Re: [linux-audio-user] amplifiers

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Subject: Re: [linux-audio-user] amplifiers
From: Linium (
Date: Mon Sep 30 2002 - 17:54:58 EEST

Le Lundi 30 Septembre 2002 03:09, vous avez écrit :
> I hope you'll forgive me if I ask a *really* basic question.
> I'm running a mix of Debian stable and testing. Kernel 2.4.18. I have
> a Creative Ensoniq AudioPCI sound-card. I'm using the OSS kernel
> drivers, but working up to switching to Alsa.
> I want to get better audio output---partially just for listening but
> also because I'm doing more and more recording. I don't do games. So
> for audio reproduction it's mainly a matter of DVD playing (opera and
> jazz mostly, some rock). I use Xine for DVD playback; I also use
> Ogg123 and Xmms for pure audio.
> So my very basic question is: how necessary or how advisable is it to
> put an amplifier between the audio output jack and the PC speakers?
> Has anyone got a recommendation for a good mid-range or mid-price
> amplifier that would make a noticeable difference?

"PC speakers" doesn't mean anything to me.
There are so much things called like that. I know there are some very good
amplified speakers for the PC market, like the Digital Sirocco Spirit from
Videologic. There is a good review in the british magazin "Sounds on Sounds"
(SOS), read it on their web site with the search engine. The same manufactor
sells also a 5.1 system quite good too (and with a review in SOS too ;) but
more expensive.
For theses speakers as you guess you don't need any amplifier because it's
That's a way to avoid the question.

On the other hand if you want to make recordings you need "neutral speakers".
This category of speakers is more often found in the "monitoring speakers"
avenue. "PC speakers" are probably never concerned by this appelation.
But the Sirroco spirit above probably are the closiest.
"Monitoring speakers" are either active (integrated amplifier) or passive.
They are made magnetic shielded to avoid the interferences coming from the
computer screen. They are designed to be neutral.
The passive Tannoy Reaveal cost 350 Euros and are ok.

If you add a decent mid-range amplifiers to crap passive speakers (PC
speakers or not), it will not change, as you guess, the quality of the
speakers and it will be only a very little change in your sound.

Where you need to put your money is in the speakers, assuming that you have a
decent amplifier. A decent amplifier can be a modest hifi model, but it would
be better to avoid hidi completly since hifi is for pleasure, therefore it
happens that spectral behaviours of amp and speaker are not neutral to make
the sounds more impressive.

As it exists "monitoring speakers", you have "monitoring amplifers" like
InterM, Samson, Alesis make (and others). For 200Euros you can find a Samson
Servo 150 or Servo 170 which is at least 2*75 Watt at 8ohm.
I don't have any opinion on their real quality about them but i think that it
is better than an hifi amp which will cost, anyway, the same.

You will find a lot of "active monitoring speakers" too, which sometimes are
the amplified version of the equivalant passive montoring speakers.
They are nice and sometime pretty small, but good ones are not cheap.
Almost 1000Euros for a pair of KRK V4.

The most important is to listen several speakers before buying to be sure to
know what is the best for you.





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