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amp or computer speakers

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by Deonilin, 17 Jun 2006.

  1. Deonilin

    Gangster

    Joined: 12 Sep 2005

    Posts: 248

    Location: Bristol-ish

    Is it worth buying and amp and 2 bookcase speakers over a 2.1 computer speakers like the ageo?

    budget is limited tbh so it would be the lower range if i was to buy an amp and bookcase.

    i mainly use them for music as for games i use headphones movies are also a consideration but i can use my headphones.

    also if i were to buy an amp can sumone recommend some amps to look at which contain a optical in and some budget speakers...i will want a reasonable sound quality and the capability of turning it up load occationaly.

    also can someone point me in the direction of a good review site for speakers both for computer 2.1 speakers and amps/bookcase.
     
  2. Rokusho

    Gangster

    Joined: 23 May 2005

    Posts: 302

    Location: In my chair

    Nah, unless you have a killer soundcard like a X-Fi, getting a high quality seperate system for sound is a waste of cash.

    If you do want good sound for your computer, spend the money on a decent soundcard and a good set of computer speakers.

    I use G500, X-Fi Music for my sound. Brilliant sound for everything. Just dont waste money with a seperate system for just your computer, unless you use these speakers for your CD / Tape player etc.
     
  3. tom_nieto

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 11,208

    Location: Birmingham

    Rubbish. An amp will offer better sound whatever sound card you're using. If it's music you're after, get a stereo hi-fi amp and speakers. There is no question about what you should do here.
     
  4. cokecan

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 4 Jan 2004

    Posts: 7,662

    Location: Nottingham

    agreed, stereo amp and bookshelfs will sound great no matter whats feeding them :)
     
  5. fish99

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 5,055

    Location: Doncaster

    Deonilin, what sort of budget are we talking about here? If you're willing to buy 2nd hand from ebay you can get a nice amp and speakers for around £100 total I reckon. Maybe a rotel or arcam, some of the lower end stuff goes for under or around £50. Another amp option would be a Sonic Impact t-amp + adaptor (£50 total).

    Stereo amps don't have digital inputs btw, you would need to buy an external DAC if you wanted to use your PCs optical digital output, or else just use analogue. Analogue should be fine unless your soundcard is really bad.
     
  6. Deonilin

    Gangster

    Joined: 12 Sep 2005

    Posts: 248

    Location: Bristol-ish

    well i was planning on spending around £100 for computer speakers but could probably look at 200-250 if i was buying a hifi.

    personaly i would prefer new but if 2nd hand was going to make a big difference i would certainly consider it
     
  7. fish99

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 5,055

    Location: Doncaster

    You just get a lot more for your money 2nd hand. I recently paid £156 on ebay for a mint Rotel RA02 amp which is £350 new. It's a little more risky buying speakers 2nd hand, check they're not too old, that they're in good condition, and it helps if the seller has the original packaging so they'll survive being posted.
     
  8. cokecan

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 4 Jan 2004

    Posts: 7,662

    Location: Nottingham

    AV Forum would be another good place for 2nd hand stuff as most people on there tend to look after their stuff so you can have a fair bit of reassurance that its pretty decent :)
     
  9. squiffy

    Banned

    Joined: 17 Mar 2006

    Posts: 9,155

    Yeah Ok. :rolleyes: PC speakers sound poo compared Hi-Fi seperates, if you have the cash and want the best sound go it for. A X-Fi isn't a "killer" card for music either.

    A Rotel or NAD integrated stereo amplifier are good budget amps, and really around the starting point. Sky is the limit of course.
     
  10. -Ad-

    Capodecina

    Joined: 4 Nov 2004

    Posts: 13,815

    Location: Aberdeen

    I'm one of the converts to hifi and definately recommend it.

    A Xi-Fi is not a killer sound soundcard for music. It's pretty crap in the the grand scheme of things. My emu-0404 (creative proffesional series) can be bought for ~£70 and has analogue outputs/inputs, and digital inputs/outputs.
    My arcam amp cost £100, speakers were brand new at £180 as i wasn't risking second hand and wanted to audition.

    With music in flac through something like foobar or winamp, a computer system will sound amazing. And it also offers upgradability as you could purchase a dedicated DAC, fed from the soundcards digital output, then hook it up to the amp.
     
  11. Rambaud

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Apr 2003

    Posts: 1,978

    Location: Hertfordshire

    Agreed.

    I have just got a new soundcard (M-Audio 192), amplifier (Sonic T-Aamp) and a pair of Mission 73 which had been lying around in the loft. The improvement over my 2.1 system has been very noticeable. Unfortunately, the Missions are now the weak link and will have to make way for something better. :)

    I have added an external DAC which I can use with main Hi-Fi system too.

    I am in the process of converting my albums to (lossless) APE format, with a backup in FLAC - ~6000 files done so far. I use WinAmp 2.91, Foobar and JRiver Media Centre to play & organise them them.
     
  12. tom_nieto

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 11,208

    Location: Birmingham

    Second hand will make a big difference. You'll be looking at classier brands with sound in another league to what you're looking at new. I bought my Cyrus amp from the bay and I couldn't be happier. A cyrus 3 shoud set you back about £150 if you're lucky and I can tell you that you probably couldn't get a better amp for the cash. There are other amps to look at such as the Audiolab 8000A and a Musical Fidelity amp which I can't for the life of me remember the model. Many many bargains to have.
     
  13. squiffy

    Banned

    Joined: 17 Mar 2006

    Posts: 9,155

    Get the Audiolab 8000S instead of the 8000A, it's a much better amplifier. 8000S available around £250 second hand.
     
  14. tom_nieto

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 11,208

    Location: Birmingham

    Bit high for this budget though. I'm sure the A version would be just fine for this.
     
  15. Phaser

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Mar 2004

    Posts: 1,562

    JJust picked up myself a cheap seperates system second hand.

    Got a Kenwood KAF-1030 amplifier for £40 from the members market and a pair of Acoustic Solutions floorstanders for £20 off a mate.

    Both are in excellent condition, not a mark or scratch on them.

    Nothing special, but the sound quality is amazing compared to some PC speakers or my £300 hifi what I had hooked up to my PC previously.

    For £60 im well happy!

    [​IMG]
     
  16. james.miller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 17 Aug 2003

    Posts: 19,467

    Location: Woburn Sand Dunes

    Oi, dont anybody be knocking them acoustic solutions floor standers. They are awfully good speakers, more so given the price new (only £50). Yes, i did get mine second hand with two blown tweaters, but a pair of tweaters from some old Heybrooks sorted them right out. I give my pair of AS 'standers to my mum. she loves them:)

    Pahser - nice setup you got there, but floorstanders are NOT designed for near-field use. sitting right infront of them does nothing for sound mate
     
  17. squiffy

    Banned

    Joined: 17 Mar 2006

    Posts: 9,155

    I've owned most of the Audiolab range, I would avoid the A and save up for the S. The A isn't brilliant, and worth the extra £100 or so for the S. Hey you're going to buy a amplifier once and enjoy it for years, so what's a extra £100? S is remote controlled and is far more flexible than the A (mode switch is very handy)
     
  18. Phaser

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Mar 2004

    Posts: 1,562

    Yeah man, I know that. Nowhere else to put them really and they still sound superb compared to my old PC speakers/hifi so i'm really pleased eitherway. :)
     
  19. Deonilin

    Gangster

    Joined: 12 Sep 2005

    Posts: 248

    Location: Bristol-ish

    cheers for all the advise just looking around at the moment to see what is on offer and will try and get out to some departments to try a seris of amps and speakers, i think i might get some mission M70S or somthing similar (although aint listened but my parents mission floorstanders are nice)

    the X-Mystique looks a nice sound card for the price is it a good card for connecting up or are the creative a better bet?
     
  20. james.miller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 17 Aug 2003

    Posts: 19,467

    Location: Woburn Sand Dunes

    the m71i/m72i's make great speakers. i wouldnt bother with the 70's tbh, too small for any decent bass extention:)