Klipsch 2.1

By desdgl ยท 42 replies
Oct 28, 2003
  1. I was thinking about buying the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speaker set and wanted to know if I will need a better sound card. I know that I won't need to get a surround card but is the Sound Blaster 16 really good enough?
  2. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    I doubt the SB 16 would be able to give you the best out of your speaker in terms of sound quality.

    May I recommend a nice soundcard that will not break your bank:

    Hercules Fortissimo III 7.1 for as low as $43 at www.newegg.com
  3. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    The SB in theory should be fine since you only will be working in stereo, but in my experience all pc soundcards can sound like crap and usually do. To keep noise down keep the gain (volume on PC) as low as possible and use the volume knob on the Klipsch to adjust the sound level. Also- get rid of all the dimmer switches in your house- they are noisy as hell.

    btw- good choice on the Klipsch- best bang for the buck by far!
  4. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    What you do mean by this statement? Can you elaborate more?
  5. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    Trying to get good audio out of a PC is extremely difficult. High voltage cpu's, grafix chips, and networking cards (especially bad) all create noise in the output- not to mention fans- motors should never be on an audio circuit period. In my experience every sound card I've ever heard has a horrible signal to noise ratio (not even worth quantifying) and when you increase the gain (turn the "volume" up on the pc) past a certain threshold the noise in the signal increases exponetially. Therefore play your favorite music type. Set the volume control on your speakers at something slightly less than half way and the volume control on your pc at nil. Slowly increase the volume on the pc until you can audibly hear distortion then back it off till the the distortion disappears. This is the level of gain your soundcard should output. Leave it alone and use the volume control on the speakers to adjust the sound level- I know it is not convenient, but it will prolong the life of those nice new speakers and give you less listening fatigue.
  6. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    You speak as though anything made by Klipsch is at all cheap?
  7. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    If by cheap you mean poor quality- not at all. If you mean they are expensive speakers, well I would have to disagree there too. I think they are the biggest bang for your buck that you can get. I have a set of the 4.1 Ver 1 that I dropped $300 when they first came out. In the 5+ years that I've had them, I've used them variously on a gaming system, main system home theater, and taken them on vacation to rock the beach. They are still as loud and clear as the day I bought them- and I dont baby my stuf- ask my neighbors.

    You get great durable speakers and an amp in the 2.1 system I believe for around $150. Klipsch has been making speakers for over 50 years- In fact they are still making the original Klipschorn which was the design that started the company, that's a boast not many companies in any industry can make.
  8. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Klipsch is cheap? Hehe...what a big joke. If you are looking for " Bang for Buck Speakers", Klipsch is definitely not the solution although it is good. At $120 for a 2.1, its premium. Most speakers company like Boston Accoustics, Cambridge, Altec Lansing and etc have long history too, it's not just only Klipsch my firiend.
  9. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    Well friend if you had any idea what you were talking about then you would know that value is computed by price divided by quality. All the manufacturers that you mention make fine speaker systems if you are into tinny highs and boomy bass- yes their names have been around a long time, but they have been bought and sold many times. You have taken the original thread here and bastardized it into some kind of personal argument. Am I fiscally irresponsible because I suggested desdgl didnt need to buy a $50 sound card with a ton of features he didnt want and couldnt use? No friend that was you!
  10. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Settle down. There is no need to get heated up over this. Everyone has their opinions, but there is no need to target each other as individuals and start name calling, or flaming. Please get this thread back on track and help desdgl find some speakers.
  11. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    i think an audigy2 would be a pretty good choice if you game as much as you do listen to music. other sound cards may be better than the audigy2 for musicians according to what some people claim. if you wanted virtually no distortion from listening to music (well at least the noise from your computer), then you would have to send it s/pdif to your external hi-fi receiver and into your speakers. oh yeah speaker wire is just as important as the rest of your sound system. every component matters.

    the klipsch computer speakers are some darn good speakers. i plan on getting the 5.1 variety this christmas, hopefully. some people like the klipsch where as some people hate the klipsch. i advise that you audition those speakers before you purcahse them, if you have not already, because people have varying audio preferences.

    Godataloss, please keep it strictly at an intellectual level. you explained some things you noticed about klipsch and how other brands are not as good. could you elaborate why that is the case? explain what specific build qualities and other things that you notice that make every product from those companies inferior to klipsch so that people will understand your perspective. something like "creative inspires speakers don't sound that good because the cones are made of paper. paper is not a good material to make speaker cones out of because they distort and wear over time resulting in poor sound" would be fairly sufficent (at least for the internet). don't attack other people on how they don't know anything because that is poor reasoning. the klipsch are good speakers but even if they are a good value to you, $120 may still be steep on some people's budget for a 2.1 system. audio snobbery and "i have more taste than you" type posts are poor persuasive arguments. if that was the case, than apple would have have made everyone would "make the switch," and everyone would be using macs instead of Windows or Linux or BeOS or Unix or whatever is out there.
  12. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Actually, paper cone speakers tend to produce the best bass reponse, because paper is very light, with just the right amount of stiffness, whilst still retaining good damping properties. If you want tight, well controlled tunefull bass, then paper cones are hard to beat. It's true that they may produce more distortion, and they may not allow drive units to go down to very low frequencies, but the lively, tunefull, well controlled sound more than makes up for this. Some of the very best bass drive units made, still use paper cones, as do many other audio products.
  13. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Posts: 640

    Just out of curiosity, why are you going for the 2.1 system? I understand it's nice, but why not get something like the Logitech 5.1 Surround sound system for $80 and buy an audigy with the money you have left over?
  14. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Perhaps the most logical reason might be the fact that he's into listening music and mp3s on his PC and does not need to have surround sound because he's not into PC gaming.

    Sorry if I have offended you. Anyway i wansn;t trying to make you look bad. What i have written previously are just my opinions. Please don't take them too seriously. About the soundcard, i just feel that swicthing to a better soundcard will give him a more rewarding audio experience especially when you are using premium speakers.

    I m pretty curious about your point that all the manufacturers i have mentioned makes speakers with tiny highs and boomy bass. IMHO I found that this may not be always true at all times, my Altec Lansing seems to be tight & deep bass (not boomy) and a nice high although i have to admit the midrange is a bit weird and needs correction.
  15. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    nic i was just using the paper cone thing as an example for godataloss. there are of course positives and negatives about paper cones. i just wanted him to express his ideas without trying to attack someone personally when there are differences in ideas and opinions.
  16. xtrmn8r

    xtrmn8r TS Rookie Posts: 53

    paper cones are good as long as you are using them at a low power, otherwise they just dont have the stiffness to keep up with the amount of movement they are trying to achieve. personally i would not buy paper cones, having experimented with some. (admittedly very cheap) another thing to take into account is the lifespan of the speaker, paper cones will not last as long, especially if you like listening to music loudly.

    my advice is if you listen to the quality of music as well as the actual music itself, is to put it through a hifi amp/reciever. although an expensive option, the amp has some damping properties so you hear less noise, it will be a lot higher quality than the amp in a reasonably cheap pair of computer speakers and finally you can use bigger speakers. to clarify my last point, small speakers have a distinct sound, tends to be a bit too high pitched for my liking. with bigger hifi speakers, its a nice all round sound.

    at the end of the day it all boils down to opinion. one system may sound good to one person, and it might sound like trash to someone else. go and try to listen to some, and see what you think, cos at the end of the day its u who will be listening to them!
  17. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    I've tried to stay out of this because of some personal reasons, but I feel compelled to put in my opinion.

    The question of, is the Sound Blaster 16 "good enough", that depends on your definition of good enough. I think that quality speakers, even on a cheaper or lesser sound card or audio system will improve the quaility of the sound, nevertheless. Granted you will reach a point where it can get no better, but obviously the Klipsh you mentioned are better than what you have now or you wouldn't be looking at them. So my opinion is that if they are in the price range you are looking at, they will probably give you an improvement, no matter what sound card you have.

    As to the sound card, if you go to a better sound card, you will no doubt, get even better sound. I think that the cards that Young & Wild and BrownPaper suggested would be good if you want to upgrade.

    As for the speaker choice, the ones you mentioned are certainly good speakers, but unless you have got your mind made up that Klipsh is what you want, you should listen to some of the other brands mentioned in this thead, they are all quality speakers, and you might like something else better for less money. If you really want good sound don't be fooled by the first set you listen to, you might find something better. Although other people's advice and reviews are helpful, you are the one who has to be happy with your choice.

    My opinions on some of the other topic's this thread has generated; price line and size has nothing to do with tinny or boomy base. Granted price is usually a good guide for this, but there are some good speakers that sound very good, with smooth frequency response, for a very good price. The only thing that can be said about size in relation to this, is that smaller generally means less low bass response.

    As for signal to noise ratio, I have an Audigy card, that I hook up to a not inexpensive home theater system, and I have never had a problem with signal to noise ratio, nor distortion, as long as I have follow Godataloss instructions on how the set the volume on the computer and reciever. I use anolog setup, because I have no need for digital. I've only used the digital hookup to proove a point here at TS one time.

    For the damping factor issue that was mentioned, generally speaking the higher the better, but I've got a $4000 reciever, and the damping factor is not even mentioned in the specs, and believe me, it sounds pretty good. And the damping factor has nothing to do with noise. It's a factor of how fast the speaker is pulled back to the nuetral position, how good it is controlled, (booming) as is explained here. This says that the damping factor should be at least 300, but look at this. Onkyo's top recievers, all the way up to $3000, all have a damping factor of only 60, and I don't think they sound to bad. I have read in several articles, that a damping factor of 100, is about all that is really necessary, but I'm sure ideas contrary to this can be found. Speaker cables will also have an effect on the damping factor.

    Paper vs composite cones? Back in the day when all woofers were in sealed cabinets, the pressure built up inside the box was great, and paper cones had to be stiffer, and held up just fine, I've had many, with never a problem. Without having looked at the specs on any of the speakers mentioned, I wouldn't let paper vs composite, be a factor in buying speakers. While composite speakers no doubt have benifits, some of it might just be hype by the manufaturers.

    Long enough. Just my .02$
  18. desdgl

    desdgl TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Thank you olefarte. I do play games every now and then, but I don't really enjoy playing them. I have looked into the Audigy 2 and there are a few reasons I don't want it. First, I have a budget problem and the klipsch 2.1 are already a lot of money. Second, if I do buy th Audigy 2, I will be temped to buy some fancy 5.1 or 6.1 speakers for $500. I know that there are 5.1 speakers for $80, but I wanted something that can get loud and has great quality, and the 2.1 speakers do just that, plus there simple. I read about the Sound Blaster MP3+ USB sound card. It is still only 16 bit and stereo, but will that even make a difference to make purchasing these speakers worth the price?
  19. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    'k- Here it is. Sorry I lashed out, but I was baited and felt as if I was defending myself. 'nuff said.

    Now I say the the Klipsch systems are the best, because they are as close to acoustically transparent as you can come in any amplified speaker system for the price- period. You get HUGE output(160watts continous<honest output>- with tons of headroom beyond that for peak responses) to a speaker that is as sensitive as you"re gonna find ~106db spl- over a flat response curve- and a frequency range of 31hz-20khz. These speakers will literally drive you from the room before you will hear them distort- that is exactly the kind of speaker you want hooked to your computer- something with the moxie to reproduce the cannons in battlefield 1942 or the cannons of the 1812 overture , but have the sensitivity to recreate the subtle sound of fingers brushing on guitar strings. Granted there are other speakers out there that will play music well, but I have yet to hear anything near the price range that compares to the accuracy and volume of a Klipsch multimedia speaker system.

    Lest y'all think I'm a Klipsch fan-boy, I don't particularly care for their floor-standing speakers. I find the tatrix horn in its larger incarnations to be a bit bright, but I could point to their prevelant useage in commercial theaters as proof of their value and durability- check next movie you go to.

    My personal tastes have settled on a pair of refurbished Dahlquist DQ 10 time-aligned 5-ways manufactured in 1979 Lady Day just comes alive.

    As for a new sound card for our friend Desdgl, I refer to my original post- i dont think a new sound card will necessarily improve his sound. If he doesnt have alot of system noise now, I would stick with what I have and spend the money on speakers. If you buy a good pair of speakers, they will be around long after you can pick that sound card up for 10 bucks at a show- if you buy the klipsch they will probably be around longer than your whole computer- Ive had mine for 5+ years.

    As for paper cones in speakers- yech! Paper was good when it was all they had. In fact Acoustic Research used a SOFT paper in their legendary 2AX speaker's woofer because it had excellent roll-off to the midrange- that is until solid-state amps began to crank out a decent amount of wattage and would blow them up with fightening regularity.

    With all the poly and fiber fills available now, the only cones paper should be used for is sno-cones :p
  20. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    It would seem that you have never heard any good paper coned speakers then. Maybe if you heard some *good* paper coned speakers, at *sensible* listening levels, you would not be so critical. As for everything else, it all comes down to design, and as olefarte says, you can't judge sound quality based on materials used during manufacture. This is a bit like the valve vs transistor argument. Valve amplifiers can sound soggy and plump, but good valve amplifiers can convert even the most jaded of listeners over, so that they will only want to listen to valves. Similarly, even the best loadspeakers can sound horrible in the wrong system. There are a lot of factors that shape the overall sound, so listening is the best guide.
  21. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    As I have said earlier I just feel that an upgrade to a newer soundcard can even improve your speaker's output further though the speaker can sound good with the SB 16. To get better sound quality, you don't need to get Audigy 2, there is always other alternatives.
  22. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Posts: 640

    get an Audigy 1..great sound quality, normally pretty cheap
  23. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    I agree 100% on your view of Klipsh floor standing speakers. I have never liked them for the very same reason you mention. I find the horn for the upper end is a little too bright and harsh for my taste.

    You are for sure right about movie theater sound systems. I don't know about now, but at one time Klipsh and Cerwin Vega ruled theater sound, (ever hear of Cerwin Vega Sensurround used in the movies Earthquake and Midway).
    I bet those Dahlquist DQ-10's you are talking about have paper cones, don't they? Since you mentioned Dahlqist, and that was one of the speakers I longed to have back in my younger days, I went to there sight, and I see that there new top of the line speaker, the RG-10, has a "long fibered paper cone". Hey, not trying to argue with you at all, just wanted to point out that some companies do still use at least some sort of paper cone. Please, no flaming intended. I will agree, that today, most companies use some kind of composite cone for there speakers.
  24. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    desdgl, I don't know if all this has helped you any to make a decision, but as to the sound card issue, there have been several mentioned in this thread, that would serve you well, at whatever price you can afford. If you decide to get one that is.

    It seems that you like the Klipsh speakers, and there is certainly nothing wrong with them. I bought a stereo/sub set of Altec speakers for my last computer, for about the same price as the Klipsh you are looking at, and later added an Audigy 1 card. Finally decided I wanted the surround channels, and bought another exact same set, for that. Let me tell you, it didn't sound bad with two subwoofers. You could probably do the same later on if you want.

    Your comment about getting a 5.1, or 6.1, set of speakers, is something you might be tempted to do. I personally don't find the surrounds to be of much use, when listening to music. I don't like the synthetic delay that is used for the rear channels, that's a mattter of personal taste though. BUT, if you watch any concerts on DVD, that 5.1 really comes into play and sounds great. It's almost like being there on some DVD's.

    I hope, after reading all these posts with everybody's opinions, you have found something useful that will help you make a decision. Good luck and let us know how it works out.
  25. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    I didnt mean to suggest that you couldnt get good sound from paper cones, its just that it's far from an ideal material and with today's lighter and stiffer composites, there is no reason to use it in a decent speaker. If you are cosidering buying a speaker with paper coned drivers, make absolutely sure that they have quality rubber surrounds- NOT FOAM!

    It's true that my Dahlquists originally came with paper cone woofers (actually they were the original 10' AR woofers I mentioned in my last post), which I promptly replaced along with the tweets, capacitors and all the x-over wiring- to the betterment of all mankind.

    Dahlquist went out of business in ~1980 and their name has recently been bought (a common practice in hi-fi). The speakers currently being made bear no resemblance to the DQ10- a 5-way time-aligned speaker where all the drivers save the 10'woofer are 'open air' arrayed on top of the bass cabinet http://www.audioweb.com/Ad/AdInfo.asp?adid=135320 . They have the look of the Quad electrostats and almost as good imaging, but better bass response- that said- I'd trade for a decent set of quad's in a heartbeat despite all the horror stories of dogs electrocuting themselves by peeing on them.
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