do people seriously buy those logitech/creative mini satalite things?

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The way I see it, speakers aren't meant to produce ground shaking bass in the first place.. And at time, some manufacturers (I think Logitech is the biggest culpit here) do put more emphasis on quantity than quality of the bass with their subwoofer. So I wouldn't be surprised if 5.1 MM speakers can easily surpass two bookshelf speakers in sheer boom.
 
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Think of it this way. My old mission bookshelf speakers had 6" woofers in them, which is as big as all but the top of the range PC speaker subs. Seeing as I had one in each speaker, bass wasn't a problem at all. Also the amplifier section is a large part of bass handling, as most cheapo amps won't be able to produce high current at the low impedances which low frequency bass requires. Hi-fi amps are almost always better specced than those in the PC speaker setups, and that's not even taking into account signal paths and sound quality. I don't have a problem with my setup atm, as I've got an 8" woofer, a 6" (or 6.5 I've not measured) mid speaker and obviously a tweeter. Even so, even smaller bookshelf speakers can produce loads of bass if required to give nice "crash bang" for movies and games.

EDIT: Firegod, with 2 decent hi-fi speakers and an amp you don't need a sub. In fact adding one might degrade the sound quality, as you'll have to stretch your budget even further. There aren't a lot of good subs for under £250, and personally I wouldn't even consider getting one for under £500 with my current setup, and even then I'd look at improving other aspects of my system first.
 

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Drizmod - I got this desk from Next!

Tom_nieto has the subwoofer comments spot on. I used a subwoofer for a long time with my old 7.1 setup (Denon AVR-2805 amp, Mission speakers) and when I moved back to stereo I hung onto the sub in the false belief it was improving my low frequency experience. It certainly went lower than my speakers did at the time so that had to improve things, right?

Wrong. After a while I turned the sub off (to lend it to a mate actually) and when I got it back I didnt want it. Although the extension was absolutely fantastic, the fact that it was anything from precise just threw off the timing and made the whole thing incoherent. "Slam" and other dynamics were lost in the sub and it generally struggled with music. Filmwise, well, my speakers couldnt come close but that is beside the point really.

My current hifi can shame that setup - I dont need a sub unless I wanted to go overboard because with the dynamic range of most films these days films like Black Hawk Down and Swordfish still make my room shake. Feeling an explosion in your chest can be done by a pair of speakers as well as a sub!

@Firegod: £250 wont buy you a system that is going to risk structural damage to your walls but it WILL provide you with many hours of aural pleasure - just as long as you avoid any PC speakers :)
 
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I own a cheap 5.1 speaker setup as I like the added surround sound effects for games, for me that rates over sound quality, but for music thats another matter, I have my front Left & Right audio output from my sound card split into two so one goes to my logitech 5.1 and the other goes to my mixer (which also acts as a headphone amp) and routes the sound to the auxially on my Hi-Fi amp, this way I have the best of both worlds :)
 
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lowrider007 said:
I own a cheap 5.1 speaker setup as I like the added surround sound effects for games, for me that rates over sound quality, but for music thats another matter, I have my front Left & Right audio output from my sound card split into two so one goes to my logitech 5.1 and the other goes to my mixer (which also acts as a headphone amp) and routes the sound to the auxially on my Hi-Fi amp, this way I have the best of both worlds :)

Sounds like you've got it spot on there mate. Best of both worlds indeed! I admit, although I like recommending proper AV amps and the like, it's not always practical to have an entire large surround sound system based around your PC, and your favourite music listening chair might not be your PC chair. Having very small satellites does make the situation a lot easier.
 
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I do believe we have solved it, the best of both world seems a great idea. I now after seeing the stereo setup above feel inspired to get something done to improve my music listening experiance :D
Now for the money and to setup a thread on what setup to look for...
 
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ive got an ageing

35w per channel stero amp, Hitachi HA-3500 . (it has anologue needles)
40W RMS BIG warfdale speakers.

i had been thinking for ages about getting a 2.1 set which would be easier to cart to uni etc.

compared to my friends 2.1 systems and propper AV systems my setup seems 'Waffly'?!? and loose, like, not tight? hard to explain.

is the wafflyness an amp thing or a speakers thing? i cant really afford to spend more than 100 quid im afriad.... im thinking maybe headphones might be better deal.

any input?
 
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Headphones generally provide the better value. £100 is berely entry level, in Hi-Fi, whereas it can get you a good mid range pair of cans.
 

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Rick_Barnes said:
ive got an ageing

35w per channel stero amp, Hitachi HA-3500 . (it has anologue needles)
40W RMS BIG warfdale speakers.

i had been thinking for ages about getting a 2.1 set which would be easier to cart to uni etc.

compared to my friends 2.1 systems and propper AV systems my setup seems 'Waffly'?!? and loose, like, not tight? hard to explain.

How have you set the tone (bass and treble) and 'loudness' controls on the amp?
 
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DRZ said:
THX isnt worth the **** on my shoe.

sig worthy! genious!

I can't talk regarding my setup and quality quite honestly. As far as general pc usage goes, ive got two small eltax sat's and a sub. basic stuff, sounds horrid, but it does the job....

it's also connected to my av amp. which comprises of a Yamaha rxv-630, denon PMA100m, mission m71i fronts, eltax center/bi polar rears and 2 12" subwoofers that i designed and built the enclosures for myself.

For movies, the av system rocks. For music its not half bad for what is basically a budget av amp, 2 cheap speakers and 2 sodding great subs. For gaming its useless as it's the wrong orientation to my pc which sits facing the right wall in my room.

As far as sub woofers go i like bucking the trend:p my system definately doesnt have fantastic timing, but i like how the subs sound and i'm very pleased with the outcome:)

ps if anybody can source a cheap SPL meter let me know. id be interested in just how loud this system really is.
 
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Although a Hi-Fi is a much better idea for listening to music, having great equipment is only part of the problem the setup and seating arrangment is also a major factor that most people overlook, DRZ's system is a great example of this, nice Musical Fidelity A3 amp and a NAD Poweramp connected to a massive pair of speakers which imo are way way to big for the space they are in(I hope this is temporary!). If using them in front of his PC the drive units are actually projecting the sound behind him, then if he is listening from further back the speakers are so far toe'd in they might as well be playing at each other.

No money needs to be spent to make that setup better, just a more organised approach and a bit more room. Alternativley something like a pair of smaller speakers Dynaudio Contour 1.3 MKII nice speaker put them on a solid stand and you will have a better setup for that size area.

On the note of subs I myself have had a 2.1 Hi-Fi setup before and if the .1 is setup correctly then it will give possitive effects rather than negative, the extra extension in the very low frequences were greatly imporved with my REL Stentor and allowed for greater depth and a broader feel in a smaller space than I previously thought possible.

A £50-150 PC sound system is excellent value for near field listening in a confined space but will never acheive the fidelity of even the most basic true Hi-Fi components. If you do go with the PC kit, then setup and correct configuration is just as important to get the best from them as it is in any Hi-Fi, I recently setup a Logitech 5400 system and a nice touch was having removable speaker cables even using cheap £2p/m cable made a massive difference and the sub can be toned down easily from its way overpowering default setting.
 
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Speaker placement is one of the reason why I do not plan, for the time being get into Hi-Fi (cost being the other factor), and why I advocate the use of headphones, especially if you are living in a student flat. They are easier when moving, there is minimal worry in terms of placement, and can provide outstanding sound quality. Of course, I kind of ignored my own opinion by purchasing some surround MM speakers, and will soon have to face the consequences (moving)... But since I am in relatively confined place, they are not overly hard to place.
 

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Journey said:
Although a Hi-Fi is a much better idea for listening to music, having great equipment is only part of the problem the setup and seating arrangment is also a major factor that most people overlook, DRZ's system is a great example of this, nice Musical Fidelity A3 amp and a NAD Poweramp connected to a massive pair of speakers which imo are way way to big for the space they are in(I hope this is temporary!). If using them in front of his PC the drive units are actually projecting the sound behind him, then if he is listening from further back the speakers are so far toe'd in they might as well be playing at each other.

No money needs to be spent to make that setup better, just a more organised approach and a bit more room. Alternativley something like a pair of smaller speakers Dynaudio Contour 1.3 MKII nice speaker put them on a solid stand and you will have a better setup for that size area.

Actually, my setup is set up absolutely perfectly for the space. I do take in what I learn while doing my Acoustics degree, you know ;)

For PC use, although I am off-axis it is acceptable to me. When I want to listen properly I sit further back. I can assure you that my stereo imaging is as inch-perfect as it is possible to get (based on knowing EXACTLY where a particular mix was mixed for and listening for that positioning). I am far enough from the walls to prefent any significant low frequency colouration and the irregular form of the items behind me leads to enough diffusion for any unpleasant HF reflection to no longer be a problem. My room has architraving around all of the top corner which goes a significant way to reducing flutter echo short of installing diffusers and the lower boundaries are catered for by the long-pile carpet I have.

You cant hear my system and you cant judge the setup of it from a photo - ANY photo, you can only make suppositions. In this case, I feel you are incorrect.

Loudspeakers and their interaction with a given performance space isnt an exact science especially from a photo - you can guess at the room dynamics but you dont know what sort of absorbtion coefficients are going on here, what the RT60 is or anything like that. The physical constraints of the room volume and dimensions do happen to inhibit LF response below 30Hz or so but not a great number of tracks in the music I tend to listen to takes advantage of much below 40Hz to any great extent. Simply swapping them for a loudspeaker that is physically incapable of exciting ANY room down at those frequencies doesnt actually change anything in the physics of what is going on. I have speakers that are capable of producing lower frequencies than this room can allow to any great extent but so what? That is no different to a 2.1 sub/sat system except that mine still has some timing and composure at the depths it can reproduce.

[edit]

Just to add a bit more to that post:

The reason my components are stacked like that rather than being on a hifi rack is that I cant justify placing them in a rack and taking up yet more room when I have a desk that lets me keep them in close proximity and allows me to be near them with my oscilloscope (and other test equipment) whilst building and testing DACs/amplifiers/that sort of thing. It is very useful indeed to have them all together like that. Perhaps when I have some more money I will have a dedicated test-rig hifi but for now it will have to do. This isnt the setup of a hapless newbie that picked his components from what-hifi and plonked them to the side of his desk ;)
 
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I've heard DRZ's system (not set up in the room as the picture above, but in his uni halls, which limits him VERY much so to speaker placement, but he has it set up so that it sounds perfect in certain parts of the room, and acceptable in others... so i can vouch for his ability to place speakers..

As for saying they are overpowering for the room size, this couldnt be further from the truth, they sounded very natural, and in their element when i heard them.. it just means *if* he moves to a bigger room, his speakers can cope..

/me suddenly remembers he's jealous of DRZ and stabs his cones with a biro... hard.

~ripzeh
 
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Journey said:
I recently setup a Logitech 5400 system and a nice touch was having removable speaker cables even using cheap £2p/m cable made a massive difference and the sub can be toned down easily from its way overpowering default setting.

Did the speaker cable really make a difference?
 
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My apologies then :)

However you still admitted it was not ideal for the PC use :p

I am so used to having a dedicated room for my Hi-Fi I forgot how cramped it was when I had my in less spacious student accomodation! I cannot count the number of times I have re-setup my many Hi-Fi's to get the system sounding right in the room, so in the end I had to build a room that worked.
 
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Hmm preety intresting thread, i been reading this thread, i have the logitech Z5500 system, i am thinking of spending over £100 on a sound card, i think the logitech z5500 speakers sound amazing, maybe i cant hear properly, i notice i hate 128kbps Mp3's with this setup as i can hear loads of crap from them, so if the z5500's sound amazing to me, is a Hi-Fi system going to sound like heaven or somthing?. Maybe i am daft spending over £100 on a sound card just for better sound with the logitech, maybe i should spend £200 on a Hi-Fi setup if its even possible, i am kind of a bass addict, i like loads of bass, the logitech z5500 dont provide enough, i usually push it to breaking point, and was thinking of maybe buying 2 12" 500w rms sub for my room and an amp etc.. as the z5500 only just manages to shake the whole house and not even loud enough.
is it possible to get a decent Hi-Fi system for about £200?, sound like i should to get even better sound quality.
 
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fish99 said:
Not at all, MP3s ripped well and encoded well from the original recording at a decent bit rate (192 kbps is plenty really) sound very good. Very hard to distinguish them from the original recording in a blind test.
I use CDex with tooLAME on highest quality settings and 192Kbps to rip from my CDs to my HDD for convenience and to put on an mp3 player.

On a portable player, the difference is negligable, probably because of the headphones. Headphones the size of a 5p are not going to be very good.

On my PC, I can tell. Maybe not on rock, but it stands out on opera and classical singing. It just isn't right. I've tried a blind test between ripped mp3s and the CD tracks copied to the HDD, random play. I can tell. So I use a lossless codec instead, or just copy the CD over. It's not like I'm short of HDD capacity.

I have a 6.1 budget Logitech speaker system. X-620, IIRC. It was cheap. The speakers are small. It's...adequate. For the price. When the speakers are mounted and positioned well. I use headphones for music, anyway.
 
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my speakers aint even positioned right, there all over the place and i still get decent sound, thats why i think they cant be that bad, if i had them wall mounted whcih is really hard coz of the type of wall the sound would be even better! since i got my logitech system the downstairs 300w sony system sounds totally naff, the bass on it is awfull now that am used to the boomy bass of the z5500, z5000 is like a car sub lol, there is a vid on youtube of someone with one in his car, shaking the car really good. i actually think you cant really compare Hi-Fi's to 5.1 systems, there just diffo, in different league of there own, you should compare 5.1 satelite systems with 5.1 satelite systems, and Hi-Fi systems with Hi-Fi systems.
 
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