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post #1 of 10 Old 01-14-2012, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Sony S580 Blu Ray Player (only coax digital audio out, and RCA stereo out), a Motorola RNG200N DVR (from Comcast, with optical and coax digital audio out -- and RCA), and a computer with a Realtek ALC892 8-channel high def audio system (with optical and coax S/PDIF outputs).

I want to feed all 3 of these sound sources into one speaker system. I need a recommendation on what to buy. I'm thinking of just getting an amp and speakers, although I have considered getting a receiver. But I won't use most of the features of a receiver.

I would also like a compact system, if possible. My budget is around $400. (I can go up a bit if it makes sense.) Later, I might upgrade the whole system and go with a real home theatre system when I get a "real TV", so I don't want to spend more than I need to right now.

I'm thinking about going with a 2.1 system. I'll use it for everything from motorsports on TV (via the Motorola STB) to music via the computer to Ted Talks via the streaming Sony Blu Ray player.

The room is about 14 feet x 25 feet with a tile floor, and I want the sound to be moderately loud.

BTW, the video from all sources goes to a Dell U3011 30" computer monitor and I can switch the source via the monitor's menu. I don't actually have a TV, as I hinted above.
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-14-2012, 10:50 PM
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Logitech used to make a powered speaker system that had Dolby and DTS decoders, was around your budget, 5.1, and 3 or 4 inputs. Sounds like what you're describing. I recall it having a remote too.

Alternately, Sony produces a few compact HTIB systems that have multiple digital audio inputs (HDMI LPCM too). Also around your budget.

A "bare" amplifier won't work - it will have no volume controls or anything of the sort, so you'll get line level in and line level out plus gain (it will be *very* loud).
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-14-2012, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

Logitech used to make a powered speaker system that had Dolby and DTS decoders, was around your budget, 5.1, and 3 or 4 inputs. Sounds like what you're describing. I recall it having a remote too.

Alternately, Sony produces a few compact HTIB systems that have multiple digital audio inputs (HDMI LPCM too). Also around your budget.

A "bare" amplifier won't work - it will have no volume controls or anything of the sort, so you'll get line level in and line level out plus gain (it will be *very* loud).

Thank you. can you give me a few more clues to help me locate either the Sony or Logitech systems you mentioned?

Would this be the Logitech product? I can't locate any details on the inputs it has.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16836121050
Logitech Z906 500W 5.1 Speakers
THX Certified
Digital decoding

Actually, I was hoping to find a product similar to this one that would meet my requirements (together with a 2.1 speaker system):
Audioengine N22 Black Premium Desktop Audio Amplifier
http://www.amazon.com/Audioengine-N2...pd_sim_sbs_e_7

Wouldn't I be better off getting separate components? Ideally, I would just need a really good subwoofer, 2 speakers, and some kind of device that would accept 3 audio inputs and switch between them and control the volume...
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-14-2012, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

Logitech used to make a powered speaker system that had Dolby and DTS decoders, was around your budget, 5.1, and 3 or 4 inputs. Sounds like what you're describing. I recall it having a remote too.

This might be the Logitech system you are thinking of...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16836121105

Logitech Z-680 505 watts 5.1 THX Certified Speaker
Average Rating 5 out of 5 eggs(202 reviews)
OUT OF STOCK.
Deactivated.

Any other suggestions?
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-14-2012, 11:23 PM
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Yeah that Logitech would do (either of them, really). A bit more features than I recall (your first link), but it would do what you want. The Sony product, "HTS-360" sounds right; could be wrong.

Regarding the other option - that AudioEngine device would work; you don't need digital decoding at that point (it's stereo only, the players can downmix for that). A "really good" subwoofer can cost over a thousand dollars, and two speakers can get expensive as well (you need more constraints, basically). The AudioEngine is an integrated amplifier, has a volume control, just add a toggle switch for the various inputs (they're cheap, few dollars at most). You'll run the sub off of the amplifier terminals, and you'll drop the LFE track from DVD/Blu-ray/etc content (which probably isn't the end of the world). I'm not sure how this would be "better off" - but if that's what you want, it would work too.

If you want a compact stereo amplifier, a T-Amp may be a suitable choice. Dayton Audio makes a decent looking model, "DTA-100" - looks smaller than the AudioEngine, maybe a hair more power (honestly though, and I'm assuming this is nearfield, 20-30wpc is more than you "need").
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-14-2012, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
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What about this direction... ?

$120 Polk Audio PSW Series PSW10 Black 10-inch Powered Subwoofer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290034

$240 Polk Audio Monitor50 Series II Floorstanding Loudspeaker (Black) (Qty 2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290204
(I think I can get them $200 on sale)

plus something that will let me connect the 3 digital audio input sources, switch between them with a click of a button, and control the volume ... and costs around $100 (or maybe $200).

Would something like this work?
$109 Technolink TC-7510 Stereo 24 bit / 96kHz Four Input PCM D/A Converter w/Built-in HP Amp
http://www.amazon.com/Technolink-TC-...ZSC/ref=sr_1_9

or this?
$129 NuForce Icon uDAC-2 (Black) Headphone Amp and USB DAC (24bit/96kHz)
http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-uDAC-2...RNS/ref=sr_1_2

Would I still be better off with the Logitech speaker system? The speakers above would be much better quality, wouldn't they?
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-15-2012, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not really having any luck finding a small compact amp like the NuForce that has the inputs I need (and the ability to switch between the inputs).

But this might work:
$189 ONKYO TX-SR309 5.1-Channel Home Cinema Receiver (or for $200 Pioneer VSX-521-K 5.1 Home Theater Receiver)

$120 Polk Audio PSW Series PSW10 Black 10-inch Powered Subwoofer

$200 Polk Audio Monitor50 Series II Floorstanding Loudspeaker (Black) (Qty 2)

That puts me at $520 with shipping, but I'll still need wiring and a few other things.


I'm guessing this would be substantially better than spending $400 on the Logitech Z906 500W 5.1 Speakers. Is that right?
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-15-2012, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

just add a toggle switch for the various inputs (they're cheap, few dollars at most).

Can you give an example that will handle my inputs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

You'll run the sub off of the amplifier terminals

So I don't need a powered sub?

Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

If you want a compact stereo amplifier, a T-Amp may be a suitable choice. Dayton Audio makes a decent looking model, "DTA-100" - looks smaller than the AudioEngine, maybe a hair more power.

I guess I'm overlooking this option and the NuForce (and similar options) because I cannot find a way to switch the digital audio inputs. (I don't really know what to look for.)

I have a player with only coax digital audio out (and RCA stereo out), a second player with optical and coax digital audio out, and a computer with with optical and coax S/PDIF outputs.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-15-2012, 01:51 AM
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You need a powered sub, you just need one that can accept a speaker level input - most subs can.

As far as this whole digital thing - if you're going stereo, you do NOT need digital, at all. Your devices all have RCA outputs, which are stereo, and internal decoders. This is all you need. Get a simple AV switch; http://www.amazon.com/Cables-Go-2875...6617211&sr=8-4 something like that.

You just plug the stereo analog feed from each box into that, and that into your desktop amplifier. Push the button that corresponds with the device you want. Simple.

For the amount of money you're going to spend on a "desktop amplifier" you can get a conventional stereo receiver, like the Harman Kardon HK3490, or Sony STR-DH100; either would work as well. The Logitech would also work fine, and gets you surround sound. As far as "better" on the speakers - I suspect that the tower speakers may be an improvement, but it depends on how you're going to use them, the sub-woofers are probably fairly similar.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-15-2012, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your help. I understand now.
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