1. Join Now

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

HCPC newbie questions, part deux

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by MyMateJohn, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. MyMateJohn

    MyMateJohn
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    DISCLAIMER: I am a newbie, so please be as in-depth and as patronising as possible so's I can understand your "tech talk".

    Hello, I've recently learnt that you need an amplifier for a speaker system to work... why are you laughing at me?

    So, here's what I've come up with:

    Eltax Silverado Speaker package
    80W Front Speakers
    60W Centre + Rear Speakers
    4-8Ohm Impedance

    I have two Amps to choose from

    Sony TAFE530
    110Wpc
    6 audio inputs
    EON link system
    Source Direct

    and

    Aiwa AVD58
    80Wpc
    6-channel input
    Optical Inputs= 2
    DTS, DD and Pro-Logic
    Subwoofer Output

    I want to connect the speakers and amp to a Soundblaster Audigy Card, that has:

    Analogue/Digital Out (Analog Center & Subwoofer/6-channel SPDIF Output)
    Line In
    Mic In
    Line level out (Front/Rear)
    Analogue/Digital CD Audio In


    I present all this information to you so you can help me,

    1. Recommend which Amp is the best choice
    2. Explain the types of cable needed to set everything up

    n.b. I would like to buy the Sony amp because it has more power, and Dolby Digital decoding can be handled by the Soundblaster Audigy, with DTS, Pro-Logic II etc. being decoded by the DVD software. But I am unsure about the lack of a Subwoofer out and how easy it is to link the Sony Amp to the Soundblaster Audigy.

    :eek: <phew>

    T.I.A.:cool:
     
  2. Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Use the optical digital output on the Augidy and an optical digital input on the amp using an optical cable. This would output a signal that would still need to be decoded by the AV amp.

    Now I don't know either amp, but are you sure the Sony is an AV amp and not a regular stereo amp as your description doesn't mention decoding facilities (it would also explain the lack of subwoofer out).

    You can't go wrong with Yamaha in my opinion.
     
  3. jrwood

    jrwood
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    You can get the Sony STR-DB1070 for £299 new now.

    James
     
  4. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    4,094
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +548
    Yep, I think you'd be better buying an amp that could decode all the required formats.
    Let the PC output the s/pdif only. Computer decoding is iffy at best.

    The Sony amp you mention is only stereo. This will not deliver surround sound without an additional processor (yamaha dsp E800 for example) and cannot decode anything (I don't think it can have a 6 channel input BTW)

    Ideally you should look at a proper AV amp - there are some cheap ones.

    The new Denons are a good bet 1802 being the cheapest up to the 3802 which is a really good allround amp these handle ProLogic II.
    Or you can find the older ones heavily discounted without ProLogicII.

    If your sound card supports it then I would use coaxial for the s/pdif. If not then optical is fine.

    Hope that helps
    Regards
    Alex
     
  5. Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    the card doesn't have a coax out so use optical. Many music-types and hi-fi snobs have sniffed at this card but i doubt they know that it uses an Emu-2 chip usually found in professional audio equipment costing thousands. The reason Creative can sell it so cheap is because they bought Emu and with the chip's r&d already paid for there are only minimal production costs involved.
     
  6. MyMateJohn

    MyMateJohn
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Ok, it seems as if the Aiwa wins. Admittedly, the Sony was just a stereo amp, "will not deliver surround sound without an additional processor", thanks, that's what I needed to hear :).

    A few more questions:

    If the software supports Pro-Logic II decoding but the amp does not, does this mean I cannot use this particular surround sound scheme? Or is it just people being generally opposed to software decoding?

    What specific type of cable do I need to connect the speakers to the amp? (sorry about the newbie-ness of that question)

    Thanks for your help thus far people ;)

    p.s. apart from Richer Sounds and Hi-Fi Bitz, are there any other stores of note?
     
  7. Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    No offence but it really sounds like you've jumped into the deep end here!

    You don't know that you need speaker wire for speaker/amp connections and yet you hope to run a HCPC, it sounds like a tall order to me. Perhaps you should learn the basics first.
     
  8. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    4,094
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +548
    Software decoding is just not mature enough to be of any serious use. Things like the lack of valume adjustment on the separate channels can annoy.
    I don't have any direct experience with the Audigy and it's software though.
    Does it have 6-channel (separate phonos labelled front left, front right, centre, rear left, rear right, subwoofer)?

    I suppose the decoder in the Aiwa is not going to be 'High end' so it might be worth trying, though you'd be at the bleeding edge I believe!

    That would be speaker cable. Check the plugs on the amp as terminating the cable with Banana plugs is the way to go if it can accept them. You buy this by the metre and it's available in loads of different price ranges. It sounds like you're on a budget so try and haggle for it free from the place you buy the other bits from. If you're going to permenantly put it in your wall then consider investing in something a bit more 'long term' like £3/metre kind of price.

    There certainly are. Some of the brands you're looking at look a bit 'off the beaten track' you might want to shop around a bit first.
    Where are you based?
    What is your total budget and what kit does it have to buy you?
     
  9. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    4,094
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +548
    I've just noticed James45's post above and I agree although I was assuming that you might be an audio novice but pretty computer literate. If not, then prepare to do an awful lot of reading before you buy ANYTHING!
    It took me a year to be sure that what I was buying was the best I could possible get for my budget.
    Having said that if you DO decide to jump in then I'm sure we'll do our best to help you out

    Just make sure you do some background reading and searching on these forums and http://www.avsforum.com

    Regards
    Alex
     
  10. Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I was just trying to point out that it is helpful to learn the basics first and have a clear idea of what you want and need before laying down any cash as it's easy to get conned or misled by unscrupulous dealers.
    And I mean is there another piece of electrical equipment around more temperamental than a PC? I don't think so.
    Read some magazines and surf the net... the basic principles should all be there. Good luck.



    Trying.. I just visited your site and am in awe of your setup. Was that a forklift in your living room?
     
  11. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    4,094
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +548
    excuse the diversion MyMateJohn but no, it wasn't a fork lift:D
    It's called a genie lift and Roland (who installed the pj) brought it with him.
    Two people can carry it and it is very strong. You just wind a handle to raise the load. Installing a large crt pj without it would be a nightmare! You can hire them from HSS.

    Glad you liked my setup. Hopefully over the next couple of months everything will be made a bit more discreet and the ease-of-use thing will be finally sorted:D

    After that - it's birth time so I probably wont be doing much with it for a while (maybe just a headphone system:D )
     
  12. MyMateJohn

    MyMateJohn
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    If I can interrupt your discussion on your seven foot... whatever it was that was seven foot...

    "That would be speaker cable" - LOL, Oh dear Lord, I couldn't have scripted that better! Ah well, even though I feel stupid this all goes to getting a better understanding of the task.

    "You don't know that you need speaker wire for speaker/amp connections and yet you hope to run a HCPC, it sounds like a tall order to me. Perhaps you should learn the basics first". Ouch. I've just been told. Yes James. Maybe I should learn the basics.


    Some answers to your questions:

    I'm in the Greater London area, near Kingston which has a Richer Sounds branch.

    I have a budget of just under £300, including any cables and delivery.

    What I want from the setup is compatibility with the most popular surround sound formats, Dolby Digital, DTS etc. As you may be beginning to realise I'm more than happy with the idea of software decoding, in-turn possibly saving me money on the amp. I primarily want to be able to use the system with my PC and Television. That is all I ask.

    I plan to use a TV-out (on my Geforce card) for DVD use, my wallet isn't heavy enough for all this projector business.

    The Aiwa amp was £149.95 from Richer Sounds
    http://www.richersounds.com/cgi-bin/productInfo.cgi?sid=5f128589d.123456&productID=5748

    The Eltax speakers are £108.95
    http://www.richersounds.com/cgi-bin/productInfo.cgi?sid=36ef46b51.123456&productID=5295

    note: Above the price it says "Per Pair", does this mean that £108.95 is not the price for the 5 speakers shown in the picture? (If it isn't, then £10 extra buys a Gale manufactured 5-speaker package)

    Of course I trust your opinions on any better, *cheaper* speakers out there.

    "No Sub?" You may ask. The speakers frequency response reach down to 40Hz on the Eltax speakers, and I haven't found a subwoofer that reaches 20Hz for an affordable price, so the sub I will buy later.

    Yes Alex, (do you mind if I call you Alex?) Computing=good, Audio-related-stuff=baaaad.

    There you have it,

    I cower behind my swivel-chair in horror of the hurtful things you might post this time.
    j/k :p
     
  13. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    4,094
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +548
    Right, unfortunately you have pretty much reached the extent of my knowledge regarding budget equipment.
    Speakers that cost £1xx for all 5 is at the very bottom end of the market and I guess you'll have to buy on price more than any other factor. I started out on cobbled together second hand equipment that was probably cheaper than this and I was still really happy with the results :) so hopefully you'll be ok.
    Second hand really should be considered - especially for the speakers which as long as you get to hear then are usually good for 10+ years.

    I would say that if you are trying to save money then buying the sub last was a good option.

    Also my knowledge of software decoding is limited to the fact that I decided it wasn't ready yet (a bit like PVR) but I'm sure if all you need is the occasional DPLII title then you'll be ok.

    Can anyone else help?
     
  14. Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I've just read that post again and I hang my head in shame, it was a bit harsh. sorry. can't really suggest anything re speakers but if that is for the five it is bloody cheap (i've just checked yes it is), try one of the other forums for speaker reccommendations. Once again very sorry.

    £300 is that for amp and speakers? You may possibly be stretching yourself a bit thin with that.

    Do what I do and go without luxuries like food and clothes.
     
  15. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    4,094
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +548
    Cold tins of beans is what my mate lives on!
    ...and tap water!
     
  16. rob_w

    rob_w
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    hello

    i know it may not be what you want to hear, but if you`re after the best sound quality for movies, then on your budget you may be best investing in a stereo setup, with a view to building the 5.1 system as and when funds arrive. for me personally, this has been the most effective way of building a nice sounding system without throwing (a lot of) cheaper stuff away to replace with better etc........

    1) buy good stereo pair of speakers
    2)buy good second hand stereo amp
    3)enjoy good stereo sound for 6 months...
    4)save up and buy matching centre speakers and rears
    5)add new amp (sell old 2nd hand one for same(ish) price you bought it for)
    6)enjoy 5.1 etc without sub (where i am right now) (5.0)!

    7)finally save up for good sub (hopefully in next 3 months)

    as i said, you wont get surround immediately, but if you buy very cheap stuff you`ll probably want to replace it very soon..

    i know i`d rather have a good stereo setup than a mediocre surround setup, but i listen to a lot of music as well!

    anyway it`s a different option for you to consider.,....

    cheers
    robwells
     
  17. rob_w

    rob_w
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    me again

    just had a look at richer sounds web site

    suggest mission m74`s at £201
    leaves £25 for 10 metres of cable talk talk 3.1 speaker cable
    £10 for decent mini jack to 2xphonos(pc to amp) and £65 for fairly decent stereo amp (cash converters/local paper/loot etc) - just stick to standard jap brand names and you cant go too wrong!

    spend £3 of your budget on a copy of what hifi? mag - look in back for reference on amps.

    rough guide(!)
    good names:

    sony
    technics
    denon
    nad
    arcam
    pioneer
    marantz

    steer clear:
    aiwa
    goodmans
    alba
    matsui

    btw up your budget by about 60 quid and second hand amps of very good quality can be found

    good luck

    robwells
     
  18. MyMateJohn

    MyMateJohn
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    "I started out on cobbled together second hand equipment that was probably cheaper than this and I was still really happy with the results"

    When, where, who, what, how?

    Thanks Robwells for your efforts. Though I couldn't possibly take your personal route, not enough Self-discipline (should take up karate). Indeed you are taking a carefully planned progressive attitude, pour moi? Non.


    James, its cool. I think I probably deserved a little flame grilling. ;)

    Hey! Whats wrong with Aiwa :confused: (as if I had to ask)
     
  19. rob_w

    rob_w
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    fair enough

    i must say that i didnt start out with a plan as such!

    i used to buy loads of second hand stuff cos its all i could afford at the time. i got fed up with just changing the sound rather than improving it (buying 4 different amps over a year, but none of them getting any better!)

    so i bought 1 decent pair of speakers (b+w dm602`s - not expensive but the best i could afford), and then 6 months later a cyrus 2 amp with upgrade power supply turned up in cash converters for £200 (probably about £800 new at a guess) hence the cycle started - i added a yamaha surround (not even pro logic, just dolby surround !)processor, then moved onto a technics pro logic amp (keeping the cyrus) and saved up for the centre and rears

    this has taken about 6 years in all, as and when funds allow....

    not planned , just afforded!
    just bought a yamaha av amp cos me cyrus died.......
    will replace it as and when i can!

    good luck anyway!
    robwells
     

Share This Page

Loading...