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RE: help!

Thanks for your response.

I see you are in Somerset, a nice part of the world. Bath Uni perhaps?

If you want to deliver the soundtrack of everything on your screen to the system then there are two approaches:

1. Have a basic 5.1 system connected to a receiver by HDMI from your laptop as source. That would give you surround sound streamed movies and TV and streamed audio e.g. Spotify or Deezer ( subject to subscription contracts, licence fees). The downside is that on your budget you really won't have much to spend on 5 loudspeakers and a subwoofer . Say you spend 200 pounds on the receiver/processor/amp. That gives you only a 50 pounds budget for each speaker. Also my experience with cheap multi-channel receivers is that although OK for movies their musical ability is limited.

2. Continue using your TV as is for movies and broadcasts and continue using the laptop as your music source but connected to the audio sytem via a DAC. Major on having a decent stereo audio system for music. You can then find products from good manufacturers with a reputation. Being a student should give you every opportunity to find out about different sorts of music too from what I hope will be new friends and acquaintances.

I won't specify exact pieces of equipment as there is so much out there and used prices are so variable. However being in the UK you (we) are lucky in that we have always had a very inventive and high quality domestic audio industry with a worldwide reputation. If you allocate your budget you should be buying:

1. A DAC, preferably a USB DAC. This takes the digital audio from your computer and turns it into an analogue signal to be fed to the amplifier. Although the computer has such a device it will be a pretty much compromised thing. I would suggest something from Arcam (used RDAC?) or Cambridge Audio. Spend, say, 150 pounds.

2. A stereo amplifier. You have small room so massive power is not required. Look at one with, say, 50 watts a channnel. Note: ignore power output specified as music power. This is just a way of playing with numbers. Look for the power expressed as RMS power into ( usually) 8 ohms. I suggest looking at Creek, Arcam or Cambridge. Another 150 pounds. You can also usually send the TV sound in stereo to the speakers via the amplifier. Look for some RCA sockets on the rear or side of the TV. NB: Some amplifiers have the DAC built in which may offer a saving.

3. Speakers. Your room size means that behemoths are out of the picture ( and budget). Look for excellent bookshelf models. Yes they will have good bass driven by a good amplifier. Try Kef or Wharfedale ( ebay UK has a pair of Whartfedale Diamond 10s on right now for

Edits: 05/26/17

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