Options for sound via PC

rob4001

Standard Member
Hi

I use my PC fro gaming listening to music. A the moment I have a cambridge amp 540a and some maurdant short 902i connected to the sound card.
My problems is its all very cluttered and not much space.

So I was hunting around for answers a smaller amp or doing away with the amp and altogether so far the options i have come up with is replacing the amp with one for these Topping TP20-MK2 MKII TA2020 Class T-AMP Digital Stereo Amplifier: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

Or going down the active speaker rout Avid M-Audio BX5 D2 Studio Monitors UK: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

Or maybe even rkr studio monitors although thats getting on the expensive side.

Will active speakers be worse than current amp and speakers setup?

Thanks
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I think either option is good. Here is a video of a very low cost Lepai T-Amp T2020 driving some 6.5" Diamond 10.2 speakers. It is actually pretty impressive. Though you can't reach demolition volumes and you only have one input.

http://www.avforums.com/forums/speakers/1663620-diamond-10-2-lepai-ta2020-amp-impressive.html

As to studio monitors or just plain computer speakers, I think there has to be a reasonable limit as to how small they can be. Myself that limit is 5" bass driver. I just don't see anything with a bass driver of less than that as delivering full range sound. Though there are probably a very few with 4" drivers that might get the job done.

I just searched KRK Rokit RP5 for another thread, and found one place selling a PAIR for about £150. That is about half price, though it could be a mistake. I found it by doing a Google-UK Shopping Search.

Also check out StudioSpares.co.uk for a wide selection of studio Monitors.

Ideally, you would want this, but the price is very steep. However, it has a lot of features, like remote control, expandable to wireless Apple Airplay, USB device charging, iPod Dock, Subwoofer expansion, substantial amps, and more -

[ame=http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&tbm=shop&q=audioengine+a5%2B&oq=audioengi&gs_l=products-cc.1.1.0l10.1370.3689.0.5921.9.6.0.3.3.0.157.571.5j1.6.0...0.0...1ac.1.62b5bXNT-dI]audioengine a5+ - Google Search[/ame]


Very sweet speaker, but YIKES! the price.

Audioengine 5+ - Audioengineusa.com

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Will active speakers be worse than current amp and speakers setup?

In my experience, a pair of active speakers will give better audio quality than a similarly priced amp + speaker combination - especially true at this budget end of the market. If your sound card is decent, then the quality available from active speakers in the £150 price bracket will, I suspect, surprise you. That said, it seems your Cambridge amp and MS speakers would have originally retailed for about £250 total so maybe this is a 'downgrade'?

I'd go with BlueWizards suggestion and have a look at some pro music retailers because there's a good few active speakers out there in the £100 to £200 price range. I use these:

Studiospares Seiwin Powered Monitors (Pair) at Studiospares

Almost faultless for music at the price but I'd be wary of recommending them for games/sound effects etc. Same would be true of any decent active monitor. Maybe more of an all-rounder would suit better, something like this:

Corsair SP2500 2.1 Gaming Speakers | Ebuyer.com

Not fully active but bi-amped satellites, lots of power and a potent subwoofer by all accounts. Maybe not quite as refined as a good active monitor but perhaps a better compromise for your intended uses?

I have a TA2020 based class T/mini amp and, under certain conditions, can sound really good but push it outside it's comfort zone and it doesn't give in gracefully!
 

rob4001

Standard Member
Sorry for resurrecting this thread! I am still living with my cluttered mess! I have a 5.1 system in my living room and thought I'd try and experiment of hooking up my BK sub and Monitor Audio 45HD satellites which fit perfectly on my desktop.

The sound quite good but vocals through the satellites lack depth and sound tinny I guess the satellites aren't up to the job. Are there any satellites that would? I was looking on ebay for B&W M1 would they sound better?

Should I just bite the bullet and get either Audioengine A2 which would squeeze on my desktop or as suggested corsair sp2500 which seem to get good reviews.

Thanks
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Should I just bite the bullet and get either Audioengine A2...

Checkout avforums for views on the Audioengine A2 and you may change your mind.

The sound quite good but vocals through the satellites lack depth and sound tinny I guess the satellites aren't up to the job. Are there any satellites that would?

Yep, larger ones!

A lot of 2.1 set-ups suffer from a bit of a hole in the upper/mid bass area due to the sub and the satellites not quite meeting in the middle and leaving a gap in the frequency response. This tends to be more prevalent with the smaller satellites and, though I'm not familiar with the MA 45HD's, this might be the effect you're hearing. Can you increase the frequency of the subs Low Pass filter to make it work higher up the bass range?

I wonder if even the Corsair could suffer a little from this effect because it has very small satellites? Still seems to be a great powered active speaker though. And I may have been wrong when I said:

[The Corsair is] not fully active but bi-amped satellites...

Having trawled through lots of reviews and articles about this speaker and studied Corsairs own blurb, I now believe it is a fully active design, which is remarkable at the price (i.e. there is a separate amp for every single drive unit - and two amps for the bass cabinet/subwoofer).

Satellite speaker is just a phrase. It doesn't so much describe a speaker as the use it's put to. In practice, almost any speaker could be used as a satellite although we tend to think of them as being physically tiny. If they were a bit larger, we wouldn't get that frequency hole effect I mentioned. I bet something like the Wharfedale 9.1 would make a great satellite but in your case, space seems to be at a premium so you have a compromise to make.
 

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