Originally Posted by apenney
This brings up an actual question that I had never considered. What is the optimal listening position for floorstanding speakers? That could be an actual issue. With bookshelves I can at least mount them on the wall wherever allows optimal listening while at the desk.
As far as output it's just motherboard sound (realtek junk) so I'm fairly sure I only have Optical S/PDIF/headphone socket. I can always pick up a soundcard, I was just relying on onboard. I definitely don't have any HDMI.
I'll look at all your bookshelf speakers as well, never hurts to consider options!
Optimally, you want to be place yourself in a triangular position with the speakers, with the speakers toed in toward you. This is described more for HT setup
, but you'll get the idea. So if you have planned to sit at a desk with the towers out on either side, that's going to be hard to accomplish. If you want to wall mount speakers, you should look for ones that are not rear ported.
If you have optical out, then you can run pure digital to your receiver and use it's DAC. If you have standard motherboard audio, usually the analog out is not very good. If you must go cheaper on a receiver, watch for deals on the low end model Yamaha, Onkyo, and Pioneer at Amazon and Newegg. One of them will (already does) have a deal below $200 on a AV receiver that has optical inputs. For example, the Pioneer VSX-821 is $159.99
at Newegg with promo code EMCNFHF239 through tomorrow (subscribe to their mailing list to get all their specials). It'll have as much or more power than that MA Model 200 amplifier, which, by the way, would limit what subs you can buy to hook up with speakers. Keep in mind if you go with an AV receiver, you always have the option of getting a graphics card later on that has HDMI out, and getting more speakers for at least 4.1; lot of people like that for FPS gaming because you can hear the direction of sounds even better.
Finally, if you listen to rock, classical, or jazz, you might be very satisfied with a pair of bookshelves that go down to around 50hz; a sub would round out the lower bass a little, but it's not as critical. On the other hand, if you like hip hop, trance, funky house, or other times of electronic music and dance genres and want good bass, then bookshelves with a good sub could be better than towers for getting that low bass.