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Computer Speaker Question...

Old 09-16-2014, 11:32 AM
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Default Computer Speaker Question...

Speakers for the computer are a 4.1 system (4 small speakers and 1 subwoofer)... the speakers have two plugs. One is for the 4 small speakers (?) and one is for the sub (?). My new PC only has a single output... so I can plug the one in there and get 2 channel... but nowhere to plug in the other one...

It's a Creative Labs speaker system...

Is there an adapter of some sort (short of getting a new audio card) that I can use to get where I need to be?

Thanks,
Pete
Old 09-16-2014, 12:28 PM
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Splitter?

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_5xzzrecf1e_e
Old 09-16-2014, 12:37 PM
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^ what he said. Presumably the 2 plugs are for front / rear speakers, which you don't need so just split it to send the same signal to both "pairs".
Old 09-16-2014, 12:44 PM
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.

Last edited by Garett; 09-19-2014 at 03:11 PM.
Old 09-16-2014, 01:07 PM
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OldPete - You won't be able to get to where you were, using the setup you describe. You can send the same signal to all the speakers, using the Y-adapter the others have mentioned. A couple of things to note in this configuration:

1) You will not be getting 4.1 surround. You will be getting simple stereo.
2) You run the risk of burning up your sound card. Typical impedance is 8 ohms/channel. When you combine the channels with the adapter, you cut the impedance in half. That translates into a much higher power requirement from your sound card. More power means more heat.

If you still have the old computer, you may very easily be able to scavenge the sound card for use in your new computer. Sounds like the old system had a better sound card. I'd do that, if you have the choice. Then, you'll get the 4.1 and no risk of damage.
Old 09-16-2014, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
What kind of mother board doesn't have stereo input these days??? If you have the bays inthe back you could always add a sound card? Your setup would be called a 5 in 1.
Sounds like he does have stereo, just doesn't have surround on the main board.
Old 09-16-2014, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TipDS View Post
OldPete - You won't be able to get to where you were, using the setup you describe. You can send the same signal to all the speakers, using the Y-adapter the others have mentioned. A couple of things to note in this configuration:

1) You will not be getting 4.1 surround. You will be getting simple stereo.
2) You run the risk of burning up your sound card. Typical impedance is 8 ohms/channel. When you combine the channels with the adapter, you cut the impedance in half. That translates into a much higher power requirement from your sound card. More power means more heat.

If you still have the old computer, you may very easily be able to scavenge the sound card for use in your new computer. Sounds like the old system had a better sound card. I'd do that, if you have the choice. Then, you'll get the 4.1 and no risk of damage.


He won't have any problem running a splitter. The devices that are plugged into the sound card are very high impedance. You are thinking about the output of an amplifier which is a different animal entirely. The sound card is more of a source unit and like a head unit in a car you can Y the RCA's to multiple amplifiers.
Old 09-17-2014, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TipDS View Post
OldPete - You won't be able to get to where you were, using the setup you describe. You can send the same signal to all the speakers, using the Y-adapter the others have mentioned. A couple of things to note in this configuration: 1) You will not be getting 4.1 surround. You will be getting simple stereo. 2) You run the risk of burning up your sound card. Typical impedance is 8 ohms/channel. When you combine the channels with the adapter, you cut the impedance in half. That translates into a much higher power requirement from your sound card. More power means more heat. If you still have the old computer, you may very easily be able to scavenge the sound card for use in your new computer. Sounds like the old system had a better sound card. I'd do that, if you have the choice. Then, you'll get the 4.1 and no risk of damage.
You are not cutting the impedance and you are splitting a line level signal. It's amplified at the speaker, not the sound card output.

David
Old 09-17-2014, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by DJWILLIAMS View Post
You are not cutting the impedance and you are splitting a line level signal. It's amplified at the speaker, not the sound card output.

David
Originally Posted by THT Mod 9 View Post
He won't have any problem running a splitter. The devices that are plugged into the sound card are very high impedance. You are thinking about the output of an amplifier which is a different animal entirely. The sound card is more of a source unit and like a head unit in a car you can Y the RCA's to multiple amplifiers.
I'd give a qualified agreement to some of this. This setup would, more likely than not, result in sound being generated.

I felt it important to point out there is a possibility of a problem. I was unable to find the impedance specifications for the speaker system mentioned, so I couldn't say if it was a high impedance system or a more traditional 8 ohm system. It isn't uncommon that an amplified speaker system incorporate a high impedance amplified configuration when powered with a bypass failover. In a system like that, impedance goes from megaohm values under power to 8 ohms when the amplifier is not powered. (This allows the speakers to continue to be useful in the event they can not be powered.)

As for the sound cards - typically they are amplified, and not strictly line-level outputs. Some have discrete amplified-out and line-out jacks. Some have only an amplified output & count on the user to set the volume low to accommodate line-level interconnections. Some automatically detect and limit power values accordingly.

So, while the system will likely produce sound, there is a real possibility the speakers will be driven by the sound card's amplified output and that the speakers will present an 8 ohm (per channel) interface. In that situation, using a splitter/combiner to drive both front and rear channels on each of the left and right channels, the impedance is cut in half. That means your asking the sound card's amplifier to drive a much heavier load.

Well, no sense re-inventing the wheel. Here's some material on the subject: http://www.prestonelectronics.com/audio/Impedance.htm

I'm not telling the OP he can't do it, I'm really advising caution. Take that with a grain of salt, though. My work as a degreed electrical engineer has undoubtedly made me over-cautious. LOL
Old 09-17-2014, 08:24 AM
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I understand where you are coming from. My experience in repairing and upgrading computers since the TRS-80 days is where I am coming from.
Old 09-17-2014, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TipDS View Post
I'd give a qualified agreement to some of this. This setup would, more likely than not, result in sound being generated.

I'm not telling the OP he can't do it, I'm really advising caution. Take that with a grain of salt, though. My work as a degreed electrical engineer has undoubtedly made me over-cautious. LOL
Respectfully, I understand your point, but you are dramatically overcomplicating this. The splitter will work fine.
Old 09-17-2014, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by THT Mod 9 View Post
I understand where you are coming from. My experience in repairing and upgrading computers since the TRS-80 days is where I am coming from.
I'm with this guy... If you don't like it he will ban you! lmao jk!
Old 09-17-2014, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by DJWILLIAMS View Post
I'm with this guy... If you don't like it he will ban you! lmao jk!
Mod9 has no street cred here unless he owned a Sound Blaster 16 CT2990 - bonus points if he upgraded it with RAM he swiped out of his employer's LaserJet II.

http://retrosoundcards.wordpress.com/
Old 09-17-2014, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
Mod9 has no street cred here unless he owned a Sound Blaster 16 CT2990 - bonus points if he upgraded it with RAM he swiped out of his employer's LaserJet II.

http://retrosoundcards.wordpress.com/
Lol, Can't remember which MIDI sound card I had in the past, but I certainly did. Actually several over the years.
Old 09-17-2014, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by THT Mod 9 View Post
I understand where you are coming from. My experience in repairing and upgrading computers since the TRS-80 days is where I am coming from.
Yup, you can certainly pee further than me. (bowing deeply in deference)


Originally Posted by Flot View Post
The splitter will work fine.
Agreed

Originally Posted by DJWILLIAMS View Post
I'm with this guy... If you don't like it he will ban you! lmao jk!
Yup, he's already given me an official spank.

Originally Posted by Flot View Post
Wow, now there's a blast from the past. The pun wasn't intended, but I'm gonna go with it.
Old 09-17-2014, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by THT Mod 9 View Post
I understand where you are coming from. My experience in repairing and upgrading computers since the TRS-80 days is where I am coming from.
Here's my progression:

Commodore PET
TI-99/4a
Vic20
C-64
Amiga
Mac Plus
Too many PCs to count

There might have been a Timex Sinclair in there too that I won't admit to...

:I'm a dork:
Old 09-17-2014, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
Here's my progression:

Commodore PET
TI-99/4a
Vic20
C-64
Amiga
Mac Plus
Too many PCs to count

There might have been a Timex Sinclair in there too that I won't admit to...

:I'm a dork:

Oh yea, been there done that. I can remember spending days writing programs in basic and then typing them in.

Old 09-17-2014, 05:21 PM
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Got a tee-shirt, plus a group owned Heathkit in the Air Force.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zenith_Z-89
Old 09-17-2014, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by THT Mod 9 View Post
Oh yea, been there done that. I can remember spending days writing programs in basic and then typing them in.

It was my escape... I ran a BBS on my C-64 (C-Net)... Had stacks of floppy drives... co-sysops for the different "boards"... etc.

Sounds familiar, eh? LOL...

Here's a little known fact about me:

Macy's had a Computer Center. I was paid (by the department manager) to "hang out" there and use the computers (everything from the old Osbornes, Apple 2e and 2c, Macs (Even a Lisa!)... the idea was that if they saw a "kid" doing it - people would think that their kids should be doing it too. Even got to fool with TOPO the robot... made it sing songs, etc.

I remember the first deal they gave me. A wide carriage Imagewriter (the old mustard color style)... I was in HEAVEN!

I was 13 years old....

Good times... good times...
Old 09-17-2014, 08:56 PM
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Bwaahahahaha I killed a topo once... You think it's bad when you hook up your boat battery backwards....

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