Spec me...........a HiFi for my PC.

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MAY be in wrong place so apologies if it is...

Anyway looking into getting a proper little system for my PC - 2.1 arrangement.
Budget is around £300 for speakers and an amp. Speakers need to be bookshelf type and will sit on the desk so no stands required.
 
Soldato
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ouch. you wont get hifi for that budget. i would suggest you look at 2nd hand with such a tight budget.

avforums have some bargains.

or ebay some mordaunt short. very good value for money speakers!
 
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Really?? Was thinking along the lines of £150 for speakers and £150 for the amp. Looking at some Wharfedale 10.0 @ £100...they no good nowadays I take it.
Oh yeh forgot to mention running Xonar DG soundcard if it helps.

Budget is negotiable just thought that would be enough to get a simple system.
PC is used for gaming, Blu-ray and music. Music is of the dance variety and very fast!!


*Edit*
Forgot the sub!! Hence budget is now £500. PS3 is getting hooked in also so need an optical in. PC will be RCA (3.5mm at soundcard)
 
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Soldato
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I'd say you can definitely get a low-budget hi-fi for £300 which will deliver a great sound compared to store stereo's and PC-type systems. The Wharfdale speakers you mention are good for the money, imo. They always used to be good with dance-type music, iirc.

You might be able to pick up a second hand Arcam amp for about £150 and then get those Wharfdale speakers if you liked them and then have enough money to get some speaker cable and/or interconnects. From experience bookshelf speakers don't like being sat on a desk but if you have no option but to put them there a lot of people just use a spot of blutac to isolate the speakers and get a better sound.

What you start looking for depends on how you like your music. So if you're unsure go along to a hi-fi shop and listen to something and ask them what type of sound it is, for example warm, bright, etc so you get an idea. My personal preference is warm, but yours might not be.

AVForums are probably a good place to post your questions to try to figure out what to go for.

I'm not a great fan of subs for hi-fi myself so someone else will have to advise on that. People might also suggest DACs and things but again I don't know a great deal about them either.

I hope that at least helps a little :)
 
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Wouldn't bother with a sub that's for sure. At this level it'll be rubbish and pointless.

Shoot1st is correct though, get over to AVforums and see what you can pick up second hand, you could get yourself a bargain amp for £100/150 then match up a decent pair of bookshelfs that will be far superior to what you can buy new now.
 
Soldato
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If you want to connect the PS3 via optical, then you will need an AV receiver. To get good musical sound, you will need to spend a lot on an AV receiver, or get a good second hand bargain. A £150 new AV receiver won't come close to a decent stereo amp, when it comes to music. They are made for film use, and that is what they are best used for.

A decent budget 2.1 setup can be had for £500, but you would more than likely have to get a second hand amp, whether it be an AV receiver, or a stereo one.

£150 will buy some decent smallish speakers, and £200 will buy you a BK Gemini II subwoofer. I'm somewhat surprised by Jano's comment.
 
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Look for some used B&W 601 speakers, should be around £100-150 depending on condition.

This leaves you budget for a nice amp, Arcam Alpha 8 or something for around the same again.
 
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£150 will buy some decent smallish speakers, and £200 will buy you a BK Gemini II subwoofer. I'm somewhat surprised by Jano's comment.

He originally said £150 on speakers in total, not £150 on bookshelfs and then another £150 on a sub. Please go ahead and show me a decent set of speakers with a sub for £150...

Now with the additional budget he stands a chance. I'd still much rather spend the extra on better bookshelfs and not worry about a sub.
 
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The edit came while I was writing my original post, I was looking on AVForums to see what was available in case I could actually link something worthwhile for the OP, as such I was working on the £150 budget for speakers, not the new £500 total budget for amp, speakers and sub...

Still doesn't change my view. Second hand BK Gemini your still looking at the best part of £200, and I would much, much rather have a better amp/bookshelf combo than spend such a big chunk of the budget on a sub.
 
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No point buying new, good quality Hi-Fi really.
if its good quality it will be the same (better bacause the speakers are 'run in' ) as a new one.
Also, you'll be able to afford a far better one by going second hand.
for example, my set-up should have cost £1300, but i paid around £400 for it, and its in mint condition ;)
 
Soldato
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No point buying new, good quality Hi-Fi really.
if its good quality it will be the same (better bacause the speakers are 'run in' ) as a new one.
Also, you'll be able to afford a far better one by going second hand.
for example, my set-up should have cost £1300, but i paid around £400 for it, and its in mint condition ;)

you do need to check things like the tweeter isnt stoved in though. but yo uare right. 2nd hand will get you a bargain. i always buy new though as i dont trust people will look after things like i do
 
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you do need to check things like the tweeter isnt stoved in though. but yo uare right. 2nd hand will get you a bargain. i always buy new though as i dont trust people will look after things like i do

yeah, that's true, mine were ex display at a shop, so i got to listen to them before hand.
but with things like amps they're virtually indestructible anyway, and if theyre broken, they just wouldnt work when you got it :p
 

Kei

Kei

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Not quite true, direct coupled amplifiers can suffer faults that cause it to output rail voltage to the speaker and fry the voice coils. (unless it has built in protection circuits) This is fairly rare though so not something you really need to worry too much about. Only thing to bear in mind is really old amplifiers (20 years or so) could probably do with a new set of electrolytic capacitors. But i imagine you'll be looking for newer rather than vintage.

With a good pair of speakers you shouldn't need a sub woofer, and most Hi-fi stereo amplifiers don't have a sub woofer pre-out anyway. The reason most people use sub woofers these days is because the size of speakers has shrunk and they can no longer get decent low frequency responses from them. The sub compensates for this problem. My "bookshelf" speakers are from the 70's and are just under 2ft tall (about 3x the size of your modern bookshelf speaker), but they have decent response down to mid 40Hz which is well into the subwoofer region.
 

Ste

Ste

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Do you want this for music? If so, read on...

The best advice on here is to go second hand. Youll get much more for your money. If you want musicality the most important thing is to stay away from AV amps/receivers and stick to stereo. Also avoid going for a subwoofer at first, the right speakers will go low enough.

I'd look at an amp for about 150, some speakers for about 100 and possibly a cheap DAC for 50 quid (you'd get a knocked about old style dacmagic for about 50 quid and the difference they make over standard sound card analogue outputs is massive). Don't spend much on cable, you can upgrade that later if you want to.

A mate of mine bought an Arcam alpha 5 amp, dacmagic and some mission 771 speakers. All from ebay, ~50 quid each.Mechanically perfect and cosmetically not bad but the sound is far, far better than anything you'd get for 150 quid new. He bought the speakers and amp at first and after I lent him my DAC was convinced to spend another 50 quid, makes a nice difference.
 

Ste

Ste

Soldato
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One last thing about going second hand - in hifi people value condition almost as much as sound. Example - just sold some immaculate mission 753 speakers for £510 on eBay, the most I'd ever seem any go for before that was 350 because they were never perfect. Very rough pairs can be had for 150 but sound just as good.

Serious bargains out there if you don't mind the cosmetic condition - scratches on amps save money too!
 
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Sure you can...

I have a Musical Fidelity X-A2 powering B&W M-1 plugged into my iMac. Both parts I have as spare from upgrading to 5.1 in the front room.

It works...I don't have a sub but its only for the bedroom.

Total cost.

£225 for the amp
£140 for the speakers

When new, about £1100.
 
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http://www.richersounds.com/product.../cambridge-audio/azur-550a/camb-azur-550a-blk

Then look for Mission 780SE on that auction website. There's currently a pair going for about £30 with 2 days on the auction. Won't be woth more than £50 and they're a fantastic pair of speakers! They were considered high mid-range gear when they came out. They're the updated version of what I'm currently using to listen on.

The other thing of course, is going second hand for the amp. Look for Marantz or Denon equipment from the late 90's - mid 00's.

all IMHO of course :)
 
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