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PC to Home theater - Benefit from discrete sound card?

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  • Home Theatre
  • Asus
  • Audio
  • Sound Cards
Last response: in Home Audio
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June 10, 2014 1:24:20 PM

Dear Community,

Please advice, I'm going to buy a mobo Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0, which has Realtek® ALC892 and hook it up to my old Pioneer 5.1 home theater via optical s/pdif cable. Will this benefit from a discrete Creative Sound Blaster Z soundcard or since it's not a directly connected PC speakers - there will not be any significant changes?

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June 10, 2014 2:13:42 PM

up^
a b Ĉ ASUS
June 12, 2014 5:28:34 PM

sound quality wise, there will not be any difference since with an optical cable its bypassing all your sound cards processing and the receiver is handling it all, however from things like games you will only get 2 channel sound or dolby pro logic. A soud card like the sbZ can mix multi channel audio from the pc and encode it back to a digital signal which your amp can then decode. Alternatively if your amp has 5.1 discrete inputs then the onboard sound will be fine you can run 3x 3.5mm > rca cords to the amp for full 5.1 sound.
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June 12, 2014 5:57:48 PM

What is the model of your Pioneer and speaker setup do you have?

Hard to say if the SBZ is worth it. But it's a great sound card and the mic /software are excellent. Optical has limitations, so analog or HDMI (HDMI/Displayport) is best). I have an SBZ. I bought it because my sound chip in one of my older computers went tits up. I use the analog outputs in it for a 5.1 headset and also into a surround processor pre amp.

We need a sticky on this(> looking at you moderators, so I don't have to repeat this all the time. hehe)

Optical can only do 2.1 uncompressed and compressed 5.1. So in other word in terms of movies, it can't true discrete 5.1 or beyond. The best it can do is simulated surround. Discrete sound is important for movies if you have the correct equipment. Get back to us with your setup and maybe we can help some more.

be seeing you, the Prisoner...
June 12, 2014 9:15:34 PM

Thank you guys, i'll be at home on the weekends and i'll check the pioneer version then. I also would like to ask whether it is possible to add a pre-amplifier or an amplifier to the Hometheater system, but I guess this will also require a knowledge of the system version :) 
June 12, 2014 10:22:13 PM

You could add a pre amp but you would still have to re-route it back into your receiver to power the speakers so that doesn't do you much good. Now if your receiver has pre outs then you can send the signal to a pre amp and then to either powered speakers or an amp. The nice thing is that if you plan on upgrading, you might be able just to use the receiver as an amp to power for example the 2 front mains.
June 12, 2014 11:20:58 PM

thee_prisoner said:
You could add a pre amp but you would still have to re-route it back into your receiver to power the speakers so that doesn't do you much good. Now if your receiver has pre outs then you can send the signal to a pre amp and then to either powered speakers or an amp. The nice thing is that if you plan on upgrading, you might be able just to use the receiver as an amp to power for example the 2 front mains.


But how will the signal go?
At the moment it goes PC---->DVD Pioneer home theater-----> Speakers
so with an amp is it possible to do something like PC---->DVD Pioneer home theater-----> Amplifier -----> 2 front speakers / and for the rest DVD Pioneer home theater-----> Sub+3 other speakers?
June 13, 2014 12:14:44 AM

Pretty much forget a pre amp at this point unless you wan't to go to separates, meaning amps to drive the speakers, a pre amp for control.

A receiver is like an all in one computer. It has a tuner, pre amp and amp. Not an eloquent solution due to the amps are usually average at best but if performs well with the speakers you have, it isn't a bad choice.

Depending on the receiver, it can send out a signal to an amp or amps(or powered speakers) to relieve it's self of trying to drive 5 to 6 speakers.

"so with an amp is it possible to do something like PC---->DVD Pioneer home theater-----> Amplifier -----> 2 front speakers / and for the rest DVD Pioneer home theater-----> Sub+3 other speakers?" So yes it is very possible. But more like if you can and the go analog from PC and analog, if you want a separate amp to drive your fronts. It would be PC>Receiver>amp or amps/or powered speaker(s) input and the rest would be powered by your receiver. Otherwise it would just be PC>receiver with the normal speaker wires to your speakers.


Without knowing the the model of the receiver and/or if this is a home theater in a box setup, I really can't give you anymore advice.

To give you an idea for one of my setups I have I used both HDMI(from a video card and blu ray player) plus I also use analog from my SBZ(like said above, some reason mobo chip is bad) and use this surround processor pre amp. http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/975.html.

be seeing you, the Prisoner...
!