I'm currently running an old Sound Blaster live card, I went from speaker out on the card to rca input on my home audio receiver (also somewhat old, but it works). I've been trying to get better sound out of my music, I mostly play mp3s with occasional movies on my computer. I'm wondering if I hook up a multi-channel input or an optical/coaxial input from the digital output port on the card connected to the amp if I'll get any better sound through my 6.1 speaker system?
I've been contemplating getting another amp tomorrow that would give me the option for 6.1 multi connect, optical, or coaxial inputs. I'm just not sure if it'll make my music/movies sound any better?
Thanks in advance!
Last edited by Acid7711 (2007-01-28 08:57:24)
Optical might be an improvement if you're getting a lot of noise, but a few RCA cables aren't going to be doing much to your sound. In my opinion, cabling is the last thing to worry about in a sound system. The quality of your source, amplifier and speakers are much more important. You might want to use the jack right next to the game port for your stereo output, since it has lower levels of noise iirc. That's about the only blanket recommendation I can make, and even that won't be a huge difference.
Just what is your system lacking anyway? Is your noise floor too high? "Underwater" highs? Muddy or weak bass? Most importantly, where are your speakers?
The exact nature of the deficiency makes a big difference in the best remedy.
Last edited by pauldonnelly (2007-01-29 01:48:48)
No, I have some pretty nice high quality speakers, running an Energy 4 speaker surround sound setup with an Infinity center and a higher end Yamaha sub powered from a higher end Pioneer unit. I realize the amp could be a better name brand, but it's one of Pioneer's higher models, I got a good deal on it from a family member. There is no noise what so ever, it's clear and loud, I just wondering if I'm missing out on something here by using 2 channel stereo rca connectors for regular mp3's rather than a digital out or something?
Maybe I won't even notice a difference in the sound?? That's basically what I'm wondering. I don't run crap stuff, everything is good including the cabling, speakers, receiver, and the sound card is adequate. I'm just concerned I guess of digital out vs analog out when compared to mp3s being played.
Last edited by Acid7711 (2007-01-29 04:44:29)
Then there's probably not much that needs doing in your system. The DAC in the sound card could be a weak link, and an amp with digital input could conceivably sound better if it has a better one, but probably not by much.
I wouldn't go and spend money unless I could hear a definite problem. My "listen with whatever is handy" approach probably dents my audiophile cred. (currently using an old PA I didn't even pay for -- in mono no less), but that's just because I've got a good enough ear to be disappointed with all loudspeakers. I don't try to wring perfection out of them, because that's not going to happen without big old bi- or tri- amped things in 7.2 with servo corrected subs and some extreme EQ for flatness. Plus a specially shaped room. And even then it won't sound as good as "the real thing", whatever that may be. Striving for perfect audio playback reproduction is a fundamentally disappointing effort.
My checklist goes thusly:
1. How is the noise floor?
2. Are highs clear?
3. Are mids there?
4. Can the system handle a lot of info in the mids?
5. Do I have a center channel (I'm not a fan of stereo either)?
6. Are lows crisp and audible?
7. Does it bump when it ought to?
If it passes these, then it's good enough.
Sorry; you didn't sign up for my "sound is awful" rant. Conclusion: I don't think you'll hear a difference between the SB Live!'s DAC and that of whatever amp you pick up unless you're listening on studio monitors in a silent room. Computer fans are likely enough to cover the difference, if any.
Everything checks out on your checklist, I was just curious if I'd get better sound though digital out to digital converter aside from using stereo inputs.
But yeah, that's pretty much what I've figured is going to be the case seeing as how my current sound system outdoes anyone's I personally know for solely computer sound (not including home audio, purely computer audio). For what I've spent, it sounds excellent and I'm very much into music, instruments, and audio stuff. Another reason I asked is I'm likely to upgrade to a 7.1 system soon as I have the extra speakers (also matching Energy) and my current receiver only supports 6.1. I was looking into a 7.1/8.1, or even maybe an .2 style system, however for most subwoofer systems you won't notice a difference by adding another sub if your first is of any decent quality.
I figure for just mp3's, the music quality won't change much. What would make a difference is if I was big into dvd's and movie style stuff and for that I'm really not.
Last edited by Acid7711 (2007-01-29 07:16:00)
Well, just to let anyone who's curious know, I did go out and get another receiver. I got a Yamaha HTR-5940. The sound difference is amazing. It's got a special enhancer for mp3s and such so the sound difference between this and my old pile Pioneer is astounding. I didn't just get it for computer audio, movies, tv, etc all all other reasons. The difference is amazing.