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powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

My ProMedia 5.1's died when a mosfet in the amplifier blew--apparently it happened to a significant chunk of the 5.1 systems and, once it happened, would keep happening no matter how many times you sent it Klipsch for the $80 repair. A lot of little repair services cropped turned up when I was researching my issues with it back then too.

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peskyplumber
Dec 14, 2011


ShamrockShake posted:

I dont own them, but I've spent the last hour reading up on them in advance of buying the set. What I've found is an awful lot of complaints about build quality. I'd imagine Klipsch has farmed out the partial manufactuer or assembly to a 3rd party and they are cutting every corner possible. When I see ebay repair services for very specific issues with the Promedia 2.1's, such as this:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/REPAIR-ONLY-...=item19cb14b66f

I usually presume that to be the kiss of death for a product, like a dell inspiron laptop whose power connector breaks off inside the laptop, every time. So my non-owner very inexpert opinion is that your control pod is in the early stages of breaking, but there is hope for you when it breaks all the way. I'm sorrry to tell you this, I was really hoping to buy these, my current PC speakers are a $10 pair of absolute poo poo Altec Lansing VS-2120's so I have nothing to gloat about.

I've been looking for some new speakers too, and this thread has been pretty helpful, but the talk about problems with popular speakers is kinda steering me away from getting anything $100 and up. Hopefully these kind of things are just flukes but I'm thinking it might be better to go with cheaper speakers if these issues are so abundant.

japtor
Oct 28, 2005
WELL ARNT I JUST MR. LA DE FUCKEN DA. oh yea and i suck cocks too


I had my little JVC system* amp blow up a while back and have been living with just the satellites and a cheap rear end amp (which doesn't sound that great as you can imagine), so I've been thinking about upgrading as well, or at least getting the sub going.

I waffled on the options a bit cause the total parts needed were more than I wanted to spend, or parts in my range seemed iffy going by reviews. I ended up getting some ~$100 Bose speakers for Christmas with a gift return receipt and decided gently caress it, I'll splurge a bit for the A2s. What pushed me over the edge was that they have a refurb section where they're $159 and fully covered by their three year warranty. The 10% coupon code didn't appear to have any effect on it (but did on the stands I got), but that's still $20 less than if you bought new with the coupon.

...they're still a few days away from getting here so I can't offer any opinions on them yet, but just wanted to mention the refurb section to save a chunk more if anyone was interested in them but put off by the price. Going by the reviews they seemed like a good fit for me since I rarely listen at high volumes and needed something relatively small to fit on my desk, which limited my options quite a bit. Well there's some compact Bowers and Wilkins USB powered ones that supposedly have really nice sound, but they're $500

*Retail on it is expensive but I got it for pretty cheap when it was being cleared out a few years back. I haven't been able to find the amp unit separately, and I think the replacement cost from JVC is about as much as what I paid for the whole thing originally. I opened it up and saw some blown caps inside so I might figure out how to fix that on my own down the line.

japtor fucked around with this message at 06:11 on Jan 14, 2012

ShamrockShake
Sep 7, 2011

by Y Kant Ozma Post


A2's seem like the best choice if you arent a bass freak that can't do without a giant sub. I looked at the M5's as well, but cant stand the look of the offset tweeters and the blue/grey moulding around the speakers. Also, since I'm not in the USA, I have no way to get the 3 year warranty, and I wouldnt buy powered speakers without that additional 2 years you lose by buying at retail, rather than direct from AE.

I think for my purposes where space and cost arent a huge issue I'm best off with an AV receiver and a pair of passive towers. Farewell PC speaker thread.

hampig
Feb 11, 2004
...curioser and curioser...

leica posted:

No. Just get a DAC and some powered monitors/speakers.

Anyone have any advice on a good DAC that won't break the bank? Preferably one with a headphone out if I'm gonna be forking out for an external DAC anyway.

It'd be going with some powered speakers for my computer/bedroom, and I'm willing to spend a bit on the speakers since I'll have them for a long time. I've read good things about Aktimate Minis and various Swan powered speakers, anyone had experience with them?

Laserface
Dec 24, 2004

Sipping harsh elixir,
the ice above us melting fast


reading about all these issues with the Klipsch ProMedias kinda sucks. I have the ProMedia GMX 2.1s and the only problem is that they hiss even when the volume knob is clicked to off.

I like the vanilla ProMedias because they look a little less alien but they seem to be poorly built. These are definitely the best sound PC speakers Ive had, compared to my previous sets of generic chinese trapezium shaped speakers, logitech A530s, Z5500s and Z1s.

sellouts
Apr 23, 2003



hampig posted:

Anyone have any advice on a good DAC that won't break the bank? Preferably one with a headphone out if I'm gonna be forking out for an external DAC anyway.

It'd be going with some powered speakers for my computer/bedroom, and I'm willing to spend a bit on the speakers since I'll have them for a long time. I've read good things about Aktimate Minis and various Swan powered speakers, anyone had experience with them?

I got the Emotiva DAC for my computer set up and it's been great. Plenty of hookups for an ipod dock, my windows PC and my Mac Mini.

Interlude
Jan 24, 2001

Guns are basically hand fedoras.


I use the HRT Music Streamer II, paired with Dynaudio BM5A MKII monitors. No headphone jack though.

ohkuipo
Nov 5, 2011


hampig posted:

Anyone have any advice on a good DAC that won't break the bank? Preferably one with a headphone out if I'm gonna be forking out for an external DAC anyway.

It'd be going with some powered speakers for my computer/bedroom, and I'm willing to spend a bit on the speakers since I'll have them for a long time. I've read good things about Aktimate Minis and various Swan powered speakers, anyone had experience with them?

As I understand it, the Zero DAC is pretty high up there for price/performance.

jdi448hsnvb
Dec 6, 2006

asfd

hampig posted:

Anyone have any advice on a good DAC that won't break the bank? Preferably one with a headphone out if I'm gonna be forking out for an external DAC anyway.

It'd be going with some powered speakers for my computer/bedroom, and I'm willing to spend a bit on the speakers since I'll have them for a long time. I've read good things about Aktimate Minis and various Swan powered speakers, anyone had experience with them?

The Swan m200mkii's are unbelievable. I don't have any experience with speakers, but I can't imagine it getting much better at this size. I always prefer them to my ATH-M50 and RE-Zero headphones. Plus, they're gorgeous.

powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

I'm among a minority who don't care for the Swan M200s. I had some at work for a while and, while I never had a chance to compare the two directly, I much prefer my Audioengine A2s. The A2s impressed me right out of the box while the M200's were always pretty meh.

In my setup, the M200's were lean enough on bass that I generally preferred headphones for music listening. The A2's sound fuller and have much more satisfying bass despite the 2.75" woofer. I do think that the A2's are probably voiced to have a hump in the low frequency response to make them sound bigger, so that may be a disadvantage for some people.

For $400 I'd go for the Audioengine A5's. That said, I'm clearly an Audioengine fanboy.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

I bought a set of Audioengine 2's for my little hobby table setup.



They are absolutely brilliant, now I just need to find a better source than my cheapo DAB/DLNA radio.

I also got a ~$55 discount because they had been unpacked and photographed, the cables weren't even unwrapped. Score!

averox
Feb 28, 2005




Fun Shoe

Thanks to this thread I picked up some A2s. Just a little something to get some good sound without having to deal with a subwoofer. Getting a little sick of having to use my headphones all the time when I just want to listen to something softly.

hellfaucet
Apr 7, 2009



Hey I was hoping some of the Audioengine A2 owners could post some feedback about them after extended use. I'm really looking to get rid of my junky Creative 5.1 system and reduce the amount of clutter on my desktop, but hesitant pulling the plug on a $200 set of 2 unless they really are that stellar. These will be my primary computer speakers, I'll be using these really just for music and games. Main questions I have:

1) Have you had any issues with the tweeter or woofers blowing? If so, did you have an OK experience with Audioengine's customer service?
2) Did any of you get stands to go with them? Read reviews stating that they sound better if not directly placed on your desk.
3) How loud are these little guys? Can they pack enough of a punch to play in one room and listen in another?

powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

First up, I'd say the same thing I said to someone earlier: they feel like $200 speakers. They're made of inch thick MDF, have a fantastic satin finish, and I do think that most people would be wowed by the sound they put out--as long as you're not expecting those little 2.75 inch drivers to defy physics. It won't have the same chest thumpiness as your 5.1 system but, to my ears, it's a much more pleasing sound all around and the bass is shaped in such a way that the music still has impact.

I have quite a few other speakers, including some DIY stuff with pricey components, and I find the A2's to be very satisfying for the money.

What kind of music do you listen to?

For your specific questions:

1) Three years after purchasing I'm having an issue with one speaker. Doesn't sound like the woofer is blown so much as maybe a connection is loose, or there's an issue in the amp. It still sounds fine most of the time but I'm going to send it in to get fixed. It's out of the two year warranty so I have to pay a $60 flat fee that covers fixing anything that's wrong (or a whole new set if they can't repair) along with return shipping. This seems pretty standard for audio gear repair out of warranty. Haven't actually sent them in yet so I'll have to report back afterwards. I'm not rough on them, but while I had them at work my coworkers moved them around quite a bit and they are not gentle with equipment.

2) I didn't buy stands, I just put them on some stacks of books. I would HIGHLY recommend getting them off the surface of your desk as they can get boomy otherwise (this is true of most any speaker though).

3) I think they're pretty loud. I use them in my one bedroom apartment when I'm cleaning or doing whatever and can hear them fine from other rooms. We used them in my office for a while and they sounded pretty good in a relatively large space.

hellfaucet
Apr 7, 2009



powderific posted:

First up, I'd say the same thing I said to someone earlier: they feel like $200 speakers. They're made of inch thick MDF, have a fantastic satin finish, and I do think that most people would be wowed by the sound they put out--as long as you're not expecting those little 2.75 inch drivers to defy physics. It won't have the same chest thumpiness as your 5.1 system but, to my ears, it's a much more pleasing sound all around and the bass is shaped in such a way that the music still has impact.

I have quite a few other speakers, including some DIY stuff with pricey components, and I find the A2's to be very satisfying for the money.

What kind of music do you listen to?

For your specific questions:

1) Three years after purchasing I'm having an issue with one speaker. Doesn't sound like the woofer is blown so much as maybe a connection is loose, or there's an issue in the amp. It still sounds fine most of the time but I'm going to send it in to get fixed. It's out of the two year warranty so I have to pay a $60 flat fee that covers fixing anything that's wrong (or a whole new set if they can't repair) along with return shipping. This seems pretty standard for audio gear repair out of warranty. Haven't actually sent them in yet so I'll have to report back afterwards. I'm not rough on them, but while I had them at work my coworkers moved them around quite a bit and they are not gentle with equipment.

2) I didn't buy stands, I just put them on some stacks of books. I would HIGHLY recommend getting them off the surface of your desk as they can get boomy otherwise (this is true of most any speaker though).

3) I think they're pretty loud. I use them in my one bedroom apartment when I'm cleaning or doing whatever and can hear them fine from other rooms. We used them in my office for a while and they sounded pretty good in a relatively large space.
This is awesome info, thanks for taking the time to get back to me. It's funny you mentioned these possibly not having the "chest thumpiness" of a 5.1 system as I feel that's all my 5.1 system has going for it.

I work at a company that deals with professional audio equipment and *could* get some crazy speakers if I really wanted to make a banging setup, but I'm not picky enough to shell out over $500 for a system like that. I'm really looking for a clean set of bookshelf speakers that deliver a pretty neutral sound but also isn't so neutral that I'd want to mix tracks on them. If that makes sense... I can get a deal on M-Audio speakers similar to these, but have had terrible experiences with Avid (owns M-Audio) and their customer service department and would pay a higher price to avoid bullshit.

I listen to all sorts of music, so it's not like I'm looking for something that's going to rattle my monitor off the desk. I own a pretty small home, so your analogy of your one-bedroom apartment and doing work in other rooms and still hearing the music is actually exactly what I meant with my last question.

powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

I don't much care for M-Audio's stuff as it feels kindof cheap to me (at least anything in the same price bracket--I have no experience with their higher end stuff.) They're definitely "music" speakers rather than studio monitors. That said, I'd bet they sound much more neutral and balanced than the 5.1 system.

If you buy direct from Audioengine you have 30 days to return if you don't like the sound. Also: they almost always have a 15% off coupon available if you poke around.

japtor
Oct 28, 2005
WELL ARNT I JUST MR. LA DE FUCKEN DA. oh yea and i suck cocks too


hellfaucet posted:

Hey I was hoping some of the Audioengine A2 owners could post some feedback about them after extended use. I'm really looking to get rid of my junky Creative 5.1 system and reduce the amount of clutter on my desktop, but hesitant pulling the plug on a $200 set of 2 unless they really are that stellar. These will be my primary computer speakers, I'll be using these really just for music and games. Main questions I have:

1) Have you had any issues with the tweeter or woofers blowing? If so, did you have an OK experience with Audioengine's customer service?
2) Did any of you get stands to go with them? Read reviews stating that they sound better if not directly placed on your desk.
3) How loud are these little guys? Can they pack enough of a punch to play in one room and listen in another?
I posted earlier about it, note that you can get them for $160 from them in the refurb section on their store, and you still get the normal three year warranty with that. The only issue I've had with them...is little cosmetic marks on the side of one speaker and top of the other, guess that's what I get for saving $40 . It bothered me at first but ultimately they're tiny and I can't see them from my normal use viewing angle. I did find some coupon code (easy to find as mentioned) but I guess they don't stack onto refurb items.

I did get the stands though (so saved a bit on those), not so much for the sound as potential desk vibration I've heard about. Where they are on my desk they're right next to some external hard drives, so I was slightly paranoid about vibration + spinning platters, plus I had some Christmas credit so I splurged a bit. Ultimately it doesn't seem all that necessary except at higher volumes, but as mentioned you could just rig up something else as a stand. You should just buy the speakers, test them out, then figure out if you want/need stands from there.

And I'd consider them loud. I have the volume knob set to around half and rarely max out the sound on my computer (using a USB->line out connection) when listening to them. I'm usually at less than half (on the computer) when sitting in front of my desk while full is on the verge of uncomfortably loud for me but works for longer distance listening. It seems like it would be fine for what you're describing.

Also when comparing to other speakers just note the size if space is a concern, in my case I have a somewhat cramped desk. Good 2.0 stuff is pretty common, but tiny good 2.0 speakers seemed pretty rare when I was searching around.

japtor fucked around with this message at 23:57 on Feb 20, 2012

Jigoku San
Feb 2, 2003



hellfaucet posted:

Hey I was hoping some of the Audioengine A2 owners could post some feedback about them after extended use. I'm really looking to get rid of my junky Creative 5.1 system and reduce the amount of clutter on my desktop, but hesitant pulling the plug on a $200 set of 2 unless they really are that stellar. These will be my primary computer speakers, I'll be using these really just for music and games. Main questions I have:

1) Have you had any issues with the tweeter or woofers blowing? If so, did you have an OK experience with Audioengine's customer service?
2) Did any of you get stands to go with them? Read reviews stating that they sound better if not directly placed on your desk.
3) How loud are these little guys? Can they pack enough of a punch to play in one room and listen in another?

I've had mine for 2+ years now, Use them for everything; music, games and video. I've also connected them to a TV for movie watching a couple times.

1. No problems, I don't listen to anything too loud, the A2's vol is usually left at 50%.
2. I don't think they even had stands when I bought mine. My desk does start to vibrate if I turn it up so I was thinking of making something for them, but .
3. I can get them loud enough to hear though my entire (small) house, its old so the walls are thin though.

Overall they where a good purchase, my previous Logitech 5.1 set was terrible and I just don't seem to like headphones/buds. Plus my desk is small.

hellfaucet
Apr 7, 2009



Thanks so much for all the valuable input. I'm probably going to pull the plug on a refurbished pair direct from Audioengine tonight, sweet tip btw. I'll definitely report back my experience with them after I use them some. Is there any worth to using my old sub with these?

e: Scratch that, this sub has only proprietary connectors on the back.

hellfaucet fucked around with this message at 00:24 on Feb 22, 2012

Jimmy Jazz
Dec 25, 2006
Police walked in for me; I wasn't there, 'cause I sure went fast!

Gonna hijack this thread a bit, I'm looking for some 2.1 speakers in the $100-$125 (CAD) range. Right now I'm looking at Logitech Z623s ($99), Edifier S330D ($109) and Antec Rockus Soundscience 3D ($119). I'll be using them for music and gaming mostly and I'm not too much of a basshead. Anyone have any recommendations?

japtor
Oct 28, 2005
WELL ARNT I JUST MR. LA DE FUCKEN DA. oh yea and i suck cocks too


Jimmy Jazz posted:

I'm not too much of a basshead.
No clue what's available in that range, but maybe check out 2.0 speakers as well. There might be some in that range that put out enough bass for your tastes.

InstantInfidel
Jan 8, 2010

BEST I EVER SPENT

http://www.amazon.com/Altec-Lansing...31087454&sr=1-1

My dad had bought a set of those about 6 months ago, and he really liked them. I went over, listened to him play some Beatles on them, and bought them on a whim.

They are the best speakers I've ever owned at that price point. They sound great, and the bass that little sub puts out is amazing. Seriously, at $40, you are going to be hard-pressed to find something better or even comparable.

Vidaeus
Jan 27, 2007

Cats are gonna cat.


I posted this in the PC parts picking thread in SH/SC but someone suggested I might get better responses in here. From a glance at the thread so far, looks as though Audioengine A2's may be the go for me? Or is there a better pair of passives I can get for my price range since I already have an amp I can use? Copy & paste below:

I'm not sure if this is the right thread for this, but I am after a pair of bookshelf style speakers for my PC. In the past, I was using crappy Logitech 5.1 type surround speakers, but lately I have been using headphones instead. I bought a pair of Audio Technica ATH-AD400s powered through a little USB amp (can't remember exactly what it is but I want to say it's a ÁDac?).

After using decent headphones, it sounds so crappy going back to the Logitechs when I want to use speakers. Anyway, I have a Yamaha amp sitting around (can't remember the model, but paid around $400 for it about 4 years ago for my home theatre and have since upgraded) I can use to power passive speakers if they're better within my price range. This is for music (mainly metal) and games and I'm looking for quality over power output/volume. I want to spend around $200, but don't mind spending an extra $50 or even $100 if it's a huge step up in quality.

Ninja edit: Should mention I am in Australia if that makes a difference.

powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

While I adore the a2's, you are paying for the amplifiers. You could check out their passive speakers, the p4's. The extra size will help them reach bit lower. I'm not very up on cheapish bookshelf speakers or passive monitors as I've been more into DIY lately, but there are bound to be some decent options there as well.

MMD3
May 16, 2006

Montmartre -> Portland

Do any of you guys with passive speakers run tripath amps? I'm looking at this Dayton DTA-100a to power some speakers in my bedroom and just thought I should get some opinions.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/sho...tnumber=300-383

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Vidaeus posted:

Or is there a better pair of passives I can get for my price range since I already have an amp I can use?

This is for music (mainly metal) and games and I'm looking for quality over power output/volume. I want to spend around $200, but don't mind spending an extra $50 or even $100 if it's a huge step up in quality.

Ninja edit: Should mention I am in Australia if that makes a difference.

Since you're in Australia, you may want to go the DIY route. Dan (of Dan's Data fame) has raved about The Loudspeaker Kit's offerings on several occasions:

http://www.theloudspeakerkit.com/ca...Y-Speaker-Kits/

You may also want to scour yard sales and flea markets etc. for older used speakers. Brands like Tannoy and B&W are highly regarded.

Hob_Gadling
Jul 6, 2007

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Grimey Drawer

MMD3 posted:

Do any of you guys with passive speakers run tripath amps?

As long as you have sensitive speakers and don't expect high volumes you're fine. What speakers do you have? Do you know their tech specs?

Although the main advantage of tripath amps is that they're cheap. Either consider getting a Lepai or take a look at Sherwood 4105/4109 amps. Is there a particular reason for this Dayton model?


Vidaeus posted:

I'm not sure if this is the right thread for this, but I am after a pair of bookshelf style speakers for my PC.

Since you have an amp already passives (should) offer you way more bang for the buck. Good pair of used speakers should work nicely.

Hob_Gadling fucked around with this message at 01:44 on Mar 23, 2012

MMD3
May 16, 2006

Montmartre -> Portland

Hob_Gadling posted:

As long as you have sensitive speakers and don't expect high volumes you're fine. What speakers do you have? Do you know their tech specs?

Although the main advantage of tripath amps is that they're cheap. Either consider getting a Lepai or take a look at Sherwood 4105/4109 amps. Is there a particular reason for this Dayton model?


Since you have an amp already passives (should) offer you way more bang for the buck. Good pair of used speakers should work nicely.

This is probably the wrong thread for this but since I started it I don't feel too bad about a mini-hijack.

no particular model, and it'd likely be a variety of speakers. the house I moved into has speakers wired up in almost every room of the house, living room, dining room, and kitchen have 2 speakers each all coming out of a panel in the living room where my entertainment center is. Upstairs has speakers in the master bedroom and the bathroom. The speakers I own which are in the living room in a 2.1 configuration are Aperion Intimus 5B's but they're powered by my Pioneer VSX-1020-K. The configuration of the speakers in the living room makes them worthless for using in any kind of surround sound setup but I was going to see if I could set the LR/DR/Kitchen speakers up as a 2nd zone for general music listening when we have people over... just not sure if it's possible to do 6 channel audio on the 2nd zone guessing not.

So my plan was to use the tripath in the upstairs for listening to music in the bedroom. The speakers are some old philips magnavox bookshelves and they're probably crappy but I don't need anything very loud, just thought it'd be nice to listen to spotify and books on tape and such in the bedroom on occasion.

I didn't have any particular reason for picking the dayton other than dayton stuff comes pretty well recommended and is really reasonably priced. Also the DTA-100A looks a lot better than the DTA-10. I thought maybe at some point if I ever move up to floorstanding speakers in my home theater I could use it to power my Aperion 5B's.

let me know if I'm heading down the right path or sound like an idiot.

this is what the philips' in the bedroom look like.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Hob_Gadling
Jul 6, 2007

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Grimey Drawer

MMD3 posted:

So my plan was to use the tripath in the upstairs for listening to music in the bedroom.

I couldn't locate any specs for those. Unless you happen to have them at hand, I'd seriously consider getting the cheaper Sherwood 4105 or slightly more expensive 4109 (if you think you'll need phono stage). It's got a remote which would be big for me. Also several inputs, which is always nice.

http://www.amazon.com/Sherwood-RX-4...32466973&sr=1-1

Alternatively, if you know you'll only listen at quiet volumes, know the Magnavoxes are pretty sensitive 8 ohm speakers and/or are willing to take a risk:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/sho...tnumber=310-300

You'll get only a couple watts of clean power out of that thing, but it's enough for some quiet listening. The specs list 10WPC @ 8 Ohm, 1% THD which is the limit you don't want to go above or the sound starts to significantly distort. Even at 10WPC it's not as nice as it could and should be.

The Dayton is undoubtedly a nice piece of equipment, but it falls into a tough spot. Too expensive for tripath, too modest features to compete with a real amp.

powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

Just thought I'd update on AudioEngine's support. After 3 years, my A2's developed some weird clipping on one channel. They were out of warranty but AudioEngine offers OOW service for a flat $60 bench fee. AudioEngine couldn't fix the problem so they sent me what appears to be a brand new set. Pretty darn pleased with that.

Sylvyfish
Feb 16, 2012

We can't get hung up on real world morality.


I know no one asked about them specifically, but I just picked up a set of Harman/Kardon Soundsticks III. They're...adequate. I'm stepping down from a set of Razer Makos that I really liked but they were dying on me. For the price of the Soundsticks (~100-130 depending on model number but apparently they all sound the same) it's kinda hard to complain, but there's a slight muddiness in the midrange I can't seem to shake. Playing around with the bass volume helps, but I can't get the same clarity I used to have on my Makos. They don't distort though, and the bass is pretty impressive for the size.

If you're in the market for a 2.1 and don't want to break the bank I wouldn't overlook them.

zer0spunk
Nov 6, 2000

devil never even lived


This thread sold me on A2's.

Now I just need to figure out a good soundcard solution to drive these.

I'd like to run these on the desktop and then also a second connection to a receiver/2.1 setup for a tv. Am I better off letting HDMI carry the audio channel from the GPU to the receiver?

ShamrockShake
Sep 7, 2011

by Y Kant Ozma Post


zer0spunk posted:

This thread sold me on A2's.

Now I just need to figure out a good soundcard solution to drive these.

I'd like to run these on the desktop and then also a second connection to a receiver/2.1 setup for a tv. Am I better off letting HDMI carry the audio channel from the GPU to the receiver?

Alright, I might be a crazy person or an idiot, but Im having trouble figuring out what you are going for and whether or not its feasible.

The are powered speakers, you dont need anything to "drive" them as they will handle their own amplification, your motherboards's sound chip will do fine with just a line-level output.

As to your second question, are you sure that plugging powered speakers into a high wattage receiver is a smart idea? If you do, perhaps use unamplified pre-outs (if you have them) to connect the receiver to the A2's.

And yes, if you have a good receiver, I'd think that letting its DAC's do the heavy lifting would be best, so go ahead and use the HDMI output from PC to receiver.

zer0spunk
Nov 6, 2000

devil never even lived


ShamrockShake posted:

Alright, I might be a crazy person or an idiot, but Im having trouble figuring out what you are going for and whether or not its feasible.

The are powered speakers, you dont need anything to "drive" them as they will handle their own amplification, your motherboards's sound chip will do fine with just a line-level output.

As to your second question, are you sure that plugging powered speakers into a high wattage receiver is a smart idea? If you do, perhaps use unamplified pre-outs (if you have them) to connect the receiver to the A2's.

And yes, if you have a good receiver, I'd think that letting its DAC's do the heavy lifting would be best, so go ahead and use the HDMI output from PC to receiver.

I think I confused you..

first off, maybe I shouldn't have used "drive" in the context of the active a2's..

Basically, the HTPC is the source for everything. It's running to a desktop monitor and the a2's, and then from there it'd also be running to an HDTV as a second monitor and receiver/3.0 setup with that TV..All in one room..So i'm wondering,

a) i'd like to get something that is a little better then the onboard dac on the PC, so is there a soundcard that I should be looking at?

b) is this feasible? i realize that the system will see 5 speakers total, but i have no idea if it's possible to assign them to displays i.e. anything playing on display two uses only speakers ABC as LF RF and C...I'm ok with only using one source at a time if that's a compromise needed...

edit: It seems like the best I can do for this setup is make the a2s the system default as output #1, then configure just XBMC/MCE to use only output #2 (the tv's 3.1)...so that just leaves the question of which sound card will be the best for this and what's the best way of connecting (analog vs digital output)

zer0spunk fucked around with this message at 01:10 on Apr 10, 2012

Jigoku San
Feb 2, 2003



zer0spunk posted:

I think I confused you..

first off, maybe I shouldn't have used "drive" in the context of the active a2's..

Basically, the HTPC is the source for everything. It's running to a desktop monitor and the a2's, and then from there it'd also be running to an HDTV as a second monitor and receiver/3.0 setup with that TV..All in one room..So i'm wondering,

a) i'd like to get something that is a little better then the onboard dac on the PC, so is there a soundcard that I should be looking at?

b) is this feasible? i realize that the system will see 5 speakers total, but i have no idea if it's possible to assign them to displays i.e. anything playing on display two uses only speakers ABC as LF RF and C...I'm ok with only using one source at a time if that's a compromise needed...

edit: It seems like the best I can do for this setup is make the a2s the system default as output #1, then configure just XBMC/MCE to use only output #2 (the tv's 3.1)...so that just leaves the question of which sound card will be the best for this and what's the best way of connecting (analog vs digital output)

Soundcards are pointless unless you are doing audio work. A dedicated card might be better shielded against feedback, but it might not, most built-in solutions are good these days. If you're using digital its all pass-through to the receiver and unused anyway. Asus has the Xonar line of cards, I heard there are good but no idea on specific models.

Go digital if you can, HDMI or SPDIF.

You could use the receiver for output switching, run everything off the HTPC's HDMI connection and switch between the A2s and the 3.0.

zer0spunk
Nov 6, 2000

devil never even lived


Jigoku San posted:


You could use the receiver for output switching, run everything off the HTPC's HDMI connection and switch between the A2s and the 3.0.

Interesting. I think because of the setup though it might make more sense to control outputs via software. If the htpc were closer to the receiver I'd do it the way you're suggesting since I'd only be running cable one way back to the a2s, or using the AG wireless thingy and going that route...

However, the a2s are close to the HTPC, and the 3.0 system is close to the receiver, with an HDMI run to the receiver being really easy..(also, the TV using the 3.0 system will only ever run 2 programs, both of which will allow me to assign which output they use by default, so I'd never have to actively switch anything)

I think what I need is something like the Xonar where the card is the DAC that outputs to the a2, then HDMI out from the GPU carry the digital audio to the receiver where that would be the DAC for the 3.0 system. It seems like not needing 7.1 or other features means the price range for what I need is around 50 or under, so it's not a big deal to upgrade even if I'm not really doing anything mission critical..I figure if I've already spent enough on decent speakers why not do a simple cheap upgrade..

So the question is still which sound card would be the smartest move? I'm looking for a clean output to the a2s since their active and I don't need to amp amped speakers..A headphone amp and front/rear retasking are super optional for me since I don't own any decent headphones and don't consider them a must buy anytime soon.

There's about a million options in the xfi/xonar stuff that is in that range..what should I be looking for?

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

Nap Ghost

The DACs on all of them are the same last I read, and given they won't really be outputting active signals basically anything on the market should do, although a good quality board should avoid crosstalk in the analog outputs which is made harder with more components on the PCB (one potential bad side of onboard audio that's bit me on occasion even in the past few years). You're talking $200 speakers for enjoyment here, not studio monitors (in which case you should be the one giving ME advice if you're so pro to need that).

powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

I don't know what the story is for desktop cards but I much prefer an external DAC to the headphone output on my laptops--mostly because the headphone outputs all seem to have a low level hiss that gets really annoying over time. I have a nuforce uDac at home and an Echo Audiofire 4 at work, both of which are much better than the internal output. The nuforce isn't even supposed to be a particularly good DAC. No hiss though, which is what I mainly care about.

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H13
Nov 30, 2005



Fun Shoe

Well like a lot of people, I've gone from using my stereo for audio, to generally listening\watching things on my PC.

So I figured I'd spend money on some good speakers for my PC so listening to music\watching stuff is now awesome and not muffly shite.

Today I went and checked out a set of Audioengine A5+s and I was pretty underwhelmed. I'm a BIT of an audio snob, but I'm not tragic. I wanted something that sounded as good as my stereo, but these things...well...didn't. This was with the subwoofer. It was muffled, indistinct and boomy. Sure, they were a fair bit better than my dodgy Logitechs, but pretty drat average overall. Especially considering the A5+s and the Subwoofer was going to set me back 700 bucks.

So I'm thinking I might need something better than PC speakers to make me happy. What's the easiest way of connecting a PC to regular stereo speakers? I dont really want to go the monitor route as these are a bit more general-purpose rather than for music only.

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