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Help with building first PC stereo setup


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hello everyone,

 

I am looking for some advice on building my first 2.1 PC setup .

 

After researching for the past few weeks I think I have narrowed down the components but being new to much of this I'd rather get some input before I make any final decisions.

 

I was mainly looking at the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 speakers after reading many positive reviews

CBM-170 SE High Performance Bookshelf Loudspeaker

 

Emotiva Mini-X a-100 for an amp since it is more compact then a full size receiver.

mini-X a-100 | 50W x 2 | Emotiva Audio | High-end audio components for audiophiles and videophiles, spanning 2-channel music systems, as well as 5.1 and 7.1 home theaters. Products include multichannel amplifiers, stereo amplifiers, and monoblock amp

 

However, I'm currently using the Schiit Modi and Magni for headphone listening so I was wondering if there is a comparable alternative to the Mini-x that could also be used as headphone amp, rather than swapping cables when I want to listen with headphones.

 

As for the sub I haven't looked much yet but if go with the Mini-x then I would need one with an output for the speakers.

 

I'd like to keep the total cost around $800. Any advice or recommendations would be much appreciated

 

Thank you

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Can you tell us a bit more about where you'll be using this set up? Is this desktop, (nearfield, where you are sitting at the desk), or will it be for a room? And what headphones do you use?

 

I'm not familiar with those speakers, but the design looks solid, and they do have good write- ups. Since they're rear port, it would be best to keep them at least a foot from a rear wall. If for desktop use, they will almost definitely sound better if raised up from the desk surface by at least a few inches, and if for room use, I'd recommend you get good stands for them. I'd also consider holding off on a sub at first. Depending on the music you listen too, listening volume, and distance, you may not need to add one.

 

Looking up up the emotiva amp, it has "buffered low level outputs" which to me means it could source your existing headphone amp, or feed a sub so that you wouldn't need to run the speakers off of the sub outs. Either way, there will probably be a bit of sonic trade off, since you're adding extra circuits between the DAC and either the headphone amp or speaker amp. But it does give you the option to hear where the least damage is done, so I think that's a very nice feature.

 

There are several recent threads about adding subs to systems. Take a look at those, since they discuss sub placement, crossover frequency, etc. As I mentioned earlier though, you may find you just don't need lower bass. Give the speakers a week to begin to "break in" before you make any decisions.

 

Welcome to the forum!

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Thank you for your response,

 

This set up would be for desktop, mainly for music but also for some gaming.

 

Right now I am using the Brainwaves HM5's headphones along with Modi and Magni for music only and a cheap set of 5.1 computer speakers for gaming and videos.

 

The sub was mainly an after thought so I will definitely check out those threads and do some more research.

 

My main concern here I guess is that I would like a solid entry level setup that I won't want to just upgrade in a few months and to get something that will allow me to experiment with in order to learn more about these things.

 

Thanks again

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