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kiravae
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Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: Apr 10 2013 - 4:36pm
Music from computer...need to replace receiver

Hi, just recently I've begun the process of getting rid of removable media and am playing music from my laptop. I'm playing FLAC and MP3 files using Mediamonkey (the files are actually streamed from our network attached storage - don't know if that makes a difference). The laptop is attached to an old Technics receiver by a headphone jack-to-rca connector, and the speakers are NHT 1.3a's. Unfortunately the receiver seems to be giving up the ghost, the left audio channel is coming and going. I'm not going to be using any other components, so is there any way I could replace the receiver with an external DAC and amp for not much money? By not much I mean under a few hundred dollars, my budget is low and the room is a small rectangle under ten feet wide.

If my assumptions are wrong let me know - I usually find a setup which sounds good to me and don't think much about changing it until something breaks or it becomes wildly inconvenient!

commsysman
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Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
Audioengine

I use a pair of Audioengine 2 speakers with my PC, and they are self-powered and sound very good. That will eliminate the need for a receiver.

They just connect to the audio output jack of the PC with a standard 3.5mm cable, which is included with them.There is no need for an external DAC; the standard one in the PC is 16-bit audio, same as a CD.

Stereophile did a review on them a year or so ago, and they work very well for me. They run $200 per pair.

If you want any real bass you need to add a subwoofer, but it doesn't have to be a very big one for that space.

The Polk PSW-10 is under $100 and should do the job.

 

kiravae
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Joined: Apr 10 2013 - 4:36pm
Thank you for the advice.

Thank you for the advice. That would be very convenient, but I was assuming self-powered speakers would never sound as good - was I assuming wrong? They definitely get good reviews.

commsysman
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AUDIOENGINE

They don't sound as good as my main stereo system, but then I have $20K invested in that.

But for listening at modest levels they are quite good. For the usage you describe I think you would find them very good.

I don't think you will find any powered speakers for under $400 that wil sound any better; they are a very good choice IMO.

You could get a Harman-Kardon 3490 stereo receiver for $400 and a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers for $350, and that would probably sound better.

But that would take up more space and cost more.

kiravae
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Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: Apr 10 2013 - 4:36pm
I like the speakers I have

I like the speakers I have (subjectively, they sound good to me), so not sure if it makes sense to replace my speakers - though if getting other good speakers that don't need a receiver is cheaper than getting a new receiver, it isn't off the table.

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