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Recommendations for a 2.1 speaker setup and sound card ~$500

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, I've been looking to get away from the standard cheap satellite speaker system and get myself a real setup. thumb.gif I'm pretty sure $500 will get me to where I want to be, including a new sound card. I'll be getting the money over summer most likely Here's a small list of some equipment I was looking at:

Amp:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-812

Bookshelves:
Not really sure, was looking at some Polk Monitor40 II's but there are way too many speakers for me to narrow down which are best for around $100-150 per pair.

Sub:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-629
Or the 10" sub, but this seems like a better deal.

Sound Card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132006

I like the option of having up to 7.1 on the card, and I can always get some more of those same amps to power extra speakers if I do switch from 2.1, nice thing to have but I could let it go if need be. I've heard this is a pretty descent card.

As a note, I do a lot of gaming but listen to music as well, probably game 70% and music 30%. I play a lot of RPG's and I like electronic/classical music.

What are your thoughts?
post #2 of 8
Quote:
As a note, I do a lot of gaming but listen to music as well, probably game 70% and music 30%. I play a lot of RPG's and I like electronic/classical music.

If this is the case I would recommend against the xonar.

Here's an excerpt written just for you from the most recommended thread: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
THE ULTIMATE GAMER
70%+ Gaming 30% Music/Movies/Other.

You're totally into gaming. FPS is your life. Nice sound in music is cool, but let's be honest, you're wanting total positioning advantage so you can kill noobs and tea-bag their dead corpses inciting rage in 12 year olds.

You should be looking into Creative cards for the most part.

But which should you look at?

$30 Price Range:

Creative XtremeGamer/Music

$80 Price Range:

Creative Titanium

There is never a reason to get the Titanium FATAL1TY. There is no difference between this and the normal Titanium except for now USELESS X-ram. Plus, the FATAL1TY is normally ALWAYS more expensive since it attracts ignorant gamers who think they'll get a huge advantage boost cuz it's gaming oriented or whatever.

$130 Price Range:

Creative Titanium HD

It's perhaps the best if not one of the best gaming cards on the market at this point. It does well in terms of music, but since you're a hardcore gamer, this is the card you ultimately want.

That said, you're looking at the same sound card I have, the Titanium HD thumb.gif You can find them used or refurbished for relatively cheap. ($50-$70) I got mine new for $70 from Bestbuy when they were doing a sale.

As far as the other parts you picked out, I am not very knowledgeable (yet) on speakers/amps/subs. So I will observe other responses. smile.gif
Edited by Bobotheklown - 4/30/12 at 2:29pm
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yeah I was considering the Titanium HD, if I can find a good deal on one I'll spring for it. The main thing I need to know is the speaker setup since I don't have a whole lot of experience with that sort of thing, I just know the basics of theater setups and speaker specs.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've been looking around a lot and I think I found some good deals for some equipment.

For bookshelves I found this kit:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-640

Should be a no brainer to assemble, I saw the video and it looks super easy, also have plenty of electrical experience with soldering and everything.

For a sub I found this BIC:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=303-430

For an amp I found this refurbished model on ebay from parts express themselves:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dayton-APA150-150W-Power-Amplifier-/320893501919#vi-content

I also think I found a good deal on a creative titanium hd for about $85.
Total is around $470.
post #5 of 8
those Dayton bookshelf's look nice and a few members built them. just know that you will have to put them together. nothing too hard just a little soldering and gluing. another option is to scour Craigslist and find old speakers and amps/receivers on there. got my receiver for $120 mint condition.

another option would be to get active speakers and add a sub so you wouldn't have to worry about an amp but that would also lower your upgradability. something along the lines of the Audioengine a2 or SwanD1080 IV with that BIC sub.

i do agree with that titanium HD as a sound card but im a little bias rolleyes.gif
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Indeed, the whole reason I'm going with a passive setup is because of the upgradability and customization I can get with it. I want something that will sound like a home theater but for a fraction of the price. A little far fetched there but I think I'm on to something rolleyes.gif

I think I'm pretty set on those bookshelves now. The more I look at the specs and reviews the more I like them. The only problem is the tweeter only goes up to 18kHz since it's 1 1/8", but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to take for a better crossover section. I think they give me about 1800Hz of buffer between the woofer and tweeter which is just about right. I don't think I'll do much better for that price. biggrin.gif

Out of curiosity, how much room will I need to have between the downfiring sub and my carpet for sufficient space? I'd say my carpet's a little less than 1/2" thick, so I think that should leave enough room.
post #7 of 8
2.1 speakers

MX5021

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