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daminator
2007-07-22, 01:20
Hello all,

I've just bought a Squeezebox 2 off of ebay and I'm wondering about options for speakers as I wait for delivery.

The device is to be used to get music upstairs in the house as I have 3 computers, but all are downstairs.

My initial thought was just plug some computer speakers into the device. Will that work ok or will I have to buy an amp? I really want to keep the cost right down on this so your advice is much appreciated. I obviously want it to sound ok, but not being too expensive is more important than having the best audio quality in the world.

Looking forward to hearing any advice.

Cheers
Damian
www.daminator.com

egd
2007-07-22, 03:12
I really want to keep the cost right down on this so your advice is much appreciated. I obviously want it to sound ok, but not being too expensive is more important than having the best audio quality in the world.

Acoustic Energy Aego M active speakers may be just what you're after. I doubt you could get better sound at the price. http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/Aego_series/Aego_M.asp

daminator
2007-07-22, 06:28
Thanks egd

They do look very good indeed, but also seem quite pricey. Maybe not pricey compared to the best you can get, but not exactly cheap either, even second hand on ebay. Any other recommended options?

Cheers
Damian

pfarrell
2007-07-22, 10:21
Computer speakers will work. What you want are self powered speakers. The SqueezeBox headphone out will drive some speakers, but not many "hi fi" speakers.

I have some small battery powered Sony computer speakers that sound pretty good for their size and price. I bet Logitech and Klipsh sell what you want, which is 'upscale' computer speakers, or speakers aimed at gamers.

You can spend as much as you want, I've got some Mackie 824 powered monitors, they sound fabulous. But they are kinda ugly, and cost over a grand a pair.

daminator
2007-07-22, 11:24
Thanks Pat,

I wasn't sure if the headphone out socket would be ok to use. I read one reviewer of the squeezebox saying that he got poor results from one output and then fantastic result by changing to another output. I wasn't sure, but guessed the worse output may be the headphone one.

If not, that makes everything simpler. There's a whole range of computer speakers at every price range. They'd just all plug into that headphone socket (as far as I know).

Cheers
Damian

Mark Lanctot
2007-07-22, 11:58
No - don't plug anything but low-end headphones into the headphone socket. Get a cheap (<$10) adapter cable to go from red/white RCA to stereo submini.

See http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?BeginnersGuideToConnecting

Dougal
2007-07-22, 12:02
Phono to stereo mini-jack adapters can be found at your local Maplin / RadioShack etc.
Doug.

daminator
2007-07-22, 12:17
Thanks Mark and Doug, that's exactly the information I was looking for!!

I'll look at computer speaker reviews and see what looks good. Got reviews of Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 2.0, Altec Lansing MX5020 and Logitech Z4i on my screen at the moment and each review is recommending others if appropriate, so I should find something good enough.

If I want sound in different rooms, is it fine to simply split the minijack (from the RCA's) connector with a splitting cable (don't know the technical term!)

Damian

Mark Lanctot
2007-07-22, 12:28
If I want sound in different rooms, is it fine to simply split the minijack (from the RCA's) connector with a splitting cable (don't know the technical term!)

Technically yes, however these cables can pick up interference if they are long.

Also if you're looking to get two sets of powered speakers, you can probably afford one good one instead like the Aego M or Audioengine 5. I have yet to hear any computer speakers that sounded decent - 3 years ago I went as far as the Logitech Z-560 ($289.99 IIRC) before I decided to stop spending money on computer speakers.

Speaker design is an art. It takes extensive research to get it right, although any low-cost overseas manufacturer can make them.

That said, the harman/kardon Soundsticks II and the Klipsch ProMedia do seem to get a few mentions.

Pale Blue Ego
2007-07-22, 13:43
You can get listenable sound for $50 - $100. Logitech, Klipsch,, Altec-Lansing, Boston Acoustics all have decent stuff in this range.

pfarrell
2007-07-22, 13:53
If I want sound in different rooms, is it fine to simply split the minijack (from the RCA's) connector with a splitting cable (don't know the technical term!)

You can drive two sources with one output.

But this is why god invented two squeezeBoxes.
You can sync them to play together, or play separate streams.

daminator
2007-07-22, 14:11
I know, that sounds fantastic, but putting a Squeezebox in every room I'd like music in is seriously out of my budget!

Thanks for the list of makes to look for Pale Blue Ego.

How does a 2 speaker system in that sort of price range compare to a 2.1 system? 2 Speakers is obviously neater for our rooms, but if there's a big difference in music playing then I'll find a space for that separate sub wuffer.

mgraves
2007-07-22, 14:30
On Sun, 22 Jul 2007 12:28:33 -0700, Mark Lanctot wrote:

>
>daminator;216388 Wrote:
>> If I want sound in different rooms, is it fine to simply split the
>> minijack (from the RCA's) connector with a splitting cable (don't know
>> the technical term!)
>
>Technically yes, however these cables can pick up interference if they
>are long.
>
>Also if you're looking to get two sets of powered speakers, you can
>probably afford one good one instead like the Aego M or Audioengine 5.
>I have yet to hear any computer speakers that sounded decent - 3 years
>ago I went as far as the Logitech Z-560 ($289.99 IIRC) before I decided
>to stop spending money on computer speakers.
>
>Speaker design is an art. It takes extensive research to get it right,
>although any low-cost overseas manufacturer can make them.
>
>That said, the harman/kardon Soundsticks II and the Klipsch ProMedia do
>seem to get a few mentions.

I'd recommend some low-end self-powered recording monitors. Behringer
2030As can be had for around $300/pair. There are Fostex and M-Audio
models that can be found for $200/pr.

Michael

--
Michael Graves mgraves (AT) pixelpower (DOT) com
Sr. Product Specialist www.pixelpower.com
Pixel Power Inc. mgraves (AT) mstvp (DOT) com

o713-861-4005
c713-201-1262
skype mjgraves
fwd 54245

daminator
2007-07-23, 03:11
I just thought of another problem with buying decent computer speakers. They're designed to go on a desk aren't they!? I'd be wanting the speakers a rooms width apart.

Damian

Pale Blue Ego
2007-07-23, 06:20
They are designed to go on a desk, but many of them sound okay in a larger room. I use a modestly-priced ($75) 2.1 set in my garage and it sounds pretty good.

You generally get better bang-for-the-buck with a 2.1 set rather than a 2.0. It allows the satellites to be small and simple, since the larger woofer and the amplifiers are mounted in the subwoofer box.

There aren't too many good 2.0 systems at the low end. If a sub-less system works best for your room, you might look at something like the $100 Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 2.0:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836119107

aubuti
2007-07-23, 06:41
There aren't too many good 2.0 systems at the low end. If a sub-less system works best for your room, you might look at something like the $100 Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 2.0:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836119107
I have a pair of those Klipsch in my kitchen (where we didn't have a good place for a sub) and another pair that I drag out to the patio now and then. They sound pretty good, although they're clearly not "serious" speakers. They are often available on eBay for around $30-40, which is where I got mine.

Don't overlook Mark's point earlier about length of cables. Ideally you should keep the cable from the SB to the powered speaker (the one with the amp & volume controls) to 2 meters or less, although you might be able to go longer than that.

You should probably look at getting a 2nd SB as a question of "when" rather than "if". eBay won't help you out much there, though, as they hold their value extremely well.

daminator
2007-07-23, 08:11
Thanks for those pointers.

Is there any way to insulate against interference due to cable length? Higher grade cable or anything? I hope to get a second unit for downstairs one day, but can't justify the cost of multiple units in consecutive rooms!

Mark Lanctot
2007-07-23, 13:10
Is there any way to insulate against interference due to cable length? Higher grade cable or anything?

About the best you can do at low cost is Blue Jeans Cable (http://www.bluejeanscable.com/), see their stereo audio cables. But still, at long lengths, you will be pushing it.

A tip: make sure you're not closely following a 120 VAC household power line for more than a few inches, even one located behind a wall. Because if you pick up that 60 Hz hum, it'll drive you crazy - it will be very loud and very noticeable. If you have to go near power lines, cross them at right angles.

mgraves
2007-07-23, 13:45
On Mon, 23 Jul 2007 13:10:41 -0700, Mark Lanctot wrote:

>
>daminator;216545 Wrote:
>> Is there any way to insulate against interference due to cable length?
>> Higher grade cable or anything?
>
>About the best you can do at low cost is 'Blue Jeans Cable'
>(http://www.bluejeanscable.com/), see their stereo audio cables. But
>still, at long lengths, you will be pushing it.
>
>A tip: make sure you're not closely following a 120 VAC household power
>line for more than a few inches, even one located behind a wall.
>Because if you pick up that 60 Hz hum, it'll drive you crazy - it will
>be very loud and very noticeable. If you have to go near power lines,
>cross them at right angles.

One thing overcomes the caqble matter entirely...using the digital
output. Behringer makes a small powered monitor with SPDIF input.
That'd be ideal. These are pretty cheap and usually available on ebay.

http://www.behringer.com/MS40/index.cfm?lang=eng

http://www.behringer.com/MS20/index.cfm?lang=eng

Michael
--
Michael Graves mgraves (AT) pixelpower (DOT) com
Sr. Product Specialist www.pixelpower.com
Pixel Power Inc. mgraves (AT) mstvp (DOT) com

o713-861-4005
c713-201-1262
skype mjgraves
fwd 54245

mgraves
2007-07-23, 15:39
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: [SlimDevices: Beginners] Wondering about speakers
> From: "Michael Graves" <mgraves (AT) mstvp (DOT) com>
> Date: Mon, July 23, 2007 3:45 pm
> To: "beginners (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com" <beginners (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
>
> On Mon, 23 Jul 2007 13:10:41 -0700, Mark Lanctot wrote:
>
> >
> >daminator;216545 Wrote:
> >> Is there any way to insulate against interference due to cable length?
> >> Higher grade cable or anything?
> >
> >About the best you can do at low cost is 'Blue Jeans Cable'
> >(http://www.bluejeanscable.com/), see their stereo audio cables. But
> >still, at long lengths, you will be pushing it.
> >
> >A tip: make sure you're not closely following a 120 VAC household power
> >line for more than a few inches, even one located behind a wall.
> >Because if you pick up that 60 Hz hum, it'll drive you crazy - it will
> >be very loud and very noticeable. If you have to go near power lines,
> >cross them at right angles.
>
> One thing overcomes the caqble matter entirely...using the digital
> output. Behringer makes a small powered monitor with SPDIF input.
> That'd be ideal. These are pretty cheap and usually available on ebay.
>
> http://www.behringer.com/MS40/index.cfm?lang=eng
>
> http://www.behringer.com/MS20/index.cfm?lang=eng
>

I did a quick Google lookup and found the MS40's available a lot of
places for around $120 USD. The MS20's run around $90.

With 24 bit 196khz DAC sections and 20 watts per speakers the MS-40s
look like a bargain.

Michael

Pale Blue Ego
2007-07-23, 18:33
Those Behringers do look like a good deal for the price. If you need a long optical cable, try www.cablewholesale.com - cheap cables, all lengths.

mgraves
2007-07-23, 19:39
On Mon, 23 Jul 2007 18:33:38 -0700, Pale Blue Ego wrote:

>
>Those Behringers do look like a good deal for the price. If you need a
>long optical cable, try www.cablewholesale.com - cheap cables, all
>lengths.

Good tip!

I have two pair of the larger B2031A, which only cost about $300. They
sound very good and they've been the best value of anything in recent
memory. I also have a pair of the matching powered subwoofers.

Michael
--
Michael Graves mgraves (AT) pixelpower (DOT) com
Sr. Product Specialist www.pixelpower.com
Pixel Power Inc. mgraves (AT) mstvp (DOT) com

o713-861-4005
c713-201-1262
skype mjgraves
fwd 54245

daminator
2007-07-24, 07:54
Can you split the signal on those optical cables to 2 different speaker set-ups.

Mark Lanctot
2007-07-24, 08:25
Can you split the signal on those optical cables to 2 different speaker set-ups.

Yes, there are devices that do this. Radio Shack used to sell them and still might.

Pale Blue Ego
2007-07-24, 09:53
Can you split the signal on those optical cables to 2 different speaker set-ups.

It's probably better to send one signal on the optical digital output and another on the coaxial digital output.

www.cablewholesale.com has digital cables up to 100' long and also an optical splitter and optical cable amplifier for long runs:

http://www.cablewholesale.com/catalog/digitalaudiocables.htm

mgraves
2007-07-24, 12:14
On Tue, 24 Jul 2007 07:54:54 -0700, daminator wrote:

>
>Can you split the signal on those optical cables to 2 different speaker
>set-ups.
>
Yes, www.partsexpress.com has small TOSlink optical splitters.

Michael

--
Michael Graves mgraves (AT) pixelpower (DOT) com
Sr. Product Specialist www.pixelpower.com
Pixel Power Inc. mgraves (AT) mstvp (DOT) com

o713-861-4005
c713-201-1262
skype mjgraves
fwd 54245

daminator
2007-07-24, 14:06
Thanks Pale Blue Ego,

That may well be my solution.

My last few days of ebay scouring mean that I have a Squeezebox2 and a Slimp3 on their was to me, and I'll be buying speakers based on the very helpful comments in this thread. Thanks everyone!

Damian