Help with my configuration

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by iDabble, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. iDabble macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    Hi all,

    I'm working on building up some quality sound for my iMac but don't quite know how to tie it all together.

    So har I have:

    -mid 2011 27" iMac
    -M-Audio BX5 D2 Monitors
    -Beats Studios - will be upgrading, any suggestions?

    What I want to be able to do:

    -have an aux port for headphones
    -have easy volume control for the monitors as well as the headphones
    -eventually hook up a keyboard
    -later on down the line I'd like to get a sub - any suggestions? any reason not to stick with M-Audio?

    I'm not an audio snob, but I would like to put together a pretty decent configuration. i listen to all types of music.

    I've got my eye on the Peachtree DAC iT, but I'm not sure how I'd be able to integrate the headphone port/controls.

    Thanks for the help :D:apple:
  2. quixotic macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    One thing I learned is that if you don't have a proper environment to listen in, expensive speakers are a waste. You want good acoustics, good monitor placement, good electrical isolation (low hum) etc. Once you've got that, flat frequency response is always preferable IMHO when picking out DAC's, speakers, amps etc. (2nd order HD sounds pleasing, but it's not what the artist intended). I liked my Event 20/20's, and my friends Tannoys.

    Grado RS2i's if you're upgrading headphones. Cheapest of their high end, and very nice from what I hear.

    A good sound card is a must. You want nice DAC's and with multichannel, you can setup various speakers and headphones easily, plus they usually have volume pots for headphones. Though I'd trim the headphone pot to match your listening level on your monitors, then leave it alone (alt. feed it to a headphone amp and adj. for low noise and maximum headroom). You can use the applications volume control (which you can control with an IR remote, or possibly MIDI) to adjust as needed. Choices for interfaces: RME or Apogee if you have the cash; this is what many studios use to record the music you're listening to on anyway.

    Novation makes good MIDI keyboards. If you're really into pads on your keyboards, Akai is not bad. I cannot stand m-audio keys.

    Subs. Bigger is better. I had a Big Ben 18" sub (for bass players), and it would kick you in the chest at ~450W. All of them distort. Ported subs tend be deeper/louder and muddier, but usually with this stuff you're more interested in feeling it than it being accurate. I don't see much point in small 10" 100W subs, they just don't move enough air.

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