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absurdist
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playback soundsystem?

am looking for a soundsystem for my bedroom pc. my budget is about

struts
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Re: playback soundsystem?

Hi absurdist, welcome to the forum!

Couple of observations.

1. I firmly believe your option 3 is a non-starter. Quality and quantity (of components, i.e. "stuff") enjoy a pretty much inverse relationship; that is to say given a fixed budget the more components i.e. speakers, channels, whatever, you have the less you have to spend on each. Although the relationship between price/cost and quality is hardly linear, it certainly provides a bounding function. As a result, at a given pricepoint, a "surround cinema system" is, to a first approximation, never "particularly good" (i.e. optimal) for (stereo) music playback.

2. You don't specify whether your PC has a soundcard, or if so if it is up to the job. Does the budget need to include a soundcard, internal or external, or USB DAC, or is that already taken care of?

3. I am not familiar with the active, i.e. with built-in amplification (this may be what you meant by "studio monitor" although the terms are not synonymous) vs passive, i.e. requiring external amplification, speaker options in your budget range. My own PC speakers, active Audioengine A2s, cost waaay less, approx

absurdist
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Re: playback soundsystem?

thankyou for the advice. i was kind of assuming that the surround sound would force me to sacrifice too much in terms of quality, but was thinking i may be able to stretch to something like the bluesky 5.1 mediadesk.
as for my set up, i already have a very good internal soundcard on my pc, but would need to get an external soundcard in order to use the monitors. after long comparisons i have decided that the active monitors generally sound better than the passives, and are also easier to upgrade in the future. the setup i initially had in mind was a pair of A7s (

struts
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Re: playback soundsystem?


Quote:
as for my set up, i already have a very good internal soundcard on my pc, but would need to get an external soundcard in order to use the monitors.

Why? Don't follow your rationale here.


Quote:
after long comparisons i have decided that the active monitors generally sound better than the passives

I suspect you are selectively linking cause and effect here. Active speakers are just passive speakers with the power amplification built-in. They have no fundamental benefit over passives other than the fact that the amplification has (presumably) been designed for that speaker (drive units, crossover etc.) and should be a good match. Good passive speakers with good and well-matched amplification can sound good too, could it not be that you just happened to listen to better examples of active and less good or poorly matched examples of passive?


Quote:
and are also easier to upgrade in the future.

Having a separate power amp means you can upgrade the amplification independently of the speakers. Arguably that makes a passive system easier to upgrade, what did you have in mind?


Quote:
the setup i initially had in mind was a pair of A7s (
absurdist
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Re: playback soundsystem?

hmm, well firstly i need an external soundcard because the cables for the active monitors use xlr cables which will not fit in to an internal soundcard.
from my research it seems that when you go up to abbove the

struts
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Re: playback soundsystem?

A simple cable can convert from phono or minijack to XLR, it doesn't 'need' the purchase of a new soundcard.

Several of your comments seem to indicate that you still think more (speakers/channels) is better. Only two speakers are needed to replay stereo programme so unless your collection comprises the relatively small number of surround-sound SACDs and DVD-As available I suggest you focus on two channels for musical needs. Also, I am sure it won't have escaped your attention that 99% of the speakers (at all pricepoints) reviewed in Stereophile are passive which one could take as an indication that active is not the only route to achieving the best sound quality.

You seem very focussed on the studio monitor approach so I won't try to dissuade you. However if you are really looking for qualified opinions on Genelecs and KRK RoKits you might be better off seeking out the forum of a publication that has reviewed them.

Elk
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Re: playback soundsystem?

I have a pair of Adam A7 near field monitors which I am using in a production studio. They have wonderful sound, with smooth non-fatiguing highs and clean, timbre rich bass. They go down to an honest 50Hz or so. A sub is a necessity if big bass (hip-hop, Metal, organ, etc.) is important to you.

They sound their best at a meter or less. They can play quite loud and will fill a larger room with sound, but sound small and do not image well at greater distances. Horses for courses.

However, while very nice speakers, neither the Adams nor any other speaker I know of will "completely overwhelm me with clean bass and high quality sound" at your price point. Do not despair - you can get nice enjoyable sound for this money. Jackfish (on this board) is superb at giving recommendations for reasonably priced equipment and may chime in soon.

You can drive the Adams unbalanced (RCA) directly from your existing sound card. The rear panel includes both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) inputs.

Keep in mind that while the Adams (and other studio monitors) typically have a gain control, this is used for setting a level or trim. Volume is generally controlled by a separate analog controller or a mixing board.

Active monitors are no better or worse than passive speakers needing separate amplification. It is just another way of achieving the same goal. There are plenty of

absurdist
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Re: playback soundsystem?

i have not heard the lower end genelecs with a sub, but by themselves they certainly seemed to be lacking. how do you think they would compare with say the 8030s without a sub?

hmmm i have not really heard many high end passive monitors.. by the sounds of it i havnt really done enough research on the passive monitor route but from what i saw it seemed that as amps rose in price, the only main advantage was the rise in power, and i wouldnt really need that much amplification... am i missing something else? in general the passive monitors ive seen have been under the

andy19191
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Re: playback soundsystem?

Only you can decided whether 5.1 or 2.0 is what you want to listen to. If you opt for 5.1 then you would need to double your budget for an Adam A7 based system. A Behringer based system would probably just about fit.

Active crossovers for speakers have a number of modest technical advantages over passive speakers:

http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm

which is why they are pretty much universal for speakers that put significant emphasis on technical performance like recording monitors. Audiophile speakers are designed to address a wider range of criteria than recording monitors and so place less emphasis on technical performance.

As others have said, given your limited budget, spending 20% of it on a sound card does not seem sensible unless it is going to be used for other purposes.

Clean bass tends to require a large cone area moving a small amount, non-resonant speaker designs (e.g. sealed over reflex) and serious room treatment to control the first few modes in the room. You are not going to get this on your budget.

absurdist
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Re: playback soundsystem?

thanks alot guys, went back to the showroom today, and am definatly going to go for just a pair of the a7s, preffered them to the bm5s. was a big fan of the 8030s sound, but they are more expensive and didnt quite pack the same level of bass and volume....
will then get a sub and a second set of adams at a later date, but the a7s will definatly be sufficiant for now, i could hear them clearly from a distance in a 50x20foot busy showroom with the front door wide open.

Elk
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Re: playback soundsystem?

The A7s can play quite loud. Just don't over do it.

Your sound card probably has a single stereo output on a 1/8" jack. All you need is a 1/8" stereo male to two RCA male adapter. Clicky Then just a normal pair of RCA interconnects to the A7s.

rvance
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Re: playback soundsystem?

Yes! Affimative on what Elk says.

Damn, dude, Welcome Back! It's been too long. Great to see you on the board again.

Elk
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Re: playback soundsystem?

Thank you!

struts
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Re: playback soundsystem?

Yes, welcome back Elk, really good to have you back. Sent you a PM, don't know if you saw it.

Spirit
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Re: playback soundsystem?

I know it may be overkill, but I use on occassion a pair of Mackie srm 450s as I have a set that I use for the band with my Roland td9. these and my audigy soundcard and kk drivers are fantastic!
Mackies are now around the price you state second hand on E bay,its possibly way over the top but finer performers you wont find and being self powered is a bonus for me!

Elk
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Re: playback soundsystem?


Quote:
Yes, welcome back Elk, really good to have you back. Sent you a PM, don't know if you saw it.

Thank you, struts. I appreciate the kind welcome.

linden518
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Re: playback soundsystem?


Quote:

Quote:
Yes, welcome back Elk, really good to have you back. Sent you a PM, don't know if you saw it.

Thank you, struts. I appreciate the kind welcome.


ELK!!!!!

Elk
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Re: playback soundsystem?


Quote:
ELK!!!!!

dbowker
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Re: playback soundsystem?

Don't know what field you wandered off to, but welcome back.

bertdw
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Re: playback soundsystem?

So very good to see you here again, Elk. Welcome back.

Elk
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Re: playback soundsystem?

Thank you, everyone.

You are all very kind.

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