Looking to upgrade from my Z-5500 computer setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-06-2013, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

As the title states, I am looking to move away from my 5.1 Logitech Z-5500 computer setup. I am okay with stepping down to 2.1 as I don't game too much anymore (plus I have some good headphones I can use if needed); my main uses would then be for music and watching anime. With all that, this would be a near-field setup. I haven't quite decided on a budget, though the lower the better, but I want a definite improvement over my current setup. This is the room/dimensions where everything will be; not very big.

This is a new area to me, but this is what I've thrown together.

Speakers - Micca Motion Series MB42
Amplifier - Indeed TA2021
Sub - Dayton Audio SUB-1200

I think the weakest point are the speakers, though they have received great reviews for near-field setups. As this is right now, would this provide better sound quality over my current setup? Are there any speakers under $200/pair that you would recommend over these (such as these Pioneer SP-BS22)? I'd prefer the speakers/amp separate over powered monitors as I've read adding a sub to powered setups can be pretty tricky. Additionally, I'd prefer to buy through Amazon if at all possible. Lastly, my DAC/soundcard in my computer is an HT Omega Striker if that matters at all.

Any and all recommendations are appreciated. If you need any more information/details, just let me know.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-06-2013, 10:32 AM
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The HT Omega is a pretty good sound card. You should get good SQ from that smile.gif

Integrating a sub in with powered monitors is not that hard as long as you don't mind using the Windows (or Mac) system volume to control the sound. You have to configure the sub and speaker gain (volume) to match and then leave it alone. I used to do that. With a keyboard with multimedia controls, it worked fine for me. Just need a sub that has left/right RCA inputs.

That being said, a lot of people feel that the better SQ value is the Lepai + speakers than powered speakers. The Pioneers are very good for their price. I have the Indeed TA2021 t-amp. The Indeed has better build quality (definitely better made), a little better SQ, and a bit more volume output (probably 3 to 4db) than the cheaper Lepai. The Pioneers are a little inefficient, so that would be a plus to use your budget toward that for the extra output, too

For better speakers, the next threshold is just over $200. Cambridge Audio S30 and Wave Crest Audio HLV-1 would be ones to look at. Here is a user comparison: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1481164/battle-of-the-budget-speakers-boston-acoustics-a25-cambridge-audio-s30-wave-crest-hvl-1-mordaunt-short-aviano-1-htd-level-two#post_23585785 (this post and the next).

Depending on the type of music you listen to, the S30 will provide very capable bass because it has very good midbass. So if you are into rap, EDM, or reggae, then a sub is a big plus. But for many types of rock, for example, the sub won't add nearly as much to the sound.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-06-2013, 11:28 AM
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I somewhat recently made the move from the Z5500's to a Denon AVR-990 and RC-10 combo with a HT Omega Striker. SQ difference was night and day and the bass from the RC-10's was more than enough such that I never even bothered hooking up my PSW111.

Sadly I had to switch over to V-Mini-C's to make more space on my desktop so I gave up some of the low end. If I didn't have a spare amp lying around and enough desk space, i'd get one of those small T-amps and the RC-10's or secondarily the ARX A1B's.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-06-2013, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RastaManMax View Post

Sadly I had to switch over to V-Mini-C's to make more space on my desktop so I gave up some of the low end. If I didn't have a spare amp lying around and enough desk space, i'd get one of those small T-amps and the RC-10's or secondarily the ARX A1B's.

+1

I've got an Indeed TA2021 running Energy V5.1s in another room, and one running Ascend Acoustic CBM-170 SEs on my main computer setup. That t-amp is a great combination with passive speakers. Having owned the RC-10s, and based on what I've read about the ARX A1bs, that would work well, too, although ARX A1bs are less sensitive.

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post #5 of 5 Old 09-07-2013, 06:39 PM
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If it's a nearfield setup I don't think the loss of sensitivity would be a huge detriment. I do fully agree with going with a desktop amp and bookshelf speakers. I currently use a Dayton DTA-1 and a pair of P163 speakers and it puts my old Logitech speakers to shame. I'll hopefully be upgrading to a pair of ARX A2c speakers when they arrive this October myself... I would also say try to look for a pair of studio monitors if there are any in your area. Behringer 2030p or 2031p can also occasionally be found on Craigslist or in your local 2nd hand audio shop for far less than the online value.

Regardless of your decision of speaker I will definitely say get yourself to the bookshelf speakers for your PC and enjoy the better quality of sound. A receiver is probably overkill unless you want 5.1 sound but if you did get one, i'd suggest a Harmon Kardon stereo receiver (They usually have subwoofer out and you'll want a sub at some point) or just your usual Pioneer / Yamaha / Denon 5.1 or 7.1 receiver if you can find one on Craigslist on the cheap.

Best of luck on your upgrade! It'll be easy to find better quality speakers, it'll be hard to make a decision on what will be best for your ears.
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