Similar to HK 3380 but with digital coaxial input?
I'm getting a small and cheap 2.1 system for my room so i can play some mp3s from my computer. My computer has a single SPDIF output, but it looks like the 3380 only has regular analog RCA inputs. Any clue on a cheap-ish, decently powerful receiver (only 2ch needed really) with digital coax in?
I'm not entirely sure what to do about speakers or a sub, but i can get some nice looking deals through Circuit City's employee purchase plan... such as $50 for Infinity Primus 160 bookshelf or $90 for the Infinity Beta bookshelf speaker, as well as their 12in powered sub for $180 or so. Seems like some nice deals, and unless it's going to sound BAD (im going to give em a listen soon in store), i think these will suit me. I can get the 3380 for $175 but I just don't think the inputs will work out.
I'm upgrading from a Logitech Z560 system which just had no midrange at all, and I wish the highs were a bit more detailed.
i do not know of any stereo reciever tha accepts digital inputs. the point of digital inputs is to get surround sound channels better than analog connections. i would stay away from those speakers and sub. the 3380 is a pretty hefty and nice reciever and will be quite a waste with speakers like them. try taking a look at ascend speakers or fluance if you are on a tight budget. if you just need a sub you should try the velodyne vrp 1200. you can always use a cable that converts from 1/8" mini plug to rca analog plugs. most mass market cable companies have some cable like it.
I'll definitely take a look at those speakers... got any favorite sites or links for them?
I'm also looking at the Panasonic SA-XR55 digital receiver (looks like it isnt out yet??) which looks to be $250 at JR.
I was wondering about the 1/8" to RCA adapter, as I use one for my auxiliary input in my car headunit, but I wasn't sure if the sound quality would suffer or not. (we've also got the same sorta setup on another computer, 1/8 to RCA converter running into a receiver powering Altec Model 14s... using the computer and the converter makes the signal weak, requiring more power, and it just doesnt sound quite as good).
Think there will be a quality loss using the 1/8" to RCA cable? I'll try to keep the run as short as possible (should be 5-6 feet). The run on the computer + receiver running the Altecs is really long, like 16 or 20 feet.
both speakers companies i mentioned are internet direct. just google them and you will get the websites. the ascends are a bit more expensive but i think they would be well worth it. fluance is real cheap but i have heard they are decent. a guy named edster here has ascends and may give you a better idea on how they sound. i agree the signal is a little weaker considering i used the cable for a while. you may want to try the xitel hifi pro unit. jr sells it. you get loads of stuff with it. im sure you will get a better idea when you go to the xitel website. you 30 ft runs of digital coax, digital optical, and regular rca cables. you may also want to look at the hk 3480. its a very nice stereo reciever with plenty of power. i think cc sells the vrp1000 and vrp 1200.
Fluance's SV-6 speakers are definitely within my price range. Athena AS-B1s might also be doable. The Velo sub is a bit expensive, though. Some member by the name of Berny said in a previous post that he would take the Infinity Primus and Beta over the Fluance setup.
in the end its up to you. the bad part of internet direct is you cant hear them ahead of time, but they do typically go much cheaper. berny maybe right about the infinity speakers being better than the equivalent fluance setup. if you get that discount, i would give it a go. if anything you could probably return them or sell them on ebay. if you want a cheap sub you can try going to partsexpress.com and you can get a dayton 10" sub for like $150. dunno if it would be any better than the infinity sub, but its worth a look. try and listen to the infitity speakers first then decide from there. the final decision is always yours.
yeah I'd give the Panny a go first, see how you like it. The HK 3380 isn't bad but you can get the more powerful 3480 for the same price range from Harman Direct on eBay with full manufacturer's warranty.
Don't worry about the output thing, just use a cheapo $4 y-adapter cable between the PC and receiver. MP3 by definition is pretty mediocre sound quality so the type of cable is not going to make much of a difference, especially with the speakers you're looking at.
What's the maximum that you're willing/able to spend on the speakers?
I don't have any sort of set limit... i'm going for a bang for the buck kinda thing. I probably won't be very willing to spend more than $200 for the pair. Still undecided about the receiver...HK 3380 vs Pana XR55. What other choices are there? Do you think even if i'm playing a real CD in my computer that i wouldnt get much of a signal loss with the 1/8" to RCA y cable?
by definition, the cd player in the computer is pretty bad for playing cds. a computer cd player costs no more than $50. and decent home audio cd player starts at like $300. huge difference in build quality. if the majority of your music collection is cds, dont bother with the computer hook up. if you want the convenience of the computer as a juke box, just use mp3s or other compressed audio formats. dont bother with playing cds from the computer. $200 a pair is a pretty small budget though it may be doable. are you a college student by chance? i dont think you will get anything any better than the logitech system. i would go take a listen to some speakers. thats the best thing you can do right now.
If you're going to play a CD in your computer you might as well go spend $50 on a Toshiba 3960 (go to referenceaudiomods.com for why they use that model as their base upgrade model) hooked up directly to whatever receiver you get. Using a CD-ROM/R/RW drive to play music CDs produces horrible results compared to even a cheap component DVD or CD player.
$200 for a pair of speakers is not going to get you very satisfying results, frankly. I'd spend the extra $100-150 to get something really decent which you'll actually want to hang onto.
Or, instead of buying $200 speakers plus a $150-200 subwoofer, why not buy a decent $400 pair of Athena AS-F2s which can go down to 35Hz and hold off on the subwoofer?