Just received my m-audio sonica...Qs
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ticomojo

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Just got this thing in the mail. First off, I was surprised by how small and light it was. I don't have an amp so I thought I'd just use it to from my laptop to my powered speakers while at home. At least till I get some more $$ to build/purchase a small portable amp. Well, I got curious and plugged in my new Portapro2 into the line out and surprise it sounds pretty good. Defenitely an improvement. Thing is, I've heard from you all on the board that the sonica wouldn't power any headphones and that there'd be bad clipping on low impedance headphones. How come it sounds pretty good to me?? Oh and by the way, what do you all mean by "clipping"?

Also, once I installed the sonica, my volume controls in the lower right in Windows XP disappeared. And the volume buttons by the keyboard don't work. Is that because it's an external soundcard?? Does the M-audio software allow for volume controls?

Any info is appreciated. Thanks.
 
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jerry1130

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check volume control properties, there are two choices for me, the controls for sonica, and the soundmax card built in, make sure you have the sonica selected.
 
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ITZBITZ

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Sonica has no adjustable output, it's a direct feed from the computer.

You'll need an external volume controller, either on a headphone amplifier or a powered set of speakers.
 
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Earwax

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Maybe the radioshack volume attenuator would work--
check catalog #: 42-2559 at radioshack.com
 
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erikzen

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I think it can power lower impedence cans fairly well. If you're not hearing any distortion then the clipping is at a minimum.

"Clipping: The type of distortion caused by gross overload. The resulting loud, harsh and unpleasant sound may cause damage to a hi-fi system, particularly loudspeaker drive units. Clipping is so named because of its reference to the sharp truncation of the AC signal waveform."

From enjoythemusic.com
 
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ticomojo

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I found the volume controls throught the Start menu under Entertainment. The max volume is just normal listening levels with the Portapro2, at least without much ambient noise. Well, I hooked it up to my powered 2.1 computer speakers and messed with the settings in the M-audio control panel. Sounds much better here. I can definitely hear the difference compared to plugging it into the laptop's headphone jack. Watching DVDs on this computer is much nicer now - actually paired up with WinDVD Platinum it's pretty amazing.

I set up the SRS TruSurround in stereo cinema mode and the the TruBass and the Dialog Enhancement... in most cases, with movies it sounds great. With music though it messes it all up in my opinion. I ended up disabling half the features when listening to music and when I put in a DMB live concert DVD.

What are your opinions on the SRS tweaks??

About the clipping or distortion I didn't hear any really. I could tell that the headphones weren't getting enough juice though because some of the frequencies sounded wierd... the bass actually sounded "looser". Not sure if that was due to the SRS though.

Overall, I'm liking it and now I have to save up for an amp. Thanks everybody.

 
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ticomojo

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Quick update... I got all the volume working and I got the Sonica to work for when I'm listening to mp3's. All I had to do was update the driver... which includes support for "SW Synth" which I guess was my problem before. I'm really enjoying this new toy. I think I got it all figured out, too. Just to be a pest, though:

What are your opinions on the SRS tweaks (TruSurround, TruBass, Dialog Enhancement)??

I found out that there are even high end Sony TVs that incorporate that sound processing feature (just for the built in TV speakers, I think). Just wondering what the general opinion was around here.
 
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commando

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Portapros are easy to drive, that's why it works ok. Throw some meatier cans at it, HD600 for example, and it'd sound quiet and terrible.

The windows/winamp volume control control the volume output of the sonica fine.
 
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tortie

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ticomojo

What are your opinions on the SRS tweaks (TruSurround, TruBass, Dialog Enhancement)??



I tried WinDVD before and I liked its "SRS TruSurround XT Headphone" when watching movies. I turn it off when listening to music. If you want an external volume control, you could maybe get a cheap CMoy Amp for your sonica.
 
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erikzen

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I'm with commando. I don't use any of those settings.
 
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