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Thread: Confused about how to hook up PC -> Amps

  1. #1
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    Confused about how to hook up PC -> Amps

    I am planning on using an nForce2 motherboard with onboard sound to drive my system (just the MCP not the upgraded MCP-T sound chip). It has 6channel sound, meaning 3 1/8" plugs in the back. I've been told 1 is front channels, 1 is rear channels, and 1 is center channel. Now when I'm playing MP3's through WinAmp, I believe sound is only going to be coming out of the front channels. In my car I have 4 speakers connected to a 4 channel amp, and 2 subs connected to a mono amp.

    So to properly hook this up would I need to split the front channel output from the PC into 3 separate lines so I can run 2 to the 4 channel amp, and 1 to the sub amp. If I do this would the signal still be strong enough to maintain a good sound quality? Is there a better way to do this that I am overlooking?

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    Why not use the front-channel on your soundcard as inputs to the front channels on your amp, the rear channel on your soundcard as input to the rear channels on your amp, and use a crossover on one either the rears or the fronts (preferably the fronts) as input for you sub amp?

    You will lose your center channel output, but unless you have a speaker in your dash it's not worth much anyway. This way, you can still use most of the sound effects from your soundcard (left-to-right balance, forward and rear fade, custom 3d effects, etc.).

  3. #3
    Nic
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    the way you said optikal would work fine, i use the rear speaker out to go to my rear speakers and the front speaker out to go to my front speaker and the sub amp (i just use the filter on my amps so i dont see any need for a crossover). Depending on how the soundcard is setup it may not put any sound to the rear channels like you said, if you want to change this there may be an option in your sound card settings otherwise if you use winamp there are upmixing output plugins. Or if you are happy to split each signal 3 ways that would work fine, it just means lots of adaptors

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    Top Ramen lgbr's Avatar
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    Do you have the right drivers installed? There should be a program that comes with it so you can set up so that you have one plug for front speakers, one for rear, and the last one for LFE (Low frequency enchantment, for subs).
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    I haven't bought it yet. But my understanding was, that although there are 3 plugs, when playing a 2 channel source (such as MP3's through WinAMP), only the front channel plug is outputting any sound.

    It sounds like it may be possible to change this through either sound card driver settings, or through a WinAmp plugin. Can anybody else confirm this, or elaborate?

  6. #6
    pip
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    There is probably a BIOS setting too, you'll need to set that & install drivers I should think.

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    Can you get it to put the bass on its own channel, if I wanted to put my subs on their own separate channel on the sound card?

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    I think you need the APU to do any sort of DSP effects with an nForce. If you have the MCP, you just have a 6 channel sound card with no ability to reroute sound or apply effects (eg. virtual LFE channel). You need a program that'll send a 6 channel output to the soundcard (like powerdvd).

    You can parallel as many lines as you want off the line out from a soundcard, and it shouldn't affect the sound quality as long as your devices don't introduce noise into the signal and they aren't power drains.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by starfox
    I think you need the APU to do any sort of DSP effects with an nForce. If you have the MCP, you just have a 6 channel sound card with no ability to reroute sound or apply effects (eg. virtual LFE channel). You need a program that'll send a 6 channel output to the soundcard (like powerdvd).

    You can parallel as many lines as you want off the line out from a soundcard, and it shouldn't affect the sound quality as long as your devices don't introduce noise into the signal and they aren't power drains.
    That's exactly what I was looking for, thanks.

    Upon further investigation, it appears that when getting an nForce2 motherboard you can get either the good onboard sound (APU + SoundForce) or onboard video, but not both (when you get the onboard video version it comes with different onboard sound via a RealTek chip). So now I'm torn between which board to buy.

    If PowerDVD can output sound to all 6 channels, then it should be possible for a WinAMP plugin to do the same thing via a plugin (as mentioned by Nic). I will have to investigate this further.

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    Not necessarily true - the Shuttle MN31N has onboard video (with 2 VGA ports for dual screens, no less) and the SoundStorm audio processing capability, and is a micro-ATX board so it's nice and compact.

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