Desktop Theater 5.1 Review - Part 2

2. Installation
I brought the whole device home, and quickly flipped through the Install Guide (which like all brand new Creative products, consists of a printed manual and some loose sheets that contain last minute information).

"The 4m cable for the rears (especially the left rear) just wasn't enough for me. My PC is located in a corner, and I normally run the rears along the wall to minimise cables strewn all over the floor."

Similar to most Creative devices I have purchased in the past (Voodoo IIs, Cobra pad, Encore DVD, SB Live), installation was painless and pretty straightforward.

In fact, it took longer to disconnect my old sound system which consisted:

  1. a Sony Dolby Pro Logic midi compo system (L/R/C/RL/RR/sub) (switched to Stereo mode when using EAX/DS3D)
  2. a PC Works kit for rear out Hook up consists of 3 cables from the the PC to decoder/amp box
  3. AC3 SPDIF (RCA to RCA)
  4. front line in (mini stereo to mini stereo)
  5. rear line in (mini stereo to mini stereo)

All 3 cables were provided (gold plated and colour coded)

6 speakers (5.1) were supplied, and plugged in to one of the six RCA jacks at the back for L/R/C/RR/RL and LFE (low frequency/sub).

"The only new thing introduced was the center speaker, which was similar to the SoundWorks satellite unit (substantially heavier than the PCWorks variety)."

The 2 front speakers came with 3m cable while the 2 rears came with a 4m cable. All 4 were similar to my old PCWorks speakers. The subwoofer too was similar in size to the old PCWorks sub, but lacked the satellite (L/R) speaker connections.

The rear satellites also came with the flimsy stands supplied with the 4Point Surround speakers which I left in the box (I placed the two rear speakers on top of two CD storage cabinets which were about 4 feet high instead)

The only new thing introduced was the center speaker, which was similar to the SoundWorks satellite unit (substantially heavier than the PCWorks variety). The center speaker came with two types of stands, one that tilted upwards (when the speaker was placed below your ear level) and one that tilted downwards (when the speaker was mounted above the ear level). I used the latter.

I only have one problem with the cables: the rear ones are just too damned short!

In the past I could make do with the PCWorks length because I basically had three runs of cables, giving me more length to play with:

PC -> volume knob -> sub -> satellites

With the Theatre 5.1, this was reduced to only 2 runs

PC -> decoder/amp box -> speakers

The 4m cable for the rears (especially the left rear) just wasn't enough for me. My PC is located in a corner, and I normally run the rears along the wall to minimise cables strewn all over the floor.

[Click here for Diagram]

 

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