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Thread: Do I Really need a Preamp with a Carputer Installation?

  1. #1
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    Do I Really need a Preamp with a Carputer Installation?

    Greetings,

    I have been reading several Car audio magazines that are featuring in-car computer setups. All of them recommend to install a preamp/eq to raise the volts coming out of the computer (2v). Is this necessary or they are doing this because they realy want to blast the music out? You help will be highly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate StrataG's Avatar
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    Necessary? No.

    Good idea? Yes (in many situations).

    Most decent headunits have 2V-8V preouts (most being in the 2-4V range), where-as most soundcards have 100mV-1V preouts. What that equates to is having to drive your gains up higher which can shorten the life of your amps and also introduce distortion. The problem really is getting away from cards that have such low voltages though. Putting a device in between that bumps up the levels is a band-aid solution. Your best bet is going for high quality sound cards that have higher outputs so you don't need to "fix" the problem. EQ's do have benefits in their own right and are used for those properties. I'm not saying not to use one, but don't use one for your particular concern unless you absolutely need to.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your response StrataG. I am planning to use a Hi-Fi pro USB for my sound output. I do not know the output on these but I heard one on a home stereo and it sounded great!

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    FLAC sdashiki's Avatar
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    So is it true the vast majority of HU less people used high volt output soundcards to their amps? Im looking into some for the mac, and I cant seem to find any volt output specs.
    (All done)
    iPad Mini 128GB, RF 600.5 amp, JL12W0V2, 8 Infinity Components

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate StrataG's Avatar
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    I'm not saying that it isn't happening, but I'm saying I personally wouldn't suggest it. Also not many care about really good sound quality. I do and that is how my opinion is formed. Having a high quality sound card also helps with that goal. It's a win-win if you ask me, and if you are willing to part with the extra cash, it's a no brainer.

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    any suggestions on some soundcards that give up enough volts?

  7. #7
    FLAC arebelspy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khanhdom
    any suggestions on some soundcards that give up enough volts?
    Ditto on the question, specifically USB ones?

    -arebelspy
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  8. #8
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    I completely have had too many problems with using sound cards without a preamp, so i have invested in an arc audio mx-3 which is a crossover + line driver to boost the signal to 8v. and its chock full of vitamins and other goodness.

  9. #9
    FLAC arebelspy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defsquad
    I completely have had too many problems with using sound cards without a preamp, so i have invested in an arc audio mx-3 which is a crossover + line driver to boost the signal to 8v. and its chock full of vitamins and other goodness.
    This is what I was afraid of when going without a headunit straight to an amp.

    How much did that cost?

    -arebelspy
    See my trades here! My For Sale/Trade Thread. Email joe at eipse.com

    Quote Originally Posted by xdjxklusivex
    i think every thread is now a whoreing thread

  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate StrataG's Avatar
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    I currently use a Terratec Aurion 7.1 Space. Problem is that it won't upmix a stereo signal natively. I have to use a plug-in with Foobar2000 to do it as none of the winamp ones that did work sounded good. I'm going to be going with an Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 instead. Both of these cards have outputs equivalent to many headunits.

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