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dual sound cards

By alldtoys ·
I have a dell 8200 P4 Dimension with a Sound Blaster Live digital sound card. The sound card is connected to my home entertainment system. I want to be able to send sound throughout the house with the highest possible quality. In the main room, the digital output sounds great. So just using analog throughout the house isn't the answer. I want to install a 2nd sound card, so that I can send the sound as analog to any or all of the other locations in the house at the same time as getting the sound digitally in the main room. (or is there a replacement card I can install that will simultaneously give digital & analog output) What problems would I run into installing dual sound cards & how do I overcome them? IRQ conflicts, making both cards run simultaneously, etc? Recommendations on a 2nd sound card?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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dual sound cards

by TheChas In reply to dual sound cards

While you can 'sometimes' get 2 soundcards to work in a PC, you are going to have ALL kinds of problems.

Since overall sound quality is your primary goal, take a look at the top 10 or 15 sound cards as listed here

http://www.pcavtech.com/soundcards/index.htm

The ratings here are primarily for their recording capabilities, but I suspect that the audio output quality is also relatively equal.

The typical sound card in a PC is meant as a gaming extension, and provides sound on par withyour typical boom box stereo.

For connecting to your home stereo system, make sure that you are using the line-out and not the speaker out connection.

Chas

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dual sound cards

by alldtoys In reply to dual sound cards

Thanks for your link to the web site. It did help me a little in zoning in on a replacement sound card. See my response to FranJen (response 4) for how I "resolved" this issue to get the sound mix I was looking for. (the single card giving both digital & analog outputs simultaneously)

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dual sound cards

by CG IT In reply to dual sound cards

My Question is: Why use the PC at all?

As TheChas mentioned, sound cards are /were/probably will always be/ for playing games on a PC and really aren't intended as a substitute for a home entertainment system.

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dual sound cards

by alldtoys In reply to dual sound cards

Maybe I didn't make myself clear, this was not intended as a substitute for a home entertainment system, but rather as an "addition to".

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dual sound cards

by dmatlock In reply to dual sound cards

Get a high end digital sound card and get a pig tail split out for both sides.

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dual sound cards

by alldtoys In reply to dual sound cards

Thanks for the suggestion, but I already had a "high end" card & the pig tail split out wouldn't do what I wanted.

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dual sound cards

by FranJenT79 In reply to dual sound cards

I think you can't have two sound cards going at once because it'll cause IRQs conflicts that will mess up your computer. Unless if you know how to set up the IRQs which I don't know and I believe you can't set up to have two sound cards. You should try the new Sound Blaster Audigy 2. You can check it out at www.soundblaster.com. It's a great sound card and I'm sure it'll give you whatever you want. Good luck.

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dual sound cards

by alldtoys In reply to dual sound cards

In my research, I discovered that installing 2 digital cards is in fact possible, just requires some "work" to make it work. However, all the articles seemed to indicate that I would still have to toggle between outputs, which was not an acceptable solution. I had already researched various audio cards and discovered the possbilities of the Sound Blaster Audigy2 Platinum. It works like a charm to give me both digital output in my main location & analog throughout the rest of the house. (Just had to disable the "digital only" option). I don't think that Audigy 2 version will do the same thing. According to the tech at Sound Blaster, either the Audigy 2 Platinum or their external model (Eligy- I think) would be my best options for the mix I wanted. I went with the Audigy 2 Platinum, as I said, & am pleased with the results. Thanks for your suggestion, tho'

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dual sound cards

by alldtoys In reply to dual sound cards

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