Need opinions on 2-channel PC setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello. I am basically a total beginner to the audio world. I don't know or pretend to know what is best, that's why I'm here. I work out of my home, so I'm listening to music probably 8 hours a day. I figured, if I'm doing all of this listening, I should upgrade from my crappy PC speakers to something a little more elaborate. All of this listening, as you might have guessed, is done at my PC. I have a ton of flac music, but I feel like I'm pissing into the wind by feeding it to these crappy Swan PC speakers. I'm not really concerned about sound for gaming or movie watching at all. I'm all about music. I've been looking at the NuForce Icon uDAC2-HP and the HK 3490/3390 based off of recommendations. I don't know that I'd be open to a headphone setup, because I had some triplefi 10's and they were uncomfortable and I wasn't that impressed with the sound. I listen primarily to classic rock, folksy-stuff, punk and a little bit of trance. I'm all about the vocals. I don't care at all about loudness, in fact most of my listening is done at low/medium volume.

I'm hoping someone can give me some suggestions on a setup for the following needs:

- Must be a setup I can use in conjunction with my PC.

- Must be a setup where I can use 2 unused Polk monitor 50's(these probably suck but I already have them) I have lying around. I'd be open to adding a sub if you think it's needed, but I tend to not like too much bass.

- I'd like to stay under $400 total. Excluding speaker cost of course, because I've already got them.

All opinions are very much appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 07:43 AM
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Well, if all you are doing is listening to 2 channel in your office and don't need all the inputs/features of an AVR, this is what I would do:

Pick up either one of these, add a $7 1/8" to RCA cable and you are set.
I own both of the products, and I actually use the Audiosource in my home, oretty much the same way.
http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AM...6833786&sr=1-3


I use the A500 to run my biamped center channel in my HT. No problems at all, sounds great. Also no fans, and RCA inputs.
http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-A500.../dp/B000CZ0RL0

I know a lot of people will sneer at the Audiosource, but if you aren't doing 'critical listening' either of these will be perfect, and cheap!

I have used the Audiosource for 2 years without a problem, and I've had the A500 even longer.

Either of these with your Polks should sound a lot better than any powered PC speakers.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over.....
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 10:41 AM
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Instead of investing on an amplifier, I would go with active studio monitors because they are designed for near-field listening. For example,
http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Studio...al-instruments

I have the NuForce Icon at work for headphone listening and its quality is a lot more of what you would expect from its price. However, for my home office PC setup, I went with an audio card with bass management. In my opinion, bass management is important even if you don't want to use a subwoofer. This is because the mains will sound a lot clearer if you don't feed them the low frequencies.

I got this card and I swaped the OPAMP chip with a better one (LM4562NA, about $5 shipped from DigiKey).

If you go with the NuForce, just make sure you get the one with the RCA jacks. It's $30 more but it's well worth it. You don't want to feed your amplifier from the headphones jack.

...

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 10:54 AM
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+1 on the Active studio monitors...kills 2 birds with one stone by not needing a stand alone amp and gets rid of the Polk monitors

The Behringer 2031P monitors have been measured by countless independant sites and found to be an exceptional, almost unreal value for the level of performance. These were actually preffered to the ORION in a blind listening test by some respectable designers. They can be had new for less than your budget.....and they don't need a sub.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 02:02 PM
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+2 on active studio monitors. Just look for "near-field" ones and they should do the trick. If you really want to use the Polks, you'll need to get an amplifier to power them. Sound is output from the PC at line level.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks very much for all of the input.

Keep in mind I know nothing about home audio, but would I be able to use my old Aiwa CX-NA555 to hook up to my PC and power my speakers?
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 05:53 PM
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If you buy powered speakers you wont need the Aiwa at all.

The speakers provide their own amplification, hence the name powered speakers.

Afro GT
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

If you buy powered speakers you wont need the Aiwa at all.

The speakers provide their own amplification, hence the name powered speakers.

I'm not looking into powered speakers. I had some Swans that were powered and hated the sound of them.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollingstoned View Post

I'm not looking into powered speakers. I had some Swans that were powered and hated the sound of them.

And this is relevent how?.......HiVi or Swans PC speakers are a representation of every powered studio monitor/speaker?.....how?

Just about every little bit of music that you enjoy listening to was mixed down to two channel on some sort of powered studio monitor. The characteristics of the format is EXACTLY what you need for nearfield listening. Go listen to some monitors first and then decide if you like them as individuals or not. You won't be dissappointed i assure you.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-05-2011, 02:55 AM
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M-Audio Studiophile AV40 powered speakers are almost audiophile quality.
They cost just over $120 (look for sales). You won't need a sub either.
The speakers sound great at all volume levels and you can get rid of all clutter of other equipment.
Imu

at somepoint you stop the research and just buy it
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-05-2011, 07:18 AM
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I didn't think about recommending powered studio monitors, I was going with his desire to use his existing speakers...

But I have heard the Behringer monitors and they do sound very good. They are worlds ahead of typical computer speakers, so there really isn't any comparison.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over.....
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-05-2011, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemer533 View Post

Well, if all you are doing is listening to 2 channel in your office and don't need all the inputs/features of an AVR, this is what I would do:

Pick up either one of these, add a $7 1/8" to RCA cable and you are set.
I own both of the products, and I actually use the Audiosource in my home, oretty much the same way.
http://www.amazon.com/AudioSource-AM...6833786&sr=1-3


I use the A500 to run my biamped center channel in my HT. No problems at all, sounds great. Also no fans, and RCA inputs.
http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-A500.../dp/B000CZ0RL0

I know a lot of people will sneer at the Audiosource, but if you aren't doing 'critical listening' either of these will be perfect, and cheap!

I have used the Audiosource for 2 years without a problem, and I've had the A500 even longer.

Either of these with your Polks should sound a lot better than any powered PC speakers.

I realize this is a long shot question, but I just bought the Audiosource off Amazon last night in a (cheap) attempt to hook stereo speakers to a Sony flat screen (KDL60EX500) for times when I don't want the AVR but do want more than the tiny TV speakers. One feature which sold me on this unit is that it turns on when it sences a signal on the second RCA input.

The long shot question has to do with whether the analog out of the TV would zhut down the 5.1 output going to the AVR.
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