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Audio Receiver for PC use - gaming mostly

post #1 of 15
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I hope this thread to serve not only me but also anyone considering the use of bookshelf / home theatre speakers when it comes to PC audio - to get superior audio at a reasonable cost. So, I've had a PC hooked to a TV and Logitech 5300's for a while now and I'm thinking it's time to benefit from better sound.

For the speakers I've pretty much decided on the SP-PK52FS. Those seem to be universally acclaimed as crazy value for the money and delivering way better sound quality than any desktop speakers.

Of course, I'll need to also get a receiver (to connect either by TOSLINK or HDMI) in order to do that. Could you please recommend one based on your experiences? The important things for me are two: minimal lag (if I go the HDMI route) and audio quality.

Receivers considered thus far and their advantages and disadvantages:

Pioneer VSX-823

+ probably best looking amongst its contemporaries
- shortest warranty, one year


Sony STR-DH540

+ lowest price


Yamaha RXV-475

+ supposedly the best sound quality, if you trust reviews on the internet
- most meh looking of the bunch; not that this is important, as they are pretty ugly in person
- people complain about the crowded design of the remote



So, please share your experiences. thumb.gif
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post #2 of 15
I use a surround receiver, 2 15" 3 way floor speakers and 2 rear speakers as sound for my computer. Nothing like actually feeling the shockwave from firing a Barrett 50 cal (Farcry 3) biggrin.gif

I've had Sony, Sherrwood, Kenwood and Yamaha. I'll never get anything but Yamaha. It truly has been the best receiver of the bunch.
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post #3 of 15
If you want to go surround I would highly recommend going with a receiver that has an full set of analog inputs (Analog multichannel inputs) instead of using HDMI or an toslink. When using analog inputs there is far less hassle with getting the decoding working ect.

That will also enable you to easily swap out your PC's sound cards and get the full benefit that thous offer.

Really for PC use having an the flexibility of analog inputs is just a great safety net even if you can get by with HDMI or an toslink.
    
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit_reaper View Post

If you want to go surround I would highly recommend going with a receiver that has an full set of analog inputs (Analog multichannel inputs) instead of using HDMI or an toslink. When using analog inputs there is far less hassle with getting the decoding working ect.

That will also enable you to easily swap out your PC's sound cards and get the full benefit that thous offer.

Really for PC use having an the flexibility of analog inputs is just a great safety net even if you can get by with HDMI or an toslink.

HDMI/Toslink should sound better if you can get it working. Reciever DACs are better than those in most soundcards, and you can still use your soundcard's various DSPs with toslink.
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post #5 of 15
This probably belongs in its own thread but...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit_reaper View Post

instead of using HDMI or an toslink. When using analog inputs there is far less hassle with getting the decoding working ect.

I use toslink and I have noticed that I'm not getting true surround, more like pseudo surround. I seem to get sound from all speakers, but not exactly where it's supposed to be. If I try to run windows surround test (front left, front right, rear left etc) the rear speakers don't sound when they should. But I still get sound from them during games/movies. You think it's because of encoding difficulties between my PC and receiver over toslink?
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post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizardonthejob View Post

This probably belongs in its own thread but...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit_reaper View Post

instead of using HDMI or an toslink. When using analog inputs there is far less hassle with getting the decoding working ect.

I use toslink and I have noticed that I'm not getting true surround, more like pseudo surround. I seem to get sound from all speakers, but not exactly where it's supposed to be. If I try to run windows surround test (front left, front right, rear left etc) the rear speakers don't sound when they should. But I still get sound from them during games/movies. You think it's because of encoding difficulties between my PC and receiver over toslink?

Have you checked your windows sound settings? Are you sure it's set to 4/6/8 channel output?
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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethemoose View Post



Have you checked your windows sound settings? Are you sure it's set to 4/6/8 channel output?

Yes.
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Jarvis
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizardonthejob View Post

This probably belongs in its own thread but...
I use toslink and I have noticed that I'm not getting true surround, more like pseudo surround. I seem to get sound from all speakers, but not exactly where it's supposed to be. If I try to run windows surround test (front left, front right, rear left etc) the rear speakers don't sound when they should. But I still get sound from them during games/movies. You think it's because of encoding difficulties between my PC and receiver over toslink?

If you aren't getting sound form the rear speakers during the surround test then your system is not running in surround mode but rather plain old stereo. The reason you still get sound during moves ect is that your receiver converts the stereo input in to surround. But like you have noticed its not real surround and so it does not sound right.
Edited by Bit_reaper - 3/19/14 at 1:50pm
    
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Phanteks enthoo luxe Razer deathAdder respawn steelseries Qck Yamaha HTR-6130 AV Receiver 
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post #9 of 15
Toslink doesn't have the bandwidth available to do 5.1 PCM audio. That's why you need a sound card to encode DTS, which can then be transported to the receiver. HDMI is superior and easier to use, unless you have graphics driver issues.

I'd also recommend the Yamaha.
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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGroove View Post

Toslink doesn't have the bandwidth available to do 5.1 PCM audio. That's why you need a sound card to encode DTS, which can then be transported to the receiver. HDMI is superior and easier to use, unless you have graphics driver issues.

I'd also recommend the Yamaha.

I'm using a Creative Labs X-FI Titanium. I would hope it has the ability to handle this...
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Jarvis
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Pepto Pony
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MrDVR
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AMD FX-8350 @ 4.8Ghz CROSSHAIR V FORMULA-Z MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4g 16Gb G. Skill Ripjaws 4x4 @ 1600 
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Samsung 840 PRO 128Gb SSD Intel 160 Gb SSD Intel 250 Gb SSD Generic DVD-RW 
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2 x Noctua (NF-P12-1300 )1300rpm Premium Silent... Alphacool NexXxos UT60 Full Copper Radiator 240 Noctua NF-A6X25 FLX Quiet Computer Cooling Fan ... NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller w/ Five 30 watt... 
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2 x Corsair Air Series SP120   COUGAR CF-V12H Vortex Hydro-Dynamic-Bearing  Monsoon 90° Rotary Angle Fitting - 5/8" - Red Bitspower Dual / Single D5 Top Upgrade Kit 100 ... 
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ModMyToys DreamFlex Premium 3/8" ID Tubing Reta... Coolance Liquid Coolant Bottle, 700mL Fluoresce... Coolance PMP 450 Variable Speed D5 Pump Bitspower D5 Mod Top V2 Pom version 
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My TV Stand Cabinet Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium 
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