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momo
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Hifi Audio for my PC

Ok here we go.

I am totaly new to Hifi, but i have always loved music and now it is time to step up from my Logitech Z4's.

I have a lot of Flac format musik, and i would love to get a system with my PC as the source with good sound quality way beyond what logitech or other computerspeaker brands can deliver.

I have looked alot but its hard to get an overview over the whole market and what to look for and what not.

The first things i stumbled upon where:

Cambridge Azur 540A V2 (what can i say.. i know its an amp )

Cambridge DacMagic (seems like a good choise)

And a pair of Audioengine 2's (i realy like the looks of these and what i have read about them)

But again im not sure about anything.

Can anybody enlighten me abit?

jazzfan
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Re: Hifi Audio for my PC


Quote:
Ok here we go.

I am totaly new to Hifi, but i have always loved music and now it is time to step up from my Logitech Z4's.

I have a lot of Flac format musik, and i would love to get a system with my PC as the source with good sound quality way beyond what logitech or other computerspeaker brands can deliver.

I have looked alot but its hard to get an overview over the whole market and what to look for and what not.

The first things i stumbled upon where:

Cambridge Azur 540A V2 (what can i say.. i know its an amp )

Cambridge DacMagic (seems like a good choise)

And a pair of Audioengine 2's (i realy like the looks of these and what i have read about them)

But again im not sure about anything.

Can anybody enlighten me abit?

Hi Momo and welcome to the forum.

So far you seem to be on the right track except for one or two missteps.

First of all the Audioengine speakers are powered speakers in which case you would not need to get the Cambridge amp. However the Cambridge amp is a nice piece of equipment (I know since I used one while I was living in the Netherlands) and if you still want to go with the amp I would then look at other bookshelf sized non-powered speakers, of which there are many different models to chose from.

Next you might want to consider using a music streaming device, such as either the SqueezeBox Classic or the SqueezeBox Duet, which are made by Logitech. Both of these devices have digital and analog outputs which means that you can either connect them directly to the Audioengine speakers via the analog outputs or run the digital output into the Cambridge DacMagic and then connect the Cambridge DacMagic output to the Audioengine speakers. For what it's worth, the cheapest way to go would be a SqueezeBox Classic and a pair of Audioengine speakers. You can then expand upon that barebones setup by adding the Dacmagic and an integrated amp, like the Cambridge Azur, at some point in the future.

I stream my computer based music library, which is about 99.9% flac, using several SqueezeBoxes and it sounds and works great.

More info on the SqueezeBox can be found here: SqueezeBox

momo
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Re: Hifi Audio for my PC

Hey and thanks, that helped me alot.

As i only use the speakers with my PC, and just around it, i have no need for a SqueezeBox, yet! But thanks for pointing the opportunity out it might come in handy later.

I somehow like the idea of a DacMagic and Audioengine 2's, it seems like a cheap good way of getting some nice sound from my PC for both movies and music (and games).

What is your opinion about this combo (Audioengines and DacMagic)?

The whole point of this is to get some very nice sound, not like 100000$ sound i know, but a little system that can kill every logitech set out there, will this do?

Thanks

JoeE SP9
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Re: Hifi Audio for my PC

Have you listened to the Audioengine speakers? If not, why not? Generally you should listen to a pair of speakers before you buy. With speakers there is only one opinion that matters, yours! You can't have an opinion if you haven't heard them!

momo
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Re: Hifi Audio for my PC

I cant, i have to drive 150km befor i can get to a store where they MIGHT have a pair of Audioengines or other quality speakers.

jazzfan
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Re: Hifi Audio for my PC


Quote:
Hey and thanks, that helped me alot.

As i only use the speakers with my PC, and just around it, i have no need for a SqueezeBox, yet! But thanks for pointing the opportunity out it might come in handy later.

I somehow like the idea of a DacMagic and Audioengine 2's, it seems like a cheap good way of getting some nice sound from my PC for both movies and music (and games).

What is your opinion about this combo (Audioengines and DacMagic)?

The whole point of this is to get some very nice sound, not like 100000$ sound i know, but a little system that can kill every logitech set out there, will this do?

Thanks

By all means go with the DacMagic and pair of Audioengine speakers. As with the SqueezeBox/Audioengine combo, it's a kick ass bare bones setup. Plus you're right in that you will also be able to listen to movies as well as music via your computer. Seems like you don't need much help after all

One thing I can say is that you will be pleasantly surprised at just how good your music and movies can and will sound.

JoeE SP9
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Re: Hifi Audio for my PC

I can only speak for myself but I've traveled farther than that to audition speakers. Sinking a couple of hundred whatever's surely is reason enough to make the trip and listen first. Remember reviews are only someones opinion. Someone else!

jazzfan
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Re: Hifi Audio for my PC


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I cant, i have to drive 150km befor i can get to a store where they MIGHT have a pair of Audioengines or other quality speakers.

While Joe is completely right about trying to audition speakers before purchasing them I think that with the Audioengines the trip might not prove to be all that worthwhile. Here's why I say that: since the Audioengines are self-powered speakers primarily aimed at the computer market I don't think that any store which might carry them would have them set up in even a halfway decent fashion. So you would drive all that distance (roughly 93 miles for us Americans) only to find out that the speakers are set up properly. Not a gamble I'd like to take. Besides that I think enough very positive things have been written about the Audioengine speakers to allow one to take a chance under these circumstances.

Editor
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Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 8:56am
Re: Hifi Audio for my PC


Quote:
What is your opinion about this combo (Audioengines and DacMagic)?

The DacMagic, which I review in the forthcoming June issue, is an excellent DAC at any price. At less than $500, it's a steal. The Audioengine speakers are also superb for the price. Computer via USB to the DacMagic to the AudioEngines is a great way to get good sound from your computer wthout spending a lot of money.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

bobb
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Re: Hifi Audio for my PC

momo,

If you can swing the extra $150, you may want to consider the Audioengine 5's instead of 2's. I cannot speak from experience as I own neither, but from what I have read the 5's are a clear step up from the 2's and are well regarded for the application you have in mind. They just may satisfy you a little longer before you get the upgrade urge. Have fun. I think you have a good grasp of what you want.

BTW, buying direct from Audioengine will get you a 30-day trial period. http://www.audioengineusa.com/news_reviews.htm

Regards,
Bob

edit- I second Jazzfan's Squeezebox recommendation. I have one connected to a PS Audio DAC and it sounds superb. For an all in one streaming solution you could also consider this - http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_boom.html

JoeE SP9
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Re: Hifi Audio for my PC

The 30 day trial period would convince me to try them. You've got nothing to lose but some shipping charges. That's a win win situation.

momo
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Re: Hifi Audio for my PC

I got the Audioengines and i realy like them.

But a thing that makes me wonder is that the "drop out" at medium to high volume. They just stop playing for a sek and the start again every time the bass kicks in.
This isent normal is it?

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