A/V Windows 7 PC frustrations

I know there’s some A/V freaks on here so hopefully we can sort this out without having to go to AVForums :smiley:

I was kind of hoping to ditch my old receiver and use the PC to drive the amp directly. I want to be able to play top quality stereo music and excellent 5.1 movie sound all through the PC… ideally… :ermm:

I’ve got the following motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 with onboard Realtek ALC889 codec :
The ALC889 incorporates Realtek proprietary converter technology to achieve 108dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback (DAC) quality
Support for 16/20/24-bit SPDIF input and output with up to 192kHz sample rate offers easy connection of PCs to consumer electronic products such as digital decoders and speakers

When I play 2-channel through analogue outs into my amp it sounds like the artists have a mouth full of cotton wool and its not treating my speakers as full range.

When I play through the digital out passing through my processor in 2-channel mode I’m getting 48k showing up on my receiver and in 2-channel mode it still sounds like there’s cotton wool chewing going on … only not as much. If I put the receiver into multi channel mode however (now obviously using the centre speaker as well) it sounds a helluva lot crisper :blink:

I expect the best sound to come from the 2-channel mode through my stereo speakers rather than the centre speaker!! :pinch:

Is it the speakers, m/b, cables? Where do i start?

Do I need to test with decent cables first?
So I just go to a decent dedicated soundcard first?


A PC is the sum of its parts and only as good as its bottleneck. So it goes with sound quality too. All I can say is I bought an X-Meridian from http://www.auzentech.com/site/index.php and it was defiantly superior in sound quality to the X-Fi I had before.

But if you get a good card, and Auzentech were the best by far a few years ago, your going to need good speakers, and with watching DVD’s sound becomes an extra when you need to get 5.1 drivers as extras on top of the basic viewer software.

Hmmm… Depends on what the motherboard and amp are doing for 5.1 to 2 channel fold down…

What amp is it?

Your cables and speakers should be fine, it’s likely to be some problem with D/A somewhere in the signal chain.

Would be good if you could test by bypassing the soundcard. Does your pc have a headphone output perhaps?

If you want seriously good sound I’d be inclined to invest in an external audio interface to do all your signal processing and D/A…

Try what I said and get back to me

I’m trying to finlly lay my DC-1 to rest :slight_smile: So there’s quite a challenge for the PC.

The amp is a dumb 985b mk 2 - I overheated it last night running some frequency tests!! :rolleyes: Think I need a bigger amp to drive the speakers :Whistling:

I got some way last night to a better sound. There were some speaker settings in Windows 7 that needed configuring. So that’s done. So now my windows 7 speaker settings and my realtek driver settings are in sync. So yes my cheap cables seem ok! :slight_smile:

I came to the same conclusion last night about what DSP going on…

If I play 2 channel audio I want the system to just output 2 channels with no DSP, just leave the CODEC to do its job.
If I play 5.1, same, no mixing please.
If I play anything else, it will need to be up/down-mixed to 5.1.

What kind of external audio interface are you talking about?


Don’t bother with a sound card just get a 5.1 network receiver with a usb . something like this will do the job, it will do all you need and more . If your graphics card has hdmi even better .


That’s a really amazing spec of stuff for the money, esp as it’s rated for [email protected]Ω. But I need get an amp. I’ve got a budget amp at the moment and its just overwhelmed by the speakers. So money being a big factor I need some decent used amplification and a PC to drive for now. So no dosh for all that jazz.

So I want the PC to be the player of all media. All media is either ripped to the PC or streamed over the internet. I’ll be trying to do the same thing with Ubuntu next.