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Windows 7: New Sound Card for old Logitech Z5500 speakers

21 Dec 2019   #1
msalton1

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 
New Sound Card for old Logitech Z5500 speakers

I have a set of Logitech Z5500 5.1 surround speakers with control module. It's connected to an old machine



Both the X-fi card and the Z5500 support "6 Channel Direct" (three 1/8" cable inputs), which together produce amazing sound quality.


Since I only use the machine in which the card resides for music, I'm pondering getting rid of it.


Are there sound cards now available that will support the 6 Channel Direct aspect of the Logitech Z5500 speaker system? I assume that most cards that support 5.1 will work. Is 7.1 backward compatible?


Basically, I'm looking for high quality sound, even if I have to spend extra.



The attached screenshot is of the back of the controller of the Z5500. 6 Ch Direct can be turned off.


I believe I built the machine around 2008, and put the X-Fi in at the same time. No new cards support the old PCIE slot. This is a great speaker system that I'd like to keep using, assuming I can get good SQ with another card.


Screenshot:


New Sound Card for old Logitech Z5500 speakers-z5500.png




My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Dec 2019   #2
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by msalton1 View Post
I have a set of Logitech Z5500 5.1 surround speakers with control module. It's connected to an old machine



Both the X-fi card and the Z5500 support "6 Channel Direct" (three 1/8" cable inputs), which together produce amazing sound quality.


Since I only use the machine in which the card resides for music, I'm pondering getting rid of it.


Are there sound cards now available that will support the 6 Channel Direct aspect of the Logitech Z5500 speaker system? I assume that most cards that support 5.1 will work. Is 7.1 backward compatible?


Basically, I'm looking for high quality sound, even if I have to spend extra.



The attached screenshot is of the back of the controller of the Z5500. 6 Ch Direct can be turned off.


I believe I built the machine around 2008, and put the X-Fi in at the same time. No new cards support the old PCIE slot. This is a great speaker system that I'd like to keep using, assuming I can get good SQ with another card.

Correction: You mean the old PCI slot. The old X-Fi Soundblasters worked off a PCI slot. Newer PCIe versions were manufactured, but I do not know if they are manufactured still.

Many people have opted for an outboard USB audio DAC, to get the best quality (stereo) sound. Arguably, if you have a modern 96kHz DAC, you not need surround sound. However, that is not your question. And I have not seen an outboard DAC that supports Surround Sound in any way.

You could try an Asus Xonar DX. This card has Pcie and 6 Channel Direct.
Quote:
you have to select MAIN, then set AUDIO CHANNEL to 6 channels and ANALOG OUT to 5.1 speakers
Source: Post #2 logitech z906 and asus xonar problems | TechPowerUp Forums
But I do not know if the ASUS card is still manufactured anymore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2019   #3
msalton1

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

Thanks for your comments, iko22. I looked at the Asus, and it does seem like it would work, but I also found the SB Audigy XF that will work too. I think I'll go with the SB first, if qulaity is less than expected, I'll move on to other 5.1 cards. Again, thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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4 Weeks Ago   #4
msalton1

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

I ordered and installed an Audigy Fx. It's puny and cannot come close to matching the sound quality of the Platinum F-xi. The quality is, in fact pitiful.


I'm not opposed to an external solution. I'm looking for the best sound quality possible that will accommodate the 6Ch direct Z5500s (5.1, center/bass, front, rear).



Any recommendations (anyone)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #5
NoN

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]
 
 

Creative Sound Blaster Z with metal cover (this one I own w/ a 5.1 Dolby only), I bought it not far after public release...or Zx, ZxR or newer AE-5 series.

Still have recent drivers from august 2019 and have a nice User Interface panel and some to parameter the way speakers are set in the room..but it's again a Creative product
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #6
msalton1

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NoN View Post
Creative Sound Blaster Z with metal cover (this one I own w/ a 5.1 Dolby only), I bought it not far after public release...or Zx, ZxR or newer AE-5 series.



Thanks for your comments. My main usage would be Music and multimedia. How is sound quality for that purpose ( I may one day do games)?


Quote:
Still have recent drivers from august 2019 and have a nice User Interface panel and some to parameter the way speakers are set in the room..but it's again a Creative product
The last Creative product I bought (aside from the recent pitiful Audigy FX) was the Plat f-xi, which is excellent (still going strong in another machine). Is creative no longer considered quality?


Given that I will likely use whatever card for several years, I'm not opposed to paying more. I'm considering the SBx AE-5. Do you have an opinion on this card? Or is it best to stay away from Creative, in which case, I'm not sure what other brand I might use?


The AE-5 does have win 7 x64 drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #7
msalton1

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

Thanks again for y'all's comments. I ordered the AE-5. What I've read about it says it'll meet my criteria. I'll post back after I've had time to install it and check it out. Again, thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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4 Weeks Ago   #8
NoN

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by msalton1 View Post
Thanks again for y'all's comments. I ordered the AE-5. What I've read about it says it'll meet my criteria. I'll post back after I've had time to install it and check it out. Again, thanks.
I can't compare what is not comparable with a sound system like yours.. mine is a bit lower quality, but I can tell that I'm very satisfied with as I have a lot of music in .wav and panel control allows me to set off or lower things like crystalizer made for MP3 clarity. For game it is perfect and I like watching movies in 5.1 surround


Great you find your need..Yes post a comment about..it will always be handy to have it directly from owner
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #9
msalton1

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

The AE-5 is really a great card, but is hampered by hinky software and drivers. Out of the box, it sounds pretty pitiful. All presets are not worth using. My 5.1. speakers aren't utilized unless using the creative mixer. It took quite some time to get good sound...playing with settings. Also, there is Sound Blaster Command and Sound Blaster Connect. I'm not sure why both. I've disabled Sound Blaster Command from starting up.


Also, EQ settings. The presets are not worth using. Blatantly not worth using. And, although you can save custom EQ settings, they are not able to be backed up, and occasionally disappear, requiring one to try to rebuild custom EQs from memory. Another problem is that often, when coming out of Sleep, surround sound is gone. No sound at all from the rear speakers. The fix I found was (from sound blaster connect), turn off EQ and BlasterX Acoustic Engine, then turn both back on.


That said, after playing around with settings for a few weeks, the sound is truly fantastic. I've read that there are 3rd pary drivers available (PAX), but I haven't had a chance to look into it yet.


Bottom line? A really good card with very poor software and drivers. Prepare to be confused, frustrated, disppointed and amazed.


Thanks to all for your comments.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 New Sound Card for old Logitech Z5500 speakers




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