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Audioengine A2 Setup

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm planning on getting my first speaker setup; Audioengine A2's for home use with my PC as a source. I was wondering if I should get the EMU 0404 PCI soundcard or since I have a Go-Vibe petite (headphone amp+usb dac) use this? Or any alternatives? I'm hoping I can the best bang for buck in terms of sound quality with the A2's. Will the Audioengine A2's even be compatible with the Go-Vibe petite?

Hope to hear your guys' input. Thanks a lot!
post #2 of 24
the A2 will sound fine straight out the PC. they're not the last word in hi-fi sound but make a most enjoyable sound. for the money you cannot go wrong. I'd say get the A stand if you can, otherwise use books or something to raise them on your desktop until they're at ear level. this way you hear the bass full impact - if properly placed they produce a sound that belies their size. fantastic little speakers

since you have the go-vibe try that first if it makes any difference. as for the soundcard I'd say hang on till you got funds for the Xonar Essence ST -- best bang for buck doesn't always work well in the end, imo.

The Xonar Essence will transform your PC into a high-end audio source for $200 (at least that's what January Stereophile says on their front page)

best of luck
post #3 of 24
I've had my A2s for about a year (on my desktop) and find them to be very good sounding speakers, belying their small stature. Excellent, in fact, is how I would describe their sound.

As Lenni has stated, they sound their best at ear level. To make that happen, what I did was purchase two clear plastic spaghetti holders from Wal-Mart (about a foot tall and 6 inches in diameter), filled them both with a collection of rocks, and glue-gunned a CD case on top to put the speakers.

Looks very nice. It was a PIA to carry to the office, though. I swear each one weighs about 15-20 lbs.

And the packaging...man, these things were packaged better than some speakers I've owned costing several thousand dollars.

You'll definitely like them.
post #4 of 24
@AudioDwebe
that's an excellent idea. thanks for that. I think I might use sand instead of rocks though lol

x2 for packaging
post #5 of 24
I'd say go with your current Go-Vibe and if you don't like it or it's inconvenient for any reason you could always try the NuForce uDac. I tried the A2s with the E-Mu 0202 USB and I personally liked the uDac better. I believe the uDac is the same price as the 0404 PCI.
post #6 of 24
Hi Lenni
As you can see I took your advcie and have now read the above contribusions..re the spaghetti boxes? do not know if we ahve such things here in Norway...

I am not very technically minded!! so please bare with me on this

can you explain about the DAC thing please..for example if I buy the A2s not sure if I can afford the A5s...what are we looking at ?The Xonar Essence could this be the answer maybe..and is it easy to fit a sound card to a laptop? the one in the Dell they tell me is quite good but I suspect not as good as Xonar Essence

I would like to hear some reccomendations for one or two more active speakers before I finally choose...

so to recap source DELL & Sansa Fuse Mp3> new sound card The Xonar Essence >A2s
possibly good cables and anything else I should be looking at guys

all the best Steve
post #7 of 24
Hi! The Xonar cannot be used with a laptop as it needs a PCI slot (or whatever it's called) on the motherboard. the emu-0404 is external and can be plugged into any usb port.

the only active speakers I heard are the A2 & A5. I'd say go with the A2 and try the emu, if you cannot hear much difference maybe you can return it. Dynaudio makes active speakers but are really expensive.

if you wanna invest in a pair of high-end speakers there's a good deal on ebay

edit: ADAM A5 maybe also worth considering
post #8 of 24
Hi Lenni
Good of you to get back to me...Many thanks for pointing out the problem with the Xonar
emu-0404 This is an external DAC am I correct..and it would be a good investment if I went for the A2s?I am afraid lovely as they all may be the high end stuff will never reach me? I must keep costs down where I can...

Plus I have to balance where I purchase the gear from..as Norway charges a wapping 25% VAT/Duty-approx +10% collection charge e.t.c.so you can see it all gets a bit costly.

I would be more than willing to buy B grade or second hand stuff if available?
also I am looking at headphones and head amp/Dac for botht the laptop & my Sansa fuse mp3 player..and if I can integrate it all together to the best I can then I would be very happy...I am told to look at Headgear PICO amp & Dac and the new Nu-Force similar as I am told these are the business

any further advcie appreciated

all the best steve
post #9 of 24
the A2 are fine little speakers, for what they cost they are hard to beat. they'll work fine straight out any pc. they may benefit from a better soundcard, but not necessarily. I'd say position is more important then anything.

I wouldn't bother with these all-in-one electronics (imo) lol

all the best

lenni
post #10 of 24

many thanks

many thanks Lenni you are gentleman..really obliged to you for all the good suggestions

all the best Steve
post #11 of 24

Don't Forget the Speaker Cable

Out of the box, I found the A2 to have a bad midbass hump. I upgraded the speaker wire & they sound much better. The binding posts are a little weird. I think they are too short for bananas. The posts are close and threaded to the bottom. I took the speakers to my local stereo store who installed & trimmed spades on a 12ga Esoteric cable. To me, the sound really improved.
post #12 of 24
Another set of speakers to consider is the M-Audio AV 40. They are generally considered quite similar in sound and cost about the same, with the M-Audio being on the cheaper side. I was shopping around for speakers recently and just bought the AV40s the other day. The volume knob on the front is nice to have.

For sound cards, just stick with your current one and see how that sounds before purchasing something else.

If you're looking at portable headphone amp/dacs, the cheapest options are currently the Nuforce Icon Mobile ($100), Headroom Total Bithead ($160), and the upcoming FiiO E7 (no price yet, but likely around $80). The Nuforce uDac ($100) is very popular right now, but is strictly usb and will not work with your Fuze. Moving up the price bracket, there are several offerings from iBasso, the XM5, PICO, etc. Any of these will also work just fine in your desktop rig, so don't get a separate sound card for your computer.
post #13 of 24
I have the A2s. They're good for what they are. I would rather have a pair of Quad 12 actives.
post #14 of 24
Sorry to hijack the thread a bit. I was pretty much set to go for the Audioengine 2, but happened to find Connected Acoustic P1 + P10 set that looks rather interesting. There's much info around about the Audioengines, but not much about this. Anybody happen to have them and could comment about the performance? Or is the Audioengines still the ones to get?

Will be used as PC speakers and 90% of music.


EDIT: How about M-Audio Studiophile BX5a?
post #15 of 24

A2s~A5s~AV 40s?

Hi Guys I am really appreciating the imput on this thread...and I thank you..I am not very smart when it comes to tech topics so require things explaining simply..if at all possible...

Armaegis..many thanks for your good advice:-

Quote:
For sound cards, just stick with your current one and see how that sounds before purchasing something else.
Quote:
If you're looking at portable headphone amp/dacs, the cheapest options are currently the Nuforce Icon Mobile ($100), Headroom Total Bithead ($160), and the upcoming FiiO E7 (no price yet, but likely around $80). The Nuforce uDac ($100) is very popular right now, but is strictly usb and will not work with your Fuze. Moving up the price bracket, there are several offerings from iBasso, the XM5, PICO, etc. Any of these will also work just fine in your desktop rig, so don't get a separate sound card for your computer
Once again many thanks for the above guidance...I am told Nu-Force have a well liked amp is that the one you list? 99$

I know it is always difficult to advice folks on specific models? as it is down to the listener ususally at the end of the day..Unfortunately in my particular case I will have no way of auditioning any of the components..so for me at least it is reliant on user feedback & satisfaction overhaul,,,?

so if you or anyone on the forum could list the leading contenders in a approximate order I would be obliged

So as it stands right now this is the deal I think?:-->

SOURCE COMP`S> DELL STUDIO LAPTOP & SANSA FUSE 8GB>>> PAIR OF SMALL ACTIVE~SPEAKERS (TO BE DECIDED?) NO DAC AT PRESENT?
BUT PORTABLE DAC/AMP COMBO FOR USE WITH ABOVE SOURCE COMPONENTS>>>& SOME GOOD CABLES..NOT FORGETTING GOOD ON THE EAR HEADPHONES COMFORT PRIORITY..NOT TO HEAVY>?

any help putting up a short list appreciated

all the very best

Steve
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