Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › My Very Low Budget Nearfield Desktop Rig (Lepai amp and Dayton Audio speakers)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

My Very Low Budget Nearfield Desktop Rig (Lepai amp and Dayton Audio speakers) - Page 2

post #16 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by peepr View Post

Speakers are a little close together no?

 

Not much choice, I guess. Mine are a bit further apart, but it's still not ideal. Supposedly you should put at least 8-10 feet between speakers, but that's right out where I do my listening, and I guess S.M. has the same problem.

 

I'm sure it still sounds eleventy billion times better than pretty much any computer speaker system you can buy.

post #17 of 146

This thread seems highly relevant to my interests so, if you don't mind be butting in, maybe you guys could offer your opinion on the setup I'm hoping to put together. I'm bit of a beginner so apologies if I say something obvious or make a mistake

 

  • A pair of Wharfedale diamond 9.0 speakers (would have loved the 9.1s but I find it unlikely I'll be able to get them in my price range)
  • Amptastic mini t amp (like this one, though having had a second look at the description maybe not the one in this auction)
  • And obviously some cables and banana plugs - 3.5mm jack to RCA, speaker cable.

 

Trying to do it on a budget so any advice would be welcome, especially so on the cables and banana plugs but certainly wouldn't go amiss on the amp or speakers either.

 

Many thanks.

post #18 of 146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by peepr View Post

Speakers are a little close together no?

 

When I'm sitting at my desk, my head is less than 3' from the speakers. I get a good stereo image. I've experimented with angling the speakers in, pointing them straight ahead, putting them on their sides so the tweeters are further out or in, etc. Currently I have them vertical, but I flipped them over so the tweeters are on the bottom (different from the picture.) That works best for me given the height of my desk, the height of my chair, etc. It's fun to experiment...

post #19 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by StratocasterMan View Post

 

When I'm sitting at my desk, my head is less than 3' from the speakers. I get a good stereo image. I've experimented with angling the speakers in, pointing them straight ahead, putting them on their sides so the tweeters are further out or in, etc. Currently I have them vertical, but I flipped them over so the tweeters are on the bottom (different from the picture.) That works best for me given the height of my desk, the height of my chair, etc. It's fun to experiment...

 

Position does make a big difference, especially if the tweeters are separate from the other drivers (as in most designs). My speakers have tweets that are positioned inside where the woofers' dust caps would normally be (coaxial, like Tannoy favors), so imaging is a little more consistent between different configurations. I too get a good image--the boxes don't appear to be producing any sound, which is always an eerie effect. The sweet spot is reasonably wide, too, so I don't have to worry about where my head is.

post #20 of 146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexs2602 View Post

This thread seems highly relevant to my interests so, if you don't mind be butting in, maybe you guys could offer your opinion on the setup I'm hoping to put together. I'm bit of a beginner so apologies if I say something obvious or make a mistake

 

  • A pair of Wharfedale diamond 9.0 speakers (would have loved the 9.1s but I find it unlikely I'll be able to get them in my price range)
  • Amptastic mini t amp (like this one, though having had a second look at the description maybe not the one in this auction)
  • And obviously some cables and banana plugs - 3.5mm jack to RCA, speaker cable.

 

Trying to do it on a budget so any advice would be welcome, especially so on the cables and banana plugs but certainly wouldn't go amiss on the amp or speakers either.

 

Many thanks.

 

That Amptastic amp uses the same "chip" (if that's the right word) as the Lepai amp and it's quite a bit more expensive. It looks like it might be nicer, but without a side-by-side comparison, who knows if it would actually sound better.

 

I really have no plans to upgrade right now as I'm quite happy with my set-up, but I might try this at some point to add some tubes to the mix:

 

http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tube_magic_a1

post #21 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

I just got one of the Lepai amps. I already had a decent-ish set of bookshelf speakers (the infamous Insignia NS-B2111), so I just got the amp. So far, so good. The one thing about it is that it can't go very loud without distorting--with both Master and Wave set at 50% on the rather weak audio output of my netbook, a 440Hz sine wave normalized to 0dB begins distorting after 12 o'clock. And not the good kind, either. Biting, digital distortion. Theoretically there's more headroom there because music isn't a constant 0dB signal, and since I'm using it for near field listening, it isn't a problem. It's not going to fill a decently sized room, though, unless you've got really efficient speakers.

I think it sounds quite nice for all that, and at the volume levels I use it at it's silent when not playing music. I had to EQ a little bit for the little nook where I do my listening (basically getting rid of some ~120Hz resonance), but that's certainly not the amp's fault, and together it's a nice little system. I sticky-tacked the amp to my shelf so it doesn't move when I use the controls, and that works great to keep it from skittering around. The tone controls are useless--as mentioned above just activating them lowers the level and colors the sound, even when both of them are at the "neutral" position. It also seems to mess with the imaging, though that might just be an effect of the lowered level. Also, they put treble on the left and bass on the right. Okay, not sure why they violated over 50 years of integrated amp/receiver precedent, but whatever.

I haven't been doing much listening on speakers these days, now that I've got nice headphones. Also, I'm spoiled--the Insignias do have lovely imaging (they always did), but they leave quite a bit to be desired in every other respect compared to my headphones. I feel like I do when I'm not wearing my glasses whenever I listen to them--like I can see the bigger picture, but all the detail is smoothed over. I guess I'd better start saving up for a proper pair of passive monitors if I want to improve on this.

Are you running from the headphone out on your netbook into the Lepai? I would probably try using an inexpensive USB DAC to provide a lineout to the Lepai. If you did that, wouldn't you be able to run 100% levels on the netbook and control the volume entirely from the Lepai?
post #22 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post


Are you running from the headphone out on your netbook into the Lepai? I would probably try using an inexpensive USB DAC to provide a lineout to the Lepai. If you did that, wouldn't you be able to run 100% levels on the netbook and control the volume entirely from the Lepai?

 

My aim was to calibrate the system so I could indeed control the volume entirely from the amp and use as much of the amp's volume knob range as I could (ideally all of it). With Wave and Master at 50% I can get halfway through the knob's travel before it distorts. I can of course turn the input down further in order to use more of the knob, but it seems like I have to make an already weak output (from the netbook) ridiculously low in order to do this.

 

What I'm curious about is what sort of source the inputs on the back were designed for, since they seem way too sensitive for common usage scenarios. Or am I doing something wrong? I'm assuming the proper way of doing things is to set it up so at max volume on the amp a 0dBFS signal from the source doesn't distort, by progressively lowering the output level of the source until the clipping goes away. I figured a sine wave would be ideal because any clipping would be obvious. But it clips way earlier than expected. What sort of source would have a weak enough output that this won't happen? confused.gif Or is it not designed for you to use the entire knob's range at any time, or only as a reserve in case you have a very low level signal?

 

After reading your response, I tried out my inexpensive DAC. Unfortunately it may actually have been worse. Windows' volume controls still affected the DAC's output, and playing around with them resulted either in identical results to the netbook headphone output or, with output sufficiently low, a very weak signal that seemed to hiss breathily when a signal was played (but was silent when nothing was playing confused.gif).

post #23 of 146
Thread Starter 

Hey Argyris,

 

Something definitely seems wrong. What kind of DAC do you have? Are you sure it's providing a line-out signal to the Lepai?

 

I would definitely expect the DAC to be a noticeable improvement over your netbook's headphone out. Also, don't worry about getting the full range out of the amplifier's volume control. You should be running 100% volume in Windows. (The Windows volume control would still turn the volume down if you wanted it to, but for normal use, it should be at 100% if the DAC is providing a line-out signal.)

 

The Lepai may start clipping at about 12 o'clock on the volume control, but by then it should be plenty loud. I mean it's not a high-powered amp by any means, but it should still play plenty loud before clipping. I have a feeling somehow the Lepai isn't getting the proper signal.

 

Perhaps you could try this. Do you have an MP3 player or portable music player? Just as an experiment, try running a cable from it's headphone out to the Lepai. I know that's not how you ultimately want to listen to your music, but it might be worthwhile experiment just to see if you get some kind of drastically different result. At least you'd be able to compare and see if it's noticeably louder than what you are getting from your computer set-up.

 

Another experiment you could try is switching between the RCA or the 3.5mm input on the back of the Lepai. It shouldn't make any difference, but since you are possibly having trouble, have you tried the other input as an experiment?

 

Also, double-check your speaker wires and make sure everything is okay there.


Edited by StratocasterMan - 1/7/13 at 9:59pm
post #24 of 146

Thanks for the replies, guys. I want to make sure I'm not making a mountain out of a molehill here. With my current setup I get adequate volume, within a reasonable definition of "adequate" (e.g. it's not going to fill a huge room, but for nearfield listening it's fine). It's just that I didn't expect clipping to happen so soon. Of course that's on a continuous 0dBFS signal, and since no music will have that high an average level (even the worst offenders of the loudness wars), I have a bit more headroom. Overall I get enough volume for what I need. There's just a part of me that hates the idea that there's an undefined point on the volume knob (different for each song) beyond which the signal will clip.

 

I'll definitely try the 3.5 mm input to see if it's different somehow, though that will have to wait since I'm about fifty miles away from my system right now. I'll also try some different sources. I picked the netbook since its output is surprisingly decent (not stellar, by any means) and is weak enough that it shouldn't overload the average input.

post #25 of 146
Thread Starter 

If it turns out you're getting all you can get out of the amp and your speakers, you may want to consider a powered subwoofer before you go the full active-monitor route.

 

For less than $100, you can get something like the Polk Audio PSW10 or the Dayton Audio Sub-800. It will make a gigantic difference, and if you decide to upgrade the other stuff later, you'll still be able to use the subwoofer with your new gear. Here's a list of budget subs:

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1364182/list-of-budget-subwoofers-300-and-less

 

Just make sure you get a sub that has speaker-level inputs and outputs if you want to try it with the Lepai.

 

Food for thought... Good luck!

post #26 of 146

Hello StratocasterMan,

 

After looking at this thread and the previous one you had before, this inspired me to get the same set up as you.  Although as for myself, I'm a newb about these set ups. I don't want to make a fatal mistake, I've spent about $170 on Amazon for the Dayton + Polk sub and the Lepai amp and for a college student that is a lot of ramen noodles I could've bought with that amount spent.  So for my question and I apologize if this is an extremely terrible question, it's obvious with the amp and the passive speakers but:

 

-How do I connect the sub to the set up without doing anything entirely dumb?

-Someone suggested to buy a "Y-splitter" and feed the cords into it but is there any other suggestions that you or anyone else has that can bring out the best sound for this set up? 

 

Thanks in advance and sorry again but I'm still learning the ropes.

post #27 of 146

Lepai Amp -> speaker wires to high level input on back of PSW10

high level out on back of PSW10 -> Dayton B652. 


Basically you're sending the signal to the subwoofer to let it take what it wants, and then sending the signal up to the speakers. 

post #28 of 146
Thread Starter 

Mlcloud is correct about connecting the sub. It's just speaker wire from the Lepai amp to the sub and then speaker wire from the sub to the Dayton B652 speakers.

 

MFSteven, I'm not sure, but the "Y-splitter" someone mentioned may have been a way to go from the the headphone output jack on a computer to the the RCA inputs on the Lepai amp. The Lepai also has a 3.5mm input, so if you have a source that has a 3.5mm out, you can just use a 3.5mm male-to-male cable to go from the source to the Lepai amp.

 

Here's the cable I'm using from my FiiO L7 line-out dock to the Lepai amp:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/dayton-audio-3-5sc-6-3-5mm-stereo-male-to-male-cable-6-ft

post #29 of 146

I found a pair of Sonys speakers from a Minicomponet i had around, it sounds much better than the Daytons B52, so i am gonna sell them soon to a friend.

 

Also bought this:

 

Lepai 2.1    Not bad at all!!

 

post #30 of 146
Hey, just got my Lepai 2020+ from Amazon. I use my Itouch 4G with LOD hooked straight up to the 3.5mm on the back of the Lepai amp. The speakers are the old POLK RT15i pair which I found in my closet unused. My music source are from MOG and Spotify. My impression : Unbelievable !!! At 8 Ohm, 88/89 DB,the RT15i kicks ass at 10 o'clock of the volume pot. Johns Scofields sounds better on the Lepai than my A2 AE. Fourplay ( heartleft) sounds better than some expensive tube amp I used to own ( please forgive me Rogue Audio fans). Yes,it's made in China but so is the Marantz AVR that I have issue with and finally returned to BB. Yes,it looks ElCheapo with no binding posts or banana plugs but the spring clips are fine at $19.00 a pop for the Lepai. I ordered 2 more Lepai just in case the friendly people of China's QC fails after six monthbut hey,if i have to spend $19.00 very 6 month for this Lepai, I would. My monthly subscription to Spotify and MOG are about the price of one Lepai a month. The Lepai pops when power off. I have no problem with it since I used to own Adcom amps when I was young.... Go treat yourself a Lepai. You will like it. My problem now is I do not have gut to return the Audio Engine A2 to BB/Magnolia even thought it's only 2 weeks old.
Edited by ACDOAN - 1/26/13 at 7:34am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › My Very Low Budget Nearfield Desktop Rig (Lepai amp and Dayton Audio speakers)