Upgrading Stereo For Bluetooth/Laptop/Modeler Options

pompeii0

Member
Messages
479
I am upgrading my 20 year old bookshelf stereo system and would like to get something that would allow me to connect the following:

-Laptop (from the headphone out)
-Bluetooth receiver (or the new system could have Bluetooth built in)
-Guitar modeler (looking at Headrush/Helix)

And have headphone out for silent listening late at night.

Would a small mixer and some powered speakers be a better option or is there an all in one that would meet my needs?

Thanks!
 

bluesuede

Documented Miscreant
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1,559
Budget? What file type or streaming service with you be playing from the laptop? Any space considerations?
 

pompeii0

Member
Messages
479
I would like to keep the budget down as much as possible, maybe $300-500 range max. The laptop would be audio from YouTube, CD, DVD and video formats such as mp4.
 

bluesuede

Documented Miscreant
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1,559
Here is a system that will set you back $405.99 with a nice external DAC. If you choose not to get the DAC, $286.

I own the DAC and am very happy with it. Connecting your laptop to the DAC via USB and then into a receiver/amplifier will sound far better than using the headphone output. I don't have an experience with any modelers, but it looks like the Helix has a spdif out, which I would think you can run into the DAC into the receiver.

I don't have any experience with the receiver and speakers, but both are rated very highly for the price. The speakers are regularly priced at $149, are currently on sale for $118, and sometime go on sale for as low as $75. A couple members here have the receiver and are very happy with it. It has Bluetooth built in and an input on the front if you choose to forgo the DAC and use your laptop's headphone out.






 

pompeii0

Member
Messages
479
Would something like that be better/worse/same as using a small mixer>power amp>speakers or mixer>powered speakers?
 

bluesuede

Documented Miscreant
Messages
1,559
If it is primarily for listening, yes. If you are looking mostly to say along with recorded music, then using a mixer into powered studio monitors may be better. Not having any experience with Helix type device, I'm not sure how that would sound through the system I suggested.
 

funkle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
393
I've got a similar setup to what you are describing using a Yamaha AG06 mixer. It seems to be designed for this exact scenario, so works perfectly. I use it in conjunction with a Desktop (via an outboard DAC > RCA in) , Fractal (1/4" in), tablet (via lightning > USB) and variable monitor out to a power amp/speakers. But you could configure things in many different ways. I can individually mix all 3 inputs simultaneously. It has a headphone out as well.

I will mention that I'm using high end hi-fi bookshelf speakers (Mark & Daniel Sapphire), and the guitar tones via the Fractal are phenomenally good - so much better than the Genelec studio monitors, or Atomic FRFR speakers. Lower levels of course. Using the Suhr Badger model, I'm finally getting the tone I've always had in my head.
 
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