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  1. #1

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    Default new system set up help : )

    Hey guys, i was wondering if you could help with some concerns i'm having. I love good quality sound, but am new to the hifi scene (and to the site), i am looking to build a good 2.0 music oriented system, with occasional movie going and gaming.

    Ok, so a few years ago i needed a quick fix for my music listening needs. I lived in a collage dorm, and needed something easy and small, so i bought a "box kit" home theater unit (samsung ht-q80), and now it is crapping out on me. but thats ok, because it never really sounded that good anyway. I was using it for my computer audio, because all my music and movies are on my hard drive. I have an Creative Elite pro X fi card, and i have been running the optical out to the optical in on the receiver.

    Ok, so now that we got the back story, what i want to do is build a good 2 channel sound system. I am thinking of the Polk LSI9 bookshelves, and running them through an integrated amp, the Onkyo A-9555. Is this a good amp to power those LSI9's? I heard that they crave lots of power. I was also thinking of the Onkyo TX-8555, but that is a receiver and i don't think i need something that complicated. This leads me to my next question. I plan on running my Creative X-FI Elite Pro card into the amp and using my computer to source into my system. Is this a good idea, or will this degrade the sound quality to that its not worth putting the money into a good system? And if i did connect, what is the best way to connect pc to amp? on the ones i looked at i didnt see any optical in or anything other then cd, phono, line in, ect.

    side note, i noticed on the Onkyo A-9555 that their is no sub woofer output. If i eventually get a powered sub, con i just connect it to speaker section B. If it did this, will it mess up the impedance for the LSI9?

    So thats the situation and any advise/ help would be greatly appreciated. so, thanks in advance for your help, hope to hear from you soon.

    I am not looking to drop a fortune, but i understand good sound comes at a price, so i am trying to balance price and quality.

    LINKS:
    Speakers: http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/sp ... ookshelf/individual/lsi9/

    AMP:
    http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=...=Amplifier&p=f

    SOUND CARD:
    http://us.creative.com/products/produ ... ategory=669&product=14064
    Last edited by lando885; 11-10-2008 at 02:11 PM. Reason: New info

  2. #2

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    Welcome to Club Polk.

    I can't speak for the amps you're looking at, but as far as connecting a sub or other source (PC), in general you would connect their line level outputs to the line level inputs on your reciever/pre-amp/integrated amp, etc. Not directly to a separate amp. This way you can switch your inputs as you desire. Although I think your PC would be acting as a Preamp so you could run directly to a sep amp as long as you're using it as your only source and would be controlling the volume from the PC.
    To connect your sub, there are several options including using a pre/intregrated with a dedicated sub out; running the line level input through the sub first then to the pre/amp (so the sub does the crossover for you) or using the speaker inputs the same way. I am pretty sure the input impedance on most subs are usually very high and should not affect the LSi's at all (except that you'll need more speaker wire and an additional connection point). I believe the sub is only getting the signal from the speaker level input, they are not being driven by the inputs (assuming of course that you're using a powered sub).
    You could also split the line level signal and run one end to the pre/amp/int. and the other direct to the sub input, but then you would still have full range signal going to your speakers and would have to control the sub volume separately.

    You'll get many opinions on what the best source is, but your own ears will be the best judge of what sounds good. In my opinion you can probably get very good sound from a sound card with a very good DAC. But then again it will depend on the quality of the source material (mp3, or other lossless formats (FLAC, etc)).

    Many feel Digital Coax is better than the Optical method (because of extra conversion stepos required), but its subjective. If you use the optical or digital outputs then you are not using the sound cards internal DAC and would be relying on the DAC in an external component, which you could do by pumping the output through a very high quality external DAC (which may be standalone or part of your int. amp) . If you have a very good sound card, then run the line outs to the pre/amp/int.

    I know that was a lot of info jumbled in there and I'm sure I missed something-I'm typing quickly between phone telcoms so I'm rushed. Ask more questions-members of this forum will get you some answers (and correct me where I'm wrong).
    Last edited by mmadden28; 11-10-2008 at 02:48 PM.
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    HT:Onkyo 805, Emotiva XPA-5, Mitsu 52" 1080p DLP / polkaudio RTi12, CSIa6, FXi3, uPro4K
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  3. #3

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    thanks for the quick reply mmadden, and for all the information. lots to think about for sure : ) heres a quick question, you said that you can use the speaker inputs for a powered sub? because the integrated i'm looking at doesn't have a sub out option, but it does have a speaker system A and B with the ablility to run either A or B or both. So i can run the LSI9's through A, and then i could run the powered sub through B? i would have to do it this way i think because their is only one "line in" on the 9555. Your other info was helpful to, because it solved the problem of connection. I am going to run a 3.5mm Male to 2 RCA Type Male Audio Y-Cable in between my card and the integrated. Can you recommend a good cable?

    thanks again, cheers

  4. #4

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    i was just thinking, since my card doesnt have a stereo out, just a single line out 3.5mm, will i be outputting stereo sound into my integrated amp? the connector on the amp side of the cable is a left and right channel, but the signal coming from the card seems like it would only be mono. just wondering

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by lando885 View Post
    i was just thinking, since my card doesnt have a stereo out, just a single line out 3.5mm, will i be outputting stereo sound into my integrated amp? the connector on the amp side of the cable is a left and right channel, but the signal coming from the card seems like it would only be mono. just wondering
    Not sure I'm following--your sound card doesn't have a stereo line out? Why so you think that? The Line out should be stereo via a single stereo 3.5mm connector. And you would use a cable as you mentioned in the prev post--a 3.5mm to two RCAs (one for L and one for R). I've seen a few quality cables like that fairly inexpensively. They're usually marketed as iPod cables.

    On the A/B speaker option. Hmm. I don't know-I'm sure it will work as far as the sub is concernde, but I'm not sure if selecting A & B would reduce the max power avail to the LSi's even if the sub isn't pulling power from the B channel.
    One thing to keep in mind with a sub, is that if you want the sub to handle the lower frequencies so that the main speakers don't have to (thus making more power available from the amps to power the mids and highs in the speakers), you really have to use some kind of Bass management. Outside of using a preamp or processor to do the bass management at a minumum that means to run the source through the sub before going to the pre/integ. so the frequencies are crossed over. And this can be done either using the speaker level or line level inputs to the sub (if present). If I were to try what you're trying, I would connect the 3.5mm to Stereo RCA cable the 3.5mm jack to the line out on the sound card, then connect the RCAs to the Sub Line level inputs. Set the crossover onthe sub (say to 80Hz) then run RCA interconnects from the sub line outs to the pre/integ amp line in.

    Of course you might want to just give the LSi9's a try straight up first without a sub. They have some pretty impressive (IMHO) low frequency output. Actually I just re-read your post-you don't have a sub yet-so try it w/o first.

    As a matter of fact you could even connect an iPod or other portable music player directly into the amp just to try it out without the PC.

    What's your budget?

    doh gotta run -the kids are turning into prunes in the tub.
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    HT:Onkyo 805, Emotiva XPA-5, Mitsu 52" 1080p DLP / polkaudio RTi12, CSIa6, FXi3, uPro4K
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by lando885 View Post
    ... I am going to run a 3.5mm Male to 2 RCA Type Male Audio Y-Cable in between my card and the integrated. Can you recommend a good cable?

    thanks again, cheers
    Try this, then use a standard IC
    http://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-ada...425644&sr=8-21

    Or this if close enough
    http://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-cla...425644&sr=8-28

    Note the above are just some quick samples--You can probably find them cheaper and lower or better models and in different lengths. Cables can be subjective and depend on how much you want to spend. AQ is a good brand though.
    ____________________
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    HT:Onkyo 805, Emotiva XPA-5, Mitsu 52" 1080p DLP / polkaudio RTi12, CSIa6, FXi3, uPro4K
    2-chnl : Pio DV-46AV (SACD), Dodd ELP, Emotiva XPA-1s, XPA-2, Odyssey Khartago, LSi9, SDA-SRS 2 , SB Duet, MSB & Monarchy DACs, Yamaha PX3 TT, SAE Tuner...
    Pool: Atrium 60's/45's

  7. #7

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    thanks for the info, I'll probably get the audio quest cable you recommended. I like the looks of that threaded fiber on the cord, very nice : ). And yes, for not, i wont be worrying about adding a powered sub to my system, i just want to make sure with the components that i want to order, that it will be possible later on down the road.
    So eventually that's what I'll have to do, run my PC card through the sub, then output from the sub to the integrated, then run the speakers from that. And that means that the sub will be powered, and will manage the crossovers by itself before the signal makes it to the int/amp and through the speakers.
    Well sir, i thank you for all your help, you really helped me make up my mind on a lot of things.
    Thanks again, and cheers!

  8. #8

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    So what kind of system do you run?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by lando885 View Post
    thanks for the info, I'll probably get the audio quest cable you recommended. I like the looks of that threaded fiber on the cord, very nice : ). And yes, for not, i wont be worrying about adding a powered sub to my system, i just want to make sure with the components that i want to order, that it will be possible later on down the road.
    So eventually that's what I'll have to do, run my PC card through the sub, then output from the sub to the integrated, then run the speakers from that. And that means that the sub will be powered, and will manage the crossovers by itself before the signal makes it to the int/amp and through the speakers.
    Well sir, i thank you for all your help, you really helped me make up my mind on a lot of things.
    Thanks again, and cheers!
    No prob. I only hope I didn't poison you with any confusion or misinformation.
    Do some searching-you might be able to find some good deals on cables.
    And keep asking questions-lots of good folks on this forum with a boatload of useful information and help.

    My system is in my sig ;)
    HT:Onkyo TX-SR805, Emotiva XPA-5, Pio DV-48AV, Toshiba HD-A3, Xbox360, Mitsu 52" 1080p DLP, Belkin PureAV PF60
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    2-chnl : Pio DV-46AV (SACD), Dodd ELP, Emotiva XPA-2, LSi9, SB Duet, ...
    Last edited by mmadden28; 11-11-2008 at 03:40 PM.
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    This post is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects.

    HT:Onkyo 805, Emotiva XPA-5, Mitsu 52" 1080p DLP / polkaudio RTi12, CSIa6, FXi3, uPro4K
    2-chnl : Pio DV-46AV (SACD), Dodd ELP, Emotiva XPA-1s, XPA-2, Odyssey Khartago, LSi9, SDA-SRS 2 , SB Duet, MSB & Monarchy DACs, Yamaha PX3 TT, SAE Tuner...
    Pool: Atrium 60's/45's

  10. #10

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    Lando, if you didn't the AQ a cable yet, check out a Tweeter if you have one near you. I was in one today and all the AQ cables were 50% off.
    ____________________
    This post is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects.

    HT:Onkyo 805, Emotiva XPA-5, Mitsu 52" 1080p DLP / polkaudio RTi12, CSIa6, FXi3, uPro4K
    2-chnl : Pio DV-46AV (SACD), Dodd ELP, Emotiva XPA-1s, XPA-2, Odyssey Khartago, LSi9, SDA-SRS 2 , SB Duet, MSB & Monarchy DACs, Yamaha PX3 TT, SAE Tuner...
    Pool: Atrium 60's/45's

  11. #11

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    Thanks man, I'll look around. I'm not sure if we have one here, but i will check. Thanks for the tip.

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