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Thread: preout voltage / linedrivers

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate fooshizn1x's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    Exclamation preout voltage / linedrivers

    This question is directed to those with experience with linedrivers / eq's and similar equipment which alters your input devices rca voltage and or the sound too.

    Currently I'm using a pioneer premier head unit with 4v preout.. its decent.. running a PRS-X720 Pioneer Premier amp.. sheet that came w/ the amp said it pulled 640watts RMS @ 4 ohms bridged and I'm running it to 2 Pioneer 12's at 2 ohms stereo, so theoretically I should get about the same power.. Nothing spectacular but works good and is comparable to my other speakers loudness and clarity at equivelent volumes. I'm debating whether to put a Audiocontrol 6XS or similar in there (will control 6 channels) which has a peak voltage output of 13 volts.. and I believe 7.5 RMS.. (lower settings also available)

    What are your experiences, ups/downs of linedrivers at higher voltages? I understand you can only overdrive something so much before distortion, thats a given, but whats the general consensus?

    When I install my carpc (probably a month from now) I'll be running 2 amps.. one 4ch and 1 sub.. havent decided whether I'm moving away from the Pioneer or if I'm going to try to find something different.. I've got a crossfire 4ch 35x4 and another smaller 2ch pioneer.. but I think I might go with some older RF Punch series amps.. the black ones with the skinny fins.. the ix and DSM series.. so I could link them.. buy a burnt up one and mount my PC in there... maybe an 800.4 and an 800.2.. that'd be niiiiiice.. <drool>

    ok so.. what do you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Little Elm, Texas
    with your current set-up, the benefits from using the Audiocontroll would be the tuning. With the carPC, if you're going to go away from the HU then the Audiocontroll would be a very good thing to have.
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  3. #3
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Los Angeles Ca
    can he tuen with the 6xs? isn't it jsut a linedriver and x-over? i guess x-over is sorta tuning... I had/have a 24xs and i noticed a big improvement when going out from my soundcard to that and then using the split signal to go to my amp.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    Hmm, i could have misread, but it almost seems like the OP is asking if a line driver will provide more output... e.g. Will he get the full X watts out of his amp..

    Its important to note what a line driver does in comparison to the purpose of gain adjustments. A 1000 watt amp will produce 1000 watts with a .5 volt signal. It will produce the same 1000 watts with a 4 volt or 8 volt signal. The gain adjustment is used to match the input voltage to the amplifier to maximize signal through the rails... to get the 1000 watts regardless of the input voltage.

    The issue has more to do with "dirt" or "noise" passed through the amplifier with the signal. In signal theory, the noise floor is the measure of the signal created from the sum of all the noise sources and unwanted signals within a measurement system. So in car audio we think of this noise as hiss. Its the staticky noise that you hear when you pause your cd player and turn the volume all the way up. This noise can be picked up all throughout the system from the computer, to the head unit, to the amplifier, to the wires themselves. The nice thing is that they are normally seperate from the actual audio information. The S/N ratio is the ratio of the signal to the noise floor. The higher the ratio, the larger the difference between the music and the noise floor. Higher the better.

    A line driver improves this ratio. A line driver will lower the noise floor in comparion to the higher signal increasing the ratio. This will give you a better sounding system, as we cut out unwanted noise induced by the wiring and or amplifier. A line driver will also help with long lengths of wires or y connectors. Just keep in mind that the line driver only affects items past it on the chain. If your source has a low S/N ratio, that line driver will amplify the noise floor at the same rate as the signal making the hiss even louder.

    To get back to the original point... line driver or not, you will get your 1000 watts as long as you provide a signal within its gain range. (usually .5 to 4v+)

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate fooshizn1x's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    I understand the linedriver will not give me more wattage thats a given which I already knew.. I am looking more for tuning and clarity basically. I'm thinking maybe the EQS instead of the 6XS would be a better option as its got line driver and EQ capability, OR should I just use Winamps EQ, and stay with the 6XS. Both pieces of equipment are closely priced.. Unless somebody has a specific reason why one way would be better than the other that I am overlooking I guess either way would be ok..?

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    In my opinion if you're going from carpc directly to amplifier, and you are considering adding a processor or eq in between, I think its a very good idea.

    It will give you a more direct control over the sound in comparison to the winamp eq (which just doesnt sound right imho). It will improve your s/n ratio as mentioned, and give you more gain adjustment.

    I find that amplifiers sound much better in a lower 'gain' range then they do at higher levels reaching max. It gives them more headroom for dynamic music, improving the sub and mid bass response.

    I usually try to maximize the signal level, staying below distortion obviously, from the source, through an eq/crossover, and then do my final tuning at the amp.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    just don't distort and you'll be fine.'re working with crossovers (i have the 3xs) so don't bother using yoru amps crossovers. also, you may want to use an EQ decently customizable of some sort, be it from your comptuer straight out or hardware based
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