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PC + Amp + Speakers?

randomtaskk

Standard Member
Alrighty everyone. I'm a total idiot when it comes to HiFi's etc. so some help would be appreciated here.

Basically I have a pretty high end PC which is gradually taking over the functions of being my TV and stereo as well. Unfortunately it's very much a gaming PC so not much money has been spent on the audio side of things. It's got a pretty average soundcard, speakers etc.

I'm looking to improve audio performance, as there are some fairly obvious issues with sound quality at higher volumes with my current set up.

I watch a lot of bluray/HD DVD movies on the PC, and get plenty of AAC encoded music so feel I'm looking for something with a bit more oomph than a standard soundcard and speakers can offer - unfortunately I just don't know what.

So, my main questions are:

1) Is it even worth getting some kind of set up with an amp and speakers to hook up to the PC given that I am using some 'good' quality audio sources such as bluray/AAC etc, or will the quality difference not really be noticed?

2) If so, what equipment would I be looking to get in regards to amps etc? A quick overview would be great so I can do a bit of research myself - at the moment I have no clue as to where to start...
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
First, we would need to know what your sound card is? It seems odd that a PC made specifically for Gaming, would not have a pretty nice sound card.

Next, certainly a good amps and nice speaker are going to make a difference. But, you really haven't told us what speakers you have, so my response is something of a generalization.

Next, we need a budget? That more than anything will drive our responses.

You can get a good stereo and speakers for pretty cheap. I would say about £250 minimum, though £350 to £450 would be better.

Here are a couple of thread where I list a range of amps and speakers, that should be helpful to get you started. But, for any real recommendations, we need to know what your budget is?

http://www.avforums.com/forums/hi-f...5713-amplifier-kef-iq50-squeezebox-touch.html

http://www.avforums.com/forums/hi-fi-systems-separates/1353442-best-audio-amp-tv.html

Also, we need to know the brand and model of your sound card?

Steve/bluewizard
 

randomtaskk

Standard Member
Ah, would have made sense to include that information!

My soundcard currently is an Asus Xonar DX and I have a set of Creative G550 speakers. They're by no means the worst you can get but definately not the best I've seen...

Budget is not really an issue... I could go to £600 or so but don't really want to throw money at something for tinnnnnnnnnny increases in quality.

Thanks :)
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
These are you current speakers??? -

Creative GigaWorks G550W 5.1-CH wireless PC multimedia home theatre speaker sys

Yes? No? Maybe?

I don't think it will take much to beat these if you are looking for a stereo pair of speakers.

If you goal is a full 5.1 surround sound, things get dicier and more expensive, thought at £600, you have the budget for it.

As to the sound card, that appears to cost just under £50, better than what is built on to motherboards, but not buy much.

As to the sound card, if you are thinking of replacing it, you need to decide if you want to replace it with a good quality stereo card; perhaps a M-Audio 2496, it has four input and output channels, but it is a stereo card.

Or as an alternative, a medium quality 5.1 sound card. I suspect to get a 5.1 channel card, you are going to have to spend a little more to get the quality you need.

I would start with amp and speakers first, and see how it goes, you can always upgrade the sound card later.

So the first question that needs to be answer is -

Stereo or Surround Sound?

Keep in mind for an equivalent Surround Sound, you are going to have to spend considerably more. A decent stereo can run in the £250 to £500 range. A decent AV Surround system, is going to be closer to £700 to £1000.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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