Audiophile quality PC speakers

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RubxQub

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Pretty much anything by:



Easily the best sound company at the best price.
 

nitewulf

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i'm just thinking, its either upgrade my PC speaker system, or get a mini HT setup and run my computer audio out through that. bulk of my music is in my computer at high quality mp3 or lossless format. i gotta change the paradigm of my music set up. i use high quality IEMs, but i dont have a HT setup.
either that or i could go with a mini amp + headphone combo, but i'd rather have actual speakers.
 

Miroku

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Mar 12, 2005
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I've got something for you. The Peachtree Decco.

This unit is a 50w/channel stereo amp with a Tube pre-amp stage and Digital as well as USB inputs. You can wirelessly stream audio to it with an optional accessory as well. This thing really sounds fantastic with any pair of decent small speakers. You can also add a subwoofer if you want. I believe the DAC inside this unit is the same as whats found in much pricier Musical Fidelity equipment.

http://blog.stereophile.com/rmaf2007/101407peach/

http://www.signalpathint.com/index.php/Peachtree-Audio-Products/Peachtree-Audio-Products.html

http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/67909965/m/603002204931/inc/1

For speakers I would recommend some small ERAs or B&W CM-1.
 

Witchfinder General

punched Wheelchair Mike
Mar 3, 2007
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ATC SCM 10-2 Active Loudspeakers



This is audiophile 'PC' speakers. Ignore all other posts in this thread (except perhaps for Miroku's).
 

SapientWolf

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Jul 4, 2004
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tokkun said:
If you really want 'audiophile quality', get a sound card with digital out and send it to a normal receiver/speakers combo.
That doesn't work for games though, does it? I had to use analog and I lost my LFE channel when I did so (which means no subwoofer).
 

Raistlin

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Jun 17, 2004
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aznpxdd said:
Kind of a oxymoron you got there. Audiophile PC speakers.
One would think so, but not really.

PC speakers are assumed to be powered. While most advertised 'PC speakers' may suck, there are plenty of powered speakers that will do your audio justice. Instead of looking at the traditional PC market, instead look into studio speakers.
 
Jun 9, 2004
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Get a USB DAC (something like the cambridge audio dac magic) and hook it up to your stereo(assuming you have an audiophile level stereo), that way u'll get real fidelity from a PC
 

StoOgE

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Jun 8, 2004
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RubxQub said:
Pretty much anything by:



Easily the best sound company at the best price.
:lol :lol :lol

Please disregard anything RubxQub ever says about speakers every again.

Bose makes shit tinny little speakers with muted bass and hard highs with huge drop offs in sound between the mids and highs.

Bose is the biggest waste of money in the world. They spend most of their budget on advertising and little on actual research.

Liu Kang Baking A Pie said:
No, they really don't.
Yes, they do. For the price that Bose charges for one of their "321" systems you could get a near reference quality set up that would completely blow away that crap.

In fact, you are better off going and getting a 300 dollar Onkyo HTIB than you are a Bose 321 system. There, just saved you a grand.
 

StoOgE

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Davidion said:
Swan M200MKII



Swan S300A



Audioengine A5

I have been eying a Swan 5.1 system for a while. Their speakers are just gorgeous.
 
Jul 3, 2004
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StoOgE said:
Yes, they do. For the price that Bose charges for one of their "321" systems you could get a near reference quality set up that would completely blow away that crap.

In fact, you are better off going and getting a 300 dollar Onkyo HTIB than you are a Bose 321 system. There, just saved you a grand.
I was referring to the "everyone knows they suck already" part.
 

StoOgE

First tragedy, then farce.
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Liu Kang Baking A Pie said:
I was referring to the "everyone knows they suck already" part.
oh, well then carry on with the good fight then. :D
 

nitewulf

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Miroku said:
I've got something for you. The Peachtree Decco.

This unit is a 50w/channel stereo amp with a Tube pre-amp stage and Digital as well as USB inputs. You can wirelessly stream audio to it with an optional accessory as well. This thing really sounds fantastic with any pair of decent small speakers. You can also add a subwoofer if you want. I believe the DAC inside this unit is the same as whats found in much pricier Musical Fidelity equipment.

http://blog.stereophile.com/rmaf2007/101407peach/

http://www.signalpathint.com/index.php/Peachtree-Audio-Products/Peachtree-Audio-Products.html

http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/67909965/m/603002204931/inc/1

For speakers I would recommend some small ERAs or B&W CM-1.
the Decco sounds sweet, but i'm confused as to how it receives the audio signal through the USB?
 

Davidion

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Jul 13, 2007
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StoOgE said:
I have been eying a Swan 5.1 system for a while. Their speakers are just gorgeous.
I was on the fence about getting a pair of Swans for my HT but went with Dana bookshelves instead. I actually have a pair of the original m200s and they're fantastic; they're currently serving as my makeshift DJ monitors until I can get my hands on a pair of Audioengine A5s. The former is so crisp in the mids and highs but lacks thump in the lows for monitoring use, and the latter I've been fixated on after doing a lot of research and not being able to find a more universally praised alternative within their price range.

I really love my Swans, wish I had the time or money to constantly audition their line, or other speakers, for that matter. Nevermind the 3k+ ATCs listed above. :lol
 

ElyrionX

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Jun 10, 2004
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Are the Klipsch speakers any good? PC Gamer always used to give those things high scores in their hardware review.
 

blu

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May 4, 2007
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strictly for desktops, creative's gigaworks t40 are decent 2.0 speakers, as long as you're ok with 50hz bottom cut-off.

otherwise, i'm with the oxymoron group. if you want the full experience on a pc get yourself good headphones.

ps: in the audio interface department, i'm quite happy with m-audio's transit - fits in your palm, DAC/ADC is 48-96khz, 16/24bit. with TOSlink pass-through. < 100 US.
 

nitewulf

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actually the more i'm reading about the USB DACs, the mor ei'm getting into the idea of buying one. i didnt realize you could bypass the sound card all together...consider me a complete noob when it comes to these things. but as my PC is my main source of music, i have to figure out ways to get the best fidelity out of it within a reasonable price point.

if i understand so far though, the DACs are stereo only?
 
Jul 3, 2004
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nitewulf said:
actually the more i'm reading about the USB DACs, the mor ei'm getting into the idea of buying one. i didnt realize you could bypass the sound card all together...consider me a complete noob when it comes to these things. but as my PC is my main source of music, i have to figure out ways to get the best fidelity out of it within a reasonable price point.

if i understand so far though, the DACs are stereo only?
I've got this: http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/the-mobile-line/headroom-total-bithead.php

My audio jack was full of hissing and popping and I'd sometimes hear computer beeps in it. Got that USB DAC and the sound is clean. Don't know if it's any good for audiophile use, but getting clean sound is better than hearing a faint beeping whenever I opened a program.
 

DomUltra

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I have a Harmen Kardon 2.1 set up, it's nothing to fancy but they produce some gorgeous sounds. They're a bit on the older side I might take a pic.
 

tomjr

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Dec 5, 2005
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This thread interests me.

I can't see myself spending a ton of money, but I would like to upgrade from the Logitech 5500 I'm using now.

They're decent enough for gaming and general PC stuff, but I can do better for music and movies. The good thing is that the 5500 controller doesn't take up much space on my desktop. A receiver would require shelf space somewhere.

Also, I'm not sure how small bookshelf monitors would work for nearfield applications.

Nitewulf, most of the external DAC I've seen are only used for stereo. I suppose you'd be looking for one with a DAC / surround sound decoder. Of course, if it's a DAC, you'd also need a preamp and amp to follow.

Could you use the spdif / toslink output to a surround sound decoder?
 

Squeak

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Jun 9, 2004
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Go high sensitivity fullrange. For anything that isn't meant to play up a stadium, that's the right solution these days. Analog crossovers kills the sound, unless they are ridiculously well made and thus expensive. Most people, have just been indoctrinated with the "the more drivers the better" mantra which is really very far from the truth.
You could even build them yourself. It's very easy with no crossover or stupidly complex cabinet and you can make it look exactly how you want it.
 

Tobor

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Liu Kang Baking A Pie said:
I've got this: http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/the-mobile-line/headroom-total-bithead.php

My audio jack was full of hissing and popping and I'd sometimes hear computer beeps in it. Got that USB DAC and the sound is clean. Don't know if it's any good for audiophile use, but getting clean sound is better than hearing a faint beeping whenever I opened a program.
I'm having this issue as well with my Bose(lol lol lol) computer speakers on my Macbook. I want to clean up the amount of cables on my desk so, I'm thinking about buying an Aiport Express for the speakers and my printer. Not as good as a DAC obviously, but it will look clean, solve some other issues I have, and I can use it on the deck for parties.
 

sc0la

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Jun 7, 2004
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I just roll with a sonic impact gen 2 t-amp and some old Onix Ref 0.5 bookshelves.

The whole setup cost me like 180 and sounds really great.

I hear swans are real nice. I guess the question is price range.

Right now AV123 has a 2 channel amp (with sub out) and a pair of their Elt525 bookshelf monitors for 299. seems like a pretty nice setup, though I haven't heard the 525s yet.
 
scola said:
I just roll with a sonic impact gen 2 t-amp and some old Onix Ref 0.5 bookshelves.

The whole setup cost me like 180 and sounds really great.

I hear swans are real nice. I guess the question is price range.

Right now AV123 has a 2 channel amp (with sub out) and a pair of their Elt525 bookshelf monitors for 299. seems like a pretty nice setup, though I haven't heard the 525s yet.
word UP

a t-amp and some reasonably high efficiency bookshelves (axioms or paradigm atoms or nht super0 gr-research or what have you) are probably the best pc/dorm/tiny room setup you're going to get -- just don't turn it up too much. the swans are supposed to be nice, but they're kind of pricey for what is ultimately a low end bookshelf with an amp box in the cabinet.
 

aznpxdd

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fart said:
word UP

a t-amp and some reasonably high efficiency bookshelves (axioms or paradigm atoms or nht super0 gr-research or what have you) are probably the best pc/dorm/tiny room setup you're going to get -- just don't turn it up too much. the swans are supposed to be nice, but they're kind of pricey for what is ultimately a low end bookshelf with an amp box in the cabinet.
Yep, got the T-Amp gen 2 here as well, love it.
 

Miroku

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nitewulf said:
the Decco sounds sweet, but i'm confused as to how it receives the audio signal through the USB?

I believe your computer detects it as a USB device and you effectively use it as your sound card.

I don't own one right now but I am thinking about it. I've heard one at my local shop and its really quite nice. The tube stage really puts in a different class than comparably priced DACS such as the Benchmark DAC 1 and others.
 

sc0la

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Jun 7, 2004
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fart said:
word UP

a t-amp and some reasonably high efficiency bookshelves (axioms or paradigm atoms or nht super0 gr-research or what have you) are probably the best pc/dorm/tiny room setup you're going to get -- just don't turn it up too much. the swans are supposed to be nice, but they're kind of pricey for what is ultimately a low end bookshelf with an amp box in the cabinet.
Yeah its really the best bang for your buck near field listening solution. Your not going to fill a medium sized room, or throw a party with a t-amp, but for an audience of one they are a great option (and they wont hog your desk, my t-amp fits under my monitor perfectly)
 

zhenming

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fart said:
how are those swan m10s? do they come with the stands? they look pretty good for 100$
Stands from walmart 25$ + .99 cent shipping.

Second said:
Says HiVi which is Swan's parent company from china. Mine say "Swans" instead of "HiVi". Probably rebranded for the US similar to bestbuy's Insignia, they have a chinese brand name.
 

SapientWolf

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Also, real audiophiles will already have a pair of $200+ headphones so they will turn their noses up at PC speakers.
 
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