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Suggestions/advise on a nice 5.1 sound set up

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by Altered, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Altered

    Altered

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    A fellow clan member bought one of these Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD 24 and was asking for suggestions on a nice 5.1 sound set up. He said he is looking at the Logitech z906. His question is will any decent home audio system work or are speakers such as the 5500s and 906s made specifically for PC gaming. He is afraid to get a sound system like this ONKYO HT-S3400 5.1 Home Theater System and find out that it is not capable of gaming audio. Personally I am not really into this stuff that much and wanted to know from you guys what would be good advise to give him. :D Your knowledge and experience is way above what I could learn in a short time to offer him.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    http://soundnews.ro/2011/05/29/logitech-z906-review-english-version/

    I would choose the Onkyo HT-S3400 over both Logitech speakers. not only are the speakers better but the receiver opens up more avenues because you can connect a television, pre-amp, amp, computer, console, blu-ray, iPod, etc.
     
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  3. Dent1

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    Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD 24 is a good soundcard but is massively overpriced, price tag should be closer to $80-100. There are much better soundcard around like the Xonar series, Asus HDAV 1.3, Auzentech X-Fi Forte, Auzentech Meridian, Auzentech HomeTheater HD etc.

    That Onkyo amp looks decent but the speakers it comes with are crap, judging by the spec and that HTIB speakers are usually crap - putting it blunt. Sure they will sound decent but they won't sound half as good as lowend wooden bookshelf speakers.

    If you are looking for proper hometheatre stop looking at computer speakers and HTIB, they're just plastic and overpriced. Logitech z906 are overpriced and will sound considerably worse than wooden bookshelf speakers or floorstanding of the same overall value.

    Tell your clan member to buy his amp and speakers separately :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
    Altered says thanks.
  4. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    I am not too keen on speakers myself. But one thing that is clear, all the "gaming" grade audio equipment is just a marketing to attract gamers to their sub-par product that won't stand a chance in the HI-Fi world. If you can stay away from PC speakers, gaming audio product and such you will very likely to get better equipment for even less money.

    Proper audio equipment have no problems presenting gaming sound, if they are not doing a better job already. I haven't used any gaming headphones for a long while (still did try them out when my friends get them) and I am using hi-fi headphones for gaming, their imaging and separation is untouchable by any gaming product I have used, have been accused of wallhacking as I can just pinpoint footsteps through walls and reliably hitting them. Outside soundstaging, they just sound miles better in music. So don't be afraid to use decent hi-fi gear for gaming.
     
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  5. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    Just tell him to get the S3400. It's cheaper than the Logitech and will sound better as well. The only thing to note is that I don't see a way to input 5.1 analog into it so the opamps probably won't be doing you any good, that said the digital connections will work out just as well if not better.
     
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  6. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    I am pretty sure as it said "Audio In: 5" I assume there is 5 RCA inputs, but you can also save cash by just selling the sound card and use onboard digital out to the receiver.

    It was specing SNR at 100db, It should be more than enough for a entry level 5.1 system.
     
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  7. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    Personally, I would totally ditch the sound card and just run the HDMI audio out from the video card straight to the Onkyo system. Many games can only output stereo sound, but the Onkyo will do a pretty good job of turning the stereo output into psuedo 5.1, and those games that do output true 5.1 will sound great.
     
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  8. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    I wouldn't ditch the sound card. With creative you'll get open al offloading. I'd just get the cheapest x-fi that has x-ram if you're going digital.
     
  9. Dent1

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    Sort of disagree with this option,

    Most games from the Vista era (2006) till today will output 5 discrete channels (not stereo). Those 5 Channels can be encoded into Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 on the fly using the Titanium HD (not recommended at that price!) or the cards I mentioned in my previous post.

    Although you're correct the amp can ouput psuedo 5.1 using Dolby Prologic or DTS Neo but it'll sound flat in comparison.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  10. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    why would it sound flat? pass it through HDMI and let the Burr-Brown in the Onkyo decode.
     
  11. Dent1

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    Traditionally you need to use analogue (not digital HDMI or SPDIF) to benefit from the DAC. Otherwise the Burr-Brown ain't doing anything (pass-through?)

    Prologic II's algorithm as always sounded weak compared to Dolby Digital with 5 decrete channels. It actually does a bad job at replicating it IMO.

    e.g. BFBC2 supports 5 decrete channels. With Dolby Digital Encoding enabled on my soundcard, letting my receiver decode it, the range of the pitches are loud and vibrant in each speaker.

    However

    Enable PCM stereo on my soundcard, and turn on Prologic IIx 5.1 on my receiver. The audio is muddy, cloudy, with much lower pitches and it's significantly less vibrant on the rear speakers. For the most part the front left, right and center speaker are fine. It's almost like too much Dynamic Range has been applied.

    I also noticed, when I have the TV hooked up to my amp and watch a PCM stereo broadcast, enable Prologic IIx on the receiver and it sounds rather poor in comparsion to the broadcasts that are in Dolby Digital to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  12. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    isn't the whole point of a DAC in a receiver to convert the digital stream to analog after the DSP has decoded?
     
  13. Dent1

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    I'm not a sound engineer so I'm probably not the best qualified to answer that correctly.

    But I'll give it a try.

    DAC is Digital to Analogue Converter. Typically we play music back in digital formats, MP3, video files from a computer or from a IPOD, Satelite TV, etc and using digital interfaces like S/PDIF (fibre/coaxial) or HDMI there isn't any need to process and convert the audio into analogue because the audio is ready to be played digitally. If your amp is connected using an analogue RCA or 3.5mm line in cable then audio playback from the above digital audio formats will need the intervention to convert the digital signals into analogue (DAC).
     
  14. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    Erm... What?

    If you use analoge to connect, the DAC is used on the soundcard. If you use digital to connect, the DAC is used on the receiver.


    No matter how you connect, there will be a convertion using a DAC (unless you are playing vinyl).


    You will use a DAC no matter what in this case, just which one you are using. If you are connecting using digital from the PC to the receiver, the DAC on the receiver is used instead of the soundcard's one. Therefore the quailty of the DAC on the PC is not going to affect anything, and can be sold.

    As specs suggested, the DAC on the receiver is not terrible and the gain from using a better DAC with this grade of gear is really minimal. Selling the soundcard will just save you money for a better setup.
     
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  15. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    cueing Wile_e.....
     
  16. Dent1

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    [​IMG]

    or maybe this one

    [​IMG]
     
  17. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Why do that ?. Can he not use the sound card on his video card using a DVI to HDMI cable ?. And then buy a A/V with HDMI ports on it ?.

    Although it does depend on what his setup is which you did not say..
     

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