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Speakers with computer sound card, raise amp, or max computer volume ???

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Should I max my sound card volume, and only use a little amp power, or lower the sound card volume, and use more amp???
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
Should I put them straight on the desk, or at an angle so that they face me ???
post #3 of 15
The answer to both questions are that you're going to have to experiment, especially so with speaker placement. Generally, as you toe in your speakers more and more, the image becomes tighter and the width of the soundstage decrease. You're going to need to experiment to see how much toe in are going to need. It will depend on the distance between the speakers themself and how far you are from them.
post #4 of 15
For some soundcards like the Chaintech AV-710 100% volume is line-level, while on others like the Turtle Beach Santa Cruiz it is 75% and on the Audigy series you get horrible clipping above 50% volume. Some don't rely on percentage at all, like the EMU cards where 0.00 dB in PatchMix DSP is line-level.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Um, what about an M-Audio Revolution 7.1 ???? What should I do? 50%?

What are EMU cards ?

From the manual : "Note that the outputs of the Revolution 7.1 are line level."

So?
post #6 of 15
I think with the Revo 7.1 you can use 100%, but if you experience clipping then switch to 75%.

Also, EMU is a brand of soundcards (that sound really good).
post #7 of 15
pprobably what is my single biggest b*tch with soundcards-the crap shoot nature of setting them up for best audio.
some are best at 50%,some 75% and some 100%.

OK fine.No Problemo. But at least tell me in the literature where the sweat spot is !
don't just give me the overall specs but actually some usable info so i can at least have a shot at good sound without experimenting for a week with the adjustments !

that or have a damn standard "0" dbu point and let me in on the secret so i know where to set my max level.

Now that that has been said :

for the absolute best S/N ratio you want your signal from lowest to highest in voltage gain terms so for example the ideal would be any setting that allowed you to run the power amp section (powered speakers) at 100% wide open volume.But if there are sound card output stage limitations then you must compromise and do what it takes to avoid an overload situation at the beginning.

Bass akwards but what choice do you have ? Only at the pro soundcard level do we get actual standrds and adequate level handling plus metering to monitor all.Not cheap but way better than the alternative
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickcr42
for the absolute best S/N ratio you want your signal from lowest to highest in voltage gain terms so for example the ideal would be any setting that allowed you to run the power amp section (powered speakers) at 100% wide open volume.But if there are sound card output stage limitations then you must compromise and do what it takes to avoid an overload situation at the beginning.
I don't understant.

Does that mean sound card at 100% (unless it makes weird sounds) and amp the less I can?
post #9 of 15
no,just the opposite.

the reason you don't see volume controls on power amps other than in the PA/Studio arena where total control of the signal is essential is that they are meant to be played "wide open" for best signal to noise ratio.If you consider a powered speaker as no more than a power amplifier in a loudspeaker then it is the same thing-wide open again.
any signal attenuation/volume control should be and really already IS at the front end,the sound card or inline attenuator for some,so there is no problem with any possible clipping or overdriving the amp if you keep the volume level rational.no matter where the "sweat spot" of the sound card lies.
and even those cards that realy suck until they hit a cerain level can be tamed by adding asimple passive volume control between the line out and the speaker.Look at the Chu Mu switch box at the headwize project library for an idea of the concept.something i have used for many years and in fact recommended "back in the day" at headwize at every oppurtunity.

Best fix is always the simple one.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Uh, so I should keep my amp really high, and raise or lower the volume using the sound card?

I don't think I'll do that, because a reboot *poof noise* in the sound card will tear my speakers apart if he amp is @ max. And uh, my amp @ max would require me to use my sound card at like 1-5% ???
post #11 of 15
the simple "fix" to that scenario would be to add a mute switch before the amp,always a good idea to have anyway.

when a potentiometer is at full volume it becomes a resistor with the entire resistive element of the volume control now going from the signal input to ground.Since there is no longer any of the "volume control" actually inline with the signal and since these powered speaker volume pots are of iffy quality at best AND since you have turned that "iffy" pot into a simple rsistor which is setting the input resistance (impedance) to this amp and it is now a "fixed" value and at the max rating of the pot it is at least to me a win win thing.All the weaknesses are eliminated at once.

But if the sound card puts out such a "hot" signal that it limits your sound card volume control range AND you are worried about "boot up" sounds coming through the speakers all you need do is put four resistors and a switch in a tiny box and all your problems are over.

The resistors will be used to form a PAD which is set to a predetermined "-dB" point which allows the best overall response of the sound card volume and the switch is for shunting the signal that goes to the amp to ground and at the same time lifting the connection to the line out so ther is no connection to this ground---a "mute" switch

But just a suggestion man
post #12 of 15
My opinion on how volume control should be done is that the signal should be as hot as it can be (without clipping) before reaching the DAC to maximize the SNR, and any volume control should be handled in the analog domain (with high quality components). With modern soundcards boasting SNRs of 110+ dB when operating in 24-bits you can lower the signal by about 15 dB digitally before you reach the limit of redbook CD audio and start to decrease the dynamic range of the audio.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Radar
My opinion on how volume control should be done is that the signal should be as hot as it can be (without clipping) before reaching the DAC to maximize the SNR, and any volume control should be handled in the analog domain (with high quality components). With modern soundcards boasting SNRs of 110+ dB when operating in 24-bits you can lower the signal by about 15 dB digitally before you reach the limit of redbook CD audio and start to decrease the dynamic range of the audio.

English, please? I don't know much about audio.

I just know that :
I have Mission M72i speakers
An old harman kardon amp (really does a good job though)
M-audio revo 7.1 24/96 sound card.

You are saying that the revo should be near max volume to get the best sound possible ?
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
)Oooo cool, they are magnetically shielded I can put em beside my screen and no prob
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
)Oooo cool, they are magnetically shielded I can put em beside my screen and no prob
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