How would you use 2 x 2.1 for surround?

Dark12

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Hey folks,
I have two sets of Klipsch 2.1 that I currently use on my computer for light movie watching.
I am just using a 2.5mm splitter out of my soundblaster Z and I have it set to stereo mode.
Is there a way to set this up and get 4.2 surround?

A new sound system is not in the budget for now.

Thanks for your time
 

djoye

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Aug 31, 2004
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Sure. If the SBZ supports quadraphonic mode in the Windows sound settings, use that. Connect one set to the front output and another set to the rear output (using a long cable), balance out the volume levels and you should be good to go.

For movies, you'll want to confirm that your movie player isn't cutting out audio, but I think they typically mix the best they can (no missing audio). Since 4-speaker surround isn't terribly common, some games may have difficulty with that mode, so if voices are very quiet or you have no sound emitting from objects directly in front of you then the game probably doesn't support that mode.
 

DoubleTap

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I've tried quad surround a few times and experienced some very weird results.

If you experience weirdness, you might try running 5.1 and using a ghost center or something like that.
 

Nenu

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I havent used a centre speaker for about 8 years and it has been superb, but have relied on an AV system to handle surround.
Windows sends all channels 7.1 (and Atmos) to the AV system over HDMI and that pumps it out with no centre channel, centre going to front left/right.
All AV systems I have tried this on seem to work correctly sending the centre channel to front left/right when the centre is disabled.

But...
It only works well because I use speakers with ribbon tweeters.
Other speakers I have tried without a centre have been soft dome tweeter and they do not make a good enough centre image.
My brother also uses ribbon tweeters and found it works great for him too.
I made my mum some ribbon tweeter speakers and she now doesnt need a centre using a "really" old AV amp.
So my dad insisted on trying it with his Bose speaker setup and its nowhere near good enough (not a surprise really lol).

It might work if you have metal dome or ribbon tweeter speakers.
But you might want to use an AV system to control where the centre audio signal goes because Windows isnt reliable.
 

Dark12

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I've tried quad surround a few times and experienced some very weird results.

If you experience weirdness, you might try running 5.1 and using a ghost center or something like that.
Yes I indeed experience no voices in some movies. Will have to figure out how to ghost a center.

Nenu That sounds interesting. I suppose I can look at old used amps and plug the speakers directly into it. They use regular 2 cable connections. Not sure how I would connect the subs though.

If anyone has one collecting dust to trade I got a couple things for sale:
https://hardforum.com/threads/fs-4930k-cpu-mobo-ram-combo-and-3930k-mobo-cpu.1988906/

Moving into my first solo apartment and money is stretching thin but I want to have a decent sound system to entertain.
 
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Nenu

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That sounds interesting. I suppose I can look at old used amps and plug the speakers directly into it. They use regular 2 cable connections. Not sure how I would connect the subs though.
A stereo amp wont do because you cant feed 5.1 or 7.1 to it.
It must be an HDMI AVR (Audio Video Receiver or an AV Processor [using your current speaker amps]).
Then you will have no problem setting up a sub because they have redirection filters built in.

An analogue input AVR wont do because most of them dont use any digital processing on analogue input (and if they did it would reduce sound quality - converting analogue back to digital and back to analogue again)
They simply output what you input to each analogue channel, you cant redirect bass to the sub and cannot remove the centre channel.
Although you can use Windows to redirect the bass, it doesnt solve the centre channel issue.
 

Dark12

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A stereo amp wont do because you cant feed 5.1 or 7.1 to it.
It must be an HDMI AVR (Audio Video Receiver or an AV Processor [using your current speaker amps]).
Then you will have no problem setting up a sub because they have redirection filters built in.

An analogue input AVR wont do because most of them dont use any digital processing on analogue input (and if they did it would reduce sound quality - converting analogue back to digital and back to analogue again)
They simply output what you input to each analogue channel, you cant redirect bass to the sub and cannot remove the centre channel.
Although you can use Windows to redirect the bass, it doesnt solve the centre channel issue.
Great info sir!
Is there an inexpensive digital receiver that folks like to recommend around these parts that would do what I'm trying to accomplish?
 

Nenu

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Great info sir!
Is there an inexpensive digital receiver that folks like to recommend around these parts that would do what I'm trying to accomplish?
I rarely look at second hand gear so I'll hand over to others that can help.

An old cheap Onkyo will do you well but beware they run hot and many died early because of this.
When I used an Onkyo AV amp I put a 250mm PC fan on it running less than 12V (either 5V or 7V) to keep it silent and this worked great.
My Dad still uses that amp which is now 11 years old, and damn does it get hot if the fan isnt on, you cant touch it!

My current AV kit has Bitfenix Spectre 230mm fans and they are superb, easy to find and cheap, I recommend these.
I got LED version and cut all the LEDs off except one.
This is so I can be sure the fan is turning because when it stops the LED goes out, great feature!
The last LED I partially covered to reduce light pollution.
I wired a simple 12V mains adapter to it and got an inline fan controller to set the speed.
But you can use a 5V or 7V mains adapter instead.
There is no need to run the fan full speed, they shift a ton of air and will be noisy, 5V should work great as long as its enough to get the fan turning.
(fans have a minimum voltage before they start to operate and it can vary a little)

Set the fan to draw air out of the top, not blowing in.
This will make air enter the amp from many places at a much slower speed, preventing lots of dust being drawn in.

If you need more info, do ask.
 
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