Hi, planning an upgrade and need some advice =) [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-24-2008, 06:42 AM
Warning, newbie thread ahead. I tried to read up on as much as I could but there's so much stuff out there it overwhelms me =P

I've been a developing audio enthusiast for some time now but I still know relatively little about how it all works. I had a basic Mission 5.1 (bookshelf) setup with a Sony receiver a few years ago that must've cost around 300 quid max. Since then I moved to Hong Kong and sold that system and I've only had my Shure e3c earphones for comfort until recently, when I bought the fantastic Denon AH-D5000 headphones, which I'm using with an X-Fi Platinum soundcard. To me they sound amazing but I'm longing for a loudspeaker setup again so I can enjoy my rock music =)

My budget is relatively low, around 1300. The upside is that there is no VAT in HK, not even 1%, and the audio selection is phenomenal - I have no idea where to start, which is why I'm starting this thread.

I'm happy with the digital outputs of my PC in terms of film and music, I store all music in lossless format and have the necessary programs to use it as a bit-matched transport, which is adequate for my needs. I also play a lot of games and I'm looking at having the PC (which is very quiet =P) near my setup because I know how expensive cabling can get. I know this is a big nono for a lot of you but HK accommodation is expensive and small; I don't have a living room and a listening room, everything happens in one place here, I'm lucky I have a bathroom ;D

I need receiver (audio + video if possible), speakers, cables. I would like a decent 5.1 or a better than average 2.1, that is if I even need a subwoofer? I always find I keep subwoofer volume very low because it becomes overpowering. Are there good 5.1 sets in my price range?

I have no idea how to correctly choose a receiver that matches my speakers and then what cables to get the most out of it. Any cable companies I should be aware of for spdif and analog out for my soundcard connections? Are there new speaker technologies I need to look for? Is 96 khz relevant? Any receivers in this range with good DACs?

Basically I'm a blank slate, I just want a tightly matched system to give me a fresh start, any opinions are welcome, thanks!

01-24-2008, 06:53 AM
Being a 2 channel Computer audio lover myself, the only thing I can really recommend is to get a good 2 channel setup (lol)...

For your price range I'd suggest just buying a pair of nice floorstanding speakers (if you have space) or a nice pair of bookshelf speakers and an integrated amp... Use your computer as the source and you can have really good music without spending too much cash...

Easy options include a NAD Integrated such as the C315 with som PSB speakers such as the Alpha T1....

I don't recommend a sub since you probably won't be able to really make good use of it in a small apartment....

Anyway, there are a lot of good options in your price range... Enjoy the search!!!

01-24-2008, 07:06 AM
That's great thanks, reviews of the NAD look fantastic :) I'll definitely consider that with some nice floorstanding speakers.

I realised I will definitely need a surround-capable receiver with spdif input because I watch a lot of films on my PC =) I've been on stereo for a while now but I'd like to have surround capability for my films and games. Are there any receivers that have good surround support as well as extra oomph in the front L/R channels to power a nice set of floorstanding speakers? I don't mind spending more on an AV receiver if it leaves scope for future upgrades. Any names would help a lot, then I can do some online research myself =) Thanks.