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PC to surround amp (analogue inputs) cables question

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Joe Pineapples, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Joe Pineapples

    Joe Pineapples
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    To connect my PC to my surround amp, (which does have the required 6-channel analogue inputs), do the leads need to be anything special, or will three stereo mini-jack to left/right phono's be ok? (the type you normally get with a soundcard).

    cheers

    Dean
     
  2. AML

    AML
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    There have been threads about this before and I still havent found a satisfactory solution. Its possible to conect your PC to an AV Amp, but all you will get is 2 channel sound.

    If you want 5.1 then you need to get PC spekers like the ones Creative sells.
    These systems have the 3 phono plug inputs (green, orange and black) That your sound card also has. These 3 plug conectors dont exists on AV amps (none that ive seen) so you wouldnt be able to use these conections. You can use regular red/white phonos for stereo sound but thats it.

    All these are analog by the way. If you want to conect optical or coaxial from your card to an Amp, it still wont work and you will get 2 channel sound for most applications except when you watch a DVD movie, then you will get DD or DTS 5.1.

    I think what you are trying to do is conect those 3 analog outputs to an amp, but it wont work bcoz there are no cables that will do that. those 3 orange, black, green cables that PC soundcards use are special and only the PC uses them. I think the orange and green carry 2 chanels each and the last carries the center and the sub.

    No amp has these. Only creatives own Speaker systems have them.
     
  3. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Deansimm - if your PC has 3 minijacks out then yes what you suggest will work. If your amp is a decoder and you have an optical or coaxial S/Pdif out on your PC then that would be the preferable method. As for the quality of the cables it depends what you are doing - Home cinema use (DVD playback) I would try and spend some money on decent cables. Games - use your standard cheap'n'nasty cables. The problem with higher quality cables is the jack plugs tend to have bigger housings and your may have trouble fitting them in together as the jack sockets on a motherboard are so close together.

    I have no idea what AML is on about tbh.
     
  4. Joe Pineapples

    Joe Pineapples
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    i dont think my onboard sound chip has the required built-in decoding for true DD games (far-cry, max payne 2 etc), so i would probably only get the DD out of DVD films, if i used the coax, which i'm not fussed about. The attached image shows the back of my amp (yamaha ax630se), and it does have a 6 channel analogue inoput which corrosponds to what the 3 pc mini-jack outputs need - main (L/R), surround (rears L/R), sub, and centre.
     

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  5. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    You have 2 options digital or analogue. If you have an nforce 2 or 3 motherboard you can output digital that your amp can understand (Dolby digital). Otherwise you will use analogue, you need an amp with 6 (or more) channel input. Just connect you sound card to the amp as if you were connecting it to 5.1 speakers.

    It's that easy and there is nothing too it. Any other sound card that has digital out will only work during movies, they WILL NOT output Dolby digital at another time (as they do not have an encoding chip only a decoder).

    Your amp will be doing no processing on the analogue signal only amplifying it, if you rather had Dolby pro logic then just connect a stereo connection to amp (i.e. main speaker connection from sound card to aux on amp). But your sound card will be better at the surround for the games where as prologic will probably be more guessing on where the sounds are coming from (non discrete)
     
  6. Joe Pineapples

    Joe Pineapples
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    thats exactly it gaz. The only thing i'm not sure about is the lead that serves both sub and centre - which phono (red and white) needs to go in which input, at the amp end.

    (shame i cant utilise the amps processing, but my next mobo will probably have the HDA chips on it, then i will)
     
  7. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    Yea i think thats a funny one on the creative boards, might need a mini stero jack or something, i could never get it working properly, always got either centre or sub channel depending on how far the connector was pushed it. I think it doubles as a coaxial digial, and thats why it's a different connector to the rest.
     
  8. Joe Pineapples

    Joe Pineapples
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    on the onboard soiund connectors, i think its the same 2 channel mini-jack connector type as the others use, with one channels serving the sub, and the other the centre, but its finding out which is which at the amp end :confused: (this jack socket actually doubles up as microphone socket too)
     
  9. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    get a sound demo program or dvd and just play it then if your not getting anything out the centre, just swap them. They are extreme of each other, the sub really shouldn't have any voice or mid/high frequencies as that all goes to the centre.
     
  10. Joe Pineapples

    Joe Pineapples
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    yeah, thats an option
     
  11. AML

    AML
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    As i said, for DVDs its easy to get digital 5.1 through optical or coaxial. What I was reffering to is that some PC games supprot Dolby Digital 5.1 these days but that its hard to get them to work.

    Every PC sound card has about 5 different jacks. 3 are analog 1 is digital coaxial and the other is usualy for microphones.

    Even if you use the coaxial or the optical option, you wont get 5.1 for games. Only for DVDs.

    If you want your games to have 5.1 you would need to use the 3 analog conections that are usually labled orange, black and green.

    These are analog and are designed to conect to a creative sound system for the PC that has these inputs.
    A digital amp does not have these 3 analog inputs labeled orange black green. And a sound card doesnt have 6 analog ouputs unless you are using a card ive never seen. If it does have 6 analogs then you should be able to conect those to your amp.

    The 5 conections on most sound cards arent all analog. And they arent all outputs either. What sound card are you using?

    I already spoke to creative about this and basically they put those 3 jacks in there coz they know they will only work withe creatives own sound systems. Its just clever marketing.
     
  12. Joe Pineapples

    Joe Pineapples
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    Hello AML

    The soundcard is built into the motherboard, and is based on the AD1985 chipset. It has 3 analogue input/outputs which double up for a number of options - including 5.1 (6 channel). the jack colours from top to bottom are,

    blue - supports the rear speakers, or line-in
    green - main speakers, or headphones
    red - sub and centre, or microphone

    So i suppose this is quite a flexible solution. I also spoke to Yamaha (makers of the amp), who said it will work perfectly. Sounds to me like Creative want to keep their customers, once they've bought the soundcards ;).

    Anyway, i'll be trying it over the weekend at some point, and i'll post how i go on, if you;re at all interested

    cheers

    Dean
     
  13. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    I think theres some confusion thats theres only three ports on the pc and 6 on the amp. The ones on the pc side are stero so 2 channels each, so infact the 3x2 (on pc side) = 6x1 on the amp side (each channel is descrete, mono if you were on the amp side). All you need is a stereo -> 2 x phono, splitter to turn the 2 channel stero connector on the pc into 2 seperate channels on the amp end.
     
  14. Joe Pineapples

    Joe Pineapples
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    no confusion here gaz - bought those same cables yesterday :)
     

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