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Hi, I'm new to this forum and I think that I can learn a lot about computer audio and home audio. Please be nice to me =). I recently got a new computer a Lenovo 77472NU, IdeaCentre K330B, It was cheap and it replaced my severely out of date gaming computer. During that time I purchased a HDTV 720P flat screen TV (I thought that was good for its time). I then picked up a Logitech G51 the gaming speaker 5.1 surround sound, which I eventually found out that it was not exactly true surround sound (the rear speakers only played when a rear sound played only enough to fill in not always on).

Now to the future, I've had the Logitech G51 5.1 system since nearing 2006. I now would like to upgrade to something nicer and thats true 5.1 or 7.1, I would prefer 7.1 but I am going for cost effective. I was thinking the Logitech Z906 but then i ran into the problem of wanted to hook up my computer, TV, and gaming systems, plus my ipod or usb to the Z906. I then noticed that it only has 2 optical jacks, I want the best sound that I can get. If possible I want to use all optical cable.

If there is something that is a complete system for a Computer, TV, Gaming Consoles and Ipod please link me to it, I am not good at mix and matching speakers, subs, receivers to build a full system for home / computer audio, car audio is a different story. But I am looking to use all optical cable for all hook ups, I would also need a new sound card for my new computer but I don't know what kind of card it takes, so if anyone can help me out on all accounts that would be wonderful. I am willing to spend a little bit more than the Logitech Z906 like the base price of the Z906 + give or take 200 more, just a little more but not much.

Thank you in advance.
 

nukemaster

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First thing......
You had true 5.1 speakers, BUT you need a 5.1 source to use all the speakers. Music(CD,MP3,ect) is 2 channel. You had some kind of up mixing going on. This will NOT change. rear speakers are just for effects(movies games, some rear voice effects in moves and games) most of the time while the center will take most of the voice on a proper 5.1 source.

I just do not want you to be disappointed. You can have allot more fun manually up mixing analog :). A simple switch(double pole double throw :) on the input side, not output side of the speakers) can make the rears and fronts play the same thing when listening to music while allowing it to be set back to normal for true surround sound sources.

Well with those speakers, You are right, only 2 optical.

I would just use the stereo input for the ipod since it is not going to have surround

Your console and tv may be best able to take advantage of the optical inputs.

The computer should sound just fine with analog 3 x headphone jacks to be honest. Most expensive sound cards have fancy swappable op amps and stuff. Opamps are an analog component(and not even used when running digital, the speakers have op amps when they covert the digital signal back to analog to playback. Speakers are analog one way or another).

Failing that, if you want ALL digital, use the coaxial for either the computer or the console(it is a digital signal, but does not offer the nice isolation of optical. On the plus side, with the other 2 connections being optical, chances of a ground loop are almost none [you plug 3 analog computers into one set of speakers or a mixer and you will hear what i mean about ground loops].).

You WANT that cable box on optical if you can for sure. Nothing sucks like a ground loop from the cable it self.

I hope this clears some things up.
 
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Guest

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Thank you for your reply, it cleared a lot of things up for me. I thought for the longest time that surround speakers were there to project sound always not a fill in, thank you for clearing that up. So is there any more options than just the z906 before i purchase the system? Or is there a already HTIB that can connect to everything that's listed? Maybe I can piece a system together for cheap but sightly more expensive for better sound that can connect to everything, computer, tv, console, ect. Is optical cable really the best or can i get by with rca's and 3.5mm jacks? I'm trying to get the best sound I can possibly get from the system, while being cost effective. The z906 looks like it can do everything I just want to make sure before i make a purchase.
 

nukemaster

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I am using the 3.5mm jacks for my computer(my speakers lack any kind of digital in). Since I wanted to be able to have 2 computers(or devices) run at the same time(not have to select) on the speakers, a diy digital solution was well beyond what I could build at this point.

Now because one of my computers is also connected to the cable box, I DO get a very slight humming sound(you would only hear it with the speakers full blast and no other sound. lucky it is this mild.). Other than that, I find analog sounds good enough for me. Again since all audio is made analog inside the speakers control box(for those logitechs), it all comes down to the quality of the DAC and opamps used in that system. Even my analog speakers have opamps on the board that takes the signal in, so you are always limited by the quality of what is in the speakers(or amp for a full stereo).

So point in case, If you are an audio buff, You would see a 4558 opamp in your hardware and replace it asap.

Now here lies the issue in PC audio and most audio to be honest. The 4558(a general purpose op amp that has been around forever) based op amps are in everything already. I mean they are on sounds cards, in speakers. I picked up some OPA2134 opamps for a project and they sound great, however I was taking apart some old speakers and pulled a JRC4558. Seeing as I was board, I dropped one into my project and while it sounded "different" it was hard to say good or bad.

Most people who are real serous about audio do not use computer speakers. To me they sound ok(not great, but the lack of space taken makes them worth it for me at this time. If I had room for a full blown stereo system, I would go that route for sure.).

Either way, The Logitech's seem to meet your needs. If a local store has some on display, see if you can go have a listen. It will not be like a stereo(the Logitech sub most likely does more work to make up for the lack of more full range speakers), but it may be just what you are looking for.

From what I have seen, Analog seems to work ok as long as the cables are good and you are lucky to not have to deal with any ground loops.

Also, if you want all speakers to play more, Some sound cards or speakers have decent upmixing. I personally prefer to just use stereo mirror/stereox2(front and rear play the same thing because most software does a bad job of giving a good center experience[voice tends to have a strange sound when it tries to stay on that speaker it picks up little parts of the song but they come and go. I fine that distracting.], A dedicated stereo with this option should be much better.)
 
logitech does make some good speakers and i'm sure the z906 stays true to this. however for the $300+ pricetag you do have a few more options open to you if your wanted.

personally the easiest and most user friendly way of tying together a computer, multiple game systems with ipod integration is a home theater set which is comprised of your speakers, a subwoofer and receiver. going this route allows you to have all inputs direct to the receiver with only one hdmi to your tv. to swap inputs all you do is push a remote button or turn the knob on your receiver. i personally use this type of setup for my pc, ps3, ps2, ipod and at times other devices. very convenient, but often more expensive then high end pc speakers depending on what you purchase.

if you purchased the z906 you could always get some sort of switching device to control the inputs but in general this system is meant for one or two devices only.

i would highly suggest against buying a typical HTIB (home theater in a box) set as most are absolute junk and the dvd player/receiver combination often has issues when connection auxilliary devices (such as not providing surround sound or not having hdmi inputs). there are however a few which pair decent speakers together which a true receiver.

another option is to buy a speaker set such as the klipsch hd500 and pair it with a budget receiver. best buy currently has $200 off the klipsch quintet (5.0 speaker set) and hd600 (5.0 set with subwoofer) which can be paired with a receiver of your choice. i personally love my klipsch quintet IV set (i paid $550 for them i wish i had $200 like the current deal) and they work out beautifully. i had a look at the hd500 set in the past and they looked like quite a good deal as well.

if you factor in a budget receiver this would put you in the $400-450 range. considering you were going to spend $300+ on a system with limited input options i think you can do very well indeed. remember since everything connects up to the receiver all you need is to swap the input on this box either via remote or knob and everything will just work. no need to manually change multiple devices or pull cables to swap signals. also the receiver can remember what audio modes you use for certain devices. for instance one input can be 5.1 while when you swap to another input it could be set on front surround focus. of course, this depends on the features of the model you look at.

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just giving you a few ideas to ponder. i've been very happy with my choice and realize that a z906 or similar option really wasnt the way to go (for me). just my humble opinion of course...
 

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