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Please help a newbie

  • Sound Cards
  • Speakers
  • Sound Blaster
  • Components
Last response: in Components
June 13, 2001 11:49:10 AM

I am fairly new at the multi-media aspest of computing. I have a sound blaster live value and am currently in the process of buying a Radeaon 64 Vivo and Pioneer DVD-ROM 106S. I currently have a 2.1 speaker(logitech) and am thininking about an overhall in the sound department. I was looking at VideoLogic DigiTheatre DTS and really like the rave I hear about it, however, its $600 price range is somewhat out of mine. Reallistically, I was thinking of MidiLand 7100 plus which I belive comes with it's own 5.1 decoder. It's $230 price is much more to my liking, but I have not heard as much good things about it as Videologic.
I was wondering if anyone here has any experiences with either of these speaker systems, or if anyone can suggest something that they liked better in the $250-$300 price range.
Also, do I need to upgrade my SB live value to one of it's 5.1 siblings or would I be ok as long as the speaker systems have some kind of 5.1 decoder...

Thank you for your help.

More about : newbie

June 13, 2001 1:08:24 PM

Hey that aint a newbie question!!!
I dont know about the speakers but you might want to look at the Hercules Game Theater XP for a good sound card.

Your Signature Sucks
June 13, 2001 2:34:01 PM

Basically, any of the SB Live! series except for value have 5.1 support, both digital and analog. They're all basically the same card, just with different software (and the IR drive, in the case of the Platinum).

I don't know much about specific computer speakers. Just go and listen to them, that's what I recommend.

Apple? Macintosh? What are these strange words you speak?
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June 15, 2001 1:38:41 AM

My current solution is a bit more expensive, but the long term possibilies are much better. I started by hooking up my computer to an AV Amp, and then upgraded my soundcard to the live value model. I then upgraded my receiver to a Teac AG-D9320 Dolby Digital DTS, and eventually bought a Creative DVD ROM Drive, ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon. Now I watch all my movies as they sould be hear, get superior video and decoding quality, and All my games are in souround sound to as the Teac can input the 4 Channel (2 fornt, 2 Rear) output on the Soundblaster live. My speaker set up includes Bose 201 speakers, JBL center, and Sony satalites as Surrounds. It is expensive to do it this way, but over time, it did not dent the pocket book to much Costs are as follows:
Teac AG-D9320 $400
Price for Speakers ~$200
Soundblaster DVD ENCORE (which included the DXR2 Decoder card with digital out $120
Soundblaster Live Value $50
Cables and other equipt $100
Total $870
True, you can allways spend more, ecpecial in the speaker department, and the AIW is probly not nesseccary since you already have a Radeon (I was using an AIW pro 8MB card)but all in all, this will be well worth the investment.

If it works for you then don't fix it.
June 15, 2001 2:38:51 PM

Thanks Arsend for your suggestion. I think that it's a better way of doing it, but like you said, it takes a little more money, which at this time I am short of :) 

So this is (based on my budget) what I have decided (DVD and music playability are my biggest possible usage.)

I have narrowed my choices to two (please feel free to add on to them as see fit!)
1. midiland 8200
2. Klipsch 4.1

I have a sound blaster live value which I understand that I have to upgrade to a 5.1 capable sound card regardless of which speaker system I want to go in. (please confirm)


1. Is it true that for DVD's, the package and sound quality of Midiland 8200 is somewhat better than the Klipsch?

2. Are the Klipsch 4.1 more geared toward games, and less toward DVD?

3. Can a sound blaster live value "power" the Klipsch 4.1 for suround sound or would the best I get from the card that I have (live value) be stereo?

4. Do the tweeters on the Kipsch drivers add that much clarity to the sound, or are the Midiland drivers/speakers good enough?

5. Can you really be able to ditinguish between the two speakers (as far as frequency if concerned) since Klispchs are ~30Hz - 20KHz, where the Midilands are a little less ~70Hz- 20KHz?

6. Can the stands meant for the Klipsch speakers be used for the Midilands?

7. Do I need to get a 5.1 Hardware decoder for the Klipch's? (the same one that already comes with Midilands?)

8. Between Sound blaster live 5.1, Hercules XP and Diamond (and I think there was one more but I can't think of the name, rats...)which one wound you pick?

9. I think I asked this before, but I am so confused about this. If I get the Midilands 8200, since it already comes with a 5.1 decoder, do I really need to upgrade my sound blaster liver value to some other card that has 5.1? Or can I just use the digital output from the live value card to the Midiland decoder and let it take care of it. I just don't know enough about this technology to decide...

As of now, I am set on Midilands 8200 since they are 5.1, pretty good sound, reasonable price, come already with a 5.1 hardware decoder and Hercules XP since it has any kind of input/output option you can think of (well, more than any of the other ones mentioned). I am hightly open to suggestion, warnings, horor stories, or rants and raves about the system that I have chosen so far. I apreaciate all your answers and sorry about the lengthy message!
June 15, 2001 7:08:09 PM

2. Generally, 4.1 speakers are meant for gamers and 5.1 are for DVDs.

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June 20, 2001 7:29:26 AM

If your going for the Midiland 8200, you do need to upgrade your sound card to a 5.1.

But if you go for the Klipsch 4.1, your S.B. Live Value will work fine.

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June 21, 2001 9:17:29 PM

if the speakers have DD Decoding on them, the digital out will work fine as the decoding is not done on the sound card but the spaekers. if the seakers do not have this feature, you will need to upgade your Soundblaster card to won that does the DVD decoding for you. Everything else in your setup is OK and you should be happy with it, until your budget allows for something better.

If it works for you then don't fix it.