• 09-15-2004, 08:34 PM
    tommyboyazn
    First Sound System for College Student
    I'll soon have my own room in college and wish to setup a PC Home Theatre. What I lack is the capacity to room large towers speakers,10" subwoofers, etc . In addition, I know this will limit my overall audio experience, but I was hoping to have it hooked up to a PC for casual usage of mp3's, movies, and games. I've just begun my research to see which brand suits me best, and will mix and match if necessary. Bose and Klipsch are so far first choice. I'm trying to move away from logitech, altec lansing, and creative speakers because they are more intended for computer users. I need something that's clear and doesn't distort at loud volume and has good deep base. Please post your opinions and suggestions. Here is my initial setup.

    Audigy 2 Sound Card
    Pioneer Receiver
    Bose 6 Acoustimass Series III
    or Bose 7 Acoustimass Series II

    Please leave any feedback if you have experience with these components. It will be greatly appreciated. Aside from Bose, how about Klipsch, JBL?

    How would JBL SCS™ SERIES – SCS136SI compare to the Bose 6? I'm willing to spend up to 1000, but space is my first concern.

    More brands come to mind - Cerwin-Vega V-500. Are these systems overkill for a PCHT?
  • 09-15-2004, 10:08 PM
    RGA
    Firstly avoid Bose products - well marketed not well made. BOSE + Better Off with Something Else.

    Try Energy, Mission, Paradigm for small modular speakers that sound good and will come under your budget. Others may have more directly suitable suggestions...but bose is dreadful.
  • 09-16-2004, 03:29 AM
    N. Abstentia
    Yep, avoid Bose at all costs. I'd rather have nothing at all than have to listen to Bose.

    Klipsch definitley would be at the top of my list of self powered systems. If you're going to add an A/V receiver you'll open up your choices a lot. The Paradigm Cinema is a great small system.
  • 09-16-2004, 07:49 AM
    FLZapped
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tommyboyazn
    I'll soon have my own room in college and wish to setup a PC Home Theatre. What I lack is the capacity to room large towers speakers,10" subwoofers, etc . In addition, I know this will limit my overall audio experience, but I was hoping to have it hooked up to a PC for casual usage of mp3's, movies, and games. I've just begun my research to see which brand suits me best, and will mix and match if necessary. Bose and Klipsch are so far first choice. I'm trying to move away from logitech, altec lansing, and creative speakers because they are more intended for computer users. I need something that's clear and doesn't distort at loud volume and has good deep base. Please post your opinions and suggestions. Here is my initial setup.

    Augidy 2 Sound Card
    Pioneer Receiver
    Bose 6 Acoustimass Series III
    or Bose 7 Acoustimass Series II

    PCHT?

    Okay, so I have to ask, do you already own the receiver? If you do, I suppose you were thinking you would hook your PC sound card into one of it's aux ins, right?

    As for Altecs, I personally think if you went and listened to a set of 621s, you'd change your mind. I own a set and they are excellent speakers. They aren't manufactured now, but are readily available on Ebay. Many places still have some in stock, too. They also have a second input, so you could plug in a CD player, or other device without having to disconnect the computer sound card.

    None the less, if you do not have the receiver, you could skip it altogether, and look at Pro-Audio type powered monitors, such as the Mackie HR824s at the higher end of the spectrum, or the Edirol MA-20Ds at the lower end.

    http://www.alteclansing.com/product_details.asp?pID=621
    http://www.mackie.com/products/hr824/index.html
    http://www.edirol.com/products/info/ma20d.html

    Many, many choices beyond the one's you've listed.

    Unless there is some specific need to listen to the local radio stations, there are far greater choices online these days, which is why I mentioned skipping the receiver.

    http://www.shoutcast.com/
    http://www.radiotower.com/
    http://links.radio-online.com/stations.htm

    Shoutcast is affiliated with Winamp.

    -Bruce
  • 09-16-2004, 08:12 AM
    Resident Loser
    If you prefer...
    ...the sound and convenience of Bose products, by all means go for it...you are the ultimate arbiter, you are payin' the check...don't let anyone else tell you what you should or shouldn't do...what you should or shouldn't like...listen to everything within your price range with music you are familiar with...listening to the opinions and biases of others instead of the gear can unfairly skew your decision...

    My only experience with the Acoustimass stuff was while watching the Eagles "When Hell Freezes Over" DVD at a retailer...after reading all the Bose-bashing, here and elsewhere, I was quite surprised that it sounded as good as it did...it is a bit pricey, but it is compact...all things to be considered.

    jimHJJ(...and after all...no one is supposed to be bad-mouthing particular products...right, eric 'n' todd 'n'TtT?...RIGHT!!!...)
  • 09-16-2004, 11:10 AM
    tommyboyazn
    Thanks for all the input. Mission speakers look like a good choice for it's price and size. Yes, I plan to have it hook up to a receiver if possible - Pioneer VSX-D409. I don't know how old this thing is or if it's compatible. Wouldn't want to blow away the drivers. Whatever I choose, it'll be a great upgrade from my 5.1 microlab speakers.

    About the Bose speakers, I know they are overpriced, but i have no intention of buying them retail. The Accoustimass 6 for example($699USD), I can ebay them for 350-400 new. That is a reasonable price in my opinion. I've had the opportunity to listen to them in a Bose store once while watching Drumline. It's amazing how you can max volume and clarity's still crisp. In addition, with a few brackets, they'll even decorate your room. So my question is, what other system offers the same aspects.

    With a receiver, does the performance of my sound card matter at all? Should I upgrade my existing sound card? - Soundblaster Live Value. If so, what do you guys think about the Sound Blaster Extigy.
  • 09-16-2004, 01:06 PM
    tommyboyazn
    Today I had my computer hooked up to my dad's Pioneer receiver and a pair of JBL tower speakers. There's the discrepency of audio source - mp3s, dvd movies, and video games. Even though you spend thousands of dollars on a high-end system, you'll still get mp3 quality coming out of expensive speakers. Where it does matter is when you watch DVD and play video games. So am I flawed for having poor audio source. The reason being, I do almost everything on my computer - music, movie, game, and television.

    I've narrow down to these:

    Bose Acoustimass 6
    Bose Acoustimass 7
    Bose Acoustimass 5
    JBL SCS136SI
    Klipsch ProMedia 5.1
    Cerwin-Vega V-500

    I'm going to start researching on bookshelf speakers. Wonder how they will compare.
  • 09-16-2004, 01:32 PM
    plextor guy
    give the Logitech Z-680's a listen..
    Especially for pc based hometheater in small to medium rooms. I have the 2.1 version. They never cease to amaze me. Very clean, very smooth and dynamic.
  • 09-16-2004, 02:23 PM
    N. Abstentia
    [QUOTE=tommyboyazn]
    About the Bose speakers, I know they are overpriced, but i have no intention of buying them retail. The Accoustimass 6 for example($699USD), I can ebay them for 350-400 new. That is a reasonable price in my opinion. I've had the opportunity to listen to them in a Bose store once while watching Drumline. It's amazing how you can max volume and clarity's still crisp. In addition, with a few brackets, they'll even decorate your room. So my question is, what other system offers the same aspects.

    QUOTE]

    Just about any system. Keep in mind you heard Bose speakers in a specially designed, acoustically treated Bose sound room..which your dorm is not. Not even close. How many other brands of speakers did they have in there to compare?

    What's even funnier..there's a guy at work who kept going on about his Acoustimass system and I got sick of it. So I hauled my laptop over to his house, along with my Klipsch Pro Media 2.1's ($60 from Ebay). Plugged them into the line out jack of my laptop, put in a CD, and toasted his Bose system. It didn't get as loud since he had them hooked to a powerful receiver, but the clarity, imaging, and deep bass was 100 times better. It was quite humorous to see the look on his face!
  • 09-16-2004, 03:42 PM
    Geoffcin
    If your in need of a PC home theater
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tommyboyazn
    I'll soon have my own room in college and wish to setup a PC Home Theatre. What I lack is the capacity to room large towers speakers,10" subwoofers, etc . In addition, I know this will limit my overall audio experience, but I was hoping to have it hooked up to a PC for casual usage of mp3's, movies, and games. I've just begun my research to see which brand suits me best, and will mix and match if necessary. Bose and Klipsch are so far first choice. I'm trying to move away from logitech, altec lansing, and creative speakers because they are more intended for computer users. I need something that's clear and doesn't distort at loud volume and has good deep base. Please post your opinions and suggestions. Here is my initial setup.

    Audigy 2 Sound Card
    Pioneer Receiver
    Bose 6 Acoustimass Series III
    or Bose 7 Acoustimass Series II

    Please leave any feedback if you have experience with these components. It will be greatly appreciated. Aside from Bose, how about Klipsch, JBL?

    How would JBL SCS™ SERIES – SCS136SI compare to the Bose 6? I'm willing to spend up to 1000, but space is my first concern.

    More brands come to mind - Cerwin-Vega V-500. Are these systems overkill for a PCHT?

    I would reccomend you check out what Cambridge Soundworks has to offer. They sell some of thier stuff on Ebay. I have the 210D on this computer and it smokes. There's the 215 which is even better, or if you have a 5.1 receiver the Movieworks 108 might be just what you looking for. These systems are serious sound for your PC, knock you right outta the chair! http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=5122780180
  • 09-17-2004, 02:56 PM
    Jimmy C
    Acyronym...
    ...lol... a local dealer said it was "Box only, sound extra".

    Geez... that particular store even SOLD them!
  • 09-17-2004, 06:35 PM
    chimera128
    RE: no room for 10" subs. The BOSE bass module takes up more room than most 10" subs I have seen. There are plenty of manufacturers that offer sub/sat systems in the price range that you are looking at that will give you better sound (unless you are enamored with BOSE sound). Plus the BOSE satellites are some of the most cheaply made speakers I have come across. They fall apart very easily. If you are prone to dropping things definitely buy something else. In terms of what to buy, try to go to some high end shops in your area and just audition some speakers. Most manufacturers have products within your price range.
  • 09-17-2004, 06:37 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jimmy C
    ...lol... a local dealer said it was "Box only, sound extra".

    Geez... that particular store even SOLD them!


    Hey just because they sell it doesn't mean they're tone deaf too. Most of the folks selling it know it's rubbish - but hey Caveat Emptor
  • 09-19-2004, 02:17 PM
    Weister42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tommyboyazn
    I'll soon have my own room in college and wish to setup a PC Home Theatre. What I lack is the capacity to room large towers speakers,10" subwoofers, etc . In addition, I know this will limit my overall audio experience, but I was hoping to have it hooked up to a PC for casual usage of mp3's, movies, and games. I've just begun my research to see which brand suits me best, and will mix and match if necessary. Bose and Klipsch are so far first choice. I'm trying to move away from logitech, altec lansing, and creative speakers because they are more intended for computer users. I need something that's clear and doesn't distort at loud volume and has good deep base. Please post your opinions and suggestions. Here is my initial setup.

    Audigy 2 Sound Card
    Pioneer Receiver
    Bose 6 Acoustimass Series III
    or Bose 7 Acoustimass Series II

    Please leave any feedback if you have experience with these components. It will be greatly appreciated. Aside from Bose, how about Klipsch, JBL?

    How would JBL SCS™ SERIES – SCS136SI compare to the Bose 6? I'm willing to spend up to 1000, but space is my first concern.

    More brands come to mind - Cerwin-Vega V-500. Are these systems overkill for a PCHT?

    Hum, I guess you'd like to go for quality than quantity? I've heard great reviews for the Logitech Z-680 5.1 speaker system and one of my friends have a set in his room, the clarity and output exceeded the ProMedia 5.1, but with slightly laidback treble and it's all in a small package. If you really want to save space I would say go with a set of good powered computer speakers, the whole receiver/sub/sat will take up more room and time to set up. I'm currently in college and I have two seperate systems, one for home theater and one for parties, both system takes up a big chunk of space however...

    IMO a good system in college is a system that can play louder than you can scream and pump bass so deep it makes your new female neighbors want to come stop by. When I was living in the dorms I had probably the loudest stereo in my dorm, perhaps the loudest on the campus(one receiver running 5 JBL speakers, one midbass amp running 3 8" woofers and one amp for 2 12" subwoofers). One of my friends told me he could hear my music in the basement, and I live on 3rd floor!

    But, after about 2 1/2 semesters I got kicked out for being too loud...
  • 09-19-2004, 02:50 PM
    tommyboyazn
    Aside from drunkard loudness, this will definitely top anything around my apartment complex. Thanks a lot for all the inputs. Highly appreciated.
  • 09-21-2004, 06:38 AM
    bobhaze
    I'm on my third PC based HT...
    system and have learned a lot in the process of making my share of mistakes. Regarding the sound card, if you already have the receiver don't bother upgrading. Just take the digital out and let it do the decoding, you'll get DTS and hardware decoding of the DVD soundtracks which you will not get with the Live, reducing your CPU usage and letting the PC run easier. The live in this case basically does passthrough on DVD, and doesn't have any significant influence. Id does resample CD's to 48kHz, which is not a good thing sonically. If you don't already have the receiver consider going with the Audigy 2ZX instead, you'll get hardware AC3, DTS and even basic DVD-Audio playback. Going up to the Platinum or Platinum Pro versions will also give you an I.R. remote, more in/out options and a convenient manual volume control. Believe me, you'll begin to appreciate these things when you have them when you are doing DVD playback. I find the fidelity of the Audigy 2 to be excellent all around without the deterioration on CD playback of the Live card. One report I read says that the Audigy does not resample CD's as long as you are not using any of the "enhancements", but I don't know how true this is. I only know it sounds a lot better in my experience. All you'll need the receiver for is an FM tuner, but there are PC options for these as well if you care. Some of the Hauppauge TV tuner cards have FM built in too. Unless you absolutely have to, I would stay away from USB based sound cards, by their nature they need to use so much USB bandwidth that it may limit the other simultaneous tasks you can do. If you make good choices of video, TV tuner, and soundcards you can still use the PC for other tasks while watching DVD's or recording TV shows without any significant slowdown.

    On the speaker side I can recommend the Cambridge SoundWorks BassCube 851 subwoofer if you skip the receiver. Its an 8" sealed box sub with a 5.1 amp built in. Its rated at 150W on the woofer and 60W on each of the satellite channels. I don't see it listed separately on the site, but one of the store sales guys was able to figure out a price in their system for me. You can use any main speakers with it, but the MC100's with MC150 center are a really good sounding combination with relatively small satellites. It's a much better sounding system than the similar appearing Creative GigaWorks. If you have the receiver, you could use the BassCube 8 with the same satellite speakers. I think its called the MovieWorks 108, but the site seems to be down right now so I can't give you a link.
  • 09-21-2004, 08:28 AM
    misterq4u
    The ears say...

    Klipsch > Sound is too bright- Highs kills the midrange, at least on the 5.1 box set.
    Bose > We've heard enough about.

    I say look into Cambridge Soundworks.
  • 09-24-2004, 12:22 AM
    tommyboyazn
    I do have a tv tuner - winfast leadtek xp deluxe, or something like that. thanks for all the helpful input bobhaze. I'm debating now to either use my dad's receiver or get the audigy platinium.

    Speakers - I think i'm going with some 5.1 klipsch. i'll still look over some cambridge before finalizing. I don't plan to make all the purchases at once, just taking it one piece at a time.

    You guys convinced me enough, no bose. :rolleyes: