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post #1 of 13 Old 10-22-11, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Looking to build budget 2.1 system

Hello everyone!

I am a student and I do various music mixing and listening at all volumes and I am looking for a nice 2.1 system for my dorm room (relatively small). I currently am using Bose companion 3 setup but I find it to be slightly lacking in the low end and with some distortion in the higher volume ranges. I play a lot of dance music featuring lots of synths as well as the occasional "dubstep" style song (heavy, modulated baselines). I am looking for a system which outperforms my Bose system in this respect and offers me a nice low end, full sound. The only source of audio will be from a computer. For an amplifier/receiver unit I do not require any special features other than 2.1 sound and relatively good sound quality. My budget is around 500-1000 dollars (student) and I have no problem buying used or refurbished gear or from places like eBay. I would love some advice or community input on what I should get that will serve me a nice full bassy sound for these types of music. If any other additional info is required or if I have left something out, please let me know. Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-22-11, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking to build budget 2.1 system

I should also mention that the speakers themselves would have to be of the bookshelf variety as space is at a premium, but any size sub will do as I have plenty of under-desk space. Thanks again!
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-22-11, 08:18 AM
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Re: Looking to build budget 2.1 system

Hello,
For 1000 Dollars, you could put together a really nice 2.1 setup. Especially, if also looking at used gear. I would highly recommend checking out Stereophile Magazine as they have a whole Section devoted to value gear and there are many Reviews there.

Just of the top of my head, I would look at used Parasound, Adcom, Rotel, and Acurus Amplifiers, Preamplifiers, and Integrated Amplifiers. Audiogon is a great place to look. For Speakers, I would seriously consider JBL Monitors from Sweetwater (Professional Audio Website) And for a Subwoofer, if running out of money, the Dayton Sub-120 from Parts Express provides stellar value.

Much of how your System comes together is predicated on if you feel comfortable spending all the way up to $1000. Also, choosing an Integrated Amplifier will save money. With these things being the case, you could possibly afford an amazing Subwoofer like the HSU VTF-2 MKIII.
Cheers,
JJ

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Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage (Mains), Martin Logan Stage (Center), Martin Logan Vista (Surrounds), Martin Logan Montages (Surrounds) Hsu Research VTF-15h MK2, Martin Logan Descent i (Subwoofer)
Amplification: Aragon 8008bb, Parasound HCA-3500, Parasound HCA-2205 AT, Parasound HCA-1000a
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-22-11, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking to build budget 2.1 system

Hey, thanks for the reply. The JBL LSR2325P look like what I am looking for, but looking at the back they seem to have XLR inputs instead of the speaker wire terminals I am normally used too. I was looking at buying an old used amp but none of the ones I looked at seemed to have XLR outs. I guess my problem now lies with trying to find a quality amp with XLR outs for around 200 dollars or less, though i have no problem buying a used one.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-22-11, 11:58 AM
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Re: Looking to build budget 2.1 system

Hello,
I believe the Behringer EP4000 would meet your needs as I am almost positive it has XLR's. Also, check out Crown Amplifiers as they have some Class D Amplifiers that are in that range.
Cheers,
JJ

HT
Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage (Mains), Martin Logan Stage (Center), Martin Logan Vista (Surrounds), Martin Logan Montages (Surrounds) Hsu Research VTF-15h MK2, Martin Logan Descent i (Subwoofer)
Amplification: Aragon 8008bb, Parasound HCA-3500, Parasound HCA-2205 AT, Parasound HCA-1000a
AVR/SSP: Denon AVR-4520CI
Electronics: OPPO BDP-93
Gaming Consoles: Sony PS4, Xbox 360 S (250 gb)
Display: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60, Sony KDL-55EX500, Sony KD-34XBR910
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-22-11, 12:54 PM
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Re: Looking to build budget 2.1 system

Quote:
IanGutz wrote: View Post
Hello everyone!

I am a student and I do various music mixing and listening at all volumes and I am looking for a nice 2.1 system for my dorm room (relatively small). I currently am using Bose companion 3 setup but I find it to be slightly lacking in the low end and with some distortion in the higher volume ranges. I play a lot of dance music featuring lots of synths as well as the occasional "dubstep" style song (heavy, modulated baselines). I am looking for a system which outperforms my Bose system in this respect and offers me a nice low end, full sound. The only source of audio will be from a computer. For an amplifier/receiver unit I do not require any special features other than 2.1 sound and relatively good sound quality. My budget is around 500-1000 dollars (student) and I have no problem buying used or refurbished gear or from places like eBay. I would love some advice or community input on what I should get that will serve me a nice full bassy sound for these types of music. If any other additional info is required or if I have left something out, please let me know. Thanks for the help!
hey ian. Here`s what I recommend:

Speakers: http://www.axemusic.com/product.asp?...0916&PT_ID=295

I`d get the speakers first and then decide later whether it`s really worth it to add a subwoofer. They are powered studio monitors so there isn`t much need for a receiver - they`ll hook up straight to your computer or PS3 etc. They use a long throw 5" woofer that'll really surprise you with its bass output in a small room, and have adjustable tone controls in case the smaller room adds too much bass or treble (I suspect you'll be best off leaving treble alone, and lowering the bass)

If at some point you do decide to add a sub, I recommend importing this from USA:

http://www.rythmikaudio.com/FV12_specs.html

With bass extension down to 14hz, in a small room, it'll be pretty much overkill - and i'm pretty sure it's got all the circuitry needed to blend it in seamlessly to mains without a receiver. A variable phase dial and an adjustable crossover are useful things to have

EDIT: and then.. i read the rest of the thread and see that Jungle Jack has already recommended the LSR2325Ps ( i do recommend getting from axe music so as to avoid any unwanted border duties)

Quote:
Hey, thanks for the reply. The JBL LSR2325P look like what I am looking for, but looking at the back they seem to have XLR inputs instead of the speaker wire terminals I am normally used too. I was looking at buying an old used amp but none of the ones I looked at seemed to have XLR outs. I guess my problem now lies with trying to find a quality amp with XLR outs for around 200 dollars or less, though i have no problem buying a used one.
An amp won't be necessary with a powered studio monitor and neither will you need to use the XLR inputs. All you need is a simple 3.5mm to RCA converter cable:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

This will hook it up to your laptop with an unbalanced connection to the sound card. A balanced connection will likely have less gain and so will require you to pick up a preamp - which is a lot of effort with little if any reward.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-22-11, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking to build budget 2.1 system

Thanks for the great suggestions, looks like i'll pick up a set of JBLs then. I am just wondering how i will hook it all up between two speakers and a sub when the only output from my computer that I have is a single 3.5mm jack, I am using a MacBook pro if that makes any difference.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-22-11, 05:36 PM
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Re: Looking to build budget 2.1 system

Quote:
IanGutz wrote: View Post
Thanks for the great suggestions, looks like i'll pick up a set of JBLs then. I am just wondering how i will hook it all up between two speakers and a sub when the only output from my computer that I have is a single 3.5mm jack, I am using a MacBook pro if that makes any difference.
3.5mm to RCA cable will connect the macbook to the sub.
RCA to RCA cable will connect the sub to the speakers via line level outputs.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-22-11, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking to build budget 2.1 system

Great. I'm going to go with the JBL monitors and the matching 2310SP sub. I am having trouble finding a Canadian dealer that has them in stock for the right price. Monoprice looks to be the ticket for the cables though, Thanks for the heads up.

Last edited by IanGutz; 10-22-11 at 06:10 PM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-23-11, 01:35 AM
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Re: Looking to build budget 2.1 system

Quote:
IanGutz wrote: View Post
Great. I'm going to go with the JBL monitors and the matching 2310SP sub.
I don`t think the JBL sub is a very good deal. It`s expensive, but only uses a 10" driver and has no bass below 30hz despite being vented.

Besides online dealers, try calling around your local instrument/pro audio shops. The internet's not the only place to shop!
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