Looking for decent speakers for gaming and music

anthrex

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I currently have the logitech x-530's and am looking for an upgrade as the sound quality isn't so great. I play games (TF2, CS:S, random other recommended games), and watch a lot movies and also like listening to a wide range of music (rap, electronic, rock, etc). I'm looking to spend under or around $150. I'd prefer 5.1 but am open for other suggestions. Also, would it be wise for me to purchase the Auzentech forte in the hot deals section first and then save up for the speakers in a few months time?

Thanks for the help!
 

Zenshi

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My feeling is that if all you have to spend is $150, you can save up to get a better system. Is 5.1 for gaming important? If so and you want sound quality, its going to cost a bit to put together a decent set. Until then, I would just stay with what you have. This is just my opinion though. Once you have around $500 or more, then you may want to consider an upgrade to an entry level set either used, or maybe a TSC set, or Polk bookshelves and Energy sub, or something of that nature.

As for the Forte, thats a nice deal on the Hot Deals section if it is still available. That would be a choice you will need to decide on a pretty nice card.
 

phide

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Also, would it be wise for me to purchase the Auzentech forte in the hot deals section first and then save up for the speakers in a few months time?
What are you using now? Onboard? What model?
 

anthrex

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just using an old audigy I've had laying around. Would I be able to tell the difference through the x-530's with the Auzentech?

Let's say that I do go for something less than 5.1 would there be anything around $150 that would be a decent upgrade quality wise?
 

Zenshi

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How much less than 5.1 are you willing to go? For $150, its tough unless you go like 2.0 and get something like the MAudio AV40's. For $200 you can get the Swan M200MkIIs, again for 2.0 setup. For $300, you can get somethink like KRK Rokit RP5s.

If you want a 2.1, I would think the lowest you can pay is around $230 and that is if you can get a nice used receiver for like $50. You can check out The Speaker Company for a 2.1 speaker setup at around $170 + shipping. Their ASW 8, 8" sub is supposed to be pretty nice (giant killer).

http://www.thespeakercompany.com/ASW-8-8-Subwoofer-P61C17.aspx
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56741

And you can mate it to a pair of their P5s
http://www.thespeakercompany.com/P5-PR-525-2-way-Bookshelf-Speaker-Pair-P42C37.aspx

Add a cheap receiver to drive them and you are all set. Then later, when you have a bit more money, you can add a few more bookshelfs or satellites from them and you are back at 5.1.

Edit: The other possibility is to go with a package deal like this Onkyo 5.1 for $200.
http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...w-Receiver-5-Speakers-Subwoofer-SILVER/1.html

Probably not as nice as buying components but it seems like a nice deal and for $200.00, Its probably better than most PC speaker packages. And since its a Receiver/speaker setup, its probably easier to upgrade than most PC 5.1 sets.
If you can add another $50, they seem to have a set with a bigger sub. (and its black :) )
http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...0w-Receiver-5-Speakers-Subwoofer-BLACK/1.html
 
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anthrex

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I probably would've jumped on the black Onkyo if it were in stock at that price.

How do those speakers and subwoofer sound? Would it give me similar quality to my friends Klipsch Promedia 2.1?

What kind of receiver would you recommend? I probably want the smallest and cheapest (hopefully not mutually exclusive or at least not overly so) since I don't have a ton of space at the moment.
 

Zenshi

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Sorry, they were still in stock when I posted (though I think they were down to 1 left). I guess the silver equivalent is not to your liking.

As for the speaker/sub combo comparison to the Promedia, I am not sure since I have not done a side by side comparison. The Promedias I have always liked a lot for PC speakers. I think they give the cleanest sound of all PC speakers. However, there are many things going for the TSC set that makes me feel that in general, that set will sound better.

First, the P series bookshelves use 1/2" to 3/4" MDF for their enclosure. MDF in general seems to be the material of choice and they use thick enough MDF to reduce any vibration from the cabinet. Enclosure is as important as the drivers and they seem to do this right. Most PC speakers use plastic enclosures and looking at the Promedia satellite size, even if they used MDF, the amount would probably be less than the P series bookshelves. My Yamaha PC speakers actually uses a spruce chip cone to moderate the vibration but even so, I think it would not even come close to the lower distortion from the P series bookshelf.

http://www.thespeakercompany.com/P-Series-Bookshelf-Speakers-C37.aspx

Also for drivers they don't seem to use the cheap paper stuff but silk dome and polypropylene woofer. The magnet is a Rare Earth NdFeBo magnet and the woofer size is a 5.25". This indicates that aside from sound quality, it should go deeper than the Promedia satellies. The -3db level seems to be about 65Hz on the low frequency end. This means that the bookshelves are deep enough that it doesn't put strain in the sub and let the sub do what it was meant to do, this also ensures that the sub can be less directional since it need not go too high on the crossover.

Finally the bookshelves are magnetically shielded, which even the Swan M10s are not (nor are many passive bookshelves).

As for the sub, well the Promedia subs are usually the weakest link often failing. This is not as much a problem of the sub as is of the amp in the sub. This seems to indicate that the sub amp is lacking and really can't power the sub to levels that many listeners would like to take it. The TSC sub uses a 50W BASH amp to drive it so it probably is more robust. The enclosure looks quite robust and though the driver is 8", I hear from the Audioholic thread that it puts out some good deep bass. My STF-1 is also 8" and though its a small room and probably poor positioning of the sub (under the desk) it still is powerful enough to actually feel (not just hear) at volume levels that don't even reach 1/2. The Audioholic crowd is pretty hardcore in audio and they seem to like it. They also seem to like TSC in general as does a lot of other forums (AV123, etc).

So though it isn't a definite, there seems to be some decent pluses for getting the TSC set if you can afford it. I definitely know my tiny Yamaha PC speaker + STF-1 8" sub blows the doors off of the Promedia and the TSC bookshelves are probably much better than my tiny Yammys.

As for amplifier, the only one I know is the one I am eyeing, which is the Marantz 3001 receiver which the last time I looked was selling for around $200 or so at accessories4less.
 
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anthrex

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You rock Zenshi!

How does this look?
http://www.thespeakercompany.com/PLCR161-HT8-P102C36.aspx

I'd probably have to save up a little bit to justify the purchase, but the price seems pretty decent in comparison to buying everything separately. I'm very new to this so I was wondering if there was any cheaper receiver? I mean I'm just gonna be hooking it up to my computer not to any and I don't want to have to constantly tweak the settings. I know this might seem like blasphemy... I also gotta figure out where the heck to put the receiver since I didn't know I needed one.

Also in terms of sound cards would it be worth it to save up and change my current one?

I am by no means an audioholic so there will probably be no real point in me spending a ton of money since at some early point I doubt I would be able to hear the difference (not saying that there isn't one)

I really appreciate the info I'm learning a lot!
 

Zenshi

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Wow missed that set. It looks pretty nice in price.

I am noob that just learned much of this stuff from the experts here like Arkangyl, Alai, Odin, Criccio, Pimprig, and a whole lot more posters. Also lurking and reading Isberian, Chopin Guy, WmAxe, etc on Audioholics and also the posters on AV123 and a few other threads helped. Its amazing what you can learn reading all these threads. I don't think you have to be an audioholic to appreciate good sound. I was just blown away once I got the sub and look forward to being blown away again when I get some decent bookshelves. The receiver is first though just so I have connectivity.

Also, though I am not sure about games and the DSP on the Creative cards, the DAC on the receiver would probably double the capability of the sound card. I am not sure if you need a card if you go SPDIF out to a receiver and then go analog to the speakers. Other more knowledged posters would know.

Good luck
 

anthrex

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Thanks for the help!

Any other people around who can give me a hand with picking a receiver and a sound card? Any other advice?
 

anthrex

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Zenshi

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It sounds like you answered your own question. Don't know much more beyond what you know at this point and I am not sure in detail which receiver is better. That Onkyo has 75W per channel it seems and for near field listening, I would think that is more than enough (MAudio AV40 in comparison has 20W per channel). Many of these receivers are made for HT so I am not sure which is ideal for Audio. I hear good things about Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha, Marantz, Pioneer, HK as mainstream receivers. Back to the speakers, if it was me, I would choose the TSC set over the Onkyo set but that is me and I may be wrong. The Onkyo seems like a nice system for the price. I guess which is more important to you, SQ, price or timeline.

I think either would be better than the Logitech you now have.
 
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anthrex

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Well I guess I'm not in a rush. So I think I'll save up and do some research on the receivers. If I'm able to get a decent raise I might look into the TSAT set up since I like the look of these better. I guess I'm getting way ahead of myself though...
 
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