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Upgrading from Logitech X-230 2.1

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by Kursah, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Kursah

    Kursah

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    My current X-230's have been great for the last 6 years...for a refurb set I got for $35 shipped back then, I can't have asked for more. Now they're going down the road to a new owner. So I wanna replace them, and want something as good or a bit better...but I've been out of the PC speaker realm for a long time. I don't want 5.1, 2.1 is fine, or 2.0 if they can put out decent amounts of bass. I won't use them a ton, primarily my amplified Denon D2000 headphones will be used because I'm in an APT complex..but when I can I will crank tunes on the speakers.

    So the set I'm looking at is these: Logitech Z623 200 w 2.1 Speaker System, THX-Certif...

    It'd be quite a power upgrade, they seem to rate well and would work for what I need...but that price is holding me way back. If they were 80 or 90 shipped I'd have them on the way probably... 136 shipped...I'm not so sure. If I could keep it under $100 shipped for what I get I'd be interested. What suggestions ya got TPU?

    :toast:
  2. Kursah

    Kursah

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    No suggestions? I'm looking at the Klipsh Promedia 2.1 set for around $125-ish...still above my $100 budget. But it seems with what's out right now...it's that or spend $100 on a used set of X-230's. Shit I might have to find her something different and keep my X-230's at that point.
  3. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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  4. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Honestly, I could get those damn X-230's to sound pretty decent, crank the bass down, emphasize the mids and curb the treble with EQ and they sounded pretty damn good. I'm a basshead too...hence the D2000's. I've never heard of Swan, and the M10's look like they're more looks than anything...but I'll do some research...I've heard the Swan M10's recommended before while doing some research...but kind of like M-Audio...too rich for my blood on a lot of the stuff recommended, that and probably beyond my needs.

    I don't need perfect, I want good with a good dose of bass when I want it, and I want it in the $100 territory, but if it's not gonna beat the X-230's then screw it. Any more suggestions out there?

    :toast:
  5. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Alright well I'm still working on this. I've been PM-ing BumbleBee who should do some write-ups and get them stickied on this topic IMHO.

    I have increased my budget to the $250-300 area because, from what BB said and what I've spent hours researching, there is some serious competition in that price-range. High quality 2.0 systems that supposedly smoke 2.1 systems in most areas except for sub bass of course. I prefer more punch than extension generally...so I am working on deciding on quite a few different options from varied brands.

    The current top contender is the old design Audioengine A5's because the A5+ are $100 more for a few minor changes (bass port, amp heatsink, inputs, etc). They are pretty highly regarded in the upper end of my price-range. Then there are other brands like Swan and M-Audio that also have very strong contenders in this arena. The Swan M50W 2.1 set looks very promising, but is smaller and lower powered...though fwir many prefer it over the Klipche Promedia 2.1's and other comparable Logitech offereings. Swan also has a couple other sets I'm looking at, the 1080mkII and m200mkIII, maybe even mkIII if I can find a sale. Then M-Audio has the bx5e and d2 series which may be promising.

    A ton of options, I'm going to toss my X-230s at my GF's setup asap so I am more motivated to get this done. Honestly, I know many scoff, but they are very decent sounding especially for the price. I would say I could compare them in value to my JVC HA-RX700's in the headphone arena...I am obviously going to pay A LOT more to replace them with something that will be a noticeable improvement.

    If I had more room a receiver and some larger speakers would be a reality...but active powered monitors are what I need at this point. I am also looking at the Rokit 5's and 6's...though they are bought seperately, have seperate power cords, inputs, volumes, etc. More wiring that necessary and fwir a little more focused on music editing and flat sound, I want fun, warm, colored sound with plenty of bass on tap.

    Here's to hoping I'll find what I am looking for! I have nowhere in town to listen to anything I can afford...which really sucks, and has for years. I require the help and educated opinions of my peers on forums like TPU for guidance.

    :toast:
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  6. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Well I made a decision and it actually ended up going a different direction from what I've spent the last week researching. But we'll get to that later, I figured I'd link some of the active powered speakers/monitors I was looking at in varying price ranges.

    Audioengine A2 - $200 - Those that buy them for PC use love them and usually mix them with a sub for a 2.1 setup that nothing mainstream PC (logitech, creative) can supposedly touch.

    Audioengine A5 - $300, A5+ - $400 - One very highly regarded active monitor by many, hated by some. But the overall is that this is a very awesome sounding 2.0 active monitor set in it's price range(s) if you can afford it.

    Swan D1080Mk2 08 / D1080 IV - $170-200 - Very popular and considered a solid value product. Has higher failure rate than Audioengines, but many appreciate the $$$ saved and are very content it seems.

    Swan M50W 2.1 - $290 - One of their bestsellers, not too much out there. But what is out there is all positive. I came really close to biting the bullet on this option, attractive looking, decent specs and I'm sure it'd demolish what I have had for sound for the last 6 years.

    M-Audio Bx5e - $200+ - Very popular M-Audio offering. Supposed to be better in every way compared to the AV series, more durable, fewer failures. Many like them, but a lot move onto Audioengines or Swans from here.

    KRK Rokit 5 G2 - $150/per speaker - Highly recommended if you prefer more hardcore/accurate monitoring. Each has seperate inputs, power supply, volume control, power switches. That's not for me...I prefer something more integrated and easier to work with. Though I have read it's worth all of that hassle in the quality of audio reproduction. The 6" version is also recommended.

    So this is the narrowed list I came down to after spending some time talking to BumbleBee and doing some mad researching. There were so many varied opinions, goods, bads, each had their own issues and strong points. I was super close to biting the bullet and buying a pair of Audioengine A5's for $299 off of Amazon. They have good bass many have said, put out amazing sound for the price and are fun to listen to. Then I came across a suggestion to check out some other options.

    Someone told me to check these out:

    Pioneer SP-BS21-LR - $59+ - Very highly regarded as the best sounding sub-$100 passive bookshelf speaker around by a healthy margin. Apperently the guy that helped design these speakers also was behind some very hi-end stuff as well. Just google these things...people love them. Due to the 4" woofer, bass is light, and a sub is recommended. But that these are heavily recommended. So ok...the price is right, the sound is supposedly great, but they're passive...so what kind of amp do I need to power these? Well read on...

    Dayton Audio DTA-100a Class-T Digital Mini Amplifier - $90.00 - Well this one came up far more than any other Class-T amp I researched. Power, value, specs, durability, it's pretty darned popular from what I gathered and many used it with the Pioneers above and recommend both or the slightly cheaper Dayton B652 passive speakers. Well, I like the power specs and I like the fact its not a huge stereo receiver I don't have room for...this amp I totally can make room for, comes with a headphone amp built in (might be sending my FiiO E9 back soon if it's good!). It doesn't have all the input/output bells and whistles of a cheap receiver but I didn't need those...when I do I'll buy a decent receiver. This thing seemed to be perfect for my needs.

    Well I still need bass...now I HAVE to get a sub. Those Pioneers may sound great, but they are not bass monsters. The Audioengine A2's may have more bass...and the A5's surely do fwir. But as it stands I'm $149 into this deal and I have amplified bookshelf speakers that will probably demolish my Logitech X-230's.

    Well after tons of researches and deals on subs in the $100-200+ range I came upon Dayton once again after may recommendations while researching. The Dayton Audio SUB-80 to 120 series offer some serious bang for the buck. They may not be the sharpest, cleanest, best bass out there but at their price range again are often argued to be better than many more expensive options. I'm a sucker for value and I wanted to come as close to finding the JVC HA-RX700 deal in this situation...but the more I think about it the more I feel the X-230's were that option to begin with and it's long gone.

    Dayton Audio SUB-100 HT - $90 - The most recommended between the 8", 10" and 12" is the 10". I prefer impact with decent extension, and the 10" is as close as I can get and fit in my room near my PC desk. Plenty of power at 125W, and again, was a strongly recommended match for the previous two pieces of audio equipment above I just purchased. Deal. This should be a truly epic 2.1 kit in the sub $300 arena.

    Why did I go with a passive + amp + sub kit? Honestly I wanted to stay clear of that and just get another fully integrated deal like my X-230's. Hence looking at Swan's M50W's, Klipsh's Promedia 2.1's, Logitech's z623, etc...but the more I researched the more dissapointing things I found...or in the M50W's case just not enough to be that confident in it yet.

    Plus once I stumbled upon the speaker + amp + sub combo and researched them...it seemed to be what I'm looking for with plenty of capabilities, simplicity of use, solid performing products at a solid value that should be something I keep around for a while. I'd still like to try out the Audioengine A5's and considered getting those and waiting to replenish my funds to get a sub like the Dayton...but I feel I made the right budget decision for me at this point. We shall see when everything shows up in a week or two as I went with the Free/Ground shipping options to keep total price down.

    I figured I'd post what I was looking at, what I decided on and why and hopefully later will be able to post what my thoughts are. When starting this, spending over $100 was a no-go...but BB talked me into a higher budget...we shall see if my decision was wise. I have a very good feeling about it all at this point, hopefully march is a great month for Kursah's 2.1 pc audio!

    :toast:
  7. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Everything showed up at least 2 days early...and the last 2 pieces today! Woohaa!

    I've been uber busy. But I got the Pioneers and Amp setup and going. I must say I am super impressed at how nice they pioneers sound. That Dayton amp puts out plenty of volume (I already pissed off the upstairs neighbors within the first 10 minutes lol). The HP amp int he Dayton is actually pretty decent, pushes my HP's pretty nicely...easily on par with my Auzen Forte.

    One thing I will say, is the Dayton amp seems to be pretty transparent...as in it doesn't seem to emphasize anything aside from just simply amplifying the sound input signal. The speakers are very nice looking...much nicer than the picture suggest. They definitely complement my Samsung LCD TV and blow away my X-230's. They don't put out gobs of bass...but I was actually a little surprised at what they can put out...though once again I can't really crank it atm since it's late. I haven't hooked up the Dayton sub yet...but the box is large and heavy, I can only imagine if I have any doubts or needing of bass it'll be easily found there.

    So far...I'm VEEERRRYY pleased, for a budget...just going with the Dayton amp and Pioneer SP21-LR's is totally worth it. I would still recommend a dedicated sound card or dac to improve upon onboard sound (it's really amazing how much is gained by just that imo). For $150 shipped, the Dayton Class-T amp and Pioneer speakers are just...hell I'm at a loss...the more I listen the better they sound.

    I am going to A/B the Dayton's HP amp to the FiiO E9. The E9 really woke up my JVC HA-DX3's and made me enjoy them like never before...while the D2000's didn't sound all that different from my Auzen's amp. We'll see what happens here.

    More reports to come...but at this point, I may not know what Audioengine A5's or Swan Mkii's sound like, but I do understand why these Pioneer Sp21's and their larger Sp41's (if you want more bass from 2.0, and have a larger desk, go with these) are highly regarded. I'll report back after I get some ample listening time.

    :toast:
  8. BeepBeep2

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    Haha, X-230's are worth ~$100 or more in audio quality themselves. They are super flat response wise, with a small hump in lower midrange at woofer crossover point. I still have my pair. FDD2 worked really well for Logitech in their "Functional, no gimmicks" days. You did well for an upgrade though. :)
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  9. Kursah

    Kursah

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    I am a firm believer that the Logitech X-230's were the JVC HA-RX700's (meaning kickass, great sounding, value oriented and bassy) of the PC speaker arena. But the more I listen to my new setup, the less I miss them. Though I had to pay well over $100 to not miss them anymore..that does say a lot! Though I'd never pay $100 for them. I still can't believe I paid $35 for refurbs back in 2006 that still go strong today and sound as great as they do for the small form factor they have. They'd make a killing bringing them back and selling them at a $50-60 price point.
  10. Kursah

    Kursah

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    I had time today to hook up the 125W 10" dayton sub...holy shit! That thing is pretty damn insane. I almost wonder if I got too much sub...maybe I should've gotten the 8" or a weaker sub. At 1/4 gain it's shaking pictures on my wall with a flat EQ. At this point I have the bass eq'd up and just running the pioneers...sure it's not sub bass...but honestly I'm pretty impressed. The soundstage these speakers put out is a very very very enjoyable experience. Honestly I probably would've been content going with the 2.0 + dayton T-class amp right now and sub later. But I gotta good deal on the sub...and someday...oh yes someday it will be shaking the foundation of this place or my next place!

    I'm happier than happy with my purchase...I don't regret getting the sub, but the way the bass it creates carries I won't be able to use it at even a small fraction of what it can put out. But I'm ready when the day comes! All products I chose I highly recommend at this point. I'm glad I didn't spend the same on a logitech or klipsch setup. This is truly the way to go or at least one right direction out of a few beyond your basic PC speakers.

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