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

  1. #161
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    you control the volume through the alpine unit - now if you wanted to set the volume on the alpine and then adjust it with the computer, I suppose you could do that
    Jan Bennett
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  2. #162
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    I remember back in the mid 90's in IASCA a few of the top cars started to show up with outboard DAC's. The main problem with them was controlling the volume, you had to have something after the DAC to modulate it. Some used dedicated volume controllers which did 3 or 4 channels simultaneously. It was kind of crude.

    I'm guessing that the SPDIF signal does have a portion that tells the processor (Alpine 700) what volume it should be, but I dont know, I'm just guessing.

  3. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonWW
    Did you see where I mentioned about the output levels of the Chaintech card?
    I just saw that, hope it works out. I've been doing some reading on that card, seems like it's great quality for the money.

    Not to take the thread off topic, but here are some pages I have found useful on spdif over the years for anyone interested:

    Nice detailed overview of the format.

    PDF on digital audio data transmission.

    Explains the 3' minimum length cable requirement. Also critical of the BNC mod.

    Lots of info on digital audio.

    Build your own DAC, intro has nice simple spdif overview.

    Build a coax/optical converter
    In progress: M10000; Travla c134; Xenarc 700TSV; Hitachi 80GB 2.5"; 256MB ULP; M2-ATX; ITPS; Powermate; iKEY SL-88 KB; Holux GM-210; Audiobahn ADD51T w/ COAX/optical converter; Road Runner; iGuidance 2.1

  4. #164
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    hello people, back to the topic please

    question: can a carputer with a Creative Audigy or something replace a Sony M8800 headunit without noticeable quality loss? There are amps for all speakers already installed and HU internal amp is not in use at all.

    what about high and low pass filters - KX drivers?

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dac
    hello people, back to the topic please

    question: can a carputer with a Creative Audigy or something replace a Sony M8800 headunit without noticeable quality loss? There are amps for all speakers already installed and HU internal amp is not in use at all.

    what about high and low pass filters - KX drivers?
    This thread is still on topic.

    Are you using the Sony M8800 yourself and that is why you chose it as an example?
    It's a basic HU, nothing fancy. You will have to be more specific on your sound card choice. I would not use any Creative card unless you are simply using it's digital output. The analog out from Creative cards are some of the worst, I've heard. Since you didn't mention your using an outboard processor like the Alpine 700 or 701, I'm going to assume you are talking about the analog out from a sound card. In that case I would suggest a better sound card.

    From my initial listening sessions, the Chaintech AV710 card using channels 7 & 8 sound very good indeed. As good as that M8800 or any other HU in that price range. I hope that answers your question. There are also better sound cards available. The M-Audio revolution 5.1 and 7.1 should sound just as good as the Chaintech. You pay a lot more for them because they have that level of sound quality on all the channels. The Chaintech just has the 2. If you are needing a stereo sound card, the Chaintech will work. If you need several high quality channels, those 2 M-Audio cards will work. Back to 2 channel cards, the ESI Julia is also supposed to be a very high quality stereo audio card. More so than the Chaintech and those 2 M-Audio ones.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "high and low pass filters - KX drivers?" Your not going to get any x-over use from the sound card. It will only put out the full range sound. You will need to use either the x-overs in the amps or in another upstream component.

  6. #166
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    yes, I am currently using this Sony HU and want to install carputer. Sony has AUX input but I'm wondering how good can analog output of a sondcard be without HU. I know that it's not high-fidelity model but it sounds good enough for me and I wouldn't want to make my system to sound worse. S/PDIF or additional processor are out of question for one and only reason - not enogh cash

    so, the plan is to sell my Sony and install the carputer, connect it to the rest of current system - amplifiers for front, rear and subwoofer. that's where high and low pass filters come in question - Sony can cut off frequencies below (for example) 75Hz for front and rear speakers, and above 75Hz for the subwoofer. this feature proved to be very usefull and it's not like it can't be fixed with filters built in amps - but it would be more conveniant to do it with carputer if possible. that's why I ask this questions

    I used Audigy as an example of a very popular and somewhat cheap soundcard, and KX drivers supposed to boost it's sound quality and options. don't know if it's true... http://kxproject.lugosoft.com/index.php?skip=1

  7. #167
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    The Chaintech would be my choice. You will lose no sound quality at all compared to the Sony HU. Even with really good speakers and a trained ear, the differences would not be noticed by most. So in your case, I'm sure you will like the sound quality of the Chaintech card. Order it online for under $30 USD. Don't bother with a Creative sound card. For so little money, it's not worth the trouble of getting one and then have to get special drivers or other tweaks to try and get better sound from it.

    I don't think anyone has been able to configure a x-over through the computer yet. So no, it's not possible (unless you spend thousands of dollars, maybe?). You'll have to use the amp x-overs or you can buy an adjustable active x-over. They don't cost too much, but if the ones in the amps are adjustable, then use them instead.

  8. #168
    Dac
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    thanx for your answers, you helped me a lot

    and as for ordering online - did you see my location? in some ways it's almost like living in a real 3rd world country here... ordering online costs so much it hurts (taxes and customs) and I can't buy anything on eBay because PayPal isn't working in Croatia. damn but that's for some other topic...

    edit: I just looked at that Chaintec - it uses Envy 24 sound chip, so I guess it would be almost the same if I take a german Terratec soundcard with the same chip. it's more present on our market and everyone says it's far better than Creative. and I already have one in my home PC (currently connected via S/PDIF to a receiver), it really does sound great

  9. #169
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    I saw were you lived and figured you would not find it locally.
    It uses the Envy 24 HT-S, but it has a not so good DAC for the main 6 channels. Channels 7 & 8 use a much better Wolfson DAC. I don't know if you would hear a difference, but I haven't bothered to check the other 6 channels for their sound quality. Here's a qoute:

    There isn't much to be found on the card, either; the most obvious part is the large IC in the middle of the board - the 24 bit Envy itself in all its glory. This is the HT-S version, unlike the HT, which can be found on high end gear like M-Audio Revolution. What’s missing, compared to the HT, is hardware downmixing from 5.1 sources to two channel, some input channels (2, instead of 4), and anything more than 20bit/96KHz analog recording. Digital I/O remains the same as the HT with a full 24bit/192KHz capability. Most of that is going to be irrelevant to most users; if you are planning on doing recording work with a PC sound card, your money would be well spent on something more capable than this card. For playback the card has very few drawbacks compared to its more expensive Envy 24HT rivals. Chaintech chose to skimp only in one obvious area; the choice of the standard analog output amp/DAC. The DAC (digital to analog converter) for the main 6 channels is a VIA Vinyl VT1616 model, which limits your output to a maximum of 48KHz and 18 bits. This means is that it does not live up to the lofty numbers printed on the box, and it doesn’t subjectively sound as good as the other two channels Chaintech included for the "rear" speakers to complete the 7.1 specification. The Wolfson 2 channel DAC can handle a high sample rate, capable of a much more robust 192KHz, and full 24 bit resolution. Instead of merely wasting this, it can be selected as the main output to a set of stereo speakers, and you get all the joy that can be found on those much more expensive cards (with two channels - they use more competent DACs for the other 6).
    This is why the Chaintech cost $30 USD and the Revolution cards start at $70 USD and go up.

    By all means try out any cards you happen to already have. If you think the sound quality is good enough, then use it or buy another just like it. I tried out a Hercules Game Theater XP which ran me about $150 (several years ago). On computer speakers it was fine, but on my high end car system it was definetely not up to my standards, so I got the Chaintech and was very impressed.

  10. #170
    Dac
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    will do that, thank you . I'll keep you posted, carputer will be finished soon but I have to wait on my LCD for 2 months or so. hope I'll find a faster way to get it here...

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