hey everyone, this is my first post here. I am relatively new to the audiophile world. But not to music. I have been very involved in music production for about 5 years now. I have also been heavily involved in many live audio applications. I pretty much know the ins and outs of live and studio audio. I know the difference in file formats, analog vs digital, how compression works, I've made my own speaker cables, I've worked in very high end recording studios, I understand the signal chains from the complex to simple, i know how crossovers work etc. (Just to give you guys some background)
Unfortunately as a college student, I have less and less time to spend on making music, so I have started focus more on enjoying listening to music. I'm trying to put together a basic setup that will be good in my dorm room and my room at my house (ill move it back and forth). A buddy of mine has the AudioEngine 5's. I thought they sounded pretty good for that price leve and they've gotten good reviews. As I looked into to them I found people comparing them to the M-Audio BX5a Deluxe's. Now I now the AudioEngines are designed more for listening and the M-Audios are more for mixing etc. But the review I read said that from a listening standpoint they are relatively equal with the M-Audios having a little better performance with the mids and highs and the AudioEngines doing better with the bass. I found this to be great since I already own the M-Audios in my modest home studio setup. Since they were sitting at home collecting dust while I was at school I brought them to my dorm. Since I had heard from multiple sources they are better with a sub, I looked into getting one. Long story but, an opportunity came up and I was able to get a Polk PSW10 sub at a VERY good price, so I picked it up. So now my system is the powered M-Audio BX5a deluxes and a Polk PSW10.
Now here comes to the two questions. I first wanted to connect them to just the 3.5mm output of my macbook pro. So what I've kind of rigged together is the following. 1/4 ts to RCA adapter plugged into the BX5a's to give them RCA line inputs. Then I plug a 3.5mm splitter into my macbook, I run one 3.5mm to stereo RCA to the two BX5a and another 3.5 to stereo RCA to the input on my PSW10. I keep the volume knobs on my BX5as around 85%, the Low pass filter on the sub is set to the highest frequency (160Hz) and then i try to balance the subs output with what the speakers are putting out and this results in me setting the volume on the sub to about 50%. I know this is a really sketchy setup but hey I'm a college student working with what I got. Right now the setup sounds pretty good. One question I have is since the full range is being sent to the speakers and sub does that mean that the overlap in frequencies between the speakers and the sub and coming out louder than the others since the speakers and sub are putting them out?(the speakers claim 56Hz-22KHz, but like I said they are not know for thier low end) I guess I could turn down the filter on the sub to counter act this, but I would rather bring up the range of the speakers to 160Hz022Khz. But I can't seem to find a resonably priced external cross over that would let me split the full range to just to bands. Like I said, after I tweaked the settings, the system sounds good, this question is just me thinking technically about the system and the signal chain.
Also, I have a M-Audio Profire 610 which supposedly has a pretty good DAC, I have done a A-B test between my macbook output and the Profire 610 output and I couldn't tell if there was a difference. Would you reccommend using the 610 as a DAC (would it make a big enough sound difference). The reason I wouldnt is because its one more piece of gear I have to deal with in an already messy setup on a small college dorm room desk.
Any comments on this setup? Recommendations on how to improve it (with not too much extra cost)? Also, when I move this back to my house, any reccomendations on a hieght for speakers stands for the BX5a.
SORRY FOR THE LONG POST!!!! Just wanted to give you guys all the info you'd need to help me out!