AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
738 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What I want:

1. Solid 7.1 output to my receiver.

2. No need to switch inputs between games and movies.

3. PC game sound correctly mapped to 7.1 channels.


What I have:

Terratec 6Fire LT

Turtle Beach Montego DDL

M-Audio Revo 7.1

Creative X-Fi ExtremeMusic

Creative Audigy2 NX


At the moment, I've got the Creative X-Fi in my system. It meets the three criteria listed above, except that:

1. The analog outputs have a fairly high amount of background noise. With no sound playing, you can hear it from the main seating position. I'm using the highest-quality minj -> stereo RCA cables I could find, and everything is sharing a common ground and power conditioner.


2. This is only 5.1, not 7.1, because the insane 3-pole mini jacks required for 7.1 terrify me. I actually have some, but the best I could find are truly scary, made for cheap camcorders. My kingdom for 8-channel RCA outs from a sound card.


Is there a better way? I've decided that I hate Dolby Digital Live, because it necessitates constant 'mode switches', and doesn't handle 7.1. The Revo 7.1 was the easiest to configure for 7.1 output, but I found the reliability to be a constant struggle, and the drivers are never updated.


Is there a card or technique I'm not aware of, or am I just doomed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,343 Posts
What you are essentially looking for is the m-audio delta 1010....


This should solve all the problems you describe fairly easy and it has some bass management features for home theater use as well.


Honestly your best bet though: For movie 5.1 output to a receiver via spdif which then creates the 7.1 conversion. For games 7.1 analog output via the delta 1010. This would require input switching but this can be automated using girder and usb-uirt with your receiver.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
738 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Is a 1010 going to have adequate game compatibility when compared to the Creative cards? I'd like to have only one sound card involved, though you're right, automating input switching isn't particularly hard.


I do really like the rack form-factor of the 1010. Nice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Check out the website bluegears.com. They have a sound card called XMystique that is out now which will encode everything into Dolby Digital (movies are passed through) so you will only need one cable connected to your receiver. In January they are coming out with two more card that will encode everything in DTS. I currently use the XMystique and its a great little card. You can do a search here in the forums since there a couple of threads discussing the card and the new ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
681 Posts
Is the Chaintech AV710 an option? I'm using the Optical out on it for all audio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,324 Posts
#3 will be your down fall for all of the cards if you plan on doing SPDIF output. If you plan on doing SPDIF (optical or digital coax) you need a sound card like the Nforce 2 onboard sound chipset that does real time encoding of the audio, none of those cards in your list do that.


However the HDA Digital X-Mystique, it does on the fly real time digital encoding and can be found here http://www.pcalchemy.com/product_inf...me/sound-cards


its a great card and has excelent sound qualities.


- Josh
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
738 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The Turtle Beach Montego DDL on my list above is essentially the same card as the X-Mystique, and does 'Dolby Digital Live!' real-time encoding.

Unfortunately, DDL doesn't do 7.1.

I don't think the X-Mystique or the new XPlosion solve my problem, though admittedly they do a good job for 5.1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,324 Posts
After thinking about it, Why would you need 7.1 for games? Name one game that has 7.1 I've only ever seen 5.1 games before.


I would be perfectly content with 5.1 in games.


just my 2 cents,

- Josh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,732 Posts
For games, you are stuck w/ creative. All the other cards only support EAX 2.0.

EAX 4.0 supports 7.1. A higher end X-fi w/ better DACS may be your answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
I think one important thing you didn't state is what kinda speaker system your using, ie, logitech 5300, 5500, creative gigaworks, or if you have a receiver that you are hooking your pc up to.

1.) Now, if you have a receiver that you are using, then, sound card really doesn't matter because all of the DAC work is done by your receiver(which i think is the better route, no sound card in my opinion can match the quality of a good receiver). Plus, your receiver should automatically recognize the signal coming in, being it prologic, dolby, or dts.


2.) If your using a speaker system like the logitech 5500 with its own DAC, again, the sound card doesn't matter if you plan on using the SPDIF out.


3.) If you dont want to use the speaker systems DAC or if your speaker system doesn't have its own digital input, then quality of the sound card does matter. I would personally then get the HDA X-Mystique. I just think creative is overally priced and not worth it. There are better products out there.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
738 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Output from the PC goes to separate prepro/amp combo.


All DirectSound3D games (including everything EAX supports) can do 7.1 output. Unlike a DVD, where channels are premixed, the game "knows" exactly where in 3-space the sound originates from, and the sound card / driver can mix than down to as many channels as you have. This is my understanding of it, at least. Can you link me to something that explains why only EAX 4.0 has 7.1 support? I know that when I had the M-Audio Revo in there, I got sound from all 8 speakers in pretty much every game.


Some games are hardcoded to let you pick from a list of channel configurations, but they are the unfortunate exception, not the rule.


I don't have sound quality problems with the X-Fi, but rather connectivity limitations. Buying a $$$ version with better DACs won't help.


The sound card DACs do matter for this, because I'm talking about analog output to the amplification stage; the DACs in a receiver wouldn't come into play.


I don't mean to be crabby, but I did address all of these questions in my original post. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
681 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiler
1. The analog outputs have a fairly high amount of background noise. With no sound playing, you can hear it from the main seating position. I'm using the highest-quality minj -> stereo RCA cables I could find, and everything is sharing a common ground and power conditioner.


2. This is only 5.1, not 7.1, because the insane 3-pole mini jacks required for 7.1 terrify me. I actually have some, but the best I could find are truly scary, made for cheap camcorders. My kingdom for 8-channel RCA outs from a sound card.


What are you using as amplification/speakers.


Personally I mute all sources, CDs, Mic, Line In because they all tend to add noise.


I've used cheapo 3.5 mm -> RCA jacks on a cheapo sony bookshelf system sourced from a cheapo Hercules Fortissimo III and did not have any hiss.


Hard to believe that the X-Fi would be the hissing culpret. If it was I'ld guess the card was defective and would try to RMA it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
738 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herc
Personally I mute all sources, CDs, Mic, Line In because they all tend to add noise.
Aah, that's something I managed to forget to do this time. I'll try that and see what happens. Good call.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top