Originally Posted by alg7_munif
I can't change anything with my sub on my X-Fi either. Why do you need to change the front delay? You can use the front speaker as a reference and set the delay on the rear and centre speaker. I thought that a bass sound is non-directional(a 50Hz sound will have a period of 20ms) and you should also set your speaker symmetrical to the listening position. To invert the woofer output 180 degrees, just reverse the polarity of your cable. Btw you can change the volume level for a single speaker on X-Meridian accurately by clicking the "+" and "-" sign, using the slider is much trickier.
Not being able to set the subwoofer delay is
a big deal, and should be for anyone who cares about extreme sound quality, which is supposed to be the audience for this sound card. Bass is indeed non-directional, but that has nothing to do with wanting the sound from the bass speaker (the subwoofer) to arrive at the listening position at the same time as the sound from the L,R front speakers. The defining case occurs at the crossover frequency itself, where by definition half the sound power comes from the subwoofer and half comes from the main L,R speakers (for any nitpickers, I realize that this is exactly
true only for 2-ch stereo sources). The delay between the subwoofer output and the L,R mains must
be adjustable to cause the sound from the sub to precisely sum (no cancellation) with the sound from the mains. (And this functionality needs to be in the sound card driver; having it in the individual apps (a) means that it must be set up multiple times, and be at the mercy of each app's functionality, (b) how do we get it in 2-channel playback apps like WinAmp? We still need the subwoofer vs. mains delay setting for 2-channel sound.)
For best sound, my subwoofer is in my room's front left corner. (Everyone's listening room will vary, but a corner is the generally accepted best place for the sub in a single-sub system, and in my room it happens to work out that way.) It is 13 feet away from my listening position while my mains are 8 feet away. So even if the electronics happen to get it perfect (same time delays), I need a delay offset to account for the distance difference.
If I just happened to need a 180-degree shift, in my case I would not be able to "just reverse the polarity" of my subwoofer cable. My sub is a Velodyne servo-controlled unit - it won't work with the cable reversed. I can
make it do a 180-degree inversion, but it requires changing a jumper on a PC board inside. In any case it's unlikely that this is all I need for perfect summing of the signals at my listening spot. My point was that the X-Mer driver didn't even provide this simple functionality, not to say that this is what I needed.
Further, in many real-world rooms one can't place the side surrounds equidistant to the listening location. Same with the rear surrounds. The M-Audio driver allows distance settings for each individual speaker to adjust for this. The fact that the X-Mer driver allows the sides and rears to be adjusted only in pairs is yet another limitation.
Thanks for suggesting that I can set the speaker levels by clicking the + and -. I thought I had tried this; apparently I missed it. There's still the limitation of the 1-dB coarseness though.
And, to Fallen Kell: No, there is no reason why I want to use the digital output to a pre/pro. This thread is supposed to be about using the analog outs of the X-Mer card, testing different op-amps, etc. I don't have a pre/pro or receiver, and I don't want one. If I followed that path I'd use that Chaintech card, or even my mobo's SPDIF out.
I entered two support tickets with Auzentech - one for my broken card (maybe it's incompatible with my mobo's chipset?), and one for this driver issue. I forgot to bring the e-mail with the support ticket numbers with me to work, so it'll have to wait until I get home for me to check if they've responded.