Whats a good amp for a PC gamer's desk? smsl ad18?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by aoaaron, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    i want to do a nice tidy 2.1 setup for my desk.

    i was looking at the sdml ad18.
    how would that be for powering say some q acoustic 3020s? or should i get something different? I don't mind getting something a bit bigger if it has a remote because i can just stick it under my desk.
     
  2. Thatsnotmynaim

    Thatsnotmynaim
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    You don’t say of any requirements, number of inputs, type of inputs, budget, any other features Bluetooth, streaming etc? How do you plan to connect the PC? Also does it have to be an amp or would active speakers fit the bill also? Is it for critical listening of music, films, editing audio etc... I’ve never heard of amp you mention, looked it up and it looks quite basic and on quite a budget..
    Options that sprang to mind when I first read were NAD 3020, Yamaha WXA50, but they’re many others.. Kef do the LSX active speakers with DSP to tune the sound, they also did a lower budget desktop eggs, but they’re many active speakers depending on requirements.
     
  3. Rambles

    Rambles
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    I use a Marantz NR1508 on my desk, I got it at close out when it was being replaced by the new model for £250. It has all the features you could possibly need, and sounds pretty great.

    The newer model is available at quite a nice discount here:

    Marantz NR1509 Slim 5.2 Channel AV Receiver with HEOS
     
  4. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    Thanks guys.

    I'm open to anything really. I have already a 5.1 setup with denon avr downstairs with KEF speakers.

    I'm looking for something which is easy to use and neat/tidy.

    I currently have a 8086k/rtx2080 pc and an alienware ultrawide monitor. i believe it has an audio line out from the monitor or i could use my motherboard.

    i have a topping d30 and a atom amp for my headphones but the dac does not have another lineout to dac anything else.

    i am a bit of an audiophile when it comes to sound quality but given its my pc and i have a set of cans for more critical-ish listening, i can live with a more fun sound signature.


    im ideally looking for at the desk a 2.1 setup (unless you guys think otherwise, i think thats the sweet spot for a desk).

    for inputs, i can just use whatever my pc has (usb and i believe from my motherboard and optical out. I'm not sure if usb would just be easier but im open to any suggestions.

    I did consider something like a Marantz NR1508 ...
    however my monitor is connected to my PC via displayport to drive 120hz ultrawide with hdmi cannot do. therefore i dont think as far as i know i can use the hdmi audio from my graphics card and the display port without sacrificing performance from unless im wrong?
    also its a bit big for what i need.






    my thoughts are:
    1. SMSL AD18 or some form of 2.1 amp + a second hand subwoofer + 2 bookshelves connected via usb
    2. active speakers + a lineout for a subwoofer
    3. a full active speaker setup
    EDIFIER S350DB _ (Z Reviews) _ The Basshead...
    (something like that?)

    I'm just not sure if for £250-300 with a little bit of wiring and delving into the second hand market whether i can get something better than the EDIFIER S350DB
     
  5. Thatsnotmynaim

    Thatsnotmynaim
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    A lot to digest there, but one thing I’ve noticed with PCs is that they can sometimes introduce electrical noise into an amp, so when I do this I ALWAYS use optical as the connection as it means the PC and the amp are NOT electrically connected together. For me this rules out USB, coax or analogue line out. It may not always be the case now, but for me it saves trying to solve why is my system picking up a buzz or weird sound as it just can’t happen with optical out....

    I think for your minimal needs - just an amp and speakers, budget and I presume with space being a premium, then some kind of active speaker setup is going to fit better. If you want outright bass then a sub will be a must as presume the speakers can’t be that big? For me a larger set of speakers with no sub will generally give better timing for music, but don’t think that’s an option or your preferred direction..
     
  6. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    I have a monolith XL downstairs.. and when it gets into action my whole room starts shaking.

    will that be possible with a 10 inch smaller subwoofeR?

    my monolith is never about 50% but i do understand its incredibly huge.

    thats one thing I'd love from this setup... that subwoofer rumble... but space is an issue so I'm not sure if its physically possible.
     
  7. Thatsnotmynaim

    Thatsnotmynaim
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    I guess if the room is smaller then you can maybe get away with a smaller sub. Having a sub of a certain size isn't going to guarantee bass, can you stretch to set of good active 2.0 speakers and then buy a separate quality sub, maybe a smaller BK 200 or something? If bass is a priority choose the best sub that fits your space and budget first then match with some 2.0 actives, may be better than a budget 2.1 all rounder active setup.
     
  8. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    that was my line of thought.

    when i built my home theatre setup, i did without a subwoofer for a while and just used the 5 speakers so i could do it either way round.

    i just wanted to make sure that going down the wired route was.. well worth it... over pc speakers.


    can u reccomend me any good book shelf speakers? looks are quite important. i'd like something classy which i feel the edifiers actually do nail. also would the SMSL AD18 be fit for purpose as the amp?

    im still in two minds.. part of me just wants to be done with it and get the edifer but im not sure how good the subwoofers performance is..
     
  9. Rambles

    Rambles
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    I use the Marantz with some very old Kef Q35 floor standers, that are behind the desk on small stands, so behind the main listening position but projecting out into the rest of the room, no sub, sounds good as a 2.0 set-up. I don't use the HDMI audio out, I go through a separate USB DAC that I have had for a while. If you have a dedicated room just for the PC then this may be overkill.

    My desk is in the corner of a large open plan kitchen / diner, and as well as dual PC monitors it also feeds a TV and the in built internet radio on the amp gets used a lot. There is a myriad of connection opportunities, you don't have to put the PC video through it. It also means that the amp can be used for TV and radio without needing the PC to be on.

    Might not be what you are looking for, what is the room like that the PC is in?
     
  10. Thatsnotmynaim

    Thatsnotmynaim
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    The Edifiers are active aren’t they? If so active speakers don’t need an amp as it’s built in to the speakers.
    Looks are so personal, if you’d ask me to recommend on looks the Edifiers would not be on my list! :)
    In my mind you want seriously good quality bass and I don’t think the Edifiers sub would give you this if you’re used to a monolith!
    If you were budgeting for an amp and an active set of speakers means you don’t need to spend that would that give you more to spend on the sub? Not what what your total budget is?
     
  11. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    Yeah.. I am used to a monolith plus which is the issue. I expect that kind of subwoofer performance which I know is quite unreasonable.

    I'd say my budget can be £200-300

    I don't want this to get too expensive because I have my AKG 712s which should be my main daily drivers.

    I was considering just now mission XLs + a SMSL AD18.. but can an SMSL ad18 drive them?

    im used to looking at my big denon receiver get very hot so it confuses me how such a small tiny amp can do anything to these huge speakers...
     
  12. Thatsnotmynaim

    Thatsnotmynaim
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    Not sure where you've seen that amp, but I've never seen it before and looking at it, it just seems like a cheap chinese amp. I'm sure that and the Mission won't be best bang for buck for you and as it has no sub, you'll not get anything like the bass you're used to. I'd suggest if your bidget is £250-300 and you like the look of the Edifier then it may be perfect for your budget. Failing that, given your budget and only a need for one input for the PC, I'd be looking round at Active speakers, either 2.1 setup or a 2.0 setup you can later add a BK or other sub to..
     
  13. dollag

    dollag
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    Peronally, I'd just get a set of active monitors. it's a shame your d30 doesnt have 2 outputs but you could get some rca splitters and send the signal to both. from my experience, there shouldn't be any sq issues

    Alternatively, just get a topping d10 as fairly cheap and again use to power some actives.

    2.0 vs 2.1 depends on what speakers you get and what kind of frequency you want.

    I am currently using a pair of kef wireless eggs along with a bk gemini sub. even though i have a fantastic headphone set up, sometimes i prefer listening to these. they have their own dac and are active so do not interfere at all with my dac/amp for my cans. they also have a sub out
     
  14. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Have you the room for this sort of arrangement, it gives you a lot more options of equipment if you don't have to squeeze it all on the desk:

    20190706_172337.jpg
     
  15. dollag

    dollag
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    that's a very nice desk set up @Rambles
     
  16. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    Sadly not... i have about 30cm each side of the montitor and thats it.. the thing is huge.
     
  17. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    Will post a better pic later but this gives an idea on space constraints. I wouldn’t even mind something mounted on the ceiling if that’s better ?

    Looking at it, I think active speakers might be the smarter bet lol.
     

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  18. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Yes, see what you mean. Could the speakers go elsewhere in the room? Looks like a bedroom, do you already have an audio system in there?
     
  19. dollag

    dollag
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    I have a 35 inch monitor and I haven’t got a lot of space either on each side, this is how I have mine set up

    E448244C-F9CD-4D47-B0C9-33C10876221C.jpeg

    I have a sub underneath for 2.1 config.

    As they have everything built in, it’s just a single usb lead to the pc and your good to go.

    95C8D77D-FF24-454D-B02A-A89FFEAD7CE1.jpeg
     
  20. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    yup im gonna do the same.. PC monitors it is! tried to resist them but active speakers are right for these behemoth of monitors.

    its so weird. these monitors just dont look big in photos... but in real life they are massive
     
  21. dollag

    dollag
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    yea 21:9 screens look small i have no idea why??

    tbh i personally think active is the way to go regardless.
     
  22. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    yup im going active. 21:9 screens area amazing but just not photogenic.
     

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