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I tried using an old receiver with my pc

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September 27, 2006 4:18:40 AM

I have an old receiver, today I decided to experiment. I own the creative labs theather kit. It's an old yamaha receiver, I ran it on 2 channels since it's so old. Long story short is 200watts is not enough, I could barely get it loud (I tried the knob on the receiver 1/4-1/2 way, and used the pc soundcard throtle around 50%-65%. Sound was weak, distorted, like the receiver couldn't juice up the speakers enough (2x65watts sony bookshelfs), and I was dissapointed, on the tv it sound great (but I need to turn it up a bit at first to get the amp to distribute enough power.
I found a deal on the logitech 5500 $244, cheapest I've seen since last year. So long story short, get these, or invest on a receiver/speaker combo (500$ budget) probably an HTIB onkyo S790. Please leave some feedback. I do own an nice pair of headsets (audio technica a900ltd's) but I want my friends to be able to listen to what im listening to when they come over. I looked at other pc speakers as alternatives but I hear they have a limited life (CS S750, Klipsch promedial ultra 5.1). Would I notice much difference from a home receiver/speakers than a pc speaker set, I don't consider the logitech's digital mode necessary for me since I plan to use it for PC and I need EAX 5 for my games, so I would run them through analog. SoundCard wise I have an X-FI platinum, loving every moment.

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September 27, 2006 5:50:45 AM

Your soundcard is not producing enough voltage for the receiver hence the low sound level.
September 27, 2006 12:28:20 PM

So would a higher end receiver fix this, or will this be a continuing problem.
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September 28, 2006 12:42:57 AM

i use a midrange pioneer receiver.

im guessing that ur onboard sound is the problem. im usisng my receiver right now and it kicks ass.

if you are using a decent sound card then im guesing theres something wrong with your connections somewhere. if it soudns good from a tv or cd player then it will sound the same from a pc.

the signal it's getting is at fault
September 28, 2006 1:10:06 AM

Well what do you think
Logitech 5500
or
Onkyo S790
Help me decide fast.
September 28, 2006 1:14:48 AM

you will want to use the digital coax or fiber optic
connect if you can for best possiable sound
September 28, 2006 1:16:33 AM

Stick with what you have and find the fault there!!

Chances are you are NOT set up for a Line OUT. Instead you may be using a Headphones out which could damage your receiver/new equipment.

Line out is meant to be mostly just a signal that the amplifier then boosts.

Headphones out is usually rated at about 4W output which when ran to a "line in" on the receiver could cause issues.

See if you have a line out on your card and make sure you are using that.... Your receiver may sound horrible because it may be trying to SAVE itself.

Bottom line is - until you know what your problem is you may just purchase a more expensive problem.
September 28, 2006 1:19:04 AM

If you have the money and space you can't beat a good stereo reciever and speakers. That is the best route imo.
September 28, 2006 1:27:38 AM

its an old yamaha receiver, in order to get it to work correctly on the tv I have to change mode so theres no sound, and then crank all the way up, then lower volume and swich to mode I want. If I don't do this it tries to power all four speakers and you hear it struggling to run both a/b speakers, what will happen is a will run and b will pade in and out until you push volume to high levels. I got the receiver free a long time ago so nothing beats free, once I get it running it sounds really good, btw the rear channel is shot so everything is hooked to front speakers. I think I was partially to blame, I just wired it quickly to see if I could get some sound out of it. I don't think there's anything wrong with my soundcard because the pc speakers still run off it.
So it's down to this

Logitech 5500

Onkyo S790 (I have a kit to connect it through multi channel analog).
September 28, 2006 7:48:57 AM

Like I said before, the quality will be better from the reciever, but the Logitchs will be cheaper. It's all about what is more important to you, price or quality. The Z5500's are great speakers, but a stereo reciever and good set of speakers offer so much more.
September 28, 2006 12:23:32 PM

Just asking, I don't want to be dissapointed, investing in a more expensive system to find out it sounds worse than the cheaper system. I listened to the onkyo S790, but the thing is that its an HTIB (onkyo makes the best at that price range) and I hear of people that bought a certain speaker and it picks up more detail than the HTIB type. Would an infinity primus 150 speaker pick up more detail?
September 29, 2006 6:52:17 AM

I'll start by saying with an HTIB, you are generaly paying for the reciever. The speaker will not be of very good quality, especially the subwoofer.

Now, it's been a long time since I looked into speakers and what's what out there. All i can tell you is that with just about any reciever and a good set of speakers you will have much better quality sound. It's really all on what speakers you get or already have. You seem to know enough about stereo equipment to know what speakers will offer the best sound and at the best price. Unless you have a high budget for this and space is no real concern, the z5500's will probably be the best bang for the buck. They sound good, offer 5.1 sound, and are small taking up little space on your desk. I recently upgraded to Klipsche promedia 5.1's form my old onkyo reciever and 2 crummy Kenwood bookshelf speakers. The Klipsches are better all around, but I got them for $175 because someone returned them to best buy. If I had the money I would much prefered to spend 3 times that on a nice set of Klipsch tower speakers.

Bottom line, it all come down to what you want to spend and how versitile you want the set up to be.
September 29, 2006 8:32:54 AM

What model Yamaha? It may indeed be a true reciever with a limited output, expecting to be inserted into a proper amplifier. (Clue: You had to turn something up to make it work on your TV...)

Or, you may be using the wrong outputs from the reciever, or the wrong inputs to your sound card....

Experiment some. I'm sure you'll work it out.
September 29, 2006 12:24:34 PM

yamaha natural sound stereo receiver R-V501
Love the receiver, got it from the dental office when they replaced it, even on the television it still works a little funny, I use the tv input for the tv and cd for the console system, phono is unused, it has limited imputs. I have a 6omh and a 8omh speakers, 4 sony, 2 are bookshelfs, 2 satelites, I think the 6omh ones are really putting a toll on the system. I have to raise the volume on the receiver considerally in order to get it to kick in both a and b speakers, once it kicks in I lower volume and it works fine. Same thing with headphones, I disable both a/b plug in high quality headphones Audio Technica a900ltd, and same thing happens I have to raise volume in order to get it to send enough power then I can lower volume again. I love the sound that comes out of it when it functions well. I was considering getting a new receiver, its hard now to figure out whats good and whats bad, 7yrs ago you get a yamaha and you know you got good quality product, right now they are not as nice as they used to make them, specially sony, they made some crazy stuff in the 80's, my dad had a whole system back then with two big stand up speakers, it was a stack system, one area equalizer, another cassette, another am/fm ect. Thanks for taking time to read this.
September 29, 2006 12:27:02 PM

My other alternative was get used yamaha receiver, infinity primus 150 (on sale around $40 each from 100$).
September 29, 2006 2:40:52 PM

Helluva reciever... 80 W @ 8 ohms / channel...

Here's a link to the user manual.

http://www.yamaha.com/menuitems/manuals/yec/R-V501.pdf

Don't know what sound card you are using, or what TV... But with that many watts you should have to turn something DOWN not UP to make listening enjoyable....

Make sure that you are using the front channels, and the 8 ohm speakers. (not that it matters a lot...) As a cross check try the rear channels with same speakers.

It's possible that this unit has a dead output amplifier, and is just running on the pre-amp.
September 29, 2006 10:52:38 PM

Quote:
Helluva reciever... 80 W @ 8 ohms / channel...

Here's a link to the user manual.

http://www.yamaha.com/menuitems/manuals/yec/R-V501.pdf

Don't know what sound card you are using, or what TV... But with that many watts you should have to turn something DOWN not UP to make listening enjoyable....

Make sure that you are using the front channels, and the 8 ohm speakers. (not that it matters a lot...) As a cross check try the rear channels with same speakers.

It's possible that this unit has a dead output amplifier, and is just running on the pre-amp.


I tried everything I tried all configurations when plugged to the tv, I tried the front speakers in the rear jack and it does not function at all, so I am using all 4 speakers up front.
September 30, 2006 2:06:06 AM

Have you tried just running two speakers directly? If that's not working, then my original suspicion looks likely.
September 30, 2006 2:38:53 AM

Use Line Out instead of Speak Out.
September 30, 2006 2:45:32 AM

6 ohm speakers can kill an amp made for 8 ohms....it's a harder load....kind of like it takes 80 watts at 4 ohms to do what 40 will @ 8...with the right speakers......back on topic

If it is distorted maybe it is plugged into the wrong input....Phono will do this if you run to it...as a record player needs a pre-amp(that will be in the amp for the phono connection)

Does the amp work fine with other devices. plug in a CD/mp3 player to it?

For the record i was doing this years ago with a P133 and a realistic(radioshack) amp. that thing kicked ass over almost anything on the market today.. and to top it all off it was only 2 channels of 60 watts each.... @ 6 per channel walls rattled(for real)... it is all over rated now...

Also..... there are not many sound cards on the market that will give 4 watts anymore(SB 16/AWE64/ESS audiodrive/lucent modem/sound card...those all had it...)....those days are gone :( .. have to take good care of the sound blaster 16....for just that reason....it drives 4 speakers in the garage...with a whopping 2 watts of power @ 8 ohm's.....
September 30, 2006 4:15:31 AM

If u can`t fix your problem and u decide new receiver, Id go Onkyo, just my preference.I had an older Onkyo don`t remember the model, it was a 100 watts per channel, and a old sound blaster live sound card connected 2 a pair of Klipsch cornwall speakers.O YEAH it would pound.Now I have the Logitech z-5500 and they rock 2.Like 1 of the other guys said u can do more with a receiver and I agree, but buy a good set of speakers or u won`t b happy. Id say the Logitechs will do more than piss the neighbors off they should make u happy too. :) 
October 1, 2006 12:09:31 AM

Make sure you have the correct cables. 80ohm mini - RCA is what you need I believe. It realy sounds like somehting is set up wrong...

My Pioneer reciever and insignias get to ear bleeding leves quick and the speaker distorts from the massive power output in stereo.
October 2, 2006 4:08:25 AM

HTIB is not what you wanna use for a computer, especially for music. an HTIB is for people who are to technicall inept or to cheap to do it the right way.

from what ive heard those logitech speakers are good. but im sure my floor stander/receiver setup would spank em.

HTIB sounds ok listennig to a movie in surround, but all u hear in a movie in surround is basicall the efects, and any speaker can make an explosion sound decent. music is more precise and exposes the weakneess in a speaker.

you are not going to be disappointed by the logitech setup, i used to have the cheap on thats like 100$ and its a lot of bang for your buck

either way you should get a decent soundcard.
October 2, 2006 3:35:36 PM

Onkyo, Harmon Kardon and Yamaha all make a cheaper "Discreet" amplifier.

That is why they would be my choice. You may find a Sony for $100 and the deal will sound too good to be true... Probably something like 150W per channel @ 8 ohms. Well in this case it will be too good to be true.

There are two types of receivers out there...

What I call Wattifiers
and
What I call Amplifiers

Wattifiers use a pooled amp technology... What this means is that there is a single 150W amp that is in effect shared between "ALL" channels. This is a bad thing especially when you start to get to more channels like a 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 or even 8.1 environment. You see all channels draw from the same amp so if your right channel and your left channel are both taking a large hit at the same time the draw s shared on both channels.

Amplifiers often have a lower rating "like mine" ~80W/channel. The diference being each channel has its OWN 80W Discreet amplifier. What this means is no OTHER channel can affect any OTHER channel. So if the left and right hit hard at the same time there are no ill effects.

Wattifiers have even more issues "amp recovery time" when it comes to more channels. Many action movies for instance will have large hits on ALL channels 5 of the 5.1 when this happens you effectively split the amp into 5 ways which results in ~30W/channel (in a perfect world) available. In the Amplifiers with descreet amplification when this happens ALL channels still get the full 80..

PS... Carver is a good name too but a little more expensive and a little different tech than most other amps/receivers.
October 2, 2006 4:32:35 PM

Don't invest in a new system. What you have should work. Read the XFI and receiver manuals. You do not have the proper modes set up. I have an XFI platinum connected with an optical output to the recievers input. You need to set the reciever mode for the optical input. I use line out from the XFI. The volume from my computer's music server is the same as the volume from my CD, DVD and TV connections. You shouldn't be losing volume if it is set up properly. Try changing the audio cables. I have had sound problems before, which were cured by replacing the cables.

XFI platinum (line out)--optical cable --- Denon 2803 optical input 3 -- optical input mode set to VDP. Press VDP on my remote for music from computer.
October 3, 2006 1:57:36 AM

well I figured it out, last time I did a crappy fast put together job, I noticed the sound was muffled a bit, switched in settings to 2.1 and presto, all fixed. gonna experiment so see if its worth it.
!