[H]ardOCP Spec Bookshelf Speaker Setup

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Kyle_Bennett, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett HardOCP MasterChef Editor Staff Member

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    About a year ago, my Corsair speaker system finally went to the Big Amp Graveyard in the Sky after using it for about a decade. While I loved using Corsair's setup, I did not want to put another subwoofer at my feet because of limited room of the way my desk is built into the wall in my office. You might have noticed that we have a couple of "new" news guys around here lately, both of which happen to be "budget audiophiles," at least that is how I see them. Well after about 30 minutes on IM, the two of them had me a system laid out that I have to say I am extremely happy with. I went a little over budget, but when I heard it, I knew where those few extra dollars had gone.

    Here is a rundown on everything that I purchased from Amazon: Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Designed Bookshelf Loudspeakers ($129.99 / $89.99 with Prime Savings) - Dayton Audio DTA-120 Class T Digital Mini Amplifier 60 WPC ($104) - FiiO D3 (D03K) Digital to Analog Audio Converter ($25) I did also need a bit of speaker wire and a short RCA cable. Setup was perfect and now I feel like a fool for dealing with the built in speakers on my JS9000 display for so long. I even got caught up in replaying some DOOM levels last night, just to listen to all the sound effects I missed the first time around. Thanks to Zarathustra and cageymaru for the help.

    UPDATE 3/24/2017: So a bit of an update. Having audiophile friends will cost you money. Zarathustra[H] and cageymaru linked me over to this Dayton Audio 12" sub at Parts Express on sale for $85 (and I found a $5 coupon) with $7 shipping (which got here in a few days. Hell of a deal. Got it in and hooked up yesterday. Pretty sweet sounds. Review here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017 at 12:22 PM
  2. GDI Lord

    GDI Lord n00bie

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  3. DrezKill

    DrezKill Limp Gawd

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    Pretty sweet setup, homes. I'm in my 11th year of using a Logitech Z-5300e set. Have no idea what I'm gonna do when the thing finally kicks the bucket. Been working fine this whole time though. Fuckin' love it to death. Paid $134 for it back in 2006 (and at the time I had just missed catching it on sale for $104). For HDTV consoles, I'm hilariously still using a 2.0 AIWA stereo system I got ~19 years ago. Geezus. What can I say though, still sounds great. For CRT consoles I'm using a Logitech z623 set that I'm not really impressed with (good thing I got them on sale), but at least those speakers sound better than the CRT's shitty-ass built-in speakers.
     
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  4. Tengis

    Tengis [H]ardness Supreme

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    At some point over a year ago I switched completely to headphones.
     
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  5. mls1995

    mls1995 2[H]4U

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    same, switched over to headphones a couple of years back. I don't see myself going back.
     
  6. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

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    Did you see my new audio setup?



    That's $4,600.00 CAD of kit. Before taxes. LOL
     
  7. xXaNaXx

    xXaNaXx Gawd

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    i have been using bookshelf speakers connected to a spare A/V receiver for years now, rather than spending money on a single-purpose, computer-specific speaker system that costs way too much and still doesn't sound anywhere near as good. granted, the speakers i have are not audiophile-level stuff (just some $50 Sony 8" 3-way bookshelf speakers i bought on sale a while back), but they still sound really nice and get the job done right...and they'll go plenty loud when i want to really crank the tunes. it's also nice that i have an optical audio connection on my A/V receiver to eliminate any ground loop noise.
     
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  8. xXaNaXx

    xXaNaXx Gawd

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    headphones definitely have their place, but for me, i'd rather listen through speakers than headphones whenever possible. i hate having to have something clamped onto my head, and be tethered via a cable (for wired headphones), or having to deal with any A/V sync issues stemming from bluetooth audio.
     
  9. Massamune

    Massamune Limp Gawd

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    I also use headphones at work (because it's the only option), but at home it's a little more overboard. I use some XTZ 99.26mkII monitors powered by an 800W class D stereio amp. I use a Schiit Sys to attenutate volume and a Schiit Modi 2 Ultra DAC.

    Games sound great!


    setup.jpg

    Front-ISO-2-CH1.jpg
     
  10. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    Our objective was to get Kyle on optical to eliminate possible noise from the PC.
     
  11. Longfury

    Longfury n00bie

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    What are you using for your optical out?
     
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  12. Riccochet

    Riccochet Necrodancer

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    Nice setup for a few hundred bucks.

    Question. Do those speakers supply enough low end bass to supplement the lack of a subwoofer?
     
  13. trudude

    trudude [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good move on the upgrade. There is no substitute for decent speakers for your computer.
     
  14. NickJames

    NickJames Viagra Required

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    I also have the Andrew Jones setup in my home theater. 2 satellites for rear and 2 floor standing. They're great I love them, didn't think about using them for my PC though I am going to try that. I have 2 spare speakers that I am sitting on since I bought them so damn cheap and was planning on using them for 7.1. I have a pair of Beyerdynamic DT880 pros that are 600ohm that I need powered too. What do you guys recommend for an amp that already has optical input built in along with a 1/4" jack for phones?
     
  15. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett HardOCP MasterChef Editor Staff Member

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    GIGABYTE X99 Designaire Motherboard.

    Pretty darn well.
     
  16. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I was the same way until I got my own house, I didn't want to make noise in an apartment/duplex.

    Now I have a 6.1 channel mini-mancave/projector room setup. Headphones are great, but a surround speaker setup is a lot of fun for games.
     
  17. jmmahon1224

    jmmahon1224 [H]Lite

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    Anyone have any recommendations for a slightly smaller set of bookshelfs that would pair well with this setup?
     
  18. rehab

    rehab Gawd

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    In 20 years ive never tried to improve audio but lately I see the light as I now use my PC at home for much more than FPS and Groove Salad. Is this all being utilized with onboard out?
     
  19. burton14e7

    burton14e7 n00bie

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    Same, but I bought the receiver and speakers for this purpose. Just some SVS Prime bookshelf speakers paired with a SVS SB1000 sub and a Marantz receiver over HDMI. Music sings and I can turn it up and my girlfriend feels the bombs going off in BF1 from the bedroom.
     
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  20. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I can't do it. I like to watch things on my PC while I work and still be able to hear what's going on in my environment. I also get annoyed with wearing a heat set over long periods of time.
     
  21. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    You could try a set of Micca MB42x.

    I have them in my kitchen and they do a decent job. They won't have as much bass as the ones Kyle got though.

    The x is important. There is a non-x version of these speakers which doesn't sound as good.
     
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  22. haste.

    haste. Gawd

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    Repurposed old def tech 7002 tower's (built in amp with 10" subs) run thru a x7 then thru a 100w stereo amp. Even decent bookshelf like you purchased are a massive upgrade from "computer speakers." Just make sure You either get a y-cable to run rca to an amp, I decent sound card with rca, or a proper driver (x7 was a little underpowered even as the flagship creative device). I consider myself a low budget audiophile but my home theater still has around 7k invested into it - it's not a cheap hobby ;)
     
  23. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    I'm glad you like the setup!

    It was fun to conspire with Cagey to spend your money :p

    (I always enjoy speccing out and building new systems)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  24. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardness Supreme

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    The Andrew Jones Design is good....but have you tried the Alex Jones designed speakers? It uses secret government technology AND gives you super male vitality as well.
     
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  25. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I still think the BP2000's we're a timeless design. Keep thinking about mimicking them someday, just can't find a good source for a "sock".
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  26. Chaos Machine

    Chaos Machine Limp Gawd

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    If you a looking for a budget setup I can't recommend dayton audio enough. Their speakers embarrass other brands that cost 4-5x as much. An audiophile is going to pick them apart but even they will appreciate what they can do with the dollars spent. I just recently upgraded from the energy take classic 5.1 set to 4 of the B652b-air AMT bookshelves a center channel and the sub-1200, the difference is unbelievable.
     
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  27. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    I keep hearing good things about those.

    When we speced out Kyle's system, we started with a few known good bang for the buck speakers, including the Dayton Audio B652-AIR, the Micca MB42x and the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones speakers.

    In the end the Pioneers won out because they get deeper into the bass, and Kyle didn't want to have a subwoofer.

    We also went back and forth between a few bang for the buck T Amps. In the end we settled on the Dayton DTA120 due to it having more power than the rest, and likely being better able to drive more bass out of those speakers. I have that amp with a set of Micca MB42x's and a Dayton SUB-800 in my kitchen, and they all work very nicely together.

    I feel like all three of these speakers can likely produce OK bass in a near-field desktop type setup, but the Pioneers win out. In a larger room where you'll be further from the speakers, you'd probably want a sub with all of them.
     
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  28. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    I like the rear view mirror.

    upload_2017-3-15_10-37-48.png

    Many surprise attacks from behind at your house Kyle? :p
     
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  29. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    Except you get broadcasters ear syndrom. Something about the close enclosed nature of headphone causes hearing loss in the long term. Don't get me wrong. I have my own set of nice cans (sennheiser), but I only use then for critical listening when I need to isolate outside sounds and only with my really good amp. (The small drivers in good headphones have a notoriously high resistance which is hard to drive by most amps)
     
  30. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett HardOCP MasterChef Editor Staff Member

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    I actually use that to keep an eye on the test bench monitors behind me.
     
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  31. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    The specs say 55 Hz. That means you are only missing about 15Hz of range.

    Most 4" speakers only go down to around 80Hz. The port is what helps it go down to 55Hz. It likely will be a little "bouncy" in terms of response (That's the trade off of porting) But it should sound good. I also like the fact they use a non box / rectangular enclosure. Square cabinets have a tendency to produce standing waves which can create uneven frequency response and cabinet resonance.
     
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  32. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    Yep, ports definitely help boost the bass. There was a little risk with those speakers with rear ports in the semi enclosed shelves, up against the wall like that, that the bass would get a bit boomy. That apparently did not turn out to be the case, but if it had could probably have been partially mitigated by putting some absorbent material in the ports to limit them a little.

    If this had been the case, the proper solution would have been to get a set of cheap speaker stands and put the speakers at ear height on either side of the desk with the rear ports free to breathe. I have a set of these Videosecu stands for my surrounds on my home theater setup, and they are surprisingly good for the price. Just goes to show that most speaker stands are total ripoff (even if they do wind up being prettier than these)
     
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  33. geok1ng

    geok1ng [H]ard|Gawd

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    I just found a non-AIR B652

    at $29, is that good value? what subwoofer would you pair with such low cost alternative?
     
  34. Burticus

    Burticus [H]ard|Gawd

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    I like that little amp. I don't think I would have gone the Pioneer speaker route personally. Polk monitor 40's go for $100-150 depending on sales. I use those in my living room, they are very decent, but kind of big. And you have to cut a hole in the back of your bookshelf to allow the rear firing port to breath some.

    That being said... I use Klipsch Promedia speakers on my PC and they rock. It does require a subwoofer though, but I like the foot rest.
     
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  35. tunatime

    tunatime 2[H]4U

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    Its his stop wanking alarm lol

    Nice setup now you are going to want to do a full ht setup for your tv and spend way to much $$$$ on it lol
     
  36. tesfaye

    tesfaye 2[H]4U

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    I need to have great sounding audio period. I'd imagine Kyle's DAC is a USB model. I'm using Definitive Technology Inclines (selft powered, bi amplified, bi pole, internal USB DAC) which sound better than any of the Logitech or Kilpsch systems I've either owned or had time to play with. I partnered those speakers with a Martin Logan 8" sub connected to the sub out on the Inclines. Sounds marvelous. Very spacious, dynamic, detailed presentation. The sub blends well with the Inclines and plays deep.
     
  37. tesfaye

    tesfaye 2[H]4U

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    I had those same speakers as Kyle for a while in my living room (that's where the kids end up), and I think they sounded awesome for the price with my Pioneer, Denon, and Yamaha receivers. They sounded even better with better quality amplification when I tried them out on my Arcam and Emotiva amps. Bottom end wasn't bad at all.
     
  38. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    The non-airs are well known as a ridiculous bang for the buck, but they do have a different tweeter. Some people find the highs to be muddled and less clear on the non-air versions. It's tough to say how you will like them without you hearing them.

    If your budget is that tight though, you probably can't do any better for the money than a set of B652 non-airs and a cheap Lepai 2020A+ or 2020Ti T amp.

    For a total of $53 for speakers and amp, nothing will touch that.
     
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  39. geok1ng

    geok1ng [H]ard|Gawd

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    TYVM. high frequencies are not a problem at my age- i hear up to13-15Khz only.
    After investing $60 on this amp + speakers, is there any subwoofer to cover low frequencies? i am still able to hear low frequencies...
     
  40. Decibel

    Decibel 2[H]4U

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    Nice bargain setup, their recommendations were on point.

    The FiiO is a solid starter DAC and is probably the closest thing to a weak point in the system. The amp will distort like mad if you try to use all its power, but for near field/small room listening why would you do that?

    I'd probably add a sub to get down into the 30s, but I need to be able to hear the bass note on a five string bass.

    You can't beat them for $30. The air's are worth the extra money.

    I'd use neither for near field listening.

    The basic b652's get loud and low, have strong midbass and decent mids. The tweeters are trash.

    BUT, if you're spending $70 on Daytons, have a gander a Fluance. They've been selling the SX6 in its least popular color for $80 - http://www.fluance.com/sx6-high-definition-two-way-bookshelf-loudspeakers

    Then you're $10 from the Phillips on Amazon.
     
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