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New 2.1 setup

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by zzz, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. zzz

    zzz Gawd

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    So I went ahead with the LSR305+310S. They sound awesome! I didn't realize it could get this much better than the Klipsch.

    But I have 2 minor complaints: there's a quiet white noise when no sound is played, even with the XLR cable unplugged, and even when playing complete silence (unless the volume knob is 0-1). Secondly, moving my mouse causes an interference sound...running a desktop with an Audigy 2 ZS. I guess it might be related to voltage noise due to waking up the CPU, because it doesn't happen if I'm running a CPU stress test at the same time. So I'm thinking about gettin one of these.
     
  2. |Tch0rT|

    |Tch0rT| [H]ard|Gawd

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    Both those are common problems, the first one with the quiet white noise there is nothing you can do about it. I can only hear it when I put my ear right up to the tweeter. Not a big deal at all.

    The 2nd problem is they're picking up noise from the PC. You need a way to isolate it. You can do that with any optical DAC but you might want to consider this USB interface: https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UMC202HD-BEHRINGER-U-PHORIA/dp/B00QHURUBE it's cheaper and will give you balanced output as long as you use TRS not TS (TRS looks just like a stereo 1/4" jack, TS looks just like a mono 1/4" jack) to XLR to the LSR310S then XLR to the LSR305's. If you do get the USB interface make sure the input sensitivity switches are set to +4 dBu on the LSR310S and -10dBV on the LSR305's. Just a note the XLF crossover setting on the LSR310s sucks ass and bloats the bass way too much:

    Gold line 80hz crossover, Red line: XLF crossover
    [​IMG]
     
  3. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    You should increase the sensitivity of the 305's. A 20db boost at bass is a bit much.
     
  4. Kintigh

    Kintigh n00bie

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    But I have 2 minor complaints: there's a quiet white noise when no sound is played, even with the XLR cable unplugged, and even when playing complete silence (unless the volume knob is 0-1). Secondly, moving my mouse causes an interference sound...running a desktop with an Audigy 2 ZS. I guess it might be related to voltage noise due to waking up the CPU, because it doesn't happen if I'm running a CPU stress test at the same time. So I'm thinking about gettin one of these.[/QUOTE]


    It is the same conclusion I have come to. I am using a Asus Xonar DSX. The Behringer's dac compares to solutions costing multiples times it's price of admission. I like it's balanced outputs especially suited to studio monitors.
    lemme me know if you try it :)
     
  5. zzz

    zzz Gawd

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    Thanks a lot for the tips. I'm really confused by all the functions on the UMC202HD though. Can you really plug it into a PC's USB port, for the PC to stream audio through, and the box converts it to analog on 2 balanced TRS outputs? I don't know what half the buttons on the UMC202HD are even for, and it seems like its primary function is to take in 2 mic inputs and digitize it over USB to a computer. Also, considering it does all that (including 2 "Midas" mic inputs) for only $60, is it really going to offer better sound quality than the single-function SMSL for $100?

    I've never used a USB DAC before. I'm assuming you can simply plug it into a Win10 machine, and Windows sees it as a sound device. And how many milliseconds of audio latency do these have?
     
  6. zzz

    zzz Gawd

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    Maybe the Schiit Fulla 2 would be a great choice, using the line out and +4dB setting on the sub I assume.
     
  7. |Tch0rT|

    |Tch0rT| [H]ard|Gawd

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    That measurement is a few years old and mostly just to see what that XLF setting did. I tend to like my bass a bit hot, probably comes from my car audio days. I mostly follow the Harman curve with a lil bit more SPL on the subs.

    You're unlikely to tell a difference in SQ between the UMC202HD or the SMSL DAC if they're level matched. If you're concerned about the quality of the DAC of the UMC202HD there's the UMC204HD (~$80) according to these measurements out performs a iFi DAC2 (~$350 on Amazon):

    https://www.computeraudiophile.com/...ering-interface-just-outperform-the-ifi-dac2/

    https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UMC204HD-BEHRINGER-U-PHORIA/dp/B00QHURLCW

    You don't need to mess with any of the extra buttons and whatnot, it's an audio interface, it's basically a ADC (analog to digital converter) and DAC. Really the only thing you'd use is the Output knob for volume. It's purpose is for recording but it can be used for this purpose just as well as any consumer DAC and it's cheaper and just not as "pretty". The difference is it has Balanced Outputs which are specifically for rejecting noise. The SMSL really only has the option of using the optical TOS Link for rejecting noise, the other methods may still contain noise. When I had the setup from the measurement I just used a cheap optical DAC going into a Behringer mixer and bringing the consumer line out of the DAC to pro levels with the mixer while converting the analog output into balanced. I had both the benefit of isolating the signal from the PC with optical and then the built in noise rejection on the analog side with balanced. The mixer also had the benefit of being a reasonably powerful headphone amp as well (can run 300ohm headphones fine). I also used a passive pre-amp for volume control. Sure it doesn't look pretty but it gets the job done. It was something like this and it's ~$60 total too:

    Optical DAC
    https://www.amazon.com/D03K-Digital...=UTF8&qid=1499925828&sr=8-1&keywords=fiio+dac
    Mixer:
    https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-50...id=1499925846&sr=8-2&keywords=behringer+mixer

    Windows should instantly recognize that it's a USB DAC, shouldn't really need to install drivers. Behringer claims there's no latency. I used a USB DAC briefly once and didn't notice any latency.

    It's not balanced or optical, there's still a likelihood for the noise to be picked up by the JBL's with the Fulla 2.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  8. zzz

    zzz Gawd

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    Wow I think I'm sold. The UMC404HD for $100 is also interesting since it has a dedicated 5V DC input, which should totally untie it from PC noise unlike my current sound card. It's confusing that the thing works with USB power or the DC input, but I'm guessing it automatically uses DC if it's there. Also it outputs over XLR which guarantees it's balanced (Behringer's 204HD documentation doesn't even say anywhere it's balanced, while a spec table does state "TRS" and their clip art picture is a TS plug). It's amazing these things are only $60-100 considering they have such a good DAC, ADC, and all that other crap.
     
  9. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Having XLR out is in no way a guarantee it's balanced. XLR can be balanced or unbalanced. Neither is external power input any guarantee it won't get EM noise inside the case.
     
  10. zzz

    zzz Gawd

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    |Tch0rT|, so uh, how do you know the UMC204HD outputs are balanced? Reviewer Femand said "an ohmmeter shows the ring on the main out jack is dead-shorted to ground, so these are UN-balanced outputs." He also makes a good point "Used as desktop interfaces, hardly anybody bothers using balanced output cabling, because it just feed the monitors" so unlike long mic cables going across a stage, a 3-foot cable between the DAC and amp shouldn't have much opportunity for external interference anyway.

    Also interesting is "the spec sheet clearly shows the S/N of the 404HD as being 10 dB inferior to the 204HD". Here's a cool idea: I get the 204, cut VBUS and GND on the USB cable, and pipe in a different 5V and GND for the 204 side of the cable from a separate adapter.
     
  11. Kintigh

    Kintigh n00bie

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    The
    Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

    At a bit steeper price but does spec balanced outputs.
     
  12. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    If you have balanced outputs you need to have an amp that has also balanced inputs. Your whole system needs to be balanced to gain the benefits.
     
  13. Kwaz

    Kwaz Whine & Cheezy

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    Some time ago I upgraded the wiring in the speakers of my Pro Media 2.1 and it did wonders. Sounds even better than my old Pro Media 5.1 set!

    When you get inside the speakers the wiring is very thin gauge. I mean ridiculous for the power output. I also changed to thicker gauge wire connecting everything.

    I have yet to open up the sub and mod it. As I remember it wasn't worth the effort because something was glued and screwed together.
     
  14. TechLarry

    TechLarry Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    I'll look in to that !
     
  15. |Tch0rT|

    |Tch0rT| [H]ard|Gawd

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    When I looked up info on the UMC204HD people mentioned that it is. I didn't see that review though. If I were you I'd try that cheap Fiio optical DAC first IMO.
     
  16. zzz

    zzz Gawd

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    Well I don't have an optical out anyway. I went with the 204. I'll let you know how it works out. The noise floor out of my Audigy 2 ZS is ridiculously bad and dependent on CPU loading, and that's even with a quality Seasonic supply.
     
  17. midnightfrolic

    midnightfrolic [H]Lite

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    I recently put this 2.1 together. No dac/amp needed.

    Sounds amazing and rocks the house....and neighbors' houses too.

    Powered book shelf speakers with Bluetooth. Has subwoofer out.
    http://www.klipsch.com/products/r-15pm-powered-monitors

    15" powered subwoofer. You can run a single subwoofer cable from the bookshelf monitors directly into the sub.
    http://www.klipsch.com/products/reference-subwoofers?model=r-115sw

    You can get the wireless sub kit if you don't want to run subwoofer cable
    http://www.klipsch.com/products/wa2-wireless-subwoofer-kit
     
  18. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Seasonic is no guarantee for magical performance. My Seasonic PSU has a high pitch oscillating noise at times, for example.

    Should have returned it when purchasing but since the noise comes and goes I was hoping it would vanish. It didn't.
     
    Commander Shepard likes this.
  19. zzz

    zzz Gawd

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    At 2x the cost of the JBL, no thanks!
     
  20. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard [H]ard|Gawd

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    I like those Klipsch powered monitors. Is there any way to connect an external DAC to them?
     
  21. boostergold13

    boostergold13 n00bie

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    So I'm trying to pick out a new 2.1 system for my study. Currently have a Modi Multibit and Lyr 2 for my headphones, and have a Denon 2312CI packed up from my old HT I can exhume if need be. Room is 14x14; primary use will be music (heavy metal, classical) and gaming. Currently torn between many of the common recommendations and not sure on which way to go between the LSR305's, Jamo C93's, and ELAC B6's. Anyone have direct comparative experience between them or have thoughts to offer?
     
  22. zzz

    zzz Gawd

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    The UMC204HD works awesomely (thanks |Tch0rT|). Using the included USB cable there's no PC noise whatsoever, even at all max volumes. And in that same case, unplugging the XLR cable to the LSR305 makes no change to the background noise, which means the UMC isn't outputting any noise even at max volume. Very impressive. My hacked USB cable to supply 5V and GND from a dedicated adapter actually works and also has no audible difference in noise. I guess I'll use it anyway since it does give true power isolation from the PC. In case this helps anyone: to use the UMC204HD, set the MIX all the way to PB, and the Main volume to about 75%. Install the Behringer driver before connecting it to the PC. Then in Windows Sound set it to the default playback device. Use the 1/4" TRS Main Outputs.

    boostergold it partly comes down to how much you wanna spend. LSR definitely isn't the cheapest, but the built in crossover and super flat response are valuable.
     
    |Tch0rT| likes this.
  23. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo 2[H]4U

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    The shit they are selling now at Best Buy, those cheap ass chinese infused PM 2.1's? Yeah they are horrible compared to the old version. HORRIBLE. The bass is weak, not as strong or as tight. Weight of the cabinet is 17% lighter I think I've read which I would have to agree. Something is off with the highs. The over all sound is muddier.

    I have 2 x sets of Ultra PM 5.1's. 2 x PM 2.1 old version and a new set of the cheap crappy 2.1's.

    There is a night and day difference between the old and the new versions.
     
  24. boostergold13

    boostergold13 n00bie

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    Thanks zzz. Budget is $500 for speakers and a sub. I like the idea of the LSR's as I could just run them from my Lyr 2 and not have to break out the Denon, but the Jamo's look super sexy.
     
  25. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    With LSR308:s you probably won't even need a sub. Even 305 can put out impressive bass for its size.
     
  26. |Tch0rT|

    |Tch0rT| [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good to hear. Enjoy :)