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Thread: Best Way To Boost Voltage From Onboard Soundcard? - Linedriver?

  1. #11
    Low Bitrate cmcd2820's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by we87 View Post
    I connected them seperately and listened to them on the way home from work, and all I can really notice is on a a few particular songs when the volume is at its highest point, now I hear a little distortion when I didnt before at 2 ohms bridged.
    I'm no guru, but I play one on TV.

    At a 2 ohm load, you have lessened the resistance, and the amp will push harder. This will give you more volume, but will also generate more heat, and use more watts of power. As you have noticed at the 4 ohm load, there is distortion at higher volume levels. This is because the amp has run out of power so to speak and the signal is distorting. With the 2 ohm load, the amp has less resistance and can go louder before it runs out of power.

    This is of course an over simplified version. You really have to live and breathe this stuff for a couple of years before it becomes second nature. I always get a kick out of self proclaimed 'audiophiles' who will gladly fork over hundreds of dollars on things like solid oak volume knobs because it makes their CD's sound better.....

  2. #12
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    is it distortion or cone breakup? what are your highpass settings at?

  3. #13
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by we87 View Post
    Increasing sensitivity level means what exactly? Higher voltage? Less fluxuation inside the amp?

    I connected them seperately and listened to them on the way home from work, and all I can really notice is on a a few particular songs when the volume is at its highest point, now I hear a little distortion when I didnt before at 2 ohms bridged.
    so now with the speakers at 4 ohms are you turning up the volume higher to get the same output? this will be adding distortion. now you're amp is safer because it's running cooler and withing it's spec, but you're going to quickly blow your speakers.

    I may be on minority here; but based on my equipment experience, If you're hell bent on sticking with the on board sound, id look into purchasing a line driver and x-over like the audiocontrol 24xs. i was using a cheap soundblaster live soundcard (kxdrivers) with low output voltage and as soon as i added the 24xs i noticed a huge improvement overall. I'm not sure that this is the best option for you though, onboard sound is a huge kink in your setup.

    another option; though not yet tested... In my current build i opted for a slightly different approach. i am not terribly concerned with 'audiophile' (what ever that truly means) sound since it's going in a boat, but i'm going with an inexpensive usb dac and the jl cl-rlc. the usb dac should give a clean signal and the jl unit should give it the bump it needs as well as a clean way to control the volume. all for about $100.

    so in short... make sure you wire the speakers correctly (as directed by durwood) and then clean up that signal path.
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  4. #14
    Variable Bitrate we87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    is it distortion or cone breakup? what are your highpass settings at?
    What exactly is cone breakup? I've never heard of this term before...

    My high pass is a little under 150

    Quote Originally Posted by scott_fx View Post
    so now with the speakers at 4 ohms are you turning up the volume higher to get the same output? this will be adding distortion. now you're amp is safer because it's running cooler and withing it's spec, but you're going to quickly blow your speakers.....

    Well the volume is the same as before. If I am alone in the car I usually listen to the volume as high as Windows will allow it to go. But like I said before I can notice a little distortion now that wasnt there when the amp was wired in 75x4.... So now that I am getting distortion and under-powering even more I am more at risk of blowing speakers?

    I am slowly learning about a USB DAC and will look into that aswell. I have been running this setup for a pretty long time and have been fine, but now I would just like to upgrade.
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  5. #15
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    anytime your speakers distort, you are running the risk of ruining them. if you push your amp to hard by running them at 2ohms when they weren't designed for it, you are in danger of damaging the amp. def keep your speakers wired correctly so that the amp is pushing them at the 4 ohm load. next set your gains correctly (there used to be a how-to on the forums with a great walkthrough on this) then figure out where you want to go from there.
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  6. #16
    Newbie jontheinstaller's Avatar
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    You know you guys are all blaming the amp the speakers what about the wiring. Make sure you have the right size power wire and ground also a huge problem is crappy RCA"S make sure you are not using junk before you rule out anything else. I was a car audio installer for 25 years have done many car pc systems and have never had a issues with my sound being low I run a Zotac board with the real tek on-board sound card using a McIntosh 100x4 and Memphis 500x1 sounds amazing but like the other guy said the way the eq is adjusted could also be a main problem also look at the sound card settings and make sure its set up properly. I know in my setup you can plug in the mini jacks to the board and set it up the way you want but I found if you bridge the front and rear mini jacks the sound is 100 times better.
    Hope any of this helps

  7. #17
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    cone breakup is when the driver moves faster then then air around it-- so the driver can't effectively transmit its signal.. which can cause a sound that is similar to distortion..

    but your hp is set high enough, so it shouldn't be too much of a issue. unless alpine is using too low of a crossover point for the tweeter(my old pioneers did that), but can't really tell if that is what is doing it..


    Quote Originally Posted by durwood View Post
    What does your EQ curve look like?
    +1



    though, i am really starting to think that a line driver is a decent solution-- and as much as i like the cl-rlc's, i don't recommend them for your case only because they require the volume unit to be connected to tell it how much to amplify the signal...

  8. #18
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontheinstaller View Post
    You know you guys are all blaming the amp the speakers what about the wiring. Make sure you have the right size power wire and ground also a huge problem is crappy RCA"S make sure you are not using junk before you rule out anything else. I was a car audio installer for 25 years have done many car pc systems and have never had a issues with my sound being low I run a Zotac board with the real tek on-board sound card using a McIntosh 100x4 and Memphis 500x1 sounds amazing but like the other guy said the way the eq is adjusted could also be a main problem also look at the sound card settings and make sure its set up properly. I know in my setup you can plug in the mini jacks to the board and set it up the way you want but I found if you bridge the front and rear mini jacks the sound is 100 times better.
    Hope any of this helps
    is bridging the outputs an additive process? i.e. are you doubling your output voltage?

    you do make valid points, it could be wiring but if it's distortion and not noise... i'd put my money on it being the source.

    and you aren't really comparing his consumer line alpine gear to your McIntosh stuff (at twice the power) are you?
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  9. #19
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
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    Clipping is simple to understand. Anything that creates gain has to be powered. This power supply used to power the electronics represents the ceiling, it cannot go any higher than this level (ignoring step up transformers). If your ac signal hits that ceiling, the top of the signal gets a haircut (clipped). If you boost certain frequencies, those specific frequencies will hit that ceiling first. Any time the signal gets clipped, it creates extra harmonics (frequencies added to the original wave) and this is where your THD = total harmonic distortion increases.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipping_%28audio%29

    So you can clip at the preamp (input stage in the amp) and/or clip at the output stage. Usually the most common clipping occurs at the output stage, but if you clip the input stage then your output stage will always produce an amplified clipped signal. AN EQ is nothing more than a gain stage at a specific set of fixed frequencies.

    Let's get back to your wiring, you have 2 pairs of speakers and a 4 channel amp 50x4. You mention bridging, but then state 75x4. How exactly are you "bridging" your 4 channel. Pictures or diagrams might help.

    If you are bridging and running 2 pairs on each bridged channel, that is a 2 ohm bridged load and that amp cannot handle that load. It will cause you to hit that ceiling very quickly because the power supply can only supply so much power (note that you said it gets pretty hot).

    I still think a line driver is not your answer, you are already exceeding your amplifier limit for your desires given by your explanation of what is going on.

    BTW, your amp has an adjustable input sensitivity 0.2V - 4V, and even onboard soundcards can at least hit that 0.2V mark.

    ---------- Post added at 10:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:47 PM ----------

    I can offer one more piece of explanation for your comparison as long as the specs from alpine and pioneer are correct.

    Sensitivity ratings for those specific models mentioned:
    Alpine 87dB @ 1 watt of input
    Pioneer 90 dB @ 1 watt of input

    The pioneers, already have 3dB gain over the alpine. You would have to double your power to reach the same apparent loudness.

    Second comparing a 6.5 to a 6x8, the 6x8 is a larger surface area cone.
    Last edited by durwood; 03-08-2011 at 10:02 PM.

  10. #20
    Variable Bitrate we87's Avatar
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    OKay, first off thank all of you guys for all of the input. I didnt expect so much data to process

    Second, when I say bridge I am connecting both front positives to channel one, and both front negitives to channel one, and both rear positives to channel two and both rear negitives to channel two. This is how the guy that sold me the speakers and the amp told me to wire it up. So channel three and four are not being used. Also, I drove for two hours in my car today- The first hour with all four speakers wired into all four channels, 50x4 and it still got pretty hot, on the way home, I wired them back up to 75x4 only using channel one and two as mentioned above and noticed the same amount of heat. This is with the volume all the way up both times. Maybe I am mis-understanding "HOT" to "WARM".

    EQ Curve

    That is the way I have the EQ set in Centrafuse. And then my HP filter on the MRP-F300 set to around 150. No other EQ is being used.

    As for wiring, I have a Monster cable going from headphone jack on the PC > into the MRP-F300 for 4 channel, and then using its pre-out going into my sub amp MRP-M500 with another RCA to RCA Monster cable. All of the speaker wire is also Monster.

    All I was trying to do was see if I can get a louder/cleaner sound from my setup. Maybe I am already getting what my setup can provide? And need to look into upgrading my actual components (speakers, amps) instead? If thats the case then I wont be doing that because, bottom line, I cant afford it. Uping the voltage sounded like a good idea, but if it isnt going to do anything then that sounds like just a waste of money.
    Last edited by we87; 03-09-2011 at 01:23 AM.
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