Can anyone tell me how I can set up a 5.1 system using in-wall speakers?
I have an Audigy Platinum sound card and I have read reviews of desktop 5.1 systems until I'm blue. It seems like the only choices are either desktop speakers to your computer or else go down to analog and jack into the old stereo. (but the the old stereo is what I'm trying to ditch).
Can I just plug in 8ohm in-wall speakers instead of the little cubes of a desktop system (like say the Inspire 5700?)
You'll need some kind of amplifier. If all your sound controll is with the computer, you don't even need a stereo head unit, just an amp. In fact, you could probably get away with buying some small hobby amps. Or even a cheap car stereo amp and a 12v regulator/rectifier.
I've looked at a few amps,
One is a 2 channel unit "cardamp" by audiotrak that mounts in an empty card space. 20wattsx2. analog. It takes an audio connection from the sound card and power from the computer power supply.
There are also a couple of 4 channel units by Hoontech that mount in a 5.25" bay. 15wattsx4. some units are analog but others are digital. This one: http://www.hoontech.co.kr/english/index.html
takes input via the "S/PDIF digital signal from the SB Live!(Value) using the SB I/O cable" and gets 12v power from the computer power supply.
Sooo, is an spdif link standard?
If so, then I have atleast 4 channels, right? But the front of this unit has a "headphone/woofer control". Does this mean that I can get the .1 part off of this headphone jack?
Now all I need is that last (center) channel.
The expensive way to do it is grab a home stereo head unit with digital inputs and hook it up. As for powering anything off your power supply, I wouldn't.
Now the .1 thing, that's a crock, a scam. 10 year stereo soundcards are still "2.1", because the .1 refers to the subwoofer, which can be driven by anything!
OK, your cheapest way to get decent sound would be to get amplified speakers and use the analog outputs. A similar method would be to get hobby amps or cheap car stereo amps, and still use the analog outputs. The next jump is to use a home stereo and the digital connection.
What's the frequency, Kenneth?