Also, if you must have a sub please consider the new AVI Neutrons which are smaller speakers with a sub, amp and DAC.
All this AVI plugging.... are you on the take? Or are you just really good freinds with Ashley James??
They are just obvious solutions to a home media centre. Sorry, I'll think of other brands.
Darren I think you're completely missing the point of a budget. Cheers anyway.
Prof & TomCat... Thanks for all your help. I reckon I'll take your advice and go for those options.
no probs.... be sure to come back if you run into any issues... I am sure either the Prof or myself will pick up the thread.... good luck!!
USB Monitors in budget,
Ok so... just so i get everything straight...
I buy a Marantz PM6200 Stereo Amp and MA BR2 Speakers with Beresford DAC and QED speaker wire.
How do I connect all this together, including my PC and TV?
Final question honestly!
Have we established what connections are available from the back of your pc yet? I say this because the beresford Digital to Analogue converter obviously requires a digital input and so far you've told us that you have neither tos-link or co-axial digital out from the PC.
Have a closer look at your PC mini-jack and see if it also says SPDIF out as this is also a digital signal that is often incorporated into a mini-jack socket.
As for amp and speakers, the marantz/monitor audio combo I haven't heard but there's plenty of recommendations and reviews out there that seem to say very good things about them. I have heard speakers higher in the monitor audio range and I must say they sounded superb!!
Also if you don't mind buying second hand there's also plenty of great deals on ebay
For this compromised system you need:
Maplin USB Sound Box plugged into the USB slot on the PC, and then an optical toslink cable from the Sound Box to the Beresford DAC. From the DAC connect analogue RCA cables to a line input on the amplifier. From the amp connect speaker cable to the speakers.
However, do you want this mail order DAC from a one-man-band? Do you want an average amp and speakers? There are USB-equipped active speakers out there from professional and HiFi brands. This will be much neater and sound better.
I know that the ADM9 are over budget but they have amplifiers built-in and you plug them straight into your USB slot! If you're confused already about setting up a basic system then these will be easier for you.
Mate, they're not just over budget, they are twice the budget! I'm sure it would be lovely if we could all stretch our finances like that, but it's not possible in some circumstances! I've got nothing against trying some active speakers which are in budget either, it would just probably be more helpful if you could recommend some within the £500 limit.
Also, kdingwall, I'm pretty sure the amp and speakers are also just recommendations - you should audition them first yourself to ensure you like the sound.
Not connected with this set up, just looking for opinions really. I have just had a tweeter replaced on my 6 year old B&W DM601 S3, apparentl cause by my 25 year old NAD 3020A not having enough power to deal with my sons party volumes.
I'm thinking NAD C320BEE or Cambridge Audio Azur 340A SE or Rotel RA-04 but have always liked the mid range of the NAD.
What do you recommend?
Sorry to have abandoned the thread last night, but I had some serious drinking to do.
Firstly, I don't think you will be going much wrong with the Marantz, it is a solid peice of budget kit. The Monitor Audios can sound a bit bright in some systems (bright means harsh).... so I agree with the Prof that you should audition some other speakers like the Tannoy mercury F1s.
From what I can work out here is what you need....
1. A USB DAC to output audio from your PC. HERE is one I found for a reasonable price.... DACs can be really expensive. The one shown HERE could be worth a look as well, there is a £80 version and a £199 version.
2. An amplifier.... the Marantz is well worth a demo, so is a Rotel. Be careful of shameless Cambridge Audio plugging in Richer Sounds though, only buy one if you like the sound and they will do you a deal.
4. Interconnects... you will need a decent phono lead (have a look in the buyers guide for what you can afford)
The connections will be PC to DAC via USB, DAC to Amp via Phono lead, TV to Amp via phono lead, for video playback on the telly you should be using a DVI to HDMI lead between PC and TV. A lot to take in, but I hope it all helps!
Try starting your own thread for more responses. How about the NAD C325BEE? Or is that over budget?
Ok.. so I am now clear on the set-up suggested from Tomcat and Prof.. I will test the recommended speakers and go from there I think. Thank You both for your advice and patience!
In order for me to consider your option Darren, I'd need to focus you on fact that I have £500 to spend. I'd love to be able to afford the speakers suggested but it's not going to happen unfortunately! And also, can the USB Active Speaker set-up really deliver the same quality sound as the other set-up? Not having any experience of it I am unclear.
Finally, I have also been advised of a cheaper alternative, being the Creative Gigaworks G550W Wireless Speakers, although as far as I'm aware these are just good quality PC speakers. Is this a big no-no?
Remember, my requirements are purely to have a decent quality sound for mainly mp3's and dvd's held or played on my pc.
If you want decent stereo sound... then standard speakers are your best bet, not lifestyle based small speakers with a sub woofer, because you will lose the midrange frequencies. If you want 5.1 surround (which I am not sure you current PC will support without a soundcard upgrade) then we will have to start looking at other bits and peices and might have to think about upping the budget a tad if you still want some decent standmounts for normal stereo listening as well.
As for active speakers... there is a bit of controversy developing in this section of the forums, so follow those threads to see what other people think, but personally, I think separates at the same price would out perform.... also, if you want to upgrade later, it will cost a lot, where as with separates, you can upgrade different components as you get the money saved up. I wouldn't buy actives.
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