Need help in planning speaker set-up. (New in speakers..)
May 24, 2015 at 5:12 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

SptTablo

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Hi everyone,
 
I own a Logitech Z906 but after getting into head-fi, I want to upgrade my speakers. ( These speakers are good for entertainment not solely for listening. )
 
I have to say that I still really like them and they are really multi-functional speakers.
 
This is my plan now. 
 
Speakers: PSB Alpha B1
 
Amplifier: Either Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 or NAD C316BEE
 
Sub: Open to suggestions. ( If bass from PSB Alpha B1 is good enough, I stick with no sub but if the bass lacks, I am going to add. )
         Maybe Polk Audio PSW110 or PSB Subseries 125
 
The problem I have is that it seems it is impossible to connect sub in that amplifier. 
 
I want to know if it is possible to connect sub in this set-up and if so, how?
 
Unlike all-in-one solution of Z906, this whole separation of the components is making me dizzy...
 
Thanks for any help in advance!
 
May 24, 2015 at 8:32 PM Post #2 of 13

PurpleAngel

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  I own a Logitech Z906 but after getting into head-fi, I want to upgrade my speakers. ( These speakers are good for entertainment not solely for listening. )
I have to say that I still really like them and they are really multi-functional speakers.
This is my plan now. 
Speakers: PSB Alpha B1
Amplifier: Either Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 or NAD C316BEE
Sub: Open to suggestions. ( If bass from PSB Alpha B1 is good enough, I stick with no sub but if the bass lacks, I am going to add. )
         Maybe Polk Audio PSW110 or PSB Subseries 125
The problem I have is that it seems it is impossible to connect sub in that amplifier. 
I want to know if it is possible to connect sub in this set-up and if so, how?
Unlike all-in-one solution of Z906, this whole separation of the components is making me dizzy...

 
I'm guessing you might consider to get a modern stereo receiver, which will come with a dedicated sub-woofer output.
Check here for a receiver with in your budget.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/stereoreceivers/home-audio/receivers-amps/stereo-receivers/1.html
 
The Logitech Z906 came with a built in DAC feature and the stereo receivers/amplifiers do not come with a DAC feature.
So you might want to budget for a DAC, maybe $65- $100?
 
Did you have an over all budget for your audio upgrade?
Maybe sell off the Z906 and add that to your audio budget?
 
May 24, 2015 at 8:44 PM Post #3 of 13

Shaffer

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I can almost guarantee the PSBs won't have enough bass. Don't get me wrong; they're terrific speakers.

As for hooking up a sub without a pair of output on your amplifier, there's a simple solution, if the sub has speaker-level inputs. Run a thin wire - 18-22awg - from the binding posts on your amp to the speaker-level inputs on the sub. The sub will be triggered at the same time as the speakers. Problem solved.
 
May 24, 2015 at 9:54 PM Post #4 of 13

ProtegeManiac

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Amplifier: Either Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 or NAD C316BEE
 
Sub: Open to suggestions. ( If bass from PSB Alpha B1 is good enough, I stick with no sub but if the bass lacks, I am going to add. )
         Maybe Polk Audio PSW110 or PSB Subseries 125
 
The problem I have is that it seems it is impossible to connect sub in that amplifier. 
 
I want to know if it is possible to connect sub in this set-up and if so, how?
 

 
I'm not sure about the 316BEE but my old 304 used an external connection between the preamp section and the amplifier section, so I just ran a Y-splitter there. Had the cables customized from a Starquad cable with two RCA female plugs, then hooked up cables made with the same cable going to the amp section and the other to the sub.
 
Since you don't have the amplifier yet, why not just get an amplifier that has a dedicated subwoofer preamplifier output? On the cheap side there's the NuForce  Icon, but if you want an amp with a bit more power to give the speakers a bit more of a kick, get the 
NAD D3020
. The NAD will cost a little bit more but you'd have convenient line level output. As a bonus the D3020 is a more compact digital design vs the Topaz and 316BEE, no need for a DAC - you just hook up your computer source via USB (or dedicated sources via SPDIF).
 
If you can find one, go for a sub with a variable crossover setting so it doesn't overlap with the mains. If anything this is my problem with using a sub with anything but an HT receiver (which has a crossover); if it overlaps you'd have to turn it down just so it doesn't interfere with too much of what both are playing, which can be avoided if you can set the sub crossover lower to match where the speakers' -3dB roll-off point is (not necessarily exactly there or below it, can be a little bit over).
 
May 24, 2015 at 11:24 PM Post #5 of 13

SptTablo

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I would like to say thanks for replying to me! 
 
I really appreciate it.
 
Quote:
   
I'm guessing you might consider to get a modern stereo receiver, which will come with a dedicated sub-woofer output.
Check here for a receiver with in your budget.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/stereoreceivers/home-audio/receivers-amps/stereo-receivers/1.html
 
The Logitech Z906 came with a built in DAC feature and the stereo receivers/amplifiers do not come with a DAC feature.
So you might want to budget for a DAC, maybe $65- $100?
 
Did you have an over all budget for your audio upgrade?
Maybe sell off the Z906 and add that to your audio budget?

 
I already have Nano iDSD which I am currently using with my Z906.
Since I use RCA connection, it will bypass the built-in DAC. ( They only kick in when input source is optical - digital source. )
My overall budget would be 800 including the sub.
I was also thinking of selling Z906 but I am not sure if it would get sold. 
 
I can almost guarantee the PSBs won't have enough bass. Don't get me wrong; they're terrific speakers.

As for hooking up a sub without a pair of output on your amplifier, there's a simple solution, if the sub has speaker-level inputs. Run a thin wire - 18-22awg - from the binding posts on your amp to the speaker-level inputs on the sub. The sub will be triggered at the same time as the speakers. Problem solved.

 
So whilst amplifier is connected to pair of speakers, I would use a thin wire to connect sub's speaker input to binding of the speaker output of amplifier?
This would mean that I would have to use banana plug for amplifier to speaker cable.
 
 
 
I'm not sure about the 316BEE but my old 304 used an external connection between the preamp section and the amplifier section, so I just ran a Y-splitter there. Had the cables customized from a Starquad cable with two RCA female plugs, then hooked up cables made with the same cable going to the amp section and the other to the sub.
 
Since you don't have the amplifier yet, why not just get an amplifier that has a dedicated subwoofer preamplifier output? On the cheap side there's the NuForce  Icon, but if you want an amp with a bit more power to give the speakers a bit more of a kick, get the 
NAD D3020
. The NAD will cost a little bit more but you'd have convenient line level output. As a bonus the D3020 is a more compact digital design vs the Topaz and 316BEE, no need for a DAC - you just hook up your computer source via USB (or dedicated sources via SPDIF).
 
If you can find one, go for a sub with a variable crossover setting so it doesn't overlap with the mains. If anything this is my problem with using a sub with anything but an HT receiver (which has a crossover); if it overlaps you'd have to turn it down just so it doesn't interfere with too much of what both are playing, which can be avoided if you can set the sub crossover lower to match where the speakers' -3dB roll-off point is (not necessarily exactly there or below it, can be a little bit over).

 
NAD D3020 looks good!
It seems like it is what I need. 
But how do you connect your sub if your sub only has a speaker input?
Also, I already have a DAC so what would be your suggestion in that case?
 
May 24, 2015 at 11:46 PM Post #6 of 13

Shaffer

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So whilst amplifier is connected to pair of speakers, I would use a thin wire to connect sub's speaker input to binding of the speaker output of amplifier?
This would mean that I would have to use banana plug for amplifier to speaker cable.


Speaker cable to the speakers, and a thin wire to the speaker-level inputs on the sub. It's that easy and incidentally the preferred method of hooking up high-end subs.
 
May 25, 2015 at 12:04 AM Post #7 of 13

ProtegeManiac

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NAD D3020 looks good!
It seems like it is what I need. 
But how do you connect your sub if your sub only has a speaker input?

 
You'd have to hook them up using speaker cables - amp to sub to speakers. Not all of them have a high pass filter though and they just rout a fullrange signal back out to the speakers, so it's kind of pointless, and so is the subwoofer preamplifier output on the D3020.
 
You don't have the subwoofer yet, so just choose one that actually has a line input. They aren't that hard to find - most of the subs that don't have it are those that come bundled with some (not even all) HTiB sets (some of them are built around a normal receiver, so some of htem like those newer sets from Onkyo use the RCA input), and given most of them are meant to be used with regular HT receivers with their own ".1" line output, most active subs have that input on their amp.
 
 
 
Also, I already have a DAC so what would be your suggestion in that case?

 
The D3020 has analog inputs, but then to some degree it would defeat the purpose of having a compact amp designed to deliver a signal that went through a shorter digital to amplified analog path. What kind of DAC is that? If that isn't a DAC-HPamp with a good amp section for driving headphones I'd much rather just use the D3020 on its own, or even if it does, keep the DAC-HPamp on a separate system using only the headphones; however if it has a preamp output then just get a power amp for the speakers instead.
 
May 25, 2015 at 12:37 AM Post #8 of 13

PurpleAngel

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That NAD D3020 ($500) looks nice and takes up a small space, but I think it would eat up too much of the $800 audio budget.
Where as you can get a refurb Yamaha RS-500 stereo receiver for $230, which leave an extra $270 towards speakers and a sub-woofer and a quality sub-woofer costs money.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/yamrs500bl/yamaha-r-s500-natural-sound-stereo-receiver/1.html
 
May 25, 2015 at 1:39 AM Post #9 of 13

ProtegeManiac

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  That NAD D3020 ($500) looks nice and takes up a small space, but I think it would eat up too much of the $800 audio budget.
Where as you can get a refurb Yamaha RS-500 stereo receiver for $230, which leave an extra $270 towards speakers and a sub-woofer and a quality sub-woofer costs money.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/yamrs500bl/yamaha-r-s500-natural-sound-stereo-receiver/1.html

 
Yeah I was wondering what his budget was, wasn't in the first post and I missed it when I quoted.
 
@SptTablo In any case, I just went into PartsExpress, and I could get a nice system for that kind of money:
 
Amplifier: https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-dta-120-class-t-mini-amplifier-60-wpc--300-3800
Speakers: https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-rs621cb-speaker-pair-curved-gloss-black--301-961
Subwoofer: https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-800-8-80-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-627
 
The subwoofer already has a variable crossover, and if it works with the speaker input/output, even without applying a high pass on the speakers, then that's great - you can play around with it from 30hz to 70hz. Otherwise, just use a Y-adapter on your DAC's output. Compared to the D3020 the disadvantage to that is you'd have to adjust the sub gain independently, unlike having a dedicated preamp output.
 
If that kind of preamp convenience is important to you, stretch your budget by a hundred bucks or so (or get the sub later) and you can get this Yamaha: https://www.parts-express.com/yamaha-r-s300-stereo-receiver-50-watts-per-channel--312-210
 
May 25, 2015 at 2:11 AM Post #10 of 13

PurpleAngel

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Yeah I was wondering what his budget was, wasn't in the first post and I missed it when I quoted.
 
@SptTablo In any case, I just went into PartsExpress, and I could get a nice system for that kind of money:
 
Amplifier: https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-dta-120-class-t-mini-amplifier-60-wpc--300-3800
Speakers: https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-rs621cb-speaker-pair-curved-gloss-black--301-961
Subwoofer: https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-800-8-80-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-627
 
The subwoofer already has a variable crossover, and if it works with the speaker input/output, even without applying a high pass on the speakers, then that's great - you can play around with it from 30hz to 70hz. Otherwise, just use a Y-adapter on your DAC's output. Compared to the D3020 the disadvantage to that is you'd have to adjust the sub gain independently, unlike having a dedicated preamp output.
 
If that kind of preamp convenience is important to you, stretch your budget by a hundred bucks or so (or get the sub later) and you can get this Yamaha: https://www.parts-express.com/yamaha-r-s300-stereo-receiver-50-watts-per-channel--312-210

 
The Yamaha R-S500 I listed in a refurb, but it's also $50 less then the RS300 at Part Express.
 
May 26, 2015 at 5:13 PM Post #11 of 13

cel4145

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Hi everyone,

I own a Logitech Z906 but after getting into head-fi, I want to upgrade my speakers. ( These speakers are good for entertainment not solely for listening. )

I have to say that I still really like them and they are really multi-functional speakers.

This is my plan now. 

Speakers: PSB Alpha B1

Amplifier: Either Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 or NAD C316BEE

Sub: Open to suggestions. ( If bass from PSB Alpha B1 is good enough, I stick with no sub but if the bass lacks, I am going to add. )
         Maybe Polk Audio PSW110 or PSB Subseries 125

The problem I have is that it seems it is impossible to connect sub in that amplifier. 

I want to know if it is possible to connect sub in this set-up and if so, how?

Unlike all-in-one solution of Z906, this whole separation of the components is making me dizzy...

Thanks for any help in advance!


For the cost of the PSB Alpha 1, you could get HSU HB-1 MK2, Chane A1rx-c, or Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs. These are Internet direct speakers that are a whole class above the PSB Alpha 1s.

For the price of the PSB sub, you are better off going with an HSU Research sub.

If you think you will eventually want to use a sub, then get an AVR as they will have bass management capabilities.
 
May 26, 2015 at 5:16 PM Post #12 of 13

cel4145

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I already have Nano iDSD which I am currently using with my Z906.


Since you already have the Nano iDSD, I would skip the NAD D3020. Put more money towards speakers/sub. The main advantages of the D3020 are (a) it has a decent built in DAC (which you don't need), and it's a lifestyle type amp (because it's size/profile).

So what is your maximum budget?
 
May 27, 2015 at 9:47 PM Post #13 of 13

yage

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  Hi everyone,
 
I own a Logitech Z906 but after getting into head-fi, I want to upgrade my speakers. ( These speakers are good for entertainment not solely for listening. )
 
I have to say that I still really like them and they are really multi-functional speakers.
 
This is my plan now. 
 
Speakers: PSB Alpha B1
 
Amplifier: Either Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 or NAD C316BEE
 
Sub: Open to suggestions. ( If bass from PSB Alpha B1 is good enough, I stick with no sub but if the bass lacks, I am going to add. )
         Maybe Polk Audio PSW110 or PSB Subseries 125
 
The problem I have is that it seems it is impossible to connect sub in that amplifier. 
 
I want to know if it is possible to connect sub in this set-up and if so, how?
 
Unlike all-in-one solution of Z906, this whole separation of the components is making me dizzy...
 
Thanks for any help in advance!

 
The Polk and PSB subs have both types of inputs (line level and speaker level). If you get the NAD, then you could use the pre-outs with an RCA splitter (as another poster mentioned). With the Cambridge, it looks like you'll need to use the speaker level inputs.
 
One other thing to consider: stands for your speakers if they're not going to be on a desk or a bookshelf. If you do need stands, make sure they can be filled with lead shot or sand. Making them rather inert will go a long way in improving the sound with whatever speaker you end up using. Also, to get the best bass response from bookshelf-type speakers (besides good placement), is to make sure the cabinets are coupled well to the surface they're sitting on. Blu-tack (or something similar) is useful for this as are stick-on silicone or rubber dots. Just place them under the corners of the speakers.
 
The NAD integrated amplifiers also typically use jumpers to connect the pre-out jacks to the main-in jacks. You might want to experiment with a good pair of interconnects instead of the stock jumpers and see if it makes any improvements.
 
My first 'real hi-fi' was based on a NAD C350 and a pair of Axiom Audio M3ti's. Good times.
 
EDIT: I just read over the C316 BEE manual and there are no pre-outs, so speaker level inputs are what you'll have to use.
 

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