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little problems about my desktop hifi configuration

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I am totally new here, so if there is any stupid question plz forgive me lol

 

Currently i am building a desktop hifi in my room. I compared various bookshelf speakers in Bestbuy and I really like Klipsch speakers and Polkaudio subwoofers putting together. They are really capable of producing the sweet high frequency sound and bass sound i want.

 

I am watching movies 30% and listening to music 70% of my time, including classic, pop and jazz. After little bit research on internet I decide to use these equipments to build my virgin 2.1;

Asus Xonar ST as a DAC $220

Marantz SR4023 stereo receiver as an amplifier second hand for $380 ($500 for new)

Klipsch Reference Series bookshelf rb 61 ii second hand for $350 ($550 for new)

Polkaudio DSWpro 440wi $300

 

My problems are;

 

1, Should I use a specific DAC here or ST would just be fine? My budget is really at its maximum for now.

 

2, As far as I know, Asus ST sound card does not produce a warm sound. And Marantz is a smoothy amplifier. Would this combination produce kind of weird sound or it will make the sound more 'balance'?

 

3, The Klipsch bookshelf speakers are 100w speakers, and the receiver is 80w*2, should I change the receiver to Marantz MM7025, which is a 140w*2 power amplifier, or 4023 is just fine? For my budget, i could buy Marantz 45/65/80w receiver and 140w power amplifier. (My room is 4*4 only but sometime my speakers will be moved to dining room for party. And MM7025 is statistically better.)

 

Thx for any ideas.

post #2 of 16

Be sure to get your receiver and everything by the time you get the speakers. Klipsch horns are known for being fatiguing, and are typically not considered a good choice for nearfield monitor use with a computer. Best to have them for a few days and try them in case you need to take the back. 

 

Since you indicate you have stretched your budget to its limits, check out the HK 3390. Similar specs to the Marantz, but a good bit cheaper. I have one. Does sound great. That would give you more budget towards a separate DAC or sound card. 

 

 

Do you use headphones with your computer? If not, then a separate DAC is all you need. 

 

 

$300 might be an OK price for the Polk 440wi. The Outlaw Audio M8 and HSU STF-1 are considered best values at that price point for 8' subs in terms of SQ, low frequency extension, and output. Those are Internet direct subwoofer companies that typically provide much better values than traditional subs sold in brick and mortar stores. Here's a review of the M8. That being said, a 10" sub can provide more output than an 8". If you are a basshead and want room filling bass, might be good to get a larger sub. 


Edited by cel4145 - 11/3/12 at 7:14pm
post #3 of 16

The marantz receiver will have no problem driving those speakers which is your primary question.  The Marantz power amplifier isn't going to cut it for your purposes; stick to the marantz stereo receiver.  I wouldn't sweat whether a sound card produces a warm sound or whether a receiver is "smoothy."  These are pretty subjective terms.  If it sounds good to you, then you have a great system.  I wouldn't mess around with a dac; your onboard sound card will do the job.  This is a nice system and it looks like you got some good prices on your gear.  Enjoy it.

 

Edit: This online calculator will give you a pretty good idea of how loud your system can go: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

 

The Klipsch speakers are very efficient at 95dB.  You'll be able to drive this thing to nose bleed levels if you like in that small room.

 

The main thing you will have to play around with is setting up the speakers and sub so that everything sounds good.  Room acoustics are a big deal.  Google around to get some ideas on how to set things up and play with the set up until you're happy with the sound.


Edited by alexsj - 11/3/12 at 8:17pm
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsj View Post

I wouldn't mess around with a dac; your onboard sound card will do the job.  

 

I would disagree. Much PC motherboard audio is pretty crappy. Most of the time, it doesn't take much of a DAC to improve upon it. 

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

 

I would disagree. Much PC motherboard audio is pretty crappy. Most of the time, it doesn't take much of a DAC to improve upon it. 

Well, it really depends on what is onboard doesn't it?  The OP says he is buying a Asus Xonar ST.  I suspect that will work just fine for his purposes.

 

Edit: I meant to say that the ST is fine in my first post.


Edited by alexsj - 11/3/12 at 10:47pm
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsj View Post

Well, it really depends on what is onboard doesn't it?  The OP says he is buying a Asus Xonar ST.  I suspect that will work just fine for his purposes.

 

It sure does depend "on what onboard audio." More often that not, PC audio is not very good. I don't know why you recommended that. 

 

And then, no. He asked if he should buy the ST. The ST is pretty pricey right now at $220. If he needs a headphone amp, too, then he might consider a desktop DAC/headphone amp or the ST. But if he doesn't, he can get a DAC much cheaper than that will greatly improve on most PC onboard audio. 

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

 

It sure does depend "on what onboard audio." More often that not, PC audio is not very good. I don't know why you recommended that. 

 

And then, no. He asked if he should buy the ST. The ST is pretty pricey right now at $220. If he needs a headphone amp, too, then he might consider a desktop DAC/headphone amp or the ST. But if he doesn't, he can get a DAC much cheaper than that will greatly improve on most PC onboard audio. 

I think you should have read the edited post first before repeating yourself.  But if you need to keep repeating yourself over the onboard generic dac on a PC (as opposed to the asus xonar ST that the OP is talking about), please go ahead.  In any case, I'll just disagree with you about the asus xonar  st.  I think it will work fine for the OP's purposes.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsj View Post

I think you should have read the edited post first before repeating yourself.  But if you need to keep repeating yourself over the onboard generic dac on a PC (as opposed to the asus xonar ST that the OP is talking about), please go ahead.  In any case, I'll just disagree with you about the asus xonar  st.  I think it will work fine for the OP's purposes.

 

"Onboard sound" is your words in your original post. No mention of the ST. "Onboard sound" means motherboard audio to most of the world. If you meant the ST sound card, you should have been clearer. That's not considered "onboard sound." Looks like from your profile you might be a Mac guy and might not really know about this. Not my fault. 

 

Speaking of your recommendations, the Klipsch RB 61 IIs don't appear to actually have 95db sensitivity. Hometheater.com measured them at 90.5 db. The Klipsch will have plenty of volume anyway. But they are not efficient as you made them out to be. 

post #9 of 16

@cel4145: you must really enjoy your life.   So if you want to engage in a pretty dumb flaming war, go ahead buddy.  You are clearly enjoying yourself.

 

Insofar as the sonar is concerned, why didn't you read the 2d message where I edited what i said.  I thought I made it clear that I was not clear in my first message?  You are actually right about in your reply to my first post.  I suspect you have never written anything on a board like this which was unclear.   But I can't help you, if you have trouble reading a post.  

 

 

The efficiency of the speakers came from Klipsch's website. The OP has a small room and the marantz stereo reciever is pretty nicely spec'd.  

 

 

If you actually want to help the OP rather than engage in a pretty pointless flaming thread, why don't you simply list some dacs that you think beat out the sonar xt

 

Oh and if you have some hardware recommendations, why don't you make them as well?

 

Nice job cel4145 of turning this thread into a flame over a misunderstanding as opposed to trying to help the OP out.  


Edited by alexsj - 11/4/12 at 4:57am
post #10 of 16

@wuli123: I think you did a nice job of researching your gear and looking for a good price.  It seems that you like the sound of your speakers which is obviously really important.

 

If you want to save some money, accessories4less sells refurbished gear with warranties.  It is hit or miss as to what is on hand.  Currently you can pick up the Marantz SR4023 for $300:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/StereoReceivers/Home-Audio/Stereo-Receivers/1.html. It comes with a one year warranty.

 

You may also want to think about the Onkyo TX 8050 at $269: http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-8050-Network-Stereo-Receiver/dp/B004UR486G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352034445&sr=8-1&keywords=onkyo+8050

 

It has digital connections, a digital connection for an ipod, and it can stream. 

 

Personally I'd lean towards the Marantz over the Onkyo but the Onkyo is better set up for music computer based playback set up like you are doing.  Another very solid choice with a digital input is the Harmon Kardon 3490 but it is currently selling at $445 from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-HK-3490-Receiver/dp/B00198F89A/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1352034689&sr=1-1&keywords=harmon+kardon+3490

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsj View Post

@cel4145: you must really enjoy your life.   So if you want to engage in a pretty dumb flaming war, go ahead buddy.  You are clearly enjoying yourself.

 

Insofar as the sonar is concerned, why didn't you read the 2d message where I edited what i said.  I thought I made it clear that I was not clear in my first message?  You are actually right about in your reply to my first post.  I suspect you have never written anything on a board like this which was unclear.   But I can't help you, if you have trouble reading a post.  

 

 

The efficiency of the speakers came from Klipsch's website. The OP has a small room and the marantz stereo reciever is pretty nicely spec'd.  

 

 

If you actually want to help the OP rather than engage in a pretty pointless flaming thread, why don't you simply list some dacs that you think beat out the sonar xt

 

Oh and if you have some hardware recommendations, why don't you make them as well?

 

Nice job cel4145 of turning this thread into a flame over a misunderstanding as opposed to trying to help the OP out.  

 

Go back and reread your posts, even that edited one. Might be clear to you, but I doubt it would have been clear to everyone else. Your post doesn't say that by onboard audio you meant the ST. If you want to be clear, than the common practice is just to clearly admit the problem with your post, not start a flame war with someone who diagrees with you because your writing is unclear. 

 

As for the Klipsch, it's commonly known that speaker manufacturer specs are sometimes wrong, sometimes even purposely so. Doesn't matter if you got the information from the Klipsch website. 

 

As for other recommendations, I already made some before you posted in the thread (or did you miss that too). I would make more, but I'm waiting to hear what the OP has to say. 

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

 

Go back and reread your posts, even that edited one. Might be clear to you, but I doubt it would have been clear to everyone else. Your post doesn't say that by onboard audio you meant the ST. If you want to be clear, than the common practice is just to clearly admit the problem with your post, not start a flame war with someone who diagrees with you because your writing is unclear. 

 

As for the Klipsch, it's commonly known that speaker manufacturer specs are sometimes wrong, sometimes even purposely so. Doesn't matter if you got the information from the Klipsch website. 

 

As for other recommendations, I already made some before you posted in the thread (or did you miss that too). I would make more, but I'm waiting to hear what the OP has to say. 

I'm so sorry, if I wasn't clear.  I think you were right in your response to my first post.  Perhaps my second one wasn't clear but it should be by now.  You did give some hardware advice but you didn't give any dac advice which is your whole point right?  Like I said, seriously nice job of flaming this thread.

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsj View Post

I'm so sorry, if I wasn't clear.  I think you were right in your response to my first post.  Perhaps my second one wasn't clear but it should be by now.  You did give some hardware advice but you didn't give any dac advice which is your whole point right?  Like I said, seriously nice job of flaming this thread.

 

Hmmm...not sure how to take the passive aggressive nature of this reply with an apology at the beginning and an accusation at the end.cool.gif

 

But on topic. We don't know what kind of motherboard audio he has. Some lower level PC models don't have optical out. That would make a difference as to what would work. So for example, neither the Onkyo TX-8050 nor the HK 3490 would work without a separate sound card. Certainly the Xonar DG could take care of that for a small price, but then going for the receiver with optical inputs may not be the best choice if the OP is using headphones, too. Depends on what headphones since low impedance phones sometimes don't work well with receiver headphone jacks. Did you read my first post where I asked him if he used headphones? I was waiting for him to reply before offering other advice. 

 

If I had to make a suggestion without further clarification from the OP, I might suggest the ODAC or the Music Streamer ii, which are cheaper than the ST. Then again, another question to ask is if he has a graphics card with HDMI out, since then an HT receiver might be the better choice because of the bass management. But it seemed better to find out about the headphones first. If he's thinking a headphone amp setup, these other suggestions could be moot. For example, could be the Onkyo A-5VL and a DAC would be the best choice (it's got a lot of good testimonials on head-fi for the headphone output). And depending on his tech skills, a desktop DAC/headphone amp could be a better choice since there are people that have problems with the ST/STX in some desktop computer builds. 

post #14 of 16

Nice job of discussing the topic raised by the OP . . . 

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

@cel4145

@alexsj

 

I have to appologize for my absent... I am seriously sorry. I am writing my college final essay these days so I didn't focus on my post very frequently. And sincerely thank to both of you guys. I checked in the first 6 hours and found no reply so I thought this thread would not have any reply after. It is really glad to see someone who know hifi finally helped. And I have to say sorry again, for my incomplete description that lead to your misunderstanding. It is frustrating to see a fight lead by misunderstood, personally. Please just don't make any flame fight to achieve some common recognition. I believe that sound configuration is complex and there are many different understanding in this area. Especially pro guys.

 

Then I checked my motherboard ASUS 990FX's onboard audio card immediately. This is what I found:

 

Realtek® ALC 892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
- ASUS Noise Filter
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

 

And very unfortunately I just bought my ST card couple hours ago... I thought this thread won't have any reply and i did not know that i have an onboard S/PDIF out... And it sounds great with my headphone which is Beyerdynamic DT1350. Currently I am not buying new headphones but I might buy a Shure SE535 or Sennheiser HD 650 in the next few years.

 

For speakers, I orderd Klipsch rb 61 ii already, and I ll try it for one month and make some comparison in local speaker stores. I try to figure out my favorite speaker. And my research about amplifier showed that Marantz is really good for music purpose. Harman is good at movie sound amplifying. And Onkyo is kind of middle between music and movies/games. So I am on the edge to Marantz little bit more... But I havn't heard any of them actually, and these conclusions are based on some pricy equipments.. Still could be clues i suppose.. And 8" sub might be a little bit small. But I think it ll be fine cuz i am not a basshead... Though my friend is using 10" polk and it sounds really house shaking lol

 

The accessories4less from alexsj is seriously really, really, really helpful. Thanks.

 

I have a graphic card(nvidia gtx570) with HDMI sound out. And I am probably not buying headphone amp... Cuz i ll use speakers mainly on my computer.

 

Thank for going back to my topic..

 

p.s. which software should i use to play ape/flac?

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