Anyone give up on PC Surround sound and just go stereo? Any regrets?

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
17,607
Anyone ever try using a sound bar for a PC gaming setup? I've never actually experienced how those work in the real world. Having a perfectly arranged setup in a storefront vs. someone's living room tends to be quite a bit different.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
I've used many vintage receivers/speakers with a dac or a sound card for ~20 years.
I had a 5.1 system at one point that was set up pretty well but I never really liked it as much as a good stereo system.

After many "upgrades" I'm now using a schiit bifrost (dac) --> technics su-c01 (preamp) --> Harman Kardon Citation 16 serie A (underrated at 150W rms) --> kef 105.2.

I also have no desire to test a new 5/7.1 system. Stereo is all I need!
When gaming, if I want to get a better sense of "positional audio" I'll use headphone (hd6xx) with no added software to upmix.
I've tested lots of similar setups (DAC ---> good vintage amp/receiver ---> speaker towers that can go down below 45Hz) and I also think its the way to go in terms of affordable sound quality. To my ear, its sounds far better than powered reference monitors, modern AVRs, satellites plus sub, HTIBs, PC surround kits, and every amp after 1979 for budgets under $2K USD.

Also gives you a wide soundstage that headphones cannot reproduce.
 

grifter_66

Gawd
Joined
Jun 2, 2005
Messages
635
I have a pair of great headphones but nothing compares to good, properly set up surround sound and that quality has nothing to do with volume so "waking up your neighbors" isn't an issue unless you want it to be.

A sound bar should work the same on a PC as it does on the TV. Just plug the HDMI/Optical cable in and go. Probably better than most traditional computer speakers.
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
13,487
I've tested lots of similar setups (DAC ---> good vintage amp/receiver ---> speaker towers that can go down below 45Hz) and I also think its the way to go in terms of affordable sound quality. To my ear, its sounds far better than powered reference monitors, modern AVRs, satellites plus sub, HTIBs, PC surround kits, and every amp after 1979 for budgets under $2K USD.
Now we're talking about coloring :).

Reference monitors should be flat- that's literally the purpose of naming them so. That's also why I suggested applying any adjustments before the analog stage, as opposed to trying to 'tweak' components to get something to sound 'good'. Nothing sounds 'good'; it's either correct or it isn't, and that's entirely separate from whether a particular listener likes and / or enjoys the sound.

Anyone ever try using a sound bar for a PC gaming setup? I've never actually experienced how those work in the real world. Having a perfectly arranged setup in a storefront vs. someone's living room tends to be quite a bit different.
About the only thing that sound bars are good at is saving space. And they can save space and still sound decent, however, small drivers are still small drivers, and cheap sound bars are still going to sound cheap- probably worse than an equivalent investment into real speakers.

That said, the bar for 'good audio' on the desktop is really extremely low for most. It's entirely possible for a sound bar to be more than good enough and also relatively inexpensive, just understand that there's a trade being made for quality in favor of size at any given price point.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
It's eight-channel PCM unless a codec like those from Dolby or DTS are passed. Given that most of these codecs are eight channels or less, you don't gain anything and may lose fidelity due to compression, depending on the codec and content. Generally, if you need 7.1 or less, passing one of those codecs only makes sense if your receiver is then doing room corrections and so on.



With PCM, there is no 'codec'; it's basically eight wav channels being streamed uncompressed. Not that that affects the point.

What does make a difference is the processing on each end. Audio from an Nvidia card is actually audio from the application, driver, and operating system. This is the same on an Xbox or Bluray player, which means that each may be different because each may be doing some form of processing before the streams are sent to the receiver. Further, these streams may then be processed differently by the receiver on the other end based on a number of variables including the input(s) used.

Better / worse in your experience may or may not correlate to more or less correct with respect to the audio as mastered. If you have an issue with the audio coming from a PC, change it. You can get Atmos as well as third-party tools to do various types of processing on your audio before it is sent to the GPU to be streamed across HDMI.
Thank you for doing a far better job than myself explaining the audio path and correcting me on how PCM works.

But it turns out I'm not crazy. PC based HDMI, very specifically, is garbage vs other sources. Also, HDMI to AVR DAC does not equal SPDIF to AVR DAC:

"Let me repeat: the mere act of connecting an HDMI cable to your DAC causes its performance to decline!"

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s/a-deep-dive-into-hdmi-audio-performance.56/

Not because it is HDMI, but due to its implementation. Although its not specifically tested (and I'm making a guess here), I suspect nVidia GPUs are worse due to the audio circuits being so close to the video/GPU.

Also, I think you are right about pre processing. nVidia's HD audio driver may be doing something different than Intel's HD audio driver before streaming.




 

IdiotInCharge

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
13,487
But it turns out I'm not crazy. PC based HDMI, very specifically, is garbage vs other sources
The issue isn't with HDMI itself; that's just the interconnect standard. Cables with better isolation can help in particularly noisy environments, as can shorter cables, but overall this is pretty rare.

It's also affected both by the source and destination signal path and processing, and relative to SP/DIF, these can be different on both sides of the connection; i.e., a receiver has a different signal path for each, and getting that signal 'synced up' and to the DAC can be a source of differences, and that's assuming that they have the same DAC inside the receiver and are treated the same way in terms of processing.

And then there's the software on the source. Note that there's no 'audio circuits' for HDMI; there's no analog stage here. Audio goes out with the video signal from the GPU itself. Same for AMD or Intel, same for IGP vs. discrete. The only difference will be in the drivers / software stack.

SP/DIF here has the same basic topology, except that the signal path usually goes through an audio ASIC before hitting the physical digital output(s).

While I absolutely applaud the scientific approach here, this test is too dated to really be relevant. All producers of HDMI sources for personal computers have not only passed through numerous hardware iterations, but have also passed through a great many driver and software iterations, as have operating systems and playback software; further, receivers have gone through their own hardware and software (firmware) revisions.

Such a test would only really be authoritative for the very specific setup used, down to the last detail, and with respect to PC audio, there are an almost innumerable factors that can introduce issues such as 'jitter'. One I'll point you toward is DPC latency, which messes up stuff that isn't as nearly as time sensative as audio, and it can really, really mess up audio. It's one that I dealt with myself and required a hardware change to quell.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
The issue isn't with HDMI itself; that's just the interconnect standard. Cables with better isolation can help in particularly noisy environments, as can shorter cables, but overall this is pretty rare.

It's also affected both by the source and destination signal path and processing, and relative to SP/DIF, these can be different on both sides of the connection; i.e., a receiver has a different signal path for each, and getting that signal 'synced up' and to the DAC can be a source of differences, and that's assuming that they have the same DAC inside the receiver and are treated the same way in terms of processing.

And then there's the software on the source. Note that there's no 'audio circuits' for HDMI; there's no analog stage here. Audio goes out with the video signal from the GPU itself. Same for AMD or Intel, same for IGP vs. discrete. The only difference will be in the drivers / software stack.

SP/DIF here has the same basic topology, except that the signal path usually goes through an audio ASIC before hitting the physical digital output(s).



While I absolutely applaud the scientific approach here, this test is too dated to really be relevant. All producers of HDMI sources for personal computers have not only passed through numerous hardware iterations, but have also passed through a great many driver and software iterations, as have operating systems and playback software; further, receivers have gone through their own hardware and software (firmware) revisions.

Such a test would only really be authoritative for the very specific setup used, down to the last detail, and with respect to PC audio, there are an almost innumerable factors that can introduce issues such as 'jitter'. One I'll point you toward is DPC latency, which messes up stuff that isn't as nearly as time sensative as audio, and it can really, really mess up audio. It's one that I dealt with myself and required a hardware change to quell.
I know that HDMI is not analog.You obviously understand that noise could negatively affect all digital audio circuit designs, so I honestly don't know what point you are trying to make. I have always been referring to the source and its implementation. Considering how difficult it is for DAC manufacturers to make a good measuring unit from using the reference design provided from ESS (for example) and the exact same components as their competitors, I don't think its a stretch to imagine that compromises are made in HDMI audio circuit designs (PCB location, isolation, power supply quality is an unknown, etc.) to accommodate for video and now Ethernet versus other dedicated audio sources. I would imagine it be far easier to build a set top box or console and engineer it for a clean HDMI audio source then slapping most nVidia cards into most PCs. But when you have external USB DACs or isolated onboard designs sending out to SPDIF/Optical as options, why would they even care to? Its not like website even measure popular HDMI sources (even devices like the PS4 or XBox One sold in the millions) and tell the world how bad (or maybe even good in some cases) they are so they can improve like in other parts of the audio industry. Just works is all you can really count on.

Yes, I am make big assumptions here. Unfortunately nobody even bothers testing what I assume to be a poor source to prove me wrong.
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
13,487
You obviously understand that noise could negatively affect all digital audio circuit designs, so I honestly don't know what point you are trying to make
It's mostly that while noise can affect HDMI, this is unlikely to cause as much as a difference as processing.

And you're right that it's basically untestable from an end-user perspective. It's literally down to what 'sounds good'; applications playing sound can treat different sound devices differently, receivers can treat HDMI audio and SP/DIF differently even if receiving the same signal on each, and every stage between can have an effect (or not). We're left with theory.

For me, >stereo happens in the living room and all over HDMI. The PC is headphones or 2.1 speaker territory fed to a balanced DAC over optical SP/DIF to break the ground loop and minimize potential interference for the analog stages. I couldn't even begin to compare the two :)
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
Now we're talking about coloring :).

Reference monitors should be flat- that's literally the purpose of naming them so. That's also why I suggested applying any adjustments before the analog stage, as opposed to trying to 'tweak' components to get something to sound 'good'. Nothing sounds 'good'; it's either correct or it isn't, and that's entirely separate from whether a particular listener likes and / or enjoys the sound.



About the only thing that sound bars are good at is saving space. And they can save space and still sound decent, however, small drivers are still small drivers, and cheap sound bars are still going to sound cheap- probably worse than an equivalent investment into real speakers.

That said, the bar for 'good audio' on the desktop is really extremely low for most. It's entirely possible for a sound bar to be more than good enough and also relatively inexpensive, just understand that there's a trade being made for quality in favor of size at any given price point.
I know what reference means. In my opinion, reference monitors belong in the studio. Not at home for music or games. This modern trend of audiophiles staring at measurements all day convincing the average person that perfectly flat sound from beginning to end to not mess with the artists recording is an effing boring way to listen to music in my opinion. That is all I'm saying. Have some fun. Try some horns. Maybe point source drivers. Or AMTs. Maybe planars. Or true ribbons. Maybe a subwoofer that you have trouble moving around your house. Maybe a waterproof bluetooth speaker in the shower. Beat a drum. I encourage experiments. If pure direct to some Mackie Studios is your preference, fine.
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
13,487
This modern trend of audiophiles staring at measurements all day convincing the average person that perfectly flat sound from beginning to end to not mess with the artists recording is an effing boring way to listen to music in my opinion.
That's not at all what I'm suggesting, and not at all what I see audiophiles suggesting- the suggestion is to keep the analog stage relatively flat, or at least everything up to the amplifier when looking at headphones, and make adjustments to the audio at the source. If I want 'reference', I've got it. If I want more bass and less peaky treble, I've got that too.

And I have planars and 'fun' cans and several cans that are considered 'reference' and yet are all different- and my home theater is mostly Klipsh ;).
 

lostin3d

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
2,043
Great thread BTW.

I'm also one of those people who's tired of having headphones on their head or in their ears.

I could easily write volumes on my experiences with surround and stereo in gaming which started when I was a teenager patching the coaxial rf connector of an Atari 400 into mono and then stereo VCR's and then sending the audio via rca to stereos. I've done digital coax and optical. Had some fun with EAX. Now I just use NV HDMI audio and it has done pretty well but I constantly have to keep track that it's staying configured properly after every restart since any stupid update can reset something. Never able to commit the budget to an Oppo or anything else so high end but have patched together many audio solutions over the decades for myself and friends but in recent years I've come to like the 32bit/384khz DAC's in Onkyo's. In the 'cave' which is my 4k maxed out pc/theater room I upgraded to this during winter:

https://www.newegg.com/p/12K-00DD-001B9?Item=12K-00DD-001B9

That's actually my review listed for it and on sale for a decent price right now. The high end isn't as quite up there as I'd prefer but the imaging is incredible and so is the subwoofer. Having said all that I gotta say that games that support Atmos these days are pretty awesome. RE2 remastered's use of Atmos was friggin' amazing. Seriously the sounds for RE2 were sometimes more scary than the visual. Metro Exodus is pretty good but dearly wish there was a way to control the gun volume. Pun intended, SOTTR's use of Atmos provides truly incredible atmospheric environmental sounds. Otherwise its really hit and miss with other games. Witcher 3's generic stereo upsampled to 7.1 is pretty good.
 
Last edited:

Hielo_loco

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
104
I prefer surround sound to headphones for gaming and I have a really nice 7.1 system in my office.

The problem is I can rarely use it.

1. I almost never watch TV/Movies in here
2. I don't always want to let everyone know I'm gaming with speakers
3. A lot of games don't have good surround sound support. By a lot, I mean a few.
4. The whole HDMI audio connection is always a hassle.
5. I don't want my little kids hearing the discord conversation in games.

For me, the best surround sound games are Overwatch and Guild Wars 2 (and Battlefield, but I don't love the last two versions) but I don't play them that much.

I don't really prefer headphones, but I find myself using them more and more.

I'm wondering if it's time to take it down, sell off the parts and roll the cash into a pair of LS50s (for music mostly)

Current speakers:

KEF Q100 L/R
KEF Q200c C
JBL Arena B15 (side and rear surrounds)

Even though it's hard to use, there just isn't anything quite like hearing things clearly in your surround channels - it really puts you in the game...
Nothing like listening to the surround speakers in games and well encoded movies... I'll never give up the surround channels on a speaker setup.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
That's not at all what I'm suggesting, and not at all what I see audiophiles suggesting- the suggestion is to keep the analog stage relatively flat, or at least everything up to the amplifier when looking at headphones, and make adjustments to the audio at the source. If I want 'reference', I've got it. If I want more bass and less peaky treble, I've got that too.

And I have planars and 'fun' cans and several cans that are considered 'reference' and yet are all different- and my home theater is mostly Klipsh ;).
Fair enough :)
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
Speaking of stereo, I just bought some Polk S60 towers. Frequency response rated to go as low as 26Hz, which is unusual for stereo speakers.

They are absolutely bonkers. My Klipsch SW-112 sub, while I admit is no SVS, is no slouch but can’t shake the walls like those towers do lol. They just embarrass my Klipsch RF 82 IIs for bass as well. And those are dual 8”.

Vocals are quite pleasing to me, no harshness or hissing when a singer like Lights makes ‘S’ sounds. I still prefer the mid horn of the Klipsch Forte IIs for vocals, versus my Klipsch RF-82 IIs or the Polks. But still very good on the Polks to my ears.

If you are thinking of stereo and do some speaker shopping, I recommend a listen. Especially if you like deep bass.
 

lostin3d

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
2,043
Speaking of stereo, I just bought some Polk S60 towers. Frequency response rated to go as low as 26Hz, which is unusual for stereo speakers.

They are absolutely bonkers. My Klipsch SW-112 sub, while I admit is no SVS, is no slouch but can’t shake the walls like those towers do lol. They just embarrass my Klipsch RF 82 IIs for bass as well. And those are dual 8”.

Vocals are quite pleasing to me, no harshness or hissing when a singer like Lights makes ‘S’ sounds. I still prefer the mid horn of the Klipsch Forte IIs for vocals, versus my Klipsch RF-82 IIs or the Polks. But still very good on the Polks to my ears.

If you are thinking of stereo and do some speaker shopping, I recommend a listen. Especially if you like deep bass.
In the living room setup I've got a Polk center speaker that has very similar characteristics to what you're describing. Also got a pair of stereo bookshelf for the rear channels. I've been very impressed with all.
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
19,175
Bass response can be negatively impacted by the materials a house or rooms are made from.
My house is an old detached made from wood.
It has been very hard to get the strength of bass high enough, it simply escapes through the walls.
Even front speakers with 10" transmission line bass arent so hot here, not for strength or depth. They are supposed to be good to 22Hz (or lower with corner loading) but the best I can get is 25Hz and its a bit weak.
I heard the smaller version of my speakers (8" transmission line) in a brick walled room and the strength/depth/feel was incredible.

So I supplemented my front speakers with a decent self powered subwoofer, good to 15Hz (in room). It is fed from the front channels amplified signal and tuned/placed for best effect (near the sofa but corner loaded)
Luckily sub 20Hz does reverberate well in room so the response is quite uniform considering.
The sound/bass is killer but my neighbours get a fair effect too so I try and leave loud music for when people are indoors with windows shut. Such a pisser lol.

Moral of the story:
If you cant get your bass strength/depth up, add a quality subwoofer.
Many are designed to supplement speakers and LFE, with 2 inputs and 2 volume controllers.
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
13,487
If you cant get your bass strength/depth up, add a quality subwoofer.
I can't see this being a second choice for most- price / performance is quite solidly in the discrete sub column. Let the towers and bookshelves do the mids and highs and run the lows to a box designed for that, right?

My cheap-ass 12" Polk powered sub can shake the building...
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
19,175
I can't see this being a second choice for most- price / performance is quite solidly in the discrete sub column. Let the towers and bookshelves do the mids and highs and run the lows to a box designed for that, right?

My cheap-ass 12" Polk powered sub can shake the building...
Yes that is what I would advise for most people, I didnt go into it much.
I was trying to highlight another reason why you might need a sub.

My case is ...
The bass loss through the walls mean I need to re-enforce the bass the speakers are producing as well.
I modded the sub to roll off at 25Hz but wasnt satisfied and much prefer it adding to the bass the speakers produce.
Now I use the sub to produce everything up to around 100Hz in parallel with the speakers.
The sub being much nearer where we sit.
Sounds quite f*ing awesome :D

For most people it would be as you suggest, find where the speakers roll off their bass and adjust the sub to roll in at that freq.
 
Last edited:

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
I can't see this being a second choice for most- price / performance is quite solidly in the discrete sub column. Let the towers and bookshelves do the mids and highs and run the lows to a box designed for that, right?

My cheap-ass 12" Polk powered sub can shake the building...
Audio is quite subjective, but myself I try not to use my sub at all for music.

To me a pair of towers that can dig down deep are plug n play. They are engineered for the lows to transition to mid bass / mids properly by the manufacturer. You don't have to worry about matching a sub to speakers, you can use a stereo amp that lacks a variable sub output with a adjustable crossover point (like your typical AVR, which I find are great for movies but poor for music), and it removes the guess work of trying to make adjustments at the sub plate amp.

Sometimes I like to run the B speaker output of one of my vintage receivers (1969 Sony STR-6050) to the high level input of my sub, to get it the volume to change along with the control. But I don't keep it setup like that for very long, as I never seem to be able to get the sub adjusted to sound right to me. Just shakes the house for fun.

As Nenu mentioned, if you really know what you are doing, you can certainly do subs properly. And sometimes you need a sub as some speakers don't mate up to a room well.

In the end though, my opinion is only my own. If any particular setup sounds good to you, it doesn't really matter what others say. There is no best. Just best for you :) And as always, experimenting is fun too!
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
13,487
To me a pair of towers that can dig down deep are plug n play. They are engineered for the lows to transition to mid bass / mids properly by the manufacturer. You don't have to worry about matching a sub to speakers, you can use a stereo amp that lacks a variable sub output with a adjustable crossover point (like your typical AVR, which I find are great for movies but poor for music), and it removes the guess work of trying to make adjustments at the sub plate amp.
I don't disagree at all- the main reason that I use subs is because towers / bookshelves / monitors that dig in deep are large, heavy, and expensive, vs. a single sub and more sane components :).
 

xmadror

Gawd
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
752
Audio is quite subjective, but myself I try not to use my sub at all for music.

To me a pair of towers that can dig down deep are plug n play. They are engineered for the lows to transition to mid bass / mids properly by the manufacturer. You don't have to worry about matching a sub to speakers, you can use a stereo amp that lacks a variable sub output with a adjustable crossover point (like your typical AVR, which I find are great for movies but poor for music), and it removes the guess work of trying to make adjustments at the sub plate amp.

Sometimes I like to run the B speaker output of one of my vintage receivers (1969 Sony STR-6050) to the high level input of my sub, to get it the volume to change along with the control. But I don't keep it setup like that for very long, as I never seem to be able to get the sub adjusted to sound right to me. Just shakes the house for fun.

As Nenu mentioned, if you really know what you are doing, you can certainly do subs properly. And sometimes you need a sub as some speakers don't mate up to a room well.

In the end though, my opinion is only my own. If any particular setup sounds good to you, it doesn't really matter what others say. There is no best. Just best for you :) And as always, experimenting is fun too!
I used to hook a 15" psb stratus 7 sub the same way and to get good result I constantly had to adjust the plate amp for music vs movie or moderate sound output vs high output otherwise it would either sound too small or overpower my speakers.
Now with my new speakers (kef 105.2) that go flat to 38Hz I just stopped using the sub. While it would be nice to have better bass extension (my sub can do 19Hz flat iirc), I prefer not to use the sub so I don't have to adjust it all the time.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
I don't disagree at all- the main reason that I use subs is because towers / bookshelves / monitors that dig in deep are large, heavy, and expensive, vs. a single sub and more sane components :).
Makes total sense. You can sometimes find fantastic sales on towers, but they are awkward and heavy. Lots of rooms they wouldn't work if you don't have the wall space :)
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
13,487
Makes total sense. You can sometimes find fantastic sales on towers, but they are awkward and heavy. Lots of rooms they wouldn't work if you don't have the wall space :)
My 5" JBL LSR305 pair are already large for their driver size- going up just makes them massive, and they're already spaced pretty far apart with two 30" and one 24" monitor between.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
My 5" JBL LSR305 pair are already large for their driver size- going up just makes them massive, and they're already spaced pretty far apart with two 30" and one 24" monitor between.
Those do look like they need space. Great reviews on them too, from both the very down to earth Z Reviews and the very anal nostereophile. Generally I don't like reference monitors or class D amps at all, but that waveguide is supposed to be fantastic. How do you like them?
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
13,487
Those do look like they need space. Great reviews on them too, from both the very down to earth Z Reviews and the very anal nostereophile. Generally I don't like reference monitors or class D amps at all, but that waveguide is supposed to be fantastic. How do you like them?
They're perfect, at least for desktop use. They're near-field so perhaps not the best idea for HT, but on the desktop I can run optical to my DAC and balanced to the sub and then to the speakers, and I get zero extra noise on top of having a wide, filled-out soundstage.

That's the main thing that they do very well- there's a large sweet spot that works well, for 'monitoring' and for gaming. They're kind of like the HD600 for speakers, only EQ if you want something different, they sound great as is.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
They're perfect, at least for desktop use. They're near-field so perhaps not the best idea for HT, but on the desktop I can run optical to my DAC and balanced to the sub and then to the speakers, and I get zero extra noise on top of having a wide, filled-out soundstage.

That's the main thing that they do very well- there's a large sweet spot that works well, for 'monitoring' and for gaming. They're kind of like the HD600 for speakers, only EQ if you want something different, they sound great as is.
Interesting. I will definitely have to give them a listen then if I can find a pair being demoed. They certainly are affordable. I am absolutely dying for a pair of JBL Studio 530s, but there was no practical way to import any of the 530/570/580/590 series to Canada during their availability and people want crazy money for them on EBay now.
 

Meeho

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
4,835
But it turns out I'm not crazy. PC based HDMI, very specifically, is garbage vs other sources. Also, HDMI to AVR DAC does not equal SPDIF to AVR DAC:

"Let me repeat: the mere act of connecting an HDMI cable to your DAC causes its performance to decline!"

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s/a-deep-dive-into-hdmi-audio-performance.56/
"I have shown you a lot of graphs but it would be unfair to leave them be as is. A lot of the distortions we see with HDMI are centered close to our main excitation frequency. When the distortions are close to a loud signal, and our source certainly is one in this case, they can’t be heard. So mostly like these are not audible distortions."
 

Skylinestar

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
510
on the desktop I can run optical to my DAC and balanced to the sub and then to the speakers
Do I get this right? Computer onboard audio > Optical cable > Topping DX7s > Subwoofer > LSR308 ?
What subwoofer are you using that has 1/4/XLR bass-managed output?
 

atarione

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
1,979
Years ago I ditched a Logitech 4.1 (why?? Logitech why?? but it was ...) system

for stereo (see pic) ZERO REGRETS.. of course I only game with speakers when my wife is outta town.. and she got a new job and isn't out of town nearly so often now.. and I don't watch movies on the pc at all.. 99% of the time speakers are on is music, so it is a no brainer for me.

This is my Stereo hooked up to my PC.. Sony TA-N77ES (200WPC (FCC watts))..amp weighs in at about 60lbs / TA-E77ESD pre / Yamaha NS-344 10" 3 ways

ta_n77es_2.jpg
 
Last edited:

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
"I have shown you a lot of graphs but it would be unfair to leave them be as is. A lot of the distortions we see with HDMI are centered close to our main excitation frequency. When the distortions are close to a loud signal, and our source certainly is one in this case, they can’t be heard. So mostly like these are not audible distortions."
"As we get farther from the main tones, the spikes can reach higher than level of audibility and the chance of this occurring with HDMI is higher than with S/PDIF."

Why did you cut that sentence off?
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
Years ago I ditched a Logitech 4.1 (why?? Logitech why?? but it was ...) system

for stereo (see pic) ZERO REGRETS.. of course I only game with speakers when my wife is outta town.. and she got a new job and isn't out of town nearly so often now.. and I don't watch movies on the pc at all.. 99% of the time speakers are on is music, so it is a no brainer for me.

This is my Stereo hooked up to my PC.. Sony TA-N77ES (200WPC (FCC watts))..amp weighs in at about 60lbs / TA-E77ESD pre / Yamaha NS-344 10" 3 ways

View attachment 163317
WOW. That is some very legendary gear! I have yet to actually see any of it in person and its very rarely for sale on EBay.
 

Meeho

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
4,835
"As we get farther from the main tones, the spikes can reach higher than level of audibility and the chance of this occurring with HDMI is higher than with S/PDIF."

Why did you cut that sentence off?
Because it's can/possibly/maybe, and I don't care much for those.
 

Commander Shepard

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
4,133
I ditched surround well over ten years ago. Never looked back. I have 2.1 for PC and 2.0 for TV.
 

atarione

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
1,979
WOW. That is some very legendary gear! I have yet to actually see any of it in person and its very rarely for sale on EBay.

Thanx.. I was well pleased with my good fortune getting this gear.. honestly both came from the same goodwill (about 2~yrs apart) got the full sony ES stack for $75 (don't hate me.... much at least) on 1/2 sale... absolutely couldn't believe my luck... I was as stoked as I possibly could have been ..did have to spend $20 on a lamp kit for the amp

Speakers $50~ a couple years later, was running some Monitor Audio S1's previously (also from the same goodwill in pretty rough condition however)... I quite like the Yammy 3 ways with the sony amp.. good stuff.


The Sony TA-N77ES.. lives up to it's hype btw... it is sooo goooood... love it.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,001
Thanx.. I was well pleased with my good fortune getting this gear.. honestly both came from the same goodwill (about 2~yrs apart) got the full sony ES stack for $75 (don't hate me.... much at least) on 1/2 sale... absolutely couldn't believe my luck... I was as stoked as I possibly could have been ..did have to spend $20 on a lamp kit for the amp

Speakers $50~ a couple years later, was running some Monitor Audio S1's previously (also from the same goodwill in pretty rough condition however)... I quite like the Yammy 3 ways with the sony amp.. good stuff.


The Sony TA-N77ES.. lives up to it's hype btw... it is sooo goooood... love it.
What an amazing score! I have been looking through garage sales, pawn shops, thrift store, classifieds and facebook groups for years looking for a deal like that. So far though, nothing. The gear that I have gotten has ran me countless thousands on EBay and then many hundreds more at digikey for restoration parts.

Every time I see a decent deal its local pickup only in the lower US states, but I'm in Canada.

Congrats! I'm glad it sounds as good as it looks!
 

xmadror

Gawd
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
752
I've seen that sony amp with a asking price of 1300$ CAD (didn't sell). Very nice find!

I haven't had any such amazing luck with prices but the result is worth it imho.
4.jpg 3.jpg 2.jpg
schiit bifrost 4490 (dac) --> technics su-c01 (preamp) --> Harman Kardon Citation 16 serie A --> kef 105.2
The citation 16 is awesome I bought it ~3 months ago, full recap plus a custom face plate. Kinda paid a high price on this one at 850$ (CAD) but with all the work done on it, it should be good for another 30+ years! Underrated at 150W rms but actually good for 180W rms after the rebuild!

VIC-20, if you don't know about canuckaudiomart.com you should take a look and I also found a couple good deals on kijiji.ca but you kinda have to look daily if you hope to catch a good deal since they never last long.

Edit: only thing I'm not looking forward with the new HK amp is the heat, with the hotter days that are right around the corner. That thing idles at ~60C and will get hotter when pushed. My previous Bryston 3b (100W rms) was warm'ish at most.
 
Last edited:
Top