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Please recommend me a new sound system! :)

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#1
Hello there,

I really don't know much when it comes to sound systems. For the past couple of years, I've been using a JVC MX GT88 stereo to output my computer's sound. This sure beats the crappy, tinny little PC speakers I was using before; it's quite an old stereo though, probably about 8 years. I input the sound through a basic minijack to rca cable.

Thing is, there are a few problems. Firstly, I'd also like to route my TV's sound through it, although so far I haven't got a better method than literally unplugging the mini jack end of the RCA cable from the PC and putting it into the monitor, and vice versa. I tried once using a minijack splitter, although that ruined the sound quality; I don't know if I was doing it wrong or if the splitter was rubbish. :rolleyes:

So my second thought is if I would benefit from something with more inputs, particularly as my PC's sound card has a lot more outputs than I'm currently using, including optical I believe. Then hopefully this may increase the sound quality of my PC but still have an extra input for my TV, making it a lot easier to switch.

Last issue is that the stereo technically isn't mine, it's borrowed from a family member, and whereas they haven't wanted it back thus far, it would be nice to actually own one myself. The problem is though, I would like something with equal or better sound quality, but I want to be spending as little money as possible ideally. If it's going to cost a lot to not downgrade, then I'll just have to stick with what I have and hope the person doesn't want their stereo back :D

If anyone who knows what they're talking about could advise me, I would be very grateful. The stereo takes cds and tapes but I really don't use these much anymore, particularly the latter :laugh: so if it's literally a sound system you recommend that's fine.

Thanks in advance; I'm from the UK btw so UK links would be appreciated, but American links are still fine to give me an impression.
 
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#2
What's your budget? Would you be looking for something like a receiver and separate speakers, a HTIB (home theater in a box), or a mini/shelf system?
 

robn

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#3
Ok, how much can you spend?

Seems you will definitely want to go the separate amp route, for multiple inputs. You'll need an amp and a pair of speakers at least. That's around £130 at least for something of reliable quality.

Maybe Pioneer A109 for under £100

and these speakers
 
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#4
could u little bit specific like what kind system d u want, 2.1, 5.1 dolby, thx or something, your budget too, altec lansing offers many type too, or if you kinda enthusiast you could use home theater spec
 
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#5
Hi there,

Sorry I gave so few details. As I said, I really am a noob when it comes to this :p I suppose I want to be spending no more than about £200ish. It's vital I get something that's of equal or better quality, but I don't really know how to compare specs to find out how good my current system is :confused:

As for the type of system it is, I'm not too picky. It's ok if it's reasonably large as I have a decent space on my desk (current speakers are about 22cm W x 50cm H x 29cm deep each, with stereo unit itself underneath). That said, I won't really have room for a 5.1 arrangement etc. unless the speakers are small (and then will they be worse quality?) so a 2.1, just 2 speakers and the amp/whatever would be good.

My main usage is for music from my PC, and video games from my PC and game consoles. I also sometimes play Blurays from my PS3. Sorry, I really wish I could be more useful and tell you guys exactly what I'm after.

Thanks for your help so far :)
 

TheMonkey

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#6
Ok, how much can you spend?

Seems you will definitely want to go the separate amp route, for multiple inputs. You'll need an amp and a pair of speakers at least. That's around £130 at least for something of reliable quality.

Maybe Pioneer A109 for under £100

and these speakers
I think this is the correct route to go for sound quality, although I would instead try to find local stereo gear. More often than not you can find older high-end stereo gear for killer prices because everyone seems to have "moved on" to lower quality surround receiver units.

I have a "budget grade" audiophile setup that I will probably never replace as I have found my audio-bliss. Great sound is all about synergy between the components, if possible look for local garage/yard sales or local classifieds and try to listen to some speakers before you buy. I have heard some incredible speakers that just aren't my cup of tea, making sure you enjoy the sound is very important.

If you choose to buy a new amp before buying speakers you have the opportunity to take your amp with you when you audition speakers. The resulting sound will depend on your amps design and capabilities so hearing speakers you may buy through someone else's amp is usually not the best idea. Don't just buy the speakers with the best reviews or because your best friend said they rock... everyone is unique and your taste in sound will be unique as well.

If funds are available later down the road it may also be a good investment to buy a quality DAC. There are endless choices for Digital Analog Conversion and chances are you won't be able to hear a DAC hooked up before you buy so may I suggest the Maverick Audio Tube Magic D1. It is great for the PC user offering USB/Coaxial/Optical inputs and solidstate+tube outputs to cater to your preferences. This would allow you to connect your TV and PC at the same time with a convenient selector knob and master volume knob. The tubemagicD1 is quite reasonably priced at $150 so about E110 I would guess, and could be a nice little upgrade down the road.
 
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#7
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#8
Thankyou. Those speakers look rather good, and what's better is that they supposedly have 'em instock at my nearby Superfi. Definitely worth a look methinks :)
 

robn

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#9
http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/2197

These speakers +plus a good amp + sub sound awesome.

I recently upgraed from an old all in 1 system and the difference in SQ is amazing!


Just do a lot of research beforehand so you know you're getting the best for your cash, nothing worse than buyer's remorse!
Coincidentally I bought the Wharfedale Diamond SW150 sub from superfi (online, free delivery) just over a week ago. Really pleased so far. It is a subtle sub, and extends right through to sub-bass (you can see + feel the driver moving, but barely hear it)!

Anyhow, as has been said listen to equipment in store before parting with money ...all the advice you need really since "good" sound is a matter of taste.
 
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#10
Shame this is probably a bit over my budget, i.e. with the Amp posted earlier, and the SW150 and the speakers bundle it would come to over £300 :( This looks exactly what I'm looking for really. Oh well, I'll have to have a think... the SW150 is instock at my local too, so I'll have to go and look longingly at them