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Want To Build First High End Speaker System For Computer

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Before we begin, please note I will have follow up questions and I respond after you do. Please bookmark this thread and come back to it regularly until we hammer all of my concerns out!

I have presently the Kanto YU4’s + their SUB6. I do not wish to get into the reason there of but there is white noise, other than it’s 100% the speakers and not my setup, with their setup and figure it’s time to spend some real money and build something better.

http://kantoaudio.com/product/yu4/#specifications

I am a gamer and want clarity first and foremost. I know headphones are the way to go but I really only like to wear headphones when participating in comp matches. The rest of the time I want to just relax. I want to be able to hear footsteps the moment that the game starts to produce them. With that, latency and lag between different outputs also concern me.

We are going to get into my OCD a little bit and note that knowing something is ms faster than another thing will affect me and it matters to me…

3.5mm is the fastest when it comes to response time, right? And if I get a DAC with a passive speakers system, there is not a way to continue to use a 3.5mm jack is there? I will have to do USB or optical now, right? Which is faster, with the least amount of latency or lag, of the two? I have not been able to find a definite answer on which is the fastest responding of the two or which of the two produces the better sound quality either.

I have never bought a higher end DAC before. I used one in the past for diagnostic purposes but that’s it. I was thinking about getting the MODI 2 and the Magni 2. I see a ton of people raving about the “stack.” But which version would be right for me knowing I have a sub and what the best sound quality and fastest response for a custom 2.1 sound system? Or, do I need something different other than the “stack?”

Lastly, I want a nice speaker setup that beats the audio quality specifications of the YU4’s that I already have. I want to be able to have cleaner and crisper sounds. If at all possible to also have a port for my Kanto SUB as it performs well without issue, or is that dependent on the DAC/AMP setup and not the speakers I choose? I also would like not to get much taller than my YU4’s that I have now due to desktop available space. I can maybe do another inch on them but not too much more. If you could kind of do a direct comparison between the YU4's specs vs. your recommended speaker a little for me, that would be awesome to assure me that your recommendation is better that the YU4's, that would be awesome!

I am willing to spend upwards to $200 for an AMP and $200 for a DAC. For the speakers, I am willing to spend even more with the right justification.

Can someone assure me on my concerns, tell me what I should buy to really future proof my setup and get me away from these white noise infected all in one speaker setups?
post #2 of 10
the lowest noise you are going to get is from a straight digital connection. there is coaxial spdif, optical toslink and hdmi audio, all of which can transfer from 2.1 to 7.1 channels of noise-free sound- as selected by your soundcard utility.

From HDMI, coax SpDIF or Optical Toslink, you can digitally stream the audio from the computer into a home receiver or amplifier with any of these digital inputs. I would also recommend a very low noise amplifier, as well, such as a Denon or Onkyo, and it would prolly do you best to get ahold of some vintage JBL, Polk or Bose bookshelf speakers at minimum- not too much made today is truly audiophile quality anymore.

If you get a digital to analog converter and dump analog into a 2.0 or 2.1 system, you will be introducing noise into the mix that would not have been present if using a digital interface. Many soundcards, integrated and add-on, have coax spdif or toslink optical, and most video cards have audio over hdmi.

The latency over usb varies per driver, and can be very minimal to unacceptable. The latency over optical is negligible, its light speed- yo.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by acheleg View Post

If you get a digital to analog converter and dump analog into a 2.0 or 2.1 system, you will be introducing noise into the mix that would not have been present if using a digital interface. Many soundcards, integrated and add-on, have coax spdif or toslink optical, and most video cards have audio over hdmi.
The whole truth, and nothing but the truth........

Since all speakers and headphones are analogue, and all modern games and music are in digital file formats, there has to be a digital to analogue conversion somewhere. Where that happens, and what hardware is used, can and does have an effect on sound quality and signal-to-noise ratio.

The suggestion to seek used components is a good one.
 
 
 
Edited by billbartuska - 4/25/17 at 6:10am
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My System
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FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
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Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
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2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
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post #4 of 10
currently, I have 2 computer hi-fi monitor systems. My gaming computer uses 5.1 via hdmi audio, thru the tv, into a JVC receiver, then the 5.1 d/a conversion takes place at the end of the pre-amp circuit. Front speakers JBL Northridge 26, center JBL S110, Rear speakers Bose 201.

My recording computer uses a Focusrite Scarlett Solo, and the 26/192 d/a circuits sit between the solo interface, and the preamp inputs of a pioneer 2 channel receiver into Samson Auro 3 studio monitors.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by acheleg View Post

currently, I have 2 computer hi-fi monitor systems. My gaming computer uses 5.1 via hdmi audio, thru the tv, into a JVC receiver, then the 5.1 d/a conversion takes place at the end of the pre-amp circuit. Front speakers JBL Northridge 26, center JBL S110, Rear speakers Bose 201.

My recording computer uses a Focusrite Scarlett Solo, and the 26/192 d/a circuits sit between the solo interface, and the preamp inputs of a pioneer 2 channel receiver into Samson Auro 3 studio monitors.
So you're using the DACs in the JVC receiver and in the Focusrite Scarlett. My point is that there are better, and worse, D/A converters than those.
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2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
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Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
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2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
The latency over usb varies per driver, and can be very minimal to unacceptable. The latency over optical is negligible, its light speed- yo.

I'm not sure part of that is true. The travel time over any cable is negligible, any lag would come from the processing. SPIDF is less than ideal in that regard because it has to compress surround audio at one end, then decompress it at the other, which takes time.

You're right about USB being flakey sometimes. 3.5mm is totally at the mercy of your soundcard drivers. HDMI used to be flakey on some AMD/Nvidia drivers, but I think that's the best option now IMHO, unless you're using ASIO or something from a soundcard.
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Bruce
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post #7 of 10
i dont always use ahio, but i try to...
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for chiming everyone! I have bought my stuff and am making a log for everyone as parts come in and I put it all together.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1628910/the-log-to-my-first-sound-system/0_20#post_26046292
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SightUp View Post

Thanks for chiming everyone! I have bought my stuff and am making a log for everyone as parts come in and I put it all together.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1628910/the-log-to-my-first-sound-system/0_20#post_26046292

Decent system!

Good amp and dac , those ursine cables look interesting might grab some headphone cables from them! biggrin.gif

My suggestion to not risk any noise between the links is use USB to your DAC then to your amp, the only thing you will worry about is the interconnect between your DAC and amp. Also, don't spend like $500 on an interconnect either, I don't think they are worth it, unless you are looking for a slightly slightly different sound "signature."
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethemoose View Post

I'm not sure part of that is true. The travel time over any cable is negligible, any lag would come from the processing. SPIDF is less than ideal in that regard because it has to compress surround audio at one end, then decompress it at the other, which takes time.

You're right about USB being flakey sometimes. 3.5mm is totally at the mercy of your soundcard drivers. HDMI used to be flakey on some AMD/Nvidia drivers, but I think that's the best option now IMHO, unless you're using ASIO or something from a soundcard.

Optical does not have any real latency - you're talking about using a Dolby Digital Live! or DTS-Connect encoder (and decoder) which does add significant latency. The OP was not talking about surround sound so that's not an issue. These days, if you're serious about PC surround sound, you should be using HDMI (8ch PCM).
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