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Topic # 64258 12-Jul-2010 11:02
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I am piping mp3 music from my laptop to a stereo downstairs using a 3.5 mm phono cable hardwire that runs from the laptop earphone socket into RCA cable and into the stereo. I am using the Gmote app on my Android 2.1 phone as a wireless remote to control the laptop as a server. The length of the cable is 5 metres.

It all works OK except that there is a noticeable lack of bass in the music (less than when I plug my phone straight into the stereo and play mp3's from there). I am guessing that the sound card in the laptop is not too flash and I am thinking of getting an external sound card. I have tried turning up the bass on the laptop's soundcard equaliser but it doesn't make a lot of difference.

Don't know much about external sound cards and would appreciate any comments on type, model, performance etc. It seems that you can get them as either USB or that go into the PCMCIA slot? Is this approach likely to fix my lack of bass problem?

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  Reply # 350165 12-Jul-2010 11:13
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I use this when dj'ing from my laptop.

http://ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=9369389

Now if its just for around home you probably don't need something as flash, but I would definitely recommend that card if you are willing to spend the $$$ for it.


Or for a much lower price you could look at getting something like this


http://ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=369393

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  Reply # 350232 12-Jul-2010 13:14
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http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/269458/review-zero-24-bit-192khz-dac-headphone-amp-pre-amp
I use this for my headphones, it does essentially the same job as an external soundcard. A better soundcard (DAC/amp) can definitely improve sound quality but if the speakers are inherently lacking in bass you won't be able to change it's sound signature that much.




Desktop: i7 920, GTX 275, asus P6T, antec 1200, 6gb ram, 1tb spinpoint f1, 1tb spinpoint f3, Logitech Z2300, Zero DAC, Shure SRH440
Laptop: Toshiba satellite, T5300, Go 7300
Home Theatre: 32" loewe CRT, Harmon kardon amp, dvd player, image 418 speakers, rega planar 25 turntable :)

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  Reply # 350237 12-Jul-2010 13:29
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What's the bass quality with a pair of headphones / ear plugs plugged in to the laptop's earphone socket ?

You may have an imbalance, or the stereo cable is shorted somewhere, which leads to very similar symptoms.






My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


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  Reply # 350281 12-Jul-2010 14:59
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What software is playing on the PC?

EQ in the software and windows will both mess with the sound, there are many options depending on your sound drivers in windows to change the bass, redirect bass to the non existent .1 output etc.

Untill you are trying ASIO, WASAPI or perhaps kernel streaming (dont know if that still works in a post XP world) with software you know is not performing an EQ on the sound you cant blame the hardware of the laptop and try replacing it.

You _may_ find that an external sound device sorts the bass, but it could just be that it lacks whatever feature is enabled on the onboard sound.

I would also hesitate to get a creative product as an upgrade, all they seem to do at the moment is dodgey DSP stuff in drivers that claim to make MP3s sound better which really just furthur compress the hell out of sound to give it that lovely sound quality you expect from the edge or ZM




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  Reply # 350446 12-Jul-2010 22:21
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if all you want is bass.... here are some cheap option from ebay uk

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/External-USB-2-0-3D-5-1-Audio-Sound-Card-Adapter-/250652042750?cmd=ViewItem&pt...

or this which is what I'm currently using

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/USB-6-Channel-5-1-External-Audio-Sound-Card-S-PDIF-/390103502136?cmd=ViewItem&...

I doubt the sub NZD7.00 usb soundcard adapter would be any good, but the latter seems to do the job just fine. And it even has spdif in/out

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  Reply # 350453 12-Jul-2010 22:39
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Eeek, No. Just dont go there. Those devices have the most noisy output of anything this side of the old soundblaster 16.




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  Reply # 351220 14-Jul-2010 08:35
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boby55: I use this when dj'ing from my laptop.

http://ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=9369389

Now if its just for around home you probably don't need something as flash, but I would definitely recommend that card if you are willing to spend the $$$ for it.


Or for a much lower price you could look at getting something like this


http://ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=369393


Thanks - I bought the second of your two suggestions, the Creative SoundBlaster Play, despite the warnings of some subsequent posters.

I installed the software off the CD, connected up the USD dongle with my line out, and it worked perfectly, almost. There's tons of bass (and maybe the signal is a bit noisy as suggested it might be by a poster above) perhaps almost too much bass, but I should be able to control that with the equalizer.

My problem now is that none of the apps that come with the unit (i.e. equalizer, speaker volume, surround sound adjustment etc) work at all - I just get a warning box for each of them saying something like "not supported by hardware".

Would appreciate further ideas. I want to use the thing but not being able to adjust it is annoying.

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  Reply # 351311 14-Jul-2010 11:20
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Creative stuff is all done in the drivers, you need to install their drivers, not the default ones windows has for USB audio devices.




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  Reply # 351612 14-Jul-2010 21:56
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richms: Eeek, No. Just dont go there. Those devices have the most noisy output of anything this side of the old soundblaster 16.


hah lost some of me hearing at the beastie boys concert back in the early 90s... the noisy output of these cheap devices make no differences to me now, thank you mr tinnitus :)

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