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How to get the best Audi Quality setup?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
OK, Now i've been getting into the audio equipment part of the internet for 2 days and i realized the set-up i have is even though it sounded quit good to me. here's my set up (A huge and awsome desktop PC with a default onboard sound card, and 2.1ch speakers i got for 50$ 6 years ago (brand called gigamax) that are connected to my display via headphone jack and display is connected to pc via HDMI. now i listen to music all day and i want the best i can get for my budget (which is 350-400$), from what i searched i need a USB DAC and a good set of speakers.

I found these http://www.amazon.com/Audioengine-D1-Premium-24-Bit-DAC/dp/B006IPH5H2/ref=sr_1_10?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1354280234&sr=1-10&keywords=Cambridge+Audio+DacMagic.

and these http://www.amazon.com/Edifier-USA-S550-Multimedia-Speaker/dp/B004EO6NHM (i can get those for a lot less, if i do ill have 100$ remaining)

WHAT DO YOU THINK I SHOULD DO?

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post #2 of 27
Buy an Audi S5...

But seriously - I find most on-board audio to be more than capable of reproducing sound well - generally better than the typical MP3 source, so I try to find the best quality source media, and then get a good set of speakers/headphones - I'm partial to Klipsch, AKG, Sennheiser, and Harmon-Kardon.
 
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post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 619headman View Post

OK, Now i've been getting into the audio equipment part of the internet for 2 days and i realized the set-up i have is **** even though it sounded quit good to me. here's my set up (A huge and awsome desktop PC with a default onboard sound card, and 2.1ch speakers i got for 50$ 6 years ago (brand called gigamax) that are connected to my display via headphone jack and display is connected to pc via HDMI. now i listen to music all day and i want the best i can get for my budget (which is 350-400$), from what i searched i need a USB DAC and a good set of speakers.
I found these http://www.amazon.com/Audioengine-D1-Premium-24-Bit-DAC/dp/B006IPH5H2/ref=sr_1_10?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1354280234&sr=1-10&keywords=Cambridge+Audio+DacMagic.
and these http://www.amazon.com/Edifier-USA-S550-Multimedia-Speaker/dp/B004EO6NHM (i can get those for a lot less, if i do ill have 100$ remaining)
WHAT DO YOU THINK I SHOULD DO?

if you listen to music all day forget about 5.1

what kind of music do you listen to?
    
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post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee1980 View Post

if you listen t0121 117 0528o music all day forget about 5.1
what kind of music do you listen to?
Hip hop and soft electronic
post #5 of 27
I have the logitech Z623 2.1 speaker set-up and very much enjoy the thumping bass and clear vocals they can produce. They aren't top end audiophile quality but they were better then 300+ dollar bose speakers I listened to at best-buy!

I think that this set-up would suit your needs very nicely, you might want to pair it with some type of nice sound card depending on how bad your onboard is.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121048

Free shipping too, which is always nice.
Edited by immakulate - 12/1/12 at 1:23am
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post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
BubblebeeI hope you can help me
post #7 of 27
Your first priority should be better speakers. If you intend to stay active, there are several good 2.0 sets that you might be interested in. As a forewarning, the smaller the speakers go, the higher you have to set the crossover point to the subwoofer. If the speakers are too small, your subwoofer won't integrate well and you can easily hear it's location which takes a lot away from the enjoyment. It's recommended to go for speakers that go fairly low on themselves, you can assume five inch woofers to have some authority over the traditional PC satellites. Doesn't mean they don't need a subwoofer for the absolute lows, even 8 inchers do (if you're a basshead), but they need one much much less so than small satellites <3".

Some popular active speakers would be: Audioengine A5, M-Audio BX5a D2, Behringer B2030 and B3030A, Genelec 6010A, Fostex PM0.5, KRK Rokit G2 and RP5.. there's a huge bunch, and out of them all there's a 8" variant if you aren't space constrained. Having heard all of them, I can say they are very enjoyable stand-alone, and go for $200-500 a pair.

Also, an USB DAC is a nice addition but you don't have to necessarily pay more than $100-200 for one that will outdo all of your speakers (as in, the DAC is not the audibly significant weak link in your chain, that priviledge usually remains on your speakers, headphones and room acoustics, as those three are what will most affect your sound). ODAC is an excellent choice that performs equally to Benchmark DAC1 Pre, that goes for over $1,200, while costing around $200. Then there are the ones with more features like headphone output and balanced output, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a very pretty and well performing one. If you don't need it to be tabletop, you can also get away with just an Asus Xonar DG which is closer to $30.
Edited by seepra - 12/1/12 at 2:02am
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post #8 of 27
I'd recommend the Swan M50w 2.1 active speakers: http://www.theaudioinsider.com/product_info.php?p=swan-m50w&products_id=167&

These don't need a speaker amp, because they're active speakers. As for the DAC, I'd recommend a UDAC.

OK, that's slightly over your budget, so maybe get a cheaper DAC or a sound card (like a xonar) to start, and a UDAC at some later point. Honestly, the DACs don't make a huge difference. If you A/B test the UDAC and a Xonar, it might be very hard to hear the difference. I have a nice $600 DAC that honestly doesn't sound that much different than my xonar d2x.

Enjoy!
Edited by mechtech - 12/1/12 at 2:23am
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post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 619headman View Post

BubblebeeI hope you can help me

KRK Rokit 6 or 8 with the isolation pads or stands and Audioengine D1 is what I would go with. a lot of guys use these to mix the kind of music you listen to but it won't come cheap. you can save some money if you buy used or refurbished.
    
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post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee1980 View Post

KRK Rokit 6 or 8 with the isolation pads or stands and Audioengine D1 is what I would go with. a lot of guys use these to mix the kind of music you listen to but it won't come cheap. you can save some money if you buy used or refurbished.
Do these need a sub woofer?
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