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Audio Question
Old 12-28-2004, 10:03 PM   #1
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Audio Question

I have a question for Cut-Throat or others with audio knowledge. I just bought two Polk Audio Monitor 40 bookshelf speakers to use for CDs, DVDs, TV, VCR, etc. They should arrive in a couple of days. These speakers each have two 5 1/4 inch woofers, so I'm hoping I can get by with these alone. I might need to buy a powered sub-woofer, but I'd rather not. A number of years ago I bought a Gateway computer and it came with some fairly expensive speakers - including a Boston Acoustics sub-woofer. If I need more bass, is there any way I can use that in my home entertainment system?

Second question. I bought some 14 gauge lamp cord at Home Depot that I plan to use as speaker wire. I told the guy I wanted lamp cord, and when I got home I noticed that this cord is for "low voltage outdoor lighting". I figured copper wire is copper wire, but now I'm thinking, what the hell do I know? Will this make good speaker wire, or should I get something else?
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Re: Audio Question
Old 12-29-2004, 04:05 AM   #2
 
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Re: Audio Question

Bob,

You can probably use the Sub-Woofer, but I'm betting that you want just the speakers when you hear them. A 5 1/2 woofer can produce plenty of bass. If you did want to try the sub Woofer, hooking it up could be a challenge. Ideally I like to hook them up to the receiver or amp itself.

The wire will be fine. - you are right - Copper is copper.

Did you ever get that digital receiver?

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Re: Audio Question
Old 12-29-2004, 07:53 AM   #3
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Re: Audio Question

Quote:
this cord is for "low voltage outdoor lighting"
This means that it has low resistance and it can handle high currents. Translate this to mean that the copper wire is thick. (In this case, gauge 14.)

Have fun.

John R.
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Re: Audio Question
Old 12-29-2004, 09:16 AM   #4
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Re: Audio Question

Outdoor wire means the insulation has uv & moisture protection. There is no problem using it indoors. 14 gauge is ok for bookshelf speakers.

Two 5 1/4 woofers per speaker should be ok for most musical preferences. It may not be the case for someone into classical or loud music. Bookshelf speakers ideally should be placed close to ear levels with the listener at an equal distance from each speaker or the balance control on the receiver adjusted to compensate.

The BA sub-woofer is probably an 8" or smaller if it is part of a computer system. Connecting it may or may not be a problem depending on how it is connected to the rest of the speakers that it came with. Also it depends on whether it is self powered, has a built in crossover, duel voice coils or single & what kind of connections the receiver or amp has. *
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Re: Audio Question
Old 12-29-2004, 09:22 AM   #5
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Re: Audio Question

Quote:
Outdoor wire means the insulation has uv & moisture protection. There is no problem using it indoors. 14 gauge is ok for bookshelf speakers.

*

Low voltage wire should not be used in high voltage applications. Speakers are OK but if the wire is insulated for 12 or 24 volt applications the guy who sold it to you for lamp cord (presumed to be 120 volts) made a severe error.
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Re: Audio Question
Old 12-29-2004, 11:23 AM   #6
 
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Re: Audio Question


The (cheap) subwoofer on my PC is wired through the satellite. I think there are two power amps, one in the subwoofer, one in the satellite. If possible, try connecting the subwoofer to the line out on your PC. If it works, connect to the line out on your receiver. If it's passive (no power), then you have to make sure the impedence is matched to the reciever's output. My computer speakers are so cheap, that I wouldn't bother.
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Re: Audio Question
Old 12-29-2004, 02:15 PM   #7
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Re: Audio Question

Thanks for the help. The speakers arrive tomorrow so I'll know for sure then if they are good enough alone. If they aren't I may be back with more specific questions about connecting my PC sub-woofer.

Cut-Throat, I didn't end up with the digital receiver. I was planning to buy two receivers and the other one arrived first. It was good enough for me, so being the cheap b**tard that I am, I bought another one of the same. It was on sale for $77 (Sherwood RD-6105 - 5.1 Audio/Video Receiver). I connected my old JVC speakers to one of them and the sound is great.

Speaking of cheap, you and others told me not to skimp on speakers. But I saw a pair of Pioneer speakers on sale at Wal-Mart for $98. They were very large and very heavy, and I thought Pioneer was a good name, so I tried them on my second receiver. Man were they crap! Even my wife, who has no ear for this stuff, thought they were bad. So I returned those and ordered these Polk Audio bookshelf speakers for $300 for the pair (got them at Crutchfield.com).
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Re: Audio Question
Old 12-29-2004, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: Audio Question

Quote:
Audio is one of my hobbies, so I spend pretty extravagantly on it. I build amplifiers from Kits that usually cost around $2K apiece. I probably have around $10K worth of gear that I listen to and another $5K that I need to sell this year. Mostly tube gear - 1940-1950 technology, except for the CD front end.
I practice with a bass player who uses an old Dynaco Mono Power Amp as his practice amplifier. I think it was a kit.

I have a late 60s Fender Deluxe tube amp with a 14" Sunn bass speaker. The magnet on that thing must weight 5#.

By the way, what music do you enjoy listening to?

Mikey
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Re: Audio Question
Old 12-29-2004, 03:54 PM   #9
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Re: Audio Question

Thanks Cut-Throat, I didn't know that and I'm glad you brought it up because I am going to be building a wall unit and I was planning to put everything in it. I'll get stands for these and place them in front of the shelves.
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Re: Audio Question
Old 12-31-2004, 04:10 PM   #10
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Re: Audio Question

I just hooked my new speakers up. Wow, these are so much better than what I had! There is plenty of bass and no need for a sub-woofer. Now I've got to get started on building a wall unit to hold all this stuff. Cut-Throat, I noticed a difference when they were placed away from the wall, like you said. I'm going to do some thinking about how to make that work in the room so we aren't tripping over the speakers.
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Re: Audio Question
Old 12-31-2004, 04:42 PM   #11
 
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Re: Audio Question

Bob,

Glad they are working for you Bob!

- I also have some monitor speakers that I built from a Kit. 5 1/2 inc woofer too - They give me plenty of Bass.

Make sure they are on sturdy stands off the floor and at least 1 foot from the back wall and they will really sing!

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