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Thread: can a carputer compete with a head unit for sound quality?

  1. #101
    Variable Bitrate SickVette's Avatar
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    This is a really interesting thread. Took me two sittings to read it all. I am new to car computers but not car audio. I have been installing professionally for almost 16 years. I build custom show/competition vehicles and I am an IASCA judge but no longer do any judging. Like I said I know very little about computers but I have two show cars here that I am going to install computers in both. I want to thank the guys that have offered some very good points on why to use a computer. One of my major concerns is SQ. I am still concerned but I believe I am going to use a very good sound card and run it into a good 1/3rd octave eq...hope it works.

    There are a couple of things I would like to add to. First is the RTA does not have to be flat to give a score. Anyone that is serious about SQ needs to use a RTA to tune their car. The RTA redout does need to be flat it needs to have no breaks in the frequency response. There can not be big jumps in frequencies. That will kill your RTA score but also overall SQ. The car should be tuned using a combination of ear and RTA.

    Another issue talked about is judging. Judging is very biased. Alot of comps use judges that have 10 minutes worth of experience in car audio and none in judging. What they think sounds good is not often what the "norm" is. IASCA tried to solve this problem with a disc that takes away alot of individual opinion. It worked so so. The big problem with competion is the judges.

    Cables are not a scam. High end cables do work better then the 2 dollar stuff off the shelf of Radio Shack. But that is only if you are able to by them at the right price. Cables and accessories have a HUGE mark up especially at places like Circuit City and Best Buy. The quality is there and the product is worth using but at the right price.

  2. #102
    Nic
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    of course there is gonna be a differance between $2 and $20 cable but when you start spending ridiculous amounts of money like on monster cable you are wasting your time, its not the the quality of the cable isnt better, its that the differance it makes is negligable, its a far better idea to buy reasonable cables and use the money you save to get better amps or components or whatever
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  3. #103
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    Do you know a good (less expensive ) substitute for the alpine pxa 700? I have heard pioneer also has some good dsp processors but are a lot less reviewed in the internet...
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  4. #104
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    there's not much out there that will give you what the Alpine does for the same price...

    you're going to be giving up a lot in going with something cheaper...

    that is IF there is anything that can even touch it....because off the top of my head I can't come up with anything
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  5. #105
    Variable Bitrate SickVette's Avatar
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    Alpine is not what they used to be and several source units can compete with them. For pure SQ the Eclipse rocks the Alpine. Alpine has not had a rock solid SQ head unit since the 7909. Pioneer carries several sweet pieces especially for the price.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by SickVette
    Alpine is not what they used to be and several source units can compete with them. For pure SQ the Eclipse rocks the Alpine. Alpine has not had a rock solid SQ head unit since the 7909. Pioneer carries several sweet pieces especially for the price.
    The unit in question is not a head unit it is a mobile theater processor and IMO the 700/701, without going into the multi thousand dollar range, is THEE best out there.
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  7. #107
    Variable Bitrate SickVette's Avatar
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    I am sorry...the title states "head unit" I did not notice there is another source unit being compared. Or a mobile theater processor...which I do not see how a mobile theater processor can be compared with a head unit at all. Does this processor have the ability to playback recorded music or does it just process information that is inputed into it? I am not familuar with the 700/701 and I would like to know more.

  8. #108
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    basically, it's a processor, 31 band eq, blah blah blah, does all of that jazz

    it's what I am using to go from the computer, process the sound, boost the signal level and send it to the amps....along with using 5.1 if you wish, time alignment, etc.
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  9. #109
    Variable Bitrate SickVette's Avatar
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    That is cool...I guess Alpine makes it? But it is not a source unit so I do not see how it can used to compare a head unit and a computers SQ.

    I think I found the piece on Alpine's web site. PXA-H701? Very cool piece and can see it being useful when using it with a car computer. I also check out Red's cardomain page....very clean install especially behind the scenes, do not see that much. What is the display face for in the front of the car? I can not find any info on external displays from Alpine. Are you using the 8 onboard DA converters and if so how?

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenwire
    "this is like 10k setup not inculding wires it suggest monster cable " - I have yet to see someone prove to me that using ludicrously expensive cables with gold plated tips and massive conductors for line level signals improves the transmission of audio signals to any reasonable degree. Good shielding IS important at line levels, but i have yet to hear the difference between a $120 sheilded monster cable and a $20 "standard" cable on the same setup, and i have also never seen a difference when i've put a scope on the cables (under 500khz mind you, but everything above that is going to be filtered in the amplifier anyways)

    Speaker cables are the same story. There are 2 things that get me about speaker cables. #1 - speakers are not succeptable to induced EMF to any reasonable degree, and therefore do not require shielding. #2 - speaker wires DO need to carry a lot of current, and do so at low voltage drops.

    I've worked in production audio for about 5 years now, and the biggest speaker cables for the most powerful drivers (2000W dual 18's) i've ever seen are 6 gague, and those were run over distances greater than 100' with no noticeable degradation in signal quality.
    I'm glad someone pointed this out. Thank you. I couldn't have said it better.

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