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Desktop Speakers-Overkill?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have come to the realization that I probably will not, at least for a while, have any kind of dedicated listening room for music. While I have a nice home theater space with Energy C series speakers for movies, I find that they are not my favorite speaker for music, nor do I spend much time listening to music there. I spend most the time lisening to music at my PC with some Klipsch Promedia 2.1's (which I like a lot). I am finishing a new office in my basement it will be my new workstation with my computer. I would also like this to be my main listening area for my music. My desk area will be larger than traditional desk with a back or enclosure. My question is: What would be overkill for speakers at that close of a range? I am thinking about a 2.1 system with a stereo receiver and some Paradigm Atom's or Mini Monitors as L/R. I have also considered the PSB Image series and Energy R/C 10's or Mini's. Would these bookshelf speakers be too large or sound out of place at that close range? I always visit this forum and read the threads for A/V advice. You guys never let me down! Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
post #2 of 12
I just bought RC-mini's for my desktop and they are an awesome solution when combined with a sub. That being said, if I could have fit a larger more full range speaker I would have bought the bigger rc-10.
post #3 of 12
If you're looking for overkill, I'm gonna plug my speakers. ERA D3 or D4s would be great in that application - see this review where they are used just that way: http://www.hometheatermag.com/floorl...akers/608era/#

Ron
post #4 of 12
Only you can decide what is too big to you.

My own loose requirements are:
- less than 10hx7wx7d
- front ported or sealed

My short list:
- Kef 2001 (this is what's on my desk)
- DefTech ProMonitor 800
- NHT Absolute Zero
- Tannoy Revolution Signature DC-4

Here's a post in another thread talking about DAC/amps where he already had speakers.
post #5 of 12
A desktop setup is great for good speakers, because you can really hear the difference when you're listening nearfield.* The speakers on your list are not overkill, if you have the space it's worth it.

Search this forum for desktop and you'll turn up a number of related discussions.


* PS: If you're careful to set it up to minimize reflections from the desk surfarce and back walls, you can listen to speakers in a way that gives you far less interaction with the room than with a usual stand-mount setup (in an room that's not ideal or heavily treated, anyway).
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Man502 View Post

I am thinking about a 2.1 system with a stereo receiver and some Paradigm Atom's or Mini Monitors as L/R. I have also considered the PSB Image series and Energy R/C 10's or Mini's. Would these bookshelf speakers be too large or sound out of place at that close range?

It is certainly not overkill. However, make sure the speakers you choose aren't overly bright as they may cause ear fatigue when listened to at close range. I went with PSB Alpha B because of this.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for the help guys. I am going out this weekend to demo some of the speakers mentioned. Not many places around here that carries a wide selection of speakers in one place, but hopefully I can narrow it down from store to store.
post #8 of 12
My question for any overkill-ed desktop system - how do you capture the signal from your computer before it gets to your crappy sound card?


There is a German outfit making a 2.0 system with small integrated amplifier that is supposed to sound great. Not offered in America (I think); if they did the cost would be around $350 I believe. However, their claim to fidelity of music is they take the digital music signal from the USB port of one's CPU, before it ever gets deteriorated by the somewhat crappy to super crappy soundcard in everyone's computer. Their little integrated amp converts the music to analog using its own Digital to Analog converter, probably 100 times better than that in our computers.

Click here for Review

Does this make sense; does anyone know of any (high-end) systems available in the U.S. that allow one to "get" the signal before it gets to the sound card?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DelsFan View Post

My question for any overkill-ed desktop system - how do you capture the signal from your computer before it gets to your crappy sound card?


There is a German outfit making a 2.0 system with small integrated amplifier that is supposed to sound great. Not offered in America (I think); if they did the cost would be around $350 I believe. However, their claim to fidelity of music is they take the digital music signal from the USB port of one's CPU, before it ever gets deteriorated by the somewhat crappy to super crappy soundcard in everyone's computer. Their little integrated amp converts the music to analog using its own Digital to Analog converter, probably 100 times better than that in our computers.

Click here for Review

Does this make sense; does anyone know of any (high-end) systems available in the U.S. that allow one to "get" the signal before it gets to the sound card?

Lots of ways to get bit-perfect digital out of your computer (USB, coax or optical) and send it to a DAC/pre -> then to an amp -> then to speakers.

The link I referenced above has lots of discussion on DAC options.
post #10 of 12
One suggestion.
How far away do you sit from the computer monitor? My eyesight is not so great, so I'm about 22 inches away. I have bookshelf speakers on my desk, but they have to sit slightly behind the monitor's plane. To minimize the interference, I've got the spread farther apart than I would like. Long story short, my speakers are too big for a proper nearfiled placement, all because of where my monitor has to be. Something to think about.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DelsFan View Post

My question for any overkill-ed desktop system - how do you capture the signal from your computer before it gets to your crappy sound card?


There is a German outfit making a 2.0 system with small integrated amplifier that is supposed to sound great. Not offered in America (I think); if they did the cost would be around $350 I believe. However, their claim to fidelity of music is they take the digital music signal from the USB port of one's CPU, before it ever gets deteriorated by the somewhat crappy to super crappy soundcard in everyone's computer. Their little integrated amp converts the music to analog using its own Digital to Analog converter, probably 100 times better than that in our computers.

Click here for Review

Does this make sense; does anyone know of any (high-end) systems available in the U.S. that allow one to "get" the signal before it gets to the sound card?

Looks like that's basically just an external sound card with an amp built in...

There are tons of internal and external sound cards with digital outputs (optical and coaxial). that should bypass the DAC. Then you can send the signal through whatever DAC you want.

There are also lots of USB DACs available in the US that I would assume are similar to that one you linked to. There's a bunch on Amazon.com.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DelsFan View Post

Does this make sense; does anyone know of any (high-end) systems available in the U.S. that allow one to "get" the signal before it gets to the sound card?

Like others mentioned, all you need is an external sound card that has a digital output if you'd rather do the DAC'ing on your own, and not let the sound card convert it to analog.

This card has good reviews, as far a basic options go:
http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-Cont.../dp/B000J0IIEQ

I've used it in the past, but I never bothered with an add-on DAC. Instead, I just let this Behringer card do the DAC, and I've never complained about the resulting sound quality, but maybe my ears aren't sophisticated enough.
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