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Looking to start into better sounding things. Wanted some help

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, I've been a lurker for a LONG TIME now but better sounding music has been one of the things I've wanted to get into for a long time.


My budget is...well it really depends; right now its not much but by December I could probably spend alot more. I just want a starter setup.

 

To begin, my computer is running a Asus Gene-Z mATX Motherboard (Not sure what's included in here), and I wanted to make a start up speaker setup.

I was using the Klipsh Promedia 2.1 for awhile, but I left them at home (I moved for college), and one of the monitors broke anyways -_- they keep breaking.

 

After some digging I went with this CNET article.

 

Thinking about getting

 

Dayton B652

Lepai 2020+

Dayton Sub-800.

 

I mainly listen to some Trance, electronic music, but I LOVE some MJ, Beatles, Freddy Mercury, and some Foster the People and Pop songs, ETC ETC. I have a very wide range in music, but for now I just want to listen to mainly EDM. Excessive bass is not always enjoyable, I do like clear and rich highs and nice mids.

 

Because of my range of music, I was also looking into buying a pair of headphones, probably more so for the non-EDM stuff. I was probably going to get the Audio Technica M50's.

 

Other things I've considered was buying a Creative X-Fi HD USB DAC for the speakers/headphones since I do game and whatnot.

 

Do you guys have any small suggestions on things I may be able to change around for a better sound without drastically changing the price? I am slowly building so ATM Speakers + Amp, Sub in 2-3 weeks and more after that.

 

P.S. ATM Mainly listen to mp3, but my more classic music I have in FLAC as well


Edited by Kevii - 10/25/12 at 10:43am
post #2 of 27

For around the same price as the Dayton speakers, also look at the Pioneer BS21s (currently on sale at Newegg). See this thread over at AVS to learn more about that Pioneer speaker series. 

 

If you have the room for the larger sub, it can be worth spending the extra $20 for the Dayton SUB 1000.  Better to have more sub than you need (doesn't have to be turned up) than not enough. 

 

For headphones, the M50s are a good all around pair. 

post #3 of 27

If you have a free PCIe slot on your motherboard, and since you do intend on gaming, you could get the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD rather than the Creative X-Fi HD USB, due to both better DAC and components, as well as better gaming audio performance.

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

If you have a free PCIe slot on your motherboard, and since you do intend on gaming, you could get the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD rather than the Creative X-Fi HD USB, due to both better DAC and components, as well as better gaming audio performance.

 

I actually dont have a free PCI due to my video cards being huge. lol I game casually its not that big of a deal for me anymore (No time). There is no rush to get a DAC, I can get whatever down the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

For around the same price as the Dayton speakers, also look at the Pioneer BS21s (currently on sale at Newegg). See this thread over at AVS to learn more about that Pioneer speaker series. 

 

If you have the room for the larger sub, it can be worth spending the extra $20 for the Dayton SUB 1000.  Better to have more sub than you need (doesn't have to be turned up) than not enough. 

 

For headphones, the M50s are a good all around pair. 

 

Will take a look into these. I am actually pretty limited on desk space and under-desk space so having bookshelves will be interesting already. Gonna get the Lepai to power them yeah? I think I'll stop by the local best buy or something to look for the cables I need... I need probably some 14AWG oxygen free copper wires? Not sure what else


Edited by Kevii - 10/25/12 at 9:42pm
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevii View Post

 

I actually dont have a free PCI due to my video cards being huge. lol I game casually its not that big of a deal for me anymore (No time). There is no rush to get a DAC, I can get whatever down the line.

 

Will take a look into these. I am actually pretty limited on desk space and under-desk space so having bookshelves will be interesting already. Gonna get the Lepai to power them yeah? I think I'll stop by the local best buy or something to look for the cables I need... I need probably some 14AWG oxygen free copper wires? Not sure what else

 

Cheap place to buy RCA cables and speaker wire is Monoprice.com. 

 

As far as the gauge that you need, it's based on the length and the impedance of the speakers. Check out the chart on this page (have to scroll down a little). 

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

 

Cheap place to buy RCA cables and speaker wire is Monoprice.com. 

 

As far as the gauge that you need, it's based on the length and the impedance of the speakers. Check out the chart on this page (have to scroll down a little). 

 

For suuure. The length will be small so it looks like I dont need too low a gauge. Got 16 anyways, and a 3ft RCA to 3.5mm cable. Will be plugging these into my onboard soon hopefully it does OK. I'll have to see if I can make space for a 10" sub haha.

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevii View Post

Hi guys, I've been a lurker for a LONG TIME now but better sounding music has been one of the things I've wanted to get into for a long time.

My budget is...well it really depends; right now its not much but by December I could probably spend alot more. I just want a starter setup.

To begin, my computer is running a Asus Gene-Z mATX Motherboard (Not sure what's included in here), and I wanted to make a start up speaker setup.

I was using the Klipsh Promedia 2.1 for awhile, but I left them at home (I moved for college), and one of the monitors broke anyways -_- they keep breaking.

After some digging I went with this CNET article.

Thinking about getting

Dayton B652

Lepai 2020+

Dayton Sub-800.

I mainly listen to some Trance, electronic music, but I LOVE some MJ, Beatles, Freddy Mercury, and some Foster the People and Pop songs, ETC ETC. I have a very wide range in music, but for now I just want to listen to mainly EDM. Excessive bass is not always enjoyable, I do like clear and rich highs and nice mids.

Because of my range of music, I was also looking into buying a pair of headphones, probably more so for the non-EDM stuff. I was probably going to get the Audio Technica M50's.

Other things I've considered was buying a Creative X-Fi HD USB DAC for the speakers/headphones since I do game and whatnot.

Do you guys have any small suggestions on things I may be able to change around for a better sound without drastically changing the price? I am slowly building so ATM Speakers + Amp, Sub in 2-3 weeks and more after that.

P.S. ATM Mainly listen to mp3, but my more classic music I have in FLAC as well

I'm guessing your motherboard is a Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z?

Which comes with a slightly better then standard built in audio.

If you get something like the SMSL SD-793II ($60) external S/PDIF (optical) input DAC (PCM1793) & headphone amplifier.

Run optical from the motherboard to the SD-793II

You connect the SD-793 to whatever 2.1 speakers you want to it the SD-793's RCA output and your headphones to the SD-793II headphone jack

http://www.ebay.com/itm/280993199312?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I'm guessing your motherboard is a Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z?

Which comes with a slightly better then standard built in audio.

If you get something like the SMSL SD-793II ($60) external S/PDIF (optical) input DAC (PCM1793) & headphone amplifier.

Run optical from the motherboard to the SD-793II

You connect the SD-793 to whatever 2.1 speakers you want to it the SD-793's RCA output and your headphones to the SD-793II headphone jack

http://www.ebay.com/itm/280993199312?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

 

Yup http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005584ZHQ/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00 , Maximus IV Gene-Z

 

Yeah I have the optical input that would be nice. How is it compared to other things like FiiO 's systems?

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevii View Post

 

Yup http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005584ZHQ/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00 , Maximus IV Gene-Z

 

Yeah I have the optical input that would be nice. How is it compared to other things like FiiO 's systems?

As you would need to use S/PDIF optical output from the motherboard to use all it's built in audio features.

The Fiio E17 would do the job ($140).

post #10 of 27

Yep. The E17 is nice. I use mine with an Asus laptop, and it does great with the M50s and other phones. Nice sound, and then you also have a headphone amp that you can use with portable devices. 

 

However, there is a convenience disadvantage of it over desktop DAC/amps like SMSL SD-793II. The E17 doesn't have separate RCA and headphone output. So you would have to unplug the connection to the t-amp every time you want to listen to headphones. And every time you switch to the speakers from using headphones, you will have to reset the gain (volume) on the amp.

 

You might also want to follow this thread on the Fire Phoenix DAC that's a little less than the E17. There are a few others of us who have ordered them, and it could be worth it to see how they end up sounding. 

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Yep. The E17 is nice. I use mine with an Asus laptop, and it does great with the M50s and other phones. Nice sound, and then you also have a headphone amp that you can use with portable devices. 

 

However, there is a convenience disadvantage of it over desktop DAC/amps like SMSL SD-793II. The E17 doesn't have separate RCA and headphone output. So you would have to unplug the connection to the t-amp every time you want to listen to headphones. And every time you switch to the speakers from using headphones, you will have to reset the gain (volume) on the amp.

 

You might also want to follow this thread on the Fire Phoenix DAC that's a little less than the E17. There are a few others of us who have ordered them, and it could be worth it to see how they end up sounding. 

Maybe the Fiio L7 will solve the switching issue?

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Yep. The E17 is nice. I use mine with an Asus laptop, and it does great with the M50s and other phones. Nice sound, and then you also have a headphone amp that you can use with portable devices. 

 

However, there is a convenience disadvantage of it over desktop DAC/amps like SMSL SD-793II. The E17 doesn't have separate RCA and headphone output. So you would have to unplug the connection to the t-amp every time you want to listen to headphones. And every time you switch to the speakers from using headphones, you will have to reset the gain (volume) on the amp.

 

You might also want to follow this thread on the Fire Phoenix DAC that's a little less than the E17. There are a few others of us who have ordered them, and it could be worth it to see how they end up sounding. 

 

Wow that sounds a bit too inconvenient. I go between speakers and headphones all the time. I'll probably take a look into the other ones. I was reading that fire phoenix DAC but it seems like most are unsure of how it sounds?

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevii View Post

 

Wow that sounds a bit too inconvenient. I go between speakers and headphones all the time. I'll probably take a look into the other ones. I was reading that fire phoenix DAC but it seems like most are unsure of how it sounds?

 

I just got one yesterday. It sounds good. Definitely comparable in class to the E17. 

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

 

I just got one yesterday. It sounds good. Definitely comparable in class to the E17. 

 

Ohhh cool. So with the phoenix with headphones plugged in it bypasses the RCA outputs in the back? And if I got one I would probably plug it into USB right or Optical?

 


Hmm looking at it so I plug in like Comp -> DAC (Phoenix or w.e) -> RCA RCA to Lepai -> Speakers. 

 

And then when Headphones I use the headphone jack on the DAC?

 

A sub is plugged in....like Lepai + Speakers -> Sub <- DAC /Source?


Edited by Kevii - 10/28/12 at 12:48pm
post #15 of 27

Yep. You connect the Lepai to the Fire Phoenix using the RCA outs. Then headphones plug into the jack. 

 

There are two ways to integrate a sub in that system. Get an RCA splitter so that both the sub and the Lepai can be connected to RCA out on the Fire Phoenix. Or get a sub with both speaker level inputs and outputs. Hook the Lepai to the sub, the speakers to the sub. 

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