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Advice on improving audio setup

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by Double07, May 28, 2020.

  1. Double07

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 10, 2006

    Posts: 1,369

    Location: Scotland

    OK straight off the bat, audio is the area of PCs I know the least about so bear with me!

    I have a pretty decent PC setup but have never really bothered with the audio side of things but I thought given I had spent a small fortune on the rest of my gear its time to think about the audio. I bought a pair of PreSonus Eris E4.5 speakers as I am just looking for good stereo sound, not really "gaming" speakers or 5.1 or any of that jazz as its not suited to my room setup.

    So now I want to know what I should be looking at adding to get the most out of them. I just have them plugged into my motherboard, which is a MSI B450 tomahawk and whilst its a solid board in lots of ways I dont think the audio is great on it (it does not have any digital outputs). With that in mind I am considering a dedicated soundcard and/or DAC but like I say I don't really have a great idea of where I should be going from here.

    I do need to get some stands for them as they clearly sound better when at the right height and the isolation will obviously help but other than that I am a bit clueless here :) Any pointers on what I should be considering would be gratefully received!

    Any further info needed to give me some help just give me a shout.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  2. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 11,119

    Good idea to get some stands. Isolating the speakers from the desk and having them higher at ear level will certainly make a difference.

    Getting a DAC or sound card might be worthwhile.

    Will you want to use headphones for gaming? If not, then just a DAC will do fine.
     
  3. Double07

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 10, 2006

    Posts: 1,369

    Location: Scotland

    Dont really use my headphones much for gaming, tend to just stick with speakers and turn the volume down a bit if its late/early :) Would the relatively poor sound from my motherboard not be a limiting factor if I dont get a dedicated soundcard?
     
  4. JasonM

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 2,715

    I'll put this in note form.

    1) Your speakers look ok, so keep those.

    2) You must get your speakers on stands, and raise the tweeters to around ear level. You must spent time positioning them until they sound correct. First aim is to get vocals correct, then adjust for other areas. If you search my posts from a few months ago, I wrote what things did in regard to moving speakers and how they effect sounds. For example you can even change the bass / treble just by the distance the left and right speakers are apart.

    3) You need some isolation foam to place between the stands and the speakers.

    4) I don't like motherboard audio. I'm using an Asus Essence ST, however have an Asus Essence STX II arriving tomorrow that i'll compare to the original ST. I like the Essence ST as it has a more natural / analogue sound and certainly I preferred it over a Creative Titanium HD I once owned, another option is one of the better DAC's.

    5) Other basic thing. Don't power your speakers from the same power strip as your computer. I've noticed in past if my computer is under load, then the sound quality of the speakers dropped, the solution was to put the amp on it's own power strip, or just plug directly into wall. It's also worth considering a HiFi mains filter as these can definitely work.

    Those 5 points are the basic area's, if you get these correct you should have good audio. Doing all this setup is a little time consuming, however it's worth doing for better audio.

    For stands I have Gear4Music stands below
    https://www.gear4music.com/Recordin...MI7rKU36va6QIVh53VCh1krwDoEAQYAiABEgId8_D_BwE

    Then for isolation foam I have some Neewer Monitor Isolation Pads, but any isolation foam will do.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  5. Double07

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 10, 2006

    Posts: 1,369

    Location: Scotland

    Thanks, certainly some solid advice there and I'll definitely take it on board.

    I have got some stands coming tomorrow. Decided to get floor standing speakers as the desktop options were going to be tough to fit around the rest of the crap on my desks so the floorstanding option seemed better and might help isoltae them a bit form the multitude of garbage I have on my desks. Ill see how that goes and then Ill look at a soundcard or DAC but ill start with the basics first and see where I am at that point.

    I am going to fix all the wiring in the room so that the speakers are plugged into a wall outlet on their own as they are plugged into an extension which really needs tidied up anyway as its a mess so itll motivate me for that :)

    Cheers again
     
  6. JasonM

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 2,715

    The issue with floorstanding speakers is there not designed for near-field listening, i'm presuming your just placing the speakers on the floor on the sides of the desks.
     
  7. Double07

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 10, 2006

    Posts: 1,369

    Location: Scotland

    Yeah but if they arent suitable I can repurpose them elsewhere in the house as they werent that expensive really.

    They would actually sit behind my desk so that the actual position of the speaker would basically be the same as if I had the desktop stands but its just easier for me to fit everything in if I use floorstands.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020