Question What to buy...

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by dgilsenan, Jan 1, 2018.

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  1. dgilsenan

    dgilsenan
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    Hello all,
    First post.
    I have about £500 to spend. I'm not sure whether to buy an amplifier, speakers and a subwoofer or to got for just an amplifier and speakers.
    I will be using Spotify and CD's played on my PC as my music source initially. Its not for games or movies.
    I mostly listen to electronic music and some rock. I love punchy bass that you can feel rather than rumbling movie kind of bass...and big volume.

    Any recommendations for subwoofer or not? Or for what components to go for?
    Thanks
     
  2. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    Does the pc have a sound card that can output analogue or digital or both?

    £500 is a very tight budget for amp, speakers and woofer.

    An alternative is active speakers and if required a woofer but 8” actives can pack a punch. Or 6” actives and a woofer.

    Here are a couple of options assuming the pc has an analogue out port (may be a 3.5mm jack on the rear). These are a quick search so you may be able to find cheaper and I would always try to audition and let my ears judge.

    8” actives

    KRK Rokit RP8 G3 Active Monitors with Isolation Pads and Cables, Pair at Gear4music.com

    Yamaha HS8 Active Studio Monitors (Pair) with Stands and Cables at Gear4music.com

    Sub - can’t go wrong with the bk Gemini.

    Gemini

    Plus some smaller 5” actives

    JBL LSR305 Active Studio Monitors with Stands (Pair) at Gear4music.com

    Yamaha HS5 Active Studio Monitors (Pair) with Stands at Gear4music.com


    As for conventional amp and speakers you would be better with floor standers than bookshelf and woofer in my opinion for the budget.

    If you can get an amp with a dac included then you can run you pc through it off the usb which may help sound quality rather than going through a sound card.

    This looks like a good buy for a small amp with dac and will fit in a desktop system

    NAD D 3020 Digital Amplifier / DAC

    Plus these speakers (a little over budget but not too far).

    Cambridge Audio Speakers Per Pair

    Happy hunting.
     
  3. muljao

    muljao
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    I second a set of actives when running from your computer. If you've not heard some of these before you might be surprised and realise a sub is not required. I have a set of Mackie MR6 mK3 in a 12x10 room, the mr5s would probably have sufficed, but no way I'd add a sub
     
  4. muljao

    muljao
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    On another note, if you rip your CDs to flac format on a free music player such as musicbee it will be more reliable. A good sound card or indeed a usb DAC will add great benefit to a computer based music source
     
  5. dgilsenan

    dgilsenan
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    I've only ever had an amp and speakers so forgive my ignorance.....whats a DAC and what will it do for me?
    Is the volume level controlled by the PC volume with the active speakers?
    BTW I haven't got space for floor standing speakers unfortunately:(
     
  6. Holowlegs

    Holowlegs
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    Hello there

    One thing you have not told us is the size of your room, which is important, as you may be able to get away with a set of bookshelf speakers.

    This is where I would start, playing CD's from a PC is not the best, I would rip CD to maybe Flac format, and us a player like FooBar, which is free. I actually been using Jriver for years which is $49.98 but I am sure there is a free month trail.

    You will need an external Hard drive to store all this music on, 2TB about £70.

    Not sure what sound card you have but guesting you will need a DAC, something like the Cyrus soundKey or AudioQuest DragonFly Black £90 - £100.

    You have to get you source right, if not the end result will not be right.

    As for amps and Speakers look for a deal like this Onkyo A9010 and Q Acoustics 3020 Graphite £279, you may also be able to get a deal on cables if you buy like this.

    To be honest at the moment I would not recommend a subwoofer, get the basics right.

    I have tried to stay within your budget, there are room for improvement but you will have to spend more.

    2TB Hard Drive £70
    Dac £90 - £100
    Amp & speakers £279

    Total £450 leave you £50 for cables and stands.

    Cheers Frank
     
  7. muljao

    muljao
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    A DAC is a digital to audio converter. Your computer will have one built in, but generally they are functional rather than musical. Either of the options mentioned above are a good start, as is a dragonfly red.

    If you look at a set of studio monitors, active (as well as the recommended amp/speakers also mentioned previously) you should be up and running for 500.
     
  8. dgilsenan

    dgilsenan
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    Great advice everyone. Thanks for your help.

    I've done some reading up and the DAC seems like a must. Most of the reviews mention headphones but I guess it will work the same with an amp or active speakers?

    Still undecided between amp and speakers and active speakers but it looks like the sub woofer is not seen as necessary by anyone so I'll give that a miss.
     
  9. muljao

    muljao
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    Most DACs will have a line level or else you turn computer up fully and the amp then controls the volume. In the case of active speakers, you turn them up fully and the volume from your computer controls overall volume.

    The Onkyo and Q acoustics is a great package for the price, with the amp allowing flexibility to add more inputs. If you know you'll only use the computer as an input, active speakers are a box less and just as capable.
     

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