5.1 speakers - help/advice appreciated

Hey everyone, I'm pretty much brand new to the audio scene and looking for some advice. I currently have the Logitech G51 5.1 speakers and they're plugged into my onboard sound on my ASUS M2N SLI Deluxe. They're definitely an upgrade over the $10 headset that I was using, but I was thinking that I might be able to get better performance out of a dedicated card.

Now, I'm running Vista Ultimate x64, which I upgraded to recently over XP Pro (32-bit), and at the time I was using winamp with a 5.1 plugin, and I thought it sounded great. Upon upgrading I noticed a definite change in the quality of of sound coming out of the speakers. I'm obviously not using the same drivers anymore, and I think that might be it, so I'm thinking a dedicated card might have better drivers (I loathe ASUS's website, even if I am a fanboy for their mobos).

The exact problem I seem to be having is that no matter which player I use (WMP, Zune, Winamp, Fubar2000), the sound seems incredibly weak coming from my satellite speakers. The sub doesn't seem to work quite right. I can make it loud, that's not a problem, but it seems the louder I go, it just amplifies the feeling that it doesn't sound right.

If anyone could shed some light on my situation and/or recommend a sound card, that would be awesome. I'm also curious if a 7.1 sound card would work OK with 5.1 speakers.
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More about speakers help advice appreciated
  1. Before buying a soundcard try downloading the DFX sound processor: http://www.fxsound.com/

    Post back and tell what you think.
  2. I downloaded this last night, I need to play around with it a bit more but at present it doesn't seem to have helped much, if at all, but I may have it configured wrong. Thanks for the suggestion though!
  3. One thing I forgot to ask is did you install the Realtek Audio Manager?

    Also check your volume mixer and make sure it's configured properly, unfortunately for vista there's so many place where you need to check for audio properties.

    1) Volume mixer - speaker icon on the taskbar.
    2) Sound device software - if installed - control panel > filename audio manager (example Realtek HD Audio Manager) or realtek speaker icon on your taskbar.
    3) Speakers properties - control panel > sound > playback > speakers >properties

    You should try to connect the speakers to an MP3 player or any mini player and see if you'll notice any difference. But do not connect the speakers to a Full Size or Home Entertainment Unit because some produce higher output specially the NAKAMICHI one.

    If you still think you needed a card.

    60-100 % gaming 10-40 % multi media then X-fi is for you.

    10-35 % gaming and 35-90 % multimedia then card like asus xonar or the azuntech explosion is a better chioce.

    If you are more of an audiophile then you can start from E-MU and work your way up, by then your speakers will be the one holding you back.
  4. Good advice but old thread Rachel.

    What you said above, it's amazing people don't check their drivers or the software configurations. Well, maybe it keeps tech call centers in business.
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