5.1 Surround Sound System for Intel iMac

harveypooka

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Feb 24, 2004
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Ok, my Altec Lansing MX5021's are going a bit...fuzzy. I figure it's best to start looking for some lovely new, shiny speakers. I'm clueless as to 5.1 and what I'll need to link them to my iMac. Recommendations please! My Lansings currently have these specs: SPL 103dB, Front are 20w and the Subwoofer is 50w and a Sig. to noise ratio of >80dB. They have a nice top volume so I don't think I'd need anymore volume, but better quality or equal in a 5.1 system is a must!
 

harveypooka

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Feb 24, 2004
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I found the Logitech Z-5400 or Z-5500 which look quite good. Do I simply attach this to the Mac? How does the 'box' figure out which channel to use for sounds? Using the optical socket? Or do I need a separate box like the FireWave?
 

khisayruou

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2004
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All you need to do is run an optical cable from the imac to the controller pod.
The decoders will determine which speakers it will use.

Hardware decoding for Dolby® Digital, DTS®, and DTS®, 96/24 soundtracks
Dolby Pro Logic II (Movie and Music modes)
6 Channel Direct
Stereo x2
Stereo
 

harveypooka

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Feb 24, 2004
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khisayruou said:
All you need to do is run an optical cable from the imac to the controller pod.
The decoders will determine which speakers it will use.
Ah ok. What's it like listening to non surround sound music through 5.1? Does it just sound 'normal' - how does it put stereo through the 5 speakers vs a 2.1 setup?
 

khisayruou

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Aug 21, 2004
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harveypooka said:
Ah ok. What's it like listening to non surround sound music through 5.1? Does it just sound 'normal' - how does it put stereo through the 5 speakers vs a 2.1 setup?
I am not sure what you mean by "normal" but for stereo sources, the decoding choices are:

Dolby Pro Logic II: Basically it emulates a 5.1 sound.
6 Channel Direct: All 5 channels will play the same thing.
Stereo x2: The two fronts and the two surrounds will play in stereo.
Stereo: The two fronts will play in stereo.
 

harveypooka

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Feb 24, 2004
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khisayruou said:
I am not sure what you mean by "normal" but for stereo sources, the decoding choices are:

Dolby Pro Logic II: Basically it emulates a 5.1 sound.
6 Channel Direct: All 5 channels will play the same thing.
Stereo x2: The two fronts and the two surrounds will play in stereo.
Stereo: The two fronts will play in stereo.
By normal I mean what it would sound like through a 2.1 system. I've only ever listened to music/film through that. Will the decoder recognise the output and change the decoding options itself or is that something I have to do?
 

khisayruou

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2004
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harveypooka said:
By normal I mean what it would sound like through a 2.1 system. I've only ever listened to music/film through that. Will the decoder recognise the output and change the decoding options itself or is that something I have to do?
If you use the "stereo" setting, then it will sound like every other 2.1 system.
Its been a long time since I last used the logitechs, but if memory serves correct, it will recognize it correctly. If its stereo it will go to the last setting you had it on.
 

harveypooka

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Feb 24, 2004
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khisayruou said:
If you use the "stereo" setting, then it will sound like every other 2.1 system.
Its been a long time since I last used the logitechs, but if memory serves correct, it will recognize it correctly. If its stereo it will go to the last setting you had it on.
Automatic changing is good. To be honest I'm really looking forward to getting one - not only for movies, but games too. The Logitech I'm looking at is about 300w combined vs my 100w combined now! Woot!