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A New Soundsystem


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#1 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:26 PM

Gday

i'm now moving into the next step of my "room cinema" :)

the soundsystem,
and i'm looking for some advice.

i want a 5.1 system with good quality for music, videos and games
what sort of setups can you reccomend?
what amps?
whats speakers?

second how should i set this up in my room, one speaker per top corner?

and i would also like some insights into using 5.1 systems with a computer.

oh one more thing
my price range is AUS$500 :blush:

Thanks

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#2 Eric5h5

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:58 PM

Due to advice on this very forum a while ago about this very subject, I bought a refurb Onkyo 5.1 system (receiver/speakers) for US$200.  The quality is excellent, and it works great for music/videos/games.  Or at least, it would work great for games if there were any Mac games with properly functioning surround sound.  Maybe someday.  But even the setting for fake surround adds a little depth compared to stereo.  Plus they shipped it to me in under a day, even across the US/Canada border, and I didn't even pay for next-day shipping.

--Eric

#3 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 01:57 AM

in connection and software terms, how do you get these things talking with OSX?

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#4 Eric5h5

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 08:43 AM

View Postaussiemacgamer, on April 28th 2007, 03:57 AM, said:

in connection and software terms, how do you get these things talking with OSX?

Nothing in particular you necessarily need for software (aside from Apple and/or third parties fixing the OpenAL situation so we can have working surround in games).  It has multiple inputs, so you can connect multiple sources.  In fact I can connect my G5 alone to it three different ways at once...the normal stereo output (which will only use the fake surround settings that you can set on the receiver, of course, or just plain stereo), the optical output (which gets you 5.1 surround, but only when playing DVDs), and 5 channel analog output from my Revolution 5.1 sound card.  The sound card does have software that you install, which gives you a preferences control panel.

--Eric

#5 CoeusTitan

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 11:19 AM

http://www.bestbuy.c...d=1099394773266   <-----my amp

http://www.audiorevi...rx.aspx#review0 <----- my front speakers

http://www.trademe.c.../p-39799486.htm <----- my center speaker

http://portland.crai.../318301654.html <----- my rear speakers

the three Aiwa speakers were given to me by a friend, I bought the Amp from Best Buy, and the Infinity speakers were also from a friend (I helped him move out of his home so he gave me some of his stuff)

He was a fool to give me his infinity speakers, they are very high quality; worth about 400 when they were new.

oh and here's the cable I got from the apple store to connect it all to my iMac - http://store.apple.c...;nplm=TL955LL/A

I think you should build your own system like I did based upon what you like, how much money you have, etc etc.

Some of the best things and fun things to build are the custom systems. You get a little sense of pride out of it.

Brands I recommend (from Excellent down to good) Bose, Infinity, JBL, Klipsch, Sony, Aiwa. I recommend those brands because they are more commercially available and easier to find compared to brands like, say....Audio-Technica, Shure, Xantech, and others

Good luck!  :happy:
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600-Watt Dolby 5.1 Surround w/ Infinity Speakers connected via TOSLink digital audio cable

#6 CoeusTitan

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 11:51 AM

http://hometheater.a...tbasicfaq7a.htm

http://hometheater.a...roomlayout.html

That should help you out with speaker positioning. I'm actually reading it myself right now  :lol:
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#7 CoeusTitan

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 05:09 PM

Oh yes, and about 5.1 with computers....I'd say 500 watts is nice....1000 watts....too much. You're just not far away enough from the computer to appreciate 1000 watts of power.

Oh and if you get a 5.1 system for your PC....if the subwoofer is down-firing, place it anywhere...if it is side or front-firing (ported) then place it as far away from you near a wall or corner for maximum effect.

if it's rear-ported, then you can put it closer to you with the same result in sound.

As for my sub....it's front-firing so it's about....oh....12 feet away from the listening position, in the corner. It's worth it though....even if you have to buy extension cables.

The low frequencies from a subwoofer need longer distances to propogate (grow, amplify, etc.) so having it far away like that makes it sound much better.

Do something for me. Put your ear right next to a subwoofer port. Then stand about 10 feet away and listen.

Close, it should be like a WUMP WUMP WUMP WUMP....farther away it should be a much more rounded-sounding boom boom boom boom

Oh, and down-firing subs work very well in rooms that have smooth, hollow floors. Forward, rear, and side ported subs work better in rooms with carpet and such.

I used to have a 15-inch DBX down-firing sub that stood about 3 feet tall. It was amazing until I moved into a small room with lots of furniture that dampened the sound...so I went to a more traditional ported sub.

If you place your speakers properly....you'll feel like you're in a movie theater. Or it may even sound BETTER. I've achieved that. It's great.

A great movie scene to test your speaker setup to the max is the 3rd scene from the movie Serenity

:excl: Be sure to warn anyone nearby because you will be rockin' da house wit dat scene, lemme' tell ya' !   :rotfl:
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#8 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 03:11 AM

so.
from my macbook pro what connections would i need.

what cables, and what connections would i need to look for on the amp.

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#9 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 01:16 AM

and could i get an amp with one of those Alarms on them?

because jesus do i need one. i slept through school again today  :blush:

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#10 Dark_Archon

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:45 AM

the Macbook Pros have optical and analogue out from the minijack. I'd go with a receiver with optical-in which should allow you to use 5.1 surround sound.
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#11 Greg Grant

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 01:07 PM

View PostCoeusTitan, on April 28th 2007, 04:09 PM, said:

Oh yes, and about 5.1 with computers....I'd say 500 watts is nice....1000 watts....too much. You're just not far away enough from the computer to appreciate 1000 watts of power.

I highly doubt your kicking out 500 watts RMS, not to be a jerk or anything but most lower end gear lists peaks only and if they do list RMS, its at 1 KHz or the THD is completely horrid as its tested at as low as 4 Ohms. If you happen to buy a receiver or amp from one of the more A list makers like Marantz, Onkyo, Denon and HK (There's others too but trying to recite every good make) they'll list their amplifer tests at a 20hz-20Khz load. Again, there are still ways to flubb this, but its at least more accurate.

Watts really doesn't exactly equate to "Better" sound. Its more important that you're achieving the recommended RMS wattage to your said speakers, other factors that come are quality of speakers, your DSP and of course the Almighty DAC.

Back to topic.

Anyhow, on a $500 budget, you're not gonna get much if you try and go for a component system (Even if its the better method as you can simply upgrade pieces). $500 is essentially what I paid for my center channel :/  I'd highly recommend, just getting a boxed system from a respectable make. Everyone praises the Onkyo ones, but I'd check a ton of review sites like CNET. Most of the computer "boxed" sets are complete junk, in fact I'd go as far to say the only speakers I'd consider using are from Klipsch. I've never been a fan of the Z-5300s (logitech) as they had no midrange. I've never heard the Z-5500s but I just can't see a single driver providing both clean highs and decent mid-range.
the IMG audio guy...

#12 Eric5h5

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 01:39 PM

View PostGreg Gant, on May 1st 2007, 03:07 PM, said:

Everyone praises the Onkyo ones

Yep!

Quote

Most of the computer "boxed" sets are complete junk

Yep!

I'm not an audiophile, but I know when something doesn't sound great, and even the supposedly "good" computer speaker systems (i.e., the more expensive Logitech ones) that I've heard are not that good.  

--Eric

#13 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:10 PM

so if i get a boxed home cinema set with a 5.1 amd that has an optical-in.
i'll be just about ready to start getting 5.1 out of my computer?

what cables do i need? an optical out to optical in?

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#14 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 12:45 AM

any last words before i go off and buy one of these rig's?

i think i'm going for this 600 watt Yamaha System.

any words on yamaha?

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#15 The Liberator

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 01:07 AM

View Postaussiemacgamer, on May 1st 2007, 05:16 PM, said:

and could i get an amp with one of those Alarms on them?

because jesus do i need one. i slept through school again today  :blush:
You could just program your MBP to wake you up every morning at the selected time.
The way... ->
  • Open "System Preferences"
  • Go to "Energy Saver"
  • Find the button called "Schedule"...
  • Click on "Schedule
  • Decide when the computer should wake up
  • ...And the rest is history...
I hope the starting sound on your MBP is loud enough.  :happy:

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#16 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 06:29 AM

Im going to make a probable purchase tommorow on the yamaha model.

before i do is there any last words on Yamaha's lower end Systems?

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#17 yves

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 01:56 PM

A nice addition to setting wake up time in energy saver panel is to make an .app in automator that starts to play a song or playlist of your liking in itunes and put that in your startup items inside the account preference panel.
So eric5h5; if I was to get a 5.1 system would I need a soundcard for true 5.1 sound or does my dual G5 support 5.1 from the motherboard or does that depend on how you connect it (digital, analog)? Searched on everymac.com but couldn't find an answer.
Yves

#18 Eric5h5

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 03:33 PM

View Postyves, on May 6th 2007, 03:56 PM, said:

So eric5h5; if I was to get a 5.1 system would I need a soundcard for true 5.1 sound

Yes and no.  :)  You can get 5.1 sound from the built-in optical out port, as long as you have something that sends out a DTS or Dolby Digital stream.  The Apple DVD player does, and I think VLC does.  Games, however, need a sound card like the M-Audio Revolution 5.1 (which I have) that outputs 6-channel analog sound.  The only problem is that there are hardly any Mac games that have surround, and those that do don't actually work properly in surround mode for any length of time.  So I wouldn't bother with a sound card at this time.

--Eric

#19 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 10:08 PM

can the computer actually be woken up if its shut down?

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#20 the Battle Cat

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 07:49 AM

Go to your System Preferences app, click on "Energy Saver", click on the "Options" tab, click on the "Schedule..." button.
Gary Simmons
the Battle Cat