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Help with my first 2.1 (or 5.1) speaker setup?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, so I finally got a receiver and would like to go ahead and get a speaker setup so that others may enjoy my music when they come over (currently just have my headphones)

 

At the moment I've got it set up as:

flac --> foobar --> xonar essence st --> optical --> receiver (onkyo HT-RC430)  

I'm not sure if it'd be better to have my headphones (beyerdynamic dt880) direct to the xonar or in the receiver.

 

Anyway,  I listen to music basically all across the spectrum, so i guess more neutral speakers would be the way I want to go.   Ideally i'd like to go 5.1 but i have absolutely no issues with doing 2.1 for the time being and adding the other channels later.  I've got a budget of like $550 if I can buy on amazon or newegg, and an absolute $200 max budget if not.

 

 

I'll probably be setting up in my bedroom (12' x 12') for the moment, as that's where my computer is and i dont have a convenient way of listening in my living room.  

post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by erratik View Post

Hey guys, so I finally got a receiver and would like to go ahead and get a speaker setup so that others may enjoy my music when they come over (currently just have my headphones)

At the moment I've got it set up as:

flac --> Foobar --> Xonar Essence ST --> optical --> receiver (Onkyo HT-RC430)  

I'm not sure if it'd be better to have my headphones (Beyerdynamic dt880) direct to the Xonar or in the receiver.

Anyway,  I listen to music basically all across the spectrum, so i guess more neutral speakers would be the way I want to go.   Ideally i'd like to go 5.1 but i have absolutely no issues with doing 2.1 for the time being and adding the other channels later.  I've got a budget of like $550 if I can buy on amazon or newegg, and an absolute $200 max budget if not.

I'll probably be setting up in my bedroom (12' x 12') for the moment, as that's where my computer is and i dont have a convenient way of listening in my living room.  

Your going to be using the headphones plugged into the Essence ST, no reason for using the headphones plugged into the Onkyo.

For best 2.0 or 2.1 speaker audio quality, run a 2-channel analog audio cable from the ST's RCA outputs to the RCA inputs on the Onkyo.

As your Onkyo does not come with analog 5.1 (6-channel) input, you need to run a digital connection for 5.1 speaker output

For best 5.1 speaker audio quality (Blu-ray surround sound), you would want to run HDMI from your graphics card to the HDMI inputs on the Onkyo.

S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) cable from the ST's S/PDIF output to the S/PDIF input on the Onkyo is a close second (for 5.1).

post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Your going to be using the headphones plugged into the Essence ST, no reason for using the headphones plugged into the Onkyo.

For best 2.0 or 2.1 speaker audio quality, run a 2-channel analog audio cable from the ST's RCA outputs to the RCA inputs on the Onkyo.

As your Onkyo does not come with analog 5.1 (6-channel) input, you need to run a digital connection for 5.1 speaker output

For best 5.1 speaker audio quality (Blu-ray surround sound), you would want to run HDMI from your graphics card to the HDMI inputs on the Onkyo.

S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) cable from the ST's S/PDIF output to the S/PDIF input on the Onkyo is a close second (for 5.1).

Alright cool.  Question though, why would going from the video card to the receiver not be better than the RCA connections for 2.0/2.1 as you say with the 5.1?

post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by erratik View Post

Alright cool.  Question though, why would going from the video card to the receiver not be better than the RCA connections for 2.0/2.1 as you say with the 5.1?

When running analog from Essence ST to receiver, your using the ST's nice PCM1792A DAC chip.

When you run digital from computer/sound card (optical, coaxial or HDMI) to receiver, your using whatever DAC chip is the receiver.

Chances are the PCM1792A DAC chip is a fair bit better then the whatever DAC chip built into the receiver.

post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Oh I see. Now to decide on speakers
post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 30

I own the B2030A, great value active monitors, especially as they can be picked up second hand for around 1/2 the retail price. I've listened to the B2031P as well(didn't have room for a power amp or I would've bought them) which sound identical as far as I can remember.

post #8 of 30

So how much you spending? I'd say Pioneer SP-BS51-LR, they can still be had for like $130, if you want to spend more and get floor standers i'd get the SP-FS52-LR and if you can spend up to $500ish i'd go with the Warfedale diamond 10.1 or 10.2's.

 

If you eventually want to go 5.1 I would get the SP-BS42-LR or the Diamond 10.1/10.2 and move them to surrounds when you save up more to get the towers.

 

If you go with the Pioneers or Fluance you could possibly get the whole 5.1 set for around $550


Edited by ScaryFatKidGT - 1/19/13 at 10:04pm
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaryFatKidGT View Post

So how much you spending? I'd say Pioneer SP-BS51-LR, they can still be had for like $130, if you want to spend more and get floor standers id get the SP-FS52-LR and if you can spend up to $500ish id go with the Warfedale diamond 10.1 or 10.2's.

 

If you eventually want to go 5.1 is get the SP-BS42-LR or the Diamond 10.1 and move them to surrounds when you save up more to get the towers.

 

If you go with the Pioneers or Fluance you could possibly get the whole 5.1 set for around $550

The Diamond 10.1s are damned expensive in the US, I'm surprised, I can pick up a pair for under £130($206). If they're that highly regarded I'll have to grab and amp and a pair to test.

post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaryFatKidGT View Post

So how much you spending? I'd say Pioneer SP-BS51-LR, they can still be had for like $130, if you want to spend more and get floor standers id get the SP-FS52-LR and if you can spend up to $500ish id go with the Warfedale diamond 10.1 or 10.2's.

 

If you eventually want to go 5.1 is get the SP-BS42-LR or the Diamond 10.1 and move them to surrounds when you save up more to get the towers.

 

If you go with the Pioneers or Fluance you could possibly get the whole 5.1 set for around $550

 

 

Provided I can buy from amazon or newegg, I'm comfortable with spending up to $550 on an initial 2.1.  I would eventaully like to go 5.1 but not until I have a good way of playing my music in my livingroom.  http://www.amazon.com/Wharfedale-DIA101-BLK-WHARFEDALE-DIAMOND-BLACK/dp/B003B8U9TU  the diamonds seem to be $350 but it doesnt say if that's per speaker or pair.  Can I get a decent sub for under $200?

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by erratik View Post

 

 

Provided I can buy from amazon or newegg, I'm comfortable with spending up to $550 on an initial 2.1.  I would eventaully like to go 5.1 but not until I have a good way of playing my music in my livingroom.  http://www.amazon.com/Wharfedale-DIA101-BLK-WHARFEDALE-DIAMOND-BLACK/dp/B003B8U9TU  the diamonds seem to be $350 but it doesn't say if that's per speaker or pair.  Can I get a decent sub for under $200?

I believe a single speaker is 12 pounds, but the shipping weight is listed on Amazon is 28 pounds.

So 24 pounds for 2 speakers and 4 pounds for the box and any accessories.

 

And all other listing I found on the Internet show them sold as pairs.

post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
post #13 of 30

You get what you pay for.

Personally, for a given budget, I would rather buy the best 2.0, then a 2.1 that included the $85 Polk Audio.

You have to run your nice bookshelf speakers wires thru the $85 Polk audio, using an $85 sub-woofer to separate out the low freq.

So I see the Polk Audio as a lose/lose situation.

 

I know you have a $200 limit for places beside Newegg & Amazon.....but.

Currently my local Fry's Electronic, (S.F Bay area) is selling JBL ES80 towers for $137 each.

So that's $274 for a pair, plus ground shipping.

http://www.frys.com/product/6181379

post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 

Ah, well will just 2.0 sound horrible and flat?  Cause I have no issues with spending $350 on the wharfdales and just not having a sub for a bit but if im gonna have absolutely zero bass then that's bleh too.  What sort of budget should I expect to have for a sub to not be a bottleneck on them?

 

Would the JBL's be an improvement to the point that i didn't need a sub?  if not it wouldn't really do me any good to invest in those

 

is there even a point in me investing *that* amount of money into this with the receiver I have?


Edited by erratik - 1/19/13 at 12:27pm
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by erratik View Post

Ah, well will just 2.0 sound horrible and flat?  Cause I have no issues with spending $350 on the wharfdales and just not having a sub for a bit but if i'm gonna have absolutely zero bass then that's bleh too.  What sort of budget should I expect to have for a sub to not be a bottleneck on them?

 

Would the JBL's be an improvement to the point that i didn't need a sub?  if not it wouldn't really do me any good to invest in those

I've heard the Veledyne VX-11 ($175-$200) is about the best price/value in a sub-woofer.

Have you checked your local Craigslist for a used sub-woofer?

I've never listened to the JBL ES80s, but the low end of the JBLs should offer decent quality bass.

You can just add a sub in the future when a decent one goes on sale.

I run my Infinity Beta 5.1 with no sub (mostly because I live in an apartment).

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