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gallinazo's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Apr 16 2009 - 9:43pm
Wanting to enhance my PC audio (help plz)

Hi people, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, sorry for bothering on this "town" again, I know that here the stuff to deal is stereo, but seeing as you guys have now a PC Audio sub-section (and ultimate AV still doesn't have a forum) I decided to try again, hoping no 1 would mind.
I start this thread "extension" of the 1 with the same name I opened some time ago at Sound&Vision forums (nice guys there, thanks) with the same title, for the purpose of expanding my options and chances of getting replies providing with good feedback, comments & suggestions; from connoisseur guys like you, that this newbie and ignorant in the "black arts" of Hi-Fi sound will collect to put at good use.

For lack of time & redundancy, I think I will just quote myself, re-posting here, most of what I already posted on S&V forums, here we go:

Quote:Im saving to upgrade my PC sound system, I want nice & LOUD speakers, a good combo; so Im going after a couple BeoLab 3, I managed to check'em out briefly at a B&O shop on here. They were/are smaller than I previously thought, but still, those things are nice, they went loud with ease, I wasnt able to detect any distortion or screw-up on that high volume. Now, Im not a conossieur like you guys, Im not an audiophile with experience so I dont know if I missed something important to notice, they just sounded nice. And, well, theres also the fact that I would need a central channel, the beolabs are only sold on pairs, so in order to get a 5.1 setup I got to find a speaker that can take on the central channel duties, nice-powerful-loud and low profile enough so it doesnt block my display (not to tall) so far...not much luck, there's hardly a "match" for the BeoLab3, I mean, there seems to be few candidates and most fall short on 1 or 2 of the requirements I mentioned; be it small with not enough "horse power" (watts) or too big. After a few searches on yahoo directory, looking many sites, the best candidates so far are:
DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY- They have more candidates than anyone else so far, a good list of central channels to pounder.
Aside of them, only a couple more options:
Ascend acoustics CMT-340 SE center channel
Jamo C-80 cen

Though, the Jambo is...quite "big", but....
Anyway, thats the little story, now is your turn AUDIOPHILES, experts in melodies, masters of sound, to share a little bit of your expertise and advice this humble rookie.

Yeah, I know this is not a...."PRO" 5.1-home theater, something...well, like what you are used to review-comment-enjoy, but it is meaningful for me. The living room with the tv I leave it for my grandpa & my mom so they can watch what they like whenever the want, but my computer is my nest, my headquarters, here I work and entertain myself. And thus want great sound, for good soundtrack play on a movie, blazing bullets and explosions on games or just listening to U2, Aerosmith, Depeche Mode etc

Thanks in advance.

Quote:Hi guys! thanks for the replies, especially good, useful & respectful replies. In the past few attempts in other sites concerning this matters, people for the most past just ignored and the few that replied made cynical-stupid useless comments. Thanks for really trying to give good comments

@ Rope: thanks for the link, dont remember seeing those speakers before, I'll check em more deeply later.

@apcarandang: You bring excellent points & comments. Indeed. But...well...let me try to address each stuff orderly (I hope) You say,and with too much GOOD reason "I would suggest auditioning other speakers and take your time", BUT, there's a "little" problem with that, remember please I live in Mexico city = 3rd world dump
I dont get, as opposed to you guys in the US Canada & Europe, to have special outlets of superspeakers nor audiophile boutiques with high-end stuff together to audition. Heck! I was surprised enough to see B&O actually having a couple outlets around here. So...nope, I can't audition a lot of stuff, other than a couple of KEFs selling at a close mall and a pair of Revels (cant remember which model)
So Im pretty much forced to bothering you guys for advice and wise guidance.
Still, I will try to find something from Anthony Gallo, doubt i can even find a booklet, but... I'll try
Now, returning to the subject, talking about small speakers and that....gladly enough, browsing around here at SOUND&VISION I found the article about the mirage speakers, small lil fellas! So "intrigued" by them, I decided to go to their main site, and OH SURPRISE they have a few more meaner models like the prestige, os-sat & OCD-5

Please do tell !
As for the "pseudo 5.1" thanks I want the REAL DEAL not a pseudo solution/emulation, besides, im already on a pseudo 5.1-oh my... long story , so no I would rather not.
Now, to the next point.....
Quote:Will you be using a receiver to power your speakers? Or are you looking for powered speakers? How big is your display and distance from the speakers?

, sir, good questions. My display is rather moderate, 25.5 inches; the distance would be a variable, since Im also in the process of upgrading desk space, so far no models out there that convince me but Im still looking for a decent and more optimal desk, perhaps I will have to order a custom 1 (damn! early today on my way to cut my hair I saw a truck of a workshop making office furniture, no pen or paper to remember the name) and concerning the RECEIVER-AMP factor, well, the answer is quite simple.......I have no f*****g idea
HEHE, Seriously, I dont know, once more my novice/ignorant side shines again! Dont know really how to properly address this part, i mean, yep I think a receiver would be fine so as to have a central hub to plug the speakers, but amp or no amp, specs and other details i dont know. 1 of the many things I liked about the BeoLab 3 is that it is "self powered" with that I said: phew-no messing with amplifiers, still there was the connection-centralization and also of checking for some AMP for the potential central channel, so....
I was left with many question marks floating around my head
What to get? How to do it? How to "potentialize" it ? etc etc. I have seen some nice stuff from many makers; marantz, Denon, etc etc, buuuutttt, they call me crazy, stupid or (once again) ignorant, but I think they are way to high on price tag, and....well...would rather spend that extra money on the speakers themselves or on getting a better -super high vision- display. For receivers my 2 candidate brands are Yamaha & Pioneer. Now, which 1 would be the best pick? THAT is the question!!!
The basic idea-intention- is to get (if theres no more freaking nasty annoying complications....long story too ) an Auzentech X-Fi Home Theater HD sound card, plug it in the pci-e lane, use coaxial to connect to receiver, receiver to speakers and voila!!! Nice sound for good vibrations while making a boring tedious powerpoint presentation or an exciting but complex 3d scene, not to mention when using the plasma blaster or the proton pack

Well, for now, its all folks; thanks for reading.
Once again sorry for my silly questions, I'll check the thread tomorrow to read your comments and suggestions.

Quote:Im back! ladies $ gentleman, yeah, lots and lots of troubles (as usual anyway, here I am so to keep alive this lil thread.

@ malsackj: I aprecciate your participation o9n the thread, but Im afraid none of'em cut it for me. I already had a pais of creative speakers (which incidentally im trying to sell...whatever, errr and I dont want to go that "way" again. But thanks for your suggestion.

Now, concerning the rest of the thread, i must say that aside the suggestion of Rope (and my infatuation with the BeoLab 3 ) Im checking some of the stuff listed right here in S&V, namely the MIRAGEs omni, that I mentioned before and seem quite interesting. The DEFINITIVES that i also mentioned and are listed around here along the MIRAGEs omni as great small systems and maybe the ENERGY and last but not least the FOCALS listed here on the reviews section with the..the..."S&V seal of approval", so what do you guys think about this contenders? heh???

By the way, is pretty much settled already that the soundcard will be the Auzentech X-Fi Home Theater HD.

Quote:Im back guys, I had to take a forced vacation from the forums cause for some damn, weird, freaky reason, I wasn't able to post properly, only "post" 3 or 4 words of all the writing and no more.
Hope in this new attempt, this return to a normal and friendly flow, to allow me to post my whole text, with that said:

apcarandang thanks for your help and intervention on my thread, is specially welcomed since, as you stated, you do have mirage speakers; so you have more than first hand experience with the company and the technology.
Which bring me guys to the next question; How would you compare/rate the Mirage OMNIS (specifically the Nanosat Prestige, the OMD-5 & OS3 sat) face to face-mano a mano, with B&O BeoLab3 ???
Of course, the reason for this question (in case someone cant catch it) as I mentioned at the beggining I want "huge sound" noisy speakers, buuuuttt.....of the contenders for also previously stated reasons, the only ones auditioned by myself were the BeoLab 3.
So here again, guys, your connoisseur/audiophile with more options/experience status comes into play again In your informed opinion (price aside.....for the time being) which set-up would be better for me?
Yes I know about "subjective" "personal opinion" "taste" etc, but overall guys, please in your informed opinion 1 VS the other...WHO FITS "THE BILL" BETTER???

For what its worth, I'll give you some examples of use I will give'em, in case you have already "been there done that" or have the interest-goodwill-compassion for this fellow to try them out and give youa analysis; content they will have to reproduce, examples I hope do help you bring an even better founded opinion, due to the usual use I gave to them & "details" I think can provide with a goodbenchmark test at the same time; before I give the examples 1 last thing, the room where all this will be located will be either 2.5 X 2.5 meters or a 3 X 4 meters room, ok now to the content for playback:


U2- New year's day (due to the eclectic combos in the song and energy, specially the combo guitar-"bells")
U2- Beautiful Day (good vibe and good energetic interpretation)
U2- Magnificent (strong, energetic and at times aggressive notes)
U2- The Fly (good performance strange/mod guitar & FXs)
Michael Jackson- Who is it? (great changes in the song, smooth/subtle start and COOL/deep bass)
Michael Jackson- Smooth Criminal (some good changes in the song, the heart pounding at the start etc)
Alice Cooper- Poison (not many MANY changes all over the song but quite "heavy", energetic, with good highs & Cooper's characteristic voice)
Depeche Mode: Shake the Disease, Everything Counts, Personal Jesus, Enjoy the Silence (for all the variables and distinctions on the songs keyboard and synthesizers sounds )
Aerosmith- Rag Doll (for the good bass and presence of quite other instruments and performance by Tyler)
Top Gun Anthem
John Williams- whatever you want can between Superman, Jurassic Park & Star Wars
Mussorgsky- Great Gates of Kiev
Snow- Informer & Lady with the Red Dress On (yeah the Canadian rapper, serious , specially the "rap" combo with ballad & piano notes in "Lady with...")
Def Leppard- Armaggedon It & Let's get Rocked (again - variables, dynamism and energy in both songs)
Baltimora- Tarzan Boy (oldie but goodie, check how the dance-shake-good vibe shows in the contenders)
The Outfield- Say it isn't so & Your Love (pretty much for a mix between Leppard & Baltimora in how I enjoy'em)
And...I guess I'll leave it at that, I could add Roxette, Journey, Europe, Survivour, Tears for Fears, INXS etc etc, but I think the ones provided are enough varied, disctint and good parameters of things I play in the media player as MUSIC.

Here I really don t have much to say...let me see, perhaps Transformers, IronMan, some StarWars, things that not only should/do sound great for what they "portray" but cause the master was transplanted beautifully to the disc (once again, here you'll know more than me)

The last category, for limitations of my old computer, I haven't been able to play more recent & "enhanced" stuff, but among the parameters I think I can mention DOOM 3, BattleFront 2 and co. Medieval Total War 2 & HAWX, of course theres newer stuff you guys may try to check & compare like Arkham Assylum or GhostBusters, etc.

For this night (or at least this minutes) that would be all, hope I didn't annoyed anyone and hope you find it interesting to give your advice.

Thanks in advance

So that's it guys, the resume of the things I posted, hope you can join the "help brigade" on this matter.

Thanks in advance.

ncdrawl's picture
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: Oct 18 2008 - 9:18am
Re: Wanting to enhance my PC audio (help plz)

it has been my experience, from living in Europe and around the little B+O shops that the Beolab speakers are for people that have money but not a single clue about what sounds good.

I would personally avoid them(every iteration ive ever heard of the Beolab stuff has, to my ears, sounded awful)

the B=W mm-1 would be a much better choice, in my opinion.
audio engine a5...

the Jamo are quite great too, the c803..

what is your budget? you want speakers that you can simply hook up to your computer and off you go, right?

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