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Rotatable sound setup?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema & Hi-Fi' started by Ben, 5 Feb 2006.

  1. Ben

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,328

    Location: Kent

    OK Excuse my fantastic (!!) Paint Skills:
    Link to image. (Basic layout of my bed room(not exactly to scale !!)).

    Currently have my Sammy 26" connected to my PC, which has some aging Cambridge soundworks speakers (only front ones). The sammy is wall mounted and is the bigger rectangle near the 1 in the top image. My Bed is the big rectangle to the right.

    What I would like to do is buy some speakers and amp with a "rotatable" setup. (and most likely a new soundcard that can output to the amp).
    So when I'm sitting in front of the screen (like in the top image) i.e. at PC. the speakers are configured to be.
    1) Front Left
    2) Front Right.
    3) Rear Right.
    4) Rear Left.

    And at a flick of a setting (and after pulling my TV out and rotating it towards my bed, like in the bottom image), I would like the speakers to be (for when lying in bed watching something)..
    1) Front Right.
    2) Rear Right.
    3) Rear Left.
    4) Front Left.

    I'm guessing this sort of set up would also need different volumes for the speakers depending on their role at the time?

    Is this possible? or would it be better to use some kind of software on the PC to do it?
     
  2. DRZ

    Soldato

    Joined: 2 Jun 2003

    Posts: 6,837

    Location: In the top 1%

    It would be possible if you were using two different sources, but if the sources are the same I dont know of any off-the-shelf way of doing it.

    IF you want the source to be one thing when one way and another when the other way, its fairly easy to do (depending on your kit)
     
  3. Ben

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,328

    Location: Kent

    Can I do this if I had 2 sound cards? both using optical? If so then all I'd need to do is switch the sound card that is being used to the one I have set up for the config I want.

    If that is possible, what amp/speaker combo would be recommended for the task? (looking at £300-400 for price bracket)

    Cheers :)
     
  4. Clown

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 Apr 2004

    Posts: 5,087

    Location: London

    I need to know the answer to this too. Good post Ben :)
     
  5. DRZ

    Soldato

    Joined: 2 Jun 2003

    Posts: 6,837

    Location: In the top 1%

    Basically, you need one "normal" input into the digital input (which will give you the correct way of having the speakers placed) and then for the reversed you would use the 6 channel input of your amp backwards to invert the speakers.

    As for the budget, £400 should get you a s/h AV amp of your choice plus a reasonable "lifestyle" speaker set like the Cantons or a set of M71is for front/rears and a centre to match, leaving you to scrape about for a sub when you next get paid ;)
     
  6. Ben

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,328

    Location: Kent

    So in theory, I could use my current on board sound card, as it has both an Optical SPDIF and 3 Jacks for Front, Rear, and Centre/Sub. Set the SPDIF to be Digital Only, and then use MPC or VLC to select the SPDIF when I want one configuration, and normal processing when I want the other? (so I need 3 short jack to phono leads, and an optical cable).
    I'll most likely need a better sound card for when using the Jacks.

    Any recommendations on a sub and amp?

    Also being that I live in a flat, I can't really use expensive equipment to its full potential, which was why I put a price range of £300-£400 as I would have thought any more than that I wouldn't be getting my money's worth.
     
  7. DRZ

    Soldato

    Joined: 2 Jun 2003

    Posts: 6,837

    Location: In the top 1%

    If its possible to do that then its certainly an option to explore :) The analogue output of your card wont be a patch on an optical digital output for SQ though, so thats something to think about. Possibly getting an external sound card might help but its not something I have looked at in great detail...

    Amp-wise you are looking at something like a Denon 1905 / Marantz / Yamaha equivalent or for a bit more, the next models up. To buy new you are looking at more money again for something equivalent that wont really be that much better (just later versions of decoding etc).

    Subwoofers arent something I really looked into an awful lot and I dont know much about them but when I had all my AV stuff I had a small Gale unit and it was adequate for my purposes.
     
  8. Mr Latte

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 8 Aug 2003

    Posts: 9,137

    Personally im totally against such ideas.

    Isnt it best to rearrange or replan a layout that gives a good 5.1 central configuration which can allow the viewing from a Desk as well as your bed etc.
    If it was me id be seeing about getting rid of some furniture or buying new furniture which allows the required storage but fits in with the new room layout.

    Having a dual/switchable room layout is more cluttered and isnt going to give you optimium sound either way as both are compromises.
     
  9. tom_nieto

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 11,019

    Location: Birmingham

    The man speaks the truth, although it is possible for the setup to be switched.

    I presume you have a larger screen on one side for watching DVDs etc on. I would use the optical output from your card to stream to the amp, as even from non-dd sources, the amp will be much better at upmixing stereo sound of TV shows etc.

    For games you should use the analogue connections and rearrange the plugs.
     
  10. Ben

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,328

    Location: Kent

    Hi guys, thanks for your input.
    However, I don't think my room can be in a configuration to get an "optimal" setup.
    The other wall side (from my bed, is taken up by a built in warddrobe and the door. And then I'm getting into the viewing distance being quite large for the 26" (talking about from the bed), and would probably require a much larger set.
    The other option is having a smaller bed, which isn't really an option!

    And yes, we have a 32" CRT in the lounge, so this isn't the "main" set.

    The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards the Logitech 5.1 THX set for just under 200 quid. As it doesn't seem to be worth spending the extra money for the situation I'm in. Also they should be much better than my aging Cambridge Soundworks ones which only have the connections from the PC. :)
     
  11. Mr Latte

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 8 Aug 2003

    Posts: 9,137

    Ok if the room option isnt possible then best advice i can give you now is NOT to get a logitec PC speaker package. Its not that the logitec is bad but you can get so much better.

    The reason as ive put across to many others and your no different is that for £200 you can get a pretty amazing full 5.1 home cinema package. This will not only probably sound every bit as good as the Logitec , hell even better but your also getting alot more for your money.

    Example:
    DVD / Divx / MP3 etc drive playback
    RDS tuner
    Remote control and additional AV inputs.

    If you seek a few models on popular hifi/electrical stores you will find amazing offers from models that were perhaps £300+ going for under 1/2 price.

    * Look for Optical & Coxial Inputs for best connectivity/upgradability but be carefull many wont offer these. Possibly Dolby Prologic II decoding
    (upscales stereo into 5.1) These should all offer DTS & Dolby digital as standard too.

    Example:
    [​IMG]
    Pioneer DCS333 (Multi-region DVD package system) Available for £199

    Look around for a few other models and reviews/prices but from experience imo these are better options than Pc speaker packages.
     
    Last edited: 20 Feb 2006