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xRobert Richmond

Abit SP-50 Home Theater System

February 2003

Page One

Page One: Specifications / Installation
Page Two: Testing Methodology
Page Three: Sound Quality / Software & Accessories

Abit Computer Corporation is widely recognized as a premier manufacturer of retail motherboards throughout the world.  While its superbly designed overclocking boards attract the attention of many enthusiasts, Abit's home theater division generally represents a niche market of dedicated audiophiles.  One of the more popular offerings is the Abit SP-50, a Dolby Digital 5.1-channel multimedia system designed around a metal-cone speaker network for maximum clarity with minimal distortion while retaining the widest rage of frequency response possible. 
Abit is a relatively new player within the audio realm compared to long-term favourites like Cambridge Soundworks or Bose, though initial examination of the SP-50 specifications would indicate it is well suited to compete within the rapidly growing marketplace of home theater systems.


Abit SP-50 Specifications

Satellite (x4) 2" driver
10 watts/channel RMS
freq: 200Hz - 20KHz
metal cone
4-ohm impedance
magnetic shielding
Center (x1) 2.4" x 5" driver
35 watts/channel RMS
freq:  100Hz - 20KHz
metal cone
4-phm impedance
magnetic shielding
Subwoofer (x2) 6.5" driver
40 watts total RMS
freq:  30Hz - 300Hz
paper cone
8-ohm impedance
Channel Separation > 60dB @ 1 KHz ref.
Signal-to-Noise Ratio > 70db @ 1 W/A-wtd
Total Harmonic Distortion < 1% for all channels
Power Supply 100v - 230v, 50/60Hz
Cost SP50 with AU10:  US$169.00
SP50 w/o AU10:  US$139.00

Abit AU-10 PCI Sound

Chipset ForteMedia FM801-AU chipset
signal-to-noise ratio:  95dB
Features 5.1 channel output
128-voice software wavetable
3D positional audio support
ds3d, q3d, eax, a3d v1.0 support
native DOS support without emulation
sound blaster pro compatible
adlib compatible music synthesizer
Abit WinTV Remote Control infrared remote control
WinTV software compatible
Software AU-10 drivers (Win9x/ME/NT/2K/XP)
WinDVD 2000 w/6-channel support
ForteMedia ExAudio v3.01
Yamaha S-YXG50 midi synthesizer

While the printed manuals are more like condensed guides, the entire installation and setup process of the Abit SP-50 proves simple enough.  The speakers are each supplied with a RCA-to-tinned-wire cable for minimal confusion, while the included 6-channel G9 cable simplifies the hook up procedure for the AU10 sound card.  The input system also supports 2-channel and multi-channel RCA cable configurations for those requiring improved legacy support, especially for non-PC applications.  The user guide could use more thorough explanations in regards to speaker placement within various room sizes, but the basic information it does offer should allow even the most novice of users to properly configure the speaker system for their specific environments.
The Abit installation routine located and properly installed the AU10 sound card drivers with no complaints within both Windows Millennium and 2000 SP2.  The bundled WinDVD and Yamaha S-YGX50 software packages also installed with the only real requirement being a quick system reboot to properly load the needed software drivers and multimedia codecs.  Overall, the Abit SP-50 was actually a pleasant change compared to the generally problematic issues one faces when upgrading sound cards or DVD playback software.


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