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Thread: In car 5 channel audio & 5.1

  1. #1
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    In car 5 channel audio & 5.1

    So I've got a 98 Volvo S70 I want to retrofit with a carPC and have 2 audio modes, general and 5.1.
    OE speakers are 2 rear deck 8", 2 rear doors, 2 front doors, and dash mounted tweeters/highs.
    Replacements I'm looking at Kicker, 8" subs in rear deck, 5.25 or 6.5 2 ways in rear doors, same in the front doors, and tweeters mounted in the dash.

    Subs and door speakers will be powered by a 5 channel amp, while the dash mounted tweeters will have their own 2 channel amp.

    Via an elaborate in dash push button switch array, for general audio the same signal that feeds the front door speakers will also feed the dash mounted tweeters. For 5.1 mode, the center channel signal will be fed into both channels of the 2 channel amp creating a monaural center channel.

    I have yet to figure out the elaborate in dash push button array, but ideally I can get it down to a single push of a button, I'm pretty handy with figuring out basic wiring details.

    I know cars aren't the best sound stage for surround sound, but with factory speaker placement in my car I feel it would make a noticeable difference.

    So, any thoughts, comments or criticisms as to how to simplify, complicate, or stupidify this layout?

  2. #2
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    I too had looked at doing 5.1 in my truck but then opted out, in fact I still have the Alpine centre channel speaker sitting on the shelf. I guess the fact that I would seldom watch movies in my truck and 99% of all music is only two channel, it lost it's shine. I decided to build an SQ install instead.

    If you have considered all of this and still want to do it (maybe just because you can so why not?) I think it would be much easier to do with the sound card settings. It makes no sense to physically switch speakers on and off without changing the signal coming from the source so it will be mixed appropriately for the speakers that are turned on.

    Also if you want an accurate sound stage the tweeters should be within a few inches of the main front drivers, not 2 feet away up in the dash.
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I doubt if it'll end up getting used much in 5.1 mode, but when it does it'll be pretty cool.
    Regardless of 5.1 ability, the setup would be the same with the exception of, no 2 channel amp, and front speakers would be component with its tweeters mounted in the dash instead of separate tweeters.

    At no time would any speakers be off, in 5.1 mode the center channel output would feed the center channel amp, dash tweeters are center channel. In non 5.1, the main speaker output would be switched to feed the main amp & center channel amp, tweeters are extension of L & R.

    I wouldn't think it can be done via a sound card unless you can reassign outputs, and convert the center channel, which is also typically bass, to front main. Even if it could, unless it had presets or something to easily toggle the center channel function, an in dash push button will be much easier to switch back and forth. I started sketching out a schematic for one last night.

    Found this picture on the web to show tweeter proximity. Speaker is white circle, dash tweeters are black circles, no where near 2 feet lol. Besides, I'm not building a comp system or going for perfect sound fields. Just an upgraded system with some novelty, the 5.1.
    Name:  VolvoS70-2.jpg
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    Last edited by Thorsteenster; 10-17-2013 at 10:08 AM.

  4. #4
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    I installed a 5.1 decoder and power supply in my setup.

  5. #5
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    5.1 should be useless unless you live in your car.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavymetals View Post
    I installed a 5.1 decoder and power supply in my setup.
    After looking around, I found this one on Ebay, costs a little more but it's 12v and has power taps right next to adapter plug.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/SPDIF-DTS-AC...-/141017646445

    Quote Originally Posted by alawadhi3000 View Post
    5.1 should be useless unless you live in your car.
    Ha, I might be if I don't stop spending money on my Volvo and Jeep!

    It'll cost about $300 more to add this, tweeters, 2 channel amp, decoder, I hope it works well enough to notice it's surround sound!
    I think it will, plus the 3/4" tweeters are small enough I can point them to the middle of the windshield in the dash speaker holes so it should sound more like a center channel instead of left and right center channel.
    Last edited by Thorsteenster; 10-18-2013 at 07:42 PM.

  7. #7
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    A music (metal) and audio aficionado mate once asked me "what's the best sound?" (wrt to channels).
    It seems I impressed him with my knowledgeable answer - stereo.
    (Noting that we then discussed subwoofers, and phasing.)

    I've gone back to 2.1 (else 2) for my all my audio. I got sick of adjusting multichannel surround.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsteenster View Post
    Ha, I might be if I don't stop spending money on my Volvo and Jeep!

    It'll cost about $300 more to add this, tweeters, 2 channel amp, decoder, I hope it works well enough to notice it's surround sound!
    I think it will, plus the 3/4" tweeters are small enough I can point them to the middle of the windshield in the dash speaker holes so it should sound more like a center channel instead of left and right center channel.
    Well IMO spending on improving the audio quality is definitely worth it, just not the multi-channel part of it.

    Most of the time you'll be listening to music which will only come from the front speakers unless you modify something.

  9. #9
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    To the OP.

    Forget what the naysayers spout off with.

    IT IS WORTH IT.

    A lot of my music sounds so much more defined with the 5.1.

  10. #10
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    This allows you to control the entire in-car system just by touching the on-screen buttons
    5.1 Channel Car Audio, You Can Buy Various High Quality 5.1 Channel Car
    So I've got a 98 Volvo S70 I want to retrofit with a carPC and have 2 audio modes, general and 5.1. OE speakers are 2 rear deck 8"
    Last edited by Enforcer; 10-21-2013 at 01:04 PM.

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