Not entirely sure what I need.

Napalmhardcore

Distinguished
Mar 11, 2010
50
0
18,590
1
Hi,

Over the years I've kept kept up when it comes to the video side of things (such as HDMI, S-Video and PC connections etc), however my knowledge of audio tech is extremely lacking.

For some time I've had various consoles (PS2/3, XBOX etc) as well as my PC which have all used RCA stereo for audio. These have gone into a cheap RCA (female) to 3.5 mm (female) adapter, which I have plugged the male 3.5 mm jack of my Logitech speakers into. This is not a very elegant solution as each time I want to use one of them I have to swap the connection. Another problem is that because of the cheap connector I occasionally have to fiddle around with it because the sound has cut out to one speaker.

I will soon be adding a PS4 to the set-up, which does not support RCA out. This has prompted a long overdue search for a more elegant solution. The problem is that I do not know exactly what I need. Is there any kind of receiver that would take multiple RCA inputs, an optical audio input and output in stereo? I am willing to replace the speakers I have, so it need not be 3.5 mm out, but I don't even know where to begin looking.

Your help would be much appreciated :)
 

ien2222

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2010
465
0
19,260
77
I should have asked this awhile ago....but oh well :) What monitor are you using specifically? Need to know what inputs you have and what resolution you use.

I've been doing some looking at the AVR's and here's some suggestions, found on Amazon UK:

Denon AVR-X500: £199
Pioneer VSX-423: £190
Yamaha RX-V373: £190

I didn't find anything for Sony or Onkyo in that price range on Amazon, but if you find some elsewhere post here what you found and we can take a look at it. For that matter, if you see cheaper models from all of them let me know also. Discontinued models don't show up on the main manufacture's page so I couldn't quickly search for them.

Out of those 3 though, I'd probably choose either the Pioneer or Yamaha over the Denon mainly because both of them use room correction (MCACC and YPAO respectively). This helps even out the frequency response of the speakers among other things. Also, those 2 also have all 4 HDMI ports in the rear which could make things tidier should you add a fourth component that uses HDMI.

For speakers: (width x height x depth)

Wharfedale 10.0 145 x 236 x 168mm: £109
Wharfedale 9.1 194 x 296 x 278mm: £100
Cambridge Audio S30 160 x 226 x 235mm: £130
Cambridge Audio S20 129 x 198 x 178mm: £100

These are probably going to be your best choices for limited space. I personally haven't heard the Wharfedale's but there's plenty of good things being said about their products. Cambridge makes very good speakers too, I personally have their Minx line for HT use.

The 10.0, 9.1, and S30's will give you lower end extension into the 50/60Hz range. The S20 rolls off in the 80/90Hz range but is a smaller unit if you need to save as much space as possible. If I were to put them in order of preference it'd probably be a tie between the 10.0 and S30's for first, 9.1 for second and the S20 last (unless I needed the space). The S30's will most likely sound a bit better than the 10.0 but they are 20 quid more and a fair amount larger and I'm not sure the improved sound would be worth that much. The 9.1 is the largest but will give you a little bit more low end extension than the 10.0 and S30's.

If you have easy access to hear them, take a listen and see what you like. But even if you can't, I highly doubt you'll be disappointed in any of the 4 choices.

So between the AVR and speakers, you will be right at your £300 budget, give or take a little.
 

batuchka

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2007
211
0
18,910
24
Yes AVRs these days have analog, SPDIF and HDMI inputs and slightly older ones may not have HDMI but are far cheaper in the used market and might be just what u need if budget were an issue. Mate those with a pair of bookshelf speakers and an optional active subwoofer and you are done ^^
 

ien2222

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2010
465
0
19,260
77
Hey there,

So what are you looking to do with the audio? Are you looking to dip your toe into the multichannel setup or are you planning on sticking with just stereo?

Also, is this a desktop setup? Or is it big screen in a "family room"?
 

Napalmhardcore

Distinguished
Mar 11, 2010
50
0
18,590
1
@batuchka Thanks for the advice, although if possible I want to use the optical out as opposed to running my HDMI through it (the less chance of latency the better). So what would I search for, an AVR or an audio receiver?

@ien2222 This is a desktop set-up, but I'd be looking at stereo. My room is small and cluttered, so I wouldn't be able to place the speakers appropriately.

Thanks for the help guys and sorry for the delayed response :)
 

ien2222

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2010
465
0
19,260
77
Heh, I've had discussions that covered over a week, a few hours is nothing ;)

A couple more questions, how do you connect these devices to your monitor right now? PS2 and original Xbox use composite/component/s-video connections so I'm wondering what you have right now.

Also, how much were you looking to spend here? Is better audio something you're looking for? I guess for that matter, what are you using right now?

 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
running hdmi through the receiver is perfectly fine. i run my pc, ps3 and ps2 through it with zero issues.

honestly for multiple inputs an avr is the way to go. it also allows for everything from stereo systems up to full 5.1/7.1 systems

what is your budget? what are your wants/needs?
 

Napalmhardcore

Distinguished
Mar 11, 2010
50
0
18,590
1
@ien2222 I'm currently running all four systems audio using stereo RCA analogue RCA jacks. These go to an adapter like this. From there I plug the male connector of my Logitech speakers in. It is not a very convenient way of doing it as I have to swap the RCA jacks every time I use a different device. Also the audio can be a little flaky, so I have to jiggle the adapter around occasionally (to eliminate static/get both left and right channels to work).

For visuals I have a DVDO upscaler for the PS2 and XBOX (which thinking about it opens up my options a bit as they can route audio). For the PS3, PC and when I get the PS4, they will all be using HDMI.

In terms of budget, I'd preferably like to keep it under £300 if possible. Audio doesn't need to be amazing (although obviously I don't want poor audio). It can hardly be worse than what I'm currently using :lol:
 

Napalmhardcore

Distinguished
Mar 11, 2010
50
0
18,590
1
@ssddx Didn't see your response when I started typing. Thanks for the input.

As for the question about what my needs are, at the moment I'm still trying to think of the best way to do it. I've tried searching Amazon but their search filters are a little bit vague (at least they are on Amazon UK). The ability to search products by connection type would be useful just so I know what my options are.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i see you mentioned 300GBP so i assume you are in UK.

what are your thoughts on the diamond 10.1 bookshelf speaker? 180gpb/pair on amazon (but you can probably beat this price). then all you need to do is buy a receiver. everything can then be ran through it. check some of your distributors online to see if you can beat the price (including ebay uk)

diamond speakers are very highly rated in reviews. i wish we could get them (for the same price you guys can) in the states.
 

Napalmhardcore

Distinguished
Mar 11, 2010
50
0
18,590
1


I think they'd be a bit OTT for my setup. My neighbours are really fussy about noise (I'm no longer able to practice guitar at home properly), so I wouldn't be able to get the use such a nice set of speakers deserve. Also my space is fairly limited so they'll have to fit on my (already cluttered) desk.

My main concern is the AVR and it's connections.
 

ien2222

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2010
465
0
19,260
77
It isn't so much about being loud as it is about quality, the Wharfedales are good sounding. About how much space would you be willing to give up on your desk?

I think an AVR might be the best solution btw for switching, it's the best solution for a limited budget.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the trouble is twofold..

if you went with a standard 2.0/2.1 computer speaker they are 3.5mm so you would need a conversion box.

if you went with a stereo amplifier they can somtimes take optical input (and analog) however you may need an optical switch or conversion box for certain inputs.

a receiver can handle hdmi, optical AND analog. meaning for about the same price you have a box which does it all. less clutter.

i'm sure you could find a spot somewhere. provide a photo of your area if you arent so sure.

the wharfdales wouldnt need to be maxed out for you to enjoy them. i do think that your neighbors must be a over the top themselves if just buying some speakers for a small room is a big deal.

are they seperated (in another house) or are you in an apartment/duplex?

 

ien2222

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2010
465
0
19,260
77
After looking a bit on Amazon UK, the choices for AVR's seem limited in variety. Is there another website I can look at that you know of?

Also, for speakers there's the Cambridge Audio S30's and for something a little smaller the S20's. These are excellent speakers also.
 

Napalmhardcore

Distinguished
Mar 11, 2010
50
0
18,590
1
@ssddx and ien2222

I live in an attached row of three houses, mine being the centre. Part of the problem is that directly opposite my window is another house. This arrangement of the houses means the sound projected into this area doesn't disperse well. Also come summer my neighbour regularly sits in the garden, which means they are about 20 feet away from my window.

I'm currently using a Logitech X210 2.1 set. I can accommodate more space than the satellite speakers take up, but not a lot more. I like the idea of reverting back to 2.0 as I used to use them and again, my circumstances don't really allow me to get the best out of my sub-woofer. When playing fps's I found the 2.0 speakers conveyed directional info better than the little satellite speakers of the 2.1 system.

The AVR system makes more and more sense as I think about it. However now my concern is finding the right one and appropriate speakers for my setup.
 

Napalmhardcore

Distinguished
Mar 11, 2010
50
0
18,590
1


If you can direct me to a site you would normally shop from, I can have a look at particular models and see what my buying options would be.
 

ien2222

Distinguished
Mar 28, 2010
465
0
19,260
77
Heh, I'm from across the pond so my sites won't do too much good. :)

But I can look for a few models that will fit your needs and you can search around your local places to see what you come up with. They will around in the $125-$300 range, it'll depend on that amount of connections. If you could give an exact list of components you'll use so we can make sure you get everything you need.

I know you have:
PS2: Composite
PS3: HDMI/optical
PS4: HDMI/optical
PC: HDMI?
xbox (original or 360?): depends.

anything else?

I have to get going here, but I'll get you a list tonight.

For speakers, can you give a picture to see what we are working with? And what dimensions you'd like to keep the speakers within.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i was just on amazon uk.... and i found a few decent choices including some from pioneer, onkyo and sony.

as far as stores... perhaps... https://www.google.com/search?q=electronics+store+online+uk&oq=electronics+store+online+uk&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l3.3274j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

you absolutey do not need to buy large bookshelf speakers. however having them would mean that you wouldnt need a subwoofer. satelites are often rather lacking in bass and require a subwoofer to get anything decent in terms of low tones.
 

Napalmhardcore

Distinguished
Mar 11, 2010
50
0
18,590
1
@ien2222 and @ssddx, These are my options for audio and video.

PS2/XBOX (original) Component
PS3: Composite, HDMI, Optical
PS4: HDMI, Optical
PC: HDMI, RCA/3.5mm, SPDIF, DVI (plus adapters for HDMI and I think vga)

Note: PS2 and XBOX will be run through a DVDO iScan HD+ upscaler. This has digital optical and coaxial audio output.

Unfortunately I'm unable to send a picture of my setup as my only camera is on my phone and it's broken.

I am investigating whether I can make more space (I was already looking to build/buy a shelving unit to put the consoles and upscaler on), although I'll admit I'd rather keep the price and size of the speakers fairly modest. If I'm paying a large amount for speakers, I'd like to be able to get some decent use out of them. But seeing how my neighbours are rude words that rhyme with sticks, I'd rather not break the bank on something great only to under utilise it.

Edit: I've just realised my upscaler does not have inputs for the component audio (coaxial and optical only). So I'll still be reliant on RCA inputs and so will have to put the AVR and the upscaler close to each other (or one on top of the other). Mind you this really doesn't change much as the majority of the AVRs I've seen so far have RCA inputs anyway.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY