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lemaster22

home theater amps for pc

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looking to upgrade the sound on my pc to surround but dont want to waste money on the shitty logitechs

Ill be buying a new soundcard aswell

saw this on ebay and figured it would do the job buy just adding some ok speakers

am i correct if i said for gaming you need to have a seperate rca cable for each channel on the sound card or can the new cards output in digital

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Pretty much every sound card these days outputs in digital mate, but to be honest, if you're looking to go digital anyway, there's no reason to buy a soundcard if your motherboard already has either coaxial or optical digital output, unless you're planning on using the sound card with a separate device, like headphones/etc.

 

 

Sherwood are at the lower end of the quality spectrum, but paired with some decent speakers, it'll be good enough quality that most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between that and a $2000+ surround amp.

 

 

 

If, for some reason, you wanted to use analogue signals, then you'd need a bunch of 3.5mm stereo -> dual RCA adapter cables... 3 of them... one for front left/right, one for rear left/right, and depending on the pinout of the sound card, another for sub/centre.

 

 

 

Seriously. Use digital outputs. So much easier, one single cable.

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cool bananas

just didnt know if optical or coax would output 5.1 for games

i havent had a sc for ages and im really out of the loop as far as set up goes

it doesnt even look like anyone buys creative anymore

btw have you got a recommendation for an ok sc(you seem to be the guru on sound)

mostly thinking about all this in prep for BF3 ;P

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Yeah, an ok sound card for your purposes = your motherboard :P

 

 

Unless ofcourse it doesn't have digital out, in which case, ignore my sarcasm.

 

 

 

 

Generally though, if your motherboard doesn't have a digital output, any of the common brands will be fine for using as digital outputs.. even creative(gasp!).

 

 

If you intend to use an analogue output for headphone use(i would, personally, but i'm pretty picky with audio...), then look towards any card that has replacable opamps... These are basically the small amplifiers inside the sound card, and have quite a significant impact on the quality and 'colour' of the sound coming out of the sound card. They don't affect digital outputs AT ALL.

 

Asus seem to be making quite good quality sound cards these days, so they'd probably be on the shortlist... But really, the only two important parts of a sound card, relating to analogue audio, is the DAC (Digital -> Analogue decoder) and the opamp. Asides from those two components, every other sound card is effectively the same. You'll find higher quality cards will use better components such as resistors and capacitors, but most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a $50 sound card and a $400 sound card, all other things being equal.

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Analogue inputs are better for surround on a pc than either coax or optical due to bandwidth limitations. If you get a newer amp with HDMI that can decode the newer HD audio formats(Dolby True HD,DTS Master Audio etc) you can run 8 channels of uncompressed audio out of the hdmi/dvi port of most recent (2008/9 onwards) video cards. As opposed to 2 channels over optical or coax.

 

Certain soundcards can encode into a Dolby Digital or DTS stream that can be sent via coax/optical to be decoded at the amp, but in my experience this sounds pretty poo.

 

Using the analogue inputs will be close to if not equal with hdmi in terms of quality so long as you use a decent soundcard rather than an onboard one.

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A fair point, for sure - One i didn't include partly due to the inference of gaming in the OP...

 

 

And partly due to face that the amp the OP links to wouldn't have the ability to decode 6 channels(let alone 8) of uncompressed audio, anyway, so it's all a moot point.

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Let me clarify. He won't be able to play pc games in surround sound using that amp unless his soundcard supports on the fly encoding of a DD/DTS stream or he uses the analogue inputs.

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I think most if not from all onboard and discrete solutions will decode a DD/DTS signal or pass it through to a receiver from say a DVD. But DD/DTS from games is a different kettle of fish. I'm pretty sure alot of discrete cards are capable of doing it, but in my experience the quality is not as good as analogue. But I have only tested on an older Audigy 2 card. The newer models may be better.

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Analogue inputs are better for surround on a pc than either coax or optical due to bandwidth limitations. If you get a newer amp with HDMI that can decode the newer HD audio formats(Dolby True HD,DTS Master Audio etc) you can run 8 channels of uncompressed audio out of the hdmi/dvi port of most recent (2008/9 onwards) video cards. As opposed to 2 channels over optical or coax.

i had to help someone set up their home theater a couple of weeks ago and i ran the sound out through the tv optical to the hifi. i couldnt work out why i could only get 2.1 to output.

My mb is the gigabyte p55a-ud4p. It does have optical out but how do i know if it puts out 5.1 and even if it does wont a sc running eax be better for gaming?

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You can run more than 2.1 through optical, just not uncompressed audio such as Dolby HD, etc...

 

 

Chances are the TV only output in only 2.1, or was set to only output in 2.1?

 

 

 

 

 

You might be onto something regards EAX, however.

 

 

Can't you just output HDMI from your GPU into a home theatre amp these days?

 

If the amp firstly supports HDMI, and secondly supports AUDIO on HDMI(some only do video switching), then yeah...

Edited by Caelum

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And partly due to face that the amp the OP links to wouldn't have the ability to decode 6 channels(let alone 8) of uncompressed audio, anyway, so it's all a moot point.

that was more of an example than anything but i guess you are going to get what you pay for regarding features

 

 

You can run more than 2.1 through optical, just not uncompressed audio such as Dolby HD, etc...

 

 

Chances are the TV only output in only 2.1, or was set to only output in 2.1?

i would have to check on that. Its one of those things that arent exactly obvious if youre not familiar with the gear

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Can't you just output HDMI from your GPU into a home theatre amp these days?

 

 

Easiest way to find out if your amp can take the signal is if it supports TrueHD/DTS MA as they can only be sent over HDMI and any amp capable of that can also take an 8 channel pcm stream.

 

And 5.1 can only be sent via Optical/Coax when compressed into a DD or DTS stream. Some TV's take a 5.1 signal then down mix to 2.0 stereo pcm. The receiver will usually take the low frequencies and send them to the sub thus giving you 2.1.

 

And yes i believe you are better off running a decent soundcard with EAX through analogue instead of an Optical/Coax cable.

 

 

From wikipedia:

Dolby Digital Live (DDL) is a real-time encoding technology for interactive media such as video games. It converts any audio signals on a PC or game console into a 5.1-channel 16-bit/48 kHz Dolby Digital format at 640 kbit/s and transports it via a single S/PDIF cable.[12] A similar technology known as DTS Connect is available from competitor DTS. An important benefit of this technology is that it enables the use of digital multichannel sound with consumer sound cards, which are otherwise limited to digital PCM stereo or analog multichannel sound because S/PDIF over RCA, BNC, and TOSLINK can only support two-channel PCM, Dolby Digital multichannel audio, and DTS multichannel audio. HDMI was later introduced, and it can carry uncompressed multichannel PCM, lossless compressed multichannel audio, and lossy compressed digital audio. However, Dolby Digital Live is still useful with HDMI to allow transport of multichannel audio over HDMI to devices that are unable to handle uncompressed multichannel PCM.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Digital...by_Digital_Live

Edited by Boosta

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Denon have a new model for this 2011...

 

 

AVR 1911... Has some nice features.

 

 

I've been fairly happy with the Yamaha gear of late, too.

 

 

 

Thing is, unless a surround amp is really low quality, you don't really get much difference in sound quality unless you're spending fuckall, or lots. This kind of mid-range, between 1-2.5 thousand, there's not much variance on quality. The variance lies in features.... So as long as you don't get a crap brand, it's pretty hard to go wrong.

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thinking about this for a setup

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Yamaha-HTR-3063...=item19c7aebbe8+

http://www.auspcmarket.com.au/info/AL-SBXFI-TITAN-HD/101/

I think that would do the job for battlefield 3

Any opinions?

Why bother with the sound card when that amp can take HDMI straight out of the GPU? I don't see any point spending a couple of hundred bucks to process the sound an extra time. Unless there's something I'm missing?

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thinking about this for a setup

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Yamaha-HTR-3063...=item19c7aebbe8+

http://www.auspcmarket.com.au/info/AL-SBXFI-TITAN-HD/101/

I think that would do the job for battlefield 3

Any opinions?

Why bother with the sound card when that amp can take HDMI straight out of the GPU? I don't see any point spending a couple of hundred bucks to process the sound an extra time. Unless there's something I'm missing?

 

i want it for eax 5.0 for gaming, thats about the only reason

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As Caelum says, if you've got optical out then you don't need a card.

Get a decent amp and some speakers.

I picked up this Yamaha RXV800 for 700 bucks, which came with 2 front and 2 rear and a centre speak, Yamaha too.

Bargain!

Posted Image

 

And as you can see, plenty of optical input, and SPDIF thrown in for good measure.

Granted, it is probably way out of date, but it does what I want. Gives me DTS surround sound and rattles the walls.

 

Posted Image

 

 

I don't need or want HDMI through my amp. I have HDMI from PC to TV, have optical audtio going through the amp.

I love it and will probably never replace untill unless it bursts into flames.

Edited by twinair

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not bad not bad! 260watt... sufficent! :P

 

i too have a yammy powering my comp sound.. running 7 jensen speakers and 2 jensen subs.. packs a punch when im playing bf2:bc2 lol but the sound comes out as 5.1

 

its pretty epic.. i wouldnt go with shitty logitech stuff.. its all nice n stuff if u wanna save cash, but my centre costs more than the entire logitech z whatever range... and sounds trillion times better..

 

and with 130 watts per chan.. and u got 7 of them.. u feel every explosion.. and im pretty sure my neighbours do too! lol

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I've gone down the Logitech path before, and while Logitech do make some great gear...mice, keyboards and other peripherals...you can't go past a proper amp/receiver.

 

Yes, I am a Yamaha fanboy...nothing wrong with that. They make good shit!

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ive got a pair of logitech speakers for my ps3.. u can see what gets more love.. pc vs console lol

 

pc has 3 23' screens for gaming.. console has one 32'... pc has uber surround sound.. ps3 has 40$ logitech speakers.. pc has leather chair.. ps3 has carpet on the floor lolz

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I've got a set of $80 logitech speakers and I really miss my full speaker setup. For $80 I really dont think you can do any better and with a good soundcard they actually sound pretty damn good considering. I've actually found that with a sound card even digital out sounds better than onboard.

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well its gonna be something which i will keep for a while i guess

definately will be overkill for my comp room and might need to set up a new desk to take all the crap ive been buying for it lately as im running out of room ro put shit

BTW does anyone run scards for eax now as it seems everyone just runs off onboard optical

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