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Looking for a way to "extend" my computer speakers

Last response: in Home Audio
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April 21, 2008 2:39:47 PM

I just recently purchased some drums. I hooked up an old stereo to play along with, but ran into two problems. The first is that it simply was not loud enough to play along to without running into massive distortion. The second is that it is old enough that, while having a 5 disc CD changer, it only plays tapes/CDs - no MP3s.

I decided that I'd piece together a computer from my old components to serve as a media center. I'll store all my MP3s on it, and it will have access to the net so that I can view training material/tabs/whatever. The thing is, I'll need to get a fairly decent set of speakers, and I'd like to extend them out a bit so they're not in my ears, but that I can hear them fairly well. Thing is, I know most speaker wire for computer speakers is pretty limited, as it is designed to sit on a desktop.

Here's an idea of the range I need:
- In this picture, you can see the corner where the bookshelf meets the wall. I'd probably set up my computer on the bookshelf:
http://phroztnet.org/images/drums/Drums002-041908.jpg

- In this picture, you can see a corner of the room (by the blue tubs). I'd like to set up a speaker up high in that corner:
http://phroztnet.org/images/drums/Drums005-041908.jpg

- In this picture, you can see the length of the bookshelf. Obviously, this is before I had my drums there. I'd like to put a speaker in the top right corner of the right-most bookshelf:
http://phroztnet.org/me/books1.jpg

Here's the kicker. Eventually, I'll probably want to play w/other people, and might need a more surroundish-sounding setup, so I'd probably want a speaker to go all the way to the corner seen in this picture (there's a white box in the corner in this pic):
http://phroztnet.org/images/drums/Drums004-041908.jpg


What speakers/card/wires/whatever should I buy/put together in order to accomplish what I need?

Thanks!!
April 21, 2008 10:39:54 PM

A sound card that has multiple stereo outputs, two sets would suffice, as this will allow you to add additional speakers, usually you can have these output the same channels as your main pair, so no real need for uber surround sound of doom. But this all depends on how loud your speakers will be, as your main pair could easily be louder than you and whomever you eventually play with.

Go for balanced cables over unbalanced, either XLR or Jack. Not mini jack or rca, both are not rugged enough. Check and make sure your sound card can accept these connections.

Speakers, you'll need something pretty damn loud (sorry for being obvious). Go for the more pro audio speakers as their efficiency is a lot higher than your average hifi. Active monitors rather than passive as they're usually cheaper in comparison. Passive speakers require an amp so that'll be an extra cost. So something with at least 150w RMS. My only question is what sort of size (l x w x d) do you want the speakers to be? As they can start to be pretty hefty and cumbersome once you go above 100w RMS, and putting them up high can seem a little daunting.

Hope that's been of some help :) 
April 23, 2008 9:18:24 PM

Well.. I understand most of that... maybe I didn't word my question correctly.

Basically, I know that most computer "stereo" systems are meant to be set up on a desk, so wires are short. Alternatively, most home/car/whatever stereo systems usually involve running some speaker wire. Obviously, speaker wire doesn't just plug into your average sound card.

So then, my question is, what do I need to do in order to connect speakers to my computer w/speaker wire.... or are there other "extenders" that I can use for computer speaker jacks that will work with desktop-designed "stereo" systems?
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April 30, 2008 6:05:47 PM

If you’re saying that you'll use your computer speaker system to play music while you play drums? Then it depends on your speaker system if it's load enough. Same thing goes to your Old Stereo System.

Like nicalex I suggest you should check Professional Audio Equipment otherwise if it's just higher noise you're after then get a Z5500 and direct the sound to your ear and put the sub closer to your drums set. As your old equipment is not good for playing if the source is coming from a computer. You would need a good sound card to do that, if that’s the route you’re taking and even that it’s no guaranty you’ll get what you want to accomplish.

Here's a link of Pro Audio: http://www.cheapbandgear.com/?OVRAW=Pro%20Audio&OVKEY=p...

You would need something like these eqipment.

1 of this: http://www.cheapbandgear.com/GEMINI_GPA1000_1000_Watt_P...

2 of this: http://www.cheapbandgear.com/TR_150_Speaker_600_Watts_3...

And this to connect the Line Inputs to your computer: http://www.cheapbandgear.com/Tapco_Mix_60_Compact_Mixer...
May 22, 2008 1:46:01 PM

rex... thanks for your reply... but man that's expensive!!

I'm not really looking to set up a system to produce sound for an actual concert or anything.. just looking for it to be loud enough to play with.

So a mixer is the only way I can bridge external stereo equipment to my computer?
May 29, 2008 12:16:57 AM

I posted a reply last week but I guess it did'nt went through.

Anyhow.

Yeah! it is expensive but as you explained. I would think too that the mixer is a better solution for you right now.
!