Speaker and soundcard....need some opinions please

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by adamzx3, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. adamzx3 macrumors regular

    adamzx3

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    #1
    Hello, I want to setup an audio system when I get a refreshed mac-pro, the audio mostly for just personal use. I enjoy listening to music and have taken a college course on audio editing, used pro-tools, etc.. but was for an elective, so i'm not really into the audio technicalities so much but am a perfectionist by nature and really like high quality audio thats crisp and clean.

    Which brings me to the point, Which speaker set should I purchase for my use? I'm not sure how a studio reference monitor would be best and tweak the software mixer or should I get a more "consumer" oriented monitor like the M-Audio AV 40 ?

    Some thoughts

    M-Audio StudioPro 3 ($80)
    M-Audio Studiophile DX4 ($150)
    M-Audio BX5a , little over budget ($266)
    M-Audio AV 40 ($155)


    And then the audio card, I have an 24bit Audigy 2 on my old PC and it trumps my macbook pro internal soundcard by quite a bit, a lot crisper, and obviously more powerful. Made my cheap creative speakers sound great with DVD-Audio samples.

    From what I can pull up the Audigy cant and wont be supported in OS X so I was wondering how the on board Mac-Pro sound is compared to that? Would I just run a minijack to TRS cable to the speakers or is there a Toslink to RCA converter that would make a big difference? (M-Audio has an $80 one but kinda expensive for what I need)


    Also quick question, the AV 40 mentions it accepts balanced 1/4" TRS plugs...this means theres no ring on the plug and uses separate plugs for left and right channels correct?
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    The first thing to consider about speakers is the room they will go into. is this for a 20 foot square room with a listener sitting centered on a sofa? You need to describe the geometry.

    The next question is the budget. What ever it is spend a good fraction of the available money on the speakers. Buying $5,000 worth of pro audio gear and then using $75 speakers is kind of backwards.

    Only AFTER you have a short list of speakers then decide how you are going to drive them.

    What do I have? I'm lucky. I bought a pair of Infinity "Quantum 2" new in the 1970s. I still have them.
    http://www.bobbyshred.com/infinity/Q2.html
     
  3. adamzx3 thread starter macrumors regular

    adamzx3

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    #3
    Thanks Chris,

    The room is aprox. 10x12, computer in the corner, L shapped desk. Using the Mac Pro for graphic design and photo retouching, audio's just going to be used to listen to tunes while I work. I don't know if the flatter studio reference monitors would be to flat for what I need. Any audio editing would prob. be just for a hobby, or maybe for family video's etc.. so i'm not worried about it sounding technically correct....wish I could hear the BX5a or the DX4's to see exactly what they sound like. My budget for speakers is about $200 and under, $150 would be nice.
     
  4. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #4
    Hi Adam,

    sounds to me like you have answered one of the most questions from your original posts. If you have indeed determined that you are not going to do any audio mixing with your setup, or - in other words - that listening to existing audio is your priority, not creating new audio - then a good set of consumer speakers is probably the better (and more affordable) choice for you.

    - Martin
     
  5. adamzx3 thread starter macrumors regular

    adamzx3

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    #5
    Thanks, that what I was thinking. So would the M-Audio AV 40's be a good choice? they are aimed at being desktop speakers and not a reference monitor.


    Also hows the onboard sound card, would the analog mini jack be good enough?
     

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