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Amplifier, speakers - advice appreciated

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sutherland

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Amplifier, speakers - advice appreciated

PostSat Jan 13, 2007 10:31 am

I'm looking for advice from anyone who knows more about the above than I do. I'm just getting to grips with the evaluation package. I discovered that my Sound Blaster Live! 24 bit was not up to the job and breaks up when the polyphony limit is over 400. So having studied the list of sound cards on the Crumhorn Labs pages, I've ordered an E-MU 0404, which seems to offer good value for a beginner.

I think the next thing I need to do is get rid of my tiny Logitech X-230 2.1 speakers, but I don't have much clue where to go from there. I understand that I should get an amplifier and speakers to get good quality sound. I'm not a professional organist or an audio buff - just a beginner, so I want to start as economically as possible. I can always upgrade. I'm currently set up in a small room 4m x 5m x 3m (high), but I may move to a bigger room 5m x 10m x 3m.

I'd appreciate suggestions for brands and models (new or secondhand) or even just specifications of speakers and amplifiers.

Thank you in advance.

Philip
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jds

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PostSun Jan 14, 2007 11:24 pm

If your speakers are close to your keyboards you may want to use studio monitor speakers. They are self powered and would interface well with your EMU card.

http://www.behringer.com/B2031A/index.cfm?lang=ENG

Behringer is just one of a number of decent organizations that make monitor speakers.

Without an exact budget it's difficult to recommend something specific. Browse the multitude of pro-audio web sites for additional monitor speaker options.

David
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dwood

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Speakers and Amplifiers

PostMon Jan 15, 2007 2:24 pm

I agree with the gent before me; powered speakers/monitors are the way to go. Personally, I would recommend monitors with no smaller than an 8" woofer (and a sub if you can manage it)

The other option is some really nice headphones (I think the AKG k701s are reviewed elsewhere in the forum) http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopi ... hlight=akg

Here are some other manufacturers with relatively inexpensive powered monitors

The M-Audio BX8a's $499/pr at Sweetwater
The Tapco S8 $499/pr at Sweetwater (better than the BX8a in my opinion)
KRK Rockit 8 $249 each at MusiciansFriend.com
The Behringer Truth monitors are $339/pr at Musician's friend
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sutherland

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PostMon Jan 15, 2007 5:17 pm

Thank you both for your advice, which I will follow and try to get my hands on a pair of active/powered speakers. I'm thinking of the Behringer, but also wondering about Wharfedale.

Thanks.
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Mick Berg

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PostTue Jan 16, 2007 3:04 pm

You want Wharfedales? Well, as it happens, I want to sell some stuff that might work for you, or for anyone else who wants some speakers and amps. I have two Wharfedale 12" two-way speakers, they sound great, and two KLH 12" three-way speakers that are fine, but need a bit of cabinet re-inforcement and padding. (They rattle a bit on low-end.)
I also have two four-channel (that's eight independent channels!) Conn organ amplifiers from a 904 that are perfect for this application. They are old but work well. I'll also throw in two baffles that have eight 6" speakers and a tweeter on each one. These are free because they are very old and the cones are beginning to dry out.
I want to sell all this for the price of an upgrade from Studio to Concert edition of Hauptwerk. I will only sell the whole lot, I won't break up the package. I'm in Los Angeles, so you will need to be able to collect. Shipping this lot would be a bit crazy.
I hope this might be useful to someone.
Thanks,
Mick Berg.
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Mick Berg

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PostTue Jan 16, 2007 3:08 pm

Regarding the above post about speakers and amps for sale, I should add that I will also throw in for free a big Baldwin cabinet (looks like a Leslie) with two 15" speakers, I don't know the condition of these, (they may be OK but may be drying out) but the cabinet is nice.
Mick Berg.
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telemanr

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PostTue Jan 16, 2007 6:03 pm

I have M-Audio BX8a's and I'm not really happy with them. I find them quite harsh given a flat signal. And they have no controls on them for tayloring the sound other than volume. A better bet would be the previous BX8s which should be still around. They have controls on the back so you can adjust the freq response.

I've tried with a simple mixer (hi,mid,low) to adjust the sound but I still don't like it. Most of the time I use earphones because of this. AKG k701s which are much more satisfying.

But everyone hears sounds differently.

Rob
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sutherland

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PostWed Jan 17, 2007 12:02 pm

Mick,

Thanks for the offer, but I'm in the UK, and shipping would, as you say, be a bit crazy.

Still trying to decide which ones to go for.

Philip
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sutherland

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Tascam VL-X5

PostThu Jan 18, 2007 3:33 pm

I've read a few good reviews of Tascam VL-X5 active monitors and they are keenly priced. Anyone know of any reason why I shouldn't buy them?

Philip
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peejay_fr

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PostThu Jan 18, 2007 3:44 pm

I don't know whether this is of any help, but I use studio monitors ALESIS M1 MK2 (passive), together with a ROTEL amplifier. The studio monitors cost 199 euros. In my small (3x3.5) room, they work remarkably well.
Pierre.
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Hambath

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Card and speakers

PostFri Jan 19, 2007 3:16 am

For what it is worth, I am using the EMU 0404-USB kit with a dual core portable PC. And it works very well for me - both for Hauptwerk and Ivory piano. One thing I have found important with speakers is to have kit that takes a balanced input - most good quality monitor speakers should, but it is worth checking. Because before that I had insuperable problems with earth loops.

Jamie
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sutherland

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PostFri Jan 19, 2007 6:39 pm

In the end I decided to go for Tapco S5 monitors, but it's off to a very bad start.

Within a few minutes of having them plugged in one of the monitors started to crackle and smoke, so I put that one back in the box. The other one seemed to working fine until 2 hours later when I started up the Sound Studio software that came with the EMU 0404 sound card. I wasn't transmitting any sound to the speakers, but then the second monitor went the way of the first one.

Could the sound card have caused this or have I just got faulty monitors? They were just connected to the sound card via the analogue out sockets going into the balanced ports.

I'm afraid to touch the things now in case I burn the house down.

Philip
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Marco

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Re: Amplifier, speakers - advice appreciated

PostFri Jan 19, 2007 7:29 pm

sutherland wrote:Sound Blaster Live! 24 bit was not up to the job and breaks up when the polyphony limit is over 400.


are you sure this is soundcard related? What's your CPU? I can easily hit the 1024 studio edition polyphony limit on my audigy (not that much better than a live!) with no crackling whatsoever (at a latency of around 20ms if I remember correctly)
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sutherland

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PostFri Jan 19, 2007 7:35 pm

Marco, I think you're right. It's nothing to do with the sound card because one of the speakers crackles and smokes from the tweeter even when I just plug it into the mains with no inputs going in.

I think I'll leave it disconnected from the electricity when I go to bed.
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telemanr

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PostFri Jan 19, 2007 9:00 pm

Are they set for 110V and you are using 220?

Just a thought.
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