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Old 16th July, 2013, 03:23 AM
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Just bought some new 2.0 PC speakers :)!

I'm been using a set of Polk AMR 150 speakers on my daily PC since roughly 2002 (just the fronts and sub) and have been very pleased with them. They got slammed in most reviews because the sub was designed to provide musical foundation for the satellites (integrating with and extending their natural range), not for reproducing movie or game explosions and other bass rambunctiousness that most seem to expect of any sub.

They were great speakers for my usage, but they unfortunately kicked the bucket early last week. I spent a few days hunting for suitable replacements (musicality being very important, I like natural sound) and finally ordered a set of Edifier Exclaim e10 2.0 speakers. They arrived today, I installed them this evening, and initial impression is they are very good sounding speakers.

NOTE: As a 2.0 design, they cannot deliver the bass power of a typical 2.1 through 5.1 system, so please don't expect them to. However, if you want quality sound for general PC listening, they deliver and at a reasonable price.

Amazon.com: Edifier Exclaim Bi-Amped 2.0 Speaker System (e10): Computers & Accessories
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Old 17th July, 2013, 03:47 AM
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I've found that due to tight in close usage that even inexpensive speakers satisfy when the music is good...

"One good thing about music....when it hits you feel no pain..."

Bob Marley
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Old 17th July, 2013, 04:13 AM
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I've found that inexpensive speakers tend to use components that have poorer distortion characteristics (even at low volume) than my ears are comfortable with. My gamer Logitech 5.1 system does a very good job (very carefully researched), but it takes very little volume before listening fatigue (from distortion) becomes a serious problem for me, and that's with a well reviewed Creative Audiogy2 sound card. I'm very sensitive to that and it took overnight to recover following replacement of my interim MLi-168 multimedia speakers (at minimal volume) by the Exclaim e10 -- though to be sure, I'm glad they were there to fill the gap .

This appears something most are insensitive to, but if one is, ignoring it results in decided discomfort (my "ears" start hurting, bringing on a low level headache and a sense of aural "thickness" or opacity). What I'm saying is if you happen to be sensitive to this and are looking for especially clean-sounding modest-cost 2.0 PC speakers, then these seem to fit the bill fairly well. I've had them installed now a full day, and am thus far satisfied. Sonics are fine with movies/games too, but not for reproducing low bass, they roll off in the vicinity of 50-60Hz. But if you're willing to eschew the low bass, the mid bass through highs are well integrated and coherent with very good mids and upper detail. They're great PC speakers, however, if you want to throw a party, then get a receiver and real speakers and stop screwing around imagining that any PC speakers are a good audience solution.
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Old 17th July, 2013, 10:11 AM
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From an audio engineering perspective, pretty much anything under 60Hz would be considered sub-bass. Mind you, for quiet listening (~40phon), that frequency range is going to need to be in the 70dB SPL range...

Ah, sound reproduction is such an interesting field!
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Old 18th July, 2013, 02:12 AM
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Just so you know I use a Logitec 5.1 set of speakers as well, great at low volume.
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Old 18th July, 2013, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
From an audio engineering perspective, pretty much anything under 60Hz would be considered sub-bass. Mind you, for quiet listening (~40phon), that frequency range is going to need to be in the 70dB SPL range...

Ah, sound reproduction is such an interesting field!
Just curiosity, how do you feel about digital Vs analog sourced sound (CD Vs vinyl for example)?

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Just so you know I use a Logitec 5.1 set of speakers as well, great at low volume.
Dan, you're the man -- I always respect good taste !
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Old 18th July, 2013, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
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Just curiosity, how do you feel about digital Vs analog sourced sound (CD Vs vinyl for example)?
My personal feelings on digital vs analog source mirror my personal feelings on valve vs semiconductor... I wonder how much might actually be based on what the person is used to (or is persuaded to get used to).
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Old 18th July, 2013, 04:38 PM
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About all I use my CD's for anymore is to rip to ogg...is there a better "format"(?) BTW?

Then I put them away and "Hope" they will last as long as I need them to.
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Old 18th July, 2013, 08:46 PM
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I gave up on CDs, too hard to find ones that don't bother my ears. Digital provides convenience, but the aural cost is too high for me. I can easily understand why MP3 tends to be popular, not only convenient but the hard edges are generally smoothed by the reduced bandwidth. Not a fan of Sony DSD/SACD either, the highs sound homogenized to me (a sad thing to do to the extensive library of music they made a point of accumulating).

Not that vinyl is perfect, but its distortion spectrum is of a more harmonious nature, more even harmonic, a more natural sound than anything I've heard digital -- valves are like that too, even when over-driven. Semiconductor electronics tends to err more on the odd harmonic side which is much less pleasant on the ears. The typical high negative loop feedback applied to control this results in especially nasty forms of inter-modulation associated distortion with quick signals. Good sounding semiconductor equipment tends to be expensive.

One typically doesn't realize how much damage is done to reproduced sound until one listens to the real thing, however, a lot of the time, the available "real thing" is electrically amplified and often sounds worse !
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Old 19th July, 2013, 12:14 AM
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Then I am indeed fortunate that I lack the refinement as about the only difference I've
ever been able to hear is if the vinal is scratched...":O}

I'm sorry so many sets of ears are wedded to a dying format... No one should ever be deprived of their music... you have my condolences.
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Old 19th July, 2013, 08:23 AM
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No problem ! The cost of settling for digital reproduction is only clearly recognized in face of purely acoustic sound from an acoustic ensemble. Since these days, most "music" is sourced by electronic bands, it's more challenging to draw meaningful comparisons. Genuine audiophilia is a serious complication that interferes with the enjoyment of most reproduced music (to be spared is surely a good thing )! A vinyl scratch is always annoying, but damage to the reproduced sound is far more. My experience is that most vinyl owners had no concept as to how to care for records, and the especially cheap styli were hardly kind. Further, many labels counted more on label recognition than actual recording quality, hardly helpful. Digital offers unquestionable advantages over analog, unfortunately, it tends to be short on aural integrity !
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Old 19th July, 2013, 12:04 PM
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On the flip side of the equation, how much processing is done when recording and mixing down to stereo tracks? As a recording engineer, what's the aim of the recording? Is it to faithfully capture what sound was out there, or is it to try to produce the best (subjective) sound from what was recorded, or is to meet the expectations of what people think it should sound like? In all ways, the art of capturing and reproducing sound is a compromise from start to finish. In many ways it's a wonder that it happens!

An acoustic set played without amplification often provides the best way of engaging with the music, and is often the most listenable. On the other hand, it is often difficult (and expensive) to get all those musicians together in your house! Joking aside, it is generally recommended that audio engineers spend time listening to acoustic sets - it helps to reconnect with the outside world.
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Old 20th July, 2013, 05:33 AM
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As far as recording is concerned, I favor two high audio quality full range microphones and two 1/2" magnetic tracks on an audio quality tape recorder running audio quality tape with audio quality cables connecting all. Those unadulterated tracks providing the two stereo tracks on the final recording (no active electronic modification, passive only and only if absolutely necessary). If surround sound is required, then add one or two like microphones at the rear of the acoustic space feeding equivalent magnetic tracks and deliver all to the final non-vinyl recording. Vinyl only requires the front two, and driven by a valve head cutting amplifier, not solid state.

What many don't seem to understand is the primary point of recording and distributing music is the music itself (at least it should be). How much greater would the purchasing audience be if the music actually sounded as close as reasonably possible to the real thing? Unfortunately, the recording industry has largely long sold out to easy profits and care little or less about the "music" they are distributing. It's so incredibly rare to find a CD that does justice to the original music ! The RIAA and recording industry in general are naught but poop in the chute. They can't even remember when they actually valued the music they destroy, presuming they ever did.
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Old 20th July, 2013, 04:18 PM
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The first question I would ask would be: where do you place the microphones? Even before any electronics happens, the very positioning of the microphone can make a big difference to the recorded sound. Then, a microphone colors the sound, as does a pre-amp and the tape recorder. Even the act of changing the tape speed makes an impact. Running the tape faster improves the high end capture, but typically at a loss of the low end.

There is no hard and fast rule for any of this. It is entirely subjective, dependant on the location, the music and the listener! No wonder people debate this so much.
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Old 20th July, 2013, 04:24 PM
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I harbor no doubt that all these things are of importance and am grateful even when I don't realize in full the care that has been taken...

I am almost never concerned about what it was supposed to sound like, I am so easily swept away that I can't be moved from:

"One good thing about music, one good thing about Music....

When it hits you feel no pain"

Bob Marley
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Old 21st July, 2013, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
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The first question I would ask would be: where do you place the microphones? Even before any electronics happens, the very positioning of the microphone can make a big difference to the recorded sound. Then, a microphone colors the sound, as does a pre-amp and the tape recorder. Even the act of changing the tape speed makes an impact. Running the tape faster improves the high end capture, but typically at a loss of the low end.

There is no hard and fast rule for any of this. It is entirely subjective, dependant on the location, the music and the listener! No wonder people debate this so much.
Clearly microphone selection and placement has a huge impact and requires close attention in recording venue setup. I disagree that higher tape speeds hurt bass accuracy, but there's surely no question lower speeds adversely impact the highs. I would expect the minimum to be fifteen fps and would prefer thirty. I understand entirely this is no exact science and sometimes perhaps one might wonder if phases of the moon are involved, but if one intends to record music, the focus should clearly be on the actual music itself.

Of course, you're right that microphone signals need to be amplified. Perhaps semiconductor electronics is up to the task, but for music, I consider valve safer. Likewise with the RIAA equalization required for vinyl playback. The maximum gain involved is rather high and I'd prefer a gentler amplifying agent than typical semiconductor. Am I taking it to an extreme in this discussion? Perhaps, but the ultimate goal is enjoyment of music, one of the few valuable things that have carried forward in the society of man/woman from days long gone. We owe it to ourselves and our progeny to allow music to breath unfettered across the world. No doubt it will regularly require rediscovery, but there is nothing closer to the soul of a human being than music.
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Old 21st July, 2013, 02:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel ~ View Post
I harbor no doubt that all these things are of importance and am grateful even when I don't realize in full the care that has been taken...

I am almost never concerned about what it was supposed to sound like, I am so easily swept away that I can't be moved from:

"One good thing about music, one good thing about Music....

When it hits you feel no pain"

Bob Marley
Perhaps more fool I, but I know the sound of an acoustic guitar, a piano, a violin, and a flute. If the provided recordings deny me that, then it's hard for me to accept the recordings. Music is what the artist working in tandem with the instrument produces. If the recording isn't willing to give me that, what is the value of the recording?
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Old 21st July, 2013, 04:42 AM
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Because I am so easily swept away that I can't be moved from:

I knew and listen to a half dozen people who worked at it professionally, they went all over the place looking for a "different sound" here I'm speaking of acoustics. And they did sound different in different places.

But I can't say I remember what they sounded like here or there...This being so a recoded sound is just another place to listen to them. Those I knew who recorded their music were happy with the sound...mostly

Or perhaps they were just happy to be recording":O}

If I enjoy it does it matter weather if it even sounds like them they way they were...? If it hits, I feel no pain.":O}
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Old 21st July, 2013, 05:07 AM
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No doubt you're right, the most important thing is to be able to enjoy the music presented. I just mourn the wonderful sounds we are likely missing due to the intervention of the studios.

I don't know if music can be considered a birthright, but surely it should be. The responsibility of the purveyors of "music" should surely be to provide it in honest fashion. It could be in today's music world I'm merely a dinosaur, but I can't help but stand for the honesty that music presents. It's not just a question of the sound, it's also a question of the soul. The human soul needs all the balm it can get !
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Old 21st July, 2013, 09:48 PM
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BE HERE NOW! ":O}

OK Perhaps you and Aedan can help me understand a lest a little about File formats, file size and what if anything it means in terms of quality of sound. I'll upload a series of pictures (Oh! the irony!)

Perhaps you can tell me what they mean? Each is in a different file format. The file size differs according to file format,...Wildly differs!

Only one includes a shot of the CD wav format... I have spent the day listening and I honestly can't tell them apart. However it should be noted that I was listening on my computer's Logitec 5.1 Z 5300 speakers... no doubt NOT the pinnacle of sound repo, but very nice to listen to as I work...which is how most of my listening is done.

What can be objectively said about these formats and what are your personal preferences if any of them represent a preference for you?

I note that "Brothers in Arm" uses way more ("Space"?) that the others... Why?
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Just bought some new 2.0 PC speakers :)!-screenshot-2013-07-21-13-03   Just bought some new 2.0 PC speakers :)!-screenshot-2013-07-21-13-09   Just bought some new 2.0 PC speakers :)!-screenshot-2013-07-21-13-15   Just bought some new 2.0 PC speakers :)!-screenshot-2013-07-21-13-35  
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