Newbie needs help starting (Speaker Wire Setup Question) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-28-2014, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a budget 2.1 setup that I have in mind and wanting to buy, being the Micca MB42X and the Dayton SUB-1200, and will be hooking them up to a Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card. The problem I've encountered is: Ive scoured google for over an hour now, and have not found a straight answer as to whether or not I can hook up RCA from the Miccas to the Sound Card with a RCA to 3.5mm, or if they are strictly speaker wire. Another problem I'm encountering is, even if they were RCA, all the RCA to 3.5mm wires I've been finding are nowhere near long enough to span the length of my 40 inch TV, which the speakers will be on each side of course. Will I have to buy 3 RCA to 3.5mm to hook up to each of the speakers and the sub? I don't image I'll have to hook up a left and right RCA to each speaker +sub.  I would like to avoid an external amp such as a lepai if possible, especially since the sound card acts as a pre-amp already, plus I'm probably wrong on this, but i feel a budget amp will hinder the sound quality if i have to wire through it.

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post #2 of 11 Old 03-28-2014, 11:19 PM
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Active speakers, those with their own amps, would perhaps use rca connectors. The Miccas don't appear to be active speakers, but rather passive speakers with binding posts so you will need an amp to power them. You could connect the line level pre-out of your sound card to an amp like the lepai and then run regular speaker wire from the amp to the speaker (for such a short run 18 gauge wire/lamp cord would do fine)...can you strip insulation off a wire? Can just buy the length you need at your local hardware store....

The sub would use an rca connection from your line level pre-out, though.

ps Have you checked monoprice.com for cables? They sell just about anything you could need, or some others like parts-express.com....maybe even Radio Shack.
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-29-2014, 06:38 AM
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If you don't want to buy a receiver to power the speakers, then you might want to get powered speakers, which have their own amplifiers built in.

I use the Audioengine 2 self-powered speakers for my PC, and they are very good.

If you want the MIcca speakers, or other non-powered speakers, a receiver or an integrated amplifier is required.

I don't recommend the Lepai amplifier, as it is low-powered and has marginal sound quality.

The Sony STR-DH130 receiver is around $100, and would be good for what you want to do.

The Dayton B652 speakers are good, and cost only $40 per pair at Parts Express.

RCA cables and speaker wire are very inexpensive at Monoprice, and the quality is good.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-29-2014, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
 If you don't want to buy a receiver to power the speakers, then you might want to get powered speakers, which have their own amplifiers built in.

I use the Audioengine 2 self-powered speakers for my PC, and they are very good.

If you want the MIcca speakers, or other non-powered speakers, a receiver or an integrated amplifier is required.

I don't recommend the Lepai amplifier, as it is low-powered and has marginal sound quality.

The Sony STR-DH130 receiver is around $100, and would be good for what you want to do.

The Dayton B652 speakers are good, and cost only $40 per pair at Parts Express.

RCA cables and speaker wire are very inexpensive at Monoprice, and the quality is good.

 

I'll consider getting the audioengine A2's instead of a 42x + 100$ receiver.

And a couple of questions about the sub: I believe the dayton sub has RCA, so will i be able to wire it with a RCA to 3.5mm directly into the sound card, without much need for a receiver? Given the price and Quality of the Audioengines, Would the SUB-1200 bottleneck persay the Audioengines in tersm of quality compared to them? If so, I'm considering the BIC F12 SUB based on previous research, but being a 17 year old with my only source of income being giving my blood plasma away for a small commission every week, I'm not very comfortable spending in total almost 500$ on a "budget" 2.1 system, on top of a 1500$ PC rig.

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post #5 of 11 Old 03-29-2014, 12:01 PM
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An t-amp for $30-100 is all you need. Problem solved for less money!
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-29-2014, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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 An t-amp for $30-100 is all you need. Problem solved for less money!

How marginal is the sound quality, and what T amp do you recommend for Micca 42x quality?

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post #7 of 11 Old 03-29-2014, 12:21 PM
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I would be more concerned with the quality of your speakers at this point than the difference between the SUB-1200 and BIC F-12. Active speakers can be nice depending on your needs but can be pricey as well. A lower tier receiver would have better bass management, amplification and connectivity features than the Lepai t-amp ($20 right now at parts-express.com), a good place to check for refurb receivers at a savings is accessories4less.com, sometimes they have some very nice deals on speakers, too. The suggestion of the Dayton speakers over the Miccas might be a thought, or the Andrew Jones speakers from Pioneer perhaps. You might even look into DIY if you have the time/tools.

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post #8 of 11 Old 03-29-2014, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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So would overall quality be better with the powered Audioengines going directly to the SB-Z, or the Miccas (or similar speakers for that price/performance point) along with a 100$ receiver? 

 

Thank you for your continuing input.

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post #9 of 11 Old 03-29-2014, 02:26 PM
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Overall quality? I haven't heard either speaker so can't say what I'd prefer let alone tell you what you would prefer. I would prefer the added capabilities of a receiver over that very simple amp, but again that would be for my uses which would not necessarily be yours....

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-29-2014, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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True, I'm not horribly picky with sound tweaks... I was with my Logitech Z313, but that's because i was desperately trying to fix the muddy sound, to no avail. I think i'm going to go with the audioengine A2 by itself. How will the Dayton sub compliment it, given the quality compared to the BIC?

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post #11 of 11 Old 03-29-2014, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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