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2.1 amp for PC audio

3261 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  chris89
I'm looking for an amp to expand upon my PC audio. Currently my setup looks like this: PC -> Scarlett Solo -> headphones (Audio Technica ATH M50x). I would like to add a pair of monitors and a subwoofer to use when I play single player games/listening to music. Gonna salvage these for my home theater that I've upgraded. The amp needs to have 2.1 capability (2 speakers and a subwoofer) as well as the availability to connect a pair of headphones (gonna upgrade to Beyerdynamic DT990 600ohm soon). Small footprint is a necessity since it would be sitting on my desk. Budget is around $200-250 USD.

So far I've found the Audioengine N22 and SMSL AD18. I could also settle for a DIY solution if necessary.
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· 50 Cans of Ravioli
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if your subwoofer has high level input/outputs then you can use a 2.0 amp and don't need one with sub out. I ran a 2.1 setup on a Lepai LP2020A+ and a SMSL SA50 for the better part of a decade.



You didn't say what speakers you were going to use, but unless they're efficient keep in mind the AD18 (and most cheap class D amps) doesn't put anywhere near the wattage they advertise (AD18 only puts out 40w before clipping) and their headphone amps are generally pretty terrible. they're only really added so they can pad the spec sheet.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...w-and-measurements-of-smsl-ad18-dac-amp.7325/

if you're going to buy an AD18, buy a cheap headphone DAC like the FiiO E10K and run your headphones off that.

If your budget is $200-$250, I'd look into the Klipsch PowerGate.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...asurements-of-klipsch-powergate-dac-amp.7376/

I haven't used the headphone out on my mine since I have a Hel, but going by their review it's equally "meh." Should still leave money in your budget for an E10K though and it's got a sub out so you don't have a wiring mess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
if your subwoofer has high level input/outputs then you can use a 2.0 amp and don't need one with sub out. I ran a 2.1 setup on a Lepai LP2020A+ and a SMSL SA50 for the better part of a decade.



You didn't say what speakers you were going to use, but unless they're efficient keep in mind the AD18 (and most cheap class D amps) doesn't put anywhere near the wattage they advertise (AD18 only puts out 40w before clipping) and their headphone amps are generally pretty terrible. they're only really added so they can pad the spec sheet.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...w-and-measurements-of-smsl-ad18-dac-amp.7325/

if you're going to buy an AD18, buy a cheap headphone DAC like the FiiO E10K and run your headphones off that.

If your budget is $200-$250, I'd look into the Klipsch PowerGate.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...asurements-of-klipsch-powergate-dac-amp.7376/

I haven't used the headphone out on my mine since I have a Hel, but going by their review it's equally "meh." Should still leave money in your budget for an E10K though and it's got a sub out so you don't have a wiring mess.
Checking the back of my subwoofer I found out that I have a high level input/output so I can go with a regular stereo amplifier and not have to worry about it being 2.1. Opens up a lot more possibilites.

The speakers are called "Proson Event Sat 41" and are really really budget. I got them 10-11 years ago when I was still at university and wanted my first real home theater setup. Thought about using them now until I upgrade to something better like Audioengine HDP6, Dynavoice Definition DM-6, KEF Q150 or Q350 or Klipsch RP-150M or RP-600M. The ones I have have a 4 ohm impedance and 30 watt R.M.S and is consideres "easy driven".

The Klipsch PowerGate looks promising, I hope I can find it here in Sweden since shipping is $100 USD from Amazon.
 

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RMS doesn't really tell you how easy they are to drive, look at the sensitivity rating for that. My Micca RB42 are 83dB 1W/1M, and the MB42 are 85dB 1W/1M so the MB42 are more efficient. If you feed both 50w then the MB42 will be louder.

From what I can find your speakers are 86dB 1W/1M. Generally less efficient means more low end but it also can just mean it's inefficient, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RMS doesn't really tell you how easy they are to drive, look at the sensitivity rating for that. My Micca RB42 are 83dB 1W/1M, and the MB42 are 85dB 1W/1M so the MB42 are more efficient. If you feed both 50w then the MB42 will be louder.

From what I can find your speakers are 86dB 1W/1M. Generally less efficient means more low end but it also can just mean it's inefficient, lol.
Thanks for your help!

I've decided to go with the Emotiva BasX A-100 (https://emotiva.com/products/a-100) for my amp.
 

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I recommend the Dayton Audio DTA PRO with any active subwoofer, possibly an 80w 8" Dayton Audio or 100w 10" Dayton Audio which both sound great & have high level & low level input/ outputs as well. Hook up a pair of Dayton Audio MK442s 80 watts RMS/160 watts max • Impedance: 4 ohms • Frequency response: 60-20,000 Hz • Sensitivity: 86 dB. Thats my system & man do these MK442s sound great! The little amplifier does an amazing job as well & gets really loud as well.
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