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Looking for a new pc speaker setup

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by lostone88, Aug 13, 2018.
  1. lostone88
    Hi i am getting a new pc in about 6 or 7 months and would like to have recommendations on what setup i should go for. I am having a ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO soundcard and i like the Q Acoustics Bookshelf Speakers (dont know what modal), B.K. Gemini 2 sub What small amp/dac (like it to be in the same unit) what would you recommend, i have limited space.

    My budget is about £600-£700 but i prefer to spend £300 in total. I like it to be simple as possible as my knowledge is very limited in this stuff. I was looking for a built in amp in the speakers to keep it simple.

    Also to add that this is for games mainly, music is not a must as i have my hi fi.

    Kind regards
  2. DeepSouth
    I can't post a new thread yet, and I'm also looking for a better PC system. Bump....

    I had bose companion 3 and 5 (not very clear), paradigm 2.1 millenia (way too fatiguing), and now I'm on Audioengine A5+ and matching sub and a dragonfly red DAC. A5 might be the best out of the bunch, but I'm still looking for better. Do I need to invest in cables here? Or is the A5 system not worth it and should I keep looking?
  3. ZMG885
    First off, if you find your A5+ system lacking I wouldn't put higher-end cables other than make sure what you use has some shielding. I made my own cables out of Canjare 4S8 and there's ton of information on this forum and youtube on how to do that. I made them for my Audioengine 2+ setup and I couldn't tell discern a sound improvement over the cheap stock cable, but it's dead quiet on the noise floor.

    Next. I think it's worthy to contemplate if you want optimum sound sitting in front of your computer, or you're sitting way back, using your speakers to fill your room with sound. I mention this because some monitors are really good at imaging close up, and others at filling a room of sound with a sweet spot farther back. I consider the A5s sort of in the middle designwise. My Audioengine A2+ speakers, are more nearfield, and image very well in a zone about 20-36 inches back and sound muffled farther back. If you're sitting at a computer listing to music, a nearfield monitor makes good sense. Thus, most folks on this thread will mention pro-audio type speakers designed for near-field monitoring as ideal for sitting at a computer. The much mentioned JBL LSR305 or LSR308 are examples that get high marks for performance at a reasonable price. In the pro-audio range, you can go up from there in price (Focal, Adam, Presonus, Mackie, JBL, Dynaudio, KRK, Genelec). For a long time, I had a pair of KRK Rokit 6CL monitors that sounded really good, but for a small office desk, just too big and I sold them. I mentioned this because between 24 and 48 inches, they imaged like my 2-way Paradigms sitting 10 feet back. Up close they had enough low-end to forego the sub. Also, many on these forums will mention speaker placement and room treatment first before you get "better" speakers. So that's something to consider. Yet, I've personally found room treatment doesn't solve a speaker sound you don't like. Many may disagree with me, but I've found that true for me.

    If you're really looking for a fill-the-room with sound setup, then I believe your into a 2-channel setup which opens up so many options and price points.

    If you dig around on this forum enough, you will find many folks seem to settle on something like the JBL LSR305 at low-end and the KEF LS50 at the high-end. I've never heard the KEFs, but their reputation is stellar across the board, but I've seen lots of them at the computer station. Huge jump in price, but folks swear by the performance.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  4. DeepSouth
    Thanks ZM!

    You confirmed my concern, A5 is't worth the cable loom.
    I do like to work from my PC while listening to music, which is what brought me to A5. I had 3 different hifi guys telling me I didn't want a 2 channel rig to work at my PC, and that I just need to try nearfield speakers. Their argument against 2 channel was that the speakers need to be positioned/calibrated to a listener's chair, and that the speakers behind me pointed at my back aren't a good idea. Overall the A5+ sounds very nice, nowhere near 2 channel rigs, but way better than any PC speakers I've heard. for some reason they fatigue me. They didn't in the beginning, but they do now. The A5 isn't as clear sounding as my 2channel/HT hybrid rig Mcintosh/sonus faber.

    I fully agree with speaker placement and room treatment. But I'm not so sure speaker placement on my desktop can really happen. It's a small desk. Maybe getting them off my desk might be the first step. Room treatment treats the room's problems, but in this case I'm not hearing bright reflections bouncing off the wall.

    Have you heard is the LS50 is fatiguing?
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    I would say to find a used 2.1 setup, two studio monitors (self powered)
    and a sub-woofer (self powered) designed to work with studio monitors.
  6. DeepSouth
    Speaking of speaker placement and a small desk, I decided to do a simple experiment. At 5 ft away these don't fatigue me (within one full song), but at 2 ft they quickly fatigue me. At 5 ft the fuzziness/distortion I'd hear in the mid to upper frequencies disappear at 5 ft too. Perhaps I need to buy stands and get them off my desk.
  7. ZMG885
    Nice 2-CH setup, BTW! Not surprising the A5s aren't matching up to that.

    One other point to consider: are you using the internal DAC on the A5+s? I normally use a Schiit Audio Modi Multibit DAC and a Magni 3 amp/pre-amp, and one day I switched to the A2+ internal DAC and it was like dragging nails across a chalk board... fatiguing. If your DAC setup is good, then I'd be auditioning some pro-audio monitors. I'm also looking for a place to hear the KEF LS50s, and if you scan the reviews, hardly anything but praise.
  8. DeepSouth
    I'm using the USB dragonfly red from audioquest; a big step up from the PC's integrated motherboard 3.5 jack. I don't have experience with any other dedicated DAC, but SCHIIT was on my radar.
    I know the LS50 and Audioengine are the top 2. I just had a local dealer with A5 on display so that's the route I took. I'll have to look at KEF's website to see who is a local dealer for my area.
  9. ZMG885
    Hmmm. I was considering swapping out my A2+ for the A5+ and this conversation has me rethinking that... That said, I believe the DAC/AMP setup I mentioned would be a big upgrade over the Dragonfly Red, especially if you move to the KEFs. It could be the A5s are revealing distortion in the DAC and when you sit close, you hear the artifacts. What you describe about hearing the distortion close up is what I experienced with the internal DAC on the A2+, and then switching back to my modi multi/magni alll that went away. And before the Schiit stack, I had an Audioengine D1 which was a huge upgrade over my Mac Mini port, and the Schiit stack was a huge upgrade over the D1. I couldn't go back because the downgrade in sound was too audible.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  10. DeepSouth
    My sales guy is going to bring a chord dac over to see how that works too, but if A5 isn't going to sound great regardless of the DAC, I should probably rethink my stradegy.
  11. ZMG885
    Well, a Mojo or Hugo 2 will answer the DAC question for sure.
  12. jologskyblues
    Although fatigue usually depends on the quality of source recording, the LS50 is not fatiguing in most cases for me in near-field. It's just a matter of making sure the tweeters are not directly aimed at the ears and are slightly off-axis outwards with regards to speaker toe-in and lower than ear level in terms of vertical height. These can be done without sacrificing sound quality and can actually widen the listening sweet spot..
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  13. ZMG885
    This is go to know. I'm redesigning my office space so my computer station can double as my 2.1 system. I need good near-field performance as well as room filling. BTW. What amp do you like for the LS50s? Would they do well with a 60W/Ch tube amp?
  14. jologskyblues
    I don't have any experience at all with tube amps. I used a NAD C326BEE with the LS50 before I upgraded to the LS50W. It sounded good to my ears.

    If you intend to set up the LS50 in a 2.1 system with a good sub, I strongly recommend to fully plug the bass reflex ports in the back of the speakers to run them in fully sealed mode then adjust the crossover on the sub accordingly, letting the sub take over the low end around 100Hz and below.
    ZMG885 likes this.
  15. theveterans
    8B2A649B-FE72-4EBB-B1DF-170AAAA188D5.jpeg Yamaha HS7 + HS8S = non-fatiguing sound despite sounding flat like they should
    jologskyblues likes this.

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