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  • Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

    Im looking for help on figuring out what my best option is for a 2.0 or 2.1 computer system for hi fidelity sound within my budget.

    Quick background... I am familiar with some DIY speakers as I have a full DIY 5.1 set up in my living room (GR AV1's all around and a single 18" Fi Q18 IB). I have a very small place (950 s/f and no garage so space saving is valuble). Anyway I can never do any real music listening in there due to TV and noise and what not. I spend a lot of time at the PC when its quiet and would like to get some nice speakers for 2-ch music. expected volumes are not high... Maybe maximum listening levels at 85-90db here near field.

    Issues:

    - Very limited space for the 2 speakers. a 5" driver in a very small enclosure would probably the largest I can go. Maybe an max enclosure size of 7" wide by 8" deep. I can go as high as 18-20" if needed.

    - The speakers will be close against the wall toed in slightly as the desk is against the wall. 24-36" estimated distance between ears and speaker baffles.


    I have been doing a lot of searching the forums for active DIY monitors and PC speakers and the like but have only found a couple smaller passive designs. I havent found any active (all-in-one) mini-monitor projects. i have been reading and searching for hours and also listening to active studio monitors at the pro audio departments of Guitar stores to get a good reference of what I think I would like.
    I have looked at many M-Audio, JBL, Mackie, KRK studio monitors. The KRK Rokit 5 seemed to be the only logical solution for my requirements and budget ($300/pr at the store) and I did like the speakers the best for near field of the ones I looked at. Bi amped and front ported:

    Rokit 5


    While I did like the speakers they were definitely a little sloppy in some areas. I was thinking I could get much better performance from a proven DIY design.

    So far I have considered starting from scratch and going with these amps and a good speaker design if I decide to go all out on this project:

    Dayton Bi-Amp

    Or cut the cost and performance a bit and go with small passives and a small sub with this amp:

    Dayton 2.1-ch amp

    is 25 watts enough to power a pair of small speakers? Or if i decide no sub is needed maybe one of the T-Amps:

    Dayton T-Amp

    A large external receiver or amp is not an option even though I have a nice 6.1 Yamaha receiver in the box in my storage unit. I just dont have anywhere to put it on or around my desk.

    Anyway, back to it before this post becomes too long...

    I have looked at several designs such as:

    Microbes

    Nice smallish size and fantastic sound from the reviews. However they are not front ported and may be trouble against the wall (can it be converted to maybe a front slot port?).

    Overnight Sensations

    Smaller driver but also a smaller cabinet. Again, not front ported.

    Lineup D4 by Jed

    I love this design and I really wanted to try out that 4" TB Titanium driver as I hear it is spectacular. Although that tweeter is no longer available if I remember correctly so am I out of luck on this one?

    Zaph Hi-Vi B3S

    Small and might work well with that 2.1 amp with a sub.

    According to what I am reading from various sites like Zaph Audio, for this type of application, I would need quite a bit of BSC and a front ported design to be most effective???

    Any other kits or options I missed?

    I would love to go full active with thos bi-amp plate amps but I think that might just put the size of the cabinet too large.

    Wow, this post turned out to be 5x longer then I planned... Anyway I would love some input and suggestions from the pro's around here. You guys definitely know what you are doing and we appreciate you helping and teaching us about all this speaker bulding stuff. Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

    I've been researching a similar project, but for a bedroom TV where the wife doesn't want it "too loud". I've built Zaph's HiVi-B3S and am very impressed with the quality of sound achieved; plus it's darn cheap.

    Regarding BSC for this design, Zaph goes into great detail on his site about different positioning requirements and what to do (re: change the resistor value in the BSC circuit). For your application, 4 ohms is what's recommended. Some of the more experienced designers on this board may be better suited to answer, but I believe moving closer to a wall requires LESS BSC, not more. The wall acts to reinforce bass as those frequencies radiate off the baffle and around the speaker.

    These will definitely need a sub as is stated in the design document. I am seriously considering Roman Bednarek's Cerberus. It puts out a serious amount of bass for an 11" cube. Why not Roman's Microbe's? Cost and size. If I didn't have the wife to worry about, these would've been a no brainer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

      I just finished a set of Zaph's B3n/b3s design a few days ago. I was extremely impressed when I listed to them in pretty much the exact setup your describing. I swear it sounded like I had on headphones. The only drawback, and it could be my setup, is they don't seem to be very efficient. I'm not sure what small amp would work best for them, but if you added a sub, they should be perfect for your application.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

        +1 on Cerberus sub.

        Also consider Wolfs Sophomores. They are designed with front port, and small.

        The Dayton 2.1 would be perfect in theory, but it may not have enough power for the TB in the Cerberus... I could be wrong though.
        My projects
        https://picasaweb.google.com/112307725038877176664

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

          Originally posted by ocdSCHACK View Post
          Zaph's B3n/b3s... don't seem to be very efficient.
          they're definitely not. ~78db @ 1W/1m, iirc. wolf's dragon foal will give you an extra 4 or 5 db out of a similar type of speaker, since he doesn't use any BSC. but with the DF you've got a rear port to deal with. zaph's design, being sealed, is probably the more appropriate of the two, for this application.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

            Originally posted by lamski View Post
            Im looking for help on figuring out what my best option is for a 2.0 or 2.1 computer system for hi fidelity sound within my budget.
            There are some quality designs in your list. I doubt you will find any "small enough" plate amps for your application so active may not be feasible.

            If it meets your budget, consider a set of Piccolatas and run them off a Dayton DTA-100 [If it ever gets back in stock] For music, they would be fine without a sub - though the Cerberus is certainly up to the task if needed.

            The Amethyst run by a DTA-1 is a combo that will put out a surprising amount of sound for modest $$.

            If you are doing MP3s and/or streaming audio, with the motherboard sound chip, then you may not want to get an overly elaborate or revealing setup without looking at the source "player". The quality of computer audio is widely varied.
            Lou's Speaker Site [speakers.lonesaguaro.com]
            "Different" is objective, "better" is subjective. Taste is not a provable fact.
            Where are you John Galt? I may not be worthy, but I'm ready.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

              Desktop monitors where you will be sitting near-field should need next to nothing from a baffle step perspective. You also won't need anything with great sensitivity since you'll only be sitting a couple feet from the speakers.

              I like your choice of the 2.1 amp. There's plenty of power at 25W for even the lowest sensitivity speakers. It should mount to a small sub that would fit under the desk.

              If you do decide to go with no sub, then you'll probably want to go with 5" woofers or better, and the desktop speakers start to get a little consumptive of desk space, and will likely have a bit less bass than a separate sub.
              R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio
              Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51

              95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
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              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

                I made a 2.1 system for my computer room that I'm quite happy with.

                The sub uses the Dayton MCA2550D (2.1) amp and a Dayton 8" DVC woofer.
                http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=300-772
                and
                http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=295-480

                These are mounted in a 30 liter (net) vented box (inside dimensions are H = 15.88 x W = 10.63 x D = 11.25). The vent is 2" dia x 7" long. The tuning is about 28 Hz.

                The response is surprisingly flat from 28 Hz to 400 (and up), so it's easy to adjust the crossover to accommodate a lot of different small satellites.

                My satellite pair uses some old paper cone radio shack drivers I've had for 20 years or so. I've tried several different bookshelf sized pairs with this sub combo, and it's fairly easy to dial it in for a smooth transition. There are a lot of good proven designs, as others have mentioned.

                I've tried several combinations of amps and desktop speakers over the years, including a couple of receivers (2 ch and HT), but this 2.1 amp/sub combination is the best solution I've had. Both amp and sub are on the floor under the desk and out of the way. My satellites are sitting on lazy susans, so I can turn them toward me when I'm at my desk, or away from the desk when I'm in the room doing something else. I'm quite impressed with the sound quality.
                - Dave R
                the 200% Norske

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

                  Originally posted by lamski View Post
                  Im looking for help on figuring out what my best option is for a 2.0 or 2.1 computer system for hi fidelity sound within my budget.

                  Quick background... I am familiar with some DIY speakers as I have a full DIY 5.1 set up in my living room (GR AV1's all around and a single 18" Fi Q18 IB). I have a very small place (950 s/f and no garage so space saving is valuble). Anyway I can never do any real music listening in there due to TV and noise and what not. I spend a lot of time at the PC when its quiet and would like to get some nice speakers for 2-ch music. expected volumes are not high... Maybe maximum listening levels at 85-90db here near field.

                  Issues:

                  - Very limited space for the 2 speakers. a 5" driver in a very small enclosure would probably the largest I can go. Maybe an max enclosure size of 7" wide by 8" deep. I can go as high as 18-20" if needed.

                  - The speakers will be close against the wall toed in slightly as the desk is against the wall. 24-36" estimated distance between ears and speaker baffles.


                  I have been doing a lot of searching the forums for active DIY monitors and PC speakers and the like but have only found a couple smaller passive designs. I havent found any active (all-in-one) mini-monitor projects. i have been reading and searching for hours and also listening to active studio monitors at the pro audio departments of Guitar stores to get a good reference of what I think I would like.
                  I have looked at many M-Audio, JBL, Mackie, KRK studio monitors. The KRK Rokit 5 seemed to be the only logical solution for my requirements and budget ($300/pr at the store) and I did like the speakers the best for near field of the ones I looked at. Bi amped and front ported:

                  Rokit 5


                  While I did like the speakers they were definitely a little sloppy in some areas. I was thinking I could get much better performance from a proven DIY design.

                  So far I have considered starting from scratch and going with these amps and a good speaker design if I decide to go all out on this project:

                  Dayton Bi-Amp

                  Or cut the cost and performance a bit and go with small passives and a small sub with this amp:

                  Dayton 2.1-ch amp

                  is 25 watts enough to power a pair of small speakers? Or if i decide no sub is needed maybe one of the T-Amps:

                  Dayton T-Amp

                  A large external receiver or amp is not an option even though I have a nice 6.1 Yamaha receiver in the box in my storage unit. I just dont have anywhere to put it on or around my desk.

                  Anyway, back to it before this post becomes too long...

                  I have looked at several designs such as:

                  Microbes

                  Nice smallish size and fantastic sound from the reviews. However they are not front ported and may be trouble against the wall (can it be converted to maybe a front slot port?).

                  Overnight Sensations

                  Smaller driver but also a smaller cabinet. Again, not front ported.

                  Lineup D4 by Jed

                  I love this design and I really wanted to try out that 4" TB Titanium driver as I hear it is spectacular. Although that tweeter is no longer available if I remember correctly so am I out of luck on this one?

                  Zaph Hi-Vi B3S

                  Small and might work well with that 2.1 amp with a sub.

                  According to what I am reading from various sites like Zaph Audio, for this type of application, I would need quite a bit of BSC and a front ported design to be most effective???

                  Any other kits or options I missed?

                  I would love to go full active with thos bi-amp plate amps but I think that might just put the size of the cabinet too large.

                  Wow, this post turned out to be 5x longer then I planned... Anyway I would love some input and suggestions from the pro's around here. You guys definitely know what you are doing and we appreciate you helping and teaching us about all this speaker bulding stuff. Thanks!

                  My Nano Neos are less than 6"w x 15"h x 11"d and do not require a sub to play below 40 Hz. Honest.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

                    Desktop monitors where you will be sitting near-field should need next to nothing from a baffle step perspective. You also won't need anything with great sensitivity since you'll only be sitting a couple feet from the speakers.

                    I like your choice of the 2.1 amp. There's plenty of power at 25W for even the lowest sensitivity speakers. It should mount to a small sub that would fit under the desk.

                    If you do decide to go with no sub, ....
                    Originally posted by daver View Post
                    I made a 2.1 system for my computer room that I'm quite happy with.

                    The sub uses the Dayton MCA2550D (2.1) amp and a Dayton 8" DVC woofer. ....
                    +1 on the Dayton 2.1 amp in this kind of application.

                    I combined it with a pair of sealed Madisond RB1's (140mm 2-way) with a Triska sub for my daughter. It played pleasently loud in our living room, but no one let me turn it up in the hotel (it was a graduation present). She's been very happy with it; really fills a room.

                    As Pete notes, your application doesn't need high sensitivity. I kept his last line because this amp requires a sub. Built-in high pass on the speakers, variable low-pass on the sub. Use something like the T-amp if building full-range without sub.

                    Have fun,
                    Frank

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

                      What did you make of the Mackie MR5? I assume that's the Mackie you listened to. It seems a lot of people home recording enthusiasts like these as well as the KRK Rokit 5. Any similarities/differences you noticed.

                      I did measurements on the Behringer 1030A(looks a lot like the MR5 and probably a near copy) and they look pretty good esp for near field.
                      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...ehringer+1030A

                      The broad/uniform pattern should allow you to move your head around freely and add a sense of detail and space. Also the beaming in the top octave could actually be a good thing. Many people who have live with speakers that have a broad pattern there describe them as being too bright. YMMV however of course.

                      Dan
                      "guitar polygamy is a satisfying and socially acceptable alternative lifestyle."~Tony Woolley
                      http://dtmblabber.blogspot.com/
                      http://soundcloud.com/dantheman-10

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

                        Thank you for all the suggestions... It's realy helpful. I agree that I think the 2.1 amp and system would be the best solution for me right now at least since I wont require high volume and it's a little less expensive and will offer the best bass quality since I can put a small sub under the desk.

                        I think i will definitely go with the Cerberus sub design since it seems to be the perfect fit for this 2.1-ch amp at 50W RMS into 4 ohms. I may have to modify the cabinet I think to go thinner and taller for a better fit under the desk.

                        Where can I find Wolf's designs for the Sophomores and dragon foal that were suggested? I would definitely like to check those out.


                        Originally posted by dantheman View Post
                        What did you make of the Mackie MR5? I assume that's the Mackie you listened to. It seems a lot of people home recording enthusiasts like these as well as the KRK Rokit 5. Any similarities/differences you noticed.

                        I did measurements on the Behringer 1030A(looks a lot like the MR5 and probably a near copy) and they look pretty good esp for near field.
                        http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...ehringer+1030A

                        The broad/uniform pattern should allow you to move your head around freely and add a sense of detail and space. Also the beaming in the top octave could actually be a good thing. Many people who have live with speakers that have a broad pattern there describe them as being too bright. YMMV however of course.

                        Dan
                        I actually really enjoyed the sound of the mackie MR5's. A little more extension in the bass then the M-Audio BX5 and the Rokit 5. The Mackies and JBL LSR 2325 were my original top picks but looking at my application both of these would not do well up against the wall.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

                          Originally posted by lamski View Post
                          Where can I find Wolf's designs for the Sophomores and dragon foal that were suggested? I would definitely like to check those out.
                          in his blog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

                            Sorry, didn't see the "against the wall" part.:o

                            Dan
                            "guitar polygamy is a satisfying and socially acceptable alternative lifestyle."~Tony Woolley
                            http://dtmblabber.blogspot.com/
                            http://soundcloud.com/dantheman-10

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Help me pick a solid 2.0/2.1 system for PC computer (maybe active?)...

                              Hey Lamski...welcome to DIY. While i understand what you're trying to do, given the specs on the Dayton 2.1 amp and the desk barrier, i'd pass on this approach. The sat channels are crossed at 250hz, meaning that your sub needs to play up into that range for a flat response.......NOT GOING TO HAPPEN with a desk top boundry at all. You'll be left with a midbass null and possible phase problems where the subs and mains blend.

                              Since we're not talking massive output here but nearfield, is suggest a sealed design run fullrange with an F3 somewhere between 80-120hz....very easy for a 5" driver to hit in the nearfield. As for subs, there's better options than the Cerebrus, and the TB sub driver IMO.

                              Here's an EXCELLENT nearfield sealed small design

                              http://zaphaudio.com/ZA5/

                              I've built a set for exactly the purpose you propose and the clarity and imaging are simply amazing. The soundstage seems to float between the seat and the 22" monitor. There's a few better 5.5" drivers out there......but not many and not MUCH better.

                              Comment

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