1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

ABIT AU10 + which amp and speakers?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by jim_herd, Jul 21, 2001.

  1. jim_herd

    jim_herd
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Folks,

    I'm going to be setting up my home cinema over the next few weeks and am just considering what amplifier and speakers to marry with the sound card in my PC.

    Since the card comes with WinDVD2000, and the sound decoding is software based, all I actually need is a 5.1 amplifier and some speakers. I'm not sure exactly how good the quality of the sound will be although reviews have said that it is pretty good although it probably won't match a decent external receiver.

    Naturally, lugging the PC to the shops for a listen is out of the question! So, I'm looking for budget recommendations between £500-1000.

    Cheers,

    JAH

    P.S. If anyone is currently using this card I'd appreciate hearing about your setup and experiences.
     
  2. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    It's eems to be an interesting sound card this Abit. Good value, so much so I am thinking of buying one.

    I am currently using a Denon AVR 2800 receiver (new 2802 version due end of year, about £550), and Acoustic Energy speakers (100i fronts, 107c centre, 101 rears, and Aegis sub)

    They match pretty well, but haven't had the chance to try them with a PC yet.

    Look at amps from Yamaha, Denon and Sony, speakers from KEF, Mission, B&W, etc.
     
  3. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    13,981
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Living in Surrey, covering UK!
    Ratings:
    +2,785
    Hi Jim,

    The Denon 3801 is the first amp we stock so I can't comment on solutions below it. I don't quite understand your question. Does the sound card do all the decoding ie it has 5.1 analogue out's. Does it have digital output as well?

    Are you looking for compact speakers or is design not important only sound quality?

    Gordon
     
  4. jim_herd

    jim_herd
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the replies. The main requirement for the amp and speakers is cost! Since the card (or rather the software that comes with the card, Win2000) caters for the decoding and provides 5.1 analogue out (via a strange G9 output), I'd rather spend the cash on a dedicated amplifier than a receiver/amp and pay for a lot of gubbins I don't need.

    ReTrO, a question for you: do you know of a daughterboard I could buy to give me optical output that's compatible with the ABIT? The version of the card I have has SPDIF on board but no way to access it. I'd really like to get this since I have a pair of the Sony Virtual Surround infra red headphones that I'd love to be able to use with the system. I live in a flat so this is a must in order not to annoy the neighbours, hence my reluctance to spend a fortune on a really thumping system.

    Gordon, what are the specs on the amp you mention? How much is it?

    Cheers,

    JAH
     
  5. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    Jah: Hunt around, someone will do a card that will take an spdif internal input and give you optical and co-ax output.

    The Denon 3801, costs £800 (retail), will do DD, DD EX (not THX version, not that it matters)dts, dts ES, dts ES discrete, dts NEO6, full 105w x 7ch output various digital in's and outs, and component switching. If you are going the Denon route wait until the new ones appear. They will do DPL2, adn have more bass management options.
     
  6. jim_herd

    jim_herd
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Cheers ReTrO,

    Thing is, I'm really just looking for a 6 channel integrated power amp without the decoding capabilities I think. Does such a beast exist outside the high-end market?

    I've been looking around. Trouble is, I need to know that it'll work with my card given its characteristics, i.e. I believe that the S/PDIF output comes straight from the FM801 with no buffering and is very low-level voltage-wise.

    JAH
     
  7. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    I have emailed Dabs about this, since they do most Abit sruff, they will get back to me soon.

    Where did u get the card from Jah?

    [ 22-07-2001: Message edited by: ReTrO ]
     
  8. jim_herd

    jim_herd
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi ReTrO,

    I got the card, and my PC, from Scan. Haven't had a chance to talk to them about it. I suppose they might have a solution but it didn't come with it unfortunately!

    I've only recently had time to start getting the PC configured. I'm really looking forward to getting it up and running with my new Sanyo projector, courtesy of Gordon ;-).

    Should have the projector by the end of this week. The problem currently is how to get some sound out so that I can use the system straight away. Hence my questions!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    Suppose u will have to use headphones to start with, winDVD does Dolby headphone doesn't it?
     
  10. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    Gordon: The Abit will output both 5.1 DD and dts, via an optical output (mini-toslink) and via. a 6 channel output.

    I would go for a dual connenction, using the optical for films and 5.1 supported games, and the 6ch. for other games.
     
  11. jim_herd

    jim_herd
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yeah, well I might be able to output some kind of 3D effect sound on the left and right stereo channels and feed them into the Sony headphones since it has a stereo input. All's not lost. I want to get a speaker system though or I won't be able to invite my mates around!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. TWD

    TWD
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Jah,

    I believe NAD and Rotel do 6 channel power amps in the mid-price band. Don't know of any cheap ones though.
     
  13. jim_herd

    jim_herd
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks, just had a look at the NAD website. The 925THX sounds interesting but it probably isn't cheap here. Maybe I should peruse the classifieds :) .

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    I have taken the plunge and ordered an AU10, from dabs.com

    Should arrive sometime next week.

    Currently I am also ampless, which is annoying, especially since there are loads at work!

    But I am holding out until the Denon AVR 3802 arrives, and get one direct.

    Jah: The classifieds should have loads of newish amps with 6ch input and only DD decoding, which is why people are selling them. See if you can get 2 identical ones, then you could bi-amp!
     
  15. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    Jah: Off a website review.

    ABIT's multichannel sound card is based around the ForteMedia FM801-AS chip. The highlights that this chip contributes to the card include support for multiple speakers, SPDIF output, and joystick compatibility. It offers more functions through software support, such as 3D positional audio and a 64 voice wavetable for MIDI support; however, these programs do require CPU time that can affect performance in other areas.

    The chip is combined with a G9 multipin connector for surround sound output; three 1/8” miniplug connections provide interfaces for a microphone, front speakers (independent of the surround output), and a line in for using external equipment. Finally, there is a joystick connector for either game playing or, via adapter, interfacing MIDI components.

    As far as digital audio connections are concerned, the outside of the card does not contain the SPDIF connection that is advertised in the specifications. Instead, the optical SPDIF connection listed is available via a daughterboard that is not included with the card; it is still in the design phase and should be available in mid October for about $20. Those of us wanting some sort of digital interface to external equipment will have to wait a while for this option. This is a little disappointing, as this would be the cleanest source of audio when interfacing to external components.

    Overall, the card is fairly straightforward, offering 6 outputs. The ForteMedia core is a moderate audio chip, but nothing that blows away the competition in performance. Much of the features the card supports rely on the CPU for execution, including both the surround sound decoding and any 3D gaming effects. For extreme gamers, the CPU based audio processing may not pose the strongest solution as this could slow game performance.

    The included DVD playback program, WinDVD, serves as a software based DVD decoder, also requiring CPU time for video and surround sound decoding. As a result, some points in DVD movies may experience a lag, or loss of continuous playback. When accessing the CPU for both image processing and surround sound decoding, these effects could become more of a problem. If the computer is just processing the movie, the effects are minimized, but when competing for CPU time, the movie playback can experience some glitches. In this test, the DVD playback lagged visually at only one point while its audio tracks continued. However, this was not a result of the surround sound CPU usage as it continued with the 5.1 function disabled, indicating that the visual processing was experiencing the slowdown.

    <br />This was as of spetember 20th 2000 (last year), so there should be a card available now.

    I am going for the new AVR 2802 now, it does dts ES and DD EX and its cheaper than the 3802.

    I got the AU10, it's a damn good card. Try playing a war flight sim game like Battle of Britain, amazing stuff!
     

Share This Page

Loading...