High-End Computer Speakers

The place to sound off on all things related to audio, from sound cards to speakers.

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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:36 pm

jihadjoe wrote:Time to start looking for a DAC...


You could do worse than this. This is Audio-gd's entry-level fully discrete (just a DAC, no built in headphone amp) DAC. I have no experience with this particular DAC, but own Audio-gd gear (a DAC) and it's good stuff. Should be a good entry-level single-ended (as opposed to balanced) DAC to pair well with your new system. If you think the $349 + shipping is a bit pricey, you can sometimes find these used, but not too often as resale of Audio-gd is pretty solid.

You might find cheaper DACs that foot the bill, but almost certainly none with the build quality of an Audio-gd.
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:04 am

Heh, I actually forgot I had started this thread and it looks like it has taken off on a huge tangent on audiphile equipment that would honestly be lost on my untrained ears. When I want to really enjoy my music, I just switch to my headphones. Also, I have decided that I'd prefer a 2.1 setup right now as it just doesn't make sense to buy a 5.1 system and arrange the speakers next to each other as if it were only a 2.1 setup. I will admit, however, that the Logitech z2300 I have just don't fit the bill anymore. I don't know if the audio quality has simply degraded over time, but there is a persistent hiss that comes through and the SNR seems to be way off what I remembered when I first got them. Playing games, however, is a different story. The speakers I have seem fairly sufficient for playing games and listening to poor quality audio (Pandora, Youtube) which i do quite often when I'm too lazy to set up a playlist. Anyway, I am very much space constrained here and I have no idea what my actual preference really is so when I browse all these discussions on which is better at delivering certain frequencies, it really doesn't mean a whole lot to me. Also, if it would help, I tend to prefer closed-backed headphones over open ones. I actually like the punchier bass and deeper, heavier sound even if it isn't as accurate and causes listening fatigue over long periods. Just something about it is more stimulating and satisfying, the sound isolation is also a nice bonus. Also most of my music is 320k mp3s. My sound card is a Creative SB Titanium HD, if that helps. I get the feeling that a high end PC speaker system is more than adequate for my needs even if I could possibly get something technically "better" for the same price. Maybe later down the road I will be more interested in sound testing other options and setting up a nice theater surround setup, but right now that's a tight squeeze and I doubt I'd truly appreciate it.
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:38 am

In this thread many times studio monitors are mentioned as an alternative to pc speakers. Your Z2300s are not the best at replicating sound, but are considered "better" than Logitech's update of the high end 2.1 segment, the Z623. You say you want a 2.1 setup now, as space limits the use of a HT system. Since you already have decent pc speakers, I feel as though you should look into studio monitors. I had Z2300 before and these are night and day difference. Sure they are not as loud as the Z2300, but everything is so much cleaner, no matter the source. Also the sound feels more punchy and responsive, with the Z2300 the sound seemed to "linger" and has very muddy bass. If you have a Guitar Center around I would go listen to different types of monitors. The problem with them is they have to setup properly for your workstation. These are not speakers you use to fill the room with sound, as they are very directional. There are also many high end PC speakers such as Swans, B&W, etc that may also be a viable option for you. Previous posts ITT have mentioned great cost effective ways to have good sound, by "making" your own setup. It all comes down to how much you want to spend, with that do you have a budget in mind?
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:21 am

DeadOfKnight wrote:I will admit, however, that the Logitech z2300 I have just don't fit the bill anymore. I don't know if the audio quality has simply degraded over time, but there is a persistent hiss that comes through and the SNR seems to be way off what I remembered when I first got them.

Yeah, that could be a sign of failing filter components. Switchmode power supplies and Class D amplifier components are pretty common in these little 2.1/5.1 computer speaker systems, and excessive noise is a typical symptom when filtering components begin to reach EOL.

I get the feeling that a high end PC speaker system is more than adequate for my needs even if I could possibly get something technically "better" for the same price. Maybe later down the road I will be more interested in sound testing other options and setting up a nice theater surround setup, but right now that's a tight squeeze and I doubt I'd truly appreciate it.

In that case, flip back to Page 1 of the thread...I think you're back to either the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1s that several people recommended, or the AudioEngine A2 powered monitors that Chrispy_ recommended. Compact options under $200 don't get much better than that. Flip a coin and click the Buy Button :wink:
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:10 pm

A friend of mine has the Audioengine A5s (not the newer 5+).
Still a good bit better than any computer system I've heard. Even an audiophile-oriented site like what hifi gives it good marks.
Custom PC took theirs apart, and one of the really impressive bits about the 5s is the linear power supply.
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:29 pm

Audioengine speakers are great if you want a 'full' sound. They tend to have slight bumps in mid-bass or bass, but nothing horrid like typical computer speakers. It's just enough to fill things out and give some weight to music but not hide any mids nor seem overly bassy. I have the A2 and they are pretty awesome for their compact size. The other option is studio monitors, the choice depends on your preference - slightly 'fun' but quality or very neutral and revealing - and budget.
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:15 pm

ludi wrote:In that case, flip back to Page 1 of the thread...I think you're back to either the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1s that several people recommended, or the AudioEngine A2 powered monitors that Chrispy_ recommended. Compact options under $200 don't get much better than that. Flip a coin and click the Buy Button :wink:

Yeap, pretty much this. Just get either of those and ignore all the nerd nonsense on previous pages :wink:
My original ProMedias are still going strong after several years and still producing pretty good sound quality for both games and music... All I did to them was a slight wiring upgrade (I replaced the very thin wires going to left/right speakers and the flimsy 3.5mm jacks (I removed them completely) on each speaker with a cheap 18 gauge speaker wire), but you don't have to do that ;-)
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:48 pm

Ryhadar wrote:Wow... this thread switched tracks to audio enthusiast town quickly.

Before computers came around, hi-fi (to use the period-correct term) equipment was the main geek show in town.
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Ryhadar wrote:Wow... this thread switched tracks to audio enthusiast town quickly.

Before computers came around, hi-fi (to use the period-correct term) equipment was the main geek show in town.

I thought it was ham radio?
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:32 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Ryhadar wrote:Wow... this thread switched tracks to audio enthusiast town quickly.
Before computers came around, hi-fi (to use the period-correct term) equipment was the main geek show in town.
I thought it was ham radio?
I'll go with both. Certainly, enthusiasts of either at the time were expected to know which end of a soldering iron would burn you.
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:42 pm

oo ooo, I know...the hot end!
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:43 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:oo ooo, I know...the hot end!

And how do you find that end, Mr. Horshak?
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:52 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Before computers came around, hi-fi (to use the period-correct term) equipment was the main geek show in town.

I thought it was ham radio?

I'll go with both. Certainly, enthusiasts of either at the time were expected to know which end of a soldering iron would burn you.

Indeed -- PC enthusiasts needed to know that too, early on. Living through that era is why I'm not averse to doing DIY repair of PC hardware, though the range of what's feasible to tackle with a standard soldering iron today is rather limited since most components are surface mount (fiddly and frustrating, especially on the fine-pitch parts) or BGA (utterly impossible). DIY component level repair is pretty much restricted to replacing blown capacitors and reflowing cracked solder joints these days, which makes me sad. If it breaks, just toss it and buy another. :(
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:59 pm

just brew it! wrote:DIY component level repair is pretty much restricted to replacing blown capacitors and reflowing cracked solder joints these days, which makes me sad. If it breaks, just toss it and buy another. :(

The whole Samsung TV thread makes it clear that the Capacitor Plague is still on us, and they're easy to desolder/resolder.

I'd never try an SMD device as I simply can't see that well anymore even with magnification.
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:11 pm

Captain Ned wrote:I'd never try an SMD device as I simply can't see that well anymore even with magnification.

Last few times I've had to get my face in real close. Too close. Need to figure out a better way, or I'm eventually gonna take a fleck of hot rosin flux to the eye... and that would be bad! (I do have safety goggles, but they blur things up enough to make them a PITA. Maybe I just need better safety goggles...)
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:17 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:I'd never try an SMD device as I simply can't see that well anymore even with magnification.

Last few times I've had to get my face in real close. Too close. Need to figure out a better way, or I'm eventually gonna take a fleck of hot rosin flux to the eye... and that would be bad! (I do have safety goggles, but they blur things up enough to make them a PITA. Maybe I just need better safety goggles...)

Make sure to get ones with built-in magnification tools... Very useful for some precise work! Something like this should work well:

Image

These have 3x and 5x magnification lenses on the right eyepiece :wink:

If you're not into fancy models - there are more simple variants:

Image

:D
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:23 am

Steampunk party ahoy...
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:28 am

Seriously. I'm pretty sure that first pair has been a prop in every post-apocalyptic anime movie ever made.
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:59 pm

I use something like this. Unfortunately way less cool looking than the above. It does the job, although I find that I could use a bit more than 2.5x magnification once in a while. But I don't do very much of this stuff, so good enough.
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:46 am

Where can I buy them?
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Re: High-End Computer Speakers

Postposted on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:23 am

http://www.theaudioinsider.com/product_ ... ucts_id=89

I have a pair of these. Sounds great when the internal components of the woofer don't become slightly unscrewed and rattle during big bass hits. Just needed to reapply some loctite, though :P
It's kind of difficult to get a pair. I got lucky when I was searching around for a good first set of speakers for my computer, they had some available.

I also use a Xonar DG, which made quite a difference to the quality of sound.
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