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Recommendation for 3.0 audio

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

Currently my audio setup is a SoundBlaster Z using Optical Out to a Marantz SR7000 receiver. I have a pair of Ar2-xc speakers at the moment for desktop speakers, and set of AKG K712 headphones (using the receivers Headphone Out to power them - sounds good enough for me). I'm sort of wanting to go 3.0 since I'm starting to do a bit more movie watching on the PC - and I'm sure it wouldn't hurt at all from a gaming aspect. I want to avoid using a subwoofer since it would affect the wifes quality of life as she sits right behind me on the other side of our PC room.

Any recommendations on great sounding 3.0 bookshelf speakers that ideally aren't taller than 4" for the center channel (My desk setup requires me to have the center channel below the monitor)?
 
Wifes Rig
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD Threadripper. 12c/24t or 16c/32t - whiche... Premium Asus EATX workstation board Nvidia 16gb HBM2 1080 (when available) Nvidia 16gb HBM2 1080 (when available) 
GraphicsRAMRAMHard Drive
GTX 1070 Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3600 ... Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3600 ... Samsung 960 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung MZ-M5E1T0BW  Samsung MZ-M5E1T0BW  Caviar Black 2tb LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Cryorig R1 Ultimate Noctua industrial 2000rpm Noctua industrial 2000rpm Noctua industrial 2000rpm 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Kryonaut TIM Sunbeamtech PL-RS-6 Rheosmart 6 Fan Controller Windows 10 Pro Qnix 32" 4k 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Qnix 27" 2560x1440 Dell 24" 1920x1200 in portrait Razer Blackwidow Stealth Seasonic or EVGA unit 850+ watts, minimum of Go... 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Thermaltake Core X9 -or- CaseLabs S8 Razer Mamba tournament Edition Gustard X20U DAC Mr. Speaker Aeon 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
ARX A2rx-c bookshelf speakers Gustard H10 Headphone Amp Shure 1840 w/ 1540 pads Marantz SR7000 Receiver 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570k Asus P8Z77-V EVGA GTX 480 Mushkin 993991 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital 320GB Vertex 4 128gb Samsung 16x DVD Reader Noctua D14 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Home Edition Dell 2412 Logitech G510 Antec 650w Green 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
R4 Silent Razer Naga Rocketfish Mousepad 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon x5570 Xeon X5570 Dell T7500 Motherboard Asus Strix 970 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
24GB ECC 1333mhz DDR3 120gb Samsung 840 120 samsung 850 Samsung 120gb 850 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
240gb Kingston SSD 12x dvd burner Standard Cooling Fans for the chassis Windows 10 Professional 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Qnix 27" ViewSonic 20" Orion 910 Dell 1100w 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Dell T7500 Chassis Razer mamba TE SMSL M8 DAC Schiit Magni Uber 
AudioAudioAudio
Marantz SR7000 Shure 1840 Headphones Pair ARX AR2x-c Speakers 
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Wifes Rig
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD Threadripper. 12c/24t or 16c/32t - whiche... Premium Asus EATX workstation board Nvidia 16gb HBM2 1080 (when available) Nvidia 16gb HBM2 1080 (when available) 
GraphicsRAMRAMHard Drive
GTX 1070 Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3600 ... Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3600 ... Samsung 960 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung MZ-M5E1T0BW  Samsung MZ-M5E1T0BW  Caviar Black 2tb LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Cryorig R1 Ultimate Noctua industrial 2000rpm Noctua industrial 2000rpm Noctua industrial 2000rpm 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Kryonaut TIM Sunbeamtech PL-RS-6 Rheosmart 6 Fan Controller Windows 10 Pro Qnix 32" 4k 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Qnix 27" 2560x1440 Dell 24" 1920x1200 in portrait Razer Blackwidow Stealth Seasonic or EVGA unit 850+ watts, minimum of Go... 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Thermaltake Core X9 -or- CaseLabs S8 Razer Mamba tournament Edition Gustard X20U DAC Mr. Speaker Aeon 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
ARX A2rx-c bookshelf speakers Gustard H10 Headphone Amp Shure 1840 w/ 1540 pads Marantz SR7000 Receiver 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570k Asus P8Z77-V EVGA GTX 480 Mushkin 993991 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital 320GB Vertex 4 128gb Samsung 16x DVD Reader Noctua D14 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Home Edition Dell 2412 Logitech G510 Antec 650w Green 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
R4 Silent Razer Naga Rocketfish Mousepad 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon x5570 Xeon X5570 Dell T7500 Motherboard Asus Strix 970 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
24GB ECC 1333mhz DDR3 120gb Samsung 840 120 samsung 850 Samsung 120gb 850 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
240gb Kingston SSD 12x dvd burner Standard Cooling Fans for the chassis Windows 10 Professional 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Qnix 27" ViewSonic 20" Orion 910 Dell 1100w 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Dell T7500 Chassis Razer mamba TE SMSL M8 DAC Schiit Magni Uber 
AudioAudioAudio
Marantz SR7000 Shure 1840 Headphones Pair ARX AR2x-c Speakers 
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post #2 of 6
I'm not sure a 3.0 speaker setup will work.
Not familiar with the Marantz, but assume it's not designed for a 3.0 setup.

Can we assume you are using the SB-Z card to send 2 channels of PCM digital audio (optically) from the SB-Z to the Marantz?
And not using Dolby to compress the digital audio signal?

Are the movies Blu-ray or DVD or video files?

What programs do you use?
PowerDVD, or Media Player Classic or VLC or other?
ENIAC
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ENIAC
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Video is Netflix streaming. Games are predominitly Blizzard titles (WoW, Diablo, HOTS, SC2) & Steam games (NieR:Automata at the moment with a variety of others ranging from CS:GO to Plague Inc Evolved, to Magic 2014, to Saints Row, Sacred, Dungeon Seige 3, Unreal series, and others.

Yes 2.0 24bit / 96hz PCM via optical. Not using dolby at this time - honestly I never did install the software suite for Creative - I just plugged it in and I am using the default drivers for it. Disabled all Audio Output Devices in the volume control section of Windows except for the SPDIF Optical Out in order to do this.
 
Wifes Rig
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD Threadripper. 12c/24t or 16c/32t - whiche... Premium Asus EATX workstation board Nvidia 16gb HBM2 1080 (when available) Nvidia 16gb HBM2 1080 (when available) 
GraphicsRAMRAMHard Drive
GTX 1070 Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3600 ... Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3600 ... Samsung 960 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung MZ-M5E1T0BW  Samsung MZ-M5E1T0BW  Caviar Black 2tb LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Cryorig R1 Ultimate Noctua industrial 2000rpm Noctua industrial 2000rpm Noctua industrial 2000rpm 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Kryonaut TIM Sunbeamtech PL-RS-6 Rheosmart 6 Fan Controller Windows 10 Pro Qnix 32" 4k 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Qnix 27" 2560x1440 Dell 24" 1920x1200 in portrait Razer Blackwidow Stealth Seasonic or EVGA unit 850+ watts, minimum of Go... 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Thermaltake Core X9 -or- CaseLabs S8 Razer Mamba tournament Edition Gustard X20U DAC Mr. Speaker Aeon 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
ARX A2rx-c bookshelf speakers Gustard H10 Headphone Amp Shure 1840 w/ 1540 pads Marantz SR7000 Receiver 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570k Asus P8Z77-V EVGA GTX 480 Mushkin 993991 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital 320GB Vertex 4 128gb Samsung 16x DVD Reader Noctua D14 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Home Edition Dell 2412 Logitech G510 Antec 650w Green 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
R4 Silent Razer Naga Rocketfish Mousepad 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon x5570 Xeon X5570 Dell T7500 Motherboard Asus Strix 970 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
24GB ECC 1333mhz DDR3 120gb Samsung 840 120 samsung 850 Samsung 120gb 850 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
240gb Kingston SSD 12x dvd burner Standard Cooling Fans for the chassis Windows 10 Professional 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Qnix 27" ViewSonic 20" Orion 910 Dell 1100w 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Dell T7500 Chassis Razer mamba TE SMSL M8 DAC Schiit Magni Uber 
AudioAudioAudio
Marantz SR7000 Shure 1840 Headphones Pair ARX AR2x-c Speakers 
  hide details  
Reply
 
Wifes Rig
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD Threadripper. 12c/24t or 16c/32t - whiche... Premium Asus EATX workstation board Nvidia 16gb HBM2 1080 (when available) Nvidia 16gb HBM2 1080 (when available) 
GraphicsRAMRAMHard Drive
GTX 1070 Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3600 ... Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3600 ... Samsung 960 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung MZ-M5E1T0BW  Samsung MZ-M5E1T0BW  Caviar Black 2tb LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Cryorig R1 Ultimate Noctua industrial 2000rpm Noctua industrial 2000rpm Noctua industrial 2000rpm 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Kryonaut TIM Sunbeamtech PL-RS-6 Rheosmart 6 Fan Controller Windows 10 Pro Qnix 32" 4k 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Qnix 27" 2560x1440 Dell 24" 1920x1200 in portrait Razer Blackwidow Stealth Seasonic or EVGA unit 850+ watts, minimum of Go... 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Thermaltake Core X9 -or- CaseLabs S8 Razer Mamba tournament Edition Gustard X20U DAC Mr. Speaker Aeon 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
ARX A2rx-c bookshelf speakers Gustard H10 Headphone Amp Shure 1840 w/ 1540 pads Marantz SR7000 Receiver 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570k Asus P8Z77-V EVGA GTX 480 Mushkin 993991 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital 320GB Vertex 4 128gb Samsung 16x DVD Reader Noctua D14 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Home Edition Dell 2412 Logitech G510 Antec 650w Green 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
R4 Silent Razer Naga Rocketfish Mousepad 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon x5570 Xeon X5570 Dell T7500 Motherboard Asus Strix 970 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
24GB ECC 1333mhz DDR3 120gb Samsung 840 120 samsung 850 Samsung 120gb 850 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
240gb Kingston SSD 12x dvd burner Standard Cooling Fans for the chassis Windows 10 Professional 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Qnix 27" ViewSonic 20" Orion 910 Dell 1100w 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Dell T7500 Chassis Razer mamba TE SMSL M8 DAC Schiit Magni Uber 
AudioAudioAudio
Marantz SR7000 Shure 1840 Headphones Pair ARX AR2x-c Speakers 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamwardicus View Post

Video is Netflix streaming. Games are predominitly Blizzard titles (WoW, Diablo, HOTS, SC2) & Steam games (NieR:Automata at the moment with a variety of others ranging from CS:GO to Plague Inc Evolved, to Magic 2014, to Saints Row, Sacred, Dungeon Seige 3, Unreal series, and others.

Yes 2.0 24bit / 96hz PCM via optical. Not using dolby at this time - honestly I never did install the software suite for Creative - I just plugged it in and I am using the default drivers for it. Disabled all Audio Output Devices in the volume control section of Windows except for the SPDIF Optical Out in order to do this.

Your sending a 2.0 signal to the Marantz, so no matter what the Marantz does with the signal, like trying to make a 3.0 signal, nothing will be added to the audio sound.

You could try enabling the Recon3D's Dolby, it will take up to 6-channels (5.1) of digital audio and encode/compress it for sending thru the S/PDIF optical (24-bit/48k max). Should not do anything for the 2.0 speakers, but might make a positive change for the headphones.
If your using a source that outputs 6-channels of audio, like Netflix HD? or a game with surround sound.
ENIAC
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ENIAC
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post #5 of 6
Some receivers will upmix 2.0 signals too, but I'm not sure if that one will. And yeah, you're gonna have to use the soundcard to encode the audio over SPIDF.


Aren't those AR2s decent speakers? If I were you, I'd just buy a different one for the center channel and keep the Sonys, unless you're really looking to drop a bunch of money on audio atm.
Bruce
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Bruce
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Seagate 1TB 7200RPM OCZ Agility 4 128GB PNY 240GB LG Blu Ray Burner 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Hyper 212+ with extra fan Windows 10 Education x64 Shimian QH270 @110hz Medieval Dell OEM Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Corsair TX750 V1 Antec 300 Black Illusion  Logitech G400s Xonar ST 
AudioOtherOtherOther
Fostex T50rp with BMF mod Archer T9E Wifi adapter 2x Yate Loon D12SL-12D 120x38mm fans Thermalright TY-143 fan 
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post #6 of 6
i am almost always displeased with the sound of center-channel speakers, and tend to use satellite or bookshelf speakers, instead. If you could find them in a set of 3, JBL 2500's are great sounding bookshelf speakers. 4" woofer, titanium tweeter, about 5"x4"x7" in size. Most all center speakers of the size you are wanting come in 5.0 or 5.1 package deals, and, generally sound poor. JBL Northridge series made a center speaker of about that size- i have the N26 bookshelfs with 6" woofers. the center northridge would have the same decent tweeter and 2x3" woofers, i think, but its gonna be pushing 4-5" tall, again.
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