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Stereo amplifier for a PC

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#1
I have Tapco S8 speakers and they are great. They don't have volume control though, so I am thinking about buying some amplifier, because controlling the volume from Windows sucks big time! Also I cannot use any shielded cables, which doesn't really improve the sound (the hell when I receive a SMS... lol).
I have Auzentech X-Fi Forte card, which has optical and regular analog output. Is there any stereo amplifier out there which would support optical input and some ballanced output? Aside from regular RCA connectors the speakers support TRS and XLR ones. Does anyone have any knowledge in this field please?
 
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#2
Um.... Your speakers ARE amplified internally, those are studio monitors, do NOT attempt to amplify the signal going into them you will blow the inputs or worse the drivers themselves.

If you want volume control buy a cheap mixer, if that doesn't work for you, sell the monitors and buy a set of speakers with separate volume control.
 
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#3
Ah! I see.
But, how do I solve the cabling problem? I hate to use that with good soundcard and speakers.
 
T

twilyth

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#4
I'm thinking of something similar, but my plan is to get some good bookshelf speakers, maybe some used Klipsch or something like that and hook my old stereo reciever up to the computer. I don't think that the vast majority of amplified speakers come close to decent stereo speakers so if you want good sound, why not go the whole 9 yards. If you don't mind used equipment, you can get good deals that might even work out to being cheaper than going with computer specific audio. JMO.
 
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#5
Ah! I see.
But, how do I solve the cabling problem? I hate to use that with good soundcard and speakers.
Um?

You hate to use a mixer with a good sound card and speakers?
I have a studio and I use a mixer, professional recording / mastering studios use mixers...

A mixer is pretty much just a preamp, even a half decent one will not introduce a noticeable amount of distortion or noise into the system.

Wiring would depend on the mixer, you can use analog unbalanced input, some will take digital inputs or balance analog inputs, outputs can vary along the same lines.
 
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#6
No, I hate to use unballanced cabling :)
My soundcard has two output connectors, standard analog and SPDIF. I would like to connect through the latter to the mixer as you suggest, and from that to the speakers (connectors mentioned earlier), simply so that I don't hear any annoying noise.
 
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#7
Here is what I do

I often use my older receivers as stereo amps for other PC projects when I am just looking for good stereo sound. They do that job well. I would get decent bookshelf speakers and a powered sub and use either a lower cost receiver with a decent amp or a good analog stereo amp. The advantage of a new receiver today is that you have the option of using HDMI audio or analog audio or any number of video inputs while being able to decode Dolby True HD and DTS Master for great prices. I do believe you can downmix the 5.1 HD Audio formats to stereo and still get very high fidelity sound. You have a lot of flexibility. They do have remotes you know. ;)
 
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#8
Thanks for the opinion, but that is out of question. I payed a lot for my speakers and really don't plan buying new ones :)
 
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#9
No, I hate to use unballanced cabling :)
My soundcard has two output connectors, standard analog and SPDIF. I would like to connect through the latter to the mixer as you suggest, and from that to the speakers (connectors mentioned earlier), simply so that I don't hear any annoying noise.
I can relate to not wanting to use unballanced cabling, but your runs are short and realistically as long as you use a decent cable you will not hear any extra noise.

bluejeanscable.com ;)

But obviously finding a mixer with balanced ins and outs would be best.
 

OrbitzXT

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#10
Posted in wrong thread, if a mod sees please delete =p
 

alfieabel

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#11
To play music files through my music, used as recommended by a 3.5-mm to 2 RCA cables. The sound quality of speakers is pretty horrible. Can anyone suggest possible causes of this situation? Could it be that my amp was pre-digital?
 
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#13
I came by my own thread by accident, and realized I might have a good reason for BIG necro.
I didn't solve this back then because it didn't have too gihh priority and I never got the answer I'd like, but I recently found something that might be what I was looking for.

So let me rephrase my original question:

I have active speakers which lack volume control (there's something on the rear of each of them, which equals useless), and I hate to click mouse and screw around with various sliders, because it's pain in the ass and generally awkward approach.
Is this what I want? http://www.smproaudio.com/index.php/en/products/monitor-controllers/nanopatch
It looks like simple hardware volume control (I understand I should not use external apmlifier of any kind with active speakers, ever).

Please confirm :) Thanks.
 
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#14
You CAN use a receiver....

I came by my own thread by accident, and realized I might have a good reason for BIG necro.
I didn't solve this back then because it didn't have too gihh priority and I never got the answer I'd like, but I recently found something that might be what I was looking for.

So let me rephrase my original question:

I have active speakers which lack volume control (there's something on the rear of each of them, which equals useless), and I hate to click mouse and screw around with various sliders, because it's pain in the ass and generally awkward approach.
Is this what I want? http://www.smproaudio.com/index.php/en/products/monitor-controllers/nanopatch
It looks like simple hardware volume control (I understand I should not use external apmlifier of any kind with active speakers, ever).

Please confirm :) Thanks.
I hope this clears things up. If you can find a reasonably priced receiver with pre-outs for the mains you can use the receiver as a processor/ pre-amp. Its simple. You just run from your PC probably 3.5mm stereo to RCA to any of the analog inputs. You can do digital too if you want to from the PC to the digital inputs on the receiver. All you have to do is run RCA cables from the pre-outs to each of your speakers left and right. You don't need to use the internal amp at all and you can have volume control with a remote. :toast: I've been doing that for years in my man cave.
 
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#15
I came by my own thread by accident, and realized I might have a good reason for BIG necro.
I didn't solve this back then because it didn't have too gihh priority and I never got the answer I'd like, but I recently found something that might be what I was looking for.

So let me rephrase my original question:

I have active speakers which lack volume control (there's something on the rear of each of them, which equals useless), and I hate to click mouse and screw around with various sliders, because it's pain in the ass and generally awkward approach.
Is this what I want? http://www.smproaudio.com/index.php/en/products/monitor-controllers/nanopatch
It looks like simple hardware volume control (I understand I should not use external apmlifier of any kind with active speakers, ever).

Please confirm :) Thanks.
Yes that will do the job for you ;)
Thats a passive volume control to go in-line between your soundcard and monitors
 
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#16
I hope this clears things up. If you can find a reasonably priced receiver with pre-outs for the mains you can use the receiver as a processor/ pre-amp. Its simple. You just run from your PC probably 3.5mm stereo to RCA to any of the analog inputs. You can do digital too if you want to from the PC to the digital inputs on the receiver. All you have to do is run RCA cables from the pre-outs to each of your speakers left and right. You don't need to use the internal amp at all and you can have volume control with a remote. :toast: I've been doing that for years in my man cave.
I am afraid I don't understand. You will probably laugh, but I have absolutely no idea what receiver, preamp, pre-out. I am no audio nerd at all. I just bought good speakers someone recommended, lol.
I also read I must never ever use amplifier of any kind with active speakers.
 

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#17
Posted in wrong thread, if a mod sees please delete =p
Ive always wondered why there is no way to delete a post of your own... :rolleyes: