Well I'd given up on forums in this quest but I stumbled by your place here and read some threads and thought, what the hell, yeah they're audiophiles but maybe they will find it in their hearts to help a lowly music lover.
And I promise not to say I like mp3s, that has a tendency to make the crickets chirp even louder.
My musical evolution (maybe I'll be walking upright by the time it's over);
Having had some "on air" experience spinning platters and having done some mobile DJ work (back when I had to lug boxes of 45s and LPs) when I finally plugged a decent 2.1 speaker system into my computer and started listening to (well I guess I gotta say the "M" word) mp3s, I was amazed at how good it sounded. And, how easy it was to select cuts, create playlists etc. Then, I got a laptop. Plugged in the same 2.1 speaker system and realized but for the power output I had something that was light years ahead of the old mobile DJ hardware in almost every respect.
And when I set this stuff up for other people, I found that like me, they were amazed how good it sounded. But like horsepower (as someone mentioned in another thread) I want more. I want to be able to set this mobile system up and rattle the windows. But to add the power I want I feel I need a dedicated power amp. I figure I'll do well with a powered sub but the amp that caught my eye is the Crown XS500.
I'm told (by someone selling them of course) that I can go from my Audigy 2Z sound card straight to the amp.
The same person pointed out to me that there are rack mount cases made that have a laptop compartment on top with the amp down below. But I've been looking at an 8U rack (the amp is 2U) so I'll have 6Us left over for whatever else I want to put in it. The idea here is to have a powerful, portable system. To some, portable means something you can stick in your back pocket. To me, it means something I can button up and throw in the trunk. Yeah, it'll be heavy but I can handle it.
Now here's where the story takes another turn. I start looking at 1U and 2U computer cases and since I used to build computers, I happen to have almost all the parts to build two desktops right here in the airtight garage. So I think, why not save the wear and tear on the laptop and just add a full computer to the 8U rack? I also use the LT for other things, tuning my drag car etc so if I built a machine to go into the rack, it would be pretty much a dedicated music machine. I could trim the OS down so that it would make the most of the resources I have already (CPU, ram, etc.) And, I can look at another OS since I don't have to worry about compatibility with all my windows software, maybe even Linux. And there are many more sound cards available for desktops than laptops.
These are my thoughts, this is what I'd like to do.
Does anyone have any input or suggestions?
Thanks in advance,