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Help me pick out speakers that can take advantage of my sound card. Please with a cherry on top - Page 2

post #11 of 38
Tube amps have a lot even-ordered harmonic distortion as a byproduct of their design--it's perceived as bloom or warmth. Some people like that, some don't. Some solid state speakers use a ton of negative feedback which introduces IMD ringing, many engineers didn't realize why people hated the sound until new measurement techniques came out.

We live in a world of physical laws--everything is measurable. However, if you limit yourself to a single set of measurements, like a pure FR curve, that's not very informative.
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post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post

Tube amps have a lot even-ordered harmonic distortion as a byproduct of their design--it's perceived as bloom or warmth. Some people like that, some don't. Some solid state speakers use a ton of negative feedback which introduces IMD ringing, many engineers didn't realize why people hated the sound until new measurement techniques came out.

We live in a world of physical laws--everything is measurable. However, if you limit yourself to a single set of measurements, like a pure FR curve, that's not very informative.

Well I will be honest, I am not good at the science of sound, nor do I care enough to get good at it.

Here is the truth of the matter. (in the next couple lines I am NOT referring to you....so do NOT take offense). I have met several people from head-fi who go around waving charts and measurements like they are the freaking bible. ALL of them preach that SS is way better because it is so accurate and blah blah blah. Another member and I have taken these people to the local hi-fi shop and forced them to listen to tube amps that they can afford (often times for the same price of their Schiit amps, so we aren't talking about like mega $400K amps or anything). Despite all the measurements, despite all the BS that audio fools like to push out in the open and claim it is the god given truth, we have converted every single one of them to tubes.

So no matter what a measurement says, you simply can't argue with real world performance results.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #13 of 38
It's not so much the numbers as people not understanding how they're generated and what they mean. (and e.g. as always, speaker graphs in anechoic chamber don't apply directly to what you get in your room)

Now, if somebody wants to argue that lower SPL at a given frequency doesn't mean lower volume—and most usually, lower perceived volume—then I wouldn't know what to say.

As for tube amps, depends on the one you're talking about, and the speakers you're using. I wouldn't get carried away with generalities, even if they're true more often than not across a range of products.

60-80 Hz is pretty low for a lot of music, with a lot of the bass lines not going under that (or if so, not by much), so the expectation would be that it could sound just fine. Depends what you're listening to, preferences, etc. Even more so, considering the way a lot of music is produced these days. For reference, ~65 Hz is C2 (two octaves below middle C, lowest string on cello).
post #14 of 38
Thread Starter 
I am not looking at charts at all just taking your advice. I've been looking for some Cambridge s30s for the past two days and they are all sold out.

Also what else would I need beside an amp to make sure that everything will work correctly?

My budget is $1,000 I already order the amp for $550

Would getting a DAC sound better than my DAC in my sound card?

Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk 2
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post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

Well I will be honest, I am not good at the science of sound, nor do I care enough to get good at it.

Here is the truth of the matter. (in the next couple lines I am NOT referring to you....so do NOT take offense). I have met several people from head-fi who go around waving charts and measurements like they are the freaking bible. ALL of them preach that SS is way better because it is so accurate and blah blah blah. Another member and I have taken these people to the local hi-fi shop and forced them to listen to tube amps that they can afford (often times for the same price of their Schiit amps, so we aren't talking about like mega $400K amps or anything). Despite all the measurements, despite all the BS that audio fools like to push out in the open and claim it is the god given truth, we have converted every single one of them to tubes.

So no matter what a measurement says, you simply can't argue with real world performance results.

Just my 2 cents.

It's very well understood scientifically why some people like tube amps, due to even (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc) ordered harmonic distortion sounding more pleasant to us than odd-ordered distortions (which solid state amps primarily exhibit).

Solid state (transistor) amplifiers are more accurate overall, as their total harmonic distortion is lower. However is just an arbitrary sum of all distortion curves. THD is not a real thing, it's just a concept for engineers to record data. As you can see below, THD is the complex sum of of multiple types of distortions that are measured. A pair of speakers, or a pair of amps, can have identical THD curves and all else equal, not sound the same, because our brain perceives each individual order of harmonic distortion as a separate entity when we hear the sound, so THD is purely a arbitrary grouping of data sets.



That said, I generally use very low sensitivity speakers (most of what I own are in the 83-85db range) and tube amps don't really provide the power I need. It's not uncommon when I'm playing multichannel SACDs that I see 600W+ drawn from the wall from my receiver.
Edited by astrallite - 4/4/13 at 7:58pm
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post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOCer View Post

I am not looking at charts at all just taking your advice. I've been looking for some Cambridge s30s for the past two days and they are all sold out.

Also what else would I need beside an amp to make sure that everything will work correctly?

My budget is $1,000 I already order the amp for $550

Would getting a DAC sound better than my DAC in my sound card?

Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk 2

Yes. A dac would make your system sound a million times better. Jolida again makes the glass tube fx. I have been listening to my tube amp for quite some time with just on board audio dac since I dumped ALL my money into an amp. Just recently I actually took the amp back to the shop and paired it with the jolida. SOOOOOO much better. Warm, full, forward, and it looks sexy as hell to boot. So I ordered one on the spot and bought some nice audio note silver (only reason I got silver is because they were having a pretty darn good sale on them) capacitors to go with it.

However....I would say to wait on the dac. That ZxR card you have there is not a bad dac in of itself. The jolida is better, but you would be much wiser investing in better speaker ATM.

Also. If you want to get real kick but speakers, I know a guy who is selling some celestion 3s. They are what I use and they sound fantastic. They are sort of rare though, and when you do find them, usually they are 1 foot in the grave. If you wish to send the guy a PM his name is Spriggs.

Another option for some nicer vintage speakers would be dynaco A-25 (35s are better but rare). They look sort of old but they have really nice sound.

Both of those are better than the S30s. More modern day speakers kind of on the tinny or bright side TBH. The more modern things I can think of that you might find on a deal on anything by audionote, that would be yet another great way to go.

And of course http://www.crutchfield.com/p_779S30N/Cambridge-Audio-S30-Noir.html?tp=186&awkw=25896007945&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=6676517065&awdv=c you can always reserve your S30s too. The speakers would only be two weeks out, so if you want to snipe a good pair of A25s, Celestion 3 (oh and NOTHING other than celestion 3. ie not celestion 3 mk2 or what every they are....just plain 3), anything by audionote that you can afford, or A-35s, then be my guest and you always have a fall back with the S30s.
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post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post


That said, I generally use very low sensitivity speakers (most of what I own are in the 83-85db range) and tube amps don't really provide the power I need. It's not uncommon when I'm playing multichannel SACDs that I see 600W+ drawn from the wall from my receiver.

First let me say that while I am sure that is very informative, I will have to read it more in depth tomorrow when I don't have blood shot eyes.

Also (this is not meant to bash or negate what you say......just FYI) I am using celestion 3s with a efficiency of 86db. At the audio store I go to, some I would guess are closer to 80db. Tube amps are powering everything just fine. You need a half way decent tube amp which can cost a lot....but it is doable.

If nothing else, you could always get a preamp.
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post #18 of 38
Tons of great ideas above. Just adding what I experienced when trying to set up a decent 2.1CH set up for my computer. I bought 3 amps all at once off eBay: A B&K Reference 4420 2CH, Video-5 5CH and a broken ST-202 (had a dead channel). Was going to use the Ref 4420 for the fronts, the 5CH for my living room and the broken ST-202 for my sub. Turned out the ST-202 wasn't broken it just had a blown fuse inside the amp. So I changed up my plan and decided to give the 4420 to my living room speakers (VA Mozart Grands). I now use the ST-202 on my computer speakers (VA Haydn Original) and I don't think those are considered "sensitive" and at 6OHMs on the original series I am not pulling all the juice from the ST-202. So I can highly recommend that amp as a used amp. The caps are the size of oil filters and the internals are very straight forward.

They are not for sale anymore but I once listed my Vienna Acoustics Haydn's for $400 on craigslist and got nothing but crap offers so there are people out there selling speakers at good prices. That includes Best Buy some of them pawn off open box speakers at slashed prices. When Best Buy dumped Vienna I picked up the Mozart's for a few thousand off. I also bought my Maestro from them brand new for half off when they did a product code change in 2006.

As for a DAC... I can barely tell the difference between my NuForce uDac and the DAC in my pre/pro. I know a lot of people have had very bad experiences with the uDAC 2 and maybe the original but mine is fine. Picked it up on NuForces ding and dent area a few years ago for almost half off.

If you are patient there are good deals out there.

I prefer to listen to my music on my Haydn's with the ST-202 and an inexpensive sub over my Mozart's with a much better amp, dac, and sub. That is because I am only 3 feet from them and because everything is so close I can go straight from the uDAC to the amp with 1m silver cables and then from the amp to the speakers with 1m speaker cables. Those cables all cost fractions of the cost the cables in the living room cost because they are so much shorter.

So the reason I shared that is you can def get good stuff on a budget.

Good luck let us know how things turn out.

OH also I was fairly impressed with the 2CH digital T-Amp I built but the bass just isn't there and def would be unusable if you are sitting more than a few feet from the speakers. You can pick up a T-Amp with a similar chip as to the one I used for $40-60 new. I would throw that $$$ into a real amp though if you can. Only prob is real amps cost $50-80 just to ship.

As for the comment on the subwoofer with 2.1 I agree and disagree. I turn the sub to where I can almost not even tell it is there and then turn it down a bit more (I also use the lowest x-over setting and wish it had an even lower setting). I don't miss the sub right now (I am using the cables for another sub) and don't even think I will be replacing the cables. Being in love with the REL STRATA II/III I would add that to my 2CH set up any day and wouldn't even bother putting it in my living room. Any other sub just kind of disappoints me (besides the depth and descent but those would go in my living room).
Edited by givmedew - 4/5/13 at 12:54am
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post #19 of 38
Thread Starter 
I went with the Cambridge S30's over the Def Tech SM450's also will the Jolida FX 10 be able to power up a Subwoofer along with the two speakers?

Edit: was looking around and noticed these Mordaunt-Short Aviano 2 are on sale what do you guys think of them?
Edited by WannaBeOCer - 4/5/13 at 5:33pm
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post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOCer View Post

I went with the Cambridge S30's over the Def Tech SM450's also will the Jolida FX 10 be able to power up a Subwoofer along with the two speakers?

Edit: was looking around and noticed these Mordaunt-Short Aviano 2 are on sale what do you guys think of them?

The jolida is 2 channel not 2.1 so no. Trust me, it is fine.

Also, I see mixed reviews about those mordaunts. Some people think the mids are lifeless. I have not heard them, so I can't comment more then that. Unless you absolutely can not go with the celestions or dynacos, then I think you are fine.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Help me pick out speakers that can take advantage of my sound card. Please with a cherry on top