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connorsdad

More shopping list advice needed please.

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Currently getting my build list together and I'm struggling with the sound system.

Do you guys use a regular pc sound system ?

I'm sure I've read that vp can split the rom sounds from the table sounds, if so do I need something specific for this ?

Ordinary stereo or 5.1?

A sub and 2 speakers in the DMD and that's it?

Any recommendations are welcome.

Thanks

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Audio output from your PC. Hopefully, your motherboard has on-board audio outputs. Auto speakers and sub and an amp to drive them. A lot of people use this miniamp:

http://www.amazon.com/Lepai-LP-168HA-40-Watt-Amplifier-Output/dp/B0070Z87YO

It's not great manufacturing quality but it does the job. I replaced the stock power supply adapter with a higher rated one, but I didn't think it made much difference. The subwoofer crossover on my unit does not work. It's a commonly reported defect. I bought a low pass filter to connect in line with my subwoofer. That said, even with these fixes it's a good value. It delivers. Stepping up to other options means a lot more $$$ or perhaps taking a chance on used equipment. It's pinball after all. Not a device for audiophiles. It's about the near field experience. You don't need overkill on power. It's not like the pinball has to fill a nightclub space with sound. Others have had no issues at all with these mini amps.

Splitting table and ROM, is about separating the sound placement between the backboard and the cabinet. Requires a whole second system: dedicated sound card if you don't have a second set of outputs built in to your graphics card. I don't. Another set of speakers and another amp to drive them. Many may use just bass transducers to reproduce the feel of the ball rolling on the playfield, but I think I would want both low frequency effects and high frequency for ball to ball and ball to glass collisions.

I haven't tested a secondary output system yet. I intend on just using an old PC speaker and controller/amp system that I already have before I commit to buying anything. I've actually been very satisfied so far simply running all output through one system.

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I have read further reviews regarding that amp which have put me off a little. Any other recommendations or advice on what I should be looking for as I have never purchased/used an amp in my life.

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I'm tempted to split the audio in my cab.

I currently have an Asus Xonar soundcard running a set of Harmon Kardon Soundstick II's.

i will probably use these for the Music sounds, and am toying with the picking up the following items for the mechanical sounds:

Bravo-AUDIO-V2-Tube-Amplifier (will probably change the tube for a better sounding one, a £10 mod)

cambridge-audio minx x2 (i'll be using minx 10's that i picked up cheap a year or so ago)

the mechanical sound will run from the onboard audio, it it starts to cause any slowdown, i'll probably pickup another PCI-e sound card.

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I haven't looked into splitting up the sound, but enjoy my build using just a sub and 2skrs in the DMD panel. I like the idea of splitting up the ball noise and rom sounds, but haven't progressed that far yet. There's always room to add to my build later.

This isn't the cheapest option, but instead of running a car audio amp to power my speakers, I used a home subwoofer amp. This way I'm not pulling more juice from the 12vdc power supply. This panel amp is a one shot deal. Just plug it in, hook up the speakers, set your levels for sub volume, sub frequency and satellite skr volume. There's lots of power to give you night club bass to fill the room, if ever wanted.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-mca2250e-21-channel-class-d-plate-amplifier--300-771

The only draw back is controlling the volume level of windows. For this I got a USB device, although an inline volume control (like a headphone wire) would have worked fine. This vol knob looks awesome. It lights up all pretty inside the cabinet so that it's easy to find. I plan to mount it inside the the cabinet by the tilt switch, so it's all authentic looking. It turns the volume up and down, and it never falls out of sync with windows. It's great when the kids go to sleep.

http://store.fusioncontrolcentre.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=61

A third thing to remember with volume is that each game rom will be set to a default level when you load the game for the first time. So you will probably want to turn up the games volume. Usually it's done by pressing the END key to "open the coindoor" then it's the (7+8) or (8+9) keys to vol up, vol dn.

There's many choices with audio. The most inexpensive would be just getting pc speakers, I don't recommend this, although it could have good results if done well.

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I haven't looked into splitting up the sound, but enjoy my build using just a sub and 2skrs in the DMD panel. I like the idea of splitting up the ball noise and rom sounds, but haven't progressed that far yet. There's always room to add to my build later.

This isn't the cheapest option, but instead of running a car audio amp to power my speakers, I used a home subwoofer amp. This way I'm not pulling more juice from the 12vdc power supply. This panel amp is a one shot deal. Just plug it in, hook up the speakers, set your levels for sub volume, sub frequency and satellite skr volume. There's lots of power to give you night club bass to fill the room, if ever wanted.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-mca2250e-21-channel-class-d-plate-amplifier--300-771

The only draw back is controlling the volume level of windows. For this I got a USB device, although an inline volume control (like a headphone wire) would have worked fine. This vol knob looks awesome. It lights up all pretty inside the cabinet so that it's easy to find. I plan to mount it inside the the cabinet by the tilt switch, so it's all authentic looking. It turns the volume up and down, and it never falls out of sync with windows. It's great when the kids go to sleep.

http://store.fusioncontrolcentre.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=61

A third thing to remember with volume is that each game rom will be set to a default level when you load the game for the first time. So you will probably want to turn up the games volume. Usually it's done by pressing the END key to "open the coindoor" then it's the (7+8) or (8+9) keys to vol up, vol dn.

There's many choices with audio. The most inexpensive would be just getting pc speakers, I don't recommend this, although it could have good results if done well.

Where in the cabinet do you have that amp mounted?

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I've done 3 cabs, I used the lapai amp, a pair of car audio 4" speakers, and a 8" sub.

the power supply shipped with the amp usually isn't enough, it'll shut off during a lot of bass, but the last one was enough power, for some reason.

It ran lanzar 4"s, and a sub, no problem.

I've never split the sound up, but next build, I'm gonna play with it.

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Still looking :/

Basically any 8" sub, sound card, 2 X 4" speakers and any amp will do?

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Still looking for some recommendations please guys, my knowledge of amps and the like is zero, I know nothing of watts and ohms. I know how to plug and play :)

1.I take it any 4" speakers will do?

2.What amp should I go for ? I don't like the sound of this one at all http://www.amazon.com/Lepai-LP-168HA-40-Watt-Amplifier-Output/dp/B0070Z87YO buy cheap buy twice etc.

3.Do I just plug from the headphone socket on the motherboard to the amp or do I need a sound card installed?

Again, I have never used this equipment in a pc/car

Edited by connorsdad

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1 & 2. if you are unsure just go to your local car audio supplier (or Halfords) and tell them what you are doing.

i'm sure they can recommend a cheap amp and speaker package that will suit your needs.

3. you can run straight from the motherboard headphone out. you will only need an additional sound card if you need to split the audio sounds (have music out of one and mechanical sounds out of the other)

hope this helps..

mike.

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1. If you were considering a solution similar to the Lepai then you are looking at 2.1 mini-amps. Most builds I've seen in the forums match an amp with a pair of 4" main speakers but also include a subwoofer. You can use smaller speakers or larger speakers if there is the space to install them. The 2.1 means an amp with 2 channels plus 1 low frequency effect output for the subwoofer. You certainly don't have to use a subwoofer but I think you might appreciate the effect. The main speakers I use are 4" two-way speakers. Two-way means they have a main driver and a tweeter in the same housing. It is not a high end brand at all. Audiophile level equipment is money wasted here, but that's only my opinion. Do the research before you commit to a purchase especially based on the recommendation of some random stranger on the internet like myself. Your neighborhood car audio store will have a number of options that you can listen to. Instead of a car radio with a tuner and amp, you are just looking for the amp.

3. I use the integrated audio outputs on the motherboard. Run a stereo cable with a mini-jack from the motherboard. The connection on the other end of the cable depends on what you select for an amp. Some like the Lepai take L/R RCA connectors. Others may take another stereo mini-jack.

On my system there is a way to split out the mechanical sounds without another sound card or any other additional equipment. My playfield TV is connected via HDMI to an Nvidia card that has integrated audio. HDMI carries an audio signal as well as a video signal. Simply go into VP Preferences -> Audio Options and under Output Sound Device select your playfield screen or NVIDIA High Definition Audio. Under Backglass Sound Device leave as Primary Sound Device. Restart VP. Turn up the volume on the playfield TV. Nice effect!

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Edited by Carny_Priest

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Thanks guys that info is exactly what I needed :)

Thanks for the detailed info carny_priest, much appreciated.

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I can't find what I need :confused:

The only amps I can find that run off 12v are those Lepai ones (Don't want to buy something where I need to buy replacement parts to get it to function as its supposed to lol), If I use a different amp I don't know how to power it, I want to basically run it from the pc or plug it into the mains. Can I plug car speakers and a sub into this, and would it be any good? http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=SC-093-CL

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A headphone amp powered by USB will not have enough power to drive car speakers and a sub.

An amp sold for a home A/V system would plug into the mains and likely drive the speakers. Like a stereo receiver/tuner. The chassis would be much larger than the Lepai. New equipment would cost £ vs. a cheap Chinese mini-amp.

Another option might be a speaker system sold for PC's. There may still be some systems configured with a separate control unit with DSP and amp. It would be powered off of the mains and it may or may not have the juice to drive car speakers. I don't know how many of these systems are still configured like this. I have one I was considering using as a secondary system in my cabinet as it has a small footprint like the Lepai, but this was manufactured in the 1990s. I think most systems today just have powered desktop speakers. Again this would draw power from your mains. You would pull out the car speakers and figure out how to mount the desktop speakers, maybe building a little shelf. I think the price for a decent PC 2.1 system would be comparable to a Lepai plus car speakers. It would work best if you had a sound card or other expansion card that had a jack for an LFE, low frequency effects, channel. Or if your motherboard had integrated support for 5.1 sound signal output. Don't know which, if any, motherboards have that. Mine does not.

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Depending on your budget, I just went with a pair of PC speakers with an included A/C adapter. I don't have to fuss with adding an amp, and the speakers only cost $5 from a local donation center. I also put an adapter to add a couple more USB ports to a computer tower that also has Mic/Audio ports on the from of the cab. Combined, I spent under $15 for everything. I have 2 USB ports and an easy access headphone jack.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813999356

This is a bit nicer than the model I used, but is essentially the same idea. Excellent small form factor to sneak in the front underneath your control panel. It also allows essential easy access to plugging in a mouse/keyboard (if one isn't designed to always be with the build--mine is a bartop)

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So my options are:

1. Cheapo lepai

2. Home av amp (take up a lot of room

3. Bog standard pc kit

No one makes a reliable mains powered amp in a small form factor?

I'm not too fussed re the budget, I've spent enough on my build already so a little bit more won't matter :)

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Audio output from your PC. Hopefully, your motherboard has on-board audio outputs. Auto speakers and sub and an amp to drive them. A lot of people use this miniamp:

http://www.amazon.com/Lepai-LP-168HA-40-Watt-Amplifier-Output/dp/B0070Z87YO

It's not great manufacturing quality but it does the job. I replaced the stock power supply adapter with a higher rated one, but I didn't think it made much difference. The subwoofer crossover on my unit does not work. It's a commonly reported defect. I bought a low pass filter to connect in line with my subwoofer. That said, even with these fixes it's a good value. It delivers. Stepping up to other options means a lot more $$$ or perhaps taking a chance on used equipment. It's pinball after all. Not a device for audiophiles. It's about the near field experience. You don't need overkill on power. It's not like the pinball has to fill a nightclub space with sound. Others have had no issues at all with these mini amps.

Splitting table and ROM, is about separating the sound placement between the backboard and the cabinet. Requires a whole second system: dedicated sound card if you don't have a second set of outputs built in to your graphics card. I don't. Another set of speakers and another amp to drive them. Many may use just bass transducers to reproduce the feel of the ball rolling on the playfield, but I think I would want both low frequency effects and high frequency for ball to ball and ball to glass collisions.

I haven't tested a secondary output system yet. I intend on just using an old PC speaker and controller/amp system that I already have before I commit to buying anything. I've actually been very satisfied so far simply running all output through one system.

Looks like it will have to be the Lepai, where does the subwoofer connect to it?

Which low pass filter would you recommend?

Thanks for helping btw :)

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I'm not at home. I recall that the speakers connect through crimp terminals on the rear of the amp.

The kind of filter depends on your cabinet design, the speakers you have, the size and shape of the room where you will place the machine, the location within the room where you will place the machine. The type of flooring you have: carpet, hardwood, concrete, etc. What I selected for myself based on measurements may not be appropriate for your situation.

All this considering your personal motivation to do this sort of room correction versus the application. After all, it's only pinball! If you are mostly playing 80's and 90's recreations, the sound samples from that era are not what we might call from the vantage point of the year 2014, high quality.

If you are wanting to have the cabinet also act as a jukebox then it may be worth the effort.

The process is not hard though. Get a handheld SPL meter. If you don't have one you may be able to use an app for a smartphone. Not very accurate but the price is right and hopefully better than nothing. If the control is available set to C Weighting and Slow response. Db range to whatever is closest to 70 to 80.

Disconnect the subwoofer from the amp or set the sub volume all the way down. We are just using the main speakers. We want to find the floor for your main speakers where they begin to fail to reproduce low frequency output. That point is where the subwoofer should pick up.

You will need some test tones:

http://www.wavtones.com/functiongenerator.php

Allows you to download short duration test files for free.

You will need Pink noise. And then you will need a set of Sine waveform test tones in increments 10Hz starting from, say, 50Hz to 250Hz. Select duration of 5sec for all sounds. That's the max you can do for no cost.

Set treble and bass to 0 on the amp. In Windows toggle off any Eq effects if they are on. Playback the pink noise. Adjust the Windows volume until the reading on your SPL meter is around 75db.

Now, playback the sine wave tones starting at 250Hz and moving down in increments of 10Hz. The floor for your main speakers are where the sound levels start reading in the 60s and getting quieter as you playback sounds at lower frequencies. This is where the subwoofer should be coming in to fill out low frequency playback. And you don't need the subwoofer to playback higher frequencies that are already reproduced by the main speakers. This is the frequency where you crossover and where you would place a low pass filter.

For me, that was 120Hz. I simply found a cheap one on EBay.

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Bloody hell, that's way more in depth than I want to go :)

I'll stick with the bog standard Lepai for now, I'm about as far away from being an audiophile as can be. On the back of the amp there are L and R for input and 4 ports for output (speakers), do I just connect the sub to the speaker ports or should it have its own port?

If so I'm looking at the wrong amp.

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I'll stick with the bog standard Lepai for now, I'm about as far away from being an audiophile as can be. On the back of the amp there are L and R for input and 4 ports for output (speakers), do I just connect the sub to the speaker ports or should it have its own port?

If so I'm looking at the wrong amp.

If you're looking at the Lepai LP-168AH, it should have four connectors on the back for speakers - two for the main speakers and two more for the sub. (Each "connector" I'm talking about is actually a pair of spring terminals, one black and one red, for the (-) and (+) wires to the speakers, respectively.)

This amp actually only has one sub channel, so I'm not sure why they bother with two sub connectors. They just appear to be wired together internally, so you can just connect your sub to either one.

The Lepai is super cheap but has a couple of caveats. I'm not sure if this is necessarily indicative of quality in general, but the first one I got seemed to be defective (the sub channel was heavily distorted under even small loads) and I had to send it back for a replacement. My replacement unit does seem to work okay, so my personal experience of Lepai's quality control is a 50% defective unit rate, but I don't think I have a statistically significant sample size. :) A problem that does seem consistent across units is that the subwoofer volume control is extremely touchy - you can only use about the bottom 10% of its range. (I've seen a couple of reviews noting this problem and observed it myself on both of my units.) If you buy one, when you take it out of the box, the first thing you should do is turn the sub volume all the way down to zero. Then connect all the speakers and plug it in to an audio source and start very slowly turning the sub volume up until you get it to the level you want. You'll probably find that it's somewhere between about 0.7 and 1.2 on a 0-10 scale (abstractly - they don't actually mark it that way). So you have to be delicate as you adjust it to get it to sound right. Another potential problem is that the 120V power brick they supply with the unit appears to be underpowered by design - it's rated for 3A at 12V, whereas the amp itself is rated at something around 150W total for all channels. There's an obvious discrepancy there. Some people report that they get bad results with the power brick but better results if they power it from the 12V rail of a PC power supply or some other external 12VDC power source that can supply adequate wattage. I'm powering mine from a PC PSU and it seems to work pretty well. One more warning is that some people find the sub crossover control has no discernible effect on the sound. It *does* seem to work on my replacement unit, so maybe that's just a common defect that affects some units and not others.

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Again, this puts me off, it sounds like a pile of junk (not surprised for around £11 - £15) but again, I can't find anything else that would do.

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