV, I have a tv tuner is my PC and you cannot really hear much base, you can set the base to the level you want with both the Soundcard and Sub, I can advise you on some decent levels if you want.., there is really no point in getting a set of speakers £1oo+ if you are going to really put it loud, I don't use my Logitech much to it's potential, it's more down to the sound card than the speakers on the quality of audio, the Audigy 2 is a great card, I got it set up good, so all stereo content is copied to the back speakers and center as well as front, and all 5.1 content is played as 5.1...you don't really need a seperate system unless you plan on tweaking it alot, but for audio on the PC, stick with a PC based system and leave the tweaking down to the sound card...
     
  16. deksawyer

    deksawyer
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    Look on eBay for a Cyrus 1 or Cyrus 2.

    You can pick up either of those in great shape for anything between £50-£80.

    They're a 'vintage' design and not to everyones taste but they're also minimalist, sound absolutely fantastic and spares can be obtained from Cyrus themselves.

    You might get lucky and score a Cyrus 3 or 3i for around £150.

    Check them out.......

    D.
     
  17. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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    Hi,


    I dont understand, are you saying theres no point in good speakers if you are playing loud music?? The speakers are going to be for tv, music, movies and a few games.


    deksawyer one of these?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CYRUS-IIIi-in...5802534549QQcategoryZ3280QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


    Nit
     
  18. The Dude

    The Dude
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    That would do the job VERY nicely..... Superb piece of kit they are.. :thumbsup:

    I have/had a friend who has/had the 601s with a newer version of the same amp, a very nice sounding combination indeed. If you can get that for the £150 deksawyer mentioned you're absolutely sorted.

    The M-Audio, the Cyrus 3, and the B&Ws would be a very impressive system :devil:
     
  19. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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    Thanks, i'll keep an eye on the auction.


    Googlin' for info I saw (don't how correctly) that the cyrus only has 50w/channel??


    Would it not be better to get something newer and slightly more powerful? Or has the cyrus got something that sets it apart?

    Seen some bargain amps at around the 100w you suggested on ebay.



    Nit
     
  20. deksawyer

    deksawyer
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    "Would it not be better to get something newer and slightly more powerful? Or has the cyrus got something that sets it apart?"

    Look at it this way - my motorcycle only has 2 cylinders (albiet big ones), a 1 litre engine, has around 125bhp and on a good day (if I've not eaten breakfast) it'll do 160-170mph.

    Now a Hummer on the other hand has a 9.5 litre engine producing around 190bhp and will manage around 80mph.

    My bike is built for speed, the Hummer is not.

    The Cyrus is more like my bike (in my head at least, but I'm not normal)!

    D.
     
  21. The Dude

    The Dude
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    A good condition Cyrus is a steal if it doesn't go too much higher..:)

    more power is always nice but Cyrus kit is always fairly low-rated but very capable... Quality matters as much (probably more) as quantity, you'd have no worries with an amp like that one. On something 'cheaper' it maybe would matter more, but that's a quality hifi amp...;)
     
  22. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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    Understood.

    I will keep my eyes peeled!!



    Thankyou everyone.... :) ,


    now to get some money and find another.... :rolleyes:



    Nit
     
  23. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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  24. The Dude

    The Dude
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    it may be OK, but that (Cambridge Audio) is very bottom-end kit... in a fight between the two of them the cyrus would win with both hands tied behind it's back..;)
     
  25. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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    OK :)


    Finally (sorry for all the questions!! I think i'm only asking because I want to put off doing an assignment which needs to be in 2mrw and i've had 7 months to do it...)


    whats the difference between the cyrus 3 and the 3i? Google ain't throwing up much.


    Nit
     
  26. The Dude

    The Dude
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    I'm not sure either TBH... going back a long way.... '92/93 I think..?

    The 3i came out a few years later (96?), probably just a few little tweaks here and there, if it was anything major it would probably have got a new number as Cyrus usually do that
     
  27. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Unless your talking PA loud, I don't agree with this. As volume increases, so does distortion, and weaknesses in cheaper systems stand out more. A very good system (inc speakers) will sound un-distorted at loud volumes, and be much more enjoyable.

    Again I don't agree :) If you have a decent signal from your source (makes no difference if it's a top end CD player & DAC, or soundcard) you are going to get a better end result with a decent amp and speakers (no tweaking necessary). No one would spend £500+ on a CD player, and plug it into PC speakers. PC speakers have their uses, but generally speaking, high quality stereo is not one of them.
     
  28. BenW

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    Im pretty sure i posted a reply here :S

    Anyway, for the pc sound card look at the HDA X-Mystique if you think you might want true 5.1 output sometime. If not then look at the M-Audio Revolution 5.1 which will have better sound than the audigy at about the same price.

    If you want to look cheaper then get the m-audio hooked up to some logitech Z2200 speakers. I've got these, havent got around to sound card yet but they're not bad coming off my soundblaster live. On desktop its 2 sattelites with about 3" drivers and pointed center, seperate control center which is basically a large volume knob (You never want that past half way!), bass knob, power button and headphone jack (jack quality is rubbish)

    Sub is 8" compared to the Z5500s 10 which could be easier for you
     
  29. rdhir

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    a quick note about power, output and sensitivity

    100W could at most sound twice as loud as 50W. power to loudess in logarithmic, not linear.

    Not all ratings by manufacturers are equal. The better amp makers conservatively estimate their amps, Cyrus iis know for being conservative in their rating.

    Why? Because to avoid distortion, an amp has to have lots of headroom, that is it has to go from low to high quickly. Hence good stuff is underrated and easily copes with changes in volume eg percussion, but cheap stuff goes spec chasing and can get to high but with loads of distortion.

    Secondly if you are worried about volume you need to know two figures the sensitivity of your speakers (measured in decibels) and the power of your amp, and your speakers. Generally speakers and amps should be similarly rated to avoid overloading your speakers. When comparing ratings they must be for the same resistance, ie compare figures quoted in 8ohms or 4 ohms.

    While I can't give you an exact guide on how loud something sounds, sensitivty generally breaks down as follows

    >90db - easy to drive speakers, that will sound loud even with a modest amp eg 30-50W, in a small to average room.

    <90db - harder to drive speakers

    In general I would have thought that the Cyrus will be fine and would trust the Dude's ears.

    One last little detail 10db is equal to a doubling in sound so I think 120db is like being next to a jet engine, but 30db is a quiet room with no PCs
     
  30. Nitesh9999

    Nitesh9999
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    Ok thanks all.

    rdhir I think I know what you mean, its like PC PSUs the cheaper brands might say they are a certain power but if you check the Amps on the individual rails you'll see they are much less powerful and the cause for many system errors.

    Also more technical detail here...

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94349&highlight=active


    I think i'll go for...

    M-Audio Audiophile 2496

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=157223

    The B+W 601 S3'


    and


    an amp of ebay.

    i'll post the amps I find on ebay here...

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=240002

    to get a good idea of what i'm looking at.



    Thanks for all the help!! :smashin:



    Nitesh
     

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