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Monitors and connectivity questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to buy some speakers that will be used for Music/Movies/Gaming at about 80/15/5. I've done a lot of looking and so far I think my top two options are JBL LSR305 and Behringer B3030a, with the latter representing the upper end of my price range.

My first question is simply connectivity. What would the best way to connect my laptop to the speakers? The are both active and receive balanced input.

The behringer website recommends running usb through a behringer uca222, but I don't just want to jump on that because to me, that just looks like they're trying to upsell however, if it is a good path to follow, or if there's another similar produt with better value, I'd like to hear about it. 1 big reason I bought this laptop is because of the great onboard sound, so I'm not necessarily looking for a DAC. On another note, I'd like the ability to plug in my (or somebody else's) phone into the speakers. The vast majority of the time they will be plugged into the laptop, so this is a feature I can live without, but it would be a bonus.

 

So yeah, I'm wondering about what the best way to set these up would be. Also, what would happen in the following scenarios

1) Run a stereo->mono cable from a headphone jack into the speakers a) without a DI box , and b) with a DI box

2) Use unbalanced cables to plug into the speakers' balanced inputs.

 

Additional info

These speakers will be used mostly in medium sized rooms with carpetting - not in a studio.

They will be my only standalone speakers. The only other devices I could listen through are headphones (AKG K240s, Hifiman RE-400s) and the laptop's onboard speakers.

I will probably be listening at a distance of 4-8 feet.

post #2 of 4

Difficult question to answer really. What you need is a monitor controller but since your budget isn't huge getting a good one would mean diverting funds away from the speakers. Which wouldn't be a good idea as they are the most important component by far.

 

Anyway after getting a pair of active monitors most people soon come round to wanting an audio interface of some kind. This not only acts as a monitor controller it is also a DI box, headphone amp and controller, effects packager, mixer, more versatile connectivity options as well as having long term future upgrade potential.

 

So in the meantime you could get one of these.

 

http://www.thomann.de/gb/fostex_pc_1_volume_control.htm

 

The Palmer Monicon, SM Pro Nanopatch and TC Level Pilot cost a bit more and have good reputations but like I said. Get the best monitors you can afford now and then save for an interface. They are the products designed to work with audio hardware and software.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

thanks for the input! However, the fostex only has RCA out, which would require a conversion to get to the speakers listed.

 

Currently, the most tempting option is to skip a DI box entirely, since it seems that the two most valuable parts of it are A) Balance the signal so it can transmit over long distances, and B) Allow for mixing. Since I will only transmit signals over a few feet, and will not be doing any mixing, would I be OK to go from my phone jack -> stereo/mono ->monitors? If I left out any additional boxes, I could add them to a system later, but would the speakers technically run without them in my situation? Or would there be a noticeable drop in sound quality?

For reference, I could go laptop phono -> http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-CMP153-Cable-Inch-Dual/dp/B000068O3C -> monitors?

 

Question #2 - This may be obvious to some, but where in all of this does the sound get split to L/R?

 

Also, if a box solution would cost ~$25, I might as well get the Behr, since it looks simple and seems like a natural fit with behr monitors.


Edited by Sonichaos - 5/30/14 at 7:29am
post #4 of 4

 

You just need a pair of these.

 

Read up on how balanced and unbalanced cabling works here.

 

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan02/articles/faq0102.asp

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