My 5.1 speakers don't really work too well...

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My 5.1 speakers don't really work too well...

Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 11:26 am

Stupid question, I think I know the answer already. If I have a sound card that doesn't support 5.1 and I have 5.1 speakers, the speakers are just going to sound like regular ones, right. because the sound card can't handle that kind of power?

Anyway, what is a good sound card that supports 5.1?

Edit: and is an affordable sound card.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 11:31 am

Sound Blaster Live is cheap, it's ok. Nothing special.

What sound card do you have now? If it can't support 5.1 then there wouldn't be a place to plug the surround or center speakers in.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 11:32 am

pez-king wrote:Sound Blaster Live is cheap, it's ok. Nothing special.

What sound card do you have now? If it can't support 5.1 then there wouldn't be a place to plug the surround or center speakers in.

Unless I did something wrong, all the speakers plug into the subwoofer which plugs into the sound card.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 11:36 am

Correct.

The speakers themselves plug into the sub and the center speaker should have the connections to hook to the computer. Green, Black and Orange.

Green = right and left.
Black = Rear right and rear left
Orange = center
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 11:39 am

I'll have to look at that when I get home. I'll feel stupid if I screwed that up :)
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:20 pm

What speakers did you get....just curious. :wink:
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:44 pm

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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:45 pm

Hawkwing74 wrote:Stupid question, I think I know the answer already. If I have a sound card that doesn't support 5.1 and I have 5.1 speakers, the speakers are just going to sound like regular ones, right. because the sound card can't handle that kind of power?

Yes, you need a 5.1 soundcard to take advantage of 5.1 speakers. It's not an issue of power though; it is an issue of providing the discrete rear and center/sub signals.

Anyway, what is a good sound card that supports 5.1?

Edit: and is an affordable sound card.

IIRC all of the Creative cards from SB Live! onward will do 5.1. Turtle Beach Santa Cruz will as well.

Hawkwing74 wrote:
pez-king wrote:Sound Blaster Live is cheap, it's ok. Nothing special.

What sound card do you have now? If it can't support 5.1 then there wouldn't be a place to plug the surround or center speakers in.

Unless I did something wrong, all the speakers plug into the subwoofer which plugs into the sound card.

How many cables go from the sub to the soundcard? Unless it is a digital connection, there should be 3 (front, rear, and center/sub).
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:57 pm

The speakers he linked to are analog.

They they would have to use the 3 wire method.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:58 pm

Starfalcon might know if my soundcard supports 5.1 (he's seen the PC), I'm thinking it doesn't. If it only has the usual green/blue/pink ports then it doesn't, right?
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:59 pm

That is correct, you need more than 3 ports to get full 5.1 surround.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:01 pm

Guess I'll be at Best Buy soon then.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:04 pm

Best Buy also stocks the Phillips Sonic Edge...39.99 and its a whole lot better than the creative one of similar value :wink:
Its 5.1 also
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:05 pm

With your computer, I would not reccomend buying a SB live as you have a VIA chipset in it and they had some serious problems back then. I have heard that the philips cards are good and reasonably priced. The audigy is also a good card and has many lewss problems than the SB live had.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:11 pm

Hawkwing74 wrote:Starfalcon might know if my soundcard supports 5.1 (he's seen the PC), I'm thinking it doesn't. If it only has the usual green/blue/pink ports then it doesn't, right?

Probably, but not necessarily. Some soundcards and integrated audio solutions have a configuration option that changes the Mic and Line-In jacks into the rear and center/sub outputs. You need to check the manual.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:14 pm

I have seen it, it is just some cheap onboard AC 97 audio junk and is several years old and in a compaq to boot.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 7:03 pm

I have a set of the Altec-Lansing 251 speakers hooked to my gaming PC. The sound quality isn't terrific, but it's fine for gaming, and for less than $50, the system was a bargain. These speakers do use three stereo mini plugs to handle the 5.1 sound.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 7:12 pm

I have a 5.1 system hooked up to only one line out. It works.
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Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2003 7:36 pm

YBK wrote:I have a 5.1 system hooked up to only one line out. It works.

Yes, it'll work in the sense that you will get sound out of it. You won't get true 5.1 surround sound though, unless it is a digital (SPDIF) line out, and the speakers have digital input.
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Postposted on Sat Oct 18, 2003 6:35 am

LicketySplit wrote:Best Buy also stocks the Phillips Sonic Edge...39.99 and its a whole lot better than the creative one of similar value :wink:
Its 5.1 also


Lol, I was just going to reccomend that too. Nice card, good sound. Make that 2 votes! :D
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Postposted on Sat Oct 18, 2003 8:10 am

JavaMoose wrote:
LicketySplit wrote:Best Buy also stocks the Phillips Sonic Edge...39.99 and its a whole lot better than the creative one of similar value :wink:
Its 5.1 also

Lol, I was just going to reccomend that too. Nice card, good sound. Make that 2 votes! :D

How does it compare with the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz? NewEgg currently has the TBSC for $48 (with free shipping), which looks like a pretty good deal to me.
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Postposted on Sat Oct 18, 2003 8:16 am

IMOHO its better...much better bass and i think the mid range is a little crisper.
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Postposted on Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:17 pm

just brew it! wrote:
YBK wrote:I have a 5.1 system hooked up to only one line out. It works.

Yes, it'll work in the sense that you will get sound out of it. You won't get true 5.1 surround sound though, unless it is a digital (SPDIF) line out, and the speakers have digital input.


I have a stereo system that has 5 speakers, no sub, and I can get a little surround sound out of them, except when I do the test the left surround and right surroung are coming out both the rear speakers lol. It's an old system, dolby pro logic support. And only has one connection to the PC.

New speakers are on the wish list... ;)
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Postposted on Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:19 pm

Pro Logic = Bad.
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Postposted on Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:39 pm

smakkythecamel wrote:I have a stereo system that has 5 speakers, no sub, and I can get a little surround sound out of them, except when I do the test the left surround and right surroung are coming out both the rear speakers lol. It's an old system, dolby pro logic support. And only has one connection to the PC.

New speakers are on the wish list... ;)

This sounds an awful lot like the old "matrix quadraphonic" 4-channel schemes which were popular (briefly) back in the '70s. IIRC they used some sort of wacky phase modulation scheme to encode 4 virtual channels onto 2 actual channels. The problem was, the channel separation totally sucked, with tons of crosstalk between the front and rear channels, and between the two rear channels (which is more or less the situation you seem to be describing here).

Perhaps someone who's more familar with the technical details of Dolby Pro Logic can confirm/refute this...
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Postposted on Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:42 pm

Pro Logic is pretty much what you are talking about. I believe that it is 5 channels encoded into 2 or something... But it's just really crappy. A movie theatre just upgraded it's sound system from Mono to Dolby Pro Logic. It couldn't stop laughing when I heard that.
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Postposted on Sun Oct 19, 2003 5:55 pm

Yep sounds like my stereo. It's a panasonic thing and puts out some good sound in stereo mode, but when you enable the pro logic part the only time you can really hear the surround sound is when there is a crowd roaring like in Gladiator or something similar. If a car or something was supposed to go past and into the rear speakers you wouldn't hear that much.
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Postposted on Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:01 pm

some soundcards will allow rear speakers in the line in port, and sub/center in the mic
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Postposted on Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:03 pm

Yep. I got that on my Epox board. Looked at the logitec z640's and tried to convince my loved one to buy me them for Chrissie :D
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Postposted on Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:04 pm

I want speakers that use a single coaxial digital thing, and the decoder in the sub :) that would own.
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