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Good speakers for playing through computer's sound card?

Support and feedback for Pianissimo virtual grand piano software

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Stjamesg8
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Good speakers for playing through computer's sound card?

Postby Stjamesg8 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:25 pm

I've been using good Sony and Audio Technica headphones for practicing, but they become a bit uncomfortable after wearing for a while. So I've been playing through my computer speakers which is an old Altec Lansing ACS45 Powercube system (satellites/subwoofer) and it sounds excellent, much like a real piano with great balance and tonal representation of lows, mids and highs. However, not really meant for this "live" application, they're underpowered and with the volume at around the same level as a Steinway D including dynamics (yes, I'm very familiar with them), the small satellite speakers distort and rattle. Yes, I can turn them down but prefer to rehearse at familiar volume to experience the approximate dynamics I'm accustomed to on a real piano.

I just tried a pair of Numark NPM5s and had plenty of power but sounded terrible....very mid rangy with poor highs. Sounded like I was playing through a tunnel and there's no EQ except Pianissimo's EQ which didn't help much.

I don't want to get crazy with all sorts of sound equipment just for practicing, so if anyone has suggestions for a decent powered speaker system direct from the computer's sound card, please let me know. Judging from my experience with the Numarks which have 5" woofers in each cabinet and didn't produce as good of bass as the Altec Lansing subwoofer system, I'm thinking a more powerful subwoofer system might be the way to go. ???

UPDATE: I've tried a few different speakers including 200w Klipsch and nothing has been able to faithfully produce a full range piano sound as well as the Altec system, so will stick with that for now. I'm finding myself using headphones more, so plan to purchase better, more comfortable phones.

Denny

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Acoustica Eric
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Postby Acoustica Eric » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:36 pm

Yeah the AL setup should work great, I have a similar setup on one of my pc's. It sounds even better than my newest 5.1 on another computer.

Stjamesg8
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Postby Stjamesg8 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:25 am

Well, here's something odd. Pianissimo through the Altecs is now sounding terrible....unbalanced with tinny highs, weak bass and sounds very "contained" with no presence. However, Authorized Steinway Basic still sounds as good as it always has with wonderful balance, fullness and presence.

When I change the velocity curve setting to Light in Pianissimo, it adds some presence but the highs are even more tinny and I don't like the feel. Both sound great through my Sony MDR7506 headphones. It's just Pianissimo played through the speakers that sounds bad now. I've tried dropping the highs and mids but doesn't help. Since settings can't be saved, I made notes of the settings when I got everything the way I wanted, and all settings are still the same. Puzzling.

Acoustica Greg
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Re: Good speakers for playing through computer's sound card?

Postby Acoustica Greg » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:22 pm

Hi,

What do you have selected as your playback device in Preferences? Are you using Wave, ASIO or WaveRT?

Greg

edzbug62
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Re: Good speakers for playing through computer's sound card?

Postby edzbug62 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:10 pm

I just had to respond to this one as it speaks to me in the form of speakers, and sound cards. If your using a 16 bit sound card you get what you pay for, like you do when you use low, middle, to high end speakers to get that sound just right. If you want to blow your self away and really get the sound just right then you have to fork out a couple grand for a set of "Genelec Speakers". My preference is the 1031a's or the 1032a's are just what you need. Of course not every body can afford such top end speakers, so M-audio makes some great middle of the line speakers that are just awsome. Paradigm Titan Monitor V.6 Speakers, Infinity C205 Bookshelf Speakers, KEF iQ30 Bookshelf Speakers, Mordaunt-Short Carnival 2 Bookshelf Speakers, These are some great monitor speakers and should be run from a 24 bit sound card device so you can really get the full sound you expect from your music. Just be sure not to pick RCA boom box speakers from the thrift store. You can hear the difference I hope.


Good Luck!!! :shock:

Stjamesg8
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:34 pm

Re: Good speakers for playing through computer's sound card?

Postby Stjamesg8 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:53 pm

Acoustica Greg wrote:Hi,

What do you have selected as your playback device in Preferences? Are you using Wave, ASIO or WaveRT?

Greg

ASIO. No settings have changed.


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