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post #1 of 47 Old 10-28-2013, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the market for an upgraded sound system for my 'techno room.'  I am looking to spend under $2K for the best possible sound for my needs.  I mix mostly vinyl (predominantly house and techno music) with the occasional lossless file via Serato.  I also listen to lossless audio via my Macbook.  I have a basic setup currently and am looking to upgrade to most likely some bookshelf speakers with a DAC and new amp.  Am also considering a phono preamp to maximize the quality of my recorded mixes using Audacity.  I'll probably keep my cheap monitors so I can cue mixes easily when mixing at loud volume.  This way these speakers can be pointing at me when I'm standing in front of the turntables.  In a pure music listening environment (not mixing records), I can turn off these monitors and have the bookshelf speakers pointed at me when I'm sitting at my desk.

 

As of now, I have received a lot of great advice from lurking on these forums the last few days and have narrowed my choices.  As a lot of this is very new to me, I thought I'd post where I was leaning in an effort to gain verification of compatibility and see if there may be better recommended options.

 

I was not planning on getting a new subwoofer, but am torn if this might be an essential piece or not.  I currently have the Logitech Z623 Speaker System which as a 130 watt sub.  Do you recommend I try and fit a new sub into my budget, go without a sub or leave this one on and incorporate it into my new setup?

 

As for some of the choices I'm leaning towards:

 

bookshelf speakers:

1st choice - Aperion Verus Grand

2nd choice - Aperion Intimus 5B

3rd choice - Definitive Technology SM55

 

DAC:

Schiit Bifrost

 

Amp:

Marantz PM5004

 

for recording mixes:

Rega - Fono Mini A2D

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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post #2 of 47 Old 10-28-2013, 04:25 AM
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I would definitely add a sub, especially for techno. None of those speakers will be doing much below 50 Hz at best. I would skip the DAC, the Marantz, and the phono pre-amp. You can get all of those things in a Harman/Kardon 3490 stereo receiver with a lot beefier amp than the Marantz. I would only use the Marantz if you need the slim profile. Any of those speakers will be fine, although they wouldn't be my first choices. I would go with Philharmonitors, KEF Q or R series, Ascend Sierras, and so on.
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post #3 of 47 Old 10-28-2013, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip, I did not know such a device existed that incorporates all of those together, but it makes sense and seems to be a good choice.  I'm glad I posted here before pulling the trigger, figured I might be missing something.  I'll have to look into that receiver and checkout those other speaker recommendations as well.  You're probably right on the sub, it's just I had read reviews about some bookshelfs saying subs were not needed, but I'm sure it would be a nice touch.  

 

Are there any viable competitors to the Harman/Kardon 3490 that I should check out as well?  Out of curiosity, why would someone purchase a DAC at the price point of the Schiit Bifrost when they could get the entire receiver package for less?  Will the sound quality be better or is it more related to the actual size of the unit?

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post #4 of 47 Old 10-28-2013, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibbjamin View Post

Thanks for the tip, I did not know such a device existed that incorporates all of those together, but it makes sense and seems to be a good choice.  I'm glad I posted here before pulling the trigger, figured I might be missing something.  I'll have to look into that receiver and checkout those other speaker recommendations as well.  You're probably right on the sub, it's just I had read reviews about some bookshelfs saying subs were not needed, but I'm sure it would be a nice touch.  

Are there any viable competitors to the Harman/Kardon 3490 that I should check out as well?  Out of curiosity, why would someone purchase a DAC at the price point of the Schiit Bifrost when they could get the entire receiver package for less?  Will the sound quality be better or is it more related to the actual size of the unit?

Subwoofers aren't needed if the music you are listening too doesn't have deep bass or heavy bass. Older recordings and certain types of music like folk music don't benefit from subs, so the people who are into that would naturally say a good bookshelf has all the bass you need. Techno and house are a very different story.

As for comparable receivers to the 3490, there is also the Onkyo TX-8050. It looks nice too, but I prefer the 3490 because it has a beefier amp and is explicitly compatible with 4 ohm speakers. Also the volume knob on the 3490 is neato.

Regarding why people get stuff like the Schiit Bifrost DAC, there are a few reasons, and none of them good. Some people just like having esoteric brand components. Some people actually believe separate oddball DACs sound better. However, there is no technical reason to believe this, and in blind testing between those sort of components, no one has ever been able to tell the difference. Some people want to keep the electronics separate from the amplifier so they last longer, but I am betting these stereo receivers will last at least a good decade or so, at least if you don't abuse them.
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post #5 of 47 Old 10-28-2013, 08:34 PM
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The HK3490 is a good choice. I have a 3390 and have been very happy with the performance. Another choice, if you're into Marantz gear, is the new PM6005. It's got a 24-bit Cirrus DAC that's supposed to be pretty good. Not sure which DAC is in the H/K...also not so sure that it really matters. But undoubtedly, the Marantz will take up a bit less space and be built better, if that's important to you. For the cost differential between the two, I'd wager it probably isn't.

http://us.marantz.com/us/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=hificomponents&ProductId=PM6005

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post #6 of 47 Old 10-28-2013, 10:14 PM
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I have been quite happy with my HK 3490. Had it for about a year now, been solid. I got mine for $299 from J&R music. I see Amazon has them for $317 right now, which is also a great price.

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post #7 of 47 Old 10-28-2013, 10:39 PM
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I can 2nd the HK 3390. I used it with the ODAC hooked to my computer. The ODAC was designed to measure as well as much more expensive DACs. You'll find lots of discussion of this DAC on the web.

The Logitech Z623 subwoofer is a toy (sorry). You should definitely upgrade the sub. How big is your listening/mixing room? How far away would the speakers/sub be from you when listening?

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post #8 of 47 Old 10-29-2013, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I do realize that the the Logitechs I've been using are certainly far from serious; I'm fortunate enough to be able to upgrade finally which is long overdue.  

 

So, from what I'm understanding is that the H/K receiver that's been recommended will do a sufficient job as it has a built in DAC that holds its own against expensive stand-alone DACs.  I'm leaning towards getting that and passing on a DAC for now.  Maybe I can upgrade to an ODAC down the road or at least spend some more time researching as it sounds like the improvement from stand alone DACs is debatable compared to running sound through the 3390.

 

My 'techno room' is a small bedroom 12'x10.5' with ceiling of normal height.  The bookshelf speakers will probably sit on my desk, but I may need a bigger desk or set the desk and speakers close to the wall and sit a further distance away from them.

 

So, after further researching speakers, I'm leaning towards the Aperion Verus Grands or Kef Q300s with consideration of Dynaudio DM 2/6s.  Any others I should investigate?

 

So, I'm now going to embark on my sub research.  Any recommendations for pairing with the above mentioned speakers?  What is a good budget to consider with these speakers? 

 

Thanks again everyone for your advice.

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post #9 of 47 Old 10-29-2013, 09:18 PM
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You want the 3490, not the 3390. The 3390 doesn't have any DACs, it is a strictly analogue receiver. Any separate DACs will not get you any improvement in sound quality, and this is demonstrable. The same people who tell you high end DACs improve the sound quality also tell you fancy cables will improve the sound, it is nonsense from a technical perspective. From the speakers you mentioned, I like the KEF Q300s, They sound great, and the measurements for the UniQ drivers have been outstanding. Also, they will suffer much less from acoustic reflection off of the surface of your desk because of the coaxial design. The other designs will give you a boost in the woofer frequencies because of the driver spacing. I always have to tame certain frequencies of speakers setting on my desk because of this.

As for subwoofers, how loud do you want them to get? How much are you willing to spend? How big can they be physically? One sub I would suggest looking into is a kit, but its a very easy construction: Dayton Titanic 4 kit. It's not a physically huge sub, and it will have terrific performance in the range of bass you are interested in. The driver is fairly high quality and is probably the highest quality driver you can get in a sub at that price point. This means the bass will be very clean and sharp even at nice loud levels. It should have very low compression and very low distortion.
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post #10 of 47 Old 10-29-2013, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibbjamin View Post

So, I'm now going to embark on my sub research.  Any recommendations for pairing with the above mentioned speakers?  What is a good budget to consider with these speakers? 

See my previous post where I asked, "How big is your listening/mixing room? How far away would the speakers/sub be from you when listening?"

It's important to know how big your room is for thinking about what size/output sub you need.

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post #11 of 47 Old 10-29-2013, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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cel4145...I put the size of my room in my last post: 12'x10.5' with ceiling of normal height.  I'll probably have to rearrange my room to get the best sound, so distance from the speakers is subject to change.

 

I meant to post the 3490, no the 3390.  It's already in my cart on Amazon.

 

I live in a house, so I can go loud, my neighbors have yet to complain.  Size of the sub does not matter to me at this point.

 

I'll prolly spend $400-650 on the sub.  Briefly searching, I like the SVS PB-1000. I'll have to check out that kit you mentioned. The idea of a kit scares me though. Futzing with electronics is like speaking Hebrew to me. Is there any way I could screw up putting it together?

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post #12 of 47 Old 10-29-2013, 11:35 PM
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Sorry. Missed the dimensions. PB-1000 will do fine in that size room. smile.gif

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post #13 of 47 Old 10-29-2013, 11:36 PM
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cel4145
...I put the size of my room in my last post: 12'x10.5' with ceiling of normal height.  I'll probably have to rearrange my room to get the best sound, so distance from the speakers is subject to change.

I meant to post the 3490, no the 3390.  It's already in my cart on Amazon.

I live in a house, so I can go loud, my neighbors have yet to complain.  Size of the sub does not matter to me at this point.

I'll prolly spend $400-650 on the sub.  Briefly searching, I like the SVS PB-1000. I'll have to check out that kit you mentioned. The idea of a kit scares me though. Futzing with electronics is like speaking Hebrew to me. Is there any way I could screw up putting it together?

There isn't really a way you can screw it up unless you are really abusive to the parts. Just watch their construction video. You don't mess with electronics, you don't solder anything. All you do is glue in some foam, screw in the amp, connect the amp wire to the woofer, and screw in the woofer. That's it. There is an completely assembled form of this sub available, but it is $150 more. But it would only take an hour to assemble at the most, and I don't make $150 an hour, so that is a good value proposition to me. The only other disadvantage is once a kit sub is assembled, they will not allow returns, but that is to be expected. The advantage is superior performance, due to the heavy duty driver and more powerful amp.

Some other good subs to look at in your price range are the Hsu VTF2 mk4 on sale at the moment for less than $600 shipped, the Rythmik LV12r, the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus, and the Premier Acoustics PA-150. Any of those will likely outperform the PB1000. The PA-150 isn't quite like the others, it doesn't really try for bass under 30 Hz, but has huge bass above 40 Hz, so it has most techno music covered. You can also make acoustic sound design an offer less then its posted price, and if the offer is reasonable, they will go for it, so it is the cheapest of the bunch. The others do go for deep bass, much lower than any techno and house music goes. The Dayton Titanic doesn't really go as low since it is a sealed cabinet instead of a big ported cabinet, but since it is using the highest quality components, it will suffer the least from compression, distortion, delay and overhang, etc. It still has more than enough deep extension to fully cover the bass range of techno and house.

If you can wait until black friday, Outlaw usually puts their LFM-1 EX sub on sale for $600 or so with free shipping, that is a big sub but has great performance. In some respects it still may not outperform the Titanic 12", but it can get extremely deep and has third party verified terrific performance. It will knock out all the others except for the PA-150 above 50 Hz.

Here is the Dayton video for construction, you can see it is not a big project and certainly nothing to be afraid of:
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post #14 of 47 Old 10-30-2013, 12:26 AM
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The SVS sub can be a better choice than all of these for easier integration with the speakers because it has an 80hz high pass filter on the RCA line outs (I don't think Rythmik offers that feature on LV12R; not sure). With the HK 3490, you can run the pre-out to the PB-1000, then run the RCA line outs back to the main in on the 3490. Set the low pass filter on the PB-1000 to 80hz, and the line out will have filtered the speakers at 80hz as well.

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post #15 of 47 Old 10-30-2013, 01:49 AM
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That's a good point about the filter. You can add always add a high pass filter like this one. There is also those much cheaper fmod in-line filters, but I can't recommend something I wouldn't want to use myself. It's worth it to add get a separate filter to avoid that performance hit. You can also just set the sub's internal crossover to where the speakers roll off.
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post #16 of 47 Old 10-30-2013, 08:32 AM
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That's a good point about the filter. You can add always add a high pass filter like this one. There is also those much cheaper fmod in-line filters, but I can't recommend something I wouldn't want to use myself. It's worth it to add get a separate filter to avoid that performance hit. You can also just set the sub's internal crossover to where the speakers roll off.

True. But with the SVS, you have both options to try without buying the additional external box which adds another $100 onto the price. Given that your room is under 1500 cubic feet, the PB-1000 will have way more output than you should need. I'd say get the HK 3490 and the PB-1000, and then put the rest of your budget towards the best speakers you can smile.gif

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post #17 of 47 Old 10-30-2013, 08:46 AM
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Given that your room is under 1500 cubic feet, the PB-1000 will have way more output than you should need. I'd say get the HK 3490 and the PB-1000, and then put the rest of your budget towards the best speakers you can smile.gif
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post #18 of 47 Old 10-30-2013, 09:05 AM
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Given that your room is under 1500 cubic feet, the PB-1000 will have way more output than you should need

That's the thing, "should" means different things to different people. Like the OP I listen to electronic music, and a single PB1000 wouldn't even begin to do the job even in that room. Someone who is mixing techno is probably used to club levels, and while none of these subs will get to that level (except maybe the PA-150 above 50 Hz), none of the rest will peter out as soon as the PB1000. It would be a nice sub for gentle volume levels. I think it would work great for smooth jazz.
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post #19 of 47 Old 10-30-2013, 05:58 PM
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. . . Like the OP I listen to electronic music, and a single PB1000 wouldn't even begin to do the job even in that room.

Yes. But you are an insane Xtremist Basshead wink.gif



Most of us who like electronic music (I do) don't need two thousand dollars worth of dual 15" ULS-15 sealed subs aimed at our chests from 2-3 feet away. If that's what you like, that's great. But I think your standards are different from most people. LOL

The PB-1000 would easily have enough bass output to handle a few db extra boost in a room the OPs size. So unless he wants B A S S way more than music, I think it's a fair bet he'd be just fine smile.gif

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post #20 of 47 Old 10-30-2013, 06:52 PM
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As mentioned above, the HK has no built in bass management. Having the option of using the sub the filter what is sent to the speakers I think is a great benefit with the HK. Otherwise, the mains are set to large, no matter what.

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post #21 of 47 Old 10-30-2013, 11:29 PM
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Yes. But you are an insane Xtremist Basshead wink.gif

Guilty as charged! I am not talking about getting 120 dB at listening position though. I am talking about maybe getting 110, which I think would be enough for most people for those occasions when they want to crank it. You would probably need to be sitting right next to the PB1000 to get 105, and even then it would be stressing. Getting a LFM-1 EX is like buying two PB1000s or more, and on black friday it might only be $100 more, that is some massive bang for the buck. The OP has his own house and no size constraints, he'll have a lot more fun with the EX. I think the same would be true of that Titanic 4 kit; 18 mm of xmax + 500 watts = happy fun times in a small room.
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post #22 of 47 Old 10-31-2013, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
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OK thanks, this thread has been extremely helpful in my decision making process.  While more bass (or more accurate bass) would be nice, I think I'll be alright with the SVS for now.  The compatibility and ease of setup are big selling points for a newb like me.  I can always add another sub down the road if needed, but I'm sure I'll be very happy as is, seeing as how I'm used to my Logitech setup and have never really heard anything of this caliber before.  I think it's going to be another moment like that first time I scored some dank after smoking schwag for years.  This quality of a sound system will be completely new to me, so I'm sure I'll be blown away with any option I choose.  An entire new world and really no comparison.  Sure, some dank might be a little better, but all are good and personal preference starts to come into play.

 

So, I think I'm about 75% decided on:

Harman/Kardon 3490

Kef Q300s

SVS PB-1000

 

So, before I purchase, I wanted to check in and see the best way to setup this system.  I want to make sure I will have all the right cords and ensure I am maximizing the potential of each unit.

 

I have an Ecler NUO 5 mixer and MacBook4,1 from 2008.  Just learned about the S/PDIF Optical Digital Audio Output and Input which I've never utilized.  My mixer has XLR outputs which I've never utilized and doubt I still will be able to in this setup, but thought I'd ask.  Wasn't sure if there was a converter of sorts out there that would improve the sound.

 

How do I make recorded mixes sound the best using this setup?  Phono in on the 3490 would appear only to work with 1 turntable.

 

Was thinking of getting a Toslink to Mini Plug Digital Optical Audio Cable to run from the Macbook to the 3490.  Agreed?

 

What is the LFE and can/should I utilize it?

 

Thanks again, I appreciate the guidance here.

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post #23 of 47 Old 10-31-2013, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm all for good times in the techno room.

 

So, If I went with the Outlaw sub, you say, "I could set the sub's internal crossover to where the speakers roll off."  Does this achieve a similar result to running the RCA line outs on the SVS back to the main in on the 3490?

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post #24 of 47 Old 10-31-2013, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ibbjamin View Post

I'm all for good times in the techno room.

So, If I went with the Outlaw sub, you say, "I could set the sub's internal crossover to where the speakers roll off."  Does this achieve a similar result to running the RCA line outs on the SVS back to the main in on the 3490?
Kind of. The difference is the bookshelf speakers will be taking on more of the bass range, and the sub will be relegated to deeper bass. The thing is, without an SPL meter, you will have to set the bass levels by ear either way, so no matter what you can't really get it right- unless you get a receiver with bass management. At this point, its worth going for the surround sound receiver with Audyssey, because it not only sets the crossover wherever you want, it automatically equalizes and phase matches the bass as well. There is more to dialing in the sub then just setting a crossover point.

To really make it painless to dial in the bass, just get something with Audyssey which does it all for you. I would go for something like a refurbished Denon 3312 or Onkyo 807. There are plenty of other good choices though. They have all the features of the H/K 3490 and a bunch more, like HDMI, in case you ever want to hook it up to your TV or computer video.
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post #25 of 47 Old 10-31-2013, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ibbjamin View Post

So, before I purchase, I wanted to check in and see the best way to setup this system.  I want to make sure I will have all the right cords and ensure I am maximizing the potential of each unit.

I have an Ecler NUO 5 mixer and MacBook4,1 from 2008.  Just learned about the S/PDIF Optical Digital Audio Output and Input which I've never utilized.  My mixer has XLR outputs which I've never utilized and doubt I still will be able to in this setup, but thought I'd ask.  Wasn't sure if there was a converter of sorts out there that would improve the sound.

How do I make recorded mixes sound the best using this setup?  Phono in on the 3490 would appear only to work with 1 turntable.

Was thinking of getting a Toslink to Mini Plug Digital Optical Audio Cable to run from the Macbook to the 3490.  Agreed?

What is the LFE and can/should I utilize it?

Thanks again, I appreciate the guidance here.

Is the mixer being used connected to the macbook via the USB port?

Also, from your configuration, it looks like you won't be needing phono pre amps on the receiver at all, unless you ever intend to connect the turntables directly to the receiver. If that is the case, you don't need the 3490 or the refurbished surround sound receivers I suggested above, I picked all those because they had phono pre amps. If this is the case, you might just go for a Denon AVR-X1000. It's new, it'll have plenty of power for a 2.1 system, and will equalize everything automatically.

If the mixer is serving as the sound interface for the macbook via the USB connection, I would just two RCA outs from the master out which is labeled OUT2 next to the XLRs. connect those to an RCA input on your receiver. That is the simplest way to do it, all you need is some line level cables for mixer-to-receiver, receiver-to-sub, and some speaker cables, obviously. Yes, you should use the LFE connection to the subwoofer, and this is just a simple line level RCA cable. After you have determined the best positions for the speakers and sub, run Audyssey. Bingo, you are done.

If the mixer is not serving as the audio interface for your computer, let me know how you have things set up, because you will need some additional cables. Also, you really should be using the Ecler as your sound interface for the highest quality recordings if you aren't already doing so.
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post #26 of 47 Old 10-31-2013, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibbjamin View Post

I'm all for good times in the techno room.

So, If I went with the Outlaw sub, you say, "I could set the sub's internal crossover to where the speakers roll off."  Does this achieve a similar result to running the RCA line outs on the SVS back to the main in on the 3490?

No. It's not the same thing. But you always have the option to hook the SVS up that way.

The reasons to use a crossover with a low pass and high pass filter set higher than the normal bass rolloff of the speakers are:

1) The natural rolloff of the speakers doesn't always match up well with the low pass filter crossover on the sub. In other words, there can be a smoother integration of the bass frequencies using a high and low pass filter like the SVS has.
2) A good subwoofer will tend to do a better job producing bass below the tuning point (where the speakers tend to roll off in frequency response) on the low end. So a crossover set a little higher that that can produce better bass.
3) Takes some load off the speakers and the receiver on having to produce those lowest frequencies.

Meanwhile, I own the Outlaw LFM-1 EX and the SVS SB-1000 (not the PB-1000). Yes. The Outlaw EX is a high performing sub, although you don't need that much output in that size room unless you are an Xtremist Basshead wink.gif Second, Outlaw does not always put their EX sub (or Plus sub) on sale on Black Friday. I know that they did not last year. I wouldn't count on it.

I do have my SVS SB-1000 configured in a similar manner with the subwoofer line outs running to the main in on my HK 3390. The 80hz crossover sounds great with my Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs, better than just using the natural rolloff of the speakers. If you want to get the sub exactly matched with the speakers, then you just need a $25 SPL meter. However, if you want that "club sound" that shadyj described, then you can set it by ear since the club sound is definitely not a linear integration of the speakers and sub smile.gif

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post #27 of 47 Old 10-31-2013, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibbjamin View Post

How do I make recorded mixes sound the best using this setup?  Phono in on the 3490 would appear only to work with 1 turntable.

Was thinking of getting a Toslink to Mini Plug Digital Optical Audio Cable to run from the Macbook to the 3490.  Agreed?

What is the LFE and can/should I utilize it?

Thanks again, I appreciate the guidance here.

If you mean the LFE output on the 3490, that's just a single channel subwoofer output instead of running left and right channel inputs to the sub. Subs that also take left and right RCA inputs will mix it into the single channel.

If you are recording your mixes on your Macbook, then you are right. All you need is that cable to connect the Macbook to the 3490 to play them back.

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post #28 of 47 Old 10-31-2013, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I've never hooked up my mixer via USB.  I was under the impression that it was only for effects, not for recording.  I have always used the RCA outputs and had an RCA to 1/8" cord which I sent to my Macbook.  I found the CD that came with the mixer, but it says it is for Windows on it.  I downloaded 'NUO 5 drivers and edi:lab software' from the Ecler website, but nothing opens up when I click on it.  Further digging on the web, I found that it is not compatible with O SX.

 

I do like the price of the 3490 and if down the road I get more of an audiophile turntable/stylus package, it might be nice to have the phono pre amp.

 

So, I'm still left with the sub choice and figuring out how to get it all setup.  I have a lot of learning to do yet in figuring this all out as the bass management as a whole is completely new to me.

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post #29 of 47 Old 11-01-2013, 12:57 AM
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I don't know how well the 1/8" jack is implemented on macbooks, but I can't believe it would be better for anything than the most casual sound applications. It sounds like you are a hobbyist, you should do better, and thankfully nowadays that can be done inexpensively. Check this sound interface out, mac compatible, and has very low noise audio jacks so you can get clean recordings, and it also has phono preamp in case you ever want to connect it to a turntable directly. There is a none phono pre amp version for $10 less. I recommend something like this, as 1/8" jacks are usually inappropriate for recording anything you would ever want to share. With a high quality sound interface, your signal-to-noise ration goes way up, your dynamic range goes way up, and distortion, hiss, hums, and other unintentional noise goes way way down.

As for bass management, the 3490 just doesn't do it at all. It expects you to get that done externally. This can be done, but it is a bit more complicated, you will want an equalizer, a mic or SPL meter, and a software analysis package. If you want easy bass management, just get a receiver that has Audyssey MultiEQ XT, this can be found on some Denon and Onkyo receivers. Audyssey automatically equalizes your sub and speakers, its sets the appropriate crossover point, and its corrects them all in phase and distance according to your listening position, and all you have to do is stand back and let it do its thing. The refurbished receivers I linked to in an above post all have Audyssey, a beefy amp, and phono pre amps, and aren't much more than the 3490. A couple more options are this Onkyo 717 and this Denon 3311. If you look on ebay and craigslist, you can potentially get these receivers in very good condition for even less. I would be looking specifically for Onkyo 7xx or 8xx series or Denon 331x series or above.
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post #30 of 47 Old 11-01-2013, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I don't know how well the 1/8" jack is implemented on macbooks, but I can't believe it would be better for anything than the most casual sound applications.
It's barely adequate for even that. Computers use 1/8 jacks because it's the only thing that will fit on a laptop. They were first used on desktops because said desktops were designed by computer geeks, not audio engineers, and not much more was originally expected of computer sound than to say "Welcome! You've got mail!" Even RCA connections are marginal, their original intent being something that was plugged in and left plugged in for years, if not decades.

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