General Audio Discussion

Phuncz

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Those are a couple of Genelec G-Four's with a Naim Dac V1.

By far the best speakers I've ever had and sounds amazing.
Have you had other 2.0 setups and how did they fare ? I've been eyeing a set of AudioEngine A5+ for a while now, also a set with Argon 7450A. It's either that or mod the Z-5500 set into something useful, I don't need/want the 5.1 setup, I'd much rather have 3.1 or 2.0 for computer usage.
 

Pat-Roner

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Have you had other 2.0 setups and how did they fare ? I've been eyeing a set of AudioEngine A5+ for a while now, also a set with Argon 7450A. It's either that or mod the Z-5500 set into something useful, I don't need/want the 5.1 setup, I'd much rather have 3.1 or 2.0 for computer usage.
Not to confuse you even more, but a REALLY god set over stereo speakers are the Audio Pro Addon T14. About the same size as the a5+ and 7450a, but lots more features, nicer to look at, and most important - better sound. You also get a nice remote, and they have sub-out, which is also nice.

I've had lots of 2.0 systems, and the speakers I liked the most where my addon t12's.(t14 wasen't out yet) Of course the genelecs is better, but thats 4k 400$.

3.1 is utterly garbage and the centre speaker is only in the way. 2.1/2.0 is the way to go.
 

Phuncz

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Those T14's are reasonably priced, I'm going to consider them when I'm not going to go through with modding my Z-5500.
 

Pat-Roner

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Those T14's are reasonably priced, I'm going to consider them when I'm not going to go through with modding my Z-5500.
You really should. Excellent price/performance.

Getting the Z-5500 in 2.1 mode should be fairly straightforward.

On another note, since you talked about Argon(which is only sold on hifiklubben afaik), are you from scandinavia?
 

Phuncz

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Getting the Z-5500 in 2.1 mode should be fairly straightforward.
Well, I'm planning on this mod and custom enclosures for the satellite speakers with twin loudspeakers for left and right.
Since I'm new to soldering and electronics, this will be quite the challenge. But on the other hand, this set has held me up with for quite some time and the quality mod isn't very expensive, so if I fumble, I'll call it a day and get some proper 2.0's.

On another note, since you talked about Argon(which is only sold on hifiklubben afaik), are you from scandinavia?
Nope, I'm from Belgium and most things in Europe can luckily cross borders. Or so I would expect :)
 

Tek Everything

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Well, I'm planning on this mod and custom enclosures for the satellite speakers with twin loudspeakers for left and right.
Since I'm new to soldering and electronics, this will be quite the challenge. But on the other hand, this set has held me up with for quite some time and the quality mod isn't very expensive, so if I fumble, I'll call it a day and get some proper 2.0's.
You would probably be better off purchasing a new 2.0 set up. The tweeters/woofers used in the Logitech Z-5500 are average at best. Modding the internals won't fix those issues. It's a nice system for the price, but ultimately they are quite limited.

There are tons of affordable and high quality passive or powered bookshelf speakers these days. The A5's you mentioned are solid. I would take a look at the "Vantoo Transparent One" or "Emotiva Airmotiv 5S" if you want powered monitors in that price range.

If you wanted to go with a passive set, that's when things get really interesting...
 

Aibohphobia

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I got the Airmotiv 4S because they're relatively compact and I like them. But I haven't really owned any other nice 2.0/2.1 setups so I can't personally verify how they stack up to some of the other options mentioned.
 

Pat-Roner

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Feb 18, 2016
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Well, I'm planning on this mod and custom enclosures for the satellite speakers with twin loudspeakers for left and right.
Since I'm new to soldering and electronics, this will be quite the challenge. But on the other hand, this set has held me up with for quite some time and the quality mod isn't very expensive, so if I fumble, I'll call it a day and get some proper 2.0's.


Nope, I'm from Belgium and most things in Europe can luckily cross borders. Or so I would expect :)
Since you kind of can't loose, thats actually a really cool weekend project. Good luck, and be sure to keep me updated with the results.

There are tons of affordable and high quality passive or powered bookshelf speakers these days. The A5's you mentioned are solid. I would take a look at the "Vantoo Transparent One" or "Emotiva Airmotiv 5S" if you want powered monitors in that price range.

If you wanted to go with a passive set, that's when things get really interesting...
I got the Airmotiv 4S because they're relatively compact and I like them. But I haven't really owned any other nice 2.0/2.1 setups so I can't personally verify how they stack up to some of the other options mentioned.
The thing with powered studio monitors (and speaking from experience) is that while they are really nice, the sound profile is not for everyone.
I know way to many people who have bought monitors and being disappointed with the sound profile they have, and missing more punchy bass, more connections, magnetic shielding etc.

While I prefer active speakers, I would say monitors isn't for everyone.

Also the problem with active speakers with analoge inputs, is while the speakers may be excellent, the on board sound card (which a lot of people are using) is usually not. And the sound is only as good as the weakest point in your rig.

Therefore I always advice people to buy something which accepts digital input (optical, coax or usb) or buy a high quality DAC.
 

EdZ

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Although even a basic UCA202's line output is sufficient for driving even a nice pair of powered monitors (Genelec 8020Bs here). Just don't be tempted to use the UCA202's headphone port, its output impedance is awful. It's pretty hard to screw up an unamplified DAC unless you start dipping into the world of 'audiophile' sillyness.
 

Aibohphobia

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unless you start dipping into the world of 'audiophile' sillyness
But the platinum-coated wires lovingly handcrafted by 6th generation craftsmen in a barn deep in the forests of Germany improves the sound, I swear it!
 

Pat-Roner

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Feb 18, 2016
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Although even a basic UCA202's line output is sufficient for driving even a nice pair of powered monitors (Genelec 8020Bs here). Just don't be tempted to use the UCA202's headphone port, its output impedance is awful. It's pretty hard to screw up an unamplified DAC unless you start dipping into the world of 'audiophile' sillyness.
Yes, of course but onboard sound card can never compete with a stand alone one. And way to often people skimp on the psu, and if the psu is crap, it most likely is going to sound crap - unless you go for an external sound card(DAC) or a speaker setup with digital inputs.

But the platinum-coated wires lovingly handcrafted by 6th generation craftsmen in a barn deep in the forests of Germany improves the sound, I swear it!
Rememeber to spray your cables with 50$ antistatic spray, and blocks to keep it off the floor.
 

Phuncz

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You would probably be better off purchasing a new 2.0 set up. The tweeters/woofers used in the Logitech Z-5500 are average at best. Modding the internals won't fix those issues. It's a nice system for the price, but ultimately they are quite limited.
That's just it: those TangBand full-range speakers aren't bad at all. http://vikash.info/audio/W3-871S/listening.asp
Also, building my own speaker enclosures is an itch I've been meaning to scratch for quite a while.
The Z-5500's biggest problem in sound quality is not it's drivers, but it's analog path and pre-amp. While I agree a fresh new set of monitors would/could sound better, I will most likely first try to see what an upgraded and custom Z-5500 set of drivers can give me. And if that fails, I'll probably make one bad-ass mobile speaker system out of it.
 
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Tek Everything

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@Phuncz I used to have the Logitech Z-2300 2.1 system years back which is similar to your set. The major problems start with the drivers. The phrase "3" Paper Full Range" is practically an oxymoron haha.

A 3" driver can't produce the same frequency range as a standard 1" tweeter, 5 1/4" woofer configuration. Add that to the fact Logitech uses a cheap driver with a useless aluminum phase plug, and you get sound that rolls off pretty dramatically at the top end.

Mids and lows are also hard for the speaker to produce, which results in the crossover point for the sub being set much higher than it should be. The Logitech sub is not tight enough to handle the range or amount of sound being sent to it, which is why it sounds really boomy at times.

No matter what you do to the internals or housing, the Z-5500 will only sound but so good.
 

Phuncz

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No matter what you do to the internals or housing, the Z-5500 will only sound but so good.
I agree the limitations are that of what is possible with the drivers, but I wouldn't expect to reach "400$ studio monitor level" out of my hack job.For me it is more of an exercise to see what can be achieved with what I got. Buying something is easy, I regularly need challenges or I die. If I'm busy with another project I might let this one slide though.