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Old 27th November 2019, 17:58     #1
Lightspeed
 
PC builds for 2020

It's time for a new PC, something get into 4k and VR gaming with.

I've spec'd out a couple of builds.

Performance:

Code:
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600 $345 Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition $70 GPU AMD RX 580 $370 Mobo MSI X470 Gaming Plus Max $240 RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX Black DDR4 2666MHz 2x16GB $270 SSD Samsung 860 EVO 1TB $220 VDU Titan Army C34SW 34" UltraWide $700 PSU Corsair RM650X V2 650W $195 Case Corsair Carbide 275R Black Glass Edition ATX MidTower $140 Kbd Logitech G512 Carbon Tactile $160 Mouse Razer DeathAdder Elite $115 $2,710

Boost:

Code:
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 3700X $590 Cooler GPU AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT $750 Mobo MSI MPG X570 $435 RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX Black DDR4 3200MHz 2x16GB $300 SSD Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB $380 VDU LG UltraGear 34GK950F-B 34" UltraWide $1,500 PSU Corsair RM650X V2 650W $195 Case Corsair OBSIDIAN SERIES 500D Premium ATX MidTower Gaming Case $230 Kbd Logitech G512 Carbon Tactile $160 Mouse Razer DeathAdder Elite $115 $4,655

Comments?
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Old 28th November 2019, 10:29     #2
pxpx
 
- No CPU Cooler on the second build?
- Personal Preference but I'm not a fan of Corsair cases; have a look at NZXT, very sleek designs, good quality and really well priced. I've got an older verison of this and found the design super good, really good cable management features.
- Your first build VDU is NVIDIA G-Sync, so double check there's compatibility with the GPU because it's only recently that AMD/NVIDIA have started being compatible with each others offerings (ie FreeSync vs G-Sync)
- Double check your PSU wattage against the rest of the build.
- Spend the money on the screen; you're looking at it the most so its worth investing in.
- I'm jealous, I wanna upgrade too
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Old 28th November 2019, 14:09     #3
Lightspeed
 
Ryzen 7 has a stock cooler. I think it's an all-in-one?

That's a nice case. For the cheaper machine, I'm not too fussed. I'll take a look around if the person I'm building it for decides to buy it.

For my machine I want a case I can seal up. I've done it before with great results. My current rig is seven years old and the dust is awful. Short regularly stripping it down and rebuilding it, there's always build up. So I need to hunt around to see if I can find a rig that isn't covered in vents. The last machine I sealed (animal filled, semi-rural home) I used hot glue and some kind of drainage filter fabric from Bunnings. It worked brilliantly. The outside of the machine was awful, but the inside was pristine.

Thanks for spotting the sync issue. I thought it was just a step down from the Titan Army 34G6R 34" WQHD, which I see is back in stock. It's worth it at only $100 more. I might got for that instead of the LG on the more expensive build. Any thoughts on curved screens? I'm going to have to sit down at one somewhere.

I need take a second look at PSUs, need to be sure I get something fully modular. I'll run a couple of different calculators, make sure I've got enough overhead.

Going to take another look at SSDs too.

Upgrading the PC, repairing the car instead of replacing it (again.)
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Old 28th November 2019, 14:23     #4
Native
I... err - F*ck It.
 
Absolutely go for the curved screen. 30+ inches is had on your eyes without the curve.

Black Friday typically has lots of screens on a decent sale, otherwise, boxing day sales help too.
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Old 28th November 2019, 15:09     #5
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
I'm not big on gaming, so my opinion is worth less than others, but I found that not all games support the newer/non-standard resolutions (especially older games), so you end up with either gross stretching, black bars/window mode or having to drop to a lower res with the right ratio. Newer games would likely support it, but sux if they don't.

Make sure you get a NVMe SSD with PCIe x 4 instead of SATA as your primary drive. There's usually only one NVMe slot, so I have a secondary SATA drive for more local space, and a big network share for everything else.

$1500 is a big chunk of cash for a monitor, if I was in your position I'd get something less extreme and put your money in the GPU instead. (Also, when you're in VR, the monitor is insignificant) I have a 1080 at home, and was perfectly happy with the 1050Ti in Wellington - I didn't notice much difference for Tekken and racing games! I didn't try VR with the 1050Ti though, I imagine it would be noticeable there. Paper/tech specs are one thing, but not everything pushes cards/computers to their limit, so you don't always gain as much as you're paying for.

I have a curved 27" Samsung widescreen, and a portrait mode Philips 24" that I use as my primary monitor (vertical res is great for productivity/web browsing, but curve is nice too). My Ryzen/1080 is off most of the time (hooked up to another port on my 27"), I use a silent i5 with onboard video that I got on TradeMe for $60 as my main machine! I expected the Ryzen to "change everything" like how upgrades used to be, but it was ultimately just a computer and I'm still the slowest part of the system.
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Old 28th November 2019, 15:46     #6
Lightspeed
 
I realise I said 4k when I meant 2k, high FPS. 4k potentially I guess, but I'm looking at 2k screens that run high frame rates.

I'm just going to stick with my DK2 for VR for the meantime. I don't like the battery life on the Quest and the Vive is too pricey. Just need new peripherals.

The LG is very sexy, so it's tempting. But the Titan Army (?) is such a great price for the specs. And I need to be responsible. I'll probably need to repair the car again. I should just get a scooter.
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Old 28th November 2019, 16:01     #7
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
What CPU/GPU are you currently using?
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Old 28th November 2019, 16:08     #8
Lightspeed
 
The mobo I'm looking at has two M.2 sockets.

I think I'll go:
  • Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB
  • Intel 660p 1TB

Samsung for the OS, Intel for games.
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Old 28th November 2019, 16:24     #9
Lightspeed
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrTiTus
What CPU/GPU are you currently using?
Currently? i5-3570k + GeForce 9400GT. My Radeon HD 7970 died just this week. Might be able to fix it by stripping and cleaning it.
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Old 28th November 2019, 18:39     #10
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
According to the benchmarks, even the Ryzen 7 3700X is only ~35% faster (up to 4 cores) than your current CPU, and the 3600 is ~25% faster. I'm rocking the i5-3470 and I think they're awesome!

9400GT, booooo. No wonder you want a whole new computer... I've got a spare RX470 4GB if you want an NZG special. Save your money, fix your car, donate to a social service of your choice, or get some pro tier corn chips instead :P

Or not, I don't particularly care.
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Old 28th November 2019, 18:53     #11
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
It's a single 8 pin PCI-E power connector if that has any bearing on whether you can use it (might need a new PSU).
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Old 1st December 2019, 15:48     #12
Lightspeed
 
I'm good, but thanks.
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Old 17th December 2019, 15:53     #13
[BT]MikeMan
 
First thing is do not use User Benchmark for comparing Intel to AMD CPU's, they screwed up their algorithm in favour of 4 core CPU's.



If using 3000 Ryzens memory speed is key, spend the extra for 3600 or low latency 3200 memory for sure.

Make sure the boards that have 2 x M.2 support PCIe on both, some boards only support SATA on the second slot.
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Old 17th December 2019, 17:25     #14
Lightspeed
 
Thumbs up

Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 1st February 2020, 02:07     #15
Lightspeed
 
So this is the plan, not much change. Opted for dual SSDs. Any last minute suggestions?

Code:
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Cooler Stock GPU Gigabyte GV-R57XT Mobo MSI MPG X570 RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX Black DDR4 3200MHz 2x16GB SSD Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB SSD Intel 660p 1TB VDU LG UltraGear 34GK950F 34" UltraWide PSU EVGA SuperNova 750 G3 750W 750W Case Recycle Kbd Logitech G512 Carbon Tactile Mouse Razer Death Adder Elite Total $4584
I'm going to reuse my current case, build a custom case once I figure out how.

On that note, anyone know a computer recycler in Auckland that would sell me a few of old cases?
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Old 1st February 2020, 02:27     #16
Lightspeed
 
Actually, I'm still undecided on the screen. The refresh rate is excellent on the LG, but I want something with HDR.
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Old 2nd February 2020, 01:05     #17
Lightspeed
 
I'm thinking maybe the LG 27GL850-B 27". Not ultrawide, but high refresh, decent contrast, HDR, modest price.

Lower res will mean being able to maintain a higher refresh as the machine ages too I suppose.
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Old 2nd February 2020, 14:47     #18
Lightspeed
 
Actually, that has rubbish contrast and HDR. Still the best for its price.

Seems like there's a big gap. You've got to leap for $4k for high fps 4k, which requires a $2k+ video card to run.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 17:02     #19
Lightspeed
 
Went for the LG 27". Could find marginally better HDR, but more expensive plus other compromises. Otherwise it's a whole different price bracket.

Looking at getting some entry level Elac's powered by a mini 2 channel amp.
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Old 4th February 2020, 21:59     #20
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
Try Logitech Z623 2.1 setup and compare to those golden ear speakers. I doubt you get 3x the sound quality. Probably 1/3 the bass since 2.0. And you need to get an amp. GL HF.
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Old 4th February 2020, 22:16     #21
Lightspeed
 
Logitech should start another brand if they want to start selling decent speakers.
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Old 4th February 2020, 22:39     #22
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
Laugh

As you were then. I'd love to know what you end up buying.
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Old 4th February 2020, 23:55     #23
Lightspeed
 
Go hard or go home you reckon? Buy some junk Logitech or buy something like this?
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Old 5th February 2020, 12:06     #24
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
Lightbulb

The "junk Logitech" set I use for making music I got for $3 at a Lions Club garage sale - Z523. I have Z623 on my TV (from Trade Me, $50), and it's THX certified for those cinema rumbles. It's seriously impressive. My brother in law boasted about "these speakers I could hear coming from somewhere in the shop and I had to get a pair - best speakers I've heard". Same set, Z623, although he paid full price at JB Hifi ($280). They're cheaper elsewhere.

Anything marketed as "audiophile" I just ignore (unless it's second hand and under priced of course - I got one of these for $50 from a lady whose husband died suddenly and "didn't need so much bass, she doesn't want noise complaints"). You can go here and find even more ridiculously priced speakers if you wanted to justify spending ONLY $4k on a pair of bookshelf speakers that will be great for listening to Phil Collins. Or get a $600 "inferior" set that will still just be a set of bookshelf speakers, and likely just as good as the $4k pair. I have Behringer Truth P2030s ($300) that claim to be "studio monitors" (flat response, accurate sound yada yada) and sound great if I want to mix properly, but I don't even bother using them most of the time because they're big and bulky and take up my desk space. If I was going to invest money in speakers, they would be studio monitors, not bookshelves.

I got a PA system (with 15" woofers) that I used at a wedding gig in January for $70 at clearance from Jaycar - some "junk" brand. I used the Alesis reference amp (another TM bargain) that I use with my Truths. Not one person came up to me and told me they couldn't identify the placement of the violin in the stereo field, or the timbre of the oboe was not accurate. If that's the sort of thing you like doing, spend hard. They were too busy dancing and enjoying themselves. I considered bringing a sub also (because junk brand, they must be shit), but didn't need to. 15s gonna 15, and I wasn't playing electronic music.

Spending shitloads on speakers for sonic perfection, and then undoing everything by listening to music through shitty quality YouTube seems a bit ludicrous to me. Again I'm only trying to help you not waste your money. If you want to fool yourself thinking you've got golden ears and have to spend the most, that's your call. We had uncle like that - had a white glove for his new stereo. The family doesn't talk to him because he's a cunt.
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Old 5th February 2020, 12:36     #25
Lightspeed
 
Thanks for your perspective.

I've got at least a half dozen different sets of speakers to compare against once the mini amp arrives.
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Old 5th February 2020, 14:49     #26
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
Don't forget your Monster cables. Night and day dude, night and day.

Next you're going to tell me you're still using onboard audio and unbalanced RCA inputs, you masochist. Go broke or go home.
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Old 5th February 2020, 16:08     #27
Lightspeed
 
o_O

Were your parents killed in an incident involving overpriced speakers?
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Old 5th February 2020, 21:01     #28
Lightspeed
 
Well in any case you've convinced me to hunt for something to upgrade the lounge, seeing as you reckon you can get great sound for cheap. Here's what I've found so far:

Response range isn't great, but the mini hi-fi amp is worth ~$100 alone:

Celestion F10's (speakers) High Fidelity HiFi Sound SETUP


They look very tidy. Depends on what the reserve is. Needs power:

Wharfedale Diamond 220 Speakers


Then there are these:

Tower Floor Speakers - 2x 6.5 Inch - Pair

Great price, great performance. Looks like they're locally assembled. Worth a listen. Can't be worse than what I have right now, and a lot louder.

Lots of dusty old junk on TradeMe too.
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Old 5th February 2020, 21:34     #29
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
Waste not want not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightspeed
And I need to be responsible. I'll probably need to repair the car again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightspeed
anyone know a computer recycler in Auckland that would sell me a few old cases?
Just doesn't sound to me like you've got more money than you know what to do with. Sorry if I offended you by attempting to tame your mid life crisis spending and promote responsibility. No hard feelings - my parents are still alive and kicking, thanks for asking.
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Old 5th February 2020, 21:47     #30
Lightspeed
 
You're misreading the tone of my posts, and projecting in your own bullshit. I'm cringing.

I'm still interested in what you have to say about those speakers I linked.
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Old 5th February 2020, 21:49     #31
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightspeed
Then there are these:

Tower Floor Speakers - 2x 6.5 Inch - Pair

Great price, great performance. Looks like they're locally assembled. Worth a listen. Can't be worse than what I have right now, and a lot louder.
Those are clones of the JV60 Jaycar design, I got a full set clearance (originally $1000 assembled, I think I paid $120), and another set of cabinets without the drivers for $18. They go hard.

Can't beat enclosure volume and cone area generally, so I'd definitely take a listen to those in the store, rather than commit to buying something brand name second hand and trying to back out once you hear them. Little full range speakers just don't do bass well.

I don't know how well those mini amps perform at higher volumes - the THD specs on the TPA3116 chip is pretty high (more than 10% IIRC) at high outputs, and you need to run them at 24V I think, so they might not be that good for long periods of time. I bought a bunch of the amp boards from eBay for my experiments. Need good heatsinks, they run hot.
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Old 5th February 2020, 22:14     #32
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
I just measured my speakers and they're more like 1060 x 250 x 250, so those are slightly smaller and probably not the same Vifa drivers. For the price they're probably OK, but you'd need to take a listen - specs alone means nothing.

That said, I still prefer to use my junk Logitechs :P
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Old 7th February 2020, 12:39     #33
Lightspeed
 
facepalm

Parts have been delayed for a second time, after initially being assured they'd be available for pick up the following day.
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Old 12th February 2020, 14:53     #34
Lightspeed
 
Deal fell through, parts no longer available, prices changed, so here's a new build. DrTiTus is probably gonna tell me off.

Boost+:
Code:
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Cooler Stock GPU Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2080 SUPER WindForce 8G GDDR6 Mobo Gigabyte X570 AORUS MASTER RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX Black DDR4 3200MHz 2x16GB SSD Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB SSD Intel 660p 1TB VDU LG 27GL850-B PSU Corsair RM750X V2 750W Case Recycle Kbd Logitech G512 Carbon Tactile Mouse Razer Death Adder Elite Total $4760
Just waiting for a quote once more, hoping to get the parts by Friday, but we'll see I guess.
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Last edited by Lightspeed : 12th February 2020 at 14:57.
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Old 13th February 2020, 01:02     #35
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
Nah I'm not going to tell you off, I did the whole Ryzen build and fancy video card thing, so if you want to do it too, go ahead. I'm not a gamer, so I don't really care about frames. I had to replace the power supply in mine the other day (it whined and squealed and was loud and then decided to shit itself), so I paid for a 0% increase in performance.

Did you win the Wharfedales that you linked?
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Old 17th February 2020, 11:59     #36
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightspeed
Looking at getting some entry level Elac's powered by a mini 2 channel amp.
I went and had a listen to those Elacs at Paul Money. I will admit - they did bring a smile to my face with how clear they were (through a $4k amp in a brick listening room with a couch in optimal position), and a slow nod like "yeah I see why these get good reviews", but they were still "5 inch" speakers (I would have said 4 inch, I'm not sure the surround really counts). You can hear that the bass exists, but you just end up wanting more. IMHO they'd be good as part of larger (more expensive) setup (with at least a sub), but aren't a complete solution by themselves unless you just listen to audiobooks and acoustic folk music, or are allergic to low frequencies.

I had been listening to Isaac Hayes in the car with 2x12s beforehand so I used that as my benchmark bassline. Tried some other jungle/dnb through them, which didn't fare any better.
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Old 17th February 2020, 14:14     #37
Lightspeed
 
Final, purchased build!

Boost+-+:
Code:
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Cooler Stock GPU Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2080 SUPER WindForce 8G GDDR6 Mobo Gigabyte X570 AORUS MASTER RAM G.Skill Trident Z Neo RGB 3600MHz 2x8GB SSD Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB SSD Intel 665p 1TB (en route) VDU LG 27GL850-B PSU EVGA SuperNOVA 750W Case Recycle Kbd Logitech G512 Carbon Tactile Mouse Razer Death Adder Elite Total $4729
I meant to write this up sooner, but I fell completely ill literally hours after I finished the install early Friday afternoon.

The build definitely changed a few times over, as is expected. The MSI motherboard dropped off the market just as I tried to buy it. Apparently it was all bought out by one supplier. I got turned off the Radeon after hearing about driver issues, as well as strong advice for the Nvidia, and lithography isn't everything. I couldn't get the 32GB RAM or Intel 660p M.2 on the day, and I wanted to start building.

I'm weighing my options in regard to the memory; leaving it as is, selling the 16GB and buying 32GB, getting another 16GB later. It's not as hard to get old RAM as it used to be, so that's no longer a concern I once had. But then again while I'm not into this RGB deal, it does look pretty and I'd hate for the parts not to match...

I opted to buy the Intel 665p from NewEgg. I don't get how it figures $90 duty on a $200 part, plus $50 shipping. Was going to hold off, but then I got a pay rise.

I haven't bought a case, but I plan to. My recycle isn't... adequate. But at least there's a power button on the motherboard now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pxpx
- Spend the money on the screen; you're looking at it the most so its worth investing in.
No regrets here, this screen is gorgeous. I feel bad for looking at my old one so long. I didn't expect it to be so prominent.

This keyboard is super cool too. I'm going to have to do some work to make the most of it. It's so powerful. Shame about the lack of Linux support.

First game I'm blasting out is Borderlands 3 once it finishes downloading, although I've been playing CoH2 in the meantime. G-Sync is excellent.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 19:21     #38
Lightspeed
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrTiTus
Did you win the Wharfedales that you linked?
Yes, I did. I got them for $140 after the seller found an undisclosed, but superficial scratch. They are so much better than the Altec Lansing THX certified speakers I was using for the media server. And that's just at 30w per speaker.

It was a good experiment actually. In looking at options for how I could power the mini-amp further I discovered it lacks a low-pass filter, so I'm glad I wasn't connecting $600 speakers to it.

The long term plan is a larger, much louder buy-it-for-life sound system, adding to it over time. The hurdle is a little higher having to get a full powered amp from the get go, so I'll probably hold off for a year or so.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 23:18     #39
DrTiTus
HENCE WHY FOREVER ALONE
 
Choice. Might I suggest this sub. I think it's a relist (no one bought it last time), and pick up only (those are the best bargains). I already have too many subs and speakers (I bought more after you made me look last time). It's a fixed 80Hz crossover (not adjustable), but that works. 10" driver, 70W. Also nice having the line in/line outs for easy connectivity.
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Old 24th February 2020, 17:52     #40
Lightspeed
 
I'll spare the neighbours a sub for now. The final set up will be for the retirement home, where I'm anticipating no problem with neighbours. In fact, I suspect I might try build some crazy huge system, /r/budgetaudiophile style. But that's many years from now. But not too many.
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