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Old 17th October 2011, 01:03 PM   #1
spot is offline spot  Australia
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Default DAC board for 5.1 system

Hi,
I'm wanting to put together DACs to run a 5.1 system from a
PC.
Are there any DAC boards for this that aren't very expensive?
I've seen lots of PC 2 channel USB DAC boards, is there a way to get the drivers to treat them as a 5.1 system?
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Old 19th October 2011, 01:42 AM   #2
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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It should be possible, probably by using AC3Filter.

It might be easier to use a good M-Audio sound card; some of those have built-in bass management functions. The Delta 410, for example.

Or use HDMI audio and a box that splits HDMI into separate S/PDIF streams. I believe some of the HDMI to 5.1 converters can be hacked to reveal the S/PDIF or I2S signals. However, that box alone is a significant portion of the price of a reasonable 5.1 or 7.1 receiver. And the receiver would add functions and convenience that would be hard to match with a PC at any price.

Some Creative sound cards had optional multichannel PCM outputs (separate S/PDIF streams for each two speakers in a 5.1 setup). I think some used a 4-conductor 3.5mm jack, others a special mini=DIN. You can also get those signals from headers on the board. See this thread: Soundcard as pre-amp / processor
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Old 19th October 2011, 02:06 AM   #3
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Creative Soundblaster Audigy2/2ZX had the three SPDIF streams accesible at the digital out jack. You needed a cable with 3 ring 3.5mm jack - like the ones used in stereo analog camcorders (yellow, red, white).
Starting with the X-Fi series, the 3 SPDIF where avail only at the internal connector (similar with IDE 40 pin). And newer cards dropped that connector completelly.
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Old 19th October 2011, 06:47 AM   #4
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I am currently using Creative Soundblaster Audigy2 ZS PCI 5.1 ch sound card in my old desktop computer to replace built-in on board AC97 codec and bypass SRC. It is good, but has been creased for sale many years. Go to new models from different suppliers such as Asus, Onkyo, Creative, Musiland, etc...
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