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introduction + help choosing speakers

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

hi everyone

 

started lurking here a few months ago, decided to take the plunge and join!

 

i'm looking to buy some speakers for a desktop computer system after I move in August, and my total budget for whatever is necessary is <$100. I'm open to buying used

 

i noticed some people have given advice saying that in that price range, it is better to buy used vintage speakers. if so, can you give some recommendations (along with any other components- amp, etc?)

 

thanks!

post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by syncopied View Post

Started lurking here a few months ago, decided to take the plunge and join!

I'm looking to buy some speakers for a desktop computer system after I move in August, and my total budget for whatever is necessary is <$100. I'm open to buying used

I noticed some people have given advice saying that in that price range, it is better to buy used vintage speakers. if so, can you give some recommendations (along with any other components- amp, etc?)

Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 speakers, find used on eBay for $70-$80.

Does your computer have an add-on sound card or are you using on-board audio?

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

i will most likely be using on board audio (haven't finished building my computer yet, but what I am looking at, ASRock Z87M OC Formula, will have Realtek ALC1150 under an EMI shield with a pair of TI NE5532 amplifiers)

 

do you recommend buying an add-on sound card?

 

any other suggestions for speakers just in case? i plan on buying after I move so that there are less things for me to ship to my new place-- seems like most people selling are charging over $20 just for shipping.

 

thanks!

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by syncopied View Post

I will most likely be using on board audio (haven't finished building my computer yet, but what I am looking at, ASRock Z87M OC Formula, will have Realtek ALC1150 under an EMI shield with a pair of TI NE5532 amplifiers)

do you recommend buying an add-on sound card?

any other suggestions for speakers just in case? i plan on buying after I move so that there are less things for me to ship to my new place-- seems like most people selling are charging over $20 just for shipping.

The Z87M OC looks like a brand new motherboard design.

And motherboard audio has been improving over the last few years, so I have no idea on much you could "reasonably" spend on a sound card to make a noticeable improvement over the Z87M OC.

I paid in total (including shipping) about $90 for a used klipsch Pro Media set, off eBay.

Sometimes Bestbuy sells the Klipsch Pro Media new for $99 (on sale).

I just do not know enough about other brands to be able to recommend something else in the $100 range.

post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The Z87M OC looks like a brand new motherboard design.

And motherboard audio has been improving over the last few years, so I have no idea on much you could "reasonably" spend on a sound card to make a noticeable improvement over the Z87M OC.

I paid in total (including shipping) about $90 for a used klipsch Pro Media set, off eBay.

Sometimes Bestbuy sells the Klipsch Pro Media new for $99 (on sale).

I just do not know enough about other brands to be able to recommend something else in the $100 range.


Onboard audio improving? With what? Try looking at the tests on hardware.info, there are hundreds. All but a select few have pretty crappy sound if you use the analog out. Sp/dif is a big improvement, but hdmi out seems to be the best. I just bought a Denon AVR1513 a month or so ago, and the crackling and ticking of the analog out is gone. This on a recent motherboard.

 

Soundchips are chips that are bought in bulk for under a dollar each and they are put on motherboards as a cheap extra with power for their operation hijacked from this or that, a motherboard is not there to provide you with good sound. A soundcard is a product that is there only to produce good sound. You pay for nothing else but good audio.

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lezzmeister View Post


Onboard audio improving? With what? Try looking at the tests on hardware.info, there are hundreds. All but a select few have pretty crappy sound if you use the analog out. Sp/dif is a big improvement, but hdmi out seems to be the best. I just bought a Denon AVR1513 a month or so ago, and the crackling and ticking of the analog out is gone. This on a recent motherboard.

 

Soundchips are chips that are bought in bulk for under a dollar each and they are put on motherboards as a cheap extra with power for their operation hijacked from this or that, a motherboard is not there to provide you with good sound. A soundcard is a product that is there only to produce good sound. You pay for nothing else but good audio.

 



so would you recommend a sound card in addition to speakers? any suggestions for 100 or less total?

post #7 of 25

The ALC1150 might sound okay, but it really depends on the circuitry it will have. There is no telling what that will do, but it is another bulk chip, so I would not get my hopes up. Maybe this will help you: click. The ALC1150 does better than the older Realtek chips(they are the 90+ ones, but the top one has a Creative Sound Core3D), but the s/n ratio does not tell all. Mice that make the output crackle when moved, ticking sounds, had it on more motherboards than I dare to count. The optical sp/dif solves almost all of these though. So it is just ****ty layout or powersupply I think.

 

Since Win7 and Win8 all the sound is purely software processing(simply put). So long story short, tis is the reason I decided to ditch the soundcard and use the hdmi out of the videocard and feed it into the receiver. But hdmi will not work without a videosignal, so I had to set it up for use with dual monitor, clone the screens and feed one to my receiver, one to my screen. If you happen to have an unused receiver I do recommend it. But it may take some fiddling(putting it mildly). Other option is any hifi amplifier you may have lying around that takes sp/dif. Then use the $100 for some nice speakers at the local audio store. Or if you are handy you could do some Cyburg Needles. You can build those cheaply with 12mm mdf. But that means you have to have access to some tools and you have to get the wood. I am in the process of building a new set with 4 needles now. Easy to build and cheap too, good thing since I spent my budget on the damn receiver and cabling.

Before this, I had a M-Audio Audiophile 2496(which might be a good option, sells new here for €39, but no surround plus it's pci) with a Pioneer A209-R and a pair of Pioneer SMH-50's. Did not do too bad, but lacked bass obviously, and if bought new it will not fit your budget.

 

You could go for the Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 as an interim solution maybe? Then upgrade later. Maybe go for a cheap usb dac? Or maybe use monitor speakers. I can buy the Behringer MS40 or the Microlab Solo3C for about €100. Do not know what dollarprices would be. Could be a quite a bit cheaper, or expensive, you'd have to check.

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

so basically I need a receiver-- i know that decent ones are beyond my budget, so any suggestions for something else?

 

does the use of monitor speakers like the behringer ms40 eliminate the need for the receiver?

 

sorry for all the questions; I am new to this entire thing and there are so many components to learn about!

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by syncopied View Post

So basically I need a receiver-- i know that decent ones are beyond my budget, so any suggestions for something else?

does the use of monitor speakers like the behringer ms40 eliminate the need for the receiver?

sorry for all the questions; I am new to this entire thing and there are so many components to learn about!

The Behringer MS40s can be connected to the S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) outputs on the motherboard (no need for receiver).

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

the question is where i can get them within my budget... they're selling for 150+ and ebay doesnt show anything.

 

anyone have lest costly recommendations? i'm assuming that if i dont want to buy a receiver that I should find speakers that connect straight into spdif, is that right?

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by syncopied View Post

The question is where I can get them within my budget... they're selling for 150+ and eBay doesn't show anything.

anyone have lest costly recommendations? I'm assuming that if i don't want to buy a receiver that I should find speakers that connect straight into s/pdif, is that right?

For you budget your looking at getting self powered speakers (no receiver).

 

There is Dayton Audio B652 speakers, and get a low cost Lepai amplifier to drive them.

Check out the Parts-Express website.

 

Also check your local Craigslist for something used.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

For you budget your looking at getting self powered speakers (no receiver).

There is Dayton Audio B652 speakers, and get a low cost Lepai amplifier to drive them.
Check out the Parts-Express website.

Also check your local Craigslist for something used.

+1

Unfortunately, your budget means you have to reign in your expectations. The Dayton and Lepai would be my choice. See the discussion here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/627161/my-very-low-budget-nearfield-desktop-rig-lepai-amp-and-dayton-audio-speakers

Or you could pair some used speakers off CL with the Lepai.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

wow, that's an amazing thread, thanks for sharing!

 

any suggestions for other possible speakers in that range (used on cl/ebay)? i always like options :)

 

i am new to these things, so could someone explain what the article meant by this:

 

[quote]

That made a big difference for the better, but I couldn't resist adding the HiFiMan Express HM-101 USB-powered DAC to see if it would take the sound to another level. It absolutely did; the tonal balance was sweeter and more natural. (Just insert the HiFiMan between the audio source and the Lepai's input.) Selling for $39 on Amazon, it's a logical upgrade option. When using a PC as the audio source, the FiiO E10 USB digital-to-analog converter ($76 on Amazon) took the Lepai/Dayton system's sound to an even higher level, so the potential for sound improvements is strong, without breaking the bank.

[/quote]

 

what's the difference between using the pc and an ipod as the audio source? or does he mean that both the hifiman and fiio are viable options for upgrade later on, depending on budget?

post #14 of 25
Given your budget range, you'd probably need to look up what's available on ebay and CL and then research and see if it's any good.

As for the comment made on CNET about the DAC, often output from a PC desktop or laptop computer can be improved upon with an external DAC. It's not just the Lepai that benefits from that.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
can someone help me out with potential connections for the possibility of switching use between bookshelf speakers and headphones:

[computer]--optical out--[dac]--[amp]--[wire to bookshelf speakers, 3.5mm jack to headphones]

i understand that at my budget i will be hunting for used bookshelf speakers

i noticed that the lepai only has one set of outputs, so does anyone have any alternatives? also, if i had to choose between an amp and a dac, what would you choose?
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