Preamp help

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Bob_S, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. Bob_S

    Bob_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm pieceing together a small 2 channel system for my dorm room and I'm having alot of trouble figuring some things out. First and foremost, I'm on an extremely tight budget. So what I have come up with is either Klipch RB-35's or Paradigm Monitor 5v2 run off a QSC RMX850. Thats my first issue. I know its not much of an Audiophile amp but its what I can afford right now. I am concerned though with its abilities to drive the speakers. not output wise but in over quality. Am I going to be getting noise from this amp, also is this amp not well suited in general for HT use? For a sub, I'll be using the one that was in my car. It's an Orion H2 15", not a real sq sub but it has potential. I'm definetly going to using a QSC RMX1850 on it. (Its a sub that loves power) That's going to be in a 3.0cube box tuned 30hz.

    Now to my main question, all my music is stored on my computer in flac or wav form. With all my money being spent I'm considering having to use my computer as my pre-amp. Is this like an absolute no-no? My sound card isn't the highest quality but its good. I have quite a few concerns, mainly concerning cnnecting and noise being introduced because of them. My computer only has 3.5mm outputs and the QSC's have 1/4" and XLR plugs, are cable made that have 3.5mm on one end and 1/4" on the other? And if so, are they good enough quality for my application? I have a feeling that if I wire this up with frankenstiened wire all I'm going to get is a highly distorted signal. Am I right?

    And one last thing, will having the computer volume at 100% cause any clipping of the amplifiers?

    Thanks
    Bob
     
  2. Jarrod

    Jarrod Agent

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    The DACs in most sound cards are crap. If you have an SBLive or better, you might get acceptable sound from this setup, but otherwise I would start saving for a better sound card and separate preamp or receiver.

    Namely, you want something with digital (spdif) output on the sound card and a preamp/processor with a coax digital input. Then you can get a 1/8" to RCA cable and run the digital audio directly to the preamp/processor *in digital form*. This has two huge advantages over your proposed setup. First, it removes the VERY significant noise issues that your music will be up against once it reaches the analog domain inside the computer's case. It also uses the preamp's DACs which are likely to be much, much, MUCH better than any inexpensive sound card can offer.

    An SBLive with digital output can be had for probably $20 on ebay. Any cheap receiver with coax digital input can be used for the preamp (and amp, if you choose to get rid of the QSC). A friend of mine bought an inexpensive (
     
  3. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob,

    may I suggest that, in the interest of space as well as economy, you consider the highly-rated audigy2 basic sound card for your computer with the best sounding (to you) "computer" speakers you can afford. For a couple of hundreds bucks you can have a system that will give you very good sound quality with the ability to expand to 5.1 sound when your budget permits.

    I'm sure there will be a number of stereo afficiandos who will scoff at this suggestion. But before you dismiss this approach, give it a listen (most stores will take the sound card and speakers back if your not satisfied). It utilizes the equipment you have, with minimal addition (at minimal cost), and offers surprisingly good sound - give it a listen.

    Marty
     
  4. Bob_S

    Bob_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, I already tried going with computer speakers, I had Klipsch promedia 4.1 which I blew. I never really liked them, everything was off and the mids distorted way too much.

    As of Right now I'm looking at a B&K PT3 pre-amp, I found one for a good price that I think i'm gonna buy. That or a surround sound reciever. I'm still questioning wether or not the QSC is going to be acceptable.
     

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