Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Need help with speakers and soundcard

Last response: in Components
Share
August 22, 2006 9:45:09 PM

Hi, this is the PC I intend to build (mainly for gaming and music as I'll be going to uni ;P);

Btw I am British so unfortunately I don't have newegg, however there is scan.co.uk which I shall probably use for most of my components.

Intel core 2 duo E6400/E6600
Corsair 2GB TWIN2X2048-5400/6400
250 Gb Samsung SP2514N SpinPoint P120
Pioneer DVR-111
Plextor Black PX130A/T3BPB 16x DVD-ROM + 52x CD-ROM (oem)
Thermaltake Tsunami va3000swa
Thermaltake W0116RB 750W Toughpower Psu
Razer copperhead mouse
X-fi etreme music
20.1" Viewsonic VX2025wm widescreen
Sapphire ATI RADEON X1900XT
Asus P5W DH Deluxe

I have already posted this but there wasn't much response to it so I would apprechiate it if anyone could give me any advice.

At the moment though my main concern is the speakers and sound card. I can get X-fi music extreme for around £50 leaving around £60-70 for the speakers. I would really like to get 5.1 speakers yet I have heard bad reviews about the X-530 so could anyone suggest any others in this price range (bearing in mind that this is in the UK).

Also I could get the audigy 2 zs for around £20 and spend the extra on the speakers or I could just fork out more for both x-fi and the speakers but the maximum for speakers would have to be £100. What's the best route?

More about : speakers soundcard

August 23, 2006 4:11:29 AM

What will you be using your computer for? From the looks of it, you're going to do some pretty serious gaming with it. Like you proposed, I would get the Audigy and use the money for a better speaker system. Just a thought!
August 23, 2006 4:33:00 AM

actually... if youre serious about the sound... you could honestly forgo the add on sound card entirely, and look to invest in set of quality bookshelf speakers, and an inexpensive 5.1 surround receiver to power them... ...that will give you 'much' better sound than a pc speaker set will, which can also cost considerably more too (oddly enough)... and you can connect your sound outputs via a 1/8" mini to rca stereo adapter, or an optical/coaxial cable to the receiver for digital output

you can definetly get a bargain in price if you shop around though, and im sure a few members here can even recommend some quality speakers

in addition though, the speakers/receiver can be used with more than just your computer anyhow, if you did decide to use them elsewhere... seeing as how theyll more than likely outlast your current build anyhow

bookshelves or floorstandings with a receiver are definetly the way to go though... well worth it

and, later on you could invest in a better sound card too when you get the money together (or additional speakers for surround to complete the surround sound field)... a sound card does have an impact, but not nearly as much as the speakers themselves do.

also, as far as the speaker quality... matching sound characteristics can have an impact, eg, the speakers will sound different from one another if the qualities between them are different by much... but, again... even if the characteristics arent identical... theyll still be very audibly superior to a pc speaker set
Related resources
August 23, 2006 8:07:42 AM

Thanks for the help guys. The problem is that I have never had decent pc speakers so I don't know whether I would be able to tell the difference between medium quality and high quality speakers.

with the bookshelf speakers, at the moment I own a sony mhc nx1 would the speakers on that be better than low-medium end pc speaker? Sorry but I hadn't even thought of using bookshelf speakers so I know nothing about it. If those speakers aren't great then which speakers would you recommend?
August 23, 2006 11:41:20 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the help guys. The problem is that I have never had decent pc speakers so I don't know whether I would be able to tell the difference between medium quality and high quality speakers.

with the bookshelf speakers, at the moment I own a sony mhc nx1 would the speakers on that be better than low-medium end pc speaker? Sorry but I hadn't even thought of using bookshelf speakers so I know nothing about it. If those speakers aren't great then which speakers would you recommend?


i read a few brief reviews on it just now, people gave numerous compliments as far as how it sounds... i seriously think youll be much better off using your existing amp and speakers that you mentioned, for your computers sound, rather than investing in a set of lower acoustic quality pc speakers... as long as it has a couple of rca jacks on the back (which im sure it does)... ...it may not be a surround amplifier, but the audio quality is already far above and beyond what you would get otherwise with what you were considering purchasing

as far as going with surround speakers, at this point it would be optional considering what you already have... i still think, if you are going to consider going surround (definetly a worthwhile consideration), i would still look for a surround receiver then (5.1 or better)... and purchase speakers seperately (more expensive)... or go for an all in one home theatre surround speaker receiver set up (typically more affordable in comparison)... the quality will still be acceptable even then (as far as speakers go, because all in one home theatre sets are typically somewhat cheaper quality in regards to the speakers they provide, basically a bundled deal to put it bluntly)... though i honestly cant say thats a univeral fact, depending on the all in one home theatre set offered, the speakers may actually be quite good

all you need to be able to start using your current amp and speakers with your computer... is the 1/8" mini to rca stereo adapter and a left and right channel rca cable (make sure the adapter is stereo, and not mono if you go to buy one... its signified by the rings around the end of the 1/8" connector, 2 rings is stereo, 1 ring is mono)... you can get those at places like radio shack (always the first place that comes to mind, lol, but theyre not the cheapest though either by any means, the adapter there will cost maybe $3-4 or so, and a generic stereo rca cable maybe a dollar or so, unless you already have one)... also, make sure the rca cables are long enough to reach from your amp to your computer... it would kinda suck if the cable was too short... you might end up having to buy one then anyhow, unless you wouldnt mind moving things around then... which might actually be a better idea, to get the speakers situated around your computer listening area more

either or though... whichever route is most affordable, and offers an acceptable price/quality compromise... if youre fine with 2 channel stereo, then what you have will work just fine in all honesty :) 
August 23, 2006 12:22:59 PM

Thanks, you've given me alot to think about. Lol, this is going to be more complex then the rest of the comp.

I'll do abit more research before I make my choice but as my speakers at the moment do have corresponding surround sound satelites (if I can find some used ones) I might stick with that and get a reciever.

With the sound card what would you say the difference is between the audigy 2 zs and the on board sound is, as asus boast about its on board sound with the p5w dh and also the difference between the audigy 2 zs and the x-fi extreme music.
August 23, 2006 1:00:59 PM

Quote:
Thanks, you've given me alot to think about. Lol, this is going to be more complex then the rest of the comp.

I'll do abit more research before I make my choice but as my speakers at the moment do have corresponding surround sound satelites (if I can find some used ones) I might stick with that and get a reciever.

With the sound card what would you say the difference is between the audigy 2 zs and the on board sound is, as asus boast about its on board sound with the p5w dh and also the difference between the audigy 2 zs and the x-fi extreme music.


its not complex so much really, though i do tend to make things unintentionally sound that way alot of times...

okay, research would be good... your cheapest option certainly is to just stick with what you have, and actually... before making any additional expensive audio purchases, i would just connect your amp to your computer as it is to see if you like it... if not, then you would have more of an idea at that point of what you would be looking for...

the main reason for pc speakers sets subpar sound is mainly due to how small and lightweight they are... mainly just so theyre more asthetically pleasing for use with a computer, and can fit in smaller areas on your desk and such... but as a result, the audio quality suffers 'big time'... more limited frequency range and accuracy... acoustic dispersion radius is very narrow, a 'beam' basically... if its not pointed directly at your ears at all times, the sound quality becomes reduced, 'muffled' almost... with bookshelves/floorstandings though, you can move around, and hear the same sound for the most part nomatter where you are (as long as youre still in front of the speakers some i mean)

actually, im using a similar type of set up to what were discussing, with my computer... its in my signature... ...it has 2 front floorstandings, 2 side surround floorstandings, and microsatellite center and rear surrounds... no powered sub though... its being lent out, lol... and then a 6.1 a/v receiver (with a 'cloned' rear surround channel, for 7.1 channels)... ...when i listen to any other computer speakers though... im just like, 'ugh...' lol

im alittle confused by what you meant by your current speakers also have corresponding surround connections... ...do you mean your pc speakers do?... or your stereo amp does?

as far as sound card, youll be better off with the audigy over onboard, theres a noticable improvement there definetly... ...i was only saying to forgo buying one, to save up money to invest in your speaker set up... as thats where a great majority of the quality would come from... and most everything else for improvements is more negligable

as a personal preference on sound cards, if youre investing in an a/v amplifier later... a DDL or DTS interactive encoding sound card works quite well over a digital connection, as a card like that can do something no creative card can do (true 5.1 surround for all sounds over a digital connection in realtime, creatives cards can only get 2 channels that way... 5.1 digital surround makes for quite the gaming experience, IMO, music consequently benefits a great deal from it as well too)... but, those cards are slightly more expensive than an audigy 2... ...but worth looking into if youre possibly going to invest in an a/v surround receiver later on, companies such as turtle beach and auzentech make them
August 23, 2006 1:33:35 PM

Hey SEan,
take a good look at the Logitech Z-5500's. They have a desktop controller that decodes digital 5.1, the sub kicks A@@, and they sound awsome. I'm NOT a fanboy for these speakers but I WILL give credit where it's due. For the money you will get an awsome set of speakers. Here's my setup.

EDIT: if you want more specifics...just send me a PM and I will reply today


RIG specs
Antec P180 PerformanceSeries Mid-Tower Case
SeaSonic S12 600 watt power supply
Asus A8N32 SLI mobo socket 939 AMD N-Force 4 SLIX16 (bios 1103 V02.58)
RealTek 97 onboard digital 5.1 Surround
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Toledo Core, 2 X 1mb L2 cache (AMD driver 1.3.1.0 w/MS hotfix & AMD Dual Core Optimizer)
2 gigs of Corsair TwinX3500LL Pro @ 437Mhz 2-3-2-6-1T
2- BFG 7900 GT OC 256mb in SLI (nvidia driver 91.31)
Western Digital RAPTOR 74.3 gig 10-K rpm HDD for XP & Apps
Maxtor SATA II 250 G HDD for gaming, movies, MP3's
Maxtor SATA II 250 G HDD for document backup (unplugged)
Sony CDrom 52X
Plextor 708-A DVD/CD rom
Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 THX 500watts
August 23, 2006 1:42:26 PM

Quote:
Hey SEan,
take a good look at the Logitech Z-5500's. They have a desktop controller that decodes digital 5.1, the sub kicks A@@, and they sound awsome. I'm NOT a fanboy for these speakers but I WILL give credit where it's due. For the money you will get an awsome set of speakers. Here's my setup.

RIG specs
Antec P180 PerformanceSeries Mid-Tower Case
SeaSonic S12 600 watt power supply
Asus A8N32 SLI mobo socket 939 AMD N-Force 4 SLIX16 (bios 1103 V02.58)
RealTek 97 onboard digital 5.1 Surround
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Toledo Core, 2 X 1mb L2 cache (AMD driver 1.3.1.0 w/MS hotfix & AMD Dual Core Optimizer)
2 gigs of Corsair TwinX3500LL Pro @ 437Mhz 2-3-2-6-1T
2- BFG 7900 GT OC 256mb in SLI (nvidia driver 91.31)
Western Digital RAPTOR 74.3 gig 10-K rpm HDD for XP & Apps
Maxtor SATA II 250 G HDD for gaming, movies, MP3's
Maxtor SATA II 250 G HDD for document backup (unplugged)
Sony CDrom 52X
Plextor 708-A DVD/CD rom
Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 THX 500watts


i realize the onboard sound card is pointed out as having 5.1 digital output, like audigys do... but thats also misleading by the companies as well... ...unless the card itself can actually encode the sounds into a dolby digital or dts stream (indicated by DDL or DTS interactive)... ...the sound will then only come out as 2 channel pcm... and matrixed surround is the best you can get at that point

the only way you can get 5.1 surround though over a digital output, is with a dolby digital (ac-3) or dts encoded signal (such as with dvds when you have spdif passthrough enabled on your card, or with the ddl/dts encoding cards)... the external digital signal decoder (or in your case your speakers)... the decoder can then make use of that signal, distributing all 6+ encoded channels to the proper speakers... ...but without that encoded signal, you only get 2 discrete channels then, to your front left and right speakers... and the surround channels are matrixed at best, such as is the case with dolby surround, dts:neo6, and all versions of EAX for example
August 23, 2006 2:17:45 PM

Thats great info about ddl and dts, I would have felt quite annoyed had I found that out afterwards. Btw I'm a complete n00b when it comes to speakers so although it doesn't sound that complex I just have no idea about it.

With "current speakers also have corresponding surround connections" I meant my nx1 speakers, they make the same model but with surround sound called nx3av and quite often the extra speakers for that model get sold on ebay.co.uk, in fact there is one ending in two days.

Yeah the logitech's z-5500 seems to be great, I would love to get those but there around £150 on ebay.co.uk. Btw paybax nice specs :) , I would have gone for something very similar a month ago but now conroe is out :) 

Ok I have looked around at DDL and DTS sound cards and found HDA Digital X-Mystique at £54.40 from overclockers (http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/HDA_Sound_Cards....). It seems to have good reviews and is in my price range. What do you guys/girls think?

With 7.1 that means I can also use anything below that eg. 5.1 or 2.1 right, or I am I completely wrong?
August 23, 2006 2:31:33 PM

its okay though, all have to start somewhere :) 

actually then, since the there are surround speakers being made speficially for your amplifier and its speakers... the speaker qualities are then matched to your front speakers more than likely, so no speakers would sound different from one another really... which is a good thing to have... its bad when one sounds muddled, and another sounds bright, and another sounds bass heavy, and another sounds quiet... stuff like that, so matching speakers is good

if youre able to get a deal on them, like you were saying... i think that would definetly be the way to go... ...probably even cheaper that way too (since you already have more than half of what you would need to get 5.1 surround anyhow)

the only thing im wondering about though, is if your current amplifier has a digital input on it, coaxial or optical... if it doesnt, then no big deal really... ...it just means that in order to take advantage of any digital audio connections (for watching dvds or whatever, or ddl/dts encoding cards), you would need to purchase an a/v surround receiver... ...then afterwards, you could switch all your speakers over to the a/v amplifier... ...then your current amp, well... i dunno, lol... a preamp then?... ...actually, this is all just assuming you dont have a digital input on your current amp
August 23, 2006 2:40:15 PM

Hmm. Not good :(  I just checked my speakers to find that they only connected by two wires, not cables but wires, as in the common everyday copper wire that is used for anything electrical. There are no other inputs. I'm guessing that excludes them from the equation.
August 23, 2006 2:42:11 PM

well, the speakers themselves only have copper wires, a positive and a negative wire... but the back of the amplifier should have at least a pair of analog rca inputs on it... ...the rca inputs typically protrude about a quarter inch from the back, and are usually colored red (right channel) and white (left channel)... one for each rca cable
August 23, 2006 2:52:20 PM

Lol. Ok so the amplifier has three sets of rca inputs for different things. I'm guessing that means no digital input. Could I then buy another amp that does, any idea of how much that would cost (sorry thats a bit vague)?
August 23, 2006 3:05:02 PM

yep, those are the analog stereo inputs :p  lol

as far as the price of an a/v amplifier, all you would need to know is your budget really (since you already know youre wanting digital inputs, and surround sound, and anything else is really extra at this point)... cuz they can go anywhere from under $100 for a used one, to tens of thousands (random number lol)... but honestly, they can get extremely expensive... but there should definetly be quite a few under 100 either way if you look on ebay... ...a new one typically runs around $150-200 at the cheapest if youre looking to purchase at a store... which might actually be a better idea i think than ebay, because of the stores return policy and such (depending on the store too i guess)... plus the guarantee that it wont be DOA, unlike over ebay... so, maybe a store online, or around where you live... online would probably be alot easier, as far as browsing around for different receivers anyhow... and you can get a feel for what each one has that falls in your budget
August 23, 2006 3:07:51 PM

Thanks, I do some research into then. Btw I edited one of my replies to include this which you might not have seen.

Ok I have looked around at DDL and DTS sound cards and found HDA Digital X-Mystique at £54.40 from overclockers (http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/HDA_Sound_Cards....). It seems to have good reviews and is in my price range. What do you guys/girls think?

With 7.1 that means I can also use anything below that eg. 5.1 or 2.1 right, or I am I completely wrong?
August 23, 2006 3:18:33 PM

forgot about that, was responding, but closed the window on accident, lol...

the X-mystique you pointed out is actually the same card i have as far as the chipset, mine is just made by a different company is all... both are ddl capable cards (not dts interactive though)

as far as sound quality, i can honestly say it sounds excellent... i purchased it with an intent to actually replace the audigy 2 zs that i had, cuz i was tired of not having true surround from it at all, it was always simulated (i tried the 5.1 analog connection route before with it too, i wasnt impressed)... and since then, i havent looked back, i put the audigy in a relatives computer... and im more than happy with it compared to what i had with the audigy

as far as 7.1 though, that only applies to the analog connections... but it does mean that you can use any combination less than that... 7.1 contains 8 seperate analog cables, and you can go all the way down to 1 cable if you felt like it... as such, you would have to have up to 7 speakers and a sub to make use of the 7.1 analog output

for digital, the highest you can go is 5.1 with ddl, which is over a single cable

also, as a seperate issue, but still involving different amounts of channels... even though the most the card can output with ddl is 5.1, the a/v receiver can very possibly upmix that up to 6.1 (or even 7.1), with dolby digital ex (if the receiver supports that), but you would need to have that many speakers for it to matter much anyhow
August 23, 2006 3:45:29 PM

Thanks, you've been a real help, it would have taken hours to find this out.

Btw there is a creative 550 THX speaker system on ebay.co.uk (I know, I know :roll: ) that a few days ago went for £50 and I reckon it go for £50-70 would this be worth getting or not.
August 23, 2006 3:47:46 PM

hey bud, i've had a quick scan through your posts and stuff sounds like your doing the right thing with getting a better sound card on board never has the grunt in the audio that you get from a purchased sounds card.

On the lines of uni and sound etc, i only have a stereo setup i used to have a surround sound satellite setup with a sub, but something wasn't there in the audio so switched them off and just used my NAD amp and mission speakers, perfect for halls when your corridors getting ready to go out, all the ladies coming in changing the music ;) 

However, here's a thought i'm not sure if its been mentioned as i said i only had a scan through, get the satellites and have your sony system connected aswell have them both running at the same time, if your conencting the satellites digitally it'll be easy cause u'll have a free front jack, whack ur stereo in there via aux, if they're analog connected use a splitter, you can get away with it on a high quality card. Should sound proper beating
August 23, 2006 3:48:44 PM

lol, well, truthfully i cant say its a bad thing to invest in them... ...but for the price compared to what we were talking over... that may just be the better route to go then
August 23, 2006 3:50:24 PM

forgot to mention ebuyer.co.uk <put the www in front> have excellent prices
August 23, 2006 3:56:04 PM

time for me to head to bed... almost 9am, backwards hours, i know, lol
August 23, 2006 4:01:30 PM

I am starting to get more exited about the sound system than the pc, lol.

I have tried ebuyer before and didn't find them too cheap but I forgot about them recently, so thanks and interesting concept about the music in the hall, it must be tried! :D  Also it's 5pm here, just for interests sake.
August 23, 2006 5:47:16 PM

Creative 550 THX.... just another 'PC Speaker' package. The THX logo isnt worth the ink its printed with, the THX specification includes several different electronic filters, which in my opinion cut too much of the high frequency response.

I use a THX Ultra3 approved (the highest home standard) AV system, and to be totally honest, I have the THX system disabled and just run pure Dolby Digital, or DTS (when available). Adding the THX filters makes the sound too soft for my taste.

There's some pretty rubbish THX approved gear around these days.

Another vote for bookshelf speakers, and a hifi amp here. My personal selection Audiolab 8000S, and Mission 750LEs. Left overs from hifi 'upgraditis' but sure sound better than any PC speakers I've ever heard.

500W on the logitech PC speakers. Perhaps, but power statistics are very easy to manipulate for 'marketting'. Distortion figures missing, conditions of test missing (can it drive full power to all speakers at once, or is it limited etc)

Power alone is a poor guide to the quality of audio equipment.
August 23, 2006 5:51:31 PM

Hey Choir,
I read your thread....and since I really don't know much about that area, are you saying that I am NOT REALLY getting a digital sig out of my rig??
And that if I get a... let's say an X-FI, only THEN will I have True digital sound?
I really get confused about this crap :?

EDIT; See...The way I understand it, the built in decoder desktop controller is what converts the sound to dolby digital. Am I gettin this right?


RIG specs
Antec P180 PerformanceSeries Mid-Tower Case
SeaSonic S12 600 watt power supply
Asus A8N32 SLI mobo socket 939 AMD N-Force 4 SLIX16 (bios 1103 V02.58)
RealTek 97 onboard digital 5.1 Surround
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Toledo Core, 2 X 1mb L2 cache (AMD driver 1.3.1.0 w/MS hotfix & AMD Dual Core Optimizer)
2 gigs of Corsair TwinX3500LL Pro @ 437Mhz 2-3-2-6-1T
2- BFG 7900 GT OC 256mb in SLI (nvidia driver 91.31)
Western Digital RAPTOR 74.3 gig 10-K rpm HDD for XP & Apps
Maxtor SATA II 250 G HDD for gaming, movies, MP3's
Maxtor SATA II 250 G HDD for document backup (unplugged)
Sony CDrom 52X
Plextor 708-A DVD/CD rom
Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 THX 500watts
August 24, 2006 1:57:40 AM

Quote:
Hey Choir,
I read your thread....and since I really don't know much about that area, are you saying that I am NOT REALLY getting a digital sig out of my rig??
And that if I get a... let's say an X-FI, only THEN will I have True digital sound?
I really get confused about this crap :?


Whenever you are confused about something, generally wikipedia helps.

Here are some clarifications on what digital is.

Digital is 1s and 0s. When mp3s (or whatever else sound format) rests on your harddrive, they are 1s or 0s.

There are two ways to feed that digital signal to your speakers.

1) If you use the standard analog connection (1/8" stereo mini cables). The digital 1s and 0s on your hard drive are first converted to low voltage analog waveforms (electrical energy) *by your sound card*, transfers through the cable, which is then sent to your amplifier, which increases the power to the signal before feeding them to the final stage, the speakers. If you own PC speakers, generally the amp is located in the subwoofer section.

2) If you use the digital out, the 1s and 0s remain as 1s and 0s while transfering through the cable, and are sent to a decoder, whereby it is converted to low voltage analog waveforms *by the decoder* and then sent to the amplifier, which then powers up the signal, and sends it to the final stage, the speakers.

The only difference between the two, is that between the conversion and amp stage, the signal had already been converted to analog.

Generally, you want to use your best DAC. So if you have a better (digital to analog converter) at the decoder end, you want digital. If you have a better DAC at the front end (the sound card), then you want analog. In this case, there's a tradeoff in either case, the soundcards will almost always have a better DAC than the one on the Logitechs, but there is quite a bit of EMI in the computer where the DAC conversion takes place, so there is added line noise. If you have to know which one is better, then you'll have to test it out yourself, but either way its likely a very minor difference.

As for a "True Digital Soundcard" I have no idea what that is, but if you merely mean it has a digital output ability, that probably qualifies about 95% of the soundcards on the market.

Quote:

EDIT; See...The way I understand it, the built in decoder desktop controller is what converts the sound to dolby digital. Am I gettin this right?


If you are talking about Dolby Digital Live cards, an onboard hardware encoder takes analog channels and compresses them into the lossy Dolby Digital Live format.

Dolby Digital is a marketting moniker for a multichannel algorithm has compresses 6+ channels into roughly 80kbps per channel. It's certainly not a lossless algorithm, but for those who don't mind gaming with lossy gaming audio in order to either avoid the soundcard DAC or to use digital in order to maintain less conversion loss with a receiver system.
August 24, 2006 9:46:15 AM

Quote:
Hey Choir,
I read your thread....and since I really don't know much about that area, are you saying that I am NOT REALLY getting a digital sig out of my rig??
And that if I get a... let's say an X-FI, only THEN will I have True digital sound?
I really get confused about this crap :?

EDIT; See...The way I understand it, the built in decoder desktop controller is what converts the sound to dolby digital. Am I gettin this right?


well, when an audio signal is output over a coaxial or optical cable... its sent as a digital signal... so that part is correct... BUT, and the huge but here, is that you wont be getting the surround youre probably hoping for... UNLESS the signal being sent out is in dolby digital (aka AC-3), or dts... without either of those 2 signals being sent out, youll strictly get a pcm signal (only 2 channel stereo sound) sent to your speakers... ...your speakers on the other hand, are able to add simulated channels to that pcm signal, to give the 'appearance' of having surround... but its not the discrete 5.1 you were probably thinking it was

you should try playing a dvd on your computer, and listen to the difference through your speakers... ...with dvds encoded in dolby digital, you get 6 seperate discrete channels... with dvds encoded in dts, you get 7 seperate discrete channels

but, otherwise, when youre playing games and music and stuff on your computer over a digital connection, you really are only listening to 2 channel stereo... its still digital though (as a pcm signal), but not dolby digital 5.1

the x-fi you mentioned is not capable of encoding in dolby digital (no creative cards are)... such as, when using a digital cable with it, it can still only send out a pcm signal in almost all cases (save for dvds and such that i mentioned)

to get the digital signal youre looking for, for all of your games and music and such, you need to have a card that can encode the sound into 5.1 dolby digital or 5.1 dts... the cards we mentioned above can do just that (any card that features dolby digital live, or dts interactive, such as the x-mystique, or montego ddl, or the x-plosion)... ...but again, no creative cards are capable of it
August 24, 2006 12:34:01 PM

Sorry, I still need help :? Once the sound card encode the audio signal then how does it travel to the speaker? Sorry I'm not making myself clear, but does the output from the sound card have to be digital to get the benefit of DDL or can it be analog. If it does have to be digital then where is the signal decoded, at the amp, or does there have to be a reciever before the amp? Also the amp uses RCA cables, right, so what in between the amp and the speakers as they are connected via copper wire (not that there isn't copper wire in the RCA cable though ;p).

Btw I thought you explaination of DDL/DTS was excellent both times.
August 24, 2006 7:26:16 PM

Quote:
Sorry, I still need help :? Once the sound card encode the audio signal then how does it travel to the speaker? Sorry I'm not making myself clear, but does the output from the sound card have to be digital to get the benefit of DDL or can it be analog. If it does have to be digital then where is the signal decoded, at the amp, or does there have to be a reciever before the amp? Also the amp uses RCA cables, right, so what in between the amp and the speakers as they are connected via copper wire (not that there isn't copper wire in the RCA cable though ;p).

Btw I thought you explaination of DDL/DTS was excellent both times.


youre welcome :) 

and yep, the sound has to be streamed over a digital connection in order to make use of DDL or DTS... it wont work over an analog connection

the ddl/dts/pcm/digital signal is decoded when it gets to the digital signal decoder, aka digital signal processor, aka DSP, which is typically also contained in the amplifier itself... usually the terms a/v receiver and amplifier are interchangable in this sense, as almost all amplifiers nowdays are digital (home theatre amplifiers anyhow)... ...so, for the most part, all youll see on the outside is a receiver/amplifier that is capable of making use of a digital signal... by converting and then sending that digital signal out to your speakers, as an analog sound... ...you cant hear digital sound per say, so, it has to be converted to an analog sound first

as far as whats between the amplifier, and the speakers... really, the only thing is the copper speaker wires (since most speakers are passive, and dont need to be powered at all, aside from a powered sub for example, whichcase, you would have a seperate power cable then for just the sub, and possibly an rca cable for it too from the digital amp, instead of speaker wire)... ...but, those copper speaker wires are what allow the analog sound to get from the amplifier, to the speakers... also of importance there, are the positive and negative connections on the wire... typically positive (+) is colored in red, and negative (-) is colored in black... ...but connecting those correctly helps ensure that the analog sound gets output from the speakers... you really just have to make sure that the positive connector on the amp gets connected to the positive connector on the speakers, same with the negative connector too... if you misconnect them (or dont have them connected securely), you probably just wont get any sound at all from the speaker then, or a really quiet sound
August 24, 2006 7:59:58 PM

Lol, I'm going to be studying electronic engineering in oct. hopefully I can get the positive and negative the right way round ;p btu I appriechiate that you're explaining this basically for me.

I was thinking about buying the nx3av and selling my nx1 instead of buying an amp/reciever, the nx3av has a 5.1 input (ie L,C,R,RR,LR,Sub) so the signal would have to be decoded before it can be used as an input, right? So would it be possible without buying an amp/reciever to get true surround sound from the sound card?
August 24, 2006 9:37:58 PM

Quote:
Lol, I'm going to be studying electronic engineering in oct. hopefully I can get the positive and negative the right way round ;p btu I appriechiate that you're explaining this basically for me.

I was thinking about buying the nx3av and selling my nx1 instead of buying an amp/reciever, the nx3av has a 5.1 input (ie L,C,R,RR,LR,Sub) so the signal would have to be decoded before it can be used as an input, right? So would it be possible without buying an amp/reciever to get true surround sound from the sound card?



lol, yeah :p , im just trying not to make any assumptions about anything, even basic stuff (its also a habit i have that i know can annoy people sometimes, sorry)

hmm... well, in the case of letting the sound card decode the digital signal, and then send it then to the nx3av as multiple analog cables... its possible i believe... ...it says it has hardware accelerated decoding for dolby digital, and dts on it (which i would think also includes ddl, as all ddl is, is dolby digital encoding in realtime)... so you should get a fully decoded signal then, split into up to 8 different cables... route those cables to the nx3av's multiple analog inputs, the nx3av will then amplify the analog wavelengths from the multiple cables, to the appropriate speakers, as its an amplifier... but, yeah, you should be good to go then :) 

what im not sure about though... is when you route the 6 cables to the amplifier... will the amplifier convert the analog wavelengths to digital again, before being able to amplify it... and then convert it from digital to analog again when it amplifies the wavelengths to the speakers... basically multiple conversions... makes sense i think, but i could be wrong

either way though, it seems that should work :) 

also, make sure to have 'magic voice' enabled in the sound cards control panels, so ddl is always active then... otherwise, ddl will only activate when a sound is played, which can get annoying, cuz then you get a half second or so of silence at the beginning of the sound
August 24, 2006 10:03:09 PM

The only thing is that the sound card only has an coaxial RCA and toslink output, so how do you convert that into a 5.1 input?
August 24, 2006 10:38:20 PM

Get these:Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers.\
They are litteraly the difference between night and day.
August 24, 2006 11:07:33 PM

Quote:
The only thing is that the sound card only has an coaxial RCA and toslink output, so how do you convert that into a 5.1 input?


i think i might have misinterpreted what you were saying...

the ddl sound cards have both analog and digital outputs, up to 7.1 channel analog, and up to 5.1 channel digital (in the case of ac-3 and dts 5.1)... ... i was under the impression based on your last post, that you were deciding to go with multiple analog outputs, instead of a single digital output... i think i misread what you said then, lol... so i was trying to surmise how i thought it would work then... especially after reading that the sound card itself can decode dolby digital and dts formats, so, that was mostly just speculation on my part... especially since ive never tried that before myself, but now is something i think i might try (for fun anyhow, to see if it works)

the new amplifier your considering getting (the nx3av), does it have a coaxial, or an optical input then?... if it does, you should check if it also supports dolby digital 5.1, itll probably say in a manual or a spec sheet online somewhere as one of its features, or even in a review, if it does support it

as far as converting the digital output, into a 5.1 input?... im not quite sure what you mean

on second though actually... im not quite sure how what i said would work either (cuz i keep second guessing myself)... ...man, i really need to get some sleep... lol... havent slept in 2 days almost
August 25, 2006 7:32:27 AM

Yeah sorry, what I meant was the nx3av doesn't have digital input however it does have a 5.1 input but I didn't know the sound card also had other outputs except the digital outputs. I have now checked the sound card and it has four outputs labelled Front, Side surround, Back surround and centre/sub. What output is this and how would it connect to the 5.1 input on the nx3av?
August 25, 2006 9:18:45 AM

If it's not a digital input then its 3 RCA analog inputs, in which case you need to head off to your local Radioshack and get some RCA to stereo mini adapters to hook it up to your computer (they come in cable or female/male adapter variants, either would work).
August 25, 2006 11:33:08 AM

Yeah the front and back inputs on a 5.1 input is RCA but is the centre one? Because obviously the Front and back have left and right but the centre doesn't, right? The centre input is just above the sub input so it looks like an rca input but that would mean the centre gets left and the sub gets right or the other ways round. Or is this not at all how it works?
August 25, 2006 1:31:22 PM

if you can find in UK the speakers of Edifier , they would be great for PC use... better than creative or logitech speakers.... of course if you can implement a full hometheather to you PC as I did in my room PC, your games would be awsome!
August 25, 2006 6:56:08 PM

I had a quick look and couldn't find any sellers of edifier in the UK.

With if I bought and amp/reciever then how would I connect the speakers to it or do I need something extra to connect the speakers to and amp/reciever to.

Also could you help with my previous comment

"Yeah the front and back inputs on a 5.1 input is RCA but is the centre one? Because obviously the Front and back have left and right but the centre doesn't, right? The centre input is just above the sub input so it looks like an rca input but that would mean the centre gets left and the sub gets right or the other ways round. Or is this not at all how it works?"
August 25, 2006 11:04:09 PM

Quote:
Also could you help with my previous comment

"Yeah the front and back inputs on a 5.1 input is RCA but is the centre one? Because obviously the Front and back have left and right but the centre doesn't, right? The centre input is just above the sub input so it looks like an rca input but that would mean the centre gets left and the sub gets right or the other ways round. Or is this not at all how it works?


I think you are confused.

RCA is the standard analog connection to electronics equipment.

Stereo mini is the standard PC connection.

If you are gonna connect your *PC* to your *other electronics* you need RCA to stereo mini adaptors, whether the adaptor is on the RCA side, the stereo side, or both (a two-way cable), it doesn't matter.

The whole reason this conversation has continued so long is because you keep asking questions without stating what you are actually talking about. This leads to people entirely guessing on your meaning. I know what you are talking about in this specific instance, but you need to realize its basic politeness to "clarify" what you are talking about instead of asking questions in the vein of "what type of ammo should I use? Common! Help me!" when we have no idea what kind of gun you are using or the caliber. You understand trying to answer that kind of question is an excercise in futility?

In this instance, you are most likely asking about the sub and center out's on the *SOUNDCARD* end, which is "stereo 1/8" mini", not RCA, as RCA is the "red and white" end. PC soundcards share one port for "sub/center." On the RCA input side, in this case you can see the center owns the "top" port, and "bottom" is labled "subwoofer." As "top" is situated with "mono" or "white" or "left" channel, and "bottom" is situated with "red" or "right" channel, you can connect the dots and see center is "white" and subwoofer is "red."

Quote:
With if I bought and amp/reciever then how would I connect the speakers to it or do I need something extra to connect the speakers to and amp/reciever to.


This has already been answered in the post directly before yours, don't be afraid to scroll up to see if someone has replied before asking the same question again, it can save alot of repeated redundancy ad naseum.

>>If it's not a digital input then its 3 RCA analog >>inputs, in which case you need to head off to >>your local Radioshack and get some RCA to >>stereo mini adapters to hook it up to your >>computer (they come in cable or female/male >>adapter variants, either would work)."
August 25, 2006 11:04:52 PM

Dbl post.
August 26, 2006 4:57:43 AM

PWNT!! J/K Astrallite lol...

I run Mini Stereo to RCA Jacks from my soundcard to my reciever... The DAC on the soundcard is good enough to play at high volumes and not hear distortion... I have to amp my speakers a lot to hear distortion with nothing playing through them.


Dont exclude Ebay for a reciever... I did get my Pioneer VSX 815 for $150 shipped... I got a great deal though. I use it to push Bestbuy 6.5" Insignia speakers $50 a pair and cheaper on sale. Its a huge leap above PC junk-o speakers and I actually want to listen to them more and more. Its rather addictive...

Now I just need to find out where Astrallite lives so I can jack his Ascend CMB's that I want soooo much! :mrgreen: :tongue: :trophy:
August 26, 2006 7:42:53 AM

Yeah I am quite confused! :?

I know what RCA and Mini jack is. I was talking about RCA side as opposed to the PC side. The thing is that with the RCA cable the red is for the right speaker input and the white is for the left speaker input. Which is fine for the front and rear left and right speakers because the're in pairs but the centre speaker is on is own because obviously there is no left and right speaker. So would you use a Mini jack to mono RCA cable for the centre speaker or can you just use the white connection (I don't have sub so I wouldn't bother with the other connection? Also the 5.1 input I saw didn't have the centre and sub input colour coded.

Quote:
With if I bought and amp/reciever then how would I connect the speakers to it or do I need something extra to connect the speakers to and amp/reciever to.


I was talking about the fact that the speakers use normal wire inputs whereas the the amp/reciever uses RCA outputs so would I need something to connect between the speakers and the amp/reciever.

I am sorry if this is driving you around the bend but as I said I have never dealt with any of this before so I need help, that's why I am here.
August 26, 2006 8:18:56 AM

Ok, this could be why I am so confused. Are the speaker wires supposed to have some kind of plugs fitted on to the end (eg banana, spade or pins) and then these pins are the input to the amp/reciever? As mine don't and I couldn't see any similar connections to the ones found on my NX1.
August 26, 2006 9:03:29 AM

the speaker wires 'can' have a connector on them, banana, spade, or other that you mentioned... but 'typically', the copper wiring is exposed at the ends, occasionally the ends of the wires look frayed or split too, but theyre usually just clamped or screwed in place on each end of the wire... usually speaker wire is also referred to in 'guages', ie 10 guage wire, 12 guage wire, 18 guage wire... the lower the guage, the thicker and more durabe the wire is too, im honestly not sure what would be ideal for guage choice though... but, as far as wiring, that may be the kind of wiring you need to use (open ended wiring), and, you can usually get it for fairly cheap too
!