My current PC setup may be on its way out, what should I replace it with? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-21-2012, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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So I have the Logitech Z-5500s. I love the control pod (a large central unit with numerous features, a huge volume knob, and a LED Display), and the system itself, but it has a few fatal flaws.

1. The Control Pod can fail, and they are not interchangeable.

2. The Subwoofer and Control Pod are linked. The two cannot be separated, so the Subwoofer is not salvageable (the speakers should be fine.)

3. It is one of Logitechs most praised products, and they treated it like an ugly stepchild. It's been discontinued and left without a true heir.

So, the setup is nice, but it seems I should go in a more reliable direction, where if something goes wrong I can detect it myself, and I can replace parts as I want.

So... what should I do? I honestly don't know how this stuff works. This system seems to be as far from a real setup as possible. I'm connecting it to a PC for starters. As I understand it, with a "real setup", you control the volume basically though your PC, not through their controls. So what, my speakers all connect to my sub, then my sub connects to my PC, and that's it?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16836121120

There's some details. Think I should keep the satellite speakers? At least to keep initial costs down? Where can I find a replacement sub that's similar in size? Front firing isn't a problem either, though unconventional.

I'm very new to this, so I'd appreciate any help. In the meantime, I'm going to angrily mull over this inevitable development. I really do like that Control Pod, is there nothing like it on the market??

EDIT: How's this look? Will this be compatible with my current satellites? Like, power-wise, and stuff. Help me out here I'm trying to learn!!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290034
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-21-2012, 11:37 PM
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Oh my, where to begin....lol

First off, that Polk sub only has a 1 channel amplifier to power the sub-woofer. You will need to have a receiver to power your other speakers. Secondly, a real setup uses a receiver or pre-pro to adjust the volume.

As for speakers, your gonna have to do a lot of research to find something within your allowed budget, same for the receiver.

This is a highly subjective area your getting into and you will find a different opinion by every different person.

You need to decide what your budget is and what you want to do with your setup. Do you mostly listen to music, or do you mostly watch movies? What is the size of your room?....ect....ect. The list goes on and on....lol

Best thing to do when speaker shopping is to take some music that you are very familiar with (a CD, no mp3's!) and do some listening to see what sounds best to your ears.

For speakers I'd start by getting the best L/R speakers you can afford, followed by a subwoofer second. When it comes to the center channel it's very important that you get one from the same model line as your mains so transitions from side to side have the same tone to them. Nothing ruins the moment more than having a speaker with different tonal characteristics when panning.

Take your time, do lots of research and lots of driving around to listen for a sound you like before purchasing.

And welcome to The Rabbit Hole.......
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, help me out here.

So I need a receiver, much like the Control Pod on the Z-5500. How does that power the speakers exactly? I don't know how this stuff works.

Where can I find those? Do you know offhand if they have ones for desks? The ones I've seen are for cabinets, the large rectangles.

What about my existing Z-5500 speakers? I can reuse those, right?

A lot of your post was very daunting and not fun sounding. Let's lighten the mood. But keep in mind I am miserable without sound so I'd rather act sooner than later

Thank you!!
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 02:47 PM
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I have a very high quality dedicated stereo system and also a very good AV system.

For years, though, I never listened to anything much using my computer.

That has changed since I bought the Audioengine 2 powered speakers. They are really very very good, and only $200. I listen to music while working on the computer all the time now. The quality is pretty good.

Look up the Stereophile review they did on them recently. You may find it very interesting.

I use them with a small Sony Subwoofer, which has enough power for the volume I use them at, which is not terribly high. You can probably use any subwoofer you already have. You just need to run an RCA cable from the back of the left speaker to your sub.

Anyway, I recommend the Audioengine 2 speakers; they are very good.

BTW, they do have a volume control knob on the back, but once that is set at about 60% I use my computer audio control to adjust the volume.




Quote:
Originally Posted by belomeclone View Post

Alright, help me out here.

So I need a receiver, much like the Control Pod on the Z-5500. How does that power the speakers exactly? I don't know how this stuff works.

Where can I find those? Do you know offhand if they have ones for desks? The ones I've seen are for cabinets, the large rectangles.

What about my existing Z-5500 speakers? I can reuse those, right?

A lot of your post was very daunting and not fun sounding. Let's lighten the mood. But keep in mind I am miserable without sound so I'd rather act sooner than later

Thank you!!

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post #5 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 07:12 PM
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lol, yes it's true the audio world can be very daunting. Especially on this site.

To power all 5 speakers you are going to need a surround receiver that has 5 amplifiers in it. That is un-escapable, unless you get separate amps and that is a whole different ballgame.

But it sounds like your just looking for a decent desktop setup with a small footprint. If that is the case just look for a decent pair of stereo speakers either with built in amplifiers like the suggestion above or something like this. Then just add a subwoofer and you should be good to go.

I'd forget about your current speakers as the suggestions provided will give you a better sound. Having surround just for the sake of having surround is not a very good idea imo.

Hope this helps.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Those speakers are quite large. I do like the price, but I don't know where I'd put them.

Speaking of subwoofers... I need to know what is salvageable from this system. I'm not very good at this.

So I have five speakers. They all connect to my sub via speaker wire. They should all be salvageable, right?

I have my sub. It has inputs for speakers on it, an on/off switch, and a port that looks like an old printer plug that connects to the receiver. It also is where the power plug is.

The receiver is where the whole system connects to the computer through analog wires (wish it was digital!).

I'm guessing the speakers will be able to work, and I'm hoping my sub will too but I think I'm wrong. I can take pictures if you need me to, but based on that what do you think?

I am in the process of learning how to splice wires. If I can figure that out and it works I won't need to do this.
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belomeclone View Post

The receiver is where the whole system connects to the computer through analog wires (wish it was digital!).

Modern HT receivers all have optical digital inputs. If your computer has optical out, you'd be good to go

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post #8 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 07:35 PM
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I had that Logitech set once for my bedroom. It's not really bad sounding, but it's not all that great either. As I got it for a sub $100 price it was worth it.

FYI it does have digital inputs on the control pod. One coaxial and one optical.

IMO your putting too much effort into it with no return on sound quality. So put your research hat on and start looking for something that you can get a better return on audio quality with.
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post #9 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Well ideally I can fix it, so I don't have to spend money.

Secondly, space is a premium, so putting up big monitors isn't exactly ideal. Plus I do like the subwoofer. All the ones I have seen seem to be made out of wood, this one isn't. Can I reuse the subwoofer or not?

I am all for a better sounding system, but that's not exactly my aim here. Plus, where do I look? Mainstream sites don't cater to this.
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belomeclone View Post

Plus, where do I look?

Hacking the Logitech Z5500
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post #11 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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It's the wire going into the unit that's damaged, looks a bit like a tear or a cut. So hopefully I won't need to be taking anything apart.

But is there an answer to my one question - could I reuse the subwoofer? Or is it not a subwoofer meant to be used generically? What can I provide to help get an answer there?
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post #12 of 18 Old 02-23-2012, 07:47 PM
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Depending on how.much you want to spend id personally go with the audio engine a5+. They big speakers but if u want a party without spending over a grand these would do the job just fine and they're powered so you don't need a reciever
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post #13 of 18 Old 02-23-2012, 09:01 PM
 
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If you're looking for a cheap PC speaker replacement I suggest Edifer. I recently purchased a set of S 550s for my PC rig and they are fantastic. I called the manufacturer about them I was so impressed. I was told the tweeter and midwoofer though mad in Asia by Tonewinner are designs from that FAMOUS speaker and driver design house in Denmark...

The tweet design is reminiscent of their original dome tweeter work. It a very nice tweet!

I got my entire set from NCIX.com for $350 bucks.
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post #14 of 18 Old 02-24-2012, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Edifer makes some very nice looking products. I was doing some research once you mentioned them and the C6 looks very nice. But I can't find it anywhere, how strange!!

The S550 seems more widely known and pretty well respected. Can you give me some details on them, soundwise? I know The Logitech speakers (and a lot of surround sound speakers) suffer in the mid-levels, but I assume these are better. Etc. Etc. Doing research need to hear more hahaha.

Thanks!!
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post #15 of 18 Old 02-24-2012, 04:22 PM
 
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Depending on what you're willing to spend... You're best bet for the money IMHO if you're willing to spend a grand is as follows.

$399 Mirage Nanosat 5.1
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ge-nanosat-5-1

$399.99 Onkyo TX-NR609
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882120177
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post #16 of 18 Old 02-24-2012, 04:27 PM
 
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Actually I'd take a look at the Pioneer VSX-1021-K over that Onkyo due to reliability.

It's currently on sale for $350 bucks at newegg!!!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117395
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post #17 of 18 Old 02-24-2012, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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post #18 of 18 Old 02-26-2012, 02:39 PM
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Those Energy packages are definitely a solid choice.

I would also consider something like this.
Pioneer VSX-821-K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117397
$20 off w/ promo code EMCYTZT1218, ends 2/26
One pair of these Polk Audio Monitor30 Series II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290200
And pick up a sub from parts express such as the Dayton Sub-120
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=300-635
If you computer has an optical or digital coaxial out all you would need is a cable to connect to the receiver and you would have a decent sounding 2.1 setup.
You don't have to stick with those choices of gear, they are just a few models I hear a lot of talk about myself when perusing the interwebs.


Sorry but I just have to brag but I just got a STEAL of a deal shopping on some local classifieds which may provide you with some REALLY good deals if you shop smart and wait around for something good to appear.

I saw a "SUBWOOFER AND SPEAKER WORK GOOD FOR YOUR TV, MOVE OK, DENON" advertisement for $100.


So I was thinking I could go pick the Denon up and flip the speakers for a few bucks and come out with a solid receiver for next to nothing.

I end up getting there and it's a Denon AVR-1404 and a complete Mission 5.1 package! There was four M2Ss speakers and a M2Sc center along with a Mission M2Sas 8" subwoofer! I was looking at the grills thinking "those kind of look like Mission speakers..."

Also included in the package was 4 very nice adjustable speaker mounts and a bundle of monster and acoustic research cables which would nearly be $100 in value alone!

So for $100 I came out with ONE HELL of a setup for my computer! I was just looking for a receiver to run with a pair of bookshelves like some Mission M30 or Paradigm Mini Monitors along with the Paradigm DSP-3100 subwoofer I already have. I now have the Mission sub out in the living room with a Pair of Sound Dynamic SD20S speakers I picked up at a salvation army the same day!

Sorry for going off on a tangent but I was extremely happy with that deal and just have to keep sharing it with other enthusiasts!
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