Calling all audiophiles! Need help in deciding ...

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Alright I'm tryin to figure out what I wanna do for my audio setup w/the G4. I have debated getting either a Yahama or Onkyo USB digital audio processor, or hooking up a regular stereo receiver. Now I wa also thinking earlier on about getting an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sound card, but I've seen Terratec's products and am looking seriously at those since OS X drivers are coming this month. I figure now that the USB audio processor idea would be a lot more, especially if I was looking at adding a sound card as well. The Yamaha I checked out was $349 at crutchfield and it had AM/FM tuner as well (useful). However, looking at regular old receivers I realize they are a much better option in terms of price and power (100 watts x 5 channels as oipposed to 14 watts or something but much smaller and better for a computer).

Now, I think I'm going the receiver route now, just not sure on which model. Personally I'm always a little biased towards Sony because I feel they make the best electronic equipment. THe Sony models I'm looking at on seem good, however I've noticed Panasonic and Pioneer that seem to have better features for the price. I'm looking at spending about $200-$300 on the receiver, and I'd like to have FM/AM, DOlby 5.1, DTS, and Pro Logic II. If anyone can point me in the direction of something really good I'd appreciate your help.

Now, I know that I could just get a spliter through the headphone jack and hook it up to the receiver instead of needing a sound card. I am looking at producing music in the future, however I'm not sure if I really need a sound card that much. I was looking at the Terratec DMX 6fire because it has a front mountable breakout box (haha, like that's any use with my current tower...I can hope for the new ones though) and it has lots of goodies. Is it really worth my while though if I'm not seriously into the stuff? Would it be better to get a receiver or that sound card?


  • Reply 1 of 28
    I've always have hooked my computer up to my home stereo system. I've seen people walk out of compusa with $500 sound systems for their computers. Maybe Iam just cheap.
  • Reply 2 of 28
    Hmm...can't do home stereo. I'm poor so I don't think I could spend $500 but I want something that will give me good sound plus I can basically use it as a stereo.

    Oh, just thought of something. If anyone is running Jag, can you tell me if the DVD player in it supports Dolby Digital 5.1? I've heard that there are a lot of new audio capabilities in it that should bring us up to speed with the rest of the world. Core Audio can already do it technically speaking, it's just a matter of whether Apple wants to implement these features.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    tigerwoods99tigerwoods99 Posts: 2,633member

    Come on folks, somebody has to know!
  • Reply 4 of 28
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    You called in the audiophiles to tell them Sony makes the best audio equipment ??? Better don your fire retardant suit. <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 5 of 28
    tigerwoods99tigerwoods99 Posts: 2,633member
    No, I called them to find me the best stereo receiver.
  • Reply 6 of 28
    Do you have to have a radio tuner? In your price range, I'd get a NAD integrated amplifier. Here are some links:

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    It's gonna sound a lot better than your typical consumer receiver.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    Audiophile eh? I guess I'm close enough

    If you want a great two channel setup from your computer, consider getting an Audiophile 24/96 (or a Terratec) and using the digital output to a standalone digital/analog convertor (I use a cheap but highly praised ART DI/O ~$130 for the job). By getting a soundcard wtih digi out, you can also save up for those yummy $5000 DACs ...

    If you really want a reciever, Outlaw makes good ones. Onkyo and Denon also make good ones, I have the Onkyo 575x and its pretty decent (connected to my mediocre cambridge soundworsk HT setup). My main rig consists of my expensive headphone gear (which isn't connected to the soundcard much actually, rather my Pioneer DVD player transport-ART DI/O)...

    Anyways, if you wanted to hook up a reciever, you need line outs, and the built in sound card is amplified, thus you will be sending garbage into the reciever without a soundcard with lineouts.

    Oh, and step away from the Sony... (ES series are good though, but $$$)...
  • Reply 8 of 28
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    I plug my B&W G3 into a 200 watt reciever with a 1/8" mini-to-RCA y-cable. Works fine, cost me $80 bucks for the reciever and cable.

    My suggestion is to buy used equipment. Buzz words can be expensive, plus I here optical audio isn't perfect either.
  • Reply 9 of 28
    Well, between the two, since Onkyo makes fantastic recievers and such and yamaha makes complete crap I would choose the Onkyo. I'm actually looking to buy the same Onkyo pc-stereo product your looking at..
  • Reply 10 of 28
    seansean Posts: 3member
    I?ll second the recommendation for NAD amps. I used to have a ?classic series? 2-channel Nad receiver, paired with a set of Klipsh Ksp.1.1 bookshelf speakers. My G4 never sounded so good. (Even though I was only using the standard Mini sound out plug)

    However I should mention that NAD Amps are designed as low wattage receivers to be paired with larger 4ohm speakers. (I.e. if you want base, then you need BIG 4 ohm woofers)

    You could probably find a used Nad amp for about 2-300 US (if you want to buy used)

    As far as home theater goes, Denon make very good receivers for the money, (I?m going with Denon for my next HT set up)

    My current HT receiver is a Sony. (A3-ES, receiver) I?ve had no probs with it, though I do feel it?s a little over priced for what it is. Not to mention the fk?ng LCD 2 way remote is a slow POS. (It?s a decent box, but I won?t be buying another Sony)

    My recommendations for speakers = Klipsch

    Just as a thought, that all in one Home Theater kit Sony makes is pretty sweet in the looks DEPT. (I think it?s in the 400 dollar range) it would look quite nice next to a G4 (I don?t know about sound though)

    Low-end Pioneer stuff is not to bad either. Given the choice between that and an entry level Sony, I?d go with the pioneer.
  • Reply 11 of 28
    found this yesterday from <a href=""; target="_blank">Harmon Kardon</a>, wondering if anyone tried it out or now...but it sure seems cool ^_^;

    now, only if not everything try to chock my 2 USB buses all at once...(one of those, an Elgato, a scanner, a printer, a TI-link, etc, etc, etc...)
  • Reply 12 of 28
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    [quote]Originally posted by Aquatik:

    <strong>Buzz words can be expensive..</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Nice line!

    I wonder how long until this shows up in Matsu's signature.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    thoth2thoth2 Posts: 277member
    My suggestion is you get on the used bandwagon if you want really good stuff cheap. Well, not cheap, but less expensive.

    I've had tremendous results with my Acurus DIA-100, but that doesn't have a reveiver in it. Used, I doubt a nice one will go for much more than $300 or $400. Look at <a href=""; target="_blank"></a> for highend used stuff.

    Also, the NAD stuff recommended above is stellar for the price. Sony ES is fine and dandy; sometimes you can get a bargain on it at large chains closing out last year's models.

    As for speakers, I have a set of Martin Logan Aerius i's for sale....

  • Reply 14 of 28
    tigerwoods99tigerwoods99 Posts: 2,633member
    Ok going through this thread I've listened to advice and checked things out carefully. I was reading Sound & Vision at the library too and they had a review of some high-end Denon and Integra ish. I looked on, and the only Denon's they had were out of my price range. I'm lookin to spend around $200 on a receiver and preferably no more. Also, the specs for those high priced Denon didn't jump out at me. They didn't have any Onkyo's that cheap either, and one that was a lot more was only like 65 watts as opposed to a low-end Pioneer w/100 watts. SO what's the deal? Can anyone point me to some good audio sites that sell receivers?
  • Reply 15 of 28
    Don't get caught up looking at amp wattage. All watts are not created equal. My 60 watt Rega Mira sounds way better than any 100 watt Japanese receiver. And for my next upgrade I'm thinking about replacing it with 8 watt single ended tube amps.

    Searching the used ads at Audiogon is defintely a good way to get great sound for cheap. Brands to look for include NAD, Creek, Rega, Arcam, Adcom, Acurus or Jolida if you want to try tubes.
  • Reply 16 of 28
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Well, heck. A tube amp beats the pants off of most solid state amps. But they are more expensive. There are some high quality solid state amps that rival tubes, but they are expensive. If you play lots of MP3's you will want a tube amp.

    --If you have money to burn, look into Macintosh* tube amps. They are awesome and cost as much as a good car.

    *No, not Apple's Macintosh, there is a audio company called Macintosh.

    [ 08-09-2002: Message edited by: Ebby ]</p>
  • Reply 17 of 28
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    Not all glass amps are expensive, Antique soundlabs makes some great cheap stuff... $100 monoblocks for example, hook them up to your preamp and voila, nice tube amplification. If you build a Bottlehead Foreplay, you have a sweet $350 10Watt/channel amplification setup that would be impossible to beat by any reciever (biased I am, of course... and you better have some semi-efficient speakers)...
  • Reply 18 of 28
    seansean Posts: 3member
    Venturing into 2 channel tube amps can be rewarding, although it is by no doubt the DEEP end of the pool (so to speak) regarding home audio. A lot of people use the term ?warm sound? when they refer to tube amps. To them sound through a ?warmed? tube amp sounds more full and real; (I?d tend to concur, having been exposed to both at length) If you want 2 channel (old school) big sound, then maybe a tube amp might fit your bill. However as stated before you need sensitive speakers. \t\tAlso replacing broken tubes can get pricey, so buyer beware.\t\t

    I?m going to go out on a limb and say home theater receivers for US200 are all pretty similar. If I were you I?d simply go to my nearest audio retailer, with units for testing (or that have a good return policy) and try them out. After all paper stats ?Don?t mean a thing, is if it ain?t got dat swing!?--Basically what sounds best to you. After that, read the spec sheets and make the call. As far as Dolby DTS, well I don?t know, if you want to really get into it then I don?t think a 200 dollar receiver is going to be satisfactory to you; So make this your stepping stone. I remember my old pioneer pro-logic receiver with a kind of fondness. But just like Mac computers, I?ve always had my eye on a better model.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    superdsuperd Posts: 32member
    As far as audio equipment goes there are a few "prosumer" lines that are pretty decent, Denon and Yamaha are my favourites. Bang for the buck I'd go with a Yamaha all the way...

    Sony in my mind is average at best. They are percieved leaders but their equipment is overpriced and their wattage rateings are misleading.

    Remember that if you go with the reciever route to get some good speakers. With stereo equipment your final output (sound) is only as good as your weakest link. If you are going to be playing MP3's, as a main use, investing a lot of money in audio equipment is a bit of a waste...

  • Reply 20 of 28
    klinuxklinux Posts: 453member
    Getting back to the original question...

    For the lack of a better catch-all term, "audiophiles" may disagree on many things but all agree that for any system, you should spend the most on speakers. Ultimately, the speakers are the things that you hear! If they cannot reproduce the sound faithfully, the best equipments are moot. At least fifty percent of your audio budget, IMHO, should be for the speakers.

    What's your budget? Onkyo and Denon make excellent receivers. If you budget is less than $300, I guarantee that you will not be able to discern any difference between the aural qualities of the receivers. Therefore, you should be getting the one with the most features or best ergonomics or whatever is your highest priority.
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