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Computer rig

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
As much as I enjoying listening to my senn 580s (w/ D500 and xcanv2 ) in a quiet little corner, I'm in front of my computer quite often. After shelling out a grand for my new Gigahertz setup, I'm in line to upgrade my SBLive! MP3+ and Cambridge Soundworks speakers from my old setup. I was thinking more consumer level type equipment this time. As of right now, I'll prolly go with the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and Klipsch 2.1.

I know already it won't be audiophile heaven. All the outside noise from the cpu fan, 2 case fans, CD-rom make things sound not so uber. I'm sure internal distoration and other factors will degrade the sound further. To make things worse, I'll prolly be listening to mp3s too.

I will NOT be buying an amp. I was just wondering if anyone has come across better multimedia speakers that the Klipsch 2.1s....

And as for soundcards... any suggestions? Audiophile stuff would be nice, but I will be content with the upper eschelon of consumer level type stuff.

Thankya.
post #2 of 28
Pat,

Hopefully ian has some info for you in this regard. I know in chatting with him via ICQ that he's used many different computer speakers.
post #3 of 28
you could go all out and use an inegrated amp with some nicer speakers. both Ian and I agree that the Altec-Lansing ATP3 speakers are some of the best music speakers there are though, for $100 (their list price) or for much higher prices. But using a good integrated amp would give you better electeronics I think. I don't know how much you plan to spend, but for about $600 you could get a NAD C340 and some Axiom M3Ti bookshelf speakers ($330 for the NAD and $230 for the Axioms). Should be a great little system, even when hooked up to a computer. Might be too big though (the axioms are bookshel speakers and not that big, but maybe too big). If you like this idea I can hook you up with some information about those components...
post #4 of 28
Well the ultimate in computer speakers right now no doubt is the Videologic Sirocco Pros, weighing in at a wonderful $800 or so for a 3 piece stereo system. The setup is quite serious, it comes with a seperate external amplifier that looks something like the Headroom Home in size and shape, and from what I know isn't even considered as computer speakers, although it is sold as one.

Then there's the discontinued Midiland S2-4100...you'll find me giving up every last one of my headphones before I give up my Midilands.
post #5 of 28
Hm, well, I've got the Altec Lansing ADA885 (THX ones that only come with dells) connected to the s/pdif output of my Audiophile 2496 sound card (look at this card by the way) in a 3 piece configuration (sounds much better in stereo than the 5 piece... prologic processing too)...

While it isn't bad, it isn't good either... it is decent...

But hey, I can't complain about these speakers since they were bought for the low low price of free

Oh yeah this is on a Mac...
post #6 of 28
I gotta agree w/ Vertigo, Videologic makes awesome computer speakers. At a slightly more reasonable price, the Sirocco Crossfire would also double as great gaming speakers; or maybe the Digitheatre DTS if you were going to watch DVDs.

As for soundcards... depends on if you like playing games w/ 3d sound. If yes, your best bet is probably the Hercules GameTheatre. If you really don't care, definitely get an Audiophile 2496, same cost as the Hercules, no 3d sound, but a better-sounding dac. Of course, ideally you would get both!
post #7 of 28
DO NOT BUY KLIPSCH 2.1's!
Sorry to be so bold
They are bad speakers. Extremely bass heavy, absolutely no imaging, very small soundstage, upper and lower freqency rolloff (majorly)...they just downright stink. For under $100 you can get the Altec Lansing ATP3's which absolutely SLAUGHTER the Klipsch's at music. Now, they have a fairly small sweet spot (you have to be sitting in front of them, fairly close), and you have to adjust the bass/treble a bit, but once you do you will be a very happy guy. For the price, I was absolutely shocked. Especially with the funky design they've got (downfiring 3" midranges? 2 1" Microdrivers? Well, it seems to work darn well). Very musical system.
I haven't heard Videologics - I've tried to get a review set, but they don't responsd to me.
I owned Midiland S2 4100's too. I wasn't much of an audiophile when I owned them, so I can't comment a ton about them. I think they seemed fairly heavy on the bass (or rather, it was the time when I didnt lower the bass setting :P). I remember that their hiss really annoying me. Anyhow, these will be hard to find now since they are long discontinued.
Feel free to email me any specific questions, but I'm leaving in 1 hour for vacation
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Wow... ATP3s eh? I can get those for $100 Canadian. That's crazy. Like $60 USD. I never even considered those puppies since they looked so stylish - logic dictates that's usually an indication of a tradeoff in sound quality . The 2.1s on the other hand would cost me $400 Canadian since there aren't exactly a lot of Klipsch dealers up here.
post #9 of 28
Anyone hear the Monsoon planar speakers? Ian (if you are still there which you probably are not), whats your take on them?

I listened to two of the lower models and wasn't impressed, but I don't think I listened to the higher model.

And yes I agree with ian, the Klipsch low end sound does have many problems. But you know what? They resemble Grados, heavy midbass (well at least on my SR80s). Didn't get too much time to listen to them though...
post #10 of 28
well for some reason the lower models of the monsoon line are supposed to be better than the higher models. SO maybe you didn't miss anything.
post #11 of 28
I have older Altec Lansing speakers (4 years now) with Dolby surround where they had all the drivers (main + center + surround) in two high tower-like units, plus the 8" subwoofer. They were the best computer speakers you could buy back then and I'm using them for both regular audio, DVD from TV and computer. Surround effect is not that impressive but stereo music is great. I wonder if modern higher-end Altec speakers are as good. I'd venture a guess that most of the (few) imperfections come from the built-in amplifier, not the box/driver design. I now have excellent headphones and amps but I still love to listen to them even though I am aware they're not perfect (noise floor is present which masks details) - but they're very neutral. If they were not that good I'd probably have a much more expensive setup now (and be fending off creditors).

This probably doesn't help someone buying a new pair though, sorry .
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm just out to get something decent. Something I can tolerate. Price is unfortunately an issue. So it looks as though the ATP3 is the way to go for me. I just called a friend who can get me a brown boxed OEM model for $85 Canadian - which is practically dirt cheap.

I'll have a review soon.
post #13 of 28
I have the Monsoon MH-500s, and they're pretty good. I think I only paid like $90 for these things, so the value is quite good, but they're not perfect by any means. The bass in particular leaves something to be desired (cannot go very deep), and the connections are sorta shoddy.
I've heard good things about the MM-700s which are one step above mine, so it's probably worth it to shell out a few more bucks.
post #14 of 28
I have the Monsoon 700s and they're not too bad. The sound stage that the speakers produce is pretty wide and is quite detailed. Although the bass on the unit is not as strong as my roommate's Altec Lansing ACS33, I feel its better sounds more natural that way. The only drawbacks I can think of are:

1. To fully enjoy these speakers, they must be placed in a certain position. Where as for most speakers, they sound fine if the speakers are placed at the far end of the desk; the Monsoon required them to be placed at an angle in front of you. Its quite troublesome if you do not have enough deskspace.

2. the input to the Monsoons is only a mini-plug. I guess that is okay if the speakers are only intended for computer use. Does anybody have any suggestion on how I may hook up the monsoons to a cd player (is there a y-cable, with two male rca on one end and a female miniplug at the other?).

But I don't think I should complain too much. I bought them for $100 with free s/h from buy.com. I've seen them for $100 at various websites (but I can recall them to memory). Just a couple of months ago, there was also a $50 rebate. At $150, think twice. At $100, its a good deal.

I hope this helps.
post #15 of 28
pat: You could try the JBL Control One Media. The active version of the Tannoy Reveal might be a good idea, too...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
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