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Lets talk about: Sound.

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Ketxxx, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    With the recent invasion of chav-like people in the forums killing braincells all over the place with their "innits" and "mas", this is my attempt at rejuvinating intelligent thought to some degree. I also decided to make this thread as discussions on speakers, soundcards, equalizer settings, etc, is somewhat.... lacking. Call this thread general advice for those thinking their speakers aren't sounding as good as they could and people looking for advice on a new soundcard or set of speakers if you will.

    With that said, I'll kick things off with my impressions of my current setup.

    Speakers: Logitech X540s 5.1 70RMS watts
    Speaker Special Features: Desk hub for headphones, "Matrix" mode
    Soundcard: Asus Xonar DX 7.1
    Audio Obsession Level: Extreme Audiophile

    Firstly lets talk about the speakers a little, granted they are not THE most powerful speakers you can buy, but the quality IS there, and thats what matters - good sound quality. As far as midrange speakers go these are good, accuracy across all frequencies is very accurate, and you can even crank these puppies up to full volume with no distortion (assuming you have a good soundcard). These speakers even have a sweet hub you can plug headphones in to save bending over or generally having a wire in the way. The speakers also have a very interesting "Matrix" mode. This mode effectively balances sound channels across all speakers, and it sounds bloody fantastic. Unlike other speakers that tend to rely on walls for acoustic reverberation the X540s do not and have a habit of being deceptively loud. Often I have found myself cranking the volume to "just" 40-50% thinking its not too loud, only to venture downstairs to do something and finding myself able to hear the speakers throughout the whole house clearly with a healthy "boom" from the Subwoofer. The only speakers worth upgrading to from the X540s would be the Logitech Z5500s.

    Now heres where things get more complicated as we arrive to the soundcard and its software, configuring it for optimum sound quality. The approach I like to take when setting up for the best possible listening experience is when using the Equalizer, adjust each frequency at a time, moving one slider up and down if needed to get a feel for how it effects the genre of music you listen to. While doing this be sure that nothing sounds distorted across the frequency you are adjusting before moving on. Often you will probably find yourself saving a few different equalizer settings and comparing them all, tweaking the best sounding setting so its "perfect". It goes without saying, but also make sure your soundcard drivers and software are the most up to date available. Often new sound drivers and software will have extra features, bugfixes, tweaks for lower CPU utilisation, and even internal driver tweaks improving audio quality just that little bit more. If your privvy to the option, its also worth experimenting with any LFE Crossover Frequency option you may have, it will help "tune" your speakers in even further than just the Equalizer alone. That about covers me and general advice I have to give, below is a screenshot of my "perfect" Equalizer settings that may help people with the same speakers I have, but such settings are very subjective.
     

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  2. Polarman

    Polarman New Member

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    Speakers: Logitech G51.
    Speaker Special Features: Desk hub for headphones, "Matrix" mode.
    Soundcard: Onboard Realtek® ALC888.
    Headphone/Headset: eDimensional AudioFX Gaming Headset.
    Audio Obsession Level: Casual.

    Overall, i am are very pleased with this setup. Speakers / Headset looks good, decent sound quality. Onboard may sound cheap but at least, drivers from Realtek are updated constantly. CreativeLabs really let me down and i've put a big "X" on them.
     
  3. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    Even on-board audio can sound reasonable, you just need to tweak the Equalizer ;) Wise move on blacklisting Creative, their driver support especially sucks, and their tech support isn't any better.
     
  4. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    ^^ :p

    Speakers: Creative T40 Series II
    Speaker Special Features: Dual Input, Headphone jack both goldplated
    Soundcard: Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music (Pure Direct)
    Headphone/Headset: Denon AH-D1001/ Creative Aurvana Live!/ Platronics .audio 370
    Speicals On Computer: Sound damping, silent treatment with massive heatsink
    Audio Obsession Level: Hell yes!

    Over all this setup is very good for music, only with high quality files though as Pure Direct doesn't to alter the sound in any way, so no 'fix' for poor files.

    2.0 is the most pure way to listen to music, however I agree it under perform in some areas like movies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  5. kyle2020 Guest

    Speakers: Logitech Z2300 200W RMS (400W Peak) & Creative Fatal1ty Headset
    Speaker Special Features: Small control unit, Subwoofer as big as a small house.
    Soundcard: Via onboard - used to use an X-FI Xtreme Audio, but creative hurt my brain so much that I dont use them anymore.
    Audio Obsession Level: As long as the bass is thundering along with my grindcore, Im not too fussed. I hate crappy bass from cheap systems mind, especially during gaming. So Id say "Bass freak" haha. And I aint no chav before you even utter those words :D

    My setup is awesome for my needs - excellent crisp sounds during gaming, thundering bass during a breakdown - also its a good looking system. Ill never buy a 5:1 system ever again, its too messy and hard to set up correctly - 2:1 is good for me.
     
  6. alexp999

    alexp999 Staff

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    Oh god, dont get Ketxxx started on a discussion of 2.1 vs 5.1 :banghead:

    Speakers: Logitech X-230s 2.1 32W RMS (64W Peak)
    Speaker Special Features: Adjustable Bass, only got it on about 1/4, but OMG! :eek:
    Soundcard: ADI SoundMAX AD2000BX Onboard
    Audio Obsession Level: Audiophile and a Bass Freak (but no chav like kyle says :laugh: )
     
  7. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    Extreme Audiophiles? Have the term Audiophiles been downgraded from player of proper Hi-Fi costing well over £10,000 to users of weeny 2.1 costing £50.

    I will not consider myself as a Audiophiles at all, owning a top of the range computer speaker doesn't make me looks any better in proper Audiophiles' eyes. xD
     
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  8. alexp999

    alexp999 Staff

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    My justification for saying audiophile,

    My HiFi :D

    Sony TA-FE370 2 x 70W Amp
    Sony CDP-XE270 CD Player
    Arcam Delta 280 Tuner
    Mission m32i Speakers
     
  9. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    Hey, nice system. But a nice amp upgrade will really boast the sound!

    EDIT: Lets not talk about proper Hi-Fi here, it can really get off-topic =P
     
  10. alexp999

    alexp999 Staff

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    I know, it was my 18 Bday present to myself :p

    And I stretched my budget to get that.

    Not off topic, it says lets talk about sound.

    I have way too many speakers in my room though, got a Sony DAV-DZ260 5.1 Home Cinema Kit in here too :laugh:
     
  11. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    Anyone did any mod on the computer to make the music experience better?

    I brought myself a NZXT Hush sound dampening case, a Thermalright TRUE with FDB fan (max rpm 1000) and a Artic Cooling Twin Turbo GFX cooler to make my computer more quiet.
     
  12. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    the subwoofer on the Logitech X and G series are way too muddy compared to the Z Series. my contribution lol.
     
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  13. freaksavior

    freaksavior To infinity ... and beyond!

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    Spekaers: Harmon Kardon Sound Stix II
    Special Features: 4 mini speakers in each tower and they are Touch sensative volume button and bass volume.
    Sound Card: Xonar d2x pci-e
    Obsession level: Love audio, want to be more of an audiophile but im not

    HT

    Pioneere Elite TXH-01
    Klipsch Icon WF-35 FR and FL speakers
    Icon Center Wc-24 Center
    Icon Surround WS-24 left rear and right rear.
    Woofer Deftech super cube III
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  14. FatForester New Member

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    Speakers: Logitech Z5300s 5.1 280 watts RMS, 560 watts peak
    Speaker Special Features: Has a remote with separate fader, sub, and center controls and a "Matrix" mode
    Soundcard: Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic
    Audio Obession Level: Wanna-be Audiophile

    I think there's a very loose description of the word audiophile here. If I had the money, I would love to build a custom vacuum tube amplifier with my own homemade speakers, but that would cost far too much money to do it right. Maybe one of these days, but for now I'm just sticking with what I've got and tweaking it to make it sound the best it can. My roommate has a pretty nice Hi-Fi setup that I'm quite jealous of at the moment though. When I have time I'll give you guys the specs if you want them.
     
  15. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    This thread is all about PC audio ;) The term "Extreme Audiophile" is to be used in the classic scenario, somebody who is very picky about every single vocal/instrumental/acoustic effect sounding exactly as it should. 5.1 also is not hard to set up kyle, its just a case of reading the jack labels and plugging them in the right holes :p As someone already said, 2.1 is crap, especially for movies. Bass on the X series is also good, whoever it was saying it sounded muddly hasn't adjusted their settings right. If your looking for clarity thats what TREBLE is for :p
     
  16. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    no it's definitely the subwoofer. I own 4 pairs of Logitech Speakers (z-5500, z-680, G51 and X-540) if you have owned multiple pairs you could tell the difference but don't take my word for it read some reviews or ask audiophiles. and i'm not saying the speakers are crap just saying the subwoofer is muddy, same thing with my old HD202's the bass was muddy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
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  17. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    I own 3 5.1 setups, and I have read many reviews on the X540s, all put them in the class of "Very good". Sorry dude, but theres something you haven't done right. Bass isn't supposed to be crystal clear unless you like listening to drums that have no base.
     
  18. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    I have to agree with BumbleBee. No amount of tweaking can make a "muddy" sub sound cleaner. The muddy quality comes from lack of/slow cone response. Software cannot fix that. Bass IS supposed to be crystal clear.
     
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  19. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    google "x-540 bass muddy"
     
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  20. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    Frequency Response. Bass is not supposed to be crystal, you people don't go to many rock concerts do you? :p
     
  21. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    i'm a metal head. lol
     
  22. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    Yes I do. I used to run sound. Bass is supposed to be well defined and crystal clear.
     
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  23. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    agreed.
     
  24. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    lol metal is heavy, not bassy. Wile, if you think Bass is supposed to be absolutely crystal, better go and tell the tech crews at the download festival how to do their job :roll:
     
  25. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    They can't help the environment they are in. And I'd gladly help them, as I used to do it for a living. You are outclassed in this discussion Ket, just let it go.
     
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