New 2.1 desktop setup

m3ta1head

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Finally got around to upgrading my Swan M50Ws with this new rig (pic of previous setup: http://i.imgur.com/mAbp5xo.jpg). The SMSL Q5 Pro is a temporary addition while I save for a nicer integrated amp - that being said, it's a good little performer and a total bargain for $100. Still getting used to the system & burning everything in, but first impressions are positive!

Components:
Emotiva Airmotiv B1
SVS SB-1000
SMSL Q5 Pro
Melos SHA-1
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
Not pictured: Denon D2000, Sennheiser HD600, Xonar STX





 

B00nie

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Add some acoustic treatment and you're golden :)

Those concrete side walls in close proximity are going to affect the sound.
 

pendragon1

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looks like plaster...

op, nice setup, bet it sounds bitchin'. but it looks like you don't use it, desk its waaay to clean! not even a gun laying around...
 

m3ta1head

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Add some acoustic treatment and you're golden :)

Those concrete side walls in close proximity are going to affect the sound.
I'm actually thinking about grabbing a miniDSP and measurement mic to implement an active crossover and do some room correction - definitely getting some bass loading with the monitors so close to the walls. I'll probably do some acoustic treatment at the same time - much more effective when you have measurements and can implement it correctly. Walls are textured drywall in a 11x11 bedroom - the left side is against the exterior wall of the house and the right side is only about 10" deep before it opens up into a doorway 3ft to the right. This rig is a bit overpowering in this small space, but hopefully with some correction and a proper low pass to sub/high pass to speakers, I can get it sounding much more dialed. It's definitely nice having this level of fidelity in the bedroom!

looks like plaster...

op, nice setup, bet it sounds bitchin'. but it looks like you don't use it, desk its waaay to clean! not even a gun laying around...
I took some of the crap off before the picture, but generally I like keeping my desks/workspaces clean. You're right though, doesn't see much use except on the weekends. Guns stay locked in the case until they're needed ;)
 
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B00nie

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I'm actually thinking about grabbing a miniDSP and measurement mic to implement an active crossover and do some room correction - definitely getting some bass loading with the monitors so close to the walls. I'll probably do some acoustic treatment at the same time - much more effective when you have measurements and can implement it correctly. Walls are textured drywall in a 11x11 bedroom - the left side is against the exterior wall of the house and the right side is only about 10" deep before it opens up into a doorway 3ft to the right. This rig is a bit overpowering in this small space, but hopefully with some correction and a proper low pass to sub/high pass to speakers, I can get it sounding much more dialed. It's definitely nice having this level of fidelity in the bedroom!



I took some of the crap off before the picture, but generally I like keeping my desks/workspaces clean. You're right though, doesn't see much use except on the weekends. Guns stay locked in the case until they're needed ;)
DSP can help some but it can not overcome physics. Old school room treatment will always give a better result than DSP alone. Of course you have a limited space to play with so this is a challenge.
 

xmadror

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Looks like a great setup, even though I dont use speaker with ribbon tweeter anymore I really liked them in my vintage infinity speaker when I was using them.

How do you like that SVS sub ? I wanted to get one but ended up finding a deal to good to pass on a used PSB Stratus Subsonic 7 which I do like but I never got to test the SVS SB1000 or SB2000 that I had my eyes on.

The spec on the PSB are :
- 15-inch driver,
- 330W continuous/600W dynamic/1200 watts dynamic peak
- frequency range of 22 – 150 Hz with a low frequency cut-off of 18 Hz at -10 dB.
- up to 112 dB Sound Pressure Level.
- variable crossover from 50 to 150 Hz
- 17.5w x 17.5d x 19"h, 60 pounds
- Sealed Cabninet


It does good with music (dont really need a sub for music with my speaker since they do 50Hz to 22KHz -2db and 35Hz -6db) and does great with movies but I always wonder how much better a SVS sub would be (for 4-5x the price I paid).
Tight bass with a deep impact and can really shake the house while watching movies.

Here is some pic of my setup (sorry for the quality, shit phone cam)




Yaquin sd-cd2 Tube Buffer / Schiit Bifrost Dac
Hafler DH-110 Preamp (great headphones amp too)
ART EQ341 EQ (not really needed anymore since I got the Bifrost)
Bryston 3B Amp
Sennheiser hd598 se with modmic

B&W DM3000

 
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B00nie

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I guess you use the speakers mainly to listen outside your battlestation? Because they're pointing the wrong way when you sit there.
 

xmadror

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Yeah for serious listening session or movies I sit on the other side of the room.
I mostly use my headphone when gaming (at least when I need voice chat).
I experimented a lot with positioning and given my room limitation and big desk that's the best I could find.
Yet the difference between the optimal seating position and while sitting at my computer is smaller than you'd think.

Eventually I want to either mount a TV to the wall over my monitor or possibly get a 40-43" 4k monitor.
 
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B00nie

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For optimal results you should move the speakers at least 3 feet off the walls and apply some acoustic treatment to the first reflection points. If you keep them in the corner it's going to affect the sound in a negative way.
 

xmadror

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This is starting to feel like a thread hijacking, sorry about that :/

I would agree with you but 3' of the wall would put them touching my desk on each sides and in front of it by a few inches.
It's not ideal but my room is too small for them. What could help is getting a smaller desk but that has another set of drawback.
ATM they are about 12" from the side wall and 16" from the back. I used to have them a little closer to the desk but had to make some room when I added the sub.

One thing I haven't tried yet because I'd need a longer RCA cable would be to put the sub in a corner a bring back the speaker closer to the desk, just need to get a cable to try it out.
Do you think it could help ?

Also, ATM I don't have any room acoustic treatment but its on my list of things to do.
 

B00nie

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When your room is small of course you can't place the stuff anymore as you should. Room size and volume is the biggest problem sources in home audio typically. It affects pretty much everything.

Symmetric positioning will help but the corner position for a single sub will create the biggest room modes. You should only put the sub in the corner if the sub is underpowered and you need the boost. Otherwise away from walls is best also for the sub. You can find the best location for your sub by putting your sub to play where you usually listen. Then crawl around the room - the place where the bass sounds the best is the place where you should place your sub. :)
 

m3ta1head

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Well I ended up pulling the trigger on a used Sherbourn PA 2-50 (basically an enhanced version of the Emotiva Mini-X - Class A/B 50wpc with input/power sensing and a remote control). Got a great deal on it - should be a very nice upgrade over the SMSL. Also picked up a Klipsch RW-12D for my HT rig (will post pics of that setup soon, hehe). Next on the upgrade list for me is an Emotiva XDA-2 ref DAC and some room treatment.

It was fun comparing these two, the SVS is much tighter and more musical but the Klipsch has some serious output. Perfect for their respective uses (music & HT).

 
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m3ta1head

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Looks like a great setup, even though I dont use speaker with ribbon tweeter anymore I really liked them in my vintage infinity speaker when I was using them.

How do you like that SVS sub ? I wanted to get one but ended up finding a deal to good to pass on a used PSB Stratus Subsonic 7 which I do like but I never got to test the SVS SB1000 or SB2000 that I had my eyes on.

The spec on the PSB are :
- 15-inch driver,
- 330W continuous/600W dynamic/1200 watts dynamic peak
- frequency range of 22 – 150 Hz with a low frequency cut-off of 18 Hz at -10 dB.
- up to 112 dB Sound Pressure Level.
- variable crossover from 50 to 150 Hz
- 17.5w x 17.5d x 19"h, 60 pounds
- Sealed Cabninet


It does good with music (dont really need a sub for music with my speaker since they do 50Hz to 22KHz -2db and 35Hz -6db) and does great with movies but I always wonder how much better a SVS sub would be (for 4-5x the price I paid).
Tight bass with a deep impact and can really shake the house while watching movies.
Sorry I totally missed this question - that PSB you have looks like a really nice unit, wasn't that their flagship model back when it came out? The entry level SVS stuff is fairly good. The SB1000 isn't an output monster and would be underpowered in a larger room (unless you ran duals), but it is very tight and fast - great with transients, very musical overall. I was a little disappointed with the extension though - it rolls off pretty heavily below 30hz. It does blend very well with the speakers I have and disappears into the background, just delivering luscious smooth bass. I haven't heard the ported SVS models but if I wanted something with a lot of output down low I'd probably go for the PB2000 or PB12/3. If money was no object...

 

xmadror

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Yes the PSB Stratus Subsonic 7 was their flagship model back when it came out around 2002 iirc.

Almost bought a used SB13-ultra for $1000 less then retail but it was sold by the time I could go see it and then I found my PSB for $300 and I tough at the price it was worth a shot.
Quite happy with it and I'm not looking to replace it anytime soon. Just that a SVS sub was what I originally wanted.
 

m3ta1head

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Yes the PSB Stratus Subsonic 7 was their flagship model back when it came out around 2002 iirc.

Almost bought a used SB13-ultra for $1000 less then retail but it was sold by the time I could go see it and then I found my PSB for $300 and I tough at the price it was worth a shot.
Quite happy with it and I'm not looking to replace it anytime soon. Just that a SVS sub was what I originally wanted.
You'd be pretty hard pressed to do better for $300 - that's around what I paid for the SB1000. Obviously the SB13 is in a different territory altogether - that would have been a steal at $1k off retail. I think the biggest advantage of a newer sub like that is having sophisticated DSP built in - SVS even has a phone app that lets you change every setting from your seating position instead of having to be crouched around the back of it. If I had that kind of budget to play around with, I'd also seriously consider the JL Audio E112 - probably one of the best sealed subs money can buy.
 

B00nie

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Sorry I totally missed this question - that PSB you have looks like a really nice unit, wasn't that their flagship model back when it came out? The entry level SVS stuff is fairly good. The SB1000 isn't an output monster and would be underpowered in a larger room (unless you ran duals), but it is very tight and fast - great with transients, very musical overall. I was a little disappointed with the extension though - it rolls off pretty heavily below 30hz. It does blend very well with the speakers I have and disappears into the background, just delivering luscious smooth bass. I haven't heard the ported SVS models but if I wanted something with a lot of output down low I'd probably go for the PB2000 or PB12/3. If money was no object...

Heh, that youtube movie was funny. He dropped all that money to gear and then placed them so that you get the least possible result for the money. Room is way too small and the placement of the speakers and the furniture completely off the mark.
 

m3ta1head

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Heh, that youtube movie was funny. He dropped all that money to gear and then placed them so that you get the least possible result for the money. Room is way too small and the placement of the speakers and the furniture completely off the mark.
Yeah that's a classic example of someone with too much money invested in gear and not enough sense to configure it properly. It's a shame as he could have set up a really nice 2ch rig in that room in front of the short wall. Still, completely ridiculous to see that much firepower in such a small place, thought it was a funny video.
 

m3ta1head

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Some new toys. I've pretty much reached endgame equipment wise for the foreseeable future....my next upgrades will definitely be room treatments and corrections. Eventually when I get a new place, I plan to move the living room system into a dedicated listening room. For now, despite the unideal placement and room arrangement, both of these systems sound positively blissful. I've been an audiophile for over 10 years (mostly on the headphone side of things) but I am hearing new details in songs I've listened to dozens of times before. Headphones don't even come close IMO.

Full album: https://imgur.com/a/zrc7k



Emotiva XDA-2, Sherbourn PA 2-50




Swans D2.1SE


Emotiva PT-100, Emotiva UPA-200
 
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Commander Shepard

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I used that XDA-2 and UPA-200 to drive my PC 2.1 audio setup for years until I upgraded everything, this year. I love Emotiva stuff, though I don't use it now. Still kept my little Control Freak. I'll never give it up.
 

m3ta1head

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I used that XDA-2 and UPA-200 to drive my PC 2.1 audio setup for years until I upgraded everything, this year. I love Emotiva stuff, though I don't use it now. Still kept my little Control Freak. I'll never give it up.
Sweet, what a coincidence! Out of curiosity, what did you upgrade to, and did you see a noticeable improvement? From my own deduction, Emotiva gear seems to hit a sweet spot and provide a lot of bang for the buck, but it isn't considered to be truly boutique/high end. I reckon you have to spend a lot more for better sounding equipment.
 

Commander Shepard

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I foolishly overspent for my new audio gear,. especially the DAC.

Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC $1250
Crown XLS 1502 power amp $300
Elac Uni-Fi UB5 bookshelves $500
SVS SB-2000 subwoofer $700
My trusty little Control Freak $50 (only thing that made the cut from my previous system)

The sound is absolutely sublime, but foolish overspending!!! :whistle::p:eek:

You can't go wrong with Emotiva and its resale value is excellent. I just was ready for a change.
 
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m3ta1head

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I foolishly overspent for my new audio gear,. especially the DAC.

Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC $1250
Crown XLS 1502 power amp $300
Elac Uni-Fi UB5 bookshelves $500
SVS SB-2000 subwoofer $700
My trusty little Control Freak $50 (only thing that made the cut from my previous system)

The sound is absolutely sublime, but foolish overspending!!! :whistle::p:eek:

You can't go wrong with Emotiva and its resale value is excellent. I just was ready for a change.
Nice. You got the multibit upgrade for the Gungnir, presumably? Good shout on the crown amp - don't normally see a lot of pro audio gear in audiophile systems. Did you notice a significant difference going from the Emotiva to the Crown (almost double the wattage & class A/B to D)? The Elacs are great too - I demoed the B5s, very smooth and lush sounding speaker but I prefer the AMT tweeter in the Emotivas. I do wonder how the SB-2000 sounds compared to the 1000 - I'm sure it benefits significantly from the larger enclosure and more powerful amp.
 

Commander Shepard

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Yeah, went for the multibit option. Figured this oughtta last me at least 10 years. It better. HA!

I chose the Crown because the Elacs need a lot of power to reach their full potential. I'm sure the UPA-200 would have done well, too. I found the Crown to run cooler and it's quite a bit smaller on my desk.

I'm a huge fan of SVS subs. The SB-2000 is my 4th from SVS. They have great resale value, too. I love the compact size and power of their sealed subs. I almost bought the SB-1000, but its big brother has a really nice, strong metal grille covering the front. I bang my feet against it all the time and am glad for the extra protection.

I'm very impressed with these Uni-Fi speakers. They live up to all the glowing reviews.
 
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B00nie

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The Swans setup has a couple of cardinal errors in placement - fix those if you can.

1) Asymmetric positioning in the room - very bad for stereo imaging
2) Glass surfaces close to speakers
3) Speakers close to boundary surfaces

You can improve your sound quality a lot if you eliminate one or all three of above.
 

m3ta1head

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The Swans setup has a couple of cardinal errors in placement - fix those if you can.

1) Asymmetric positioning in the room - very bad for stereo imaging
2) Glass surfaces close to speakers
3) Speakers close to boundary surfaces

You can improve your sound quality a lot if you eliminate one or all three of above.
Thanks for the tips - I'm definitely aware of these issues, and the system is not being done proper justice with the current placement. However I am simply limited by my current living situation (rented house shared with housemates). The entire first story of the house is one big open asymmetrical echo chamber - it includes the atrium, living room, dining room, and kitchen, with vaulted ceilings to boot. There are windows around the entire perimeter, and there's simply no good position to place the speakers in while still being able to have a seating area in front of them (could move them to the dining area for slightly better symmetry, but that would be ridiculous). As a result, I don't do any critical listening on this system at the moment - that being said, it does fill the entire space with wonderful sound and the Swans make for great party speakers. My lease is up in April and I am currently house hunting, and one of the main criteria I am looking for is a place with an ideal listening room just for this system. The Swans are particularly sensitive to placement and really need room to breathe - I can't wait to hear what they'll sound like spread 10-12ft apart in a dedicated, treated room.

Edit: here are some photos of the room they're currently in - I am open to suggestions if you think I could rearrange things more optimally. For reference the dining area extends to the right of where the sofas are, and the kitchen is to the right of the dining table. Currently the speakers are placed where the TV is in these pics.



 
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dergreg

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Yikes. That's a room-treatment nightmare if you really plan on working in that space. Since it's a rental there's not a lot of permanent stuff you can do... You can try heavy curtains over the windows and some standing panels or diffusers to create boundaries, but those high ceilings aren't going to help anything either.
 

B00nie

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Actually the high ceiling is very beneficial. If sound was the priority I would rearrange the tv room so that the tv would be in the middle of the windowed room extension and speakers on the sides. Then place the sofa across the room close to the speakers and the tv. That's far from perfect but should bring a marked improvement in overall sound.

Make speaker placement as symmetric as possible and place your listening position so that you're close to the speakers but there is a long distance to the back wall behind you.

Then place a couple of acoustic treatment panels on the side walls where the first reflections bouce off.

Having said that - if your household involves women it'll be unlikely you can arrange the furniture in this way :)
 

dergreg

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Actually the high ceiling is very beneficial. If sound was the priority I would rearrange the tv room so that the tv would be in the middle of the windowed room extension and speakers on the sides. Then place the sofa across the room close to the speakers and the tv. That's far from perfect but should bring a marked improvement in overall sound.

Make speaker placement as symmetric as possible and place your listening position so that you're close to the speakers but there is a long distance to the back wall behind you.

Then place a couple of acoustic treatment panels on the side walls where the first reflections bouce off.

Having said that - if your household involves women it'll be unlikely you can arrange the furniture in this way :)
High ceilings in such a tight space have been horrible for me, especially in odd rooms with lots of windows. You have more experience with it than I do, but I would probably just burn the house down and start over if I had to deal with a room anything like that again. But I'm a quitter.

I'm really really glad I've got a dedicated space these days. Shared spaces make it hard to do what's right for sound without making annoying and/or deal-breaking trade-offs for the sake of aesthetics.
 

B00nie

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High ceilings in such a tight space have been horrible for me, especially in odd rooms with lots of windows. You have more experience with it than I do, but I would probably just burn the house down and start over if I had to deal with a room anything like that again. But I'm a quitter.

I'm really really glad I've got a dedicated space these days. Shared spaces make it hard to do what's right for sound without making annoying and/or deal-breaking trade-offs for the sake of aesthetics.
It depends a bit on your speakers and general room dimensions. If you have many similar sized dimensions, the standing waves multiply and that's no good. Hard surfaces are always a bane of hi-fi no matter what room height.
 

dergreg

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It depends a bit on your speakers and general room dimensions. If you have many similar sized dimensions, the standing waves multiply and that's no good. Hard surfaces are always a bane of hi-fi no matter what room height.
I've got plenty to learn about milking the most out of my audio gear that's for sure. It seems like I've been doing more reading than listening since I started setting up my theater space in the new house. Eventually I'll be where I feel I'm using(my) end game equipment then it's just tweak, measure, tweak, measure until my curve is smooth.

Anyway, I'll stop hijacking this thread.
 
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I foolishly overspent for my new audio gear,. especially the DAC.

Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC $1250
Crown XLS 1502 power amp $300
Elac Uni-Fi UB5 bookshelves $500
SVS SB-2000 subwoofer $700
My trusty little Control Freak $50 (only thing that made the cut from my previous system)

The sound is absolutely sublime, but foolish overspending!!! :whistle::p:eek:

You can't go wrong with Emotiva and its resale value is excellent. I just was ready for a change.
lol I spent way more than you, all on used gear on my 2.1 setup. Although I dumped majority of it into my speakers.

Yamaha RX-Z11 receiver $650 (craigslist)
Paradigm Persona B loudspeakers $4000 (a-gon)
Velodyne DD10+ subwoofer $850 (craigslist)

MSRP on this system is $15,800, but I managed to get it for $5.5k. Used gear is great. I had to pay a bit more for the Personas being that they were a relatively new loudspeaker (came out last year). Obviously if it was an older model I would've been able to do a bit better in terms of cost, but I couldn't pass up owning bookshelf speakers with beryllium mids.
 

B00nie

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lol I spent way more than you, all on used gear on my 2.1 setup. Although I dumped majority of it into my speakers.

Yamaha RX-Z11 receiver $650 (craigslist)
Paradigm Persona B loudspeakers $4000 (a-gon)
Velodyne DD10+ subwoofer $850 (craigslist)

MSRP on this system is $15,800, but I managed to get it for $5.5k. Used gear is great. I had to pay a bit more for the Personas being that they were a relatively new loudspeaker (came out last year). Obviously if it was an older model I would've been able to do a bit better in terms of cost, but I couldn't pass up owning bookshelf speakers with beryllium mids.
The speakers are the weak link in 99% of cases so you did good.
 
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