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College Apartment Speaker Help (2.0 or 2.1)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, I've been looking to buy new speakers for awhile now, and the sub from my old crappy Altec Lansings blew out last weekend, so I think the time has come to go ahead and do it. I live in a college apartment so with parties and everything, I was kind of assuming a 2.1 system with a sub would be necessary, but I haven't actually heard any good 2.0 systems and the best 2.1 I've heard is a Bose Companion 3 Series II.

I've been looking at Swans, specifically the D1010 IV and the D1080 IV, and a Polk PSW10 sub and was wondering a few things:


1) How big is the difference between the two Swans?
2) Would the bass be good enough that a sub wouldn't be necessary, or would I definitely need a sub (keep parties in mind)?
3) As far as subs go, would the PSW10 go well with the Swans and be relatively simple to hook up (or even add later), and/or does anyone have any other recommendations?

Last thing, I'm trying to keep the budget under $300 if possible. Any other suggestions/recommendations are welcome! Thanks!

post #2 of 7

If you want to feel the bass line at your party, you need a subwoofer.  I was able to snag an 8" Energy sub for $100 and it is perfect for my small apartment on campus.  Really for your budget and needs, you can find several subs for around $100 that will fit the bill.  Just make sure for continuity that the sub you get has a crossover high enough to match your speakers.  

 

For the rest of your setup, the Swanns look good if you want powered speakers.  Take a look at Audioengine and M-Audio, too.  I have some Audioengine A5's (can get them $300 new, $250ish used), and have been quite pleased with their sound.  I went without a sub for quite some time and was quite happy with the sound.  

 

You can also consider getting a T-amp and some passive speakers.  Might be able to squeeze out some better sound that way.

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by milksteak View Post

Hey everyone, I've been looking to buy new speakers for awhile now, and the sub from my old crappy Altec Lansings blew out last weekend, so I think the time has come to go ahead and do it. I live in a college apartment so with parties and everything, I was kind of assuming a 2.1 system with a sub would be necessary, but I haven't actually heard any good 2.0 systems and the best 2.1 I've heard is a Bose Companion 3 Series II.

I've been looking at Swans, specifically the D1010 IV and the D1080 IV, and a Polk PSW10 sub and was wondering a few things:


1) How big is the difference between the two Swans?
2) Would the bass be good enough that a sub wouldn't be necessary, or would I definitely need a sub (keep parties in mind)?
3) As far as subs go, would the PSW10 go well with the Swans and be relatively simple to hook up (or even add later), and/or does anyone have any other recommendations?

Last thing, I'm trying to keep the budget under $300 if possible. Any other suggestions/recommendations are welcome! Thanks!

I'm assuming this is for a computer.

Computer audio does not come with a 3-channel setting (2.1) and you can't run powered speaker connected directly to the Polk Audio sub.

Parts-Express sell a 2 speaker with a sub-woofer (2.1) that can work together hooked up to a computers sound card.

Also there might be on your local Craiglist a used receiver with speakers and a sub-woofer for a good price.

Does your computer come with a S/PDIF Toslink optical or coaxial output?

post #4 of 7

I just bought a Polk PSW10 for use in my bedroom, so I guess I'm in a good place to help you! The first thing is what do you want from this setup? You mentioned parties, in my opinion this is the wrong sub for party pumpin. It's a great sounding sub but it CLEANLY augments a speaker system, not adds BOOM, BOOM clearly different output craziness. When you first set it up if you have fairly bassy (tower) speakers you won't really notice to much difference until you turn the sub off. But it will not shake your house; its best for small rooms and it sounds best with some distance between you and it. If you want to have a sound system for parties your better of getting a receiver, tower speakers and a different sub (a 12" will be excellent for you). If you want a desktop setup stick with the Swan's but I don't know what sub would best do for them.

My tower speakers are Pioneer CS-N775 which i got off of Craigslist for $80. If you look on Craigslist or any similar sight you can get fairly decent towers for <$200 and a receiver for $30 or so; then get a 200+ watt amp that's at least 10". That setup will actually be able to do parties very well.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I'm assuming this is for a computer.

Computer audio does not come with a 3-channel setting (2.1) and you can't run powered speaker connected directly to the Polk Audio sub.

Parts-Express sell a 2 speaker with a sub-woofer (2.1) that can work together hooked up to a computers sound card.

Also there might be on your local Craiglist a used receiver with speakers and a sub-woofer for a good price.

Does your computer come with a S/PDIF Toslink optical or coaxial output?

Why couldn't he piggy back off of the stereo signal going from computer to the internal amp of the powered speakers to feed the subwoofer with a signal?  Also, don't a lot of computer speakers have 5.1 capabilities with the ability go downmix to 2.1?  I output from my DAC to my speaker amp, with a splitter from the jack on the amp going to my sub.  Works quite well with the crossover set to the right frequency.

 

Also, and maybe this is my age showing, but make sure you let your neighbors know (and invite them) to whatever party you are throwing.  My building is so crappy that when someone on the 3rd floor plays his (really crappy) music loudly, I can hear the bassline in my basement apartment.  Irritating is putting it mildly.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help. It would mainly be used with a laptop or iPod, and I was trying to avoid buying a receiver and keep it as simple as possible if it would work without one. If not, I'd be willing to look around but I'm in a pretty small area so Craigslist doesn't have too many options for me unless I traveled a bit. I did find a Yamaha RX-V661 receiver with Polk rti8 towers for $175 that might be worth mentioning, but I probably have more room for bookshelf/desktop speakers than towers.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

Why couldn't he piggy back off of the stereo signal going from computer to the internal amp of the powered speakers to feed the subwoofer with a signal?  Also, don't a lot of computer speakers have 5.1 capabilities with the ability go downmix to 2.1?  I output from my DAC to my speaker amp, with a splitter from the jack on the amp going to my sub.  Works quite well with the crossover set to the right frequency.

 

Also, and maybe this is my age showing, but make sure you let your neighbors know (and invite them) to whatever party you are throwing.  My building is so crappy that when someone on the 3rd floor plays his (really crappy) music loudly, I can hear the bassline in my basement apartment.  Irritating is putting it mildly.

Computer 2.1 speakers use the sound cards 2-channel stereo signal and the 2.1 speakers come with a built in splitter that changes the 2.0 signal to 2.1.

I'm not well informed about these add-on splitters, so trying not to comment either way on them.

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