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Upgrading sound system, any suggestions??

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e_storm

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2001
Location
Chicago, IL
OK, right now I have a Soundblaster PCI 128 soundcard and Labtec 2422 (I think) speakers, which is a 3 speaker system (sub + 2 satellites).

What I am looking for is a system with 4 speakers and a sub, and the capability of surround sound. I keep getting snuck up on from behind in multiplayer games like Landwarrior without hearing them.

Can I pull this upgrade off with what I have? Maybe buying 2 more satellite speakers and somehow hooking them to my current sub? From interrogating salespeople in Microcenter, the answer would seem to be no, but I'm figuring if there is a way to rig it up, you guys would know :) Tech support at Labtec and Soundblaster have not responded, so I'm on my own.

Thanks in advance.
 

Jon

Just Another Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Location
Lawrenceville, GA
In short, no. Surround sound is possible by adding more channels that give the effect directional sound. If your soundcard doesn't support surround sound then you can't trick it. Your card has left and right stereo but also needs a rear channel.
 
OP
e_storm

e_storm

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2001
Location
Chicago, IL
Oh well, thanks for the response. If thats the case, I'm thinking about an SBlive5.1 card. I have heard of many compatibility problems with that card though, have you guys had problems with it?

And if that card is a bad idea, any suggestions for other ones?
 

Jon

Just Another Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Location
Lawrenceville, GA
I've got a SB Live! X-Gamer...it's not the 5.1 model though. Couldn't be happier with it and never any problems.

Only other card I could recommend that looks interesting is Guillemot's Game Theatre XP. May be what I'm getting for my next system shortly.
 

oc jason

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2001
Location
Fayetteville, AR
all i have is a Souncblaster-it supports surround sound-but if you have a card that dont, u can get an adapter at radio shack that goes from the speaker out(in back of the case) and goes into RCA cables-use those to go into your home stereo if ya got one apart from you computer-then out to your home speakers-thats what i do with mine-can get loud as hell especially with UT and Q3-mp3's also rock-message me if ya need pics, and specifics
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
I have the Sound Blaster Live X-Gamer 5.1 and really love it. Really sounds nice. It has surround sound support and home theater 5.1 support.

Check out the new Yamaha speaker system... totally awesome.

More affordable are the Cambridge Soundworks 4 speakers and sub for about $100, which is the best sounding computer speaker system for the price, in my opinion.
 

Oni

Oni-ni-Kanab;, Ninja Hippo eater Moderator
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
e_storm (May 21, 2001 02:55 p.m.):
Oh well, thanks for the response. If thats the case, I'm thinking about an SBlive5.1 card. I have heard of many compatibility problems with that card though, have you guys had problems with it?

And if that card is a bad idea, any suggestions for other ones?

You'll only have problems w/ that card if your mobo runs the VIA 686b SouthBridge. And from what I've heard, there is also a fix out for it at http://www.viahardware.com
 

Toejam31

Registered
Joined
May 22, 2001
Location
North Carolina, USA
If you are looking for 4.1 speakers, the Klipsch 400-watt THX are the best for gaming. Four satellites w/160-watt subwoofer. Terrific speakers, if a little pricy. But you'll probably end up keeping them through your next two or three PC upgrades ... they are that good.

As for sound cards, the SoundBlaster 5.1 is a nice card, but it does have issues with that damned VIA Southbridge.

Check out the new Hercules Game Theater XP. The external breakout box is actually better than the Live! Drive. It connects to an internal PCI card with a six foot, 44 pin connector cable, which means you can put the box on your desktop, instead of being restricted to a 5.25 bay. It offers connectors for almost any kind of audio input or output standard. The best part? The whole thing costs around $150.00. Check it out ... you won't be sorry!

I sound like I'm trying to sell it, don't I? LOL!

Toejam31
 
OP
e_storm

e_storm

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2001
Location
Chicago, IL
Hey guys,

I'm resurecting this post so that those that have a SB PCI128 know that it is actually capable of surround sound.

I happened to go into a computer store recently and talked with a tech guy who had that card and he informed me that he has a surround system with his PCI128...

so I bought a new 5 speaker system and got home and... sure enough...that extra female plug in the back of the card that I never thought about, is for another set of sattelite speakers and you can actually get surround with that card.

OOOOOHHH YYYEEEAAAAAHHHH!! ;D So I am now quite happy to have saved 80-100 dollars for a new card and am enjoying the beautiful sounds of surround sound. :) No more easily getting snuck up on and killed in DFLW, plus I can actually hear the general direction that gunfire is coming from instead of having to practically triangulate the position of the gunfire by waiting for more shots and making a series of turns from side to side to see which speaker its coming out of. LOL

Anyway, I hope this has educated some people out there that have a PCI128 and that, like me, thought they had to buy a new soundcard to get surround sound. :)