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#289688 - 02/01/10 09:28 AM Total noob, please help
Yonmin Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 3
There way to many questions for me to state in the subject title.

1. I am getting an audio system for my iMac, most probably 2.1 would be good. Considering the M50, but do I need other stuff to connect my iMac to the M50? I don't exactly know how it work.

2. Is a receiver a must for floor-standing speakers?

3. Do I still need a bass subwoofer if I choose floor-standing speakers?

4. Lastly, simply using it for music, using an iMac, what would be the best speakers and what would I also need?

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#289692 - 02/01/10 09:50 AM Re: Total noob, please help [Re: Yonmin]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
The M50s will require amplification of some sort, as will any larger speaker that is not self powered. There are self-powered speakers out there but I'm not familiar with them enough to recommend a brand. I have read a few good reviews for self powered models but it seems that most high end speakers rely on outside amplification. Also be aware it means that you need an electrical outlet wherever they are located.

You don't need a receiver if you are only going to run the iMAC to the speakers. A receiver will simplify things later on if you start to add other devices but if it's strictly iMac to speakers only, then all you need is a stereo amp in the middle to give the speakers clean wattage.

Some stereo amps have a subwoofer out module but some do not. Even if it does not, you can still use a sub but just make sure it has connectors to tap into the speaker wire heading to one of your speakers, as opposed to just an RCA type plug only that wants to connect to the sub out of a receiver. They both do very different things.

Even the above can be worked around but a sub that is designed to run off a speaker feed as well as a sub-out, will be much more likely to have a built in crossover to ensure it plays just the bass frequencies below a desired level and not the full range of sounds going to the speaker. Normally this is handled in the receiver or amp with a proper sub-out.

Depending on the speaker you buy, you don't necessarily "need" a sub. The M50s or other similarly sized/quality speakers will sound very good on their own. You might not need to buy a sub right away if the budget is tight but I'd suggest getting an amp or reciever that supports it so you can try it out down the road. A good sub will enhance and smooth out the bass sounds of even large floor standing speakers like the M80s. Do you need it "no" but would you like it "Yes."

The best speaker depends on some variables. Can you please further explain your room size? Your musical interests? Do you prefer your music to have exaggerating, Kick-Azz, chest rattling bass or do you prefer your sound to be as close to accurate to the original recording as possible? How loud do you listen? Most here don't encourage unsafe loudness but being capable of dishing it out is a deal breaker for some.


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#290002 - 02/02/10 10:34 AM Re: Total noob, please help [Re: Murph]
Yonmin Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 3
 Originally Posted By: Murph
The M50s will require amplification of some sort, as will any larger speaker that is not self powered. There are self-powered speakers out there but I'm not familiar with them enough to recommend a brand. I have read a few good reviews for self powered models but it seems that most high end speakers rely on outside amplification. Also be aware it means that you need an electrical outlet wherever they are located.

You don't need a receiver if you are only going to run the iMAC to the speakers. A receiver will simplify things later on if you start to add other devices but if it's strictly iMac to speakers only, then all you need is a stereo amp in the middle to give the speakers clean wattage.

Some stereo amps have a subwoofer out module but some do not. Even if it does not, you can still use a sub but just make sure it has connectors to tap into the speaker wire heading to one of your speakers, as opposed to just an RCA type plug only that wants to connect to the sub out of a receiver. They both do very different things.

Even the above can be worked around but a sub that is designed to run off a speaker feed as well as a sub-out, will be much more likely to have a built in crossover to ensure it plays just the bass frequencies below a desired level and not the full range of sounds going to the speaker. Normally this is handled in the receiver or amp with a proper sub-out.

Depending on the speaker you buy, you don't necessarily "need" a sub. The M50s or other similarly sized/quality speakers will sound very good on their own. You might not need to buy a sub right away if the budget is tight but I'd suggest getting an amp or reciever that supports it so you can try it out down the road. A good sub will enhance and smooth out the bass sounds of even large floor standing speakers like the M80s. Do you need it "no" but would you like it "Yes."

The best speaker depends on some variables. Can you please further explain your room size? Your musical interests? Do you prefer your music to have exaggerating, Kick-Azz, chest rattling bass or do you prefer your sound to be as close to accurate to the original recording as possible? How loud do you listen? Most here don't encourage unsafe loudness but being capable of dishing it out is a deal breaker for some.




Wow, that very detailed. My room size is approx. 2000 cubic feet.

Say I use my iMac for occasional game playing, video watching and music playing.
What would be most advisable? 2.1, 5.1 or 7.1

Game playing :25%
Video Watching:25%
Music playing:50%

It is ok if it is in wall speakers cause my house is being constructed, it can be built to fit.

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#290045 - 02/02/10 01:22 PM Re: Total noob, please help [Re: Yonmin]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
I forgot the most important question. Budget?

I wouldn't be concerned about 7.1 right off the bat. You could make sure your AV receiver handles it for later experimentation though.

Amp vs. Receiver.
I'd go with an AV receiver that has the features you want within your budget. This allows you to grow as your needs change.

Room size.
This is an average room size. Anything in the axiom line should fill it nicely.


Speakers
There are many great speaker options but since this is an Axiom board and I'll attest that you definitely can't go wrong with them, I'll use their models as examples.

Light Budget - stereo
a Stereo M3 setup. I don't own them but they are said to be a great all round speaker that performs well without a sub.

A REALLY nice 2.1
M22 fronts with an EP350 sub.
Again, I don't own either but the M22s are acclaimed for their amazing accuracy and the sub will fill in deepest LFE to cover off the entire musical, movie and gaming spectrum of sound. Sets you up for a great 5.1 system later.

Amazing 5.1 (or next step after above)
Keep the M22 Fronts and the sub. Add QS8 or QS4 for surround sound.

Options--
1. Appease the desire for floor standers by replacing the M22s with M60s or M80s. Or do this down the road and re-use the M22s as the rears for the ultimate 7.1 system.

2. The more 'Obvious' choice.
Axiom makes a very nicely reviewed PC speaker setup that actually includes an amp and an optional subwoofer. it's everything you need in one package. I haven't used it but others here rate it very highly. By sheer size and design it kicks the ___ of your big box store PC speaker systems, for sure.

Others will chime in with other ideas and substitutes I'm sure. Again, it all comes down to budget.


_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#290049 - 02/02/10 01:37 PM Re: Total noob, please help [Re: Murph]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
Final Thought.
The Axiom PC sound system called the Audiobyte Computer Speaker System is probably exactly what you need if you mostly plan on listening alone or with a few guests and it's very budget friendly.


If you want a much more audiophile sounding system or a system that can rock the house with a party full of people, I'd save up for one of the above options. Again, budget is the key, or enemy, depending on where it sits.
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With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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