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Best 2.1 Setup for Under $200

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Will be upgrading my computer sound soon, and I'd like some advice. After doing a bunch of research, I'm close to settling on the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system. Will keep an eye on sales & refurbished items over the next month or so, and it would be nice to have backup options in case I find a great deal on a different model (in Canada).

 

Main requirement is for music (mostly rock) along with movies and gaming. Looking, obviously, for the best possible sound at the lowest price.

 

Intel i3 3220 with B75 motherboard, integrated soundcard with Realtek Audio.

 

Question: Should I consider an amp, sound card, or other piece? Getting a receiver and individual parts is another option but my knowledge level on putting these things together is pretty low.

 

Alternate contenders:

 

m-audio AV40 (guess I'd need to consider adding a sub here)

Creative Gigaworks T40

Edifier S330d

Corsair SP2500

Harmon Kardon Soundsticks

 

Is the Klipsch the best choice, and what would be solid # 2 or 3 options if I find a better price on one of these listed, or something else? Sort of ruled out the Logitechs, although I would consider one.

post #2 of 27

Have you considered this option. There has been a lot of talk around head-fi about it and people agree that this is a good setup for a start.

You can always add a sub later if you feel that the bass is lacking.

Hope it helps
 

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Came across an online post that suggested somebody put this together:

 

Dayton Audio B652 speakers

Topping TP22 amp

Yamaha 10" sub

 

Wonder if that Lepai amp would get the job done. And if either of the DIY options would be significantly better than the Klipsch ProMedia.
 

post #4 of 27

The Swan M10 is worth looking at. They're active speakers, so you don't need an amp, but a sound card could make a difference due to the DAC. You could always get a dedicated DAC on the other hand.

post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by shackler View Post

Wonder if that Lepai amp would get the job done. And if either of the DIY options would be significantly better than the Klipsch ProMedia.

Why don't you ask this guy how his setup sounds?

The Dayton sub in that thread is a better choice than the Yamaha subs in the same price range, and definitely better than the Klipsch Promedia sub which is more of a midbass module.

Meanwhile, for the price of the Topping you mentioned, I think you are better of going with a used receiver off of Craigslist, unless you have to have that small size.
post #6 of 27

Here's my rig with FiiO DAC, Lepai amp, Dayton speakers, Polk Audio sub. The specific components are listed in my signature if you have any questions.

 

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Read through the thread where you detailed your setup. Looks great! Really hard to find some of these parts in Canada, and those available are generally quite a bit more than in the U.S. So it seems unlikely I'd be able to keep it under $200. Not sure how much the shipping and import charges will be, but could get the Dayton speakers ($30) and Lepai LP-2020A+ amp ($25) from Parts Express. Also either the HifiMan HM-101 or Fiio E10 DAC for around $75. Add in the cost of a sub and speaker wire and it'll probably run around $300. May still end up going this route.

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Why don't you ask this guy how his setup sounds?

The Dayton sub in that thread is a better choice than the Yamaha subs in the same price range, and definitely better than the Klipsch Promedia sub which is more of a midbass module.

Meanwhile, for the price of the Topping you mentioned, I think you are better of going with a used receiver off of Craigslist, unless you have to have that small size.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. Yeah, the Yamaha is not cheap and also hard to find here. If I go this route, I will probably look used or go with the Lepai. Any suggestions for a cheap sub that would fit well with these parts?

post #9 of 27

You can always start without a DAC and without the sub, although both make a huge difference. You'll easily be under $200 that way. The Dayton speakers from Parts Express come with some cheapo speaker wire, but better speaker wire will only run about $10. I don't have any information on obtaining stuff in Canada, unfortunately. I started without the sub for a couple months and added it later.  

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Have you heard enough of the Klipsch to compare? And yeah, it's definitely an option to just start with the amp and speakers.


Edited by shackler - 1/20/13 at 8:13pm
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by shackler View Post

Thanks for the suggestions. Yeah, the Yamaha is not cheap and also hard to find here. If I go this route, I will probably look used or go with the Lepai. Any suggestions for a cheap sub that would fit well with these parts?

I know. I hang out over on AVS forum, and the Candians are always complaining about how hard is to get stuff on discount. You guys really don't get much. frown.gif

If you live near the border, I know that many people use shipping holding services in the US and then go pick up.

For subs, if you can get it shipped from Parts Express at a reasonable price, that Dayton 10" is a very good one for the money.

As far as Lepai and separate DACs, I wouldn't put a ton of money into a DAC for the Lepai. If you have room for it, a used AV receiver can be a really good deal because it has a built in DAC that is typically better quality than motherboard audio. You run optical from that to your receiver from your motherboard. I've noticed over the last few years that older receivers that don't have HDMI (but do have optical) often get dumped very cheap because wants HDMI for easy hook up and the better SQ of bluray. You might find a good deal on Canuk Audio Mart.
post #12 of 27

Yeah, I already had the FiiO E17 DAC / headphone amp because I use it for headphones...

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

I was thinking of starting with the speakers, Lepai and DAC (around $75), and maybe adding a sub later. You think I'd be better off with a receiver and sub instead? Or are they both solid options?


Edited by shackler - 1/20/13 at 8:53pm
post #14 of 27
The Lepai is excellent for $20 and can allow you build an awesome setup better than $150 to $200 desktop speaker systems, but it's not a home audio receiver smily_headphones1.gif

I got a ten year old HK AV receiver in another setup in the house. Definitely better SQ than the Lepai (which I gave away) and definitely more volume output. So yeah. If you could find a used Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, or Kenwood AV receiver in good shape (but not Panasonic or Phillips and other HTIB receivers), I think you'd end up better off than the Lepai and a separate DAC in SQ, but also features. Might have a subwoofer output and bass management. Better tone controls (I wouldn't use the ones on the Lepai). Headphone output. Ability to add more speakers or plug in other items.

Look for good used deals for a week or two and see what you find. If anything interesting, you could always post back here and see what people think. Wouldn't be too late to buy the Lepai if you don't have any luck.
post #15 of 27

Yeah, absolutely. The only reason I have the Lepai is that it was only $20 and I already had the FiiO E17 for headphones. There's no question a used receiver is going to be a lot better than the Lepai. The headphone jack in the used receiver probably isn't going to compete with a DAC for headphone use (like playing 96 / 24 music), but it will be way better than the Lepai as a speaker amplifier.


Edited by StratocasterMan - 1/20/13 at 9:57pm
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