• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

First computer hifi setup

cf1973

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
7
Hi Everyone,

I'm considering my first PC desktop setup with a budget of around $1000 USD. I'll be listening to music and playing a few games. The listening distance will be about 3 feet in a big room. Here is what I'm considering.
* SMSL DO100 DAC
* Adam Audio T8V or Yamaha HS8 connected with cheap XLR cables

I don't want a subwoofer right now but maybe in the future.

Does this group have any different thoughts with this budget?

Will the 8" speakers be too much for that listening distance?

Will I miss the bass if I go smaller?

I appreciate any feedback.

Thanks
 

ThatM1key

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
903
Likes
703
Location
USA
Yamaha HS8's are more studio monitors, which means they'll be "accurate" but they might sound dull to you. The low end just doesn't seem that great for a 8-inch woofer, 38hz (at -10db) and 47hz (at -3db). My ELAC Debut 2 B62's have 6.5 inch woofers that can go down to 44hz (Overall Frequency Response). If you don't like subwoofers, you could just get towers. My Polk S55's are serious bass monsters and they can down to 32hz easily (Overall Frequency Response). I do have a subwoofer, which is the Polk PSW505, which it can do 23 Hz (Overall Frequency Response) and 28 Hz (at -3db). The ADAM Audio T8V is also a studio monitor, which you know. It can 33hz (-6db) which is alright for a 8-inch woofer.

The reason why people are telling you to get a sub is:
  1. A subwoofer takes the load off your speakers and amp, and your speakers can reproduce other frequencies better.
  2. When it comes to bookshelf speakers, they are very good at extending your bass region.
  3. Generally getting bookshelf's + a subwoofer is cheaper then getting towers.
Here's a few DAC combos you could (based on measurements and prices):
  • SMSL SU-6 (LDAC Bluetooth Support, No Balanced Outputs, $170)
  • Topping D10B (No Bluetooth, Balanced Outputs, Only input is USB, $140)
  • SMSL DO100 (Bluetooth Support but no LDAC, Balanced Outputs, $240)
 
Last edited:
OP
C

cf1973

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
7
How would I connect a regular subwoofer to the DACs you listed? The Adam subwoofer has XLR input and output to act as passthrough, but a regular subwoofer just has LFE and line ins.
 

majingotan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
1,093
Likes
1,209
Location
Laguna, Philippines
I listen to my HS7 speakers without any digital EQ / DSP correction since they sound "neutral flat" as is 2.5 feet away from tweeters on-axis. At that distance, I have my room EQ (back of speakers) on the right channel at -4 dB while the left has -2 dB. Zero channel imbalance with with a pink noise sweep at those settings on-tweeter axis. I use a Mogami Gold RCA-TS at +4 dB Level input out of my Schiit Saga OG preamp to HS8S sub then XLR-TRS cable to the HS7

36635219422_ecf8090cc0_b_d.jpg

37816766515_032ebe1bbb_b_d.jpg
 

HarmonicTHD

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
992
Likes
1,181
Yes ^^^^ this or Neumann speakers.

Spent the overwhelming majority of your budget on speakers. It will have the most audible impact by orders of magnitude.

So if you then can’t afford the SMSL anymore, don’t worry eg a cheap audio interface such as MOTU 4 or Focusrite 2i2 (ca 150USD) has about 90dB SINAD. I bet you good money ;-) you won’t hear a difference vs the SMSL in a controlled ABX music listening test.
 

ThatM1key

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
903
Likes
703
Location
USA
If your willing spend more on amp. You could either do the Topping PA5 or the Yamaha A-S301. The PA5 is cleaner and has balanced inputs, but has less power, no control and (probably) suffers from low volume channel balance like my Topping L30. The A-S301 is (probably) less clean and has no balanced inputs but has more power, tone controls and automatic channel balance.

You would save a lot more money if you went RCA by buying a Topping D10S and some cheap Amazon cables. You only need XLR/TRS if you have serious ground loops issues. If you want XLR/TRS, you could probably get the Topping D10B if you give up Bluetooth. The price difference is huge D10B is $140 while the DO100 is $240. Sure the DO100 is cleaner then the Topping D10B, but the DO100 only supports up to APTX-HD which is pure garbage compared to LDAC. You would also probably not hear the difference between the 2 devices because DAC tech has come a long ways.
 
OP
C

cf1973

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
7
Well, after days of research I'm seriously considering blowing my budget to get the Genelec 8030Cs. I'm still set on the DO100 though because of the convenience features.
 

twsecrest

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
641
Likes
205
Location
California
How would I connect a regular subwoofer to the DACs you listed? The Adam subwoofer has XLR input and output to act as passthrough, but a regular subwoofer just has LFE and line ins.
The Adam subwoofer should also come with un-balanced inputs (RCA?)
 

Tangband

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
1,638
Likes
1,475
Location
Sweden
Hi Everyone,

I'm considering my first PC desktop setup with a budget of around $1000 USD. I'll be listening to music and playing a few games. The listening distance will be about 3 feet in a big room. Here is what I'm considering.
* SMSL DO100 DAC
* Adam Audio T8V or Yamaha HS8 connected with cheap XLR cables

I don't want a subwoofer right now but maybe in the future.

Does this group have any different thoughts with this budget?

Will the 8" speakers be too much for that listening distance?

Will I miss the bass if I go smaller?

I appreciate any feedback.

Thanks
The Adam suggestion is good. If you want the PC to be the source, a focusrite 2i2 interface driven by ASIO would also be good.
You have to get a proper stand for the speakers, even for desktop use.

Edit : Of course Genelec 8030c is an even better choice.
 
Last edited:

Willem

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
2,888
Likes
4,333
Perhaps the most important thing may well be to get a fanless computer next time you replace the computer. I replaced a supposedly quiet older desktop PC with a highend Intel NUC in a fanless AKASA case, and the silence is refreshing. The new one is also a lot more frugal with electricty (it has to be for a fanless case), saving the environment a bit, and my wallet.
Another thing is that many modern motherboards have a better onboard DAC than older ones. So you may not need an outboard DAC. I would love to see up to date measurements of modern motherboard DACs, instead of yet more perfect outboard DACs. I had an isue with my outboard ODAC and I am now using the NUC's onboard DAC. It seems fine through a Quad 405-2 amplifier and Harbeth P3ESR speakers.
 
OP
C

cf1973

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
7
I finally got all of the pieces needed for the new setup and so far, so good. It did take a little bit for the USB connection to work, but bluetooth worked out of the box. Here is a pic of my messy setup. It's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to listen to a good stereo setup. This setup isn't perfect but it's the best stereo I've listened to in years. I'm missing the sub but will consider that in the future.
20220711_213737_crop.jpg
 

Doodski

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
13,619
Likes
13,384
Location
Canada
I finally got all of the pieces needed for the new setup and so far, so good. It did take a little bit for the USB connection to work, but bluetooth worked out of the box. Here is a pic of my messy setup. It's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to listen to a good stereo setup. This setup isn't perfect but it's the best stereo I've listened to in years. I'm missing the sub but will consider that in the future. View attachment 217865
Cool. Great speakers. What games are you planning on running on this new gear?
 

ThatM1key

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
903
Likes
703
Location
USA
I finally got all of the pieces needed for the new setup and so far, so good. It did take a little bit for the USB connection to work, but bluetooth worked out of the box. Here is a pic of my messy setup. It's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to listen to a good stereo setup. This setup isn't perfect but it's the best stereo I've listened to in years. I'm missing the sub but will consider that in the future. View attachment 217865
I used to have that kind of setup when I had my L-desk. I lost my stereo image completely
 

Doodski

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
13,619
Likes
13,384
Location
Canada
Diablo Immortal, Diablo III, RainbowSixSiege. I need some new games.
I've been playing Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands. Whoa is it huge. I played for 40 hours and there's no end in sight. I'm taking a break from fragging drug lords and their minions and have started playing Chernobylite. It's a role playing first person shooter game. I'm 7 hours in and have not fired a round at a baddy. I just choke them out and make 'em go unconscious and play a stealthy game. I have good weapons but it's so much fun sneaking around. I use Steam for buying my games and managing them too through the Steam window on my desktop. I'm up to 81 Steam games collected since about 2003 when Steam started operating. I recommend any of the Far Cry games new and old, Sniper Elite and the newer Wolfenstein games. Those seem to be the most involving of them all. The Half Life series is good if you don't have a strong video card and want to play with the kids.
 

Vacceo

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Messages
1,432
Likes
1,339
Buy the most expensive Genelec you can afford.
With the nice added extra that they´re great to expand into multichannel territory. Add a processor and enjoy gaming in Atmos.

I've been playing Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands. Whoa is it huge. I played for 40 hours and there's no end in sight. I'm taking a break from fragging drug lords and their minions and have started playing Chernobylite. It's a role playing first person shooter game. I'm 7 hours in and have not fired a round at a baddy. I just choke them out and make 'em go unconscious and play a stealthy game. I have good weapons but it's so much fun sneaking around. I use Steam for buying my games and managing them too through the Steam window on my desktop. I'm up to 81 Steam games collected since about 2003 when Steam started operating. I recommend any of the Far Cry games new and old, Sniper Elite and the newer Wolfenstein games. Those seem to be the most involving of them all. The Half Life series is good if you don't have a strong video card and want to play with the kids.
Doom Eternal with subwoofers cranked to 11. Your neightbours will hate you, but you can rip & tear them all!!!
 

Tangband

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
1,638
Likes
1,475
Location
Sweden
I finally got all of the pieces needed for the new setup and so far, so good. It did take a little bit for the USB connection to work, but bluetooth worked out of the box. Here is a pic of my messy setup. It's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to listen to a good stereo setup. This setup isn't perfect but it's the best stereo I've listened to in years. I'm missing the sub but will consider that in the future. View attachment 217865
The speakers are to long apart. Try a triangle with equal lenght - listening position -speaker- speaker.
Your bass will be much better.
 
OP
C

cf1973

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
7
The speakers are to long apart. Try a triangle with equal lenght - listening position -speaker- speaker.
Your bass will be much better.
Yeah, I know it's not setup perfectly, but I think it's the best I can do with the monitors I have. I don't think I'm willing to lose a monitor for it. This setup sounds great so far.
 
Top Bottom