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Opinions on replacing 5.1 with Corsair SP2500 and soundcard needed!

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March 11, 2012 12:22:16 PM

Hey, i was wondering what sound card would be good for my needs?

At the moment i have Logitech G51 5.1 surround sound and Roccat Kave REAL 5.1 headsets, BUT i was looking into replacing my older Logitech G51's with the newer Corsair SP2500 2.1 speakers.

First of all, what do you think of me replacing the G51's for the SP2500's?

Also what sound card would be good to work with the SP2500 which has a 3.5mm aux in but i would rather use the 2x RCA plugs on it for better quality and I would still want to use the Roccat Kave fully as well obviously which has 4x 3.5mm jacks including the mic.

I was looking at the Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD sound card but i dont think i would be able to use the Roccat Kave's with it, so what sound card would you guys recommend.

P.S. At the moment, with the Roccat Kave headsets i get interference noises from the motherboards onboard sounds. ie. When i move my mouse i get buzzing noises and when im connecting or loading a map in Minecraft i get loud buzzing noises. To stop this from really annoying me to much i turned down the eq volumes for front, back, etc. on the headset in-line control box but i can still hear it a bit if im not listening to music or something. So a sound card should stop that aswell. (I would have to have the control box eq volume down anyway otherwise because it would be too loud even on like 50% volume on the computer, They are REALLY loud headsets)


All opinions are greatly appreciated. :D 

Thanks
-SuBByDew
March 12, 2012 5:19:55 PM

Since you have noise issues, I'm going to recommend cards with rf shields:

If you have a pci slot, I'd look at ht omega Calro II .

Otherwise, an x-fi titanium Fatality Pro.

Another option is a Xonar D1, and then if you have noise issues, make your own shield:

http://www.overclock.net/t/571718/how-to-make-emi-shiel...
March 12, 2012 6:22:13 PM

...how is this getting hooked up again? The Kave by itself is going to take all the output ports from the soundcard.
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March 12, 2012 7:51:09 PM

At the moment i just switch between the kave and G51 by switching the plugs when i want to use them, i was thinking of getting piggy back plugs so i dont need to do that but if i get the SP2500 the kave's will need the 4 3.5mm jacks(including the mic) while the SP2500 will use the 2 rca plugs.
And im hoping that i can get the SP2500.
March 13, 2012 2:45:43 AM

^^ No soundcard has both RCA and TRS outputs. They output basically the same signal anyways, and converter cables are cheap.

The easiest solution would be to use the front panel output for the SP2500's, using a TRS to RCA converter. Alternate solutions include a switch, or even using the onboard for the SP2500's and switch which sound device is used by the OS as needed.

Since you need the 5.1 analog out for the headset, I'm leaning toward one of the ASUS Xonar D1/DX, ASUS Xonar D2/DX, Auzentech Meridian 2G, or HT Omega Claro Halo+. Comes down to price, since these cards basically throttle eachother at the $80-$140 range. There are a few higher tier options though.
March 13, 2012 3:14:33 AM

Well i wanted to use the soundcard for the SP2500 since they are really good quality speakers, i could just use the onboard for the headset but then i will still have the interference noise, but i could live with it since ive had them doing it since i got them ages ago.

Also by what you said, did you mean that there is no sound quality difference between the 3.5mm jacks and rca plugs?
And are the creative soundblaster like the x-fi titanium hd or the recon3d cards any good?
March 13, 2012 1:50:05 PM

Quote:
Also by what you said, did you mean that there is no sound quality difference between the 3.5mm jacks and rca plugs?


Its an analog signal. The only major difference is RCA carries one channel per wire, where TRS carries two. The quality difference between the two is miniscule.

Quote:
And are the creative soundblaster like the x-fi titanium hd or the recon3d cards any good?


The Titanium HD is a good card, but you only have stereo RCA outputs. You would have to hook up the headset to onboard if you go that route. Even then, the ASUS Xonar Essence ST/STX is a slightly better card at a simmilar price.

As far as the Recon3D goes, I view the entire lineup as utter crap.
March 13, 2012 8:09:59 PM

gamerk316 said:


Its an analog signal. The only major difference is RCA carries one channel per wire, where TRS carries two. The quality difference between the two is miniscule.

The Titanium HD is a good card, but you only have stereo RCA outputs. You would have to hook up the headset to onboard if you go that route. Even then, the ASUS Xonar Essence ST/STX is a slightly better card at a simmilar price.

As far as the Recon3D goes, I view the entire lineup as utter crap.


Ill check up on the TRS and RCA quality but by what your saying, ill probabaly be better of getting a card with TRS plugs so that i can use my headset aswell as the speakers.
Ill be sure to check out the xonar cards but what do you think would be a good card with TRS plugs since it sounds like you know what your talking about.
March 13, 2012 8:26:40 PM

What do you think of the Xonar DX2?
March 15, 2012 12:53:13 AM

I was thinking of the Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD because i can use the analog I/O cable to plug in the cables for the Roccat Kave since they are REAL 5.1 sound and then i can use the single headphone plug for the Corsair SP2500 since it can be used for normal speakers as well as normal headphones.
It should work and Auzentech seem to make good sound cards.
March 19, 2012 1:41:12 AM

buy 2 soundcards, X-Fi titanium HD for the SP2500 and a X-Fi xtremegamer for the headset.
March 19, 2012 1:48:20 AM

i wouldnt buy 2, that would be a waste of money. My solution aboce should work but i wanted to know id it is a good soundcard, etc.
March 19, 2012 1:58:07 AM

one xonar essence stx costs $174, those 2 soundcards costs you 6 more dollar.
March 19, 2012 3:01:04 AM

tinnitus said:
one xonar essence stx costs $174, those 2 soundcards costs you 6 more dollar.


And they are both worse. The onboard audio is better then the Extremegamer at this point, so there is ZERO reason to buy one.
March 19, 2012 3:17:15 AM

Ohk, i didnt know that you could use 2 sound cards
March 19, 2012 3:58:16 AM

gamerk316 said:
And they are both worse. The onboard audio is better then the Extremegamer at this point, so there is ZERO reason to buy one.


i'm not comparing xonar vs x-fi, i own an essence st, i presume he mostly gonna use it for gaming, so with X-Fis he will get a better gaming experience, besides the Titanium HD have a TI PCM1794 dac, same quality dac to xonar essence st/x for less money. this is only my opinion, he can buy anything he wants.

you can do the same thing with asus, example:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$116

or using a even cheaper xonar dg for the headset. or mix x-fi with an xonar.

creating a -control panel's sound- desktop shortcut you can choose quickly a default device for audio. even on xonar essence you have to choose the output from speakers to headphones.
March 19, 2012 4:47:50 AM

Just to let you know, i am in Australia so i cant really get things from Newegg but i can get from eBay or eBay Australia mostly.
The main retail/online stores that i use here which compare very well to ebay prices are www.pccasegear.com and www.centrecom.com.au
March 19, 2012 5:08:58 AM

What about this card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I just looked on newegg for top rated and found one that i think should work since it has a headhone plug and the adapter for 7.1 but i just looked and i cant get it here anywhere.
I did email HT Omega to see what they say about the international selling but ill have to see.
March 19, 2012 5:30:22 AM

I never thought of this before *stupid* with a normal 7.1 card since my headphones are 5.1 and they will use 4 ports including the mic that will leave atleast one port that would normally be used for the side speakers on a 7.1 setup which i dont have. so i can use that extra port and just set it to a normal line out in the software for the soundcard.
This gives more options to which soundcard i can use, so now i can choose basically any card with atleast 5x TRS(3.5mm jacks) ports.

I dont want to spend heaps of money but i do want something fairly decent for Games, Movies, Music, basically is good for everything
March 19, 2012 6:12:07 AM

if you are in Australia and you have the posibility to get a product from Japan or China/Taiwan, there is a nice expensive one:

Onkyo's SE-300PCI
http://www.jp.onkyo.com/pcaudio/pciedigitalaudioboard/s...

it costs about 316 US dollar in the lowest case. it has an Creative's 20K2 X-Fi chip, TI Burr-Brown dacs, RCA outputs and 7.1 daughter board. last year I saw an user's review telling it sounds better than the essence stx.
March 19, 2012 7:45:56 AM

tinnitus said:
if you are in Australia and you have the posibility to get a product from Japan or China/Taiwan, there is a nice expensive one:

Onkyo's SE-300PCI
http://www.jp.onkyo.com/pcaudio/pciedigitalaudioboard/s...

it costs about 316 US dollar in the lowest case. it has an Creative's 20K2 X-Fi chip, TI Burr-Brown dacs, RCA outputs and 7.1 daughter board. last year I saw an user's review telling it sounds better than the essence stx.


There is no way i pay that much for a soundcard, especially considering its atleast about $410 at the lowest i could find for here.
March 19, 2012 12:36:24 PM

subbydew said:
Ohk, i didnt know that you could use 2 sound cards


You would have to swap which was active via the Windows Control Panel, as getting two soundcards to work at the same time is a pain [and sometimes impossible].

Again, the simplest solution:

Kave: 5.1 out from soundcard
SP2500: 2.1 out from front panel [using a TRS to RCA converter cable]

Most soundcards let you select to use the front panel output from within their driver control software, so from a configuration standpoint, this is probably the easiest to work solution.
March 19, 2012 1:39:16 PM

gamerk316 said:
Again, the simplest solution:

Kave: 5.1 out from soundcard
SP2500: 2.1 out from front panel [using a TRS to RCA converter cable]


Wouldnt the SP2500's be using the onboard audio then or can you plug the front audio into the soundcard.

But as i said 2 posts ago, i could just use a 7.1 soundcard with TRS plugs, as i can plug my 5.1 Kave into that which would take up 4 plugs including the mic which would leave 1 or more spare plugs depending on the soundcard which i could change to a normal line out or front out for the SP2500 which means im not using the RCA obviously.
Wouldnt that work?
That would be easier and i can choose from a lot more soundcards.

*EDIT* since you said the quality difference between TRS and RCA is miniscule, i dont mind using the TRS aux port on the SP2500.
March 19, 2012 2:37:05 PM

may be this one is your solution:

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/x-fi_forte.php



Headphone Output

3.5mm(1/8 ”) stereo mini-phone jack: Includes an independent Headphone amp and can activate an impedance 16Ω ~ 600Ω headphone or earphone. Also, can be used, when configuring a Stereo system, not using the Analog I/O cable, as an Front Line Output.

dunno if you can set the output from the software driver
March 19, 2012 3:55:08 PM

Quote:
Wouldnt the SP2500's be using the onboard audio then or can you plug the front audio into the soundcard.


You can usually connect the soundcard to the front audio panel.

Quote:
But as i said 2 posts ago, i could just use a 7.1 soundcard with TRS plugs, as i can plug my 5.1 Kave into that which would take up 4 plugs including the mic which would leave 1 or more spare plugs depending on the soundcard which i could change to a normal line out or front out for the SP2500 which means im not using the RCA obviously.
Wouldnt that work?


Nope. You can't just change what the jack does on a soundcard. That last output jack would be for the 7.1 output, and simply wouldn't be used.
March 19, 2012 5:45:47 PM

that FP panel out uses souncard's dac, opamp & capacitors?
March 20, 2012 1:01:47 PM

I think the Forte is looking like the best option here

Best solution

March 20, 2012 2:40:49 PM
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Forte is an older card though; the Auzentech Bravura fills the same market segment on the Auzentech side.
March 20, 2012 4:37:35 PM

Just a thought on the speakers. You might try going home audio speakers and a mini-amp rather than powered computer speakers.

I recently dumped a set of Bose companion 2s, for a pair of Polk monitor 30 IIs and an Audio Source amp-50. I'm not running a sub, but with 5.25 inch drivers on the Polks, I don't really need to.
March 20, 2012 8:17:29 PM

I will be getting the SP2500, i like my bass and i dont really want two kinda big monitors on my bench.

And the Auzentech Bravura seems like a good choice, it has the plugs for my 5.1 headphones and then i can use the headphonr plug for the SP2500's. The soindcard says it comes with a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter and i have one anyway so ill use that since the SP2500 has a normal 1/8" plug.
March 30, 2012 4:11:51 AM

Best answer selected by subbydew.
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