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Need High-End Audio new build suggestions. Audiophiles unite!

unclemounclemo Member UncommonPosts: 462

 


So I'm building a new gaming rig from scratch and I really want to concentrate on the sound portion of the build.  Obviously Perpetuum isn't terribly resource intensive as far as CPU and GPU demands compared to the latest equipment.  I've decided to go with a midrange build coupled with a high-end audio system.  I want top notch headset audio and some fantastic speakers.  I really enjoy music when I'm not on TS and depending on the time of day, I'll have the speakers running, or I'll throw on the headset so as not to bother the neighbors.


 


The combination I was using before was:


Headset -Turtle Beach TBS-2114 Earforce HPA2 5.1 Surround Sound Headset with Amplifier and Removable Microphone



Soundcard - Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019&cm_re=sound_card_xfi-_-29-102-019-_-Product


Speakers - Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121044


 


This was a fairly good combination because the headset was nice and loud for audio with the amplifier built in.  It was difficult at times to get the headset to 'talk' to the soundcard but with a ton of settings tests, I found a nice combo.   The speakers were great, but they did tend to crack at higher volumes. Also the headset microphone began to wear out after about four months and a replacement mic cost 3 times the cost of the mic in shipping costs because TB execs have their heads up their asses.


 


I could go with the same combo but the headset is sold out everywhere and I'm not so sure about Turtle Beach anymore anyways.


 


So with all that in mind, and price is no object, what audio setup would you go with?  I would even consider a combo that involved a gaming headset and switching out to music headphones.  I'm a bit of an audiofile and I need high-volume, high-quality music.So I'm building a new gaming rig from scratch and I really want to concentrate on the sound portion of the build.  Obviously Perpetuum isn't terribly resource intensive as far as CPU and GPU demands compared to the latest equipment.  I've decided to go with a midrange build coupled with a high-end audio system.  I want top notch headset audio and some fantastic speakers.  I really enjoy music when I'm not on TS and depending on the time of day, I'll have the speakers running, or I'll throw on the headset so as not to bother the neighbors.


 


The combination I was using before was:


Headset -[b] Turtle Beach TBS-2114 Earforce HPA2 5.1 Surround Sound Headset with Amplifier and Removable Microphone[/b] 



Soundcard - [b]Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019&cm_re=sound_card_xfi-_-29-102-019-_-Product


Speakers - [b]Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121044


 


This was a fairly good combination because the headset was nice and loud for audio with the amplifier built in.  It was difficult at times to get the headset to 'talk' to the soundcard but with a ton of settings tests, I found a nice combo.   The speakers were great, but they did tend to crack at higher volumes. Also the headset microphone began to wear out after about four months and a replacement mic cost 3 times the cost of the mic in shipping costs because TB execs have their heads up their asses.


 


I could go with the same combo but the headset is sold out everywhere and I'm not so sure about Turtle Beach anymore anyways.


 


So with all that in mind, and price is no object, what audio setup would you go with?  I would even consider a combo that involved a gaming headset and switching out to music headphones.  I'm a bit of an audiofile and I need high-volume, high-quality music.So I'm building a new gaming rig from scratch and I really want to concentrate on the sound portion of the build.  Obviously Perpetuum isn't terribly resource intensive as far as CPU and GPU demands compared to the latest equipment.  I've decided to go with a midrange build coupled with a high-end audio system.  I want top notch headset audio and some fantastic speakers.  I really enjoy music when I'm not on TS and depending on the time of day, I'll have the speakers running, or I'll throw on the headset so as not to bother the neighbors.


 


The combination I was using before was:


Headset -[b] Turtle Beach TBS-2114 Earforce HPA2 5.1 Surround Sound Headset with Amplifier and Removable Microphone[/b] 



Soundcard - [b]Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019&cm_re=sound_card_xfi-_-29-102-019-_-Product


Speakers - [b]Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121044


 


This was a fairly good combination because the headset was nice and loud for audio with the amplifier built in.  It was difficult at times to get the headset to 'talk' to the soundcard but with a ton of settings tests, I found a nice combo.   The speakers were great, but they did tend to crack at higher volumes. Also the headset microphone began to wear out after about four months and a replacement mic cost 3 times the cost of the mic in shipping costs because TB execs have their heads up their asses.


 


I could go with the same combo but the headset is sold out everywhere and I'm not so sure about Turtle Beach anymore anyways.


 


So with all that in mind, and price is no object, what audio setup would you go with?  I would even consider a combo that involved a gaming headset and switching out to music headphones.  I'm a bit of an audiofile and I need high-volume, high-quality music.So I'm building a new gaming rig from scratch and I really want to concentrate on the sound portion of the build.  Obviously Perpetuum isn't terribly resource intensive as far as CPU and GPU demands compared to the latest equipment.  I've decided to go with a midrange build coupled with a high-end audio system.  I want top notch headset audio and some fantastic speakers.  I really enjoy music when I'm not on TS and depending on the time of day, I'll have the speakers running, or I'll throw on the headset so as not to bother the neighbors.


 


The combination I was using before was:


Headset -[b] Turtle Beach TBS-2114 Earforce HPA2 5.1 Surround Sound Headset with Amplifier and Removable Microphone[/b] 



Soundcard - [b]Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019&cm_re=sound_card_xfi-_-29-102-019-_-Product


Speakers - [b]Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121044


 


This was a fairly good combination because the headset was nice and loud for audio with the amplifier built in.  It was difficult at times to get the headset to 'talk' to the soundcard but with a ton of settings tests, I found a nice combo.   The speakers were great, but they did tend to crack at higher volumes. Also the headset microphone began to wear out after about four months and a replacement mic cost 3 times the cost of the mic in shipping costs because TB execs have their heads up their asses.


 


I could go with the same combo but the headset is sold out everywhere and I'm not so sure about Turtle Beach anymore anyways.


 


So with all that in mind, and price is no object, what audio setup would you go with?  I would even consider a combo that involved a gaming headset and switching out to music headphones.  I'm a bit of an audiofile and I need high-volume, high-quality music.So I'm building a new gaming rig from scratch and I really want to concentrate on the sound portion of the build.  Obviously Perpetuum isn't terribly resource intensive as far as CPU and GPU demands compared to the latest equipment.  I've decided to go with a midrange build coupled with a high-end audio system.  I want top notch headset audio and some fantastic speakers.  I really enjoy music when I'm not on TS and depending on the time of day, I'll have the speakers running, or I'll throw on the headset so as not to bother the neighbors.


 


The combination I was using before was:


Headset -[b] Turtle Beach TBS-2114 Earforce HPA2 5.1 Surround Sound Headset with Amplifier and Removable Microphone[/b] 



Soundcard - [b]Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019&cm_re=sound_card_xfi-_-29-102-019-_-Product


Speakers - [b]Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121044


 


This was a fairly good combination because the headset was nice and loud for audio with the amplifier built in.  It was difficult at times to get the headset to 'talk' to the soundcard but with a ton of settings tests, I found a nice combo.   The speakers were great, but they did tend to crack at higher volumes. Also the headset microphone began to wear out after about four months and a replacement mic cost 3 times the cost of the mic in shipping costs because TB execs have their heads up their asses.


 


I could go with the same combo but the headset is sold out everywhere and I'm not so sure about Turtle Beach anymore anyways.


 


So with all that in mind, and price is no object, what audio setup would you go with?  I would even consider a combo that involved a gaming headset and switching out to music headphones.  I'm a bit of an audiofile and I need high-volume, high-quality music.So I'm building a new gaming rig from scratch and I really want to concentrate on the sound portion of the build.  Obviously Perpetuum isn't terribly resource intensive as far as CPU and GPU demands compared to the latest equipment.  I've decided to go with a midrange build coupled with a high-end audio system.  I want top notch headset audio and some fantastic speakers.  I really enjoy music when I'm not on TS and depending on the time of day, I'll have the speakers running, or I'll throw on the headset so as not to bother the neighbors.


 


The combination I was using before was:


Headset -[b] Turtle Beach TBS-2114 Earforce HPA2 5.1 Surround Sound Headset with Amplifier and Removable Microphone[/b] 



Soundcard - [b]Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019&cm_re=sound_card_xfi-_-29-102-019-_-Product


Speakers - [b]Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121044


 


This was a fairly good combination because the headset was nice and loud for audio with the amplifier built in.  It was difficult at times to get the headset to 'talk' to the soundcard but with a ton of settings tests, I found a nice combo.   The speakers were great, but they did tend to crack at higher volumes. Also the headset microphone began to wear out after about four months and a replacement mic cost 3 times the cost of the mic in shipping costs because TB execs have their heads up their asses.


 


I could go with the same combo but the headset is sold out everywhere and I'm not so sure about Turtle Beach anymore anyways.


 


So with all that in mind, and price is no object, what audio setup would you go with?  I would even consider a combo that involved a gaming headset and switching out to music headphones.  I'm a bit of an audiofile and I need high-volume, high-quality music.So I'm building a new gaming rig from scratch and I really want to concentrate on the sound portion of the build.  Obviously Perpetuum isn't terribly resource intensive as far as CPU and GPU demands compared to the latest equipment.  I've decided to go with a midrange build coupled with a high-end audio system.  I want top notch headset audio and some fantastic speakers.  I really enjoy music when I'm not on TS and depending on the time of day, I'll have the speakers running, or I'll throw on the headset so as not to bother the neighbors.


 


The combination I was using before was:


Headset -[b] Turtle Beach TBS-2114 Earforce HPA2 5.1 Surround Sound Headset with Amplifier and Removable Microphone[/b] 



Soundcard - [b]Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019&cm_re=sound_card_xfi-_-29-102-019-_-Product


Speakers - [b]Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121044


 


This was a fairly good combination because the headset was nice and loud for audio with the amplifier built in.  It was difficult at times to get the headset to 'talk' to the soundcard but with a ton of settings tests, I found a nice combo.   The speakers were great, but they did tend to crack at higher volumes. Also the headset microphone began to wear out after about four months and a replacement mic cost 3 times the cost of the mic in shipping costs because TB execs have their heads up their asses.


 


I could go with the same combo but the headset is sold out everywhere and I'm not so sure about Turtle Beach anymore anyways.


 


So with all that in mind, and price is no object, what audio setup would you go with?  I would even consider a combo that involved a gaming headset and switching out to music headphones.  I'm a bit of an audiofile and I need high-volume, high-quality music.So I'm building a new gaming rig from scratch and I really want to concentrate on the sound portion of the build.  Obviously Perpetuum isn't terribly resource intensive as far as CPU and GPU demands compared to the latest equipment.  I've decided to go with a midrange build coupled with a high-end audio system.  I want top notch headset audio and some fantastic speakers.  I really enjoy music when I'm not on TS and depending on the time of day, I'll have the speakers running, or I'll throw on the headset so as not to bother the neighbors.


 


The combination I was using before was:


Headset -[b] Turtle Beach TBS-2114 Earforce HPA2 5.1 Surround Sound Headset with Amplifier and Removable Microphone[/b] 



Soundcard - [b]Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019&cm_re=sound_card_xfi-_-29-102-019-_-Product


Speakers - [b]Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers[/b]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121044


 


This was a fairly good combination because the headset was nice and loud for audio with the amplifier built in.  It was difficult at times to get the headset to 'talk' to the soundcard but with a ton of settings tests, I found a nice combo.   The speakers were great, but they did tend to crack at higher volumes. Also the headset microphone began to wear out after about four months and a replacement mic cost 3 times the cost of the mic in shipping costs because TB execs have their heads up their asses.


 


I could go with the same combo but the headset is sold out everywhere and I'm not so sure about Turtle Beach anymore anyways.


 


So with all that in mind, and price is no object, what audio setup would you go with?  I would even consider a combo that involved a gaming headset and switching out to music headphones.  I'm a bit of an audiofile and I need high-volume, high-quality music.

Comments

  • bezadobezado Member UncommonPosts: 1,127

    For headset I would go with these, awesome sounding and quality. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104281

    for a speakers http://www.provantage.com/logitech-970115-0403~7LGTS00N.htm   

    The speakers above in that link are sold out or not in stock anymore, if you can find them they are still the best speaker system for new entry audiophile enthusiasts who who use a PC for music enjoyment or movies. Be warned the newer Logitech system Z906  that was suppose to replace these isn't as good as the Z-5500's.

    Soundcard that trumps the X-Fi in sound quality and a very good entry into audiophile sound, this card is what you would want if your thinking about going to the best sound possible. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271003

    Everything else you can build around this, you wouldn't need a powerful PC to get the best sound possible from this so I would recommend if your going after sound experience only to buy the above and upgrade it to your old PC. Everything should be pretty sweet.

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,345

    Ever since ASUS bought C-Media, there really isn't competition with Audio Cards.  You have Creative thats so-so with poor drivers.  Then you have ASUS thats pretty good using pretty much next-generation C-Media chips.  Other C-Media chipsets have been left to the wayside and you may have trouble making them work with Windows 7.  Such as the HT Omega Claro+ will probably be a headache to get to work.  I have the HT Omega Striker myself which was an awesome soundchip, but loss of driver support is a big hit to using it.

    Then there is the VIA option, but all their soundcard chips are substandard.  Finally there is Realtek which is in every motherboard anyway.

    The best buy is going to be the ASUS or nothing at all.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    to be quite honest, audiophile and logitech doesnt really belong in the same sentence:D   klipsch maybe, but logitech no:D

    as far as building a "studio grade" computer, your biggest concern is powersupply and stability of your power input line. 

    overall, if you just want a system that sounds good while you play a game, any XFi card with a klipsch promedia 2.1 would do fine.  but if you are building a HTPC specifically to be connected to your $20,000 McIntosh audio system that is in your sound proof entertainment theater, then you are asking this question in the wrong forum:D

  • PainlezzPainlezz Member UncommonPosts: 646

    Headset:

    Logitech G930 wireless Headset -  I've had mine for a few months now and I love it!  Wireless is great when you're moving around a bit.  Can't tell you how many headsets ended up broken because my computer chair rolled over the cord and ended up yanking it out of one end or the other! 

    TBH - Once you get into the higher end headsets they're all the same in my book.  GO for the features.  G930 is wireless, decent battery life, has programmable buttons for stop/start/play on your music.  Mic works great.  And you can run down to garage to change laundry and never miss a word in vent!

    Speakers:

    Logitech z5500's - I've had these speakers since probably 2005?  And they are amazing.  As loud as any normal home stereo (no they don't have 5000 watt out door concert subs)... Unless you live alone, and don't have neighbors, they'll get loud enough to bother anyone in the house or on the street and still sound crisp and clear!

    I love them for the dual input.  I have 2 pc's running and can have sound from both playing at the same time.  I often have music from my 2nd comp playing while the 5.1 from my game is running as well.

    Looks like they replaced/upgraded to a new model z906... No idea if these are better or worse.  If you can find z5500's for a discount right now i'd go with those!

    "IF" you want the absolute BEST possible option.  You need to get a full blown reciever that has like 7.1 or better support.  But then you'll be looing at close to a 1000 dollars minimum and have to start worrying about where you place the speakers.  Harddrives don't like large magnets!

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    What about M-Audio? The Audiophile and Delta lines are supposed to be top-notch. I can't confess to having heard any M-Audio equipment for several years (or being a true Audiophile myself).

    Use that to say, run a NAD amp on some bookshelf reference speakers (I like Bowers & Wilkins and Boston Acoustics, but everyone has their own tastes and budget, and local availability).

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    What about M-Audio? The Audiophile and Delta lines are supposed to be top-notch. I can't confess to having heard any M-Audio equipment for several years (or being a true Audiophile myself).

    Use that to say, run a NAD amp on some bookshelf reference speakers (I like Bowers & Wilkins and Boston Acoustics, but everyone has their own tastes and budget, and local availability).

    M-audio is good, but they are more known for being studio monitors.   they will have more accurate sound reproduction, but Klipsch will sound "fuller" and have more "soul" when you play music through it.  do realize these are just "computer" grade speakers we are talking about here,  audiophiles dont usually associate with equipment that cost less then $2000 and a full audio system generally cost more then $5000 :D

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    Isn't the point of being an audiophile to get the most accurate reproduction possible? Not just "spend as much money as possible"

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    yes and no.  accuracy doesnt always sound better:D  just like slight variations in the way musician's play the same music.   some musician bring more "soul" into their music with their style.  but they play off the same sheet music...   violins as an instrument is another example.  the construction and the material the instrument is made from does give slight variation in how the wood "sing" the tones.  but when you tune the insturment, you still use the same 440hz base note to tune it. 

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    The point being - you want to hear when the musician adds their own brand of soul, not have it artificially injected because you have inaccurate reproduction equipment.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    i guess this comes down to personal preference.  "personally" i have the yamaha NS500M speakers, which are more or less related to the famed NS1 studio monitors.   they are very accurate, but sometimes it may sound abit "metallic" compared to the paper/silk drivers of other speakers.  it "may" be more accurate, BUT, with some types of music, it doesnt "sound" as pleasant as a "less accurate" speaker with paper cones rather then graphite cones.  

    if you really wanted to be technical about it, "acccuracy" in music/sound is more or less subjective.   insturments have been made with different materials through out history.  the construction of the insturments have also changed over time.  so playing the exact same music with the same "robotic" musician on 2 different brand of instrument is going to sound slightly different.  from an accuracy point of view, it's the same music and same robotic musician, but the material and the construction of the insturment gives it a different sound.  to go into even more depth, the density of air itself can color the perceived sound from instrument to ear.   the size of the room, the shape of the room, the material the room you are listening in is constructed from all contribute to the perceived sound.   so to be "accurate" is actually quite subjective because nobody can really claim what is the most accurate set of frequencies that a song is composed of.  only the more accurate reproduction of a set frequency.  but that repoduction doesnt always sound the best to the person perceiving that sound. 

    there are many materials that sound drivers are made from.  anything from berylium, titanium, carbon fiber, paper, plastic, to even silk.   each material is going to reproduce sound differently and some materials may be more "accurate" but they arent always the best sounding material to reproduce that sound.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    I don't think "accurate" is subjective. Either it matches the original sound, or it doesn't. To what degree the reproduction differs from the original source is to what degree the system is inaccurate (and how far removed the equipment is from true high fidelity). Every thing you do to the signal removes it some from the original source, and adds some degree of inaccuracy. This is in large part why older analog equipment (particularly high end vinyl) is preferred to newer digital equipment.

    The closer you can get to the original sound, that is the goal. Now, you can spend thousands of dollars trying for that very last little bit, or you can get "pretty" close with lesser expensive equipment - it's all in how big your budget is and how important it is to you.

    The very definition of "High Fidelity" - fidelity means faithfulness; and High Fidelity means a high degree of faithfulness to the original sound. It has nothing to do with what sounds good, it has to do with reproducing the original sound. If the original recording sounds like crap, it will still sound like crap on a hi-fi system.

    Now, what sounds "good" or "pleasing" - that's subjective. If a system with Bass Boost and kickin' subs sounds better to you, or a system with autotune or Concert-Hall reverb, then by all means, that's a subjective call and I can't say anyone is wrong for liking that. But they hardly qualify as "high fidelity" equipment, because they impart a lot of post-processing and effects to the sound and remove it greatly from the original source.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    accuracy is "subjective" to the accuracy of the instruments that measures the accuracy and the scale in which the accuracy is measured in.   for example, technically speaking "atomic" time scale is more "accurate" then celestial time scale.  but, somewhere down the road, quantum time scale is 100,000 more accurate then atomic time...  

    in terms of "audiophiles" what it really comes down to is the human interface(ear).   and when it comes to humans, everything is subjective...   

    another example, games are being coded with artifical effects that you typically wont see in real life (various lensing and photographic effects)  they are accurate reproduction of effects that photographers try to remove from their work.  but is artifically included into the game cuz it "looks" different and kinda cool... 

    what "sounds good" isnt always the most accurate reproduction of the sound in the composers mind.    Technically speaking there isnt such thing as an "accurate" reproduction of Beethoven's later works since he was deaf when he composed them...

     

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    No, accuracy is not subjective to the instrument measuring, because even the variations and inaccuracy of the measurement standards can be quantified. Anything that can be quantified isn't subjective.

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