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Old 05-06-2008, 12:53 AM   #1
ashere65
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Default Logitech X240 2.1 set...

I just got these last friday from work (Best Buy) for 30 bucks and they work pretty well for the price. But I was wondering is there a recommended way to set the volume?

Currently I have the speaker volume at 50% and just use the volume keys on my keyboard to change the volume in Windows on my PC.

Sorry if i sound like a total newb.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:11 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

What do you mean by "recommended way"? You can adjust the volume as you please. I normally turn the dial on the speakers about 75% and then adjust accordingly in the OS.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:22 AM   #3
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That's just what i wanted to know... Since this guy who works in the CPU dept at best buy told me it's not recommended to set the volume through windows since it loses clarity or something (which to me sounds like B.S.) so i thought i'd just ask on here.

Btw thx for the quick reply!
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:12 AM   #4
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I believe he's right for the most part, from what I am basing on my own experiences. Software volume control is more to do with the sound card, while the speaker control is strictly for the speaker. So if the speaker is turned up, it means you are getting the full fidelity, while if it's low and the Windows volume increases it, it's just going to make the lack of fidelity louder.

I could be wrong in some of this, though. Once Rory sees this thread, he might be able to set things straight. I guess testing it yourself would be the best idea though. That way you can see first hand if there is indeed a difference.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:53 AM   #5
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One concern when it comes to setting the output volume on your sound card (using the Windows volume control, or whatever control panel is supplied with your sound card's driver software) is that you've got to be careful not to overdrive the line-level input on your speaker system. In testing the Razer Mako and many other speaker systems with my ASUS Xonar D2 (which is capable of very large 5Vpp swings on the analog outputs), I found it was possible to raise the output level on the sound card so much that the speakers began emitting large amounts of distortion, even when their volume controls were set low enough to eliminate driver distress as a possible cause. Of course, when I'm using high-end headphones, this extra output voltage comes in handy.

I personally set my speakers' volume control to about 50% of the full scale, then use the bottom three-fourths of the Windows volume control slider. If I need more volume (which I usually don't -- I tend to listen at sane levels), I increase the volume control on the speakers themselves, since that volume control actually has less potential to cause distortion in the speakers than your sound card's volume does. There's usually quite a bit more gain available in the preamp stage of the speakers' amplifier than there is dynamic range on the input jack itself.

Really, the optimal configuration is one where all stages of the audio chain "clip" or overdrive at the same volume level. Without clip indicators, your best bet is to set both your sound card's volume and your speakers' volume somewhere near the middle of their scales, instead of setting either one to the maximum setting. Use your ears -- if a change you make to your volume or tone settings causes an audible deterioration in sound, then it probably wasn't the best change to make.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rory Buszka View Post
One concern when it comes to setting the output volume on your sound card (using the Windows volume control, or whatever control panel is supplied with your sound card's driver software) is that you've got to be careful not to overdrive the line-level input on your speaker system. In testing the Razer Mako and many other speaker systems with my ASUS Xonar D2 (which is capable of very large 5Vpp swings on the analog outputs), I found it was possible to raise the output level on the sound card so much that the speakers began emitting large amounts of distortion, even when their volume controls were set low enough to eliminate driver distress as a possible cause. Of course, when I'm using high-end headphones, this extra output voltage comes in handy.

I personally set my speakers' volume control to about 50% of the full scale, then use the bottom three-fourths of the Windows volume control slider. If I need more volume (which I usually don't -- I tend to listen at sane levels), I increase the volume control on the speakers themselves, since that volume control actually has less potential to cause distortion in the speakers than your sound card's volume does. There's usually quite a bit more gain available in the preamp stage of the speakers' amplifier than there is dynamic range on the input jack itself.

Really, the optimal configuration is one where all stages of the audio chain "clip" or overdrive at the same volume level. Without clip indicators, your best bet is to set both your sound card's volume and your speakers' volume somewhere near the middle of their scales, instead of setting either one to the maximum setting. Use your ears -- if a change you make to your volume or tone settings causes an audible deterioration in sound, then it probably wasn't the best change to make.
The rule of thumb is (without clip indicators) to turn the source volume to 100%, then turn the amp gain (volume knob per PC speakers) up to the point where clipping begins to occur (audible distortion) and back it down a couple of degrees (or two or three db on speakers with db scales) and leave it. Then you can use windows volume control to achieve full volume and have some headroom for dynamic peaks.

If you have the gains in the mixer maxed out you might encounter front end distortion especially with onboard sound.

On a side note, with both my Auzentech cards (the Prelude and X-Meridian) I run my speakers at 35% or so to get full volume with windows volume at 100%.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:22 PM   #7
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The problem here isn't with the sound card itself 'clipping', or the amplifier's output stage hitting the rails, but with the speaker preamp's input stage being driven beyond its dynamic range. If the problem is caused by the sound card overdriving the speakers' input, then maxing out the Windows volume control's level and setting the speakers' volume control to some intermediate level won't solve the problem.

With the speakers' volume control set to a normal listening volume that's within the speakers' capability to play cleanly, the user needs to turn down his Windows Mixer volume control until the clipping distortion (which manifests itself as 'grunge' or 'fuzz') disappears, and then turn up the speakers' volume control to compensate.
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:34 PM   #8
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I would imagine that this would depend upon how the gain circuit is wired in relation to the volume control. If it's after the volume control (fixed gain preamp) then it won't detract from the sound quality if you do it the way I outlined. If the volume control is in or after the preamp then yes, you could be overdriving the preamp with the windows volume control. I don't know who uses what topography but I suspect that mine is the fixed gain type.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:03 AM   #9
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ashere65, your head explode yet?
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:33 AM   #10
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Many miles ago... though I think I understand
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:20 PM   #11
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My brain hurts too...

So I have my x540 connected to onboard audio. I've always, unless I'm using headphones, set the Windows volume to 100 and adjusted the speaker volume on the knob provided. Would I get (slightly) better quality audio with say 75 on windows and 50 (half-turn) on the speakers compared to 100 on the system and 25 on the speaker?
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:50 PM   #12
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No, the higher that you turn the gain on the speakers, the more noise that you can inject into the system via RF. If you're not hearing any distortion now then it's best to just leave it be.

Although I'd turn the speakers up to as loud as you can stand them and use windows slider after that unless it's just way easier to use the volume knob on the speakers.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:14 PM   #13
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Thanks. I'm having no issue with distortion except for at lower levels, say at 20% of the knob turn (which never happens because if I need it low I simply put on my headphones )
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:36 PM   #14
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So here's another question... the X230 is basically the same as the X530 only with just two satellites and a subwoofer unless I'm mistaken. So why didn't Logietch not do the same thing with the X240 and X540? It's not as though I'm disappointed in my 240's since I did get them for 30 bucks so i knew what I was getting into. I was just wondering.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:22 PM   #15
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With the X-240, it seems like Logitech wanted to repeat their previous feat with the X-540 (delivering a complete surround set for under $100) by delivering a 2.1-channel speaker system for under $50. To be sure, the X-240 would have been kicked up a notch if Logitech had simply paired two X-540 satellites with the X-540 subwoofer, but somewhere along the way, it seems they simply decided to go with a smaller subwoofer and a simplified, single-driver satellite speaker, probably to hit that price target.
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