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How to connect powered sub to sound card?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I just purchased a Velodyne VX-11 powered sub and I'm having trouble connecting it to my X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro sound card. I have BX5a Deluxe hooked up to the main stereo out port on the sound card (3.5mm to dual 1/4" TRS splitter) but when I connect the subwoofer to the center/sub out port on the sound card (3.5mm to white/red RCA) I run into issues. My Creative audio control panel detects the subwoofer when I set it to 5.1 mode (I can click on the sub icon and the sub will rattle) but there is 0 sub output when I play music or movies.

Here's what the sub's back panel looks like:



I currently have both white and red RCA cables from the 3.5 to dual RCA splitter plugged into the sub.

Any ideas?

P.S. Here is a pic of the 3.5mm to dual RCA cable connected to the sub. The White input is labeled LFE.

post #2 of 19
The source (in this case PCI Sound Card) should be in stereo (2ch) mode
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbarian887 View Post

The source (in this case PCI Sound Card) should be in stereo (2ch) mode

That's how I had it originally. There was no sub output when I set it to stereo. Now I have it set to 5.1 but I'm forced to upconvert my music to 5.1 for the sub to engage. I bought a 3.5mm 2-way splitter so I can split the stereo sound between the monitors and the sub... hopefully that will work better.
post #4 of 19
When connecting the splitter to the sound card were you using the green plug? That's the one that will output a stereo signal which is what you need.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbarian887 View Post

When connecting the splitter to the sound card were you using the green plug? That's the one that will output a stereo signal which is what you need.

I meant I just ordered a splitter. My intention is exactly as you described: split the stereo signal from my sound card for the sub and L/R channels.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zygrene View Post

I meant I just ordered a splitter. My intention is exactly as you described: split the stereo signal from my sound card for the sub and L/R channels.

That should work then.

My only concern with that is the loss of line-level amplification since the signal is being halved in order to feed both devices.
Edited by Barbarian887 - 11/27/12 at 11:46pm
post #7 of 19
I had an X-FI sound card on my PC in the past. Try turning on bass redirection. It's basically a software crossover. Try the 80hz setting as a starting point and see what effect that has.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbarian887 View Post

That should work then.
My only concern with that is the loss of line-level amplification since the signal is being halved in order to feed both devices.

Would this cause a significant loss in audio fidelity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom4221 View Post

I had an X-FI sound card on my PC in the past. Try turning on bass redirection. It's basically a software crossover. Try the 80hz setting as a starting point and see what effect that has.

I've tried using Bass Redirection already. All the crossover does is affect which frequencies get sent to the sub, but the L/R monitors aren't affected, e.g. the woofers aren't producing bass frequencies even when I set the software crossover to 80Hz or lower.

Right now I have to EQ the mids way up for the monitor woofers to do anything. Without the EQ all I get too much treble and bass from the sub with a massive hole in the midrange. Hopefully the 3.5mm Y splitter will do the trick.
post #9 of 19
Wouldn't the other side of your split cable in the LFE input be sending center channel?

Anyway, I remember a while back when I had a sound blaster you could disable the surround speakers when you set 5.1 output. Should be an option somewhere. I can't help beyond that because I haven't had a sound blaster in a long time.


Also, might want to post this question in the HTPC section, probably get better response.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
I managed to disable the surround speakers, but I can't disable the center since that channel is shared with the sub. This is without the splitter cable.

Right now it seems to be working alright, but I think the splitter should fix it.
post #11 of 19
Unplug the red rca cable going into the sub. That's the center channel being split from the 3.5 output.

I think this is ultimately a software issue. If you have no way of telling the system that you have a 2.1 setup. You have to hook it all up manually with your splitter. Maybe you should check with creative labs.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
My only concern with that is the loss of line-level amplification since the signal is being halved in order to feed both devices.

It's a low impedance output bridged by two high impedance loads....there is no 'halving' of the signal.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

It's a low impedance output bridged by two high impedance loads....there is no 'halving' of the signal.

no, he's talking about one of these things

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-RockStar-3-5-mm-Headphone-Splitter/dp/B0017PG8KS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1354252018&sr=8-3&keywords=5+way+splitter

unless it were somehow powered bu usb or something to maintain voltage it needs to be halved
post #14 of 19
Quote:
unless it were somehow powered bu usb or something to maintain voltage it needs to be halved

No it doesn't. You're not understanding impedance.
By you're theory, a 5 way splitter would have 1/5 of the voltage at each port. this is not the case.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

No it doesn't. You're not understanding impedance.
By you're theory, a 5 way splitter would have 1/5 of the voltage at each port. this is not the case.

if all 5 outlets are in use I'm pretty sure it does...

even someone who bought it commented :

" when you connect a headphone or another audio source, you can feel the audio volume droping down a little bit."
post #16 of 19
Quote:
if all 5 outlets are in use I'm pretty sure it does...

Pretty sure? means you're not sure.
Quote:
" when you connect a headphone or another audio source, you can feel the audio volume droping down a little bit."

But, there are no headphones being connected, only high impedance loads...you'd be correct if they were all low impedance loads....and you knew what imedance was.smile.gif
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

Pretty sure? means you're not sure.
But, there are no headphones being connected, only high impedance loads...you'd be correct if they were all low impedance loads....and you knew what imedance was.smile.gif

I guess i should do more research on it then, sorry...
post #18 of 19
I have a similar setup here but ended up having to buy a used reciever to get things to work properly. Kind of a pain but it seems the X-Fi wasn't designed for a HT Subwoofer. I had the same problem as I had to have it in 5.1 mode to get any subwoofer output but then it would think I also have a Center Channel that doesn't exist. Dialog was getting sent to the sub, so you couldn't hear any voices.

I bought a used Denon AVR-590 off Craigslist for $90. After getting everything setup last night it sounds perfect!! Also got the added benefit of Audyssey which really made things sound amazing.

The Denon AVR feeds the sub through the LEF Output and my fronts off the L & R outputs. Granted not sure how you'd do that with Studio Monitors, i guess you could use the audio output off the AVR?
post #19 of 19
I had a similar problem when going from a pre-built Logitech system to studio monitors. I have a sub coming in tomorrow and plan on buying two more studio monitors to help enhance my sound experience. Eventually, I'd like to find a center channel and have 5.1 again but for right now I'm mostly concerned with music. Instead of getting Y-splitters to connect my SM I bought this http://www.presonus.com/products/AudioBox-USB to hook up my SM's. There's no sub out on it but I'm not worried about that right now. You can use a Y-splitter from the external interface and run one set to the sub and the others to the SM's. I also wanted an external volume control I could control with my hands instead of just with a mouse. The sub I got is the SVS PB1000 and has a high pass freq RCA output on it so I'm going to run the L/R from the interface to the sub and then from the sub I'll run the high pass of 80Hz to my monitors helping eliminate low range in them. When I get a second pair I'll just split those cables coming from the sub.

My only concern now is what to get if/when I want to run 5.1 again using SM's...a processor maybe?
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