Anyone use "real" speakers for computer speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EricHaas, Feb 7, 2002.

  1. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    I did just that a few nights ago. I have a pair of Paradigm Titan v.2's that were sitting around waiting to be wall mounted as surrounds in my HT system. I have this Cambridge Soundworks 5 piece speaker package for my comp - 4 cubes and a "subwoofer." Anyway, I hooked up the Titans as main just for the heck of it. The Titans are broken in and sound wonderful in HT. The results were interesting. The Cambridge cubes sound boxy, tinny and congested. The Titans sound big, wide and painfully detailed. They picked up huge amounts of source crap that I could never hear with the cubes. Also, the amp which is integrated into the "subwoofer" is a real POS. I am not sure where I fall on the whole mid-fi vs. hi-fi amp controversy, but the distortion from this ultra low fi amp (guessing 5-10% THD), hitherto masked by the craptacular Cambridge speakers, had me nautious after about 2 hours of game playing. Base on the Titans was Godlike compared to the cubes, especially at 2 feet distance. My opponent's grand cannon firing at my rhino tanks in my favorite online game Red Alert 2 reverberated through my spine. The "subwoofer," with its anemic 6 inch driver, was nowhere to be heard. Gunning down street thugs with a sawed off shotgun in Max Payne left me shell shocked. After 2 hours, I could no longer bear hearing what the cubes had so mercifully concealed.

    Anyway, there is a question in this. I have a Sound Blaster Live! Audigy card, and I would eventually like to hook up say 2 pair of Atoms, and an 8" sub. Can I interface a budget receiver (~$200) with my sound card and make this work? If so, what should I buy?
     
  2. John_Bla

    John_Bla Auditioning

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    Hi there. I have my HT set up to my computer also.

    With your audigy you should be able to hook up [up to] a 5.1 analog setup (if your receiver has 5.1 analog in. This is very good for games, since they're not truly 5.1...but the sound card drivers will emulate it pretty well ('creating' the center speaker).

    Also, I purchased a digital i/o card add-on for my sound blater live 5.1 (you should be able to do the same with your audigy if you wish) so I can have a dolby digital 5.1 connection to my receiver to watch movies in 5.1, as well as listen to music in higher quality.

    Taking the time to get it set up I think is really worth the effort...I've really enjoyed it a lot.

    Anyway, if you have any questions, let me know!

    John

    PS - If you don't want to buy a new receiver, and your computer is in the same room as your HT, consider buying a logitech cordless keyboard/mouse combo (optical is nice)...that'll let you use the receiver for EVERYTHING!

    [about 79 bucks for the bundle at cost-co)
     
  3. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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  4. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Damn, Bob beat me to it! [​IMG]
     
  5. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    HAHAHA...Sorry Jeffrey [​IMG]
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I have my PC hooked up to my HT, since it's right next door to it. More because my PC speakers are at work so at home I'm using my Snell E.5s hooked up to my Bryston 3BST amp and my Parasound. (you can see my equipment list). It's pretty cool although I don't use my PC as a HTPC, I play some games on it that I use my HT for.. it's great and saves a little deskspace...

    Jay
     
  7. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    One time I hooked up my band's PA system to my computer and played a few games. I was running 1200 watts - frightening!
     
  8. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    I have a pair of CSW Newton M50s with a small Sony sub hooked up to a 1990 Pioneer stereo receiver which is connected to my soundcard via the CD L/R analog inputs. I always have had some type of bookshelf speakers in my home office for listening to cds and the radio with the old receiver but it wasn't until my 11 year old cd player finally died that I realized I should just hook it all up to the computer's soundcard. I'm not much of a game player but I now listen to cds via the CDROM drive in the computer. A setup of a decent pair of bookshelves, a stereo receiver and a small sub is much better than any small computer-based speaker package that is sold in my opinion. I'd recommend it highly.

    cheers,

    --tom
     
  9. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, I agree with that, with the proviso that you cannot use the amps often supplied with computer speaker packages or you are better off with the computer speakers. So I use the analog inputs into the receiver? OK thanks, I'll try that.
     
  10. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Eric, I bought an adapter at Radio Shack that takes the output port on the soundcard and splits it for regular stereo L/R analog inputs on a stereo receiver. I have nothing fancy for a soundcard (SB 64 or something - it's old I suspect [​IMG] ). Considering all I had before for computer speakers were some ACS90s ($50/pair when bought I believe) from Altec Lansing, it was a major upgrade for me.
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  11. Tom Tubbiola

    Tom Tubbiola Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got my G4 running through my bedroom system (Older Sony receiver with Klipsch RB-5s) using a USB -> analog converter made by Stereo Link www.stereolink.com . This allows me to take the digital audio out of my computer and bypasses all the analog noise inherent in a PC. Also, it sounds great. The only drawback is that it's not 5.1 compatible.
    Tom
     
  12. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    I've got my soundcard (SB PCI128) connected to my old Kenwood KA3020SE amp with some Mission speakers in my study. Sounds far better than the rubbish computer speakers I used to have. The amp was moved from the lounge when I got my Sony receiver. The Missions were cheap in a sale.
     
  13. Steve Hanna

    Steve Hanna Agent

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    I'm running my PC through my bedroom AR3a speakers and mi-fi stereo gear. Decent playback when playing games and mp3 files. Beats the heck outa the little toys that came with the PC.
     
  14. John Doran

    John Doran Screenwriter

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    "craptacular"

    i love it. i just read the first post after a long day at work and i laughed and laughed and laughed.

    thanks, eric.
     
  15. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    I got an audigy platinum card connected to a 3802 with Studio 20's. A step up from the Klipsch promedias that i had before.

    My only qualm is on how difficult it is to setup properly. The 'default' sound didn't really do it for me so for the past month i've been tinkering around with different equalizer combinations.

    Does anyone have an HTPC similar to mine? I currently have the advanced equalizer on the audigy at 'acoustic'. This of course sacrifices the bass for more clarity so i pumped up the bass setting on the Denon to +12 on 5/7 channel mode a i also have trebly set to +6. Output is at 96K.

    If anyone could share similar info, thanks in advance.
     
  16. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    I've got my G3 hooked up to a Onkyo 696 in my bedroom, along with some RT25i Polk speakers. My only problem was a terrible hum, which I got rid of by adding a ground loop isolator to my tangled mess of wires. It works great. I mostly use it to stream music.
     
  17. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Salvador - how exactly do you connect your Audigy to the 3802? I have a similar situation - the Audigy and a 3801. Difference is I don't have the Platinum with the external drive.
     
  18. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    Eric, i use the optical out of the audigy external drive and i connect it to the optical in on the 3802.

    You can also connect the soundcard using a minijack-to-stereo cable. Just connect the corresponding front/rear minijack of the cable to the front/rear EXT-in of the 3801. Let me tell you though that when comparing the digital/optical to the analog/EXT-in connection, i noticed a huge difference in terms of the clarity and bass response. The bass from the studio 20's become really sloppy and out of control when i use the analog connection as oppossed to the optical one. Voices also became quite muffled.
     
  19. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Thanks. I might see if I can pick up the external drive separately. People often sell them used.
     
  20. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    I used a pair of modified Sherwood S270 bookshelf speakers(6.5" polypropylene woofer, 1" tweeter, front ported, 10-70W 8ohm, replaced the blown tweeters with Response models) for the fronts and a pair of KEF C40 standmounted speakers for the rear. I'd put the KEF's in front(they are surprisingly good for the $199 I paid for them, used of course) but I have no space in front! The Sherwoods aren't anything to write home about, but they're still loads better than any multimedia/computer speakers around.
     

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