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Looking for a £200-£300 set-up for my laptop

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Heya, I'm looking for a good set-up for my computer, I will be using a laptop fairly soon though so a sound-card is out of the question. I live in the UK and have a budget of about £200-£300.

 

I'm in need of new speakers and a DAC(+)Amp to hook up to my laptop. I listen to Rock/Dubstep/DnB so I do like quite a bit of bass but clarity is nice.

 

The reason I'm using a laptop is because I will be moving within a year for my university course and as such will be mainly using a laptop during that period. I know headphones might be better but I have already decided on getting the DT770's and will have them soon, so I will be alternating between listening on speakers (I just love blasting out my music), and using my headphones when I won't be disturbing others/wanting immersion. :)

 

Just wondering what kind of set-up you guys could recommend.

post #2 of 39

You'd be surprised how good the sound is coming out of an Audioquest Dragonfly or one of its more recent competitors. It's so tiny you could take it anywhere.

post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post
 

You'd be surprised how good the sound is coming out of an Audioquest Dragonfly or one of its more recent competitors. It's so tiny you could take it anywhere.

They do look quite handy, but probably not what I'm looking for.

 

What would you say about the Fiio E10/E17, paired with another amp (like a Lepai amp with the bass/treble/volume knobs and whatnot), along with some speakers (not sure what ones though). Obviously it's not as portable as the Dragonfly, however it is 'backpack' portable. Would that be a good combination?

post #4 of 39

I don't know about the E10, but the main draw of the E17 is that it's a portable DAC+amp combined. If you're using it as a DAC alone, the much cheaper Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC actually sounds better.

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 

Hmm I have a Sansa Clip+ that I use regularly to listen to music on the go... how would the E17 affect my audio? Would be nice if it worked for both the laptop and my portable listening needs.

Still I'm not entirely sure how it all works together.

post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridai View Post
 

Hmm I have a Sansa Clip+ that I use regularly to listen to music on the go... how would the E17 affect my audio? Would be nice if it worked for both the laptop and my portable listening needs.

Still I'm not entirely sure how it all works together.

 

You cannot bypass the DAC on the Sansa Clip+ so you would only be using the E17 as an amp. The E11 and E12 are way better amps than the E17's amp section.

 

I would probably do this:

Laptop > Hifimediy > E11

Sansa > E11

post #7 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post
 

 

You cannot bypass the DAC on the Sansa Clip+ so you would only be using the E17 as an amp. The E11 and E12 are way better amps than the E17's amp section.

 

I would probably do this:

Laptop > Hifimediy > E11

Sansa > E11

Sounds good to me, do you know how good the sound quality is on the Hifimediy? I have a fairly decent budget so I was just wondering if there is anything else that can do a better job. I'm also looking for speakers in the UK if you know of any good ones.

 

Thanks for the help thus far by the way ;)

post #8 of 39

No problem :)

 

The Hifimediy is about 80-90% of the sound quality of an ODAC

post #9 of 39

As for alternatives, possibly ODAC or Schiit Modi at $100-ish. A step up would be Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11 at $350-ish, and Yulong D100 which I have, at $450-ish, though you could find one used for $275.

post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post
 

As for alternatives, possibly ODAC or Schiit Modi at $100-ish. A step up would be Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11 at $350-ish, and Yulong D100 which I have, at $450-ish, though you could find one used for $275.

Ah I see.. As for the HiFimeDIY Sabre U2, would the HiFimeDIY USB Isolator be needed? Considering going with the Sabre U2 since it is very cheap and does what I need. Can you suggest any speakers that are good for around £100 or less and available in the UK?

post #11 of 39

Sorry I've never used a USB Isolator so I have no idea what difference it would make. As for speakers, Audioengine A2 is $200 and sounds amazing for their tiny size.

post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post
 

Sorry I've never used a USB Isolator so I have no idea what difference it would make. As for speakers, Audioengine A2 is $200 and sounds amazing for their tiny size.

Oh okay. The Audioengine A2s do look pretty good, I was also wondering if using an equalizer was possible with the HiFimeDIY Sabre U2? Just incase my speakers sounded bad until they were EQ'ed.

post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridai View Post
 

Oh okay. The Audioengine A2s do look pretty good, I was also wondering if using an equalizer was possible with the HiFimeDIY Sabre U2? Just incase my speakers sounded bad until they were EQ'ed.

 

Yes you would use DSP equalization in your playback software to digitally manipulate the audio before sending it to the DAC.

post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangel2323 View Post
 

 

Yes you would use DSP equalization in your playback software to digitally manipulate the audio before sending it to the DAC.

Ahh I understand now!

I think I will be purchasing the items you suggested earlier;

 

Laptop > Hifimediy > E11

Sansa > E11


Possibly with the Audioengine A2, but I'm not entirely sure about those yet!

Thank you very much for your help!! :D

post #15 of 39
I would buy these Wharfedale Diamond 9.1s that are on closeout for £99.95 and combine them with a good t-amp. I recommend the Indeed TA2021; Topping t-amps available from Amazon UK are also good quality. Here's a review of the Diamonds. You'll find many other good testimonials for them on the web. That will be a better setup than any 2.0 desktop multimedia speakers you can buy for close to the same price.
Edited by cel4145 - 9/27/13 at 11:04am
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