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#18940 - 09/01/03 01:13 AM Requesting assistance with first ever setup please
Intrepid4 Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/01/03
Posts: 4
Loc: Queens, NY
Greetings Axiomaudio forum-goers! I bring many questions from the land of aspiring, yet inexperienced, audio enthusiasts. With your assistance, I am looking to draw from some of that good old knowhow that seems to be so abundant on these message boards.

The story goes a little something like this: Having just graudated college recently, I have gotten used to cramped quarters and have tried to balance my love of audio, arising from the relaxation I find in it, accordingly. For me, as is likely the case for many college students, the PC has become the center of my existence. However, now that I have the luxury of modest space as well as slightly higher income, it has definitely come time to leave my multimedia speakers behind. To shorten the story, I have settled on the M22 bookshelves as my first investment and will be hooking these up to my 7.1 M-Audio Revolution soundcard which I feel will do these speakers justice, at least for now.

I would like to ask for your educated opinion as to which receiver I should pair these with. From these forums and others I have gathered that it is a definite no-no to run the M-22's through a "bright" receiver. How exactly a receiver can be bright, I have no idea. From some heavy reading though I have narrowed down my choices to
H/K AVR 225 OR Denon 1803 OR refurbished Onkyo TX SR 600 and.... well of course any other suggestions you have
All of the above can be had for roughly the same price, and although I do not plan to use any listening modes other than stereo, at least for the time being, I decided against an integrated stereo amp(this could change based upon your convincing arguements), as I am not sure there is any perceivable sound quality difference, and due to the fact that it just seems you are getting so much more for your money in a surround amp.

I do plan on adding a subwoofer in several months time, when my bank account has time to replenish itself, and so am concerned by the fact that, at least from what I read, the H/K AVR 225 doesn't have an adjustable crossover. Is this a deal breaker, due to my plan to purchase a sub in the future, as I was leaning towards the H/K pending your approval.

I'll end it here as I have taken up enough of your generous offering of time. Any advice and suggestions are very welcome and I want to thank one and all for taking the time to read my ramblings. Many Thanks!

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#18941 - 09/01/03 01:26 AM Re: Requesting assistance with first ever setup please
Haoleb Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 1488
Loc: Maine
get a Integrated not a reciever. nuff said. with a reciever your paying for stuff you wont need which only takes away from the stuff you DO need and adds more junk to make more noise to make the sound worse. NAD C320BEE sounds right up your alley!
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#18942 - 09/01/03 03:38 AM Re: Requesting assistance with first ever setup please
sushi Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 1490
Loc: Dallas, TX
Intrepid4,

I agree with Brandon that you don't want to buy something you may not need. If you have already decided that your (likely growing) system will be built around the M-Audio Revo card as pre/pro, then I guess all you need is a power amp, isn't it? (correct me if I am wrong.)

If that's the case, there are some affordable, high-quality power amps available, such as the Outlaw M200 monoblocks.

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#18943 - 09/01/03 08:41 AM Re: Requesting assistance with first ever setup please
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6789
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
How about trying www. Audiogon.com there is usually some Parasound amps for sale there at a good price,something like the 1000A @ 125 per channel @ 8ohm 200 @ 4.They usually sell for $300 to $350.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#18944 - 09/01/03 12:02 PM Re: Requesting assistance with first ever setup please
Saturn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/21/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: Toronto Ontario Canuck
Since you will be using your PC for majority of your sources ie. CD,DVD,MP3,DiVx, etc...your setup sound like mine which is the HTPC (Home Theater PC). I definitely would not connect that 7.1 M-Audio Revolution card to a number of power amps or multi amp and use your PC as a pre/pro. I know that card can be combined to make all your outputs 7.1 but a external receiver/integrated or pre/surround processor with amps would work better. Your 7.1 M-audio Revolution card would work well using its Coax Digital out to the receiver for your surround duties. You can also connect your main left and right output to a receiver for stereo duties ie playing Cds and more importantly MP3's. The Revolution doesn’t resample sources below 48 kHz, something pretty much all consumer soundcards do. M-Audio’s Revolution 7.1, powered by VIA’s Envy24HT chipset, the card internally supports 24-Bit/192kHz for up to 8 (7.1) channels.
That said the HK is only 5.1 and 2x55w. More titles are coming out with 6.1 and eventualy 7.1. Some people on here are experts with media and surround technology. I'm not. The Denon is 6.1 2x80w and lots of people on here are Denon enthusiasts. The Onkyo is 6.1 2x80w but I have heard Onkyo rating a little lower than what they publish. That maybe not the case with this model.
Here is a site that has listings of a lot of receivers in whatever range you are comfortable.
http://www1.dealtime.com/xPP-Home_Audio_Receivers
find the range you are in and it will list a couple. Then head on down to your local shop. Another great deal is definitely on audiogon.com if available. I was able to snag a $4500+(cdn) power amp for $900(cdn).

Saturn

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#18945 - 09/01/03 02:36 PM Re: Requesting assistance with first ever setup please
sushi Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 1490
Loc: Dallas, TX
Ah... I stand corrected. Thanks, Saturn.

Yeah, if you use the M-Audio card just for the digital readout, then an AV receiver is a must.

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#18946 - 09/03/03 02:01 AM Re: Requesting assistance with first ever setup please
Intrepid4 Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/01/03
Posts: 4
Loc: Queens, NY
Hey everybody, I'am back to stir up more confusion. First, I would like to thank one and all for your time as well as the helpful suggestions. I presently find myself in the stage where it's almost frightening to ask questions, as it only reveals just how much I lack a clue as to what's going on here, but if I may exercise your patience, I'd like to ask a few follow up Q's please.

I may know a thing or two about multimedia audio setups, but if you keep using words like poweramp and monoblock, I am liable to go blind on you. Just what are these and how do they differ from say a Denon 1803, a representative model of my basic understanding of amps?

Next, thanks for the info about the Revolution Saturn. The fact that it does not resample audio output is precisely the reason for my purchase. The high quality DAC's, ASIO support and digital out didn't hurt my decision either. This is a welcome change after my ownership of repeated iterations of Creative cards that just can't seem to manage the same feat. I know the Revolution is also capable of bass management and has an adjustable crossover in it's control panel.

I was hoping that someone may be able to explain the pathway and means by which this works. What is the optimal point in your setup where you would like the bass management to take effect for best results? For example, should I set the crossover in the soundcard's menu which is outputing the source, or should it be set via the receiver such as an H/K 225 for example, or perhaps on the subwoofer itself? Does any one component take precedence over the other?

Finally, in your experience what cables are needed to get this whole HTPC setup up and running? Since it will only be used for stereo output for now, I am guessing that having a cable from the coax out of the Revo to the receiver's IN, as well as analog connections from the Revo to the receiver simultaneously, will only be different in that it allows you to determine which device's DAC's sound best to your ears. Is there any other advantage if not used for surround at the moment? And exactly what cables are needed for an analog connection to the receiver, as the 1/8" jack on the Revo contains both the front left and right channels. I assumed that 1/8" to stereo RCA cables are necessary, but will each of the channels be kept to its own RCA connector after the cable splits? Or is there something more complex involved?

Lastly, can someone please recommend a vendor and reputable brand of cables that is associated with the quality yet not the astronomical price of Monster cables. Thinking that most of the big blows were already dealt to my wallet after purchasing a pair of M22's, I headed over to the cable section of onecall.com (they seem to specialize in Monster)to try to surmise what cables would be necessary to get my setup operable. Let's just say that I wasn't consoled in the calculation that having my source roughly 4 feet or more from my speakers would, all told, cost me as much as a brand spanking new pair of M3's. (ever so slight exaggeration for dramatic effect)

There's got to be a better way! Someone help please Thank you again so very much for putting up with my pages of posts.

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#18947 - 09/03/03 02:31 AM Re: Requesting assistance with first ever setup please
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
Cables: Radio Shack or Home Depot, or one of the other generic brands. You won't notice a difference. And even if you do, you won't break the bank and the difference won't be huge. See massive debates elsewhere on these forums. Also see some rather informative articles posted in said debates, the ones with all the graphs that make your eyes water and your mind ooze out your ears.

The subwoofer's crossover will override the rest of the crossovers, as it's the last item in the chain. This does not mean that it is the best item to use for the crossover. The best part would probably be the receiver (or integrated amp, but those usually don't have sub outs, at least not the stereo ones, so you'd have to fiddle with it.)

Anywho, if you can stretch your budget a bit, you might want to look at the H/K 325. It's where the features really start to kick in in that line, and you may be able to get it fairly cheaply as a refurb (from onecall).

I would not set the bass at the soundcard; all you really want that to do is send the digital signal to the receiver. (Mind you, I don't have a soundcard like taht, or a HTPC, or anything of the sort.) It just seems to me that your media player/reader should not be the thing handling how the music/movie is going to sound.

The analog cabling as you described it should be fine, but I would go with the digital, as I, personally, don't trust (or like) 1/8" jacks. They die too easily.

Anyway, good luck!

Ken
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#18948 - 09/04/03 11:50 AM Re: Requesting assistance with first ever setup please
Saturn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/21/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: Toronto Ontario Canuck
With respect to audio cables I would go with what kcarlile has suggested. Most of the people on here would tend to agree too. But do get nicely shielded VGA cables if you go the video route for HTPC. Interference on a video cable can cause some static in the picture. Any generic cable for audio will do. For audio I'll still keep my Kimbers though.
For analog you would actually need a miniplug to stereo RCA converter (definitely not a HIFI thing) to get your analog mains to your receiver. Don't worry about the sub output here. Make sure your soundcard outputs the full frequency (which it does without resample) and the receiver will do all your bass management as kcarlile has mentioned.
Dont worry about pre amps. processor, power amps and monoblocks. That is why receivers were made to incoporate all those into one box. Less space, cheaper cost, less cables, less complexity.
With respect to using the SPDIF digital connection to your receiver, bass mgt is also done by the reciever so you do not need to worry about that either. It is usually if you are using computer speakers hooked up to your soundcard will you need to setup bass management through your card software package.
Having both digital and analog connections you can find out which gives you better audio quality. With surround you do not have a choice but use your digital connection to decode for DTS or DD. One thing to note that audio quality for this setup really depends on the quality of music from your source.ie if mp3 file is 94, 128k or 256k etc...
The are other source files which can give you better audio quality such as OGG, WMA, etc. You should ask other people on here which have experience on this stuff.
Based on my earlier comparisons a great CD player with excellent DACs to receiver is "better" sounding than a HTPC audio setup with a receiver.
The benefit to having a HTPC is if your source is mostly digital ie mp3s. It is good for NET radio stations. You also would not need an extra DVD player. It also syncronizes properly with a front projector. Do you happen to have a picture of your setup. If there are any empty white walls Sushi can give a most excellent recommendation.
And yes since your HTPC will mostlikely be away from your audio setup cables may cost you the price of a pair of M3's.

1 pair of 10 feet Kimber 4TC speaker wires for main speakers
1 pair of 25 feet Monster XP speaker wire for surrounds speakers
2 pair of 5 feet Monster XP for biamped centre speakers
2 pairs of 5 feet VandenHul D102 interconnects for CD player and main amp
1 pair of 3 feet Audioquest Sidewinders interconnects for centre amp
6 feet Radio Shack Digital coax cable
25 feet generic computer 25 pin monitor cable to projector
Was it worth it? Well....I could have gotten a brand new M60 for all those wires

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http://www.quadloft.com/hometheater- new HT

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