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Looking for a great 2.1 desktop experience.....? HELP

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I wanted to build myself a great 2.1 setup for my computer.  I had planned on buying the DGX and going optical into my Harmon Kardon AVR146 at first but now I am thinking of just running active speakers.  I was looking at the Audioengine A5+ with the S8 subwoofer but now I'm second guessing myself.  Anyone have experience with either or both of these?  Figured I better ask you wonderful folks.  I could get the P4 passive Audioengines and run it with my AVR, but they are 4ohm speakers and my AVR is only rated at 8ohms.  I've read into my specific model and people say going below 8ohms isn't a very good idea :/  The P4 has an amp that was built specifically to power them and it has a decent headphone amp built into it, so that may be a viable option.  But overall price point for the 2 doesn't seem very good compared to other options, unless someone can convince me otherwise 

Anyway, my friend has a set of Infinity Primus 250 that I can get for a little over $100 that I could totally rock with the AVR.  I just want a great front stage that will accurately reproduce the movies/music/video games that I throw at it.  My options are very open right now.  Getting the Primus 250s would save me lots of money to throw at my subwoofer.  I live in an apartment currently and wont really be able to let my subwoofer shine much regardless but I've looked into HSU and found a hybrid that would let me run sealed or ported.  That may help reduce to vibration and keep it tame until I get my own house and don't have to worry about being too loud.   

Any input on my predicament would be wonderful  
 

 


Thanks smile.gif

post #2 of 25

The Infinity Primus 250 for just over $100 seems like a great deal.

Optical from computer to HK AVR 146 should be fine.

You might also consider investing into a DAC for improving audio quality.

Connect the DAC to the HK AVR 146's analog input.

Hifimediy Sabre U2 USB DAC, $57+shipping.

http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=123

 

Maybe consider investing into a sub-woofer after you have moved out of the apartment..

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The Infinity Primus 250 for just over $100 seems like a great deal.

Optical from computer to HK AVR 146 should be fine.

You might also consider investing into a DAC for improving audio quality.

Connect the DAC to the HK AVR 146's analog input.

Hifimediy Sabre U2 USB DAC, $57+shipping.

http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=123

 

Maybe consider investing into a sub-woofer after you have moved out of the apartment..

 

 

You don't feel like the internal DAC of the AVR will suffice?  

I guess I don't know much about HK but I figured it would be better then most of your average, every day DACs.

 

I was hoping to hold off on an external DAC until later, save up $$$ and do it the right way.  Get something wicked :)  

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

 

You don't feel like the internal DAC of the AVR will suffice?  
I guess I don't know much about HK but I figured it would be better then most of your average, every day DACs.

I was hoping to hold off on an external DAC until later, save up $$$ and do it the right way.  Get something wicked :)  

I do have faith in HK receivers, and HK 146 appears to have gotten good reviews.

The AVR 146 appears to be one of HK's lower costing receivers and I guess it was designed about 8 years ago.

After 8 years chances are better DAC chips have fallen in price, and would be better then the DAC chip used in the HK AVR 146.

The idea of getting an external DAC is just an option.

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


You don't feel like the internal DAC of the AVR will suffice?  

I'd suggest listening to it first with the HK built in DAC and see what you think. If you are happy with it, then get your sub next and wait until you can do an even better DAC upgrade after that.

As far as the HSU ported vs. sealed option, I'm not a fan of the idea. Generally a sub enclosure is designed differently for ported vs. sealed in terms of total volume. And I happen to know that the newest generation of HSU subs has the same driver and enclosure as the previous generation, which did not have the sealed option. So obviously, these subs are optimized for ported, and then you have the new feature of stuffing both the ports. That's not the same as getting a well-designed sealed sub. What it does is it lets you control the rolloff of the speakers a little. Meanwhile, the ported vs sealed option is not really going to help much to "reduce to vibration and keep it tame," other than the fact that you can have it rolloff a little sooner and eliminate a few hz of the low end.

Best thing to do is get off the fence and choose the best sub for your needs and leave it turned down if the bass output is too much for your neighbors (ask to test with them). However, if you are using the sub nearfield while sitting at the computer and not blasting your ears, it may not bother them unless your walls are real thin (or sharing a wall).

And I don't know what your budget is, but I also recommend looking at SVS Sound subs as well. Both HSU and SVS are equivalent quality (and price/performance value) sub vendors. SVS also offers a great trade-up option and a better warranty than HSU, and their subs have great limiters that will cut in to protect you from overdriving your sub.
Edited by cel4145 - 2/21/14 at 9:32am
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


And I don't know what your budget is, but I also recommend looking at SVS Sound subs as well. Both HSU and SVS are equivalent quality (and price/performance value) sub vendors. SVS also offers a great trade-up option and a better warranty than HSU, and their subs have great limiters that will cut in to protect you from overdriving your sub.

 

I have looked into SVS and they seem to be a GREAT option for the money :)  I'm glad you had mentioned the part about HSU slacking on design with their hybrid enclosures.  A sub can only perform as well as it's enclosure.  My friend has the 15" Hybrid and it sounds pretty good the way it is but I've only ever heard it ported.  Price point really isn't an issue, I just want my subwoofer purchase to be "worth every penny."  If I spend $200 and it will accurately reproduce the things I throw at it, then it was the best amount of money to spend.  But if I drop $500+ on a subwoofer it damn sure better be worth every cent :P  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

 

After 8 years chances are better DAC chips have fallen in price, and would be better then the DAC chip used in the HK AVR 146.

 

Oh yes, I'm sure there are far superior chips out now.  My plan is to get a wicked external DAC that can be used for both my 2.1 desktop setup and headphones.  I just need to decide what product will work best for me :)  I'm just now jumping back into headfi and HT speakers after building a competition sound quality setup for my vehicle.  I'm a little behind on the newer product line-up 

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by peenemunde View Post

I have looked into SVS and they seem to be a GREAT option for the money smily_headphones1.gif  I'm glad you had mentioned the part about HSU slacking on design with their hybrid enclosures.  

I don't think they are slacking on the design. They had the opportunity to add that feature which would allow changing the frequency response, and they took it. It adds a good feature and gives them another way to market them.

But since it sounds like you know car audio design, you probably know that the optimal sealed enclosure size for a driver and a ported enclosure version with that driver are not going to be the same. Something has to be compromised if trying to implement both with the same box by plugging the ports. Given that we know it was originally a ported sub in the previous design, gotta be the sealed performance. So if sealed is really what you want, then look at sealed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by peenemunde View Post

My friend has the 15" Hybrid and it sounds pretty good the way it is but I've only ever heard it ported. . . .  But if I drop $500+ on a subwoofer it damn sure better be worth every cent :P  

Don't worry. All the SVS and HSU subs are similar price/performance values like the VTF-15H. If you want more SPL, go ported. If you want a sealed design, SVS has compact sealed subs that sound great. But they aren't SPL monsters like the ported designs of both SVS and HSU. Not meant to be.

One other good thing about SVS and HSU subs is that you can trust the frequency response measurements that both have on their website. I've seen many of them confirmed repeatedly. Some by professional reviews, others by serious sub enthusiasts.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I don't think they are slacking on the design. They had the opportunity to add that feature which would allow changing the frequency response, and they took it. It adds a good feature and gives them another way to market them.

But since it sounds like you know car audio design, you probably know that the optimal sealed enclosure size for a driver and a ported enclosure version with that driver are not going to be the same. Something has to be compromised if trying to implement both with the same box by plugging the ports. Given that we know it was originally a ported sub in the previous design, gotta be the sealed performance. So if sealed is really what you want, then look at sealed.
Don't worry. All the SVS and HSU subs are similar price/performance values like the VTF-15H. If you want more SPL, go ported. If you want a sealed design, SVS has compact sealed subs that sound great. But they aren't SPL monsters like the ported designs of both SVS and HSU. Not meant to be.

One other good thing about SVS and HSU subs is that you can trust the frequency response measurements that both have on their website. I've seen many of them confirmed repeatedly. Some by professional reviews, others by serious sub enthusiasts.

 

 

I guess I never put two and two together before looking into the Hybrid.  I had figured the enclosure would be designed around both options, not just a ported box with a plug.  Since they didn't change up the design at all, my guess is the sealed option will drastically reduce the low end extension.  As for the best subwoofer for me, whether sealed or ported I haven't decided.  I don't need any SPL monsters in my livingroom, just something to blend well and be transient with my frontstage.  I will use it mostly for gaming and music but I live in an apartment, so I don't want it to be an animal.  If SVS has a trade-up program I would DEFINITELY be interested in reading up on that.  Then, in a year when I get my own house I can get the animal :)   Any specific SVS subwoofers you feel would fit my build?  

Thanks 

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

Oh yes, I'm sure there are far superior chips out now.  My plan is to get a wicked external DAC that can be used for both my 2.1 desktop setup and headphones.  I just need to decide what product will work best for me :)  I'm just now jumping back into headfi and HT speakers after building a competition sound quality setup for my vehicle.  I'm a little behind on the newer product line-up 

One option is to get a good external DAC (ODAC $150?) and use the HK AVR 146's headphone jack.

Headphones in the 120-Ohm to 300-Ohm range should work with the HK AVR 146.

 

Or if your looking for something with it's own headphone amplifier (with separate line-output for the receiver).

Audio-GD NFB-15.32 external DAC/Amp, $300, gives you the option of headphones from 12-Ohm to 600-Ohms.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by peenemunde View Post

I don't need any SPL monsters in my livingroom, just something to blend well and be transient with my frontstage.  I will use it mostly for gaming and music but I live in an apartment, so I don't want it to be an animal.  If SVS has a trade-up program I would DEFINITELY be interested in reading up on that.  Then, in a year when I get my own house I can get the animal smily_headphones1.gif   Any specific SVS subwoofers you feel would fit my build?  

Depends on your cubic footage. It's easy enough to get loud bass in a car from a 10" sub, but even a walk-in closet is as big as the interior as of SUV. When you start trying to fill a room with sound, you really have to think about what kind of dynamics you need. I have the SVS SB-1000 in my home office, but it's maybe 1200 cubic feet. In my 6,000 cubic ft living room, I have dual 18" sealed subwoofers biggrin.gif
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Depends on your cubic footage. It's easy enough to get loud bass in a car from a 10" sub, but even a walk-in closet is as big as the interior as of SUV. When you start trying to fill a room with sound, you really have to think about what kind of dynamics you need. I have the SVS SB-1000 in my home office, but it's maybe 1200 cubic feet. In my 6,000 cubic ft living room, I have dual 18" sealed subwoofers biggrin.gif


 

There is a B-stock SB12-NSD for $599 right now on their website :)  

As for my livingroom, I would say it's about 15ft X 30ft.  Which roughly equates to 5000cuft if my ceiling is 10ft high.  Eventually this setup will be going into a much smaller room as I hate having my computer in the livingroom right now.    

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


 
There is a B-stock SB12-NSD for $599 right now on their website smily_headphones1.gif  


As for my livingroom, I would say it's about 15ft X 30ft.  Which roughly equates to 5000cuft if my ceiling is 10ft high.  Eventually this setup will be going into a much smaller room as I hate having my computer in the livingroom right now.    

5000 cubic feet is definitely too much for the SB12 unless you only plan on listening to it at very moderate volumes. Audioholics did an extensive review that includes lots of measurements, and they rated it as suitable for 1500 to 3000 cubic feet: http://www.audioholics.com/subwoofer-reviews/sb12-nsd-subwoofer/sb12-nsd-conclusion.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


5000 cubic feet is definitely too much for the SB12 unless you only plan on listening to it at very moderate volumes. Audioholics did an extensive review that includes lots of measurements, and they rated it as suitable for 1500 to 3000 cubic feet: http://www.audioholics.com/subwoofer-reviews/sb12-nsd-subwoofer/sb12-nsd-conclusion.

 

 

Well, for now as it's intended for my apartment, I won't be getting very loud intentionally.  And if it really doesn't perform well it will give me incentive to move my setup into my bedroom :)    

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by peenemunde View Post


Well, for now as it's intended for my apartment, I won't be getting very loud intentionally.  And if it really doesn't perform well it will give me incentive to move my setup into my bedroom smily_headphones1.gif    

Well, it will perform very well for a 14" cube sealed sub. For that size space, takes a lot of sub. I had an Outlaw EX (comparable to the HSU VTF-3 MK4 in output) in my living room at one time, which is 6,000 cubic feet, and it did pretty well. And that's a big ported 12" sub. The SB12 is definitely better suited for bedroom duty smily_headphones1.gif
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

I would really like to find something on the classifieds of AVS or something along those lines.  I don't mind a used product if it's coming from someone reputable.  Shipping would be awfully rough, I bet lol

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