Speaker Upgrade

Ziator

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Mar 26, 2005
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I own Logitech x-530's, which are great, but they didn't give me the 5.1 experience I wanted. The rear speakers are very quiet, and they always just imitate the sounds made in the front speakers.

I was wondering if I would notice any difference if I changed to Z-5300's, but I have a few other questions:

-What does the THX certification mean?
-Will there be a noticeable difference in overall sound quality and volume from the rear speakers?
-If I play a DVD with 5.1 enabled, will my X-530's play different music/sounds if they are present? Will the Z-5300's do that?
-What can the X-530 and the Z-5300 do/not do?
-Is my sound card holding me back? (AC'97 that came on the ASUS A8N SLI-Deluxe)

Thanks for your help.
 

astrallite

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Sep 18, 2005
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Q: "I own Logitech x-530's, which are great, but they didn't give me the 5.1 experience I wanted. The rear speakers are very quiet, and they always just imitate the sounds made in the front speakers."

A: If you are talking about mp3s upmixed to 5.1, that is not "true" 5.1 and is just an algorithm that spots certain frequencies to the rears. It isn't perfect, so a speaker upgrade isn't going to change that relative difference between the fronts and the rears. As for true 5.1 sound (such as from DVD sources), if you find the rears too quiet, I believe each channel is given equal amplification, so your problem is with the 5.1 sound mix and not the speakers.

Q: "I was wondering if I would notice any difference if I changed to Z-5300's, but I have a few other questions:"

A: Probably. You are going from undersized dual 2" drivers to an oversized 3" satellite driver. At most I'd say it's a minor difference. The biggest is probably the fact you can turn it up louder from a more powerful amp. Sound Quality wise, it's probably neglible. You will however, gain a lot of bass. Unfortunately, Logitech's subwoofers have their crossovers set too high, having the subwoofer play too much of the midrange. This results in very bloated bass, compared to Creative/Cambridge Soundworks' offerings and Klipsch.

Q:-What does the THX certification mean?

It means different for every product type. For multimedia speakers, it means very little. Just needs to meet certain requirements in continuous power output, and a bare-bones crossover network.

Q: Will there be a noticeable difference in overall sound quality and volume from the rear speakers?

A: Relative to the front speakers, no. It's the result of the upmixing program you are using, or the DVD mix. Not your speakers, since they are equally amplified.


Q: -If I play a DVD with 5.1 enabled, will my X-530's play different music/sounds if they are present? Will the Z-5300's do that?

A: I don't understand the question. Your speakers will always "attempt" to play whatever is sent to them.

Q: -What can the X-530 and the Z-5300 do/not do?
A: Play high frequencies as these midrange drivers hit a brick wall at around 16KHz...you need speakers with tweeters to do that...play to 20KHz and above. It doesn't really matter with 128kbps mp3s of course, since they are ripped with no material above around 16-17KHz. For high quality sound source, you will notice the difference. Also, a midrange driver trying to play even about 2KHz will have a lot of distortion.

The problem is...you can't have your cake and eat it too. 5.1+ speaker systems that are of good quality cost money--Gigaworks S700, S750, and Klipsch 5.1 Ultras all cost $300 plus.

In general, people who look for quality start with 2.0 sets first, since most music is stereo. 5.1 upmixing destroys a lot of the sound stage anyway, so isn't optimal for music listening. For DVDs, you lose some of the impact of panning, but I personally prefer quality over quantity.

If you are open to suggestions, email me at adamliang@gmail.com.

Q: Is my sound card holding me back? (AC'97 that came on the ASUS A8N SLI-Deluxe)

A: No. The amount of distortion electronics produce are a meer fraction of what speakers produce. Upgrading speakers will always have a more (like say, 100 times more) profound impact then an electronics upgrade.
 
Before I worried about upgrading speakers I'd get a quality soundcard and get away from the onboard sound you're using.

You don't have to go X-FI but I would definitely consider Creatives Audigy 2 ZS, I had one myself and it was awesome, since I upgraded to the X-FI which by the way is unbelievably fantastic, my wife inherited my ZS that I was reluctant to even give up.

Then after getting yourself a new soundcard thats going to ease the load on your CPU right off the bat, if you discover your speakers aren't up to your expectations upgrade them, but you may just be blown away at the difference a good quality soundcard will make.





<font color=blue>AMD XP 3200+ / Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe / Corsair XMS PC3200 1024mb LLC2 / ATI X850 Pro / SoundBlaster X-FI / 2 Seagate SATA 7200rpm/8mb / Plextor PX-716A DVDRW</font color=blue>
 
Q: Is my sound card holding me back? (AC'97 that came on the ASUS A8N SLI-Deluxe)

A: No. The amount of distortion electronics produce are a meer fraction of what speakers produce. Upgrading speakers will always have a more (like say, 100 times more) profound impact then an electronics upgrade.


It depends on the electronics upgrade quality, that doesn't apply in every situation, a lot of onboard sound M/Bs are crap compared to a good quality high end soundcard.








<font color=blue>AMD XP 3200+ / Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe / Corsair XMS PC3200 1024mb LLC2 / ATI X850 Pro / SoundBlaster X-FI / 2 Seagate SATA 7200rpm/8mb / Plextor PX-716A DVDRW</font color=blue>
 

Clob

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A quality sound card and quality 2.1 is better than Crap sound card and Crap 5.1 speakers.

Never go with the cheapo if you want to be happy, especially in the long run!

Note: I plan I heading the reciever + subwoofer route with my PC and replace my satalites. I constantly crave better and better sound quality, so XI-FI is a must for me. That is as soon as I become rich!

<font color=red>"Battling Gimps and Dimbulbs HERE at THGC"</font color=red>

"<font color=blue> Wusy</font color=blue> <-Professional sheep banger"
 

astrallite

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"It depends on the electronics upgrade quality, that doesn't apply in every situation, a lot of onboard sound M/Bs are crap compared to a good quality high end soundcard."

That has more to do with how the motherboard interacts with the onboard sound card (EMI, electronics conflicts) than limitations to the onboard sound card. Muting all the line-outs other than WAVE should solve those issues.

"Note: I plan I heading the reciever + subwoofer route with my PC and replace my satalites. I constantly crave better and better sound quality, so XI-FI is a must for me. That is as soon as I become rich!"

You don't need the X-Fi (not Xi-Fi/Sci-Fi) if you plan on replacing your satellites with real speakers. X-Fi's compression algorithm was created to combat limited dynamic range of small satellites, tweeter-lacking, overworked midrange drivers. When you have good speakers, you don't need all these bells and whistles because it will invariably sound WORSE OFF that way.