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How get room filling sound

bobbob

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#1
Hi, all! Considering a lot of what I'm reading here is well beyond me, I'm hoping I can get some accurate info regarding an audio-illiterate question. I appreciate quality sound but am not that familiar with what hw/sw is behind it. I have Altec Lansing 621 speakers (2.1). On my XP (which died) with VIA Vinyl AC'97 drivers and no enhancements, the audio quality was adequate for me but the thing I really liked was that the sound totally filled the room (house) even rattling windows. The bass output was so great that I had the subwoofer level turned all the way down. The bass sounded as though it was coming from the subwoofer. Now I have an i3 Windows 7 Home Premium x64 with Realtek HD drivers (R263 now but I've tried R259 that came preloaded and MS's generic HD). While the sound is a little cleaner and crisper, all the sound (including the bass) comes only from the satellites and literally drops less than 2 feet from the speakers. There's no bass oomph even with the subwoofer level turned all the way up. Since I don't know what was responsible on the XP for that room filling sound, I want to know (before I buy) will a sound card (I've always just used onboard) provide that or is there something else with my new system that is stopping the ability? Also, if a sound card is the answer, I would appreciate any suggestions as to the best one for my situation:
2.1 speakers
want to fill room (don't game or care that much about headphone use)
might optionally like to simulate surround upon occasion

Thanks!
 
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#2
Well, for music and if you're using Winamp, this one is a good option:
http://www.qolabs.com/audioburst/StudioFX/index.htm

I've tried it many times and even used it when i was still using Winamp. It really makes the sound room filling, richer and just better without distorting it in any way. It also provides quite some tweaks for the output sound. Give it a try.
 
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#3
yep if you using winamp you can try some effect, exp like this
 
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#4
Well again if you are using Winamp, there's a plugin I just can't live without, its Dfx Enhancer. Quite good if you want some good sound from a standard sound card.
 
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#5
multiple large component speakers and subwoofers connected to a large powerful amplifier with the sound characteristics you want.
 

bobbob

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#6
Thanks for the responses thus far. I tried Winamp with the extensions and no difference (though I do prefer the UI to WMP).

It seems to me that somehow my 2.1 setup is not being given whatever it needs to distribute low frequencies through the subwoofer. Everything's being sent to the satellites.

Steevo, I would agree with you except that these same speakers were able to produce the desired results on a previous system with XP and different drivers.
 

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#7
Forceful speakers that are front ported will fill a room better. Polks are front ported but you start having to pay a lot of money for them.

If you really want room filling try get away from these book shelf speakers and try find some good old 8" woofer designed speakers.

I have known Marantz to do good amps with a good open top mid end.

Do a search on ebay for Tannoy Mercury to give you some idea on a good designed speaker is. The old ones of these are really good the newer ones like with most companys are just small shit poss compared.

Big sound comes from bigger speakers so don't let people tell you small speakers give of big sound although small speakers might give you the trebble and mids pretty dam well but bigger speakers will own them as small speakers relay on subs which is no were as good as a reall pair of speakers that can produce more of a chest hitting bass that moves in the room.
 
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#8
I love my polks with my Harman kardon, but XP let the sound driver handle the audio endpoint building, Vista and 7 do NOT. Thus 2 channel audio will remain 2 channel, and not be changed to 2.1, or 5.1. You will need other software to change the audio stream before it gets handed to the Windows sound subsystem, thus the need for Winamp or there are a re downloadable audio effects for WMP to do the same.
 
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#9
Ah, so where to begin?

The Realtek HD chips aren't well regarded (which might be an understatement), even outside the audiophile community. If you've been happy with the performance of your Altec Lansing 621 speakers then I see no point in upgrading them (though my audio enthusiast instincts are scolding me).

So if you want to try the software approach and the winamp plugins previously posted aren't making you some magic then maybe you could just try the builtin equalizer in WMP? Or you can try something with a lot more options like AC3Filter.

EDIT: Another software thing you can try, which is a product of the unbelievably convoluted Windows 7 settings (but it might work ;))
Start->Control Panel->Sound





Otherwise buy a cheap sound card. This $13 (less shipping) sound card has a VIA tremor chip on it which should be just like your old onboard sound card. (Ignore brand names and read the label on the chip.) Let me know if you need more sound card suggestions.

Now if you want to know what I would do . . . Well let's see . . .

Iffen you don't want to shell out for a receiver and speakers, AKA the traditional route, then I'd buy some powered monitors. These Numarks look pretty sexy (and cheap), and they'll definitely scare the neighbors. Of course if your Realtek HD onboard is holding you back you'll still need to get a sound card . . .

Yet another option is to buy a 2.1 system (with the requisite oomph) that has an SPDIF input, thus bypassing the inequities of the Realtek HD output DAC.
 
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Frederik S

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#10
You need bigger speakers as simple as that. The reason why you get the closed-in effect is because the emitting area is too local. Bigger speakers with broader dispersion patterns will sound much better in a big room.