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Need speakers - not klipsch they arent available in my area

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April 13, 2006 7:16:29 AM

I'm looking for a set of kick ass computer speakers, and had set my sights on the Klipsch 5.1's but they dont sell them anywhere where i am. So what other alternatives do i have.. boss? creative?

Any help would be much appreciated

(exasperated, store said they had them available and didnt back out until i was handing over my card... apparenly the suppliers stopped selling them anywhere in the country a couple of years back...)

thanks
April 13, 2006 10:50:40 AM

Try Creative Progamer or the Gigaworks. The sub isn't as punchy but the satellites are comparable to better (with the latter). I've never heard of Boss before.
April 13, 2006 2:11:39 PM

I don't think very many people have even heard of Boss speakers, and I know alot. As far as I can tell they primarily sell car audio stereos and subs, which have a completely different aim than home speakers because of the acoustical differences in cars--aka not optimal. Given the noise levels in cars, its no wonder car stereos are built with very forward sound, rather than accurate. In a completely quiet and serene environment, accuracy should come first.
April 14, 2006 12:23:57 AM

ok cool guys thanks for the recommendations, will likely get the gigaworks (had my eye on it second to the klipsch) but wasnt sure i needed a 7.1 setup. Still, could be fun

thanks a lot :D 
April 14, 2006 12:43:40 AM

logitech z-5500 ftw
April 14, 2006 1:06:44 AM

Quote:
logitech z-5500 ftw


Pointless to suggest an *inferior* product after a superior one has been picked by the potential buyer-to-be IMO
April 14, 2006 3:11:38 AM

i realize they might be inferior but it all comes down to how much he wants to spend. and the 5500's are a badass set of speakers.
April 16, 2006 2:06:36 AM

There is nothing "badass" about PC or most cheap HTIAB setups...
April 16, 2006 10:01:34 AM

Quote:
logitech z-5500 ftw


i 2nd that!!! :twisted:
April 16, 2006 10:42:46 AM

Quote:
logitech z-5500 ftw


i 2nd that!!! :twisted:

I have a better suggestion. Logitech X-530s. They are a *lot* cheaper than the Z-5500s, and probably measure within 90% of what the Z-5500s do, and I suspect with lower midrange distortion with a 1.5-way crossover. That's pretty good bang for the buck in the audio world, especially since $200 bookshelves would measure about 500% better than the Z-5500s.
April 16, 2006 12:01:36 PM

Quote:
show me some audiophile quality speakers that for the same price beat mine in games.


Meh, depends what you want. B&W 602s = uber for music. Games? Well, I wouldn't want to subject them to some RPG'ing in Quake III. It's great that people are making speakers specifically for gaming, in the days of those tinny white-plastic stereo speakers I was always worried about the speakers when I hooked up my Hi-Fi. Now that I can get a Creative 2.1 system for the equiv. to about $10, I'm happy!
April 17, 2006 2:28:29 AM

Quote:
snob :p  IMO though mine rock. show me some audiophile quality speakers that for the same price beat mine in games.


S750? $420 retail?

At the very lowest, 7x Infinity Primus 140s ($280). Or, quite a step above, 7xInfinity Primus 150s ($350) or Athena AS-B1s ($320). Dayton Sub-100 ($100) or Dayton Sub-120 ($120). Both systems fall within +/- 2db 40-20KHz.

Between $400 and $470 you can get a system thats alot more linear than the S750s. Since the Dayton's only amplify two channels, you'll need a receiver. $90 for a Onkyo SRTX501. $490 to $560 for a set that's significantly more linear, greater SPLs, lowered distortion, much greater connectivity as it can actively switch between multiple sources, set your own crossover, adjust the levels to be linear for your sitting position, radio playback, all sorts of algoritmns like A weighted response curves for night listening. Oh yeah, better vertical and horizontal dispersion, linearity at volume, level-matching with the sub, less driver beaming and a slew of other things I'm forgetting.

PC audio is generally faces a lower returns as the price goes up. Here, with all the added perks, I would say the returns have increased rather than diminished per dollar spent.

The great part is you can go to your local Best Buy's Magnolia (as badly set up as they are; you could always find a local hifi dealer), pop in a CD and actually hear the difference, rather than just shout at each other over a forum.

PS: You aren't the type that needs convincing anyway, since you aren't the type who owns "cheese" PC speakers anyway. :p 
April 19, 2006 8:36:56 AM

What about the Athena 4000 compared to the Dayton sub-120?

Some people say that the Athena is better and the Dayton is a "1 note wonder"..
April 19, 2006 9:56:43 AM

Quote:
logitech z-5500 ftw


i 2nd that!!! :twisted:

I have a better suggestion. Logitech X-530s. They are a *lot* cheaper than the Z-5500s, and probably measure within 90% of what the Z-5500s do, and I suspect with lower midrange distortion with a 1.5-way crossover. That's pretty good bang for the buck in the audio world.

You must've never heard the X-530's, even compared to the Z-5300's they are pathetic.You're comparing a 70 watts RMS system to a 505 watts RMS system, thats like Celeron vs P4EE or.. sempron vs fx-57. Not saying that the X-530's aren't a good setup however ( I know because my dad has them) I gotta love the fact that they have dual drivers for mid-high freq. I just hate the Sub, its low freq. output is pathetic my 1/2" supertweeter in my car has more bass. If only logitech could give the X-530 sattalites w/ the Z-5500 sub&, that would be <3. But hey if you aren't looking for bass then get the X-530's
April 19, 2006 10:29:19 AM

Quote:
What about the Athena 4000 compared to the Dayton sub-120?

Some people say that the Athena is better and the Dayton is a "1 note wonder"..


As we all know good bass is incredibly expensive. You can buy a speaker that's incredibly accurate from 50hz up (aka Ascend Acoustics 170SEs) for $350 -- +/- 1db 55-27KHz...(yes, I did say ONE decible).

However for a system that's that linear for the last 45hz...say 15-50hz +/-2db, you'd be looking at, at *least* a $750-$1000 subwoofer. It takes so much physical excursion to belt out those lows, it's just hard to do it on the cheap.

The Dayton is a good subwoofer for a first time (non-multimedia) buyer. It has very little output below 40hz--by this, not in the multimedia subwoofer sense (you can't hear it), but a more stringent measurement--it dives beyond this point, it's -10db at 35hz. The older Athen ASP-400s, while lacking power and SPL, were more linear than the Dayton's--Tom Nuissance (sp?) who measures many commercial subs, found the Athenas to measure within the +/- 3db spec down to 31hz. Much more impressive "musically" I suppose.

I wouldn't say the Dayton's aren't musical or "one note wonders tho. Since they can't reproduce much below 40hz, there's not much room for THD peaks (like you would see in say a multimedia PC subwoofer, which are poorly EQed). More like it plays the notes it can, but since it doesn't *try* to reach deeper, the upper bass isn't exaggerated by THD peaks (as all overEQed drivers will have THD peaks when trying to extend beyond it's natural bandwidth--in the case of the old Z-680 Logitech subwoofer I had, I measured a +45!! db peak at 90hz when playing a 30hz test tone.), so it is free of being a "one-note wonder" like many PC subwoofers.

The Athena ASP-4000 on the other hand looks like a totally different (possibly inferior?) design, and looks like it was built more for mass market consumption in mind. I don't think it would be as linear as the older 400s, but it looks like it's been armed with a better amp for more SPL/output.

As for the X-530s vs the Z-5300s....when I demo them in stores, I can't even hear the differences between them anymore. They just all sound the same. It's hard to differentiate "ehh" and "a little less ehh" after you are in high-fi. This is not audiophile snobbery. This is turning on LOTR when the King of Rohan is knocking his sword against his cavalry's spears and hearing all these intricate rings...when your roommate who thinks spending any money on audio is foolish goes "holy sh1t dude..."
April 19, 2006 8:29:22 PM

Harldly produce below 40hz? Then what is the point seriously?

Quote:
The Ascend 170's

Typical In-Room Frequency Response 53Hz - 20kHz +/- 3dB
In-Room Sensitivity 91dB @ 1 watt / 1 meter
Frequency Response (Anechoic) 58Hz - 22kHz +/- 3dB
Sensitivity (Anechoic) 89dB @ 1 watt/ 1 meter



The only thing that the dayton would do is reinforce what is already there?
I honestly would think that if you drop $350 into the 170's, you would gladly drop $500 into somthing that will hit 16hz with some SPL behind it to get that "That dinosaur just broke my vase" sweetness!

Everytime I see a review on those 170's compared to anything else I just want to skip a car payment and scoop em up!
April 19, 2006 8:35:53 PM

Quote:
Harldly produce below 40hz? Then what is the point seriously?

The Ascend 170's

Typical In-Room Frequency Response 53Hz - 20kHz +/- 3dB
In-Room Sensitivity 91dB @ 1 watt / 1 meter
Frequency Response (Anechoic) 58Hz - 22kHz +/- 3dB
Sensitivity (Anechoic) 89dB @ 1 watt/ 1 meter



The only thing that the dayton would do is reinforce what is already there?
I honestly would think that if you drop $350 into the 170's, you would gladly drop $500 into somthing that will hit 16hz with some SPL behind it to get that "That dinosaur just broke my vase" sweetness!

Everytime I see a review on those 170's compared to anything else I just want to skip a car payment and scoop em up!

Movies. Most commercial subs are tuned for 40hz for this reason. This is as far as it extends...and it costs $100. I mean, sure, you could get the Athenas ASP-4000s for about $100 now. If you have a larger living room and need 110+db SPLS (without multimedia subwoofer type "I am here" THD peaks), then this is a great bang for the buck, a hold over until you get better subs.

I personally think Ascend should've listed their speakers at +/-1db for the sake of e-peen, mainly because AV123 has their $200 X-LS flaunted at +/- 1.8db, rather than just use the regular convention (+/- 3db) because honestly, if you look at the graph, +/-3db (F3 point) falls closer to the mid 40hz...
April 19, 2006 10:58:18 PM

Quote:
I don't think very many people have even heard of Boss speakers, and I know alot. As far as I can tell they primarily sell car audio stereos and subs, which have a completely different aim than home speakers because of the acoustical differences in cars--aka not optimal. Given the noise levels in cars, its no wonder car stereos are built with very forward sound, rather than accurate. In a completely quiet and serene environment, accuracy should come first.


ive never heard of Klipsch, its more a us make whereas boss is more UK and they make very good speakers, personally i would get a set of 7.1 Creative Gigaworks S750, there not great for music but will BLOW YOUR MIND IN GAMES. if you want music though go for the z5500's
April 19, 2006 11:09:47 PM

hey im being nuetral.

i love the gigaworks. but its down to taste some dont like as much bass and erm "smudge" in there music.

the z5500 are slightly clearer with music with a more realistic bass.

p.s

i love having the floor shake when i fire a rocket in ut, or when a tank blows up in COD2 but i dont want that with my music lol.

edit

ive lost the ability to spell (again)
April 19, 2006 11:17:06 PM

Quote:
for clarity my speakers are great, how can you not like them in that respect, yes sound is subjective and yes the bass can be a bit much. i usually have it at its lowest or near lowest setting.


u using the gigaworks?

but u clarified what i said above here

Quote:
the bass can be a bit much. i usually have it at its lowest or near lowest setting.
April 19, 2006 11:18:37 PM

nothing can beat a good set of hifi speakers and a nice amp. Dont use any of this computer speaker crap
April 19, 2006 11:23:53 PM

lol, ive been trying to find my hifi spec on the net no luck.

i run a sharp xl-hp737, 200 watt rms, keeps me happy, and my parents unhappy lol.
April 19, 2006 11:25:52 PM

The Z-5500 logitech are loud. Best Speakers available for the price.
April 19, 2006 11:41:26 PM

Quote:
i would buy a nice 2.1 setup if all i needed it for was music, at least until dvd audio becomes the norm where as i would have to switch to 5.1 any way. the scary thing is i could easily spend the same if not twice as much on a 2.1 setup as i did on my speakers.


problem i have is most my time is spent playing games or playing music. i actually made my self a switch box, so i could switch from my gigaworks to the hifi and back.





p.s pic quickly took with mobile right now lol.
April 19, 2006 11:44:39 PM

Quote:
i'll rather have my speakers compared to them, hopefully they aint anything like the one my dad bought. it was a little more expensive and sounds terrible. i'm sure they aint your dream set, hopefully.

i sound such a snob there considering i use computer speakers. no offence meant its just my dads one does sound really bad compared to mine and yours don't lokk too different, specs wise. maybe i'm wrong as specs don't always tell the true story


u talking bout my sharp or the other guy lol? the sharp hifi s good in my opinion, cheap but goodm cost me 140 pound for the hifi in a sale with a student discount believe full price was over 200.
April 19, 2006 11:54:56 PM

Quote:
if i did get some good qaulity hi-fi speakers i might not be able to go back to anything else.


this is true, although i have the gigaworks i wouldnt say i have high quality speakers, simply top of the line for the pc. when i go down to other cheaper sets i can tell the difference and hate it, but sound is all down to user preference what sounds good to me might not sound good to you.

my friend for example likes using the x-bass, personally i like having this off since the speekers have enough ooph on there own.
April 20, 2006 12:19:02 AM

Quote:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=647862&page=1

Review on Atoms vs Ascend vs SVS shelf speakers... Have you seen this yet Astrallite?

He seems to have similar views that I do as to taste....


Yeah I have. It's amazing the ear that DIYer has (or mind, perhaps is more accurate). He even pinpointed where the high decay areas were on the Ascends. The Ascends were very close to his $250 DIY speakers, the difference being his speakers I believe had much lower time domain distortion. This is usually the hardest thing to hold down in any linear loudspeaker design, and you'd have to get something in the $2k+ range (think Revel) for +/-1db linearity and almost inaudible time domain distortion.

The fact that they rose to the top of the listening test, despite comparisons to much more expensive, and brands with considerable weight to them--Paradigm Studio, Dynaudio Audience, (anandtech has a guy who compared them to B&W DM602 S3s, it was no contest in the favor of the Ascends). There's another AVS thread with Ascend vs Paradigm Studio, Dynaudio Audience, and Boston Acoustics VR3s--which cost $1300 retail and are ALOT more expensive than the Ascends, which won out by a hair's margin at the end because the listener preferred a "jazzier high end."

When the SVSs first came out they were the new "bargain" $200 speakers, but it seems AV123 and their X-LS is just as linear (+/- 1.8db 60-20Khz) and has more bass output (even more than the Ascends; these babies are down -10db at 20hz in-room). So people who would get the SVSs would be people who have space limitations and are trying to fit them into cabinents for HT usage, as the SVSs are of sealed acoustic suspension design. For $200 as a HTPC guy, I would definitely lean toward the X-LS over the SVS SBS-01.
April 20, 2006 3:55:04 AM

Quote:
time Domain Distortion



OK... Speak some Lames terms here! Google only revealed some very odd stuff...

Break it down for me plz... Seems to be good at it.
April 20, 2006 5:27:05 AM

THD is the distortion that occurs immediately at the time of playback (0ms).

Time Domain Distortion, also known as spectral decay, is shown in waterfall plots. Like the following:

B&W DM302 (a $250/pair bookshelf)




Revel Ultima Studio (a $10,000/pair floorstander)



It's measured in milliseconds, and is how long the loudspeaker keeps playing a frequency after the signal has already subsided. Softer materials tend to resonant/ring less, harder/stiffer materials, although produce less total THD, will resonant/ring more (like a bell).

Anytime a loudspeaker driver resonants in the midrange, it's most audible (although some claim to be able to hear high frequency ringing for aluminum tweeters at 23KHz--those people really have superhuman hearing; I personally don't doubt they hear that, as medical tests have shown people with hearing badwidth that far DO exist). Generally metal cones should not be employed in midrange work as our hearing curve is most sensitive from 800-8KHz. The DIY guy mentioned a general resonance he might have heared at the lower midrange, around 1.2KHz while using his DIY speakers as reference (given both his and the Ascends were designed for extreme linearity). However, it's a minor issue considering how linear the loudspeaker is.

Some internet direct loudspeakers use aluminum cones for midranges, in fact its almost a niche market because many people perceive more midrange output as being more detailed. Axiom audio and AV123 fall under this category, although AV123 has recently outdone themselves and released the $200 X-LS, which is totally different, uses drivers from the $800 GR AV-1 kit, and more less decimates AV123s' older Rocket line because its well, cheaper and more accurate.

But some people like the sound of time domain distortion. Everyone perceives sound differently. Some companies (like Revel, or Ascend, and I might put NHT in that category too) believe in the utmost accuracy in their designs. Some companies like to feed a certain demographic, possibly because its what they made their name in and they don't want to risk alienating buyers by changing--Klipsch (high frequency horns), Definitive Technology (bipolar), Axiom/AV123 (metal cones with high time domain distortion), B&W (time domain distortion with their kevlar cones), Dynaudio (laid back, muddy sound, large soundstage), Paradigm (warm sound, makes it harder to blend with sub because the upper bass is peaked), etc, etc.
April 20, 2006 7:47:08 AM

This is where some people assume that this is "Detail" or "Clarity" where as they are just hearing the same thing longer because of this? Is this why people think that the midrange of the Ascends and SVS and most polymer, paper cone and other soft material speakers are lacking or "less detail" in midrange?

Soo... The less of this there is, they more accurate the sound is and not to be mistaken for less detail?
April 20, 2006 8:04:03 AM

Quote:
This is where some people assume that this is "Detail" or "Clarity" where as they are just hearing the same thing longer because of this? Is this why people think that the midrange of the Ascends and SVS and most polymer, paper cone and other soft material speakers are lacking or "less detail" in midrange?

Soo... The less of this there is, they more accurate the sound is and not to be mistaken for less detail?


Okay in audio theory if two loudspeaker systems are totally linear, and all things equal (aka each order of harmonic distortion, spectral decay), they would sound exactly the same, regardless of what type of material was used. This is why we use the slew of measurements (frequency response, time-coherency, spectral decay, THD and also the individual makeup of the even and odd orders of distortion) to get an idea of what it would sound like, because each material has its own characteristics and you need to pinpoint why it sounds the way it does. Final output being frequency response minus the cumulative effects of distortion (less detail) and decay (*more* detail).

We have a slight problem here as no two systems sound exactly the same, so what we usually do is to the best of our knowledge, look at all of the cumulative measurements to theorize why it sounds the way it does.

I know the SVSs are soft-material based but actually the Ascends are based on a harder non-metallic materials. It's a mix of aerogel, kevlar, carbon-fibre and possibly some poly. If it has "less detail" and measures linear, than you have to assume some of it is being drowned out by certain orders of harmonic distortion. Harder materials will tend to exhibit less THD (and seem more detailed), but on the flip side it may be *too* detailed because it rings (spectral decay). So the middle of the road is a composite material, like the drivers used in the Ascends, stiff--so detail doesn't get drowned out by THD--and also flexible enough that it doesn't have trouble releasing the sonic energy efficiently and the final output builds on the signal (poor spectral decay).

Think of soft-material based cones as THD-ridden (as an analogy, the equivalent of minus gain on an EQ) and hard material based cones exhibiting poor spectral decay (the sonic equivalent of plus gain on an EQ).

This is obviously an over simplification as there are other things that regulate how a loudspeaker sounds, such as how it responds physically to more power (it may no longer remain structurally spherical and start producing irregularities in the shape)--as different materials have different stress thresholds and all systems begin to sound different as the power input increases.

There are also things like dispersion pattern to think about as this affects reflections and final room response. But I merely put forth my original argument on completely theoretical grounds, assuming you could control all basic variables, say you were comparing the loudspeakers outside (essentially an anechoic environment) or a large room, or near field analysis only.
April 20, 2006 8:24:19 AM

Quote:
This is obviously an over simplification as there are other things that regulate how a loudspeaker sounds, such as how it responds physically to more power (it may no longer remain structurally spherical and start producing irregularities in the shape)--as different materials have different stress thresholds and all systems begin to sound different as the power input increases.


I had already assumed that your not going to pump 500w into a flimsey paper cone driver anyhow... It must be difficult to find something that is the best of both worlds and still be cheap... Guess thats why Klipsch speakers have such high power handleings and SPL? Metal is not as easy to distort I'm guessing...

Thanks for the insight.
April 20, 2006 8:30:21 AM

A good set of Genelecs, they are going to be the last set of speakers you will ever buy. I'd go for a 2.1 Genelec over any Creative 5.1 or 7.1 system.

Also trust me, you only need the smallest speakers from Genelec, they will already blow your ear drums at less than 1m distance. The dynamic range is great even without sub woofer, but I'd definitively would get a sub woofer.
April 20, 2006 9:14:25 AM

Quote:
This is obviously an over simplification as there are other things that regulate how a loudspeaker sounds, such as how it responds physically to more power (it may no longer remain structurally spherical and start producing irregularities in the shape)--as different materials have different stress thresholds and all systems begin to sound different as the power input increases.


I had already assumed that your not going to pump 500w into a flimsey paper cone driver anyhow... It must be difficult to find something that is the best of both worlds and still be cheap... Guess thats why Klipsch speakers have such high power handleings and SPL? Metal is not as easy to distort I'm guessing...

Thanks for the insight.

I edited my previous post as I typed a bunch in a row and didn't proof read. But I think you got the point; two similarly measuring systems: Soft material one will generally have high THD = sound less detailed; hard material one will generally exhibit low THD but high decay times = sound more detailed, even though both "measure" the same in terms of frequency response.

As for Klipsch, I don't think they necessarily can handle more power than other speakers, but horn tweeters amplify output (the shape of the tweeter cage is a horn) and tweeters will produce everything from 1.8KHz and up generally. As you know 800-8,000Hz is the midrange, the most audible region, so it's covering 90% of the most audible region (well you can't really add wavelengths like that since they are divided by octaves but you get the idea of the scale). Most Klipsch speakers have 1W rated output of 95db or higher. The Ascends I have have a rated 1W output of 89db, and some speakers with heavier/stronger voice coils are only 86db. If you just compare the Klipschs with the Ascends, with just 1W of input, they can output 60% more volume.

It doesn't say anything about peak power handling (what the drivers can sustain). In fact it's usually the speakers with lower 1W input (because they have stronger, heavier voice coils) that can sustain more power, and with a sufficiently powerful amp, actually surpass the more sensitive loudspeakers (since they would probably blow while the less sensitive speakers could keep turning louder as the stronger voice coils can hold down distortion at high output).

For the budget-conscious guy who wants movie theater noise levels without killing his amp budget (as higher volumes faces heavy diminishing returns in terms of input power required).
April 20, 2006 3:30:29 PM

Quote:
nothing can beat a good set of hifi speakers and a nice amp. Dont use any of this computer speaker crap


That's true for music, although for games it's not so good, even remotely.

Gaming speakers are for gaming, HIFI speakers are for HIFI.

What would you reccommend as a 'good set of hifi speakers and a nice amp'?
April 20, 2006 6:22:24 PM

Quote:
nothing can beat a good set of hifi speakers and a nice amp. Dont use any of this computer speaker crap


That's true for music, although for games it's not so good, even remotely.

Gaming speakers are for gaming, HIFI speakers are for HIFI.

What would you reccommend as a 'good set of hifi speakers and a nice amp'?

I dont understand where some of you are coming from saying that these "cheese" speakers are good for gaming...

I have the Klipsch Ultra 5.1 setup and I game with it all the time... And honestly it sounds ok... Not great... Just Ok...

So why wouldn't some nice hifi speakers in a 5 channel config not be as good?

Now I understand 2.1 vs 5.1 or even 7.1 is an issue, but I dont see anything else...
April 20, 2006 6:36:08 PM

Well, I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to subject my Hi-Fi speakers to a PC game. They're designed to play back music, and there's no escaping that - not frag grenades and rocket launchers.

I'm not saying a 5.1 set of, say Eltax (not really that fantastic but within the same price range) wouldn't sound great for gaming, but if you really appreciate audio I think you should keep the two seperate. My friend busted his tweeters on his B&W floorstanders with his PC - granted he should have biwired, but the fact remains - it was alright with his CD deck.
April 20, 2006 10:57:28 PM

Quote:
Well, I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to subject my Hi-Fi speakers to a PC game. They're designed to play back music, and there's no escaping that - not frag grenades and rocket launchers.

I'm not saying a 5.1 set of, say Eltax (not really that fantastic but within the same price range) wouldn't sound great for gaming, but if you really appreciate audio I think you should keep the two seperate. My friend busted his tweeters on his B&W floorstanders with his PC - granted he should have biwired, but the fact remains - it was alright with his CD deck.


Bookshelves and floorstanders will have much better power handling than those satellites/sub PC speakers. Also, for action games I think the effects are even more impressive on hifi speakers.

Overpowering speakers is when your woofers overexert. This tends to be due to the fact that they are pushing too many SPLs on a frequency that they aren't physically meant to handle--aka the drivers are too small. 5-6 inch drivers should not be playing 20hz test tones for long. That is why you set something like a 60hz crossover to preserve the life of your speakers, especially if you are a HT nut.

Games, however, don't have that deep bass. You are never in trouble of "blowing" your speakers through overexcursion. When you tweeters explode, it is a sign of the "underpowering" phenonmenon, not *overpowering*. It means whatever amp he has cannot provide the power at that given SPL, and nuked the tweeter with a square sine wave output that splashes energy all over the frequency spectrum. Tell your friend to get a more powerful amp so he doesn't get into these underpowered clipping situations.

Biwiring would do nothing in that situation. Biwiring means merely having two wires connected to the same amp. When an amp has already reached its current limits, it doesn't matter if its biwired or not, you are getting current from the same source. It would blow either way. Bi-wiring is some kind of strange pseudo-science for people who don't understand how curcuits work. Bi-AMPing on the other hand, the process of connecting one amp to each wiring post, will help protect a tweeter from clipping. Most loudspeaker manufacturers will tell you there are no measurable benefits to bi-wiring. But certain amp manufacturers will always provide it as "feature" or selling point, just to jack up the price for unsuspecting buyers, or long-time "audiophiles."

But that's kind of a roundabout and more expensive way of fixing a problem that can be addressed with simply buying a single, high current amp with plenty of headroom. $150 100x7W commercial receivers only output 30W RMS in general, that 100W number is usually derived from full output with only 1 channel and at a certain frequency (say 60hz). Granted, plenty of more expensive seperates are also power aenmic. You gotta look at the back of the amp to see the true power handling capabilities, not the marketting numbers. You also need to do your homework on what is a good amp, sometimes just walking into a store and asking a clerk, he will simply direct you to the most expensive one or the one that has the biggest numbers on the box.
April 21, 2006 7:01:28 AM

I'm going to have to call you on that - I'm not sure what BiWiring is in the states or whereever you are, but in the UK it's not just 'merely connecting two wires to the same amp'. You connect two sets of wires to each speaker output on the rear of your amp, and have each set go to a different section of the frequency crossover on your speakers.

I know some people have even gone so far as to try and install a sort of frequency crossover inside the amplifier, and bypassing the often lower quality crossover circuit in the speakers.

I don't think that it can affect the speakers in such an extreme way as the difference between blowing them or not blowing them, but it does make for a clearer bass and a clearer treble - although as is the case with most things audiophile it's a point of controversy.

Like I said, a 'Hi-Fi' 5.1 setup (although also like I said Eltax is not a good example, although they do do a cheap 5.1 setup) will sound better for music and also be good for gaming, but it's not what it's designed for.
April 21, 2006 7:33:55 AM

Some key notes...

Quote:
I'm going to have to call you on that - I'm not sure what BiWiring is in the states or whereever you are, but in the UK it's not just 'merely connecting two wires to the same amp'. You connect two sets of wires to each speaker output on the rear of your amp, and have each set go to a different section of the frequency crossover on your speakers.


You are going to call me out on that? I don't see how I described it any differently than yours, you just simply described it in more detail. Each pair of binding posts is effectively divided by the crossovers, yes. That has nothing to do with amp. Our discussion is about the amp. Bi-wiring for some is pseudo-audiophilia. Some swear by it.

However, most loudspeaker manufacturers will tenatively tell you it does nothing measurable, in an attempt not to insult their buyers. It's the same thing in the US as it is in the UK. If you believe it makes you reach audio nirvana, that's fine. I'm merely commenting that you figured biwiring would somehow prevent your tweeters from being blown out. It's not possible if you bi-wire, because it doesn't affect the headroom of an amplifier. A square sine wave will destroy a tweeter from an overworked amplifier. We call that the underpowering phenonmenon.


*Bi-amping* will help limit that as you will gain perhaps 5W more of headroom. It's very minor difference still, since both amps are linked by the gain you set from your source. This is why, ultimately, getting a single, more powerful amp is more efficient.

Quote:

I know some people have even gone so far as to try and install a sort of frequency crossover inside the amplifier, and bypassing the often lower quality crossover circuit in the speakers.


Some people replace the crossover on their loudspeakers, yes. Replacing the crossovers in your amplifier would cost a fortune, and some serious programming skills.

Quote:
I don't think that it can affect the speakers in such an extreme way as the difference between blowing them or not blowing them, but it does make for a clearer bass and a clearer treble - although as is the case with most things audiophile it's a point of controversy.


Any time when you can't measure something, it's really, really hard to make an argument for it. It's also very, very hard to disprove it when there's no metric to even dissect. It's like when a guy tells you his speakers are more musical than yours. The argument by its nature is nebulous--perhaps designed to be?--and cannot be disproven.

Quote:

Like I said, a 'Hi-Fi' 5.1 setup (although also like I said Eltax is not a good example, although they do do a cheap 5.1 setup) will sound better for music and also be good for gaming, but it's not what it's designed for.


I think loudspeakers are designed to output an electrical wave. What they might be marketted for, well that's a different story, but tells you nothing about actual utility.
April 21, 2006 7:44:45 AM

Go with the Z-5500's they have sweetspot in base and in call of duty2 or Fear and all the lastest titles they will blow your mind. It may be a 5.1 configuration but don't let that fool you. Mind you this that they are the for speakers to have the 96..24 bit rate and you can switch form coax to optical to direct channels
within seconds. Never settel for less.
April 21, 2006 8:02:23 AM

I think we're both saying pretty much the same thing.

To be honest, any set of Creative or Logitech (or whatever) PC speakers will do fine for this application - I usually find the sound card to be the limiting factor in a computer/HiFi setup they just don't sound 'good' (best argument I can come up with, you can't measure it, like you say)
April 21, 2006 8:12:11 AM

So long as the card is outputting a minimal ammount of distortion, somthing else is the culprit... Amps do most of the distortion i believe...

You can put good speakers on an ok soundcard and get better results than if you put ok speakrs on a good soundcard...

for example... Put some logitec spakers on a SciFi and compare them to some Ascends on an Audigy 1 playing some music without CMSS or anythign else... Just plain 2 channel stuff...

The latter will win easy
April 21, 2006 9:38:35 AM

Soundcards as an issue of measureable metrics:

Mesa, actually I was mentioning bi-wiring and the gains that certain people seem to have, some not, and no manufacturer is able to measure an OUTPUT difference. Thus the question becomes, is bi-wiring effect just placebo?

Sound cards are easy to measure. THD, IMD. I would hardly ever claim sound cards are not audible. They are electrical devices. Onboard vs PCI, yes there are major measurable differences. Between PCI and PCI card, the differences are much, much smaller. Are they audible, all things equal? People certain claim to hear major differences on $100 speakers. Of course, acoustical memory is quite short, yet everyone bases their conclusions on possibly faulty memory. No one has *ever* done a double blind test, so we will never know...

clob : Amps doing the most of the distortion...

Actually its the loudspeakers :p 

I'm fairly certain my loudspeakers (Ascend 170SEs) would probably peak at around 5% THD at 110db (I base the numbers on the SVS SBS-01 review, it's possible the aerogel woofers are a bit more stable than the SBSs), say at 40-100hz. Consider that most amps' distortion is considered audible by the time it reaches 0.1%. At peak output, my loudspeakers are contributting 50 times more distortion than the amp. Imagine now we are talking about some fullrange, 3" satellites like the Logitechs, vs a sound card's clipping distortion. The difference is probably hundreds, if not thousands of times, as the composite kevlar, aerogel, and carbon-fibre is considerably more structurally sound that the paper cones on the Logitechs. Now tell me, do you think you will get more utility spending more money on sound cards, or better speakers?

There are measurable metrics. Assume you believe, dispite the minor measured differences, that you think the X-Fi is a worth cost of upgrading from say, an Audigy 2--aka, "they're awesome! Pair them with X speakers and they're better than anything under $1000!11111" Yeah, there alot of personalities like this on gaming forums. Why do none of them *ever* do a comparative listening test? "Oh, it's not worth it to swap the cards." Sure, fine, you're the owner, it's your prerogative. But, it's not a very convincing argument if you neither provide an measurable proof or even attempt the effort to prove to yourself that it sounds better. It just "does." Because its EAX5tm. Ubersound2000tm...etc, etc.
April 21, 2006 10:05:26 AM

D'oh

I was backwards and knew it... But ive ben awake for 22+ hours and cant think straight... I just had my match backwards! OOPS! LOL...

Just ignore all of my obviously wrong rambleings...

Anyways... My point was its better to upgrade speakers rather than upgrade the sound output deive... Unless you have somthing that is just indeed terrible like most onboard audio devices...

For somereason I remembered seeing an amp with a THD rating of 1.0% @ 1w and was thinking of how terrible it must sound... Thats why I came to that point ass-backwards lol! :roll:
Anonymous
April 21, 2006 9:13:08 PM

Quote:
Gaming speakers are for gaming, HIFI speakers are for HIFI.


What argument would you support that statement with? The conclusion you have formed just does not seem logical to me.
Anonymous
April 21, 2006 9:56:22 PM

Quote:
Any time when you can't measure something, it's really, really hard to make an argument for it.


Actually the benefits from bi-wiring are well known and accurately described in modern electrical theory. It is known as IR drop, or voltage drop. Less Vdrop through the cable in essence means more overhead the speakers will see.

It's just that at the power levels present, in even the most extreme home audio systems, are small enough compared to the standard speaker wire (say 18 AWG and larger) that it takes very sensitive equipment to see the drops in these systems much less actually hear the difference!

An example: say you are in the US (amp output can swing plus and minus 85ishV) using 18AWG speaker wire @ 20milliohms per foot (you will not find speaker wire this crappy even at Rat Shack) * say 20 foot speaker cables. Driving 8 ohm load with 500W (alot right?) you will have 500/85 = 5.88Amps flowing in the speaker cables at moments of peak power output. This will result in a little over 2V drop in the cable.

As you can see the drop is very insignificant even with bad cables and a huge current draw. I guess what I am trying to say is the efect is real but most very negligible for those who are using speaker cables of a large enough gauge to be seen with the naked eye. If you are using an 80AWG speaker cable you may very well hear a positive affect from bi wiring, but no one else nor will their dogs.

Anyone who claims they can hear a difference betwween before and after bi wiring was either using bubble gum wrappers for speaker wires or is having a placebo effect.
April 21, 2006 10:14:50 PM

personally I have not heard the gigaworks, but I know the reviews are good. baring their location i would put the klipsch first (friend has them and I love 'em) then logitech/creative. M-audio makes reference grade comp speakers that don't "color" the sound w/ bass or anything but they cost lots of $.

reality is that any of these speakers in this price bracket are good but you should always check em out if you can before you buy. sound is a very subjective thing.

I have the x530's on my system 'cause I have wife and kids and dont crank the games, ususally use 'phones... I have a rockin home theater for movies/music so the 530's are all i need. :D 
April 25, 2006 2:38:13 AM

Quote:
Any time when you can't measure something, it's really, really hard to make an argument for it.


Actually the benefits from bi-wiring are well known and accurately described in modern electrical theory. It is known as IR drop, or voltage drop. Less Vdrop through the cable in essence means more overhead the speakers will see.

It's just that at the power levels present, in even the most extreme home audio systems, are small enough compared to the standard speaker wire (say 18 AWG and larger) that it takes very sensitive equipment to see the drops in these systems much less actually hear the difference!

An example: say you are in the US (amp output can swing plus and minus 85ishV) using 18AWG speaker wire @ 20milliohms per foot (you will not find speaker wire this crappy even at Rat Shack) * say 20 foot speaker cables. Driving 8 ohm load with 500W (alot right?) you will have 500/85 = 5.88Amps flowing in the speaker cables at moments of peak power output. This will result in a little over 2V drop in the cable.

As you can see the drop is very insignificant even with bad cables and a huge current draw. I guess what I am trying to say is the efect is real but most very negligible for those who are using speaker cables of a large enough gauge to be seen with the naked eye. If you are using an 80AWG speaker cable you may very well hear a positive affect from bi wiring, but no one else nor will their dogs.

Anyone who claims they can hear a difference betwween before and after bi wiring was either using bubble gum wrappers for speaker wires or is having a placebo effect.

Well after reading up a bit on bi-wiring beyond what looks like a minor increase in gauge to the amplifier, there is talk of removing low freqency distortion artifacts from the signal that goes to the highs altogether. Of course this begs the question--is it really audible? The tweeter should theoretically not even be able to play these low distortion artifacts.

An amp company would want to sell biwiring as a performance increasing option, by saying that there are measurable effects of bi-wiring (guage/IR drop not withstanding). Most speaker manufacturers however, will mention they provide biwiring to their customers but themselves are very cautious about discussing about its effects, as they know its one of those volatile, low diminishing returns issues, but many of the North American NRC-based companies (whether offshoot companies or just those who use the anechoic facilities) will say they've never managed to measure anything on the speaker end of the output spectrum.
!