Sound Curiosity

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Ferrari904, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Ferrari904 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have a Mac Pro Late 2009, and just got some Logitech Z506 speakers (http://www.logitech.com/en-us/speakers-audio/home-pc-speakers/devices/7191). There pretty sweet but I don't think I'm getting true 5.1 surround sound because I'm using only the green cable which plugs into the analog out in the back of the MP. Is there someway of using the black and orange cables too? Can someone point me towards a converter or something? Also is there a way to use the optical out? I've noticed there isn't much for sound cards when it comes to the MP.:apple:
     
  2. Ferrari904 thread starter macrumors regular

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  3. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #3
    Your speakers appear to be designed for PCs with several analog audio output jacks. The Mac Pro's optical out is digital. To get surround sound with your current gear, you'd need to add a digital decoder with an optical input and discrete analog outputs for your speakers.
     
  4. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    The Mac Pro has 2 line outs. The analog line out you are currently using is only 2 channel, the optical out will be up to 5.1.

    You will need to use all the leads that came with your speaker set to achieve 5.1.

    You will either need a dedicated sound card with all the outputs or some way of converting the optical signal to a 5.1 analog signal.
     
  5. Ferrari904 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Thanks I'll be sure to look into it. I'll post what I discover.
     
  6. Ferrari904 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    This is what I've found so far:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?cm_re=optical_audio-_-29-180-006-_-Product&item=N82E16829180006&RandomID=2442619872392020100930221419
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102020&cm_re=Creative_USB_SoundBlaster_X-Fi-_-29-102-020-_-Product
    Those are just a few things I found. However, I did find something called the Griffin FireWave (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/firewave) just to find out it has been discontinued. This is exactly what I need.
    Is there anything like it on the market now that is compatible with the mac or are those previous ones listed, going to work?
     
  7. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    #7
    The Creative one doesn't support OS X.

    Wouldn't trust the other one on newegg given how cheap it is.

    *hugs his Firewave* :p
     
  8. Ferrari904 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Really? Darn! Is there anything else? Just something that is plug n play? I mean I could get a sound card, but then I could only use it in windows, but that's just pointless. Does anyone perhaps know where any potentially left over FireWaves would be?
     
  9. Ferrari904 thread starter macrumors regular

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  10. Major Reeves macrumors regular

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    #10
    Notice that the Firewave is discontinued and it appears that it doesn't on snow leo.
     
  11. Ferrari904 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Yes I know it is discontinued. I was just wondering if anyone knew of a source other than ebay where some spare units could be found. Seeming that there is no external sound card is there a converter unit that will still keep it as surround sound?
     
  12. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #12
    Basically, you have speakers designed for one purpose only, to be plugged into the analog surround outputs of a PC sound card. Your Mac outputs digital surround by optical, designed to be plugged into a receiver with an optical input and Dolby Digital decoding.

    Do a quick Google search and you'll see many people in your predicament, over several years, with no solutions in sight. There are optical to analog adapters, but for some reason I don't understand, they are all stereo output.

    It sounds like you just got your speakers. Your best bet is to return them and get 5.1 speakers with an optical in. This way you aren't dealing with a USB dongle, drivers, OS limitations, etc. Straight from the Mac Pro's optical out to the speaker's optical in. Logitech Z680 speakers for example.
     
  13. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #13
  14. goMac macrumors 603

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    #14
    "Under the Mac system, the volume buttons of the adapter are not functional and there is 2-channel playback only"
     
  15. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #15
    I used to have a Audigy 2 NX and that worked with 5.1 on OS X.
    Not sure where you can still get one of those.
     
  16. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #16
    Sorry about that, didn't see it.

    Anyway I really do think the best solution is returning the PC speakers and getting speakers with optical in.
     
  17. Ferrari904 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    Shoot well it looks like I'm just about out of luck here. Alright well I'll keep searching and let you guys know if I find anything worth mentioning.
     
  18. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Just a thought.... My Yamaha amp has 2 optical inputs and up to a 7.1 analog output. Maybe you could find a used amp with similar specs on ebay? But if the speakers with the optacl input are only a little more, then go for them.
     
  19. Ferrari904 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Hmmm, intriguing. Think you can send me a link of your amp? In the mean time I'll be looking around.
     
  20. goMac macrumors 603

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    #20
    Are you sure that's going to work?

    An amp provides powered output usually, which isn't going to work with his already powered speakers. Some amps have pre-out, which is unpowered, but I've never seen an amp with 7.1 pre-out, only stereo pre-out.
     
  21. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #21
    Ditto. I don't think that will work at all.
     
  22. goMac macrumors 603

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    #22
    Actually, I took a look at an image of the back of my receiver (in since I don't see the back very often), and I found out my receiver does have 7.1 pre-out! Learn something new every day...

    Still, it's an expensive proposition. A receiver does a lot of stuff you don't need, and you'll pay for it. I don't know what other cheaper receivers have 5.1 pre-out, but mine is a $1000 Pioneer Elite. Plus, you'll still need a few wiring adaptors to make it work.

    You're better off looking at an audio decoder, which is exactly what you need. Unfortunately the best one I could find was done by Creative to let you hook up speakers via optical to an XBox or whatever, and it was discontinued.

    It might also be worthwhile to look at the audio card situation. I know the Hackintosh folks have been working on Creative sound card drivers, they might have something by now.

    Edit 2:

    Did some checking, this guy seems to be the cheapest receiver with 5.1 pre-out that's around:
    http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-HTR-5660-6-Channel-Digital-Receiver/dp/B00009ZY5D
     
  23. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Yes. Just make sure the amp has a low level output. Or simply use it instead of the amp that comes with the speaker set.
     
  24. goMac macrumors 603

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    #24
    The problem with using a receiver without the receiver's amp is the speakers aren't individually powered, so you can't use them by themselves with the preamp connections, and they don't have the right connectors to hook to the powered outputs on the amp. So you've pretty much go to run them with the amp that came with the speaker.

    Plus, usually the sub is the amp.
     
  25. Ferrari904 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    So is there any suggestions as to what I should be looking at? That or should I disregard even checking this stuff out?
     

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