PC digital out to speakers

omallese

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Dec 20, 2005
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Hello,

I have a set of Polk monitor 30 speakers and want to use them with my computer (preferably through the digital output), is there another way to do this other then through a receiver? Receivers are kind of big for the space I have available.

Thanks
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Yes there is. My friend once bought a set of digital computer speakers...which were nothing more than standard speakers with a mini digital receiver. Miniature, as in, about twice the size of a computer's CD-ROM drive.

I'm sure you can find a small digital receiver somewhere...as in a standalone component, without the CD player and such.
 

astrallite

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Sep 18, 2005
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I think what you mean is, you aren't going to use this for HT purposes (aka don't need the connectivity of receivers because your only source will be the PC).

In that case, you need to buy some external amps. You should check out the Sonic T-amp, which is a battery-powered portable class-D amplifier for $30 online. You need to go to a local Radioshack to pick up a power cord/plug for it (it doesn't come with one but can be AC powered). Totally this might run you about $45-50 and should power your Polk bookshelves. You can use the analog input (as the T-amp takes standard stereo 1/8" mini).
 
G

Guest

Guest
Can't remember who makes it now, but if memory is serving me... I remember reading a year or two ago about a sound card (or maybe it was just an amp card) that had built in amps. Never tried one or knew anyone that did, and I can't imagine a sound card mounted set of amps being overly burly but it might just do what you need if you can find it still.

It seems like Crashman always remembers the oddball, one off, niche products that allow people to do weird things with their computers. Is this ringing any bells with you crash?
 
G

Guest

Guest
here is an example:

http://www.tripath.com/downloads/TIO.pdf

I can't remember if this is the one I read about though.

Edit: note that this particular device is rated to drive a 4 ohm load. I haven't looked to see what those Polks are that you have. Also note that a 4 ohm capable amp should be able to drive 8 ohm speakers just not 2 ohmers.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
I've never seen the TIO, but sound cards used to have stereo amplifiers. 6W was typical for high-powered sound cards at the time. Back then cards had "Line Out" and "Speaker Out" where connecting powered speakers to the "Speaker Out" would cause some amazing distortion even at the lowest volumes due to the speaker's amplifier being overdriven.

I used to sell systems with passive computer speakers and 6W/ch soundcards, people would upgrade their speakers then claim there was something wrong with the computer...and I'd have to tell them to use line out instead of speaker out, to which they'd answer "NO, these ARE speakers". Hehe.
 

astrallite

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Sep 18, 2005
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If he were to get that Tripath soundcard, he would need to get a stereo to RCA cable and chop off the RCA connector ends and bind the bare wire to the Polk Monitor 30 binding posts.

The other alternative is to get Sonic T-amp and simply use a regular stereo 1/8" cable to the T-amp, and use regular speaker wire to the Polk monitor 30 binding posts.

Both are workable options, although the T-amp I believe gives him more flexibility for other uses.
 

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