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Thread: Line driver recommendation?

  1. #21
    FLAC Nola111's Avatar
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    So for my purposes, what really is the difference between a line driver and a small amplifier anyway? If the ultimate goal for my setup is to get speaker-level signal to my factory amplifier, what's the real difference in what a small amp (like a Sonic Impact or small Alpine or Blaupunkt) would do versus what a line driver (like the Phoenix Gold) would do?

  2. #22
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    So for my purposes, what really is the difference between a line driver and a small amplifier anyway?
    The difference is line drivers boost line level output, and amplifiers take line level and out put speaker level.

    Pokki, any idea of which of the 4 models of Sonic Impact amps would be best for the car?
    I use this Sonic Impact amp (http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/sonicimpact/t.html) in my car. I just hardwired it's 12v power inputs to my car.

    Or if you want you can get a soundcard and amp in one:
    http://www.si5.com/products.php?pID=4038

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pokki View Post
    The difference is line drivers boost line level output, and amplifiers take line level and out put speaker level.
    Ok, I still don't see the difference, but oh well, this is probably why I'm not an audiophile.

    Quote Originally Posted by pokki View Post
    I use this Sonic Impact amp (http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/sonicimpact/t.html) in my car. I just hardwired it's 12v power inputs to my car.
    How do you handle on/off without a remote line? Do you have to manually turn the amp off and on when you get in/out of the car?

    Quote Originally Posted by pokki View Post
    Or if you want you can get a soundcard and amp in one:
    http://www.si5.com/products.php?pID=4038
    That looks pretty neat. That's not really a "soundcard and amp in one" though, it's only an amp. You still have to have a separate soundcard. If you want to get technical, it's not even a PCI card. It's just an amp that you can house in your PC. Anyway, it looks like a clean option nonetheless.

  4. #24
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    Ok, I still don't see the difference, but oh well, this is probably why I'm not an audiophile.
    The difference is total power output.

    Line driver boosting voltage to 5 amps gives these values (presuming connecting components utilise 75ohm standard)
    0.33 watts, 75ohm, 0.06667 amps, 5 volts

    Small amp (20 watts per channel) driving 4ohm speaker gives these values:
    20 watts, 4ohm, 2.2 amps, 9 volts


    How do you handle on/off without a remote line? Do you have to manually turn the amp off and on when you get in/out of the car?
    I have it wired to my ACC line. So car turns on, amp turn on. It was meant to be a non permenant install, but had i known i was going to run it for 2 years I would have used a relay from my headunits remote wire, connecting the + wire to the batt and amp.

    That looks pretty neat. That's not really a "soundcard and amp in one" though, it's only an amp. You still have to have a separate soundcard. If you want to get technical, it's not even a PCI card. It's just an amp that you can house in your PC. Anyway, it looks like a clean option nonetheless.
    I didn't read the PDF, but I agree with you, no pins on the card makes it look like it's not a sound card, but they say it is.
    PCI Sound Card
    In which case you could buy it and then force them to supply you a soundcard because of false advertising.

  5. #25
    FLAC Nola111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pokki View Post
    The difference is total power output.

    Line driver boosting voltage to 5 amps gives these values (presuming connecting components utilise 75ohm standard)
    0.33 watts, 75ohm, 0.06667 amps, 5 volts

    Small amp (20 watts per channel) driving 4ohm speaker gives these values:
    20 watts, 4ohm, 2.2 amps, 9 volts
    Ok, now we're speaking a language I understand. This makes sense.



    Quote Originally Posted by pokki View Post
    I have it wired to my ACC line. So car turns on, amp turn on. It was meant to be a non permenant install, but had i known i was going to run it for 2 years I would have used a relay from my headunits remote wire, connecting the + wire to the batt and amp.
    Gotcha.

    Quote Originally Posted by pokki View Post
    I didn't read the PDF, but I agree with you, no pins on the card makes it look like it's not a sound card, but they say it is. In which case you could buy it and then force them to supply you a soundcard because of false advertising.
    Not a problem anyway, I have plans for a new PCI sound card anyway. Looks like this amp might be a good compliment to it. I wonder it if it's the same amp as what's inside their external units like the one you have...

  6. #26
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    Just wanted to update this thread and let you guys know which way I went.

    I bought two of the Sonic Tio amps (last link in post 22 above). Since they are two channel output, I bought two of them since they are so small and cheap. I got an Auzentech X-Fi Prelude PCI card as my new soundcard. So I'm running Front channels to one of the Tio's and rear channels to the other. These Tio's are basically the insides of Sonic's now-famous mini amps, then mounted to a PCI bracket and with a 4-pin molex power input added. It's SO convenient since I just installed them both in my PC case alongside the Prelude, and am running them both off my Opus power supply. Then I'm going out of the Tio amps into my stock Dynaudio amp.

    The sound? I can't even believe it... flippin' amazing. This is the best setup of I could have dreamed of sound quality-wise. And now that I've ditched the USB soundcards I have zero issues with Hibernate and Standby. I should have gone this route a long time ago.

    I'll be posting a full rundown in the Show Off Your Project subforum soon. Thanks everyone for all your help, especially Pokki, for directing me to the Sonic amps!

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