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Setting up studio grade monitors

FireFox500

33 months ago

I am looking to get myself a pair of LSR 305s for both listening to and producing music. How exactly do you set a pair of studio monitors? I know I need a dual 1/4 inch to 3.5mm cable to connect both monitors to the jack on the back of the PC. My confusion lies in the interface, my onboard Dell XPS 8700 motherboard (Realtek) audio might be a pitfall for powerful speakers such as these, if I need a DAC for the LSRs how do I hook that up? Would a sound card be enough? I am looking at the Audioengine D1 DAC or the Soundblaster Z Sound Card. If anyone who has hooked up studio speakers can explain step by step how you hook all this together and what equipment they use it would be an immense help so I can find the rest of the parts I need for my audio upgrade.

Thanks, FireFox500

Comments

  • 33 months ago
  • 2 points

I think you'd be well served to pick up an external USB mixer, and use one of the outputs on the mixer as your audio source for the monitors. This will give you a good quality external DAC to drive the monitors as well as laundry list of other functionality for sound I/O that will come in handy for producing music anyway. These also usually have a decent headphone amp built in.

This doesn't have to be expensive for decentish results. ~$100 buys a lot. See Behringer Q1202USB as an example.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the response, I'd never thought of using a mixer, do all mixers come with DACs and Amps? Unfortunately right now I don't have the desk space for a mixer (I currently have a 40 inch TV for a monitor and a smallish desk, but that is a really good idea, I'll have to look into that.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

I would advise looking at the specs before buying to make sure they have the outputs you want, but most should have a "main" output and a "headphone" output at minimum.

There are some much smaller versions as well, with fewer channels, that would fit on a smaller desk. They are even less expensive.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

We've got plans to counter top the computer area at some point in the near future so maybe I can go for a mixer if I've got the desk space. You seem to know a bit about mixers, are mixers and controllers very similar? I'm assuming because your plug headphones in for mixing on controllers and mixers that they both have dedicated amps as some mixing headphones are very high impedance. Do mixers and controllers also both have DACs for hooking them to speakers for mixing at home?

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

The LSR305s are active monitors, meaning they are already powered and just need a signal. Do not use an amp/receiver before them unless the receiver can have its pre-amp toggled off.

Also, what listening distance will you usually be at? The LSR305's shine in near field audio, after about 10-15ft there are monitors that will be crisper such as the Klipsch R-15PM's. The LSR's will also be a bit heavy on the bass, which I like. The R-15PM's could make good use of a dedicated sub to really make them pop.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

I will have them maybe 2 or 3 ft away from my ears on my desk. So I don't need a dac or amp? I plan on getting an xlr driven mic as well. If I want to run my speakers and my mic from 1 box would I want a 212i? Or would I just need a power box for the mic? I read that for laptops you would want a dac as onboard ones are blah, idk how good my onboard is and I want to get the most out of the speakers. There's even static in my cheapo 20$ placeholder ones so I worry about 250$ studio grade ones.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm hoping to buy a pair soon. I'm going to start off with with a Y-splitter that's 3.5mm to 2 XLR's or 3.5mm to 2 TRS. If I hear interference, then I'll try a DAC. I kept reading recommendations of buying the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4". I'm still trying to understand the "balanced" & "un-balanced" thing. Not too interested in having to pay $150 to use the JBL's.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

I looked this up and it seems the only difference between balanced and unbalanced wires is that UNB has a ground wire surrounding the audio ones to eliminate some interference. However, I don't think it is much of a difference audio wise, just how the wires are made. Don't quote me on this, but that's what I've been able to gather, Evil_Paroxysm (above) will probably be able to answer this. I'm in the same boat you are, I think I may end up buying the 2i2 for the xlr (mic), dac and amp, to get the most out of all my audio sources.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

I recently found this, DACs are very very cheap, go on Amazon and look up "USB audio interface", the Behringer UM2 Or UMC22 (will probably get the 22), are both under 60$ and offer good DACs with an XLT input for mics, you don't really need a 100$+ interface, cheap ones do just fine, my friend has a 20$ DAC that he loves. USB audio interfaces are your best bet unless you want a dedicated amp, dedicated DAC and dedicated 48V power for XLT mic. The UMC22 is basically a metal version of the UM2 with a few more dials and is actually cheaper on Amazon for some reason

  • 33 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for mentioning those Behringer's. I'm not producing music, just wanted to play music through those JBL's. I'm waiting to hear back from one or two sellers. Did you get yours yet?

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Not yet, hopefully in the next 2 or 3 months I'll grab some. Are you days away from ordering?

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm hoping to score lightly used ones on Craig's list. There were some cool white ones listed but the owner sold them some time ago (old ad).

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Just looked those up and those could look super cool with a white build/room, I could've sworn I saw one on here while ago with those (may have been Audioengine A2+s or A5s tho). Have you found any good leads on craigslist yet? They are I think 280 on amazon, whats craigslist got to offer?

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