So after almost 6 years since my last build I've finally built a desktop pc for myself again, the only relevant part of this build would probably be the motherboard which is an Asrock z77 pro4-m which has a Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec.
I did a lot of reading here and hardforum and at the end decided to get a pair of Behringer MS40s since it would be easy to hook these up to my motherboard (optical) and would not (urgently) need a better soundcard/dac. I also have a set Sennheiser HD 558. There was no room left in my budget for any better sound equipment at the time, but now there's room for improvement and the first thing that came to mind was getting a soundcard and a subwoofer (I definitely enjoy a nice bass and the MS40 dont provide this but I knew this would be the case).
As for the soundcard I had my mind set on a X-FI Titanium HD after reading its sound quality was almost as good as the Xonar Essence STX for music but better suited for gaming. I am still open to suggestions though, I do a good bit of gaming, music listening and movie watching on the computer, all equally as much.
Then the subwoofer, this is when things got complicated, I cant find a way to connect most subwoofers I've been looking at (for example cambridge audio s90) with the MS40s. Trying to find a solution to this I read about the possibility of using a preamp, but the only one mentioned was the parasound 2100 and thats a lot pricier than I am willing to spend. Are there any cheap similar options? I couldn't find any.
I considered getting a receiver and using that as a preamp, before moving abroad I had an old denon receiver paired with 2 JBL E20 and a Yamaha sub (dont remember the details of these) and I quite liked it. I was connecting the computer from the motherboards optical output into the receivers optical in. There's a few problems I can think of with this set-up:
- Volume control could be a mess (volume knobs in the MS40s, in the subwoofer, in the computer AND in the receiver)
- Sound quality? How do low-end receivers DACs compare to a soundcard like the X-Fi Titanium HD or Xonar Essence STX? Something like an Onkyo TX-SR307S, Pioneer VSX-521-K, Denon AVR-1912. And how well will these receivers power my HD 558s?
- I feel using active monitors with these receivers that have amps makes no sense, also not sure about how to connect it other than some of the inputs that also have RCA outputs. Im guessing it would be possible though.
I might be missing the simplest option that would be using 2 RCA splitters at the RCA outputs from the Titanium HD and then sending each to the S90 (or similar subwoofer) and the MS40s. Is this the best option?
Thanks for the help guys and excuse my English.
Edited by Pepiz - 6/4/12 at 10:13pm