looking to revamp my system
Hey- first off, Im new here, this is my first post. I have done a lot of reading on this site and learned a ton (most of which is over my head). I have been on the hunt for better sound my entire life. I am a college student with some good electrical knowledge however I am limited by funds..
I can pretty much boil this down to two questions-
I am constantly looking to improve my (semi desktop) system which I use daily. I have a macbook pro hooked up to some Bose speakers which are almost 5 years old and still sound great. Next to my desk I have a Cerwin Vega speaker which is about 10-15 years old and rattles a bit however still sounds decent. My FIRST QUESTION to everyone here is what is the best way to set up these (and maybe more) systems to both play off of my laptop. I currently have everything linked together with a headphone splitter and some aux cords. I know aux cords are not the best for sound quality however just about everything I own uses them and I would like to stick with it. Would it make sense to buy a pre amp? I find that if I am playing both the bose and cerwin vegas at the same time the quality deteriorates.
A few details- the BOSE are the companion 3 series, 2 desktop monitors and a floor subwoofer.
The CERWIN VEGA are first ran through a kenwood GE-52B graphic equalizer, then a pule pro PT 680A AC receiver (which I think is probably the weakest link in the chain), then via speaker wire to the cerwin vega 380 SE series.
I also use the pyle pro receiver to power 2 realistic minimus 77 monitors (which I know has a different Ohm value however that should be irrelevant, correct?)
I recently bought some M-Audio speakers too which I would like to incorporate somehow.
wrapping everything up, what would you do if you were in my shoes with this equipment? Is a pre amp the way to go? or an external sound card? please let me know your thoughts.
My SECOND QUESTION, I have kind of made a small business for myself of buying and selling audio equipment. I am always searching craigs list and local thrift stores for any good deals, mostly on speakers, receivers, and equalizers. I buy them, throw together a system that looks and sounds good, and then I put them online or sell to friends. It has been a great way to make a little cash as a student. I am wondering if there is any equipment out there that can be used to test a plethora of speakers with different Ohm values, different sizes, everything on one receiver. Kind of a sub-note, what should I look for when buying receivers? I know wattage can be used to sell a product but is not the best representation of quality. Any thoughts are truly appreciated.