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New Sound card + AV Receiver?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Irish_PXzyan, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. Irish_PXzyan

    Irish_PXzyan

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    SO now I'm interested in a new sound card so I can buy a newer AV Receiver!
    But I'm very unsure weather I should bother or not.

    At the moment I have an Auzentech Prelude X-fi Sound card and A Yamaha Natural Sound AV Receiver RX-V363 along with the Tannoy Mercury hi-fi Bookshelf 5.1 setup but with a 10" Vibe Subwoofer.

    So one reason I want to upgrade is for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD master and LPCM audio for the computer and for Blu-ray movies using the PS3.

    What would your thoughts be on this?
    Should I even bother??
     
  2. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    You don't need a new soundcard. If you want 7.1 and DTSHD/DDMA you'll need a new receiver.

    You can output these formats digitally via the HDMI on ATi cards, I would think nVidia's cards can do it too - Somebody with the knowhow for the green camp please chime in on this part (although your Asus 560Ti appears to have Mini-HDMI so you'd need an adaptor to plug it into the full-sized HDMI of a receiver) Doing it that way, you'd lose your Auzentech Prelude's nifty features, but the signal is digital all the way to the receiver, bypassing any EMF interference your computer may be creating and effectively making the receiver itself the single most important part of the sound chain, quality-wise.

    Also, if the receiver you choose has analog multi-channel inputs, your Auzentech can decode these formats and output to the receiver that way. (For example, the Onkyo TX-SR876 has a single set of 7.1 RCA inputs (click SEE REAR VIEW, they're just above the CENTER speaker output) Doing it that way would allow you to use your Auzen's features.

    Is 7.1, DTSHD/DDMA worth it? Most movies are still 5.1 but with a quality receiver and quality speakers, you can distinguish the difference between ordinary Dolby/DTS 5.1 and the high-def DTSHD/DDMA audio track on a well mastered disc fairly easily. It does add sparkle - again, assuming that the receiver and speakers are good enough to show it, and the discs you're watching have very good quality audio - which means much more than just what format they chose to encode the audio with. For example, "The Dark Knight" has an excellent soundtrack, and the Dolby TrueHD track really makes the audio shine on a good system. Gunshots are satisfying, music sounds great.

    Is 7.1 worth it then? Well like I said most movies are still 5.1 On the other hand, your computer games, if coded for it, can produce 7.1 positional audio. In my own personal opinion, the added positional accuracy of 7.1 is worth it. YMMV
     
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  3. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    If you have tons of blu ray movies that are 7.1 maybe then. but really it's just a waste of money.

    New Sound card for what ?.. stay with the one you have.
     
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  4. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    HD audio is not a waste of money.
     
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  5. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    if you have a ps3 and want to use the dts-hd and true-hd tracks then you will want a receiver with hdmi. as far as pc audio goes makes sure your card can do all the digital decoding and pass it off with hdmi. makes for the easiest integration of all your components.
     
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  6. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Yeah, I think basically no matter the device, you need HDMI to pass the signal digitally. Some set-top Blue ray player have decoders, and the analogue outputs for line-level output, and I'm pretty sure the same goes for on the PC, too. You can use HDMI for digital output, or you need a soundcard capable of the decode, and a receiver with the line-level 5.1/7.1 inputs. There are several soundcards with the HDMI in/out to add the audio, I haven't tried with AMD/nVidia cards directly connected.
     
  7. twilyth Guest

    There's no reason to get a sound card if you have a receiver that can handle digital output from your video card. Just run an hdmi cable from the video to the receiver and you're done. The only thing you need to watch for is if both the card and receiver can handle the encoding you will need to properly reproduce sound from the digital sources.

    Sound cards are designed to output an analog signal. If you're going digital, which you should, the sound card is redundant for anything but system sounds and getting feedback from apps. These will go to your video card anyway but I have both my HT system and some cheap speakers hooked up. Long story which I won't get into at the moment.
     
  8. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    that's what was so great about the ps3 4 years ago and still today. i bought a fancy new receiver but it didnt do dts-hd-ma because it would cost over $1500. thankfully the ps3 has the ability to send the signal unencoded using hdmi as LPCM. saved me about $500 bucks.
     
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  9. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    It is computer wise as very few games will do 7.1 sound. However if his b ray collection is big it be more worth while.
     
  10. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    I was just considering this myself last night actually...

    but my plan is to get rid of my Xonar STX completely and use the HDMI on one of my 6970s as a Audio Out that goes to an AV reciever.

    Pitty the Onkyo's im after are over £300 (Come on christmas bonus!!!)
     
  11. Irish_PXzyan

    Irish_PXzyan

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    Ah so I wouldn't need a new sound card? Great!
    I wouldn't be going 7.1 any time soon, I would be keeping with the 5.1 setup for now!

    I have a pretty large blu-ray collection and it grows almost by the week! " 4 blu-ray movies in the last 2 weeks " 2 of which support uncompressed Linear PCM audio.

    When I play these LPCM movies it sounds better than DTS/DD even though my receiver can't play true LPCM :p
    But the audio clarity is abvious! Ultra Violet sounds amazing!

    I do believe I will go for it. I use the PS3 a lot for all my movies and audio is important to me for games too! Battlefield 3 sounds amazing but if I could get even better audio definition, I'm in!

    Now, If I was to bother with a new receiver. Which one should I be looking to buy?
    I am from Ireland so it must be european! The one I have now is USA based, which I need a stepdown power converter to operate. I want this gone!

    The receiver must support a max of 7.1 LPCM @ 192/24!
     
  12. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    Onkyo's are massively popular and come highly recommended. I think there are a handful of sony's and yamaha recievers out there that are good but Onkyo is always at the top of the list.

    they are available from places like Richer Sounds and in some places like Comet & Dixons but only a few stores offer them. Richer Sounds is your best bet though
     
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  13. Irish_PXzyan

    Irish_PXzyan

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    Thank you for that.
    I bought my centre and surround speakers from them! I forgot about that website!
    I will have a look at that brand! I love this yamaha receiver though! I wouldn't mind getting another :p but if there is a better brand and cheaper then I'm all in!
     
  14. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    Onkyo with Audyssey MultEQ or better is a good start.
     
  15. Irish_PXzyan

    Irish_PXzyan

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    Bulblebee! can you explain what this means? " Audyssey MultEQ "
    I wouldn't know the difference from an entry level system to a high end system!
    Why would I want to look for that feature?
     
  16. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
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  17. cheesy999

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    it's a special set up software and microphone that try and compensate for any undesirable acoustic qualities your room might have
     
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  18. twilyth Guest

    I think it's software built into the receiver that automatically sets the sound level and eq balance for each channel depending on the acoustics of your listening area. You get a mic with the unit that you plug into the front panel and then run the setup. The receiver then sends out a series of tones to each channel and gauges the sound level and quality from each one. It then sets the level and eq on each channel to give you what it considers the "ideal" sound. It will also set the subwoofer crossover freq.

    I prefer to do this part manually myself. With both of my Yamahas I can play a track, adjust each channel while I'm listening, play another track and so on until it's just the way I want it.

    BTW, Onkyo's are good but I've heard that some recent models tend to run hot so be careful if you will be putting the receiver in an unventilated cabinet. However that's true for all high power receivers. You need good ventilation. It can be passive as long as the rack you put them in is open and they're not in a small enclosed area. Don't plan on putting stuff on top of the receiver.

    Also, while Onkyo's are very good, so are many Yamahas. Look at the specs for the model you want and check reviews from places like Stereophile, Home Theater, Sound and Vision and other magazines. Yamahas are often just as highly rated as Onkyos. Like I said, I have 2 and I'm very happy with them. One is a home theater model and the other is the RX-V765
     
  19. Irish_PXzyan

    Irish_PXzyan

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    Thanks for the link. I will read up on it and test it out, I didn't realise my receiver has something like that! I don't believe I got a mic with mine though?!?!

    Also, What's the difference from home theatre and a typical receiver like the RX-V765????

    I was actually looking at the RX-V765 on ebay for 350 Euro?
    Would that be any good? Considering it does support LPCM which I'm after!
     
  20. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    The Audessy software is nice to have, but it isn't absolutely necessary. All receivers give you manual control over speaker distances. The Audessy stuff (and the others that compete with Audessy) just automate the process and give you equalization features to boot. For the most part, this kind of feature only begins to appear in mid-range models, not the base models.

    A feature that is probably more relevant to your case is video upconversion. This feature takes analog video and audio that you have connected to the receiver and upconverts it all to HDMI so that you don't need to switch to a different input on your TV. Again, this feature does not appear on base model receivers, but all the brands offer some form of it in their current models.

    One last note--7.1 software (i.e. Blu-ray discs) isn't as common as you think. Many discs do have it, but many don't. Many are still in 5.1 only, which means that your back 2 speakers, if you have them, will be fed sound based on only 5.1, which your receiver will make on the fly.

    My advice--don't bother with a 7.1 setup. It really isn't that much better than 5.1. You can buy a 7.1 capable receiver, but just don't use the back two channels. Get something that has room correction and also video upconversion. Onkyo 609 is a great receiver. Don't know what they sell for in Ireland, though.
     
  21. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Yeah ONKYO do run a bit hot but they all so have a fan in side them too now. And for were he is from heat is not a real issue.

    Been happy with my ONKYO and the Audyssey is nice until later and you can set it up manually. It puts my speakers on 60Htz when i use Audyssey and always turn them back on full and the sound is 100 times better.
     
  22. Irish_PXzyan

    Irish_PXzyan

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    AH yea, I have dealth with it myself. I manually set room correction and set the levels on each speaker manually to what sounds best IMO.

    I won't go 7.1 at all! 5.1 is what I'm staying at for some time to come!

    I would rather not spend that much on a receiver. I want to keep it to 300 if at all possible.

    AsRock, When you say it puts your speakers to 60Htz? what does that mean? Then you put it back on full? What are you putting back on full????
     
  23. twilyth Guest

    My knowledge of these things is spotty to be honest. If I've researched something or done it myself, then i can talk about it. But when you get into encoding methods, I don't really pay attention until something doesn't work.

    HT receivers I think tend to be optimized for video playback rather than music. I've seen receiver reviews where they say something is great for movies but not that great for music. I think one area where the HT's might be a little sloppy is on low end reproduction. You don't need good fidelity to reproduce rumbling noises in a movie sound track but you do if you're listening to Baroque organ music and they hit the 32ft pipes. You can certainly use a standard receiver for home theater though and I think that's generally what someone with a bit of an audiophile bent would do. In fact the 765 has more HDMI out and A/V ports than the HTR.

    But the 765 is an older model. I think it was discontinued when I bought it about 9-12 months ago. That's not necessarily bad but I got it at less than half list price I think so I didn't do a lot of research. what I really like about both receivers is that I think they do a good job of taking 2.1 sound and expanding it to 7.1 (7.2 on the 765 - if I had a second sub).
     
  24. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    I just got an old classic yamaha dsp a5, its a very good old amp and has all the connections on it i need.
     
  25. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    It cuts of low frequency's off that it thinks the speakers may not be able to handle. Thing is if you have reasonable speakers chances are you may be able to get away will using the full band but not as high volume..

    Your speakers it may do the same thing but it's easy once change done type deal you wont have to keep changing it unless you do the setup program ( with the mic ( Audyssey )..

    I was thinking of sending my ONKYO back until i changed that option. Now i just need bigger speakers haha.
     

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