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speaker set up - help needed.

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by nebs, 28 May 2006.

  1. nebs

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    hi, im thinking about getting the Logitech Z-5500 for a new computer, however reading a few posts on this forum it is clear that most of you think that hi-fi speakers are better... im not saying everyone feels this way, just the majority.

    so, is it possible to get a decent sound system that i can use on a PC (using the onboard sound that comes with a sn25p shuttle? - i will get a decent x-fi sound card when they have pci-e models out)

    if it is would it be any good for playing games, movies and music? or would i be better off with the 5500s? if so could anyone recommend the items that i should look for - maybe off ebay etc. by budget would be the same price as the 5500s so around £200


    //nebs
     
  2. fish99

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    For movies and games I would say stick with the Z5500, for the simple reason that if you go for a hi-fi setup, you will only be able to afford a stereo setup for that money. So if surround sound is a big requirement, you won't be able to afford that in real hi-fi/av gear.

    If your priority is music though and a stereo setup would be fine, then by all means get an amp and bookshelf/floorstanding speakers, and it will produce a higher quality sound for music than the Logitechs.
     
  3. tom_nieto

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    Remember that stereo sound is good for games and movies too! If you listen to a lot of music, the hi-fi setup will be the best option.
     
  4. fish99

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    Sure, I was just saying if he wants surround sound. If you play a lot of FPS games, especially online, it can be useful.

    Personally I've swapped the sound systems for both my TV/DVD/Consoles and PC from 'budget' 5.1 to hi-fi stereo and I don't miss the surround sound, but I do really appreciate the higher quality sound.
     
  5. nebs

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    hi, i have been looking on ebay for some kits, is there anyone that wouldnt mind me e-mailing them so that you can tell me if it is any good?
     
  6. fish99

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    Kits?
     
  7. nebs

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    ok, wrong word... systems :)
     
  8. tom_nieto

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    Which systems have you seen?
     
  9. nebs

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    "Technics Dolby Pro Logic Hi Fi." (5 speakers)

    CD player - 5 CD changer system with MASH multi noise shaping system.

    Tape player - 2 tape decks with Dolby noise reduction, auto search, deck to deck recording

    Sound Processer -

    Choose from stereo, super surround, Dolby Pro Logic surround
    Add multiple "virtual speakers"
    Room position - tell the unit where in the room you're sitting and it adjusts the sound for optimum performance for that location
    3D space sound, adjustable via joystick
    Multi-jog dial for various preset sounds such as classical, rock etc
    Amplifier - Class H+ amplifier which pushes out 360 watts. Sub woofers for thumping bass sounds

    Speakers - 2 x 3-Way Sub woofer front speakers, 2x rear satellite surround speakers, 1x centre speaker

    _____

    is that any good?

    and will i be able to connect them to the onboard sound card thats on the sn25p shuttle?
     
  10. squiffy

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    That's Pro-Logic. Does it have 5.1 input, and/or digital inputs for Dolby Digital & DTS processing? If neither no wouldn't buy it.

    Look for second hand AV Amplifier (Pro-Logic, DD & DTS processing) Just buy stereo speakers for now, add others later.
     
  11. nebs

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    how about:

    Technics 5.1 Dolby Digital DTS Surround Sound AMP
    Technics CD player
    2 x Mission Speakers


    AMP FEATURES

    Functionality:

    TUNER (FM / AM Receiver)
    DVD
    PHONO
    TAPE
    CD
    VCR
    TV
    Tuner Type:

    Digital Tuner
    Auto Scan Tuning
    LCD Display


    CD FEATURES

    CD Playback

    Repeat One
    Repeat All
    Repeat A-B
    Random
    Program
    Playable Disc Types

    CD (Audio)
    CD-R
    CD-RW
    +

    2 x 70W Mission Speakers
     
  12. squiffy

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    Model of the amp?
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2006
  13. fish99

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    If you're planning to get extra speakers at a later point to make your system up to 5.1, then by all means get an AV receiver. If not then you may as well just get a stereo amp.

    Most AV systems use floorstanders for the front left/front right speakers, so you could start with a pair of floorstanders. Or you could start with bookshelf speakers and they could become your rears in the future.

    If your onboard doesn't have digital output, then you'll need to check the AV receiver has 5.1 analogue inputs (in other words 6 seperate analogue channel inputs via phono). Or you could get a soundcard with digital output (preferably one which does Dolby Live encoding, ie not an x-fi).

    Also make sure you're buying shielded speakers if you have a CRT.

    I hope you realize how big most hi-fi/av speakers are btw, not to menion the size of AV receivers and even CD players. It could look an awful mess if they're going in the typically small spaces most people have their PCs in. Most hi-fi speakers are desgined to sound their best when you're 2 metres away from them in a typical large living room. If you're going to sit 60-80 cm from them in a typical PC setup, you could find the soundstage is messed up. Also bookshelf speakers need to be on good hi-fi stands to sound their best.

    Btw which of those components listed is supposed to provide the DVD function you list, or do you just mean it has inputs for connecting to a DVD player? An AV receiver is typically just a decoder and amp. And why do you need a CD player?

    Technics wouldn't be the best of makes. And AV systems don't excell in music. Don't rush into buying anything before you've really thought it all through and done your research.
     
  14. squiffy

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    Yeah I would go seperates, but looking at his budget really can only buy a AV amplifier for that money, and won't have any for good quality speakers. I wouldn't buy budget floostanders either. Although you should buy second hand for that sort of budget, perhaps something like Kef Q15's £50 and a Denon AVR1706 for £200. A bit over, plus you'll need speaker and low-level cables. Only stereo speakers for now, but at least can add centre, rear and subwoofer later (you don't need to match with a Kef sub btw)

    I'm into HT btw.
     
  15. tom_nieto

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    Why would he only be able to buy an AV amplifier? Floorstanders don't always make up the fronts either.

    If you're hell bent on a surround setup, then do buy an AV amp, but only buy 2 speakers to start with. Even then I'd probably be leaning towards just getting a stereo amp, as you can easily use this in conjunction with an AV amp at a later date.

    If you're willing to look at second hand goods, then steer clear of these flashing light dixons type systems and look at proper hi-fi gear. Ignore watt ratings and look at something like the Sonic T amp.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SONIC-IMPACT-...9732872359QQcategoryZ3280QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    They're very capable little amps which for a small room setup would be perfect.

    The Cambridge Audio A5 is also another favourite budget amp, new or used.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Cambridge-Aud...9731155065QQcategoryZ3280QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    They can be bought new at richer sounds pretty cheaply so it would be worth looking there too.

    My brother has this Denon amp, and it's a good unit, driving my large floorstanders well considering its price.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Denon-PMA-255...9730956682QQcategoryZ3280QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    A nice NAD amp there too:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NAD-3020i-Cla...9731188244QQcategoryZ3280QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Bear in mind these are all stereo only amps, but they can be integrated into a surround sound setup at a later date easily.

    Watch this amp:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/POWERFUL-DENO...9733256404QQcategoryZ3280QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    It's enormous, and despite its age is very capable indeed. I'm not sure quite how much it'll rise to, but you never know, you might get a bargain. This was once a top of the line AV amp costing thousands of pounds.

    One important consideration is that even though these AV amps might be 2-7 years old, they wil still do more than you'll ever need.

    I can't see anything good on www.avforums.com, but that's normally a great place to pick up second hand bargains.

    Spend £100 on speakers and £100 on amp or thereabouts. Speakers are easily found, and any of the major manufacturers will fit the bill. I'd be looking at bookshelf designs rather than floorstanders at this stage. Look at things by Mission, KEF, Wharfedale, Tannoy, MS, Celestion or B&W. If it looks good, and is in good condition then they'll probably sound ok. If they've not been looked after then it'll be pretty obvious.

    I hope I've given you a few ideas, a good place to start would be to go to richer sounds and have alisten to some things and look around the shop.
     
  16. james.miller

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    i second the sonic-t and denon amps. Ive got the denon pma100-m driving my subs currently, but it sounds very nice driving the front speakers.
     
  17. fish99

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    To be fair I didn't say always.
     
  18. tom_nieto

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    Sorry mate, misread your post.
     
  19. fish99

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    nebs you've got to decide and tell us exactly what you want, where it's going and what it's going to be used for etc... otherwise we're all just taking wild stabs in the dark here.
     
  20. nebs

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    thanks for the help so far.

    i wil be getting a new room in about 1-2 months and i want to get it sorted before then.

    the room is medium sized so i shouldnt have a problem with 5.1 sound, howover if its out of my price range then im not going to be able to get them.

    i will be using the system for games, music and films, im still undecided if i should go for hi-fi or just get some pc speakers, logitech 5500s