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Looking for help for building a nice sounds system for the pc.

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by jazziam, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. jazziam

    jazziam Maha Guru

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    Well as you can guess, the name of this topic is about building a nice sound system for my pc. Currently im using onboard sound (i did have a Soundblaster Live 24bit External Card) with some cheap Creative 5.1 surround sound speakers (not perticularly amazing).

    So what Im looking for is to go back to a 2.0 or 2.1 system rather than have 5.1 as my computer is in a bedroom all my speakers are on my desk so i actually dont get the surround sound experience. I was looking at maybe a nice per of Bookshelf Speakers or 2.1 speakers. Was wondering it would be worth getting a sound card or to get an amplifier and connect the amplifier to my onboard.

    Im not too great on this so I could use all the help i need. xD

    But yes also could anyone recommened speakers/amps/soundcard to get or a good place to check out for this gear (i live in the UK).

    thankyou in advance
     
  2. Deckard79

    Deckard79 Member Guru

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    Hello,

    Well, you can really go two routes. You can pick up thoroughly decent 2.0 speakers for around 50 quid (Creative Gigaworks T20) which will sound nice, providing they are hooked up to a half-decent sonud card (SB Live 24bit should be okay, but you might want to consider upping that to at least an Audigy 4). This would be the most cost effective route.

    Otherwise, you could do what I'm doing which is to hook your PC up to a stereo hifi amp. This is the best route for audiophiles as you'll end up with much higher quality sound, but it'll set you back at least a couple of hundred quid for a decent amp/speakers.

    Either way, improve your quality at source by upgrading your sound card!
     
  3. jazziam

    jazziam Maha Guru

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    Cheers Deckard, im looking at maybe getting an Amplifier with some decent speakers and a decent sound card. Money isnt a problem. My limit would be about £300.00 so spend on a system so if anyone got any idea's to what to get or recommened me amps, speakers or sounds cards that would be pretty useful =D
     
  4. Deckard79

    Deckard79 Member Guru

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    For speakers, ebay or gumtree (local community boards) are really useful as you can often pick up good speakers at a fraction of the retail cost.

    I own Mordaunt Short 902i speakers, which set me back about £150. Again, you might be able to get these for less than £100 second hand. For less, well... the Eltax Monitor IIIs are surprisingly good.

    A good budget amp would be the Cambridge Audio A1 or A5. The A1 sounds lovely, but only packs about 30 watts per channel which might not be enough for you. The A5 is about 60 watts per channel. You can't go wrong with either. A5 costs about £120 new, and you can pick them up second hand for about £50.

    For your sound card, I'd say go for an Audigy 4 as a bare minimum. The Creative X-Fi is excellent for gaming, but if you really want uncompromising sound quality in music/movies etc. you might wish to look at the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude, or even the Auzentech XPlosion (Xplosion is cheaper).
     

  5. jazziam

    jazziam Maha Guru

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    Ahh cheers for the reply =), i should be able to get the sound card next week. Ill have a nose of OCUK to see how much its going for, also I'll have a look at those amps as well =).

    Cheers for the help deckard

    Just looking at speakers and i found these, any opinons of them?

    http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=ELTA-MONITOR3BLK

    http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=ELTA-SYMPHONY-8.4-BL

    And that amp as well =), Cambridge A5

    http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=CAMB-A5BLK
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2008
  6. Deckard79

    Deckard79 Member Guru

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    Selling my Mordaunt Short 902i Avant speakers if you are interested. Richer sounds link is here:

    http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=MORD-902I-CAL
     
  7. Deckard79

    Deckard79 Member Guru

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    As for your queries - the Monitor IIIs are ones I used to own. They're pretty cool for the money. Quite 'bassy' but don't have a huge amount of detail.

    The Symphony 8.4s are fairly similar, but floorstanders so they'll take up more space but give you the benefit of a deeper bass.
     
  8. NapalmV5

    NapalmV5 Member Guru

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    2.1 u say? heres the way i do it..

    sound card/3.5mm-to-rca -> JL XB-CLRAIC2-SW -> JBL L8400P subwoofer -> 2x 4-way JBL L820 bookshelf

    thats it, one crazy 2.1 sound system :)
     
  9. Deckard79

    Deckard79 Member Guru

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    600 Watt... wow, enough to cause an earthquake!
     
  10. NapalmV5

    NapalmV5 Member Guru

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    600w enough to cause an earthquake?

    what does 3600w do then? :3eyes:
     

  11. Deckard79

    Deckard79 Member Guru

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    destroy a metropolis?!
     
  12. NapalmV5

    NapalmV5 Member Guru

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    damn!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
  13. anwaypasible

    anwaypasible Banned

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    a lego metropolis maybe!

    get yourself two(2) of these:
    http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=143&products_id=1613

    cross these over at 2.7khz / 3khz / 3.5khz at the top of the spectrum and no less than 300hz at the bottom of the spectrum (12db or 18db attenuation is your choice)

    personally i recommend these crossovers:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Boston-Acoustic...oryZ3276QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    i suggest you use a bass blocker @ 300hz with at least 12db attenuation

    then you need some tweeters.
    i've never heard these but the chart says they are capable
    http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=45_229_270_324&products_id=697

    you can make your own 8 liter boxes for under $50(us)
    this includes the price of mdf / glue / jigsaw blades / fabric for grills / wood frame for grills

    or you can buy some premade boxes at a huge markup.
     
  14. N0sferatU

    N0sferatU Ancient Guru

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    For 2.1...

    Auzentech Prelude + Klipsch 2.1 Promedia speakers

    Done

    If you were doing 5.1 I'd just do an A/V receiver and go from there... :)
     
  15. anwaypasible

    anwaypasible Banned

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    i'm bumping my do it yourself project.

    those are government grade speakers for listening.. that means the sound quality is better than any toy in this audio section.

    the receiver/amp is your choice

    if you want subs i'd suggest two 8 inch jl audio w7's:
    http://mobile.jlaudio.com/products_subs.php?series_id=1

    and you'll need 2 of these:
    http://www.oaudio.com/500W_SUBAMP.html

    get your boxes from here:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/JL-Audio-8W7-Se...ZWD1VQQ_trksidZp1638.m118.l1247QQcmdZViewItem

    DONT get a ported box!
    you want your subwoofer to play low and loud, using a ported box will destroy your chances of low and loud.
    (reason for dummies: the subwoofer will distort rather than gut lows)
     

  16. Spezzy

    Spezzy Master Guru

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    HAHAHAHA!
    PLEASE, STOP TALKING!
    YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!
    If you don't know about something, don't talk about it.

    Ported won't reach low and loud? HAHAH!
    My PORTED sub easily reaches to 5hz. Sealed has lower output in any given scenario per watt. The only time sealed is 'good' is when you're using a robust driver and lots of power. (i.e. JL F113, decent driver, good amp)
    Bang for buck, ported is better. Better meaning (in this case) reaching deeper, going louder, and being more efficient.
    For a sealed subwoofer, every lower frequency the driver will have to move more and more.

    The W7s suck, TS parameters are horrible. The only reason the JL F112/113/ Gotham are good (I know, I had a pair of F113s) are because of JLs ability to manufacture drivers to their TS specs.

    Get a few of any of these Exodus audio drivers instead.
    http://www.acoustic-visions.com/~acoustic/products/subwoofer_drivers/by_brand.shtml

    Or the SDX-15: http://www.creativesound.ca/details.php?model=SDX15

    Pair any of these with a Behringer EP2500. Just google that.

    These combos in a EBS/LLT allignment will yield far superior results to that W7 bull. That is tuned for car audio, hence such a high FS. For a flat response, those are horrible.

    http://youtube.com/user/spezzy


    I know what I'm talking about.
    :coffee2:
     
  17. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    @Spezzy, that guys pop in every now and again and one of us usually slaps him for talking stupid and he goes away for a bit. I see you had the pleasure this time! I noticed he has since been banned....GOOD, guys like that contribute nothing positive to the forums.
    I like that though..LOL, Ported won't go low and loud!! -Who ever told him that? That is a perfect example of crap he spreads when here. What is worse is when you try and help to correct him, he argues with you. Sad really.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
  18. anwaypasible

    anwaypasible Banned

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    ported boxes allow the cone to be jolted to one side.. effectively rubbing away the voice coil until the coil needs replaced.

    ported boxes are a bang for the buck option.
    but without the proper amp, all those soundwaves are gonna stretch and make the bass slur.
    for a ported box look for an amp with a damping factor of >1000
    some amps only push one way and rely on the spider and/or sealed vacuum to return the cone.
    excellent amps have two amps: one that pushes forward and one that pulls backwards.
    those two amps fight eachother until the soundwave comes in and tips the scale which moves the cones position.

    sealed boxes dont need both amps per-say.. or dont need equal force comparing push to pull back power

    ported boxes however do need both amps.

    i love long-throw just as much as i did back in the early 1990's

    f.y.i.
    a good equalizer paired with a good amp will make even the cheapest speakers sound better.. after such equalization has occured, the differences in design result in the longevity of the driver.

    good drivers require less equalization.. and that means the difference from the highest peak to the lowest peak is small.. therefore the wattage difference on the coil isnt much.
    this equals a consistant voice coil temperature throughout the entire frequency range of the driver.

    cheap speakers have a larger gap between the highest peak and the lowest peak.. this means the coil will have to take on higher amounts of power at lower peaks to raise the decibal level.. which will burn up the coil from too much wattage/heat.

    a visual example:

    the cheap subwoofer has a horrible response curve

    so, to correct the issue
    100watts @ 25hz = 90db
    76watts @ 40hz = 90db
    55watts @ 50hz = 90db
    34watts @ 60hz = 90db
    40watts @ 70hz = 90db
    45watts @ 80hz = 90db

    okay.. thats all gravy if the voice coil is able to handle 100watts rms (all day)
    but, the cheap subwoofer can only handle 50watts rms.
    that means at 50hz the subwoofer is gonna run hot and if you play the sub below 50hz you're gonna run the voice coil above and beyond its thermal specification = blown subwoofer
    you could turn the frequencies of 25hz and 40hz down but then you wouldnt be able to hear anything at those frequencies.

    a high quality subwoofer example with a highly optimized frequency response:

    100watts @ 25hz = 90db
    95watts @ 40hz = 90db
    90watts @ 50hz = 90db
    85watts @ 60hz = 90db
    90watts @ 70hz = 90db
    100watts @ 80hz = 90db

    okay, above you see that on the left there isnt huge amounts of wattage differences like there is on the cheap subwoofer.. this is a good thing for your amplifier because it doesnt have to go up and down with wattage so much.
    and if the subwoofer is rated at 90-95watts rms.. your voice coil will be safe while providing a flat frequency response = not a blown subwoofer

    good quality sub would be overclocked by 10-15watts
    cheap sub would be overclocked by 50watts

    why would it be overclocked you ask?
    so you get 90db at every frequency!!
    that is how speakers are supposed to work. 90db at every frequency rather than 90db at one frequency and 76db at a different frequency.
    we have equalizers that help us adjust each frequency so each one is 90db.
     
  19. iako

    iako Ancient Guru

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  20. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Would be a better article if they actually used the best soundcards available.
     

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