Okay, the time is finally here. I'm about to purchase an editing system from ADK, and wanted to gather some feedback from you hardware experts. Here's a link to the quote. Only two modifications have been made since that quote: I've upgraded the motherboard to support eSata and Firewire (for a camera), and will send them the SSD from my current system for OS and programs on the new machine.
This new machine will be used mainly to edit Canon DSLR footage using Premiere CS6, along with other operations involving the rest of the Creative Suite. I'm also going to purchase a Viewsonic VP2365-LED 23" with IPS panel technology for a secondary monitor. I don't have a huge budget, and this seems to be a good compromise between quality and price. I don't yet have a broadcast monitor, so I'm hopeful that this monitor will suffice until that point (I do have a Spyder 3 for calibration).
What kind of speakers do you guys use for surround sound mixing? I currently have the Logitech X-530, which I've had for years, but don't know if I should trust such an inexpensive setup for important projects. What do you guys think about the THX certified Logitech Z906?
Suggestions? Pointers? Let me know.
I bought a system from ADK recently. Looks pretty much like yours. My case is bigger, as are my drives and memory.
They chose different cooling on mine than yours. I don't know why. Different mobo but the same chip overclocked to the same speed.
In any case, after researching everything I could, I finally just decided to trust Eric at ADK. He hangs out here and I value that into the equation. I have had a couple of issues, one I wrote about (too small a UPS) and the other I needed an explanation of some BIOS settings. Both times Eric was there to rescue me. I really like that. I don't want to be a nuisance and have him cringe when he sees my name on the caller ID, but it is nice to know that they are there when I need them. And it is nice to have a reliable warranty.
I second both Baz and Steven on this. ADK is very good, Eric is a great guy for support and he knows his business. The quote you got would be my choice as well within this budget range, with maybe one exception, I would probably opt for a big tower. That is probably also the reason that Steven has different fans in his system, but that is all. The Viewsonic monitor is also a good choice. Dunno about the speakers though.
From my perspective, this is a very well composed system that will do almost all the editing tasks you throw at it very well, maybe with the exception of Red or Epic material.
Here is my take on Logitech speakers:
They are hardly the last word in sound quality, for starters. They might be OK for cueing up an audio track for inclusion into a video project and to synchronize the audio track to the video track, but they are very far from accurate enough to mix or balance or make the proper tone (bass, midrange, treble) adjustments.
i agree, depending on how important audio is you may want to consider an affordable pro level audio interface and pro studio monitors.. for a lot of people however standard computer speakers are fine..i have those logitech Z series for my home theatre love em for that.
Okay, thanks guys.
Harm, what would the advantage of the larger tower be? I'm not intending on ever even opening the case (unless I have to), and want to keep the cost down as much as possible. You know what's funny? A client just asked me to edit some Red footage for an upcoming commercial... Good ol' transcoding!
Concerning the speakers, I'm thinking somewhere in the range of $300 - $400. What 5.1 setup would you recommend in that price range? After a bit of research a came across the Energy 5.1 Take Classic- they seem to be great speakers for a good price. But would they be practical for this? Could I even connect them to this system?
I'm not Harm, but a larger tower allows for the addition of extra cooling fans and (in most cases) a larger CPU cooler and a longer graphics card. Some mid-tower cases do not allow for a sufficient number of fans or sufficiently-sized fans to cool a modern, very-hot-running PC adequately, and may restrict the maximum length of graphics cards to be used. A few mid-tower cases still cannot accommodate any graphics cards longer than 9.5 inches long (IIRC a reference GTX 670 is right at 9.5 inches long including its reference cooler) without having to remove two or more disks from the case.
True surround sound mixing requires individual channels to assign which the KRK series provide that Baz recommended. The standard consumer or entertainment level speakers use decoding similar to a standalone receiver. If you are mixing surround sound for mastering you will likely want speakers that can be configured per channel.
The major benefits of a full tower over a mid-size are:
Thanks for the info.
Regarding the KRK speakers, I have a limited budget as of now. If I had to purchase five of the individual KRK speakers, plus a subwoofer, I would blow past what I had set aside for this upgrade. Keeping to the budget, wouldn't the Energy 5.1 suffice for now? I don't need the perfect setup yet- I just need something that will work. Do these speakers directly connect to the 3.5 mm TRS output on the soundcard?
Thanks for the help guys!
Unfortunately, the Energy 5.1 speakers will not work directly off of a sound card or onboard audio. They require a separate multichannel amplifier or receiver just to even work at all. The subwoofer is powered, but the satellites and center channel are all passive - and the amp that's in the subwoofer only works on the subwoofer itself and not at all on the satellites.
I hate to say it but I took a look at ADK's prices and you can get a cheaper system basically anywhere else, especially building it yourself. They charge a premium for thorough testing and design and name brand but people who get them elsewhere do just fine too. You can go very, very wrong with Kingston value memory on an ECS board with an AMD chip and a Zotac graphics card with an AOC monitor but if you do actually know what's good and what's not, you can build a flawless system for half the price in some cases.
I've had a set of Logitech X-530's for years and the sub was too loud at even 0% gain, which should be muted if you think about it Also it was a tiny bit balanced towards the high end but they sounded amazing and I got them up to 109dB without distorting. Pretty good for a cheaper set! I've also heard the Z906's before and they're sort of the opposite but in a worse way. They didn't do much to them since they were called Z5000 series either. Their subs are perfect and get an insanely good range, especially up into the low midrange so you can hear bass guitars properly without some of their notes disappearing. The tweeters though can't get very loud without distorting and their representation of the high end is pretty bad. Back in the day I actually ran a set of both Z-5500's and X-530's together to get a balanced sound Now that they renamed that set Z906 (or Z900 series) I tested them at the store and they still didn't sound that great.
One would have to be stupid to not know you can buy a cheaper system than us.
I can list 50 reasons why not to buy cheap or build..
What you just don’t grasp is this is a professional forum. The majority of clients here have deadlines, clients pressing for finished products and make more on 1 job than the cost of the system.
Their time is worth more than the cost.
Its all about support, not just support for the hardware but also for the software.
Thus why many in here buy a NLE system from an NLE builder. Be it ADK or elsewhere..
Difference being we are far less than our competition..
Sure you can go to cyber power and save a good chunk or Dell. Good luck with that..
2ndly it is all about performance, the faster the renders the faster they are on to a new project..
Never mind compatibility with raid cards/ NLE hardware
This is why…
1. How much testing have they done with the components used or recommended and why do they recommend them? If you request certain hardware outside their scope or configuration is there a reason specific to your requirements?
2. Is the integrator aware of known compatibility issues and resolutions that save you considerable wasted amount of troubleshooting time before they happen?
3. What is the level of support offered with the system and when/where does it stop? This is often the most contested subject because of the common manufacturer B is at fault call them. Then when you call manufacturer B they say manufacturer A is at fault call them. How do you get resolution to your problem in this scenario.
4. What is the level of technical expertise at the initial contact of sales or support?
5. What is the timeframe for support escalation?
6. What is the commitment to customer resolution of issues?
7. How often do you speak to the same support staff so as to avoid lengthy delays to resolution and negative impact on your business.
8. What is the loss to business or impact on reputation by delays or loss in production? How does the support of the integrator minimize that?
9. What is the over all level of confidence you have with integrator or system builder that they honestly know your situation, workflow requirements, and support needs before, during, and after the sale.
Finally - If everything goes well without issues or failure, what is the premium cost paid to the integrator or system builder. Is that amount greater than the loss due to support issues, hardware failures, or delays over time or per incident.
As to the speakers.. again this is a professional forum.. your comments have NOTHING to do with pro level audio.. home speakers don’t cut it period.