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Thread: "Mac Mini in the Kitchen" - audio questions

  1. #1
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    "Mac Mini in the Kitchen" - audio questions

    Greetings guys,

    Doing a bit different project - in the kitchen, in stead. What's the best audio option I got here with Mac Mini? Mainly it's for listening/watching Front Row and TV/FM (EyeTV Hybrid) during the kitchen time. I'm not really after room-shaking sound but don't wanna make missus' favorite tunes complete crap (and be cursed for spending money on rubbish; you know woman - everything is "bad spending" if not in their interest) either.

    Anyway, I'm thinking this amp:
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=260292781168

    with this speakers:
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=37982

    Do you think this gonna work? Do I [really] also need a separate sub-woofer? Don't wanna spend too much money on this. Any other suggestion(s)/idea?
    Another question: I see, Mac Mini Line-in is not actually mic-in - so how can I get mic in? the mic gonna be flush mounted in the wall, so probably won't be able to use a powered one. what else can I do?

    Thanks in advance for your time and help. Cheers!!!

  2. #2
    FLAC
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    are u under any budget constraints?
    because neither the amp or the speakers are very.
    For in house use, get yourself an inexpensive receiver + some small speakers, and it'll sound a lot better than that setup, though probally more expensive.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punky View Post
    are u under any budget constraints?
    Just don't wanna spend a lot for only couple of hrs. a day use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Punky
    because neither the amp or the speakers are very.
    I guess you wanted to say: "neither ...... very good" and I don't doubt on that. I used one of the eBay buyers and he said it's okay.
    BTW, I found another one: http://cpc.farnell.com/CP04668/car-l...ku=juice-js-53 - is this any better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Punky
    For in house use, get yourself an inexpensive receiver + some small speakers, and it'll sound a lot better than that setup, though probally more expensive.
    It depends upon the size of the receiver - I haven't seen any small sized receiver yet. It gonna be a totally separate system and can't use anything more than 6/7" length. The MacMini, receiver/amp, powered USB hub all going to be wall mounted in a 400x250x120mm box, so everything should be compact. I though about small wall mounted multimedia/computer speakers but with no luck. Anything can any one suggest? cheers!!!

  4. #4
    FLAC
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    I'll say this now, i might sound like i'm bashing your idea, but i'm really just trying to help. I just don't think ur amp/speaker combination will give very good sound. And to think if its going to wall mounted, each time you make changes, it'll probaly be a hassle, so i think doing it right the first time is a good idea.

    So i think your two best options are: computer speakers, or car audio amp/speakers(not the ebay one)
    Computer speakers: theres many choices, even though i can't recommend any off my head. They're small, relatively inexpensive, and sound very nice most of the times.
    Car audio amp/speakers: This is a bit of a hobbyist project, which i think you probally are, since you are on this forum. My idea is: get an old ATX psu, and turn it into 12V constant PSU (like your car battery)
    http://www.instructables.com/id/ATX-...ly-Conversion/
    Then buy urself a nice 2/4 channel car audio amp + speakers and you got urself a fun project to do. Relatively easy too. This way, u have about ~200Watts worth of power in 2 small boxes.

  5. #5
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    Hi Punky,
    thanks for your suggestions. I know are trying to help; I really appreciate it. I do agree with you that doing right from the beginning is the best beat.

    I'm not too much into car audio (always relied on "Audi sound") so, almost 0 experience with that. Getting an old ATX power supply is not that hard for me, even I can get a super sleek one from one the decommissioned rack-mounted Dell (if that helps in terms of space saving). Thanks for the link; I'm definitely gonna give a try.

    A few of the computer speakers are sound good (e.g. Creative Inspire T10) but the problem is most of them are not wall mountable.

    BTW, do you think, either of these amps:
    http://12704.hotdigital.eu/100-Watt-...9_p1009_x2.htm
    http://12704.hotdigital.eu/300W-powe...3_p1192_x2.htm
    http://12704.hotdigital.eu/Auna-300-...83_p984_x2.htm

    will do a better job? Any suggestion on a pair of inexpensive 3-way (does 2-way make any significant difference) car speakers? Cheers!!!

  6. #6
    FLAC
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    Personally, i really like creative computer speakers, but to make it wall mount you'll probably have to take it out of the casing and install it into the wall, which may degrade the sound quality. You'd have to make judgement on that
    As for the car amp/speaker router. I'd say those amps are good as nothing, get something from reputable names. like this one is relatively cheap: http://cgi.ebay.com/Pioneer-GM-3300T...d=p3286.c0.m14
    and it'll probably does a really good job. Speaker wise though, you're going to have to ask someone else whose more up to date with the audio stuff, i personally don't really know.

    Hope that helps.

  7. #7
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    Hi Punky,

    Can you check this out for me pls - that's what I'm going to buy I guess.

    amp : http://www.kenwood-electronics.co.uk...-5203/details/
    Speakers: http://www.kenwood-electronics.co.uk...1361S/details/

    I hope, Kenwood should be okay. Any idea if these speakers are compatible with the above amp? Is it true that the rated input power of the speakers should be grater than the max. output power of the amp? Can anyone help me with this please? Thanks in advance. Cheers!!!

  8. #8
    FLAC
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    The amp is a decent amp, i had a similar amp in my car, and i liked it.
    The speakers are ok too, definitely better than the other no name brands.
    The reason why speaker input should be lower than amp's output is because the amp could potentially blow the speaker out, but most of the time its ok if u don't crank the gain on the amp. But this speaker is actually rated at higher power than the amp at 4ohms. So this combo should be fine. If anyone else has a better idea for the price range, please correct me. Like i said before, i'm not a big audiophile.

  9. #9
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    I contacted the Kenwood support and they have said he same thing - these speakers should be okay with this amp.
    I think I've another problem here - how do I power up the amp? I went through Punky's idea of converting an ATX psu to 12V constant PSU but wondering if it's really gonna work. Isn't that the car stuff runs on a lower voltage with higher amps? Should a computer power supply be suitable for that purpose? Cheers!!!

  10. #10
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    Just match the necessary amplifier wattage with the PSU's output on the 12v rail and you will be fine. Alternatively, you can use an AC to DC power supply like these.

    More info in the FAQ here.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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