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Old 11th August 2004, 03:11 PM   #1
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Default Logitech Z-5300 versus Klipsch ProMedia GMX

Hey guys, I was wondering if I could get some help choosing a speaker set. Here are the details....

I intend to use it primarily for music with:

- my laptop, wihch is a Dell Inspiron 5150 with SigmaTel Sound Card (supports 5.1)
- my iRivier mp3 player

and to a lesser extent movies and sports my DVD player and TV.

Since I'm in a dorm and can't really crank the bass, the high end power of the sub isn't a big concern to me. I guess I'm mostly concerned about the quality fo the midrange for all around musical enjoyment.

After all rebates and including s&h, the Logitech system is $111.04 and the Klipsch is $179.88. Is the Klipsch worth the extra $70? How is thie choice affected by my stock dell soundcard? I read something that the Klipsch speakers will only play in 5.1 if you have a "DIRECT digital connection." Can I solve that problem by purchasing this (http://store.mrtechus.com/so51usb.html), which has an S/PDIF interface?

Yours,
Jack
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Old 11th August 2004, 06:00 PM   #2
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The Klipsch GMXs are the more accurate of the two with its discrete tweeter. It doesn't accept analog surround inputs, just analog 2.1. And even if you have digital outputs on your soundcard, you'll only get surround sound with Dolby Digital content (or sound encoded to DD courtesy of the NVIDIA nForce2 Soundstorm APU for Athlon XPs). That is, if you don't have that chipset, games are played in 2-channel mirrored to the rear. In short, if you play games, don't get this system. For DVD, it should be fine.

The Logitechs are a very good midrange system but the speakers are hardwired (no replacing the cables). The Klipsch uses removable RCA cables for connections.

For music, the Klipsch I think is the better pick. For movies, either will do.
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Old 11th August 2004, 06:19 PM   #3
Fenris is offline Fenris  United States
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Default Re: Logitech Z-5300 versus Klipsch ProMedia GMX

Quote:
Originally posted by jack_soltysik

- my laptop, wihch is a Dell Inspiron 5150 with SigmaTel Sound Card (supports 5.1)
- my iRivier mp3 player
Your laptop soundcard may support 5.1, but there's no way to output it. According to the Dell website, there's only a stereo headphone out, no SPDIF or analog 5.1

Quote:
Originally posted by jack_soltysik


After all rebates and including s&h, the Logitech system is $111.04 and the Klipsch is $179.88. Is the Klipsch worth the extra $70? How is thie choice affected by my stock dell soundcard? I read something that the Klipsch speakers will only play in 5.1 if you have a "DIRECT digital connection." Can I solve that problem by purchasing this (http://store.mrtechus.com/so51usb.html), which has an S/PDIF interface?

Yours,
Jack
That particular item will only output S/PDIF in stereo, not Dolby 5.1. The Logitech and Klipsch will only use the front left and right speaker and none of the rest. You need an actual external 5.1 soundcard like the Creative Audigy NX or the older Extigy. Those will give you 5.1 out in both analog and digital format, making it compatable with either speaker system. With the Klipsch you're paying for a Dolby decoder built into the system. Since you will have to buy an external soundcard anyway, why not use the decoder built into it and go with the less expensive Logitech that just uses analog inputs? Personally, I like the look and ergonomics of the Logitech, and both are reviewed well (although I've not heard either personally).
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Old 11th August 2004, 08:02 PM   #4
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hey guys -

thanks for your responses. it helped me understand the problem with 5.1 output with my current laptop soundcard.

after thinking about it, i watch DVDs on my DVD player, so I don't really need 5.1 output from my laptop anyway. i understand that both speaker sets would work well with my dvd player. this leads me to two additional questions -

1) fenris, you're right, the dell only has a stereo headphone output. am i correct in understanding that if I plug the klipsch or logitech into that, i will get 2.1 channel sound from the four satellite speakers and the sub? (sidenote: what would the center speaker do?) if all my music is recorded on two channels, than 5.1 output doesn't do anything for me, right? (assuming this to be correct, i would use it as 5 speaker 2.1 channel system with my laptop/iriver, and 5.1 with my dvd player)

2) my iRiver iHP-120 also has an optical line out in addition to a headphone stereo out . what can I do with the optical line out? would that have any advantages over plugging the system into the headphone stereo out?

- jack
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Old 11th August 2004, 09:20 PM   #5
Fenris is offline Fenris  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by jack_soltysik

1) fenris, you're right, the dell only has a stereo headphone output. am i correct in understanding that if I plug the klipsch or logitech into that, i will get 2.1 channel sound from the four satellite speakers and the sub? (sidenote: what would the center speaker do?) if all my music is recorded on two channels, than 5.1 output doesn't do anything for me, right? (assuming this to be correct, i would use it as 5 speaker 2.1 channel system with my laptop/iriver, and 5.1 with my dvd player)

2) my iRiver iHP-120 also has an optical line out in addition to a headphone stereo out . what can I do with the optical line out? would that have any advantages over plugging the system into the headphone stereo out?

- jack
With this new information, you might be better off with the Klipsch, it has more input options, especially digital in and 2 channel in. You should be able to use the digital in from the DVD and I-river to give you 5.1 and 2.1 respectively. The analog in from the Dell coresponds to the analog in of the Klipsch as well - you wouldn't eve have to unplug anything (assuming your DVD player and I-river's digial are correct (the Klipsch has one optical and one co-ax).
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Old 11th August 2004, 11:57 PM   #6
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The logitech system has a more power subwoofer..

But then you said thats kinda pointless for you..


I would go for the Logitechs because they are cheaper. But go to the store and bring your Iriver, try testing out both sets and see which sounds better to you.
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Old 12th August 2004, 04:41 PM   #7
rkc7 is offline rkc7  United States
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What about the Promedia 2.1s? Personally I like the styling better than GMX's. Best Buy says they sell them for $150, and you could probably find them cheaper through an internet vendor. I personally have the Ultra 5.1s which I really like. A friend of mine has the 2.1s which he enjoys. And if you ever did want more bass, that little sub they give puts out a good bit, but can be turned down of course. You can always go to a Best Buy, Circuit City, whatever, and try them out. They usually have them set up to listen to. Although it won't be an ideal setting, at least the arrangement will be consistent enough to allow you to compare the two side-by-side.
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Old 13th August 2004, 05:23 AM   #8
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If you want the better sounding set, go with the Tangband based Logitech system. They do sound better. I A/B'ed them at a local BestBuy and could hear a dip in responce that sounded like a poor crossover (or none at all ) in the Klipsch. The Logi's just sounded better, especialy vocals.
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Old 13th August 2004, 05:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by swirv
If you want the better sounding set, go with the Tangband based Logitech system. They do sound better. I A/B'ed them at a local BestBuy and could hear a dip in responce that sounded like a poor crossover (or none at all ) in the Klipsch. The Logi's just sounded better, especialy vocals.

The crossover is a minimal one, but make no mistake: there must be a crossover. We're not talking about piezos here but rather horns.
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Old 14th August 2004, 05:50 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, your replies have been extremely helpful. I decided to get the Logi 5300's off Amazon, and they arrived the next day (yesterday, with free shipping). They sound great and I'm really happy with the purchase.

Now, I live in a dorm, so I can't really shake the walls or floor with this sub. Is there anything I could place under the sub to minimize transferring the rumbling to neighbors?

- Jack
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