Odd High Def Audio Route
Found out the speakers I've been using with 2 different receivers have 4 Ohm impedance, so that could have been while I had issues with the 2nd one (first one was a known defect).
I was wondering if it's at all possible to pick up a higher end sound card and some specialized cabling and drive my 5 satellite speakers and my powered sub (aka gets power from the wall) and drive sound through them rather then getting a new receiver or a full new sound system.
I'm not entirely convinced it will be worthwhile in the long run really. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find an old or not so old cheap amp (nad, yamaha, etc) that wouldn't have a problem pushing 4ohm speakers.
Yeah, but is it possible to find a 5.1 channel amp to pull this off. I want to avoid a receiver if at all possible.
Uhm, what's your price range haha. If you want to avoid a receiver you will have to go with a power amp and have your sound card be the pre-amp/processor.
Could you also let me know what speakers and sound card you are using.
You can always hunt audiogon, kijiji, etc for a used power amp but you probably won't find anything for a better price than a new Emotiva UPA-5 (currently on sale). I have their UPA-7 and UMC-1 which are amazing.
UPA-500 Five-Channel Power Amplifier | Emotiva Audio | High-end audio components for audiophiles and videophiles, spanning 2-channel music systems, as well as 5.1 and 7.1 home theaters. Products include multichannel amplifiers, stereo amplifiers, and
Edit: Also, unless your satellites are powered...there is no way a sound card will be able to provide enough juice to them.
Only my sub woofer is powered, the rest, my satellites are unpowered.
Something like that or that price range almost best going with a new receiver. Though if I do that I'll probably go with new speakers too, so I'm not over-driving my receiver which I think I may have been before.
Well if you go with the amp I linked then you won't have to worry about over-driving it that's for sure (unless of course you are using Marten Logans or other really hard to drive speakers). The problem with going with a receiver at that price range is that you will never get that kind of power without spending 2-3 times or more what the Emotiva costs. The difference between the UPA-5 and any Yamaha, Pioneer, and even some higher end units is that the UPA-5 is rated with all channels driven at the same time. So their 120 watts is a true x5 whereas the others rate their wattage with only 2 channels being driven and that power drops off significantly with all channels driven. This puts you back to square one with over driving your receiver. Of course you may get lucky and be able to find a decent used NAD, Rotel etc at a price around what you want to spend or a bit more.
IF I went with something like this, would I then not have to worry about the sub, seeing as mine is powered by the wall? I'd also probably want cleaner/better audio coming out then onboard too (aka real sound card)
Looks like this brand's 5-channel amplifier is available at a store in Montreal:
Products by Type > Five Channel Amplifiers That may help you 3.0, though for me there's nothing in NB by parasound.
According to the emotiva forums (people posting in it) and avsforums you can order directly from them and get it shipped to canada (dunno the premium for that).
While Parasound is a good company you will still be paying a very heavy premium for them. The nice thing about Emotiva is that they are an internet direct company (also they make components for other big companies and just bought out Sherwood if I'm not mistaken) so you save a ton of money for the same or better quality as Parasound and other big names. The comparable Parasound is the a52 and I'm seeing it used for $1600 haha. For just a bit more you can get the Reference XPR-5 which has 600 watts into 4ohms :) Of course if you don't need that much power then there is always the XPA-5 which has 300 watts into 4ohms at half the price of a used a52.
Unfortunately they don't have any Canadian retailers and that made it a bit hard for me at first but my UPA-7 was over 80lbs and I think was only $80 or less. At this point I'll probably never buy another amp or pre-amp from any other company just due to the massive price/performance ratio which no other company comes close to at this point.
Music in the Round #51 | Stereophile.com
You might also want to consider the UMC-1 processor as it's on at a killer price of $499 which means you can just use hdmi or toslink from your sound card. That kind of setup though would be massive for a computer setup but still cheaper than a used a52. Like I said, I'm using the UPA-7 with the UMC-1 as my main stereo and it rattles the house haha.
Isn't the UMC-1 though a pre-amp and processor? Wouldn't it need an amp along side with it?
All the rear connections don't support speaker wire either, again leading me to thinking that the amp itself would be needed with either UMC-1 (which then drives the cost waaay too high) or with a 100-150$ pc sound card.
Edit: Yep I'd need the amp anyways as the pre-amp processor processes/decodes the signal whereas the amp powers the speakers themselves.
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