2.1 Computer setup for $400-500 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-01-2016, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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2.1 Computer setup for $400-500

Hey guys,
So I'm looking to upgrade from my Logitech z-2300's that have lasted me about a decade. Looking to move up to something better, and my budget is $400-500 for speakers and amp. Here's what I'm thinking of getting, but I'm open to alternatives that people feel would be better. The setup will be used strictly for music, and I love EDM bass mixed in with classical instruments (if you're familiar with Pentatonix, Lindsey Stirling, you know what I mean). Thoughts and suggestions greatly appreciated, thx!

My (soon to be?) 2.1 setup -

Asus Xonar DX - Already purchased
Audiosource AMP-100 or Dayton Audio APA100 (seems like that EXACT same amp, just rebranded) - ~$110
Micca MB42X Bookshelf speakers - $90
Sunfire SDS-10 - $250

Total (excluding soundcard): $450
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-01-2016, 06:05 PM
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the Audiosource/Dayton AMP-100 does not have a dedicated sub output so I guess you'd be connecting the Sunfire sub directly to the Xonar card?

Not familiar with EDM at all but the setup sounds like it'll do the trick.

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post #3 of 17 Old 01-01-2016, 07:28 PM
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This amp does not offer a sub connection, but given the ones above don't I would be all over this before the price goes back up. No comparison in the performance and quality department.

https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/mini-x-100

I just got one of these for a 2.0 computer setup, I chose to invest more in speakers and will pick up an sub when a deal presents itself.

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post #4 of 17 Old 01-01-2016, 07:30 PM
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unfortunately that Emotiva amp is out of stock. won't even let you add it to cart.

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post #5 of 17 Old 01-01-2016, 07:50 PM
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I'd give these Emotiva Air6s a try first, fits your budget and since you're only doing music not HT, if it really goes down to an honest 40Hz as bclark claims then you don't need to bother with a sub:
https://emotiva.com/products/powered...rs/airmotiv-6s

(scroll down the long first post until you find the section on them)
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...nergy-kef.html
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-01-2016, 09:04 PM
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I would look at active monitors as suggested. Their are many brands. The JBL LSR305 is a good bet with a sub. you could go with the 308s and no sub, they also go to about 40hz.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 02:54 AM
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For Lindsey Stirling I would get the Emotiva Airmotiv 6 powered monitors for $400 and wouldn't look back. The AMT tweeter really brings out that violin. They'll crush the Miccas into a fine powder. You can't get any simpler than running the Xonar audio out straight to the speakers. The bass tracks in her recordings really don't go low enough to even need a sub-woofer. I have the Emotiva Stealth 6, which have a very similar design to the Airmotiv 6 but with a slightly flatter signature, and the bass track in Crystallize vibrates my desk even with isolation stands from IsoAccoustics. I also pair my Stealth 6 with a SVS SB2000 sub. I rarely use it unless I really want to vibrate the room when listening to electronica.

I would get the Airmotiv 6 and add something like an SVS SB1000 later on for really deep bass.

Pic of Stealth 6, which are roughly the same size as the Airmotiv 6. The monitor is a 27" Dell for size reference. The stands are IsoAccoustics L8R155.
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Last edited by jevans64; 01-02-2016 at 03:09 AM.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the feedback guys!

@afrogt - yes the xonar has a subwoofer output with a variable crossover that I was planning to use. One of the big reasons i got the card besides the vastly superior DAC compared to onboard audio. I was aware of that emotiva amp, but it seems like the dayton/audiosource amp will give similar performance but comes in a much uglier package (hence the $40 price difference )

@Ellebob , @jevans64 , @Zorba922 - The studio monitor suggestions are very interesting. I dont have have the desk space thanks to my 2 24" monitors and tiny desk (those emotivas look sexy btw jevans64), but I have the floor space for a sub. I don't mind trading off for smaller bookshelves knowing that I'll get a sub that can come up to 100-120 hz to help them out. You guys did bring up a great point about tweeters though. Any chance you know of bookshelves of similar size to the micca's (HxWxD is 9 x 7 x 6, i can go up about an inch in each dimension)? I wouldn't mind going up to $150 for bookshelves, as long as they are CLEARLY superior to the micca's, not simply a small step up

Thx again!
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 10:23 AM
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Here's another option, you'd need an amp to power them however. They're smaller coming in at 8.85” (H) 4.9” (W) 6.3” (D)

EDM is pretty deep so I would spend more on one if you're looking for more extension, however how loud do you listen?

http://www.svsound.com/products/prime-satellite

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post #10 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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@Reckless95

Those seem like nice speakers, but a little out of my price range since the amp would be an additional cost. After going through the emotiva website, I'm now deciding between the Airmotiv 4s and 5s. Honestly, I think the 4s will more than meet my needs, but the 5s is 30% off! What do you guys think, are the Airmotiv 5s a big upgrade over the 4s or am I paying just for the extra 50 watts per channel? I don't listen to music THAT loud, but for only an extra $40 the 5s is tempting me just from a value perspective....
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 11:12 AM
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I'd still look at studio monitors, just smaller ones. There are many brands that have 3-4" mid-woofers that work great with a sub and would fit your size. Emotiva makes one with 3" woofer and a tweeter. In general the advantages of an active speaker as they often have two amps in each speaker so the tweeter and woofer each have their own amp. The crossover circuit is powered by AC and not by the amplifier. The crossover can be more precise. This set up reduces distortion, has better attack/dynamics with better control of the driver since they are directly driven by the amp without a crossover in line. There are other advantage like system protection as it is tougher to blow the speakers when you know the amp and drivers it won't be accidently over driven.. There is no advantage to using an amp with passive speakers except cost and ease of set up. Speakers only need a speaker wire instead of a signal wire and AC, but in your case the cost and ease of set up is probably a wash. You can try many of these monitor type speakers at a local music store or there are online stores that carry them like B&H or Sweetwater.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I just pulled the trigger on the Emotiva Airmotiv 4s for $240. All that's left now is the sub. Debating if I should go for a 12" sub since it looks like the Airmotivs will get down to 70hz no problem. I'd LOVE to get the SVS SB-1000, but I've never seen that thing go on sale. If I saw it for $400 or less, I'd jump on it, but for now I'm looking for something in the $250-350 range.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j-j-lucifer View Post
I just pulled the trigger on the Emotiva Airmotiv 4s for $240. All that's left now is the sub. Debating if I should go for a 12" sub since it looks like the Airmotivs will get down to 70hz no problem. I'd LOVE to get the SVS SB-1000, but I've never seen that thing go on sale. If I saw it for $400 or less, I'd jump on it, but for now I'm looking for something in the $250-350 range.
Here ya go:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html

Or, you could get a pair of these---very well reviewed:
http://www.amazon.com/MartinLogan-Dy...R2AHQN7SQ0U0Q1
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j-j-lucifer View Post
I just pulled the trigger on the Emotiva Airmotiv 4s for $240. All that's left now is the sub. Debating if I should go for a 12" sub since it looks like the Airmotivs will get down to 70hz no problem. I'd LOVE to get the SVS SB-1000, but I've never seen that thing go on sale. If I saw it for $400 or less, I'd jump on it, but for now I'm looking for something in the $250-350 range.
The Airmotiv 5 is only $40 more for the pair and goes an extra 10Hz lower, if those are honest specs it's well worth it IMO. That extra mid-bass might allow you to get away with just one of those ML subs, a much bigger savings compared to getting two or getting the Hsu sub.
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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@Zorba922

I dont mind spending for a good sub because I love my bass, originally was planning on getting up something that went down to 30 hz like the sunfire, but now maybe I can find something that goes down to 25 hz but doesnt have the top end response of the sunfire. Also, I just had to be honest with myself and realize I'd never play the 5s anywhere near it's full volume. The logitech's have a worse amp and only 40 watts/ch and I play them only half of their max when I want my music "loud" (which is warming up for a lot of you haha).

The Hsu looks interesting, I'll keep my eye on it. I'll do some research on some Bic and Polk subs, also Martin Logan (I've seen the brand but never gave it any attention), Klipsch, and others. I think it'll be a month or so before I pull the trigger on a sub because I want to do some more research unless the SVS SB-1000 magically goes on sale. Appreciate the advice thus far!
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j-j-lucifer View Post
@Zorba922

I dont mind spending for a good sub because I love my bass, originally was planning on getting up something that went down to 30 hz like the sunfire, but now maybe I can find something that goes down to 25 hz but doesnt have the top end response of the sunfire. Also, I just had to be honest with myself and realize I'd never play the 5s anywhere near it's full volume. The logitech's have a worse amp and only 40 watts/ch and I play them only half of their max when I want my music "loud" (which is warming up for a lot of you haha).

The Hsu looks interesting, I'll keep my eye on it. I'll do some research on some Bic and Polk subs, also Martin Logan (I've seen the brand but never gave it any attention), Klipsch, and others. I think it'll be a month or so before I pull the trigger on a sub because I want to do some more research unless the SVS SB-1000 magically goes on sale. Appreciate the advice thus far!
Before I have what I have now, I had the Airmotiv 5 and SVS SB-1000 sub. That was a very good combo, so the sub should be OK for the Airmotiv 4. Only reason I moved up from the Airmotiv 5 to the Stealth 6 was because I got a good deal on them when Emotiva was closing them out. The reason for me not going with a ported sub from SVS was because I specifically wanted tighter bass and was willing to give up a little extension for that. Only time I really need the sub is when I watch something on YouTube.

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post #17 of 17 Old 01-02-2016, 01:33 PM
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Both the subs Zorba recommended would be good choices and would match with your system fine. Since you don't play at loud levels you can use the EQ on the Xonar and give a boost to the 30hz range to give a little more 'feel' when playing at low to mid volumes.
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