Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

How to connect sound card to audio speakers

Last response: in Components
Share
October 9, 2012 6:15:51 AM

Hello,

I need to know what purchase (cables and possibly something else).

I have the following (on order) and would like suggestions for connecting them

HT Omega eclaro
Polk PSW10 subwoofer
Polk Monitor Series II 40 bookshelf speakers

http://www.htomega.com/filedown/eclaro.pdf
http://www.polkaudio.com/downloads/manual/Monitor_MN.pd...
http://www.polkaudio.com/downloads/manual/PSW10_12_MN.p...

The eclaro has a 3.5mm miniplug female connector for the sub and the front speakers (1). Unless there is a creative solution you are aware of or there is such a thing as a cable with one 3.5mm to 2 pairs of banana plugs, I probably need another piece of equipment.

Questions

1. Do cables exist that will enable me to connect these items together?
2. If I need to purchase another piece of equipment, what do you recommend?
3. Would a Klipsch ProMedia DD-5.1 Multimedia Digital Decoder Preamplifer help? I think it will solve the cable issue, but not sure if helps/hinders performance. (I happen to have one of these): http://www.klipsch.com/promedia-dd-5-1

Thanks for your help

J
Anonymous
October 9, 2012 6:35:31 AM

you connect with a stereo 3.5mm to L/R RCA cable from the sound card to the sub. connect the satellite speakers to the back of the sub woofer. adjusting the low pass will affect what come out the sub and what gets passed to the bookshelf speakers.

you need to buy a stereo 3.5mm/RCA male that is long enough to run from the sound card to the sub. if it is a very long run you can get 3.5mm/RCA female or just some female to female turn arounds and RCA cable to length. then some nice (monster) speaker cable from the sub to the speakers. you can get these from most any store that sells electronics.

here is a bit of an explanation:
http://www.hometheatermack.com/2010/12/building-afforda...
m
0
l
October 9, 2012 7:01:29 AM

Anonymous said:
you connect with a stereo 3.5mm to L/R RCA cable from the sound card to the sub. connect the satellite speakers to the back of the sub woofer. adjusting the low pass will affect what come out the sub and what gets passed to the bookshelf speakers.

you need to buy a stereo 3.5mm/RCA male that is long enough to run from the sound card to the sub. if it is a very long run you can get 3.5mm/RCA female or just some female to female turn arounds and RCA cable to length. then some nice (monster) speaker cable from the sub to the speakers. you can get these from most any store that sells electronics.

here is a bit of an explanation:
http://www.hometheatermack.com/2010/12/building-afforda...



That makes sense except for one thing - the manual for the subwoofer offers 3 ways to connect the speakers together and that is not one of the options. Can you explain why?

Thanks

J
m
0
l
Related resources
Anonymous
October 9, 2012 7:15:09 AM

jwl2 said:
That makes sense except for one thing - the manual for the subwoofer offers 3 ways to connect the speakers together and that is not one of the options. Can you explain why?

Thanks

J

for a 2.1 set up the front L/R are connected with 16 gauge wire from this:


i am looking for the english part of the manual now . .

ah, those other set ups are for using a receiver for digital dolby sound. i am believing you are just going with a simple 2.1 set up; a L/R with a sub. with the sub being self powered i would think it could drive two bookshelf speakers.

however as afar as cabling for whatever set up you are looking for i can't see needing more than a 3.5mm to RCA cable from the sound card to the sub (or receiver if you purchase one for 5.1 dolby) and decent 16 gauge wire from that point on to the speakers.

edit: using a receiver would need an additional RCA cable to pass the low end from the receiver to the sub.
m
0
l
October 9, 2012 2:04:06 PM

Anonymous said:
for a 2.1 set up the front L/R are connected with 16 gauge wire from this:
http://imageshack.us/a/img819/6618/captureyez.jpg

i am looking for the english part of the manual now . .

ah, those other set ups are for using a receiver for digital dolby sound. i am believing you are just going with a simple 2.1 set up; a L/R with a sub. with the sub being self powered i would think it could drive two bookshelf speakers.

however as afar as cabling for whatever set up you are looking for i can't see needing more than a 3.5mm to RCA cable from the sound card to the sub (or receiver if you purchase one for 5.1 dolby) and decent 16 gauge wire from that point on to the speakers.

edit: using a receiver would need an additional RCA cable to pass the low end from the receiver to the sub.




Is there any advantages to using a reciever?

J
m
0
l
October 9, 2012 3:10:27 PM

Polk support told me that I need a receiver or an amp because the amp in the sub is not powerful enough to drive speakers. Since this is connected to a PC, I want to control everything from the PC and get the most out of the card. What then makes sense to get and why?
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 9, 2012 4:22:43 PM

jwl2 said:
Polk support told me that I need a receiver or an amp because the amp in the sub is not powerful enough to drive speakers. Since this is connected to a PC, I want to control everything from the PC and get the most out of the card. What then makes sense to get and why?

thanks for replying with that. i was just looking at the specs and did doubt the amp in the sub (100 watts peak 50 continuous) was enough. sorry i didn't get that since i was looking at option #2 but that has the sub turned off and the amp is used to drive the speakers via the line out.

if you look at option #3 in the sub manual:
the pre-amp/processor is your sound card (a 3.5mm to RCA) then use RCA Y-adapters to split the left and right to the sub and to an amplifier for the speakers. use M/M RCA cable for the length of each run
3.5mm to RCA:

RCA Y-Adapter (x2):


now for controlling the volume from the computer:

set the volume control on both the sub and amplifier for the speakers to a very low level.

click on the speaker icon in the icon notifications on the task bar next to the clock. (if you do not see it, you may need to turn it on by right clicking the clock and going to " customize notification icons") set it to 100%. you may get a volume control in the same area when you install the drivers for your sound card.

play some music that has a full range and adjust the volume on the speakers first until it is the loudest level you desire. then raise the volume control on the sub until it fills in the low end for the speakers. if you are gaming you may then want to play a single player campaign so you can pause if needed to make any fine adjustments.

btw, you might want to start with the cross over on the sub @ 100Hz, if the speakers sound "muddy" you can raise it to ~120Hz, if they seem to lack some "boom" you can lower it to ~90Hz.

after manually adjusting the volume you may want to tape the volume control knobs on the amp and sub so they do not get moved. now you can adjust the volume via windows.

hope this made sense.
m
0
l
October 9, 2012 5:07:02 PM

The monitor 40s can accept banana plugs or bare wires, not RCA cables.
Does the sound card have enough power to drive the passive monitor 40s?

J
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 9, 2012 6:30:23 PM

jwl2 said:
The monitor 40s can accept banana plugs or bare wires, not RCA cables.
Does the sound card have enough power to drive the passive monitor 40s?

J

the RCA is to the amplifier input, you would use 16 gauge speaker wire from the amp's output to the speakers. (missed pointing that out.) and while i am at it let me also clarify you would use the d-sub patch (D_SUB cable for 8ch outputs and mic,line input. ) to plug the 3.5mm into and not the headphone jack on the sound card.

the sound card would be able to send a signal strong enough for headphones via the headphone jack but not nearly enough for any speakers.
m
0
l
October 9, 2012 7:22:47 PM

What would you recommend for an amp?
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 9, 2012 8:08:06 PM

jwl2 said:
What would you recommend for an amp?

for a suggestion for manufacturer and/or model i can't give one since home audio isn't my forte; i worked several years in pro audio for concerts.

since the sub is 100 watts peak 50 watts normal i would suggest the minimum of a 100 watt (50 watts x2) rated @ 8 ohms. if you see the ratings of 150 watts @ 6 ohms or 200 watts @ 4 ohms you're good. running an amp @ 16 omhs will make the speaker go boom/snap/crackle/pop.
m
0
l
October 9, 2012 9:49:43 PM

Anonymous said:
for a suggestion for manufacturer and/or model i can't give one since home audio isn't my forte; i worked several years in pro audio for concerts.

since the sub is 100 watts peak 50 watts normal i would suggest the minimum of a 100 watt (50 watts x2) rated @ 8 ohms. if you see the ratings of 150 watts @ 6 ohms or 200 watts @ 4 ohms you're good. running an amp @ 16 omhs will make the speaker go boom/snap/crackle/pop.



Is there anything else I would need to consider? Does that differ for an amp or receiver (does a receiver accept input from the card)?

J
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 10, 2012 12:09:05 AM

jwl2 said:
Is there anything else I would need to consider? Does that differ for an amp or receiver (does a receiver accept input from the card)?

J

it would depend on what usage you are looking for; i pretty much gave you an economical wiring configuration with some inexpensive cabling, that 3.5mm to RCA and two Y-adapters ought to cost ~$5 each and the speaker cable depends on the length, quality and where you get it from. the amplifier could even be just a small inexpensive one for less than $40

if you want to start with a small home theater system and build on that, picking up a center and then two rear speakers later, you could get a receiver which would provide better flexibility for that like:
Onkyo TX-DS575 Home Theater Receiver 4 used from $85.00

you then would use an optical cable from the sound card to the receiver and then wire the sub/speakers are defined in option #1 which would give you digital dolby:
an RCA Y-adapter to the RCA L/R from the receiver to the sub.
16 gauge speaker cable from the receiver to the speakers.

for further configurations:
http://www.intl.onkyo.com/downloads/manuals/pdf/tx-ds57...

m
0
l
October 10, 2012 12:29:55 AM

I asked the same question on some other forums and one of things that came back was that if I used a receiver, the sound card is mute. What they are saying is that the reciever would do all the sound processing and it would not make any difference if I connected to the receiver from the sound card or the SPDIF port on the mobo. Do you agree or not? Why?

Do you have a sample of an amp that would work?

J
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 10, 2012 12:52:46 AM

jwl2 said:
I asked the same question on some other forums and one of things that came back was that if I used a receiver, the sound card is mute. What they are saying is that the reciever would do all the sound processing and it would not make any difference if I connected to the receiver from the sound card or the SPDIF port on the mobo. Do you agree or not? Why?

Do you have a sample of an amp that would work?

J

i do fail to understand why the sound card would mute . .i sent a PM to someone on this forum that would know much better than me about that. maybe he will have an answer when he is around.

i was looking around for a similar amp (this is a little under powered)
Pyle - Mini 2x75W Stereo Power Amplifier - PCA3 $54.99
and a little more money . .
m
0
l
October 10, 2012 12:58:37 AM

Looking at this particular amp, how would the sub be connected?
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 10, 2012 2:54:15 AM

jwl2 said:
Looking at this particular amp, how would the sub be connected?

since the sub has a powered amplifier you split the signal out of the sound card.

one signal to the sub

the other to a small amp for the speakers.

now a question/thought i have is:

since that ProMedia DD-5.1 pre amp has EQ settings wouldn't it serve well to place it before the amp like so:
m
0
l
October 10, 2012 6:57:21 AM

I am slightly confused by your chart. I follow that the first item is a 3.5mm to RCA R/L. The Right RCA is connected to a RCA Y adapter and the same is done for the Left RCA. One R and one L from each of the two cables go to the sub R/L. The other R/L go to the Klipsch Promedia. At this point, I have two questions
1. What is the 3.5mm male jack plugged into at the front end?
2. What ports in the Klipsch Promedia are the remaining R/L RCA’s connected to?

From here, I am presuming I need an RCA to split banana plugs for each speaker. Does this exist?
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 10, 2012 9:57:03 AM

jwl2 said:
I am slightly confused by your chart. I follow that the first item is a 3.5mm to RCA R/L. The Right RCA is connected to a RCA Y adapter and the same is done for the Left RCA. One R and one L from each of the two cables go to the sub R/L. The other R/L go to the Klipsch Promedia. At this point, I have two questions
1. What is the 3.5mm male jack plugged into at the front end?
2. What ports in the Klipsch Promedia are the remaining R/L RCA’s connected to?

From here, I am presuming I need an RCA to split banana plugs for each speaker. Does this exist?

1. the 3.5mm would be plugged into the stereo L/R from the (D_SUB cable for 8ch outputs and mic,line input. ) that comes with the sound card.

2. you would use either the line in or a aux in and then the L R output on the Klipsch Promedia


all the connections would be RCA except the amp out to the speakers, that would be 16 gauge wire.
m
0
l
October 10, 2012 10:28:59 PM

Is there such thing as a RCA to 16 gauge?
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 10, 2012 11:21:41 PM

you can cut the RCA plug off and strip the insulation off to expose the wire or buy just an RCA plug and solder to the wire.

why?
m
0
l
October 10, 2012 11:27:25 PM

I was under the impression that RCA cables were a lot thinner than 16 gauge.
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 10, 2012 11:29:28 PM

yes they are but for a short run of a few feet or less it won't matter.

the 16 gauge has less resistance for lower signal loss over length.
m
0
l
October 11, 2012 12:10:56 AM

This will not be a short run. The desk is not against the wall, so in order to keep the cables off the floor, I need to go around the wall. I read somewhere that I need to keep the cable lengths the same for the bookshelf speakers. If that is true, the cable is 12 feet (if it needs to run through the sub, add another 14 feet).
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 11, 2012 1:21:48 AM

jwl2 said:
This will not be a short run. The desk is not against the wall, so in order to keep the cables off the floor, I need to go around the wall. I read somewhere that I need to keep the cable lengths the same for the bookshelf speakers. If that is true, the cable is 12 feet (if it needs to run through the sub, add another 14 feet).

the amplifier would be the last link before the speakers and that would accept the speaker cable at it's output.

but let me ask, is the computer in the other room than the speakers and sub?
m
0
l
October 11, 2012 1:45:48 AM

front wall (closet) - space - desk - space - table - back wall

The desk faces the front wall. The computer is next to the desk. Read somewhere that placing the sub right next to the computer is not good. This means the sub has to go on the back wall.
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 11, 2012 1:55:32 AM

you may not need to move the sub that far away. if the floor is carpeted, that will help. and placing the computer on some soft padding will help a great deal. but not too soft where it might tip.
the case will deflect and sound ways away from the components inside.
m
0
l
October 11, 2012 6:40:08 AM

I asked the same question on the Polk forum board and one person came up with an excellend solution: Adcom GFA-535 amp. The wiring goes from the sound card to the amp to the sub to the speakers. The beauty of the solution is that it is cheap, delivers quality and enables me to control everything from my PC.

Thank you all for your help. I used the information you provided on the different forums to reach the final solution.
m
0
l
Anonymous
October 11, 2012 10:59:10 AM

glad you got it sorted.
m
0
l
!