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noob sound/speaker question

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captainthrall

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
So I have several different sets of speakers and I would like to feed all of them from my on-board sound. Is there a way to do that?
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Do they connect with an 1/8"/3.5mm plug? You would have to find a 3.5mm A/B switch I would gather.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
They may well be. I assumed otherwise because that's how I do it, outboard amplifiers and passive speakers. Doesn't mean I was right. LOL. I am kinda curious now, though.
 
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captainthrall

captainthrall

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
oh, hey sorry... I should have clarified. They're all computer speakers with a standard 3.5 plug.

I'm expecting to receive another set from UPS today. I'll take some pictures and explain exactly what the situation is when I have some time later
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Sounds like (excuse the pun) a ghetto version of surround sound in the making.
 
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captainthrall

captainthrall

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Alright, so I have 3 sets of speakers:
-gogroove base pulse 2.1 system https://amzn.com/B004ALYGI2
-Logitech Z623 2.1 system https://amzn.com/B003VAHYTG
-altec lansing ACS5 speaker pair Db5huhy.jpg

I got the ACS5s in 1994 with my very first computer and I've used them nearly every day for the past 22 years and they're still by far the very best sounding computer speakers I've ever heard.

Anyway, I want to utilize all three speaker combos. The problem is, when I plug them into any of the ports on the back of my computer aside from the "front" port, they sound awful. So yeah, the center/sub, side, and rear ports all have horrible sound for some reason. The only port that sounds good is the magical green port - I'm sure many of you have experienced this phenomenon. Not only do all of the non-green ports sound awful, but many games and programs don't utilize them. For example if you listen to music on youtube it wont play on any of the channels except for the front. So because all of the other ports sound like crap or don't work, I am limited to only 1 set of speakers.

The reason I wanted to hold off on the details is: I just got a new mobo and I'm not sure if it will suffer from the same issue. I assume it will because pretty much all mobos have the same crappy Realtak alc1150 sound configuration, but need to test it first - and I have a dozen other things to test before I get to the speaker test.

So assuming this Realtak alc1150 is as craptastic as all of the others, I'll want to find a way to connect 3 different sound systems to the good port the "front" port. I was thinking I could buy a splitter (though that might degrade quality and weaken the signal) or I can find a way to reassign the other ports.
 

Alaric

New Member
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Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
The other ports don't sound right because they're not right. They are for different surround channels and a subwoofer. The green port is the left and right front channels (stereo). "Surround sound" isn't just multiples of the same channel (neither is stereo) but 5, 7, or however many distinctly separate channels of audio. Unless you get a home theater receiver and set it to 'Stereo" and have multiples of two channels. The pink one is for a microphone. I really hope this helps.

I assumed they were several sets of PC speakers (read: amplified) for some reason...

And you were right!
 
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captainthrall

captainthrall

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
yeah, I know the different (non green) ports are for surround sound.

What I would like to do is connect 3 different speaker sets in "front" mode. Back in the day when sound blaster was still popular, there was software that allowed users to re-assign port functionality, so you could make the black, grey, pink, etc ports all behave like a green port. Is there any way to do that with the ALC1150 array?

If not, is there any reason why buying a 3-way splitter wouldn't work?
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
the same crappy Realtak alc1150 sound configuration,
Its not crappy... :screwy:

yeah, I know the different (non green) ports are for surround sound.

What I would like to do is connect 3 different speaker sets in "front" mode. Back in the day when sound blaster was still popular, there was software that allowed users to re-assign port functionality, so you could make the black, grey, pink, etc ports all behave like a green port. Is there any way to do that with the ALC1150 array?

If not, is there any reason why buying a 3-way splitter wouldn't work?
So why did you bother plugging it in and tes...forget it, lol! :)

Not sure if you can reassign the ports on there... I can't think of a reason a splitter wouldn't work. I suggested it earlier in the thread. :p
 
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captainthrall

captainthrall

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Its not crappy... :screwy:

So why did you bother plugging it in and tes...forget it, lol! :)

Not sure if you can reassign the ports on there... I can't think of a reason a splitter wouldn't work. I suggested it earlier in the thread. :p

Alright, thanks for the info. I just ordered a 3-way splitter for $4.

And I guess it's subjective, but realtak is definitely a few notches below sound blaster in my opinion.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Alright, thanks for the info. I just ordered a 3-way splitter for $4.

And I guess it's subjective, but realtak is definitely a few notches below sound blaster in my opinion.
With the hardware you listed, its hard to believe you can tell a difference. That said, are you using the ALC1150 codec or still thinking about how crappy they USED to be?
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
They're still crappy. Honest. :) And speakers aren't going to make a Realtek chip sound good. Really good speakers just mean you can hear how really bad it is. Honestly, the lousier your speakers are the happier you'll be with a Realtek chip. Bad speakers cover up a multitude of audio sins.


Its not crappy...

Sorry, ED, but yeah, it is. I posted a few times inquiring about sound cards because of the absolutely awful audio rendering of Realtek chips.

With the hardware you listed, its hard to believe you can tell a difference.

And that's a point for your side. :)

I'm kinda harsh on audio. It's a long term interest of mine and I was an audio snob long before I got in to computers. I tend to compare Realtek chips to a bag of cats in a clothes dryer, and I prefer the cats most of the time.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
They're still crappy. Honest. :) And speakers aren't going to make a Realtek chip sound good. Really good speakers just mean you can hear how really bad it is. Honestly, the lousier your speakers are the happier you'll be with a Realtek chip. Bad speakers cover up a multitude of audio sins.




Sorry, ED, but yeah, it is. I posted a few times inquiring about sound cards because of the absolutely awful audio rendering of Realtek chips.



And that's a point for your side. :)

I'm kinda harsh on audio. It's a long term interest of mine and I was an audio snob long before I got in to computers. I tend to compare Realtek chips to a bag of cats in a clothes dryer, and I prefer the cats most of the time.
You misunderstood... Im saying you need a good set of speakers/cans to make a good sound card shine. It will not polish what you are calling a turd in the Realtek ALC1150 solution. :p

I'm not saying its great. But it is GOOD. It is perfectly fine for 95% of people...even on here an enthusiast site. It is not REMOTELY crappy or awful. Most cheap dedicated cards will not 'beat' the ALC1150 CODEC. You are getting the same benefits now of a discrete card... EMI protection, better purpose made caps, high quality op amps, Now, a couple years ago (ALC889) and older.. yeah, sub par.

While there are undoubtedly better sounding solutions, they are also generally more expensive. You also need a decent set of cans/speakers to hear/really appreciate the difference in many cases. Again, not awful, not crappy. Most would say good enough. Audiophiles (I would have considered myself one at one point) need not apply.. different ballgame there.
 
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captainthrall

captainthrall

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
You are getting the same benefits now of a discrete card... EMI protection, better purpose made caps, high quality op amps

I see what you're saying. Comparatively, the ALC1150 isn't bad... especially when you consider how far on-board sound has come. Back in the day on-board sound had a tremendous range of audio capabilities including BOTH beeps AND boops. It's come a long way. So yeah, comparatively speaking, calling the ALC1150 crappy is like getting a new Lamborghini and complaining because it isn't gold plated. But uhhh, yeah it's crappy. Sound is subjective though! What sounds fantastic to one person may sound awful to another and vice versa.

I know I don't have the best speaker setup. Realistically we're talking about $100 in total ebay value. If I was rocking a $2000 bose setup, it might be time to consider a discrete sound card. I'm not even remotely in that ballpark though. However, the thing about my speakers is: the Altec Lansings have amazing mids, but no bass. The logitechs have great bass, and the gogrooves have excellent tweeters. So my goal is to combine the strengths of all three. Hopefully the 3-way splitter will achieve that. If not, I'll do some searching and see if I can find software that will allow me to assign a specific wave range to each set of speakers.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
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Location
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But uhh, no. It's not crappy or awful.

Anyway, report back and let us know how that splitter works for you! :)
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
You misunderstood... Im saying you need a good set of speakers/cans to make a good sound card shine. It will not polish what you are calling a turd in the Realtek ALC1150 solution. :p

I'm not saying its great. But it is GOOD. It is perfectly fine for 95% of people...even on here an enthusiast site. It is not REMOTELY crappy or awful. Most cheap dedicated cards will not 'beat' the ALC1150 CODEC. You are getting the same benefits now of a discrete card... EMI protection, better purpose made caps, high quality op amps, Now, a couple years ago (ALC889) and older.. yeah, sub par.

While there are undoubtedly better sounding solutions, they are also generally more expensive. You also need a decent set of cans/speakers to hear/really appreciate the difference in many cases. Again, not awful, not crappy. Most would say good enough. Audiophiles (I would have considered myself one at one point) need not apply.. different ballgame there.

I will have to concede your point. A little. I can definitely tell the difference between my old Realtek and current Creative audio. I can also tell the difference between mp3 and FLAC and using one mike to record a band and laying down separate tracks and mixing them. :) However, the Creative solution in the Giga board has a larger soundstage and the music doesn't sound "thin". The Realtek definitely has detail and clarity, and software can flesh out the sound somewhat, but I still found it to produce more of a good description of music. I've played both through the same amp and speakers and the difference is pretty big. Neither is optimal IMO, but Creative got closer than Realtek.
 
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captainthrall

captainthrall

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
The splitter works awesome! I have very rich and full sound now. There's absolutely zero feedback, diminishing strength, static, or anything like that. Thanks guys!

P.S. realtak does kinda suck!
17hwaw.jpg