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Thread: How to connect my computer to an amp?

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    How to connect my computer to an amp?

    Hi everyone,

    I wanted to connect my computer to my amp so i can get 5.1 surround sound. I was wondering what is a decent sound card (that doesn't cost too much) that i would need to buy?

    At the moment my sound card is connected to my amp via the green plug but doesn't allow me to have 5.1 (all speakers work but not the sub)

    Any help would be great.

    thanks

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    Ive just found that ive got a CREATIVE LABS SB0220 card.

    Will this be suitable for what i want it for? How do i connect it to my amp to get the sub to work as well as the speakers?

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    If you are using an external amp, you really need one with either an optical or SpDif connector input - and obviously a sound card with a compatable output (I haven't looked at the specs for the soundblaster card you mentioned - but the soundblasters are pretty good for the money - do a Hexus search for more info about sound cards.) That would be the more expensive as an amplifier with 5.1 decoder tends to be expensive, and you would want a pair of decent speakers to gain the benefit. My guess is that you are not in that league (yet )

    Alternatively, some powered speakers will take the LR/FR signals and generate the sub woofer signal from that. The gree plug is L/R - a black connection is usually F/R.

    You need to consider what you have, what you want to achieve and your budget and balance across those three requirements.
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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Alternatively, some powered speakers will take the LR/FR signals and generate the sub woofer signal from that. The gree plug is L/R - a black connection is usually F/R.
    Guessing you mean green connector is Front - right and left and Black connector is Rear - right and left.

    At least it is on my sound card/speakers.

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Webby View Post
    Guessing you mean green connector is Front - right and left and Black connector is Rear - right and left.

    At least it is on my sound card/speakers.
    Yes - they are stereo jack plugs, so between the two yiou get 4 signals.
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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    The problem with PCs and 5.1 sound is that there is very little, if anything, that uses 5.1 sound outside of audio tracks.

    Games will all send to the jacks of a standard soundcard and not encode the 3D audio as a 5.1 DolbyDigital or DTS bit-stream for sending to the amp to decode.

    Installing the correct decoder will allow you to pass the bit-stream for a DVD or movie file to the digital-out on the soundcard but this is the absolute limits 99% of the time for PCs connected to surround sound amps.....anything else is normally stereo.

    Many manufacturers have promised DD5.1 "encoding soundcards" but I have yet to see one.
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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    If you have a Digital connection on you amplifier I am assuming this sound card should do the job well.

    M-AUDIO - Revolution 5.1 - High-Definition 5.1 Surround Sound Card

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by aqil View Post
    If you have a Digital connection on your amplifier...
    You definately want a soundcard with Dolby Digital Live, so that any 5.1 audio stream is encoded to the digital output.

    eg something by Auzentech

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    All ive got is the amp connected to the green audio jack via the motherboard. Ill try the sound card that ive already got in my other computer and see if its any better.

    Also, my xbox360 is connected to my tv, then tv to amp, and again, i cant seem to get the dolby digital to work (sub is unresponsive).

    any ideas how to connect to xbox360 directly to the amp?

    thanks

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    which amp do you have?

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    Aiwa Av-NW30

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    Quote Originally Posted by letshavesome View Post
    Aiwa Av-NW30
    At the moment you have it hooked up with a 2 channel analog input from both sources.

    For Dolby Digital on your amp you must use a digital input.

    The manual isn't that clear about its DSP but if the sub isn't working with a 2 channel input try setting the front speakers to small.

    For DD, on the Xbox that means using the cable with an optical output:
    Amazon.co.uk: Xbox Digital AV Cable: PC & Video Games

    For your PC you will need a soundcard that has Dolby Digital Live if you want games in 5.1

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    From the start:

    Stereo output from your sound card is left and right. It's a green plug on most sound cards now.

    To gain a 5.1 output from any sound card youo must:
    A: have a 5.1 source ie a DVD film in 5.1, OR a game that creates it.
    or
    B: have a sound card capable of INVENTING/CREATING a 5.1 output from a normal stereo source ie a CD or a stereo sound game

    A is normal
    B is artificial

    Next:
    The output from your sound card, IF it's a 5.1 sound card to begin with, sends the signal as
    A: a Digital output, either through a single cable or through a fibre optic
    B: 3 paired phono leads Front Left and Right, Rear left and right, Centre and Bass


    What inputs does your AMP have? Does it accept a DIGITAL signal, either via a cable or a fibre optic lead? or does it accept 6 phono inputs, as descibed above. Or both?

    What material do you want to listen to in 5.1? If it's MUSIC, you might prefer it as a normal stereo to be honest. If it's games, TV, films.... and IF you haven't got a 5.1 sound card....

    have you tried setting your amp to Pro Logic and letting IT DO THE 5.1? OK, it'll create a fake surriound sound, uising a blend of the two front channels and creating them as a mono (ie both rear the same) minimal range slightly delayed effect.... but it sounds cool for football, and I played some great games with Pro Logic for atmosphere.

    It will then attempt to take the voice frequency out of the stereo signal and play it through the centre channel and will divert bass to your box.

    I think that, while 5.1 is very good when it's right, and cool if the POSITIONAL AUDIO is good in games.....

    what a lot of people realy want is atmosphere, and Pro Logic 1 and Pro Logic 2 did a great job, via the AMP doing the work, ffrom a plain old stereo signal

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    Would this card be suitable for my amp?

    Terratec Aureon 7.1 PCI Sound Card

    Also, what other cards should i consider?

    I only want it so i can watch films and connect it to my amp to get 5.1 surround sound. At the moment its connected via the green jack but when i set my amp to dolby digital the sub woofer doesn't work. It does work when i set the amp to "PCM - Movie (or any other mode)" but i cant get sound from the central speaker.

    Why is this?

    thanks

    James

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    anyone able to help, i really dont have a clue on what to do?

    My current connections are like this;

    Sagem HD50 G4 is my tv.

    My amp (Awia AV-MW30) is connected to my tv via the coaxial (SPDIF OUT).

    My xbox 360 is connected to my tv via a Green/Blue/Red and Yellow (SPDIF IN) ports. Its also connected to my amp using a red and white jacks.

    My pc is connected to my tv using a HDMI cable and the sound is connected via the green audio jack into the amp (red and white audio jacks - AUX)

    I think my connections are all wrong because i cant get true dolby pro logic to work on anything.

    How should i go about connecting to get dolby pro logic to work mainly through my xbox 360 and my pc (was thinking of a new sound card with a coaxial or optical ports? any models that are relatively cheap?)

    any help would be great

    thanks

    James

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    Re: How to connect my computer to an amp?

    I couldn't find any information out about this amp - Aiwa are now a division of Sony, so I don't know how old it is.

    However, ZAK33's post above pretty much sums everything up. You won't get a true 5.1 output from your computer by feeding it a 2 channel signal. The best you will get is pseudo 5.1. To get true 5.1 output, you will need to feed in a digital signal to the amp from the soundcard.

    You say that the centre speaker doesn't work -but remember that is a ''ambience' speaker and may not give a continuous output. If there is a set-up or test facility on the amplifier (it may have one to adjust the overall balance) then it would be worth using that to test the individual outputs..

    To get 5.1 spund from the Xbox you need to connect to Sp-dif ouitput of the X-Box to the Sp-dif input of the amp.
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