1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Spec me a sound card

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by chuck990, 21 Apr 2010.

  1. chuck990

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Dec 2008

    Posts: 1,387

    Location: UK

    Hey all, I’m using some logitech x-540s through my onboard connections (asus P5Q Pro) and its kinda sucky, i get better quality from my ipod (though i do have some nice Sennheiser headphones. What I want is a soundcard simple as that. I however, haven’t got a clue.
    So here’s hoping you guys do :)


    On another note, im also looking for a switcher or something similar for the speakers, I like to use them for not only the computer, but also the Xbox and, occasionally, the TV. This means I have to get out of bed and connect them manually. Being the lazy sod I am, I seek simplification! If there was some sort of device that could sit on a shelf and switch between the devices with the switch or a button (a remote would be even better but I don’t want to be too optimistic :p) I don’t have a budget as such but as a student I don’t want to be paying through the roof obviously.
    Thanks for all help!!
     
  2. C64

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Mar 2007

    Posts: 12,809

    Location: London

    Last edited: 21 Apr 2010
  3. setter

    Caporegime

    Joined: 14 Dec 2005

    Posts: 28,160

    Location: armoy, n. ireland

    If front panel audio isnt connected C64, is it still ok to just connect headphones to my speaker control knob. I have a creative itrigue 3330 2.1 setup, volume control knob on desk with headphone jack. Speakers will be connected to a xonar DX pcie soundcard that im hopefully geting tomorrow.
     
  4. C64

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Mar 2007

    Posts: 12,809

    Location: London

    Yea I use my logitech z4 headphone socket sometimes but the quality difference is very poor front panel connected or not doesn't come in to play.
    You still need to switch to front panel manually in the xonar software it doesn't swap automatically if you just plug headphones in to the FP.

    Best thing you can do is get the front panel connected and get a ferrite clamp for the front panel audio cable if you get EMI on the line.


    I went and bought a ferrite ring for mine (got the cable size wrong the ferrite is a bit too big has to clamp tight round the cable) but now I just have my case turned sideways on a chest of drawers next to my cpu desk so swapping stuff about isn't a pain.
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2010
  5. setter

    Caporegime

    Joined: 14 Dec 2005

    Posts: 28,160

    Location: armoy, n. ireland

    Cheers, im hoping that the front panel audio cables are long enough to reach the connections, on my board theyre right in the bottom rear.
     
  6. C64

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Mar 2007

    Posts: 12,809

    Location: London

    well depends where the pci express slots are on your board if you have one right near the bottom x16 or x1 slot it's perfect.
    You will probably need a ferrite ring or clamp got mine from that high st electrical shop wait and see if you get static etc on the line first.
     
  7. chuck990

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Dec 2008

    Posts: 1,387

    Location: UK

    if a switch isnt appropriate waht about an amp of some sort? would thatbe able to have multiple inputs and give me the one output?

    also if i'm not really fussed whether i get a pci or express which is better?
     
  8. C64

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Mar 2007

    Posts: 12,809

    Location: London

    They are the same just different formats some people need pci space for other things so there's the pci-express version.
    If you aren't fussed over loss of quality just get a splitter and use the front panel input on the case for headphones.
     
  9. chuck990

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Dec 2008

    Posts: 1,387

    Location: UK

    i think you guys may have misunderstood me, i dont want more outputs from the pc, i want more inputs to my speakers
     
  10. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11,178

    I wouldn't worry about audio quality degradation with a switcher, yes there will be some, but not much, at least not to enough to worry about. If you were using hi-fi equipment, then the difference would be more easily heard, but not using PC speakers.

    However, I feel it is not worth bothering with. The problem lies in the fact that you are using analogue 5.1 speakers, something TV's and Xbox360 do not support. They only support stereo via analogue. You can connect your speakers, in a fashion, but you will have to sacrifice centre, sub and rear speakers, and just use left and right stereo. That idea is somewhat pointless though, as you will get no sub. With 5.1 speakers, the subwoofer is a shared connection with the centre speaker, which TV's and Xbox have no connection for. You will get left and right sound, but no sub, so the sound will have no bass at all, and will be tinny.

    An AV amplifier is a no go really, not unless you are willing to shell out a few hundred. With with any kind of small budget for separates 5.1, you will likely get poor quality. Your speakers are no use with an AV amp, meaning you will need an AV amp, and will need to buy the speakers aswell.

    The other alternative for surround sound, would be to get some second hand Logitech Z5500 speakers, if you can. New they are very pricey currently, but as they have a digital connection, you still get 5.1 that will connect to a TV (assuming it has an optical port) and the Xbox, and also will be cheaper than buying an AV receiver and speaker package.

    One other possibility is some kind of decoder device that will take a digital connection from TV or Xbox and convert it to analogue 5.1, to which you can connect your speakers. Maybe someone can shed some light on whether such a thing exists.
     
  11. chuck990

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Dec 2008

    Posts: 1,387

    Location: UK

    the spakers i've got seem to have some sort of decoder as somehow, magically, i get full surround sound (gunshots behind me out the rear, voices in front out of the center etc.), whack loads of bass and pretty superb quality

    its what they call the matrix function and is only simulated surround sound, but through the xbox, through the magic of i dont know quite what, 2.0 turns to 5.1

    all i need now is sme way of connecting the speakers to more than one input
     
  12. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11,178

    Ah I see, that Matrix feature sounds very handy. :) You could get an audio switch box from the popular auction site.
     
  13. chuck990

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Dec 2008

    Posts: 1,387

    Location: UK

    what kind of thing should i be looking for?
    is there any way to just combine them?

    thanks all
     
  14. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11,178

    If you are looking on the popular auction site, just search for audio switch box. There will be 1 output, to which the speakers will be connected, and 3 or more inputs for various devices. Just select which ever input is desired with a switch.

    [​IMG]

    There is an example. You will likely need cables that have a 3.5mm socket to RCA/phono, as all the audio switch boxes I have seen use RCA/phono, whereas the speakers use 3.5mm jacks.
     
  15. chuck990

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Dec 2008

    Posts: 1,387

    Location: UK

    tha looks good and will do the job, but is there aything... i dunno... a little more... fancy? that thing isnt exactly discrete, it also requires flicking the switch, my seakers computer tv etc are all 3m away and im in my bed, is tere an equivalent with a remote?