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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there. I currently use headphones from my gaming computer's Sounblaster Z sound card. It makes gaming a pretty solitary experience because I'm the only one that can hear what's going on and I have been requested by the significant other to get speakers. :)

I'm pretty sold on getting the SVS prime 2.1 system but where I'm a little iffy is how to connect them to the gaming system because I've always used cheap powered computer centric speakers in the past. I'm not sure what the best way to connect a 2.1 system up considering the sound card has 3.5mm outs.

Is it possible to output the 3.5mm from the sound card to an Emotiva mini-X a-100 and then out to the book shelf speakers and sub and if so how would you do it?

Or do you think I should just pick up a receiver for that room and use the HDMI out from the video card and pass it through the receiver?

The 2.1 prime system is 699.00 and I would like to keep the whole project under a grand.
 

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I haven't used that sound card to know if it has base management that is easy to setup; if not, from the pictures, it looks like you could just output (say the fronts) 3.5 to dual RCA to the sub. I assume (possibly wrongly) that the low pass filter works on the RCA line level outs that would go to an amp (Emotiva) to power the satellites.
alternatively, most sound cards separate out the 5.1 channels and you could send the front L/R to emotiva (though you'd want to set them to small in software so that low bass is not sent to them) and then line level with a 2nd 3.5 to RCA to the sub. Most sound cards will use a 2 channel output for fronts, a 2 channel output for rears, and another 2 channel for sub and center; just make sure you're sending the sub output and not the center channel output to the sub
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you DrDucky. My sound card does in fact split the center and sub to their own 3.5 output. I believe this bullet point on the SVS website means that the RCA out does not contain the low frequency that I would pass to the emotiva, "Stereo line-level RCA Input & 80Hz High Pass Filtered Output connections" I'll have to check my sound card settings to see if I can turn off the center. If not, looking at SVS's pictures it would appear the Right RCA would be the sub. Is one of these methods preferred over the other in your eyes? It seems no matter what that the sub level will be dictated by Windows volume control and the speakers volume will have two volume controls. I'm not sure this is a bad thing just different.

Thank you FMW. I actually have that amp and the Topping TP20-MK2 MKII on my amazon wishlist but I figured the Emotiva was probably of better quality. Do you have any thoughts on the matter to share?
 

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Hello there. I currently use headphones from my gaming computer's Sounblaster Z sound card. It makes gaming a pretty solitary experience because I'm the only one that can hear what's going on and I have been requested by the significant other to get speakers. :)

I'm pretty sold on getting the SVS prime 2.1 system but where I'm a little iffy is how to connect them to the gaming system because I've always used cheap powered computer centric speakers in the past. I'm not sure what the best way to connect a 2.1 system up considering the sound card has 3.5mm outs.

Is it possible to output the 3.5mm from the sound card to an Emotiva mini-X a-100 and then out to the book shelf speakers and sub and if so how would you do it?

Or do you think I should just pick up a receiver for that room and use the HDMI out from the video card and pass it through the receiver?

The 2.1 prime system is 699.00 and I would like to keep the whole project under a grand.
I was on the same debate as you, I already had my ZxR for my headphones. If you could push your budget a bit I would pickup the XPA-100.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was on the same debate as you, I already had my ZxR for my headphones. If you could push your budget a bit I would pickup the XPA-100.
Did you end up using the Marantz receiver for your computer sound with the SVS bookshelf speakers?
 

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If sounds like you have decided on the SVS, but an alternative to consider might be Adam A3X studio monitors. The Adams are around the same price (without sub) and, as studio monitors, they have built-in amps. The ribbon tweeter is amazing and the bass is surprisingly good for their size, but you will need to add a sub to compare to the SVS.

I have the digital out of the iMac feeding into a Aune T1 DAC which then drives the Adams A3X's and a Velodyne VX-10 sub (acquired cheaply used on ebay). I'm really happy with the sound, though I can't provide any feedback on how that setup would compare to the SVS.

For what it's worth, I'm not a big fan of the T-amps. I have a Muse TA2024 T-amp in gold that looks beautiful, but I really haven't been that happy with the sound of any of the T-amps (I have 3 different ones sitting unused in my closet now).
 

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Did you end up using the Marantz receiver for your computer sound with the SVS bookshelf speakers?
Yes. I got it for a fairly good deal I think. I was going to get it from A4L but a Canadian site had them on for the same price new and not refurbished. In my mind though, a receiver is more for home theater. If I had the budget, I probably would have gotten the OPPO and a quality amp.

I don't know much about the Prime series maybe someone else can chime in. The Ultra bookshelves are pretty hard to drive, I would check up to see if they're similar to the Ultras. I only brought this up because I was reading about how they made the Prime series. It was based off the Ultra line up. So just makes me wonder.. They're rated the same as the ultras power wise. Although, depends how hard to want to push them. I've had my Ultra's for about 2 weeks now, I'm very pleased with my purchase. The only thing I want now is a subwoofer to go with them... :rolleyes:
 

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Another option is to get a pair of Emotiva Airmotiv powered studio monitors and pair them with an SVS subwoofer. The SVS Prime satellites would be about as large as the Airmotiv 4s and are powered 50 watts RMS per speaker. Airmotiv 5s is 100 watts RMS and Airmotiv 6s is 210 watts RMS each. Pair the 4s and 5s with an SVS SB-1000 and the 6s with the SB-2000. Not sure how good the volume control is with the Soundblaster but Emotiva sells a volume control, called Control Freak, for around $50.

The Airmotiv are a great alternative to the more expensive Adam studio monitors. They sounded very similar in my testing of them. The only real difference is that the Airmotiv are back-ported and the Adam are front-ported. Since I have plenty of space to allow for the back-ports, I went with Emotiva simply for the cost savings. Since the Airmotiv and Adam are studio monitors they will be very unforgiving on crap mp3 files. Some folks love them for regular audio use, some don't. All I can say is that my ears are in ear heaven when I play 24-bit/192kHz files through my 2.1 system.

My 2.1 system is TosLink or USB out to an Emotiva DC-1 DAC and XLR out to Emotiva Stealth 6 studio monitors and RCA out to SVS SB-2000 sub.

The Airmotiv 5s are $350 a pair and the SVS SB-1000 is $500. The Prime 2.1 is $700 but also requires a 100w x 2 amp to match the Airmotiv 5s. The Prime satellites will probably sound more " musical " since they are designed to have a bit of a frequency curve. The Airmotiv will sound flat by comparison but not as flat as my Stealth 6 monitors... nothing a bit of EQ can't take care of in good player software, like Foobar, but I prefer no EQ.
 

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I would get a receiver as I have been running a Denon AVR-991 or 1909 (depending on when it was in the past 7 years) in from my PC via HDMI. It also allows you to expand into 5.1 or 7.1 etc later on if needed. Plus, it's always nice to get the processing options of an AVR such as Audyssey.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
PJP and Jevans, thank you for bringing up the idea of monitors. It seems like it would be more easy for me to get powered monitors and just use 3.5mm to RCA outs from the sound card to the monitors and the same for the sub. This is food for thought and I think I'll steer clear of T amps if I don't go the powered speaker route. These speakers would be sitting on my desk with a good four inches between them and the wall so I believe I could use a rear ported design. I just really hadn't thought of monitors and I have experience with SVS in my actual home theater so I felt comfortable sticking with them. This specific setup will be used mainly for gaming with music playing in the back ground.

Reckless, I did talk to SVS a couple years ago about the old M series. I believe they were the predecessor to the Ultra and they recommended Emotiva as one of the amp options which was helping drive my decision to use that for my proposed setup. Are you using anything other than the Marantz to drive your Ultras?

I am almost feeling like I should go the receiver route just for ease of use although this will not be a theater setup and I will probably never go 5.1 in the office aka gaming room.
 

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PJP and Jevans, thank you for bringing up the idea of monitors. It seems like it would be more easy for me to get powered monitors and just use 3.5mm to RCA outs from the sound card to the monitors and the same for the sub. This is food for thought and I think I'll steer clear of T amps if I don't go the powered speaker route. These speakers would be sitting on my desk with a good four inches between them and the wall so I believe I could use a rear ported design. I just really hadn't thought of monitors and I have experience with SVS in my actual home theater so I felt comfortable sticking with them. This specific setup will be used mainly for gaming with music playing in the back ground.

Reckless, I did talk to SVS a couple years ago about the old M series. I believe they were the predecessor to the Ultra and they recommended Emotiva as one of the amp options which was helping drive my decision to use that for my proposed setup. Are you using anything other than the Marantz to drive your Ultras?

I am almost feeling like I should go the receiver route just for ease of use although this will not be a theater setup and I will probably never go 5.1 in the office aka gaming room.
I believe a receiver would yield better audio, the Z/Zx don't have the greatest DACs.

However, I'm actually testing this right now. I'v ran RCA from my sound card to my Marantz audio in so it only uses it's amp. It's working. Easy to switch back from headphones and my speakers (my speakers are not at my desk). The sound blaster has bass management so you can cross them over to the sub, it's already set to 80Hz aswell. If you have any more questions I can try to answer them.

Edit: When I switch back from my Marantz HDMI and the audio in, the audio is fairly close surprisingly. This is with flacs ofc. However, I think your Z might hold you back. Also, as others have said, you'd be losing out on Audyssey. Which would help increase your subwoofers performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I believe a receiver would yield better audio, the Z/Zx don't have the greatest DACs.

However, I'm actually testing this right now. I'v ran RCA from my sound card to my Marantz audio in so it only uses it's amp. It's working. Easy to switch back from headphones and my speakers (my speakers are not at my desk). The sound blaster has bass management so you can cross them over to the sub, it's already set to 80Hz aswell. If you have any more questions I can try to answer them.
Rocking! Are you using the windows sound devices to switch back and forth between the the headphones and speakers or just using the receiver for the headphones as well?
 

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Rocking! Are you using the windows sound devices to switch back and forth between the the headphones and speakers or just using the receiver for the headphones as well?
No, I switch back from windows from my Marantz hooked up to my PC from HDMI, and my ZxR. I will take some pictures of my screen to illustrate. :D
 
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PJP and Jevans, thank you for bringing up the idea of monitors. It seems like it would be more easy for me to get powered monitors and just use 3.5mm to RCA outs from the sound card to the monitors and the same for the sub. This is food for thought and I think I'll steer clear of T amps if I don't go the powered speaker route. These speakers would be sitting on my desk with a good four inches between them and the wall so I believe I could use a rear ported design. I just really hadn't thought of monitors and I have experience with SVS in my actual home theater so I felt comfortable sticking with them. This specific setup will be used mainly for gaming with music playing in the back ground.

Reckless, I did talk to SVS a couple years ago about the old M series. I believe they were the predecessor to the Ultra and they recommended Emotiva as one of the amp options which was helping drive my decision to use that for my proposed setup. Are you using anything other than the Marantz to drive your Ultras?

I am almost feeling like I should go the receiver route just for ease of use although this will not be a theater setup and I will probably never go 5.1 in the office aka gaming room.
Hello Burton. Adams aren't commonly available, but you can audition them against other monitors at any Guitar Center. Unfortunately, Guitar Center doesn't have non-monitors, so you can't compare against those. The Emotiva monitors seem to be heavily based upon Adam's design (from the looks of them at least), so it would be interesting to see how they compare. The real gem of the Adam's (and maybe the Emotivas if they got it right) is that ribbon tweeter, but the bass is also quite amazing for the size (still needs a sub though!).
 

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PJP and Jevans, thank you for bringing up the idea of monitors. It seems like it would be more easy for me to get powered monitors and just use 3.5mm to RCA outs from the sound card to the monitors and the same for the sub. This is food for thought and I think I'll steer clear of T amps if I don't go the powered speaker route. These speakers would be sitting on my desk with a good four inches between them and the wall so I believe I could use a rear ported design. I just really hadn't thought of monitors and I have experience with SVS in my actual home theater so I felt comfortable sticking with them. This specific setup will be used mainly for gaming with music playing in the back ground.

Reckless, I did talk to SVS a couple years ago about the old M series. I believe they were the predecessor to the Ultra and they recommended Emotiva as one of the amp options which was helping drive my decision to use that for my proposed setup. Are you using anything other than the Marantz to drive your Ultras?

I am almost feeling like I should go the receiver route just for ease of use although this will not be a theater setup and I will probably never go 5.1 in the office aka gaming room.
This is how I was switching between the inputs. Marantz hooked up from HDMI, ZxR RCA>Marantz audio in. So on the Marantz I would just switch the input to the audio in to have the ZxR do the processing.

This is how I switched from my headphones and speakers with the ZxR selected as the audio source.


Here's some pictures of the rest of the settings, there's more you can probably fool around with yours too.




 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
This is how I was switching between the inputs. Marantz hooked up from HDMI, ZxR RCA>Marantz audio in. So on the Marantz I would just switch the input to the audio in to have the ZxR do the processing.
Thank you, that makes perfect sense. I think it's kind of silly the more I look into completing this that I'm going to end up over my budget but I want something that will last for years so it is what it is.
 

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Thank you, that makes perfect sense. I think it's kind of silly the more I look into completing this that I'm going to end up over my budget but I want something that will last for years so it is what it is.
I think you'll enjoy it. :) Send some pics when you get a chance :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well the decision for this setups connectivity methodology has been made. I found a Marantz SR6008 for a good price online so that is on order.
 

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Well the decision for this setups connectivity methodology has been made. I found a Marantz SR6008 for a good price online so that is on order.
Great to hear :) I'm sure you'll be very pleased with your purchase. Are you going to go with the SVS 2.1 setup?
 
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