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Audio Advice Please?

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Brodel    14

Hi,

My computer has been a pain regarding 5.1 surround pretty much since I first built it. I have an Asus A8N-E board but decided to use a Creative Soundblaster 5.1 card. I originally used a Creative Soundblaster that came with a Dell. The Dell also came with these speakers. I sold the Dell including the creative card before building my current computer because I figured the speakers would work on the AS8N-E onboard sound. They don't, so I purchased another Creative soundblaster from ebay and it works, but only partly. This might be something to do with the speakers coming with a Dell setup and possibly a specific Dell/Creative soundcard? I'm not sure.

For example creative's own drivers are not an option, it only seems to work with KX audio drivers. This means I have no true EAX because KX Drivers don't support it.

Today Battlefield 2 started acting up and I started playing with the sound settings and got partial EAX working. The game is awesome with it, but bottom line is my setup can't handle it as far as I can tell.

What I want is good 5.1 sound for games with working EAX and a good system to play music though. Just this day I was looking at amps and speakers to buy for a separate setup to play my music on before BF2 started playing up so I'm wondering what my best solution is.

Do I buy a basic separates package like Hi-Fi system #2 here for my MP3's and a new soundcard so that I can run 5.1 in games through the Dell speakers (assuming these current speakers will work with it?) Or do I buy a new soundcard and a new set of PC speakers that will play music and games?

The whole reason I was about to buy separates was because I wanted a dedicated setup to play my music on some nice wall mounted speakers and I don't know how PC setups rate against dedicated setups?

Sorry this is such a long and probably confusing post, but any advice/help is appreciated.

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goji    30

Granted I'm in the states, but have you a budget for what your looking at doing? I'm assuming your interested in a good stereo system for now and then upgrade to 5.1 or do you want to jump into 5.1 on a budget? If you go for a quality system with upgrades over time your will spend more cash but have a higher quality setup and experience in the long run.

I would check with Creative/Dell customer support to help trouble shoot the problem with you to see where the source of your problem lies. From there then you'll have options.

Hope that helps.

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Brodel    14

I don't really want to spend more than around 200 really. After thinking about it, I'd like to keep the speakers I have for gaming and then buy a separates system for music.

If I were to buy a Creative Audigy 2 ZS, would I be able to hook my current speakers up to it (they have a black, yellow and green cable coming from them) and then if I purchase Hi-Fi #2 from the link above, would I be able to attach that to the sound card and then switch to that to play music from my computer when I wasn't gaming (without having to unplug anything)?

Also, the Audigy 2 Zs is compatible with Vista isn't it? Or would I be better off in the long run by going for something like an X-Fi card?

Sorry for the basic questions, I'm pretty clueless about sound cards.

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Brodel    14

On second thoughts, I could stretch to a Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Music. If that improves the sound quality of my music and games, then that will do for a while whilst I save for a separates system?

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goji    30

You can build a great little system without breaking the bank by shopping for name brand audio equipment on the used market; deals can be had!

I'm sure anything you buy will allow for some connectivity with you PC, just a stereo line cable into the receiver unit and your set. I've been told to stay away from Creative due to bad driver support and I hear Asus makes some good audio cards. Check each website for specific models and they should state if they are or are not Vista compatible. Shop around and have fun!

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+Fahim S.    1,087

It really isn't a bad idea if you are on budget to buy your kit second had, if it has no moving parts (i.e. no CD or DVD players).

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Brodel    14

Thanks guys. I've actually picked up a secondhand AV amp which will arrive tomorrow and I plan to hook up some Wharfedale 9.1 speakers to it.

I have a question regarding the best way to connect my PC to the amp though. My motherboard is an Asus A8N-E

13-131-530-01.jpg

The board doesn't have a headphones out at the front and neither does the soundcard (SB Live 5.1) there is a port at the front but the motherboard does have spdif coaxial which I'd rather connect to the amp which seems possible unless I'm completely missing something?

540R_Dos_L.jpg

My problem is that I use the creative card for gaming so want to keep that for the eax effects. If I play music through foobar I can select the output... sb live or nvidia onboard.... the only thing is there isn't anything to specify that I want the audio coming out of the coaxial in foobar or in the nv mixer. Is this just something that happens automatically and I don't need to set?

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+Fahim S.    1,087

To my knowledge, it will come out of both...

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