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Help! Connecting Audigy 2zs to Denon.

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Leporello, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. Leporello

    Leporello
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    I'm very tired and getting poorer by the minute. For the past week I have been trying to buy the correct cables to link my Audigy 2zs card to a Denon DHT-500SD home cinema system. I think I've read just about every page on the Creative help pages. I've telephone their sales staff twice and twice bought two sets of incorrect cables. In trying to interpret the manual and to following it's illustrations, I have mis-identified them again and bought two more sets of incorrect cables.

    The Soundblaster Audigy 2zs PCI card's outputs comprise six 3.5 mm jacks and a Firewire port. Each jack requiring a converter in order to connect to anything other than the most basic of systems. I have no wish to have a seperate breakout box for digital outputs. I don't want cables sticking out from the front of my system.

    According to Creative's blurbs I can, with the approriate 3.5 mm jack based converters, connect my soundcard to an AV system. After five days of solid reading and despite two attempts at speaking to Creative Sales Staff, I have yet to identify the nature or source of such converters!

    Please can anyone help? :lease:

    Another problem, the Soundcard manuals refer to Audio in/out etc., whereas the connectors on the Denon AV receiver refers to Video in/out etc. I am presuming the these are mutually usable with my soundcard. Am I wrong?

    I've already spent as much as I would have spent on a new soundcard in this, so far futile mission. Should I just give up and throw the Audigy in my "Might be Useful One Day BoX"?

    You'd be moved to tears if you could see just how grateful I will be for a release from my ignorance and pain. :(
     
  2. .Griff.

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    Wrong..

    Video 1 and Video 2 are composite VIDEO inputs and have nothing to do with sound at all.

    The only sound inputs on this model are 1 * Optical and 1 * Coaxial. I think your only option is to use the optional "Digital Output Module" which will then give your Audigy Optical and Coaxial outputs. The only other way of exporting surround sound from the card is annologue (front stereo, rear stereo, centre/sub) but your Denon has no annalogue inputs at all.
     
  3. Leporello

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    Many thanks for responding Griffbo. This is very confusing. I guess you will have realised that I'm new to this. If I may impose on your goodwill just a little more...

    The Audigy card has an Digital output on the top jack and according to Creatives FAQ...

    Decode with the speaker system

    Verify that the speaker system supports Dolby Digital or DTS decoding and its requirements. The Creative Labs DTT 2500 system supports Dolby Digital decoding, but its RCA (Coaxial) Digital input must be connected to the Digital Out on the Sound Blaster Audigy card. The Creative Inspire 5.1 5700 supports both Dolby Digital and DTS formats.

    "In Audio HQ - Device Controls - Decoder - activate the option SPDIF Pass-Through.
    In Audio HQ - Device Controls - Sampling Rate, choose 48 khz
    Ensure that the DVD decoding software you are using is set correctly and is compatible with the Operating System you are using. Choose SPDIF in the Audio options of the program - not 5.1 or 6-speaker.
    The Digital Out on the Sound Blaster Audigy is a four-pole mini jack. When the options above are selected and you play a Dolby Digital signal, it is transferred via the tip of the plug . The signal is automatically recognized by the Speaker system as being in Dolby Digital (AC3) format and will usually activate a LED on the front of the receiver to indicate that it is decoding the signal."
    Does this mean that I can connect the Audigy 2zs to the Denon using a 3.5 mm 4 pole to RCA connecting to the yellow red, and and white RCA connectors on Video 1 or 2 on the Denon?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. .Griff.

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    No mate,

    The Video input's you are refering to on the Denon are for exactly that - VIDEO not sound.

    That FAQ you have quoted refer's to Creative own range of speakers, Creative obviously being the company that manufacture your sound card. These speakers were obviously designed to be used with the card and therefore it's a straight forward process.

    Your Denon only has 2 SOUND inputs, Optical and Coaxial. You need the optional "Digital Output Module " which which give your soundcard Optical and Coaxial outputs. You cannot connect the 2 devices any other way.
     
  5. GrahamC

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    This is what I use to connect my Audigy Zs to my Marantz recriver Maplin 3.5 digital connector.

    Use ordinary digital coax to connect between it and the digital in of the Denon and make sure that the Creative/DVD sofware on the computer is set to digital out/through.
     
  6. Leporello

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    Thanks both for the replies, and for your contributions. to my continuing education. An uphill task I'm afraid. Although I've been putting my own computers together for some years this is my first venture into the more complex area of AV. Thankyou for your patience.

    Griffbo, I won't confuse these video inputs again, but digital connections remain a mystery to me. A situation not helped by Creative's confusing support page and manual.

    Graham C. Would you mind going into more detail about your setup and connections to the Soundblaster. Are you able to exchange data between your PC and AV system, i.e., are you able to copy CD or DVD tracks from the AV to PC CD or DVD? Can you play games, i.e., Half Life 2 in 5.1 surround?

    If yes to all of these things, is all I need one or more of these converters from Maplins?

    I should add, that in desperation, I went out to Maplins and bought a very cheap Trust 514DX Sound Expert Card Optical which has all the necessary connections, including an optical in and an optical out. These plug into the Denon Amp. fine. However, I am unable to intall the optical drivers from Trust (dated June 2002 and are the very last available from C Media!). Not a single review I read before purchase mentioned driver installation problems! I'm using XP HOME Sp2. I do have a the soundcard driver installed the the Trust Optical gizmos are missing., because every time I uninstall and re-install them some files fail to copy. I've tried my installation CD and the latest on Trust's site, this gives me sound in Windows but prevents the card from linking to the optical connections.

    I'm beginning to think that this was never meant to be. I'm going to ,phone Trust support on Monday :clown: but I still have my Audigy 2ZS so this option remains open to me.

    Hoping that you will reply, but will understand if you have better things to do.

    Thanks again
     
  7. GrahamC

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    Hi Leporello, Firstly let’s get to the nitty gritty and see if we can help you. What exactly are you trying to do with your set up, and what equipment or more importantly which programs are you using.

    My setup has a Marantz 7200 Receiver, HTPC with freeview tuner and Audigy 2 Zs soundcard with the main tasks being that of DVD and TV replay. I have had Farcry on a 108" screen with 5.1 digital sound. The only connection that is used sound wise is the little connector from the digital out on the Audigy to the Marantz via a 10 meter coax lead.

    The sound basically goes one way and that is out of the HTPC to the receiver. Can I ask why you want it to go the other way? All the required media can be loaded and played direct from the HTPC. As far as I can tell your equipment only differs from mine by badges on the boxes and it’s not a shortcoming in the Audigy soundcard so the Trust card is a waste,.... ho hum, but then again yoou do have the 'useful one day box'. :D

    [font=&quot]Don’t worry chap this is a great forum and we will get to the bottom of your problems I’m sure and don’t worry that people are smarter than you; it’s just that I’ve … I mean…. they’ve been here before with the same questions to the same problems. :rolleyes:
    [/font]
     
  8. Leporello

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    Graham,

    I logged in earlier to reply to your kind and reassuring reply, but as I typed I suddenly had a bright idea, so I logged off to try it. Now, eleven hours later and after much effort, I'm back to precisely where I started five days ago! I have a virgin install of the Soundblaster drivers and sound back on my computer, raring to go! Nothing is connected to anything, my computer and Denon singing in determined isolation. I'm surrounded by by a cornucopia of soundcard adaptors and cables and a discarded cheap alternative sound card. I feel like an off colour meatball in a bowl psychedelic pasta.

    You ask what I am trying to achieve with my AV system, well I'd be happy just to be able to use my Denon amp to output the sound from my PC through the 5.1 speakers. Achieve this would make me very happy indeed. My setup is based on my desk I have a digital TV card in my computer that works fine through my TFT monitor, but I'm rapidly developing an aversion to the demented circus of grotesques ("celebrities") that seems to make up the bulk of it's, to me, depressing output. I may add a separate DAB receiver to the Denon system. Radio is my chosen medium. If I want a bit of gritty realism on TV I watch the progress of "the only Gay in the village" in Little Britain :cool:

    So please tell me Graham what type of cables to I need to make the best connection between my Audigy 2zs and my AV amp? and into which little holes in the respective components these wires and things plug into? (You'll notice that my expertise in these matters grows by the minute!) :clown:

    Thanks again for the encouraging words,

    Ron. :smashin:
     
  9. Leporello

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    Many thanks for the clarification Griffbo. I think I understand this time. :) I need an 3.5 mm jack to Digital optical adapter to connect coaxial cable to the socket on the Denon. Such an adapter costs 99p! Do you think we're all made of money! :eek:

    Is this the only thing I need to make the link between the PC and the Denon?

    To my untutored eye digital coaxial cables and connectors look identical to the video cable that came bundled with the Denon. Am I correct or should I buy a cable to go with the adapter when I go to Maplins at dawn on Monday?

    Thanks again Griffbo.
     
  10. joffonon

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    No, no, no, not optical. Coaxial. These are two different types of connection; optical (sometimes called Toslink) uses expensive cable to transmit the digital signal via fibre-optics, whereas coaxial is much cheaper as it sends the digital signal electronically. Yes, coaxial is the same format of cable as the cable used for composite video connection. You can buy quite expensive coaxial cable that is packaged as being suitable for digital signals, but ultimately it just has to be good quality shielded coaxial cable that can offer 75-ohm impedance (in other words, cheap crappy cables will not work!).

    In short, what you indeed need is a 3.5mm to coaxial adapter from Maplin or wherever, and a good-quality coaxial lead to connect to the coaxial digital in on your receiver.
     
  11. GrahamC

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    One of these is what you need, pick a length that you need.
    Connect the little connector to the digital out on the sound card and connect the coax cable to it and then your receiver. Make sure that your computer software is set to digital output.
     
  12. Leporello

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    Thanks for the helpful replies. I'll be back in an hour or so when I've bought this wire and plugged it into the appropriate holes. I do hope that it doesn't hurt too much. :eek:

    Ron.
     
  13. Leporello

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    :clap: :clap: :clap:

    Yet another embarrassingly grateful numbskull! One bloody cable! :blush: Griffbo and GrahamC you've done. You've brought me into the light!

    Now to make all those lttle box things that the sounds come out of work in harmony. Well it's the sort of thing we AV experts do 'innit? :smashin:
     
  14. GrahamC

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    Eazy peazy Lemon squeezy.. ;) ... next....
     
  15. GAmbrose

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    Of couse, that cable will only give you Digital 5.1 surround sound in movies.

    Games will just give you Pro Logic 2, unless you connect 3x 3.5mm mini jack -> 2x phono cables and then you will get multi channel surround sound.

    Gary A
     
  16. alanesmith

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    i am using a home built HCPC
    and would love to get a digital output while playing dvd audio
    but the creative says dvd audio ouput is not allowed

    i get dvd digital on moves ok

    anyone know of any software that will acheive my dream?
     
  17. Nicky

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    Re the dvd audio output - can't be done I'm afraid. There's simply too much information in DVD audio (6 channels of very high quality sound). Standard 5.1 movie digital uses a lot of compression but DVD audio requires much more bandwidth for each channel. There simply isn't enough bandwidth on a standard digital connection. Some high end amp/DVD combinations support a standard for this I think (Denon's?) but you can't send it down a standard toslink/coaxial connection.
     
  18. Leporello

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    Many thanks,I was rather anxiously disappointed at the quality of PC's sound output through the Denon. Having cloth ears and an electronics IQ lower than my hat size I was reluctant to complain and thought it must have been the consequence of some misconfiguration I'd done.

    I had the three pole jack and by a process of elimination found the correct holes to put things into. Now it works and my idle layabout son wont get off the computer. I'd throw him off, but he's much bigger than I am and a trifle highly strung. :rolleyes:

    Thanks Gary.
     
  19. [Slip]

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    Can you actually connect and properly achieve 5.1 Digital from an Audigy based card with an Optical / Coax output into a 5.1(+) based amplifiier?

    I was under the impression that this was alot of hassle!

    The optical out on my Audigy NX only supports 2 channel when going to an external amp but 7.1 when plugging the Creative speakers in.

    To me that is a complete joke and a rip off!
    I mean, the decode hardward is in there and it does it! To not output it over anything but Creative is deliberate!
     
  20. Leporello

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    I'm not exactly the best person to ask as I've just managed to join all my bits together with the correct wires with a great deal of help from others on this thread. The issue you raise re the compatibility of Creative's sound cards with 5.1, 7.1 surround systems manufactured by other manufacturer's has cropped up in several forums I've visited.

    When I've asked different people about this I've been told that they are and that they're not with equal vehemence with equally convincing sounding arguments. I read something about the 3.5 jack connection or coaxial on the Soundblaster cards only picking up two channels or something like that.

    I don't think you can blame Creative for primarily manufacturing sound cards compatible with their own hardware. But their claims to be more generally compatible, would if untrue, are a bit off!
     
  21. GrahamC

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    People are getting a little confused in assuming that the fault is all on the hardware side it’s not. The software you are using has to be able to process a 5.1/7.1 sound stream be it 5.1 Dolby, DTS or DVD-audio and if it does not which is 90% of the time a stereo sound stream ( or separated 5.1 via analogue ) is all you get, remember the early days when DVD players couldn’t do DTS. To confuse even more sometime the hardware can process a stream i.e. it has the codecs in silicon but the drivers can’t handle the stream ( major marketing conflicts ) so the receiver doesn’t process it.

    I would say that the HT – PC convergence is in its infancy and it will be a while before you can just switch on and go but soundcard/software manufacturers really should get there finger out on the instructions and ‘how to’ fronts. Creatives instruction… well you could read the instructions until the text comes off and be non the wiser. :confused:
     
  22. Leporello

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    Graham,

    I suppose as the originator of this thread I should bring it to a timely end. Thanks to you and the others I achieved the primary object of my coming here. I've got my Soundblaster Audigy 2ZS hooked up to the Denon system and I, I should we, are delighted with it. The family each asked me to convey their thanks.

    First in line was my wife, whose motives were not entirely centred on setting up a multimedia in the front room. I'm not sure whether it was her wifely concern for my mental, or the bloody racket that ensued as I chanted Anglo Saxon mantras at Creative, Denon, Home electronics in general and often at the ceiling.

    Second came my son. I must confess to having not yet learned much in the way of establishing two way verbal contact with my son, nevertheless I'm fairly certain that I heard some grunts that I've always understood as indicating pleasure, as opposed to displeasure, his other emotion. So thanks from him too.

    Thank you all,

    From us all at Wuthering Depths.
     
  23. GrahamC

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    It has been my pleasure to help; this is what this forum is all about. I have a teenage son myself so understand 'gruntese' though some of the gestures are still a little puzzling. I find if you keep them well fed and with a few well chosen shiny baubles for amusement then they stay fairly placid. :thumbsup:
     
  24. Leporello

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    Just in case someone happens to be browsing this thread looking for how to make the connection between the Audigy 2ZS PCI and Denon AV amp., this is how it is done...

    To the Digital out jack on the soundcard (the top jack on the backplate, the one furthest from the Firewire plug), you need a 3.5 mm to Digital Coaxia converter available from Maplins. This connects to a digital coaxial cable that plugs straight into the coaxial digital in on the back of the Denon amplifier. ( this cable also available from Maplins).

    For the Subwoofer and rear speakers connections you need a 3.5 mm jack 3 pole to RCA Phono. This has two RCA plugs, one red and one white. Plug these into the same coloured inputs on the Denon 500SD amp. These are under the Video 1 section on the back of the amp (the two connectors at the bottom left hand corner of Video 1). This connects to to Line Out 3 on the soundcard, the one next to the Firewire port).

    Then it's down to configuring your software. :)
     
  25. MichaelF

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    Hello everyone. Google brought me to your marveolusly helpful site and I need this thread revived. I was/am having the exact same problem as Leporello. I have managed to get all the right cables and adapters to send the Digital signal from the Audigy 2zs to my home theater system
    the only problem is that I can't get any further than that. I don't know how to configure the software for digital out.

    As a side note, when I was running the Creative Diagnostic tool speaker test nothing happens. But once the test is over I get full surround Pro Logic II sound. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! However, once I close the diagnostic tool, the sound goes with it. I even watched a DVD with the diagnostic open in the backgroud. Odd. So I know all my cables are correct and my reciever is getting the digital signal. I just can't make it last. Any help would be greately appreciated.
    Thank you kindly, Mike
     
  26. GrahamC

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    In the Creative Audigy 2 software use the THX setup console. You will find a select digital button and in the Audio HQ console you will find under 'options' you will be able to select the sound device used by XP. Make sure any onboard sound is disabled just to avoid clashes. :hiya:
     
  27. SeaneyC

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    Seriously this needs to go into a HTPC FAQ, this question comes up ALL the time.
     
  28. MichaelF

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    Sorry, but I can't seem to find the THX setup console you mention. Where should it be? Unless you mean the EAX Console, which does contain a 'Digital output only' box, but when clicked, does nothing. I have both digital and analogue connected to the amplifier/reciever, but Im only getting the analogue signal (except for those 5 minutes of bliss where it actually worked). I thought it was a problem setting up my reciever for digital input, but I plugged a DVD player into it, and it worked fine as well. So the problem lies in the software. Strange how it worked for a bit, but not now eh.

    Thanks again,
    Mike
     
  29. GrahamC

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    On the EAX consol at the bottom there is an access to the THX console (that’s if you have installed all the Audigy software). On the EAX you can check which sound hardware is selected (SB Audigy 2 zs [DE80]) on mine. Selects the THX from the bottom and switch the digital out to ‘on’. I would disconnect the analogue on the Audigy just in case it’s overriding the selection at boot up. Make sure you have the digital out on the Audigy connected correctly in the right socket (common mistake when fiddling around the back of a HTPC). Make sure no other software DVD/MP3/CD players are overriding the digital out and selecting analogue out. :)
     
  30. MichaelF

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    Hello Graham, Thanks for all your help so far I really appreciate it. After some extensive nosing around I have discovered that I have the Audigy 2. Not the Audigy 2 ZS. The Audigy 2 still has digital out however. But I believe some of the programs are different. In my EAX console there is a tab for CMSS 3D, which I have the option of enabling or disabling. However, enabled or diabled I cannot get the digital signal.

    You mentioned conflicts with other software. How can I test this? My onboard soundcard has been disabled, and XP only recognises the Audigy.
     

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