$600 Desktop PC setup

Hey guys,

So I want to get a pair of speakers and a dac/amp for around $600. I will be pairing the speakers with a RSL Speedwoofer 10s. So the $600 budget is for speakers and dac/amp only. I have a pair of headphones that I would like to drive as well (HD598 and HD 58X if that matters).

I will primarily use this setup for gaming and listening to music. I listen to a lot of hip-hop, pop and Electronic/EDM.

I plan on putting the speakers on some speaker stands setup behind my desk. With maybe 6 to 10 inches of room behind each speaker.

Any recommendations would be very helpful.


Hi! Welcome to HFGF!

How much desk space do you have for an amp and a dac? Will this be your first set of speakers? And are you based in the US?

The answers to those questions will steer the recommendations.


…and what’s your priority for music, the headphones or the speakers?

I have about a 12" x 12" section of desk for the Amp and Dac. This will be my first set of speakers outside of the usual “PC speakers” i.e. Logitech. And I am based in the USA.

My priority for music will be the speakers.

Micca RB42, 0o0
Sony sscs5
Neumi BS5

Then spend the rest on dac audiophile amp and DSP hi/low pass filiters.

Emotiva BasX A-100 $229 direct from mfr.
ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 $250 on Amazon
Toping E30 DAC $140

Speakers have front ports so you can place them where you intend to. The Amp has RCA input and out so you can feed your sub. Right as your budget, good bass and you have a decent (very powerful) headphone amp in the Emotiva speaker amp.


Do you need passive speakers and an amp? Would powered speakers be ok? They will save you some desk space. I think we can pull this off and get you a good headphone amp upgrade at the same time for your budget.

I’m thinking a pair of JBL 305PmkII speakers ($300):


I recommend Schiit’s entry level Modi 3+ & Magni 3+ for dac, headphone amp, and speaker preamp ($200 total). If DSD decoding is important to you, the Modi 3+ can be switched out for a Topping E30 or a SMSL Sanksrit 10th Anniversary Edition.

The Magni 3+ is the important piece here, I think. You’ll use its preamp output to control the volume of the JBLs and the RSL. Split the Magni’s preamp output with a pair of these:


Get 2 RCA-to-quarter inch signal cables (does not have to be 10’ long, get the length you need, but get this TYPE of thing):


And 2 standard stereo RCA cables, one rather short, one longer.

Your connections will go like this:

Computer -> Modi 3+ via USB -> Magni 3+ input by short RCA -> split Magni 3+ output, then…

  1. use longer stereo RCA cable to send one L signal and one R signal to the Speedwoofer’s stereo RCA LR input.

  2. use the 2 mono RCA-to-1/4" cables to send one of the split L signals to the left JBL and one of the split R signals to the right JBL.

The JBLs and RSL all have individual volume controls and the RSL has a low pass filter selector on it so you can get everything humming along nicely together. Once you have the speakers and sub volumes set correctly relative to each other, the Magni will become the overall volume control.

When you want headphones, plug 'em into the Magni, and the speakers and sub will mute. Pull out the headphones, Magni controls speaker volume. All this make sense?

Yep, makes sense to me. Very thorough suggestions and instruction. And yes I am open to powered speakers, I was eyeing the Adam Audio T5Vs after doing a little more digging around. Would these be a substantial upgrade over those JBLs? I don’t mind going over budget a little.

T5V is another excellent choice. I personally don’t know if Adam is better than JBL, but you’re good either way.

After looking closer at Speedwoofer, it looks to me like it has an rca in/out loop. So you skip the rca splitter above. Just run one stereo rca cable from Magni preout to RSL and then from the RSL’s analog out to the main speakers. This will allow you to use the RSL’s internal crossover and blend everything together more cleanly.

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Would you mind reiterating which cables and how to connect everything again? My planned setup will consist of Adam Audio T5V, RSL Speedwoofer 10S, Schiit Modi 3+ with Magni Heresy. I just want to make sure I am wiring everything correctly.

Sweet setup! :+1:

You’re gonna need 1 short stereo RCA cable, 1 longer stereo RCA cables, and 2 longer mono RCA cables. The links are just the type of thing you need, you don’t have to buy those exact units. The short stereo cable goes from the Modi’s RCA output to the Magni’s RCA input. The longer stereo cable goes from the Magni’s preout to the Speedwoofer’s “Line In”. This might be the trickier part so here’s a pic:

In the lower right of that back panel you see 4 RCA plugs. The top 2 are for Line In. The left channel of that Line In splits duties with the LFE signal - which is more for home theater use but when both L & R are used here it will work great for a home stereo setup. Use your longer RCA cable to go from Magni Preout to both the L & R of this Line In. Then, right below that RSL Line In you see L & R line out. Use the mono cables to from L out here to the L Adam speaker and the RSL R out to go to the right Adam speaker. Done.

Make sure you have a micro USB cable to connect the Modi to the PC too, and a power strip that will accomodate everything (both Adam speakers will need to be plugged into wall power).

I’m excited for you. Enjoy! Please report back how it all works out.

Thank you very much! And will do once everything is set up!

Another great option would be to buy a set of studio monitors like the Adam T5V as you were already looking at or something like the Kali LP-6 as I own (great monitor for the price) and pair it with an audio interface like the Motu M2 which already has an internal DAC and headphone amp that could power your headphones, but it would also give you mic inputs on the front if you wanted to up your mic game and use an XLR mic for better audio quality while chatting in game.

You would then need 2 XLR to TRS cables to connect your studio monitors to the interface, an RCA cable to connect the interface to the subwoofer, then an RCA cable to connect the subwoofer to the studio monitors.