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Computer audio with powered speakers or receiver with bookshelve speakers?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been an audiophile for some time now and I wanted to ask a few technical questions which will help me to choose one which way to go.  I am an itunes power user with over 300 gig of mp3's. I will be doing some guitar recording with an Mbox and pro tools. I'm also a gammer. I would like to stream my itunes to my non WiFi Denon receiver that have Polk audio bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer connected to them in the living room.

 

My desktop system has an expensive Sound Blaster creative SB X-Fi PCI express sound card and I''m currently using Audio Technica over the ear headphones. I also have an old yamaha pro logic receiver 75 watts per channel that I can pair with a set of Bose 201 bookshelf speakers and hook that up to my PC.

 

I'm interested in Audioengine's line of speakers and possibly their external DAC/Amp.  http://audioengineusa.com/Store

 

I would like speaker audio with my PC but I do not know what to choose.

 

So here are my questions:

 

1.Would a powered speaker (Audioengine A5+) be better than anything you have read above and if so and why?

 

2.Would passive Audioengine A4's with DAC/AMP be better than a receiver and bose 201's? If so, why?

 

3.Would hooking up my old Yamaha pro logic receiver with my Bose 201's to my PC be my best route?

 

4.I have an expensive sound card. Dosen't my sound card have a build in DAC? What is the benefit of going with your external DAC?

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill1202 View Post

 

4.I have an expensive sound card. Dosen't my sound card have a build in DAC? What is the benefit of going with your external DAC?

less interference, but you will lose your sound card's features if u use a external dac. Unless you connect it with optical instead of usb. 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Would my sound card be better than an external dac because i could connect it with optical?
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill1202 View Post

Would my sound card be better than an external dac because i could connect it with optical?

connecting with optical will bypass your onboard's dac and use the external DAC. Your onboard would be better than a external dac only if your external dac is actually worse than ur soundcard. 

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill1202 View Post

So here are my questions:

1.Would a powered speaker (Audioengine A5+) be better than anything you have read above and if so and why?

2.Would passive Audioengine A4's with DAC/AMP be better than a receiver and bose 201's? If so, why?

3.Would hooking up my old Yamaha pro logic receiver with my Bose 201's to my PC be my best route?

4.I have an expensive sound card. Dosen't my sound card have a build in DAC? What is the benefit of going with your external DAC?

1) Since you already have the Yamaha, invest in passive speakers instead of the A5+ and you should be able to get better SQ. No need to buy amplification in a powered speaker.
2) Audioengine A4s are popular among people who know the Audioengine brand name and are not knowledgeable about other speaker brands. Not so much among everyone else that is into home audio. Look for deals on other passive speakers.
3) Skip the 201s if you are willing to spend what the A5+s cost. You can do much better.
4) Biggest benefit will come from putting your budget toward speakers.
post #6 of 6
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