Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Which is better external or PCI soundcard

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    47

    Which is better external or PCI soundcard

    Looking for an inexpensive route for sound. Fried my Audigy 2ZS platinum (PCI Card) and I am looking for a replacement. Looking at USB(External cards) Wanted to know the pros and cons of each and which one should I choose, placement not being a problem. Also with USB do I still need a line driver? And does sound quality degrade? And are all computer soundcards sharing the center/sub channel output? I would like seperate. Thanks

  2. #2
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles Ca
    Posts
    3,998
    if your amps have internal x-overs i'd say look into the usb dac (do a search for more info). i dont think any soundcard you get will have good voltage for your amps unless you get into the pro quality soundcards, but there goes the inexpensive route.
    New System in progress:
    M10k
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
    Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
    Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
    Transflective Xenarc

    My Car Pc Install
    My Boat Pc worklog

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    752
    I'd say go optical. I've tried internal, and external but neither could cut it. but since I went optical, I couldnt believe I didnt do it any sooner
    "In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts mind there are few."- Shunryu Suzuki
    "Do it right or don't do it at all"

    PROGRESS:
    [-------90%-] (New Car=New Build)

  4. #4
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles Ca
    Posts
    3,998
    optical isn't exactly inexpensive and ultimately it goes to an analog signal. I am pretty sure that the usb dac approaches the output voltage of the alpine unit too.
    New System in progress:
    M10k
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
    Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
    Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
    Transflective Xenarc

    My Car Pc Install
    My Boat Pc worklog

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate Eternalodyssey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    210
    Creative Labs USB Sound Blaster MP3+
    Excellent sound, VERY affordable price, no external power required, USB 1.1 compliant. It also outputs signal via RCA's with plenty of juice to split to two amps without requiring much input gain. I would defenitely consider this for your application. $35

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...lance&n=172282
    Check out the updates. Project 2003 Dakota worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/worklogs/85490-project-2003-dodge-dakota.html


    IS JACK BAUER GONNA HAVE TO SMACK A *****?

  6. #6
    FLAC Jahntassa's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Conyers, GA
    Posts
    1,417
    There isn't really a 'sound' difference in PCI vs External, except in the Digital/Audio conversion, and if it picks up interference (unlikely)

    You're probably more likely to have seperate connections for center/sub on an external, but it doesn't really matter if it's in the same connector or not (typically)

    With the 'USB will I need a line driver', you potentially don't need it with either USB or PCI, it just depends on the card itself, and the output capability. Look at different cards, look for specs you want, then ask if we have any experience with those specific ones.

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Schaumburg, IL
    Posts
    371
    Quote Originally Posted by scott_fx
    optical isn't exactly inexpensive and ultimately it goes to an analog signal. I am pretty sure that the usb dac approaches the output voltage of the alpine unit too.
    yes but the nice thing about optical is that you do not get all the noise and popping that you do with analog. optical pipes it out nice and clean. Yes you have to go analog to the amps but the equipment available for that is far better than a 1/8" adapter to RCA cables. Or you could just get an alpine amp with optical in.....

    but overall optical is pretty expensive if $600 is too much
    2003 Ford F-250 7.3L Diesel Crew Cab

    Pictures of my truck, hobbies, and more HERE

  8. #8
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles Ca
    Posts
    3,998
    Quote Originally Posted by sciontC
    but the equipment available for that is far better than a 1/8" adapter to RCA cables.
    The 1/8" connection isn't the primary weak point of the soundcards.
    my current setup uses balance outputs at 5.75 volts ;-). that is even better then the alpines unbalance at 4 volts The opamps and dac's play major role as well. Alpines have good dacs/opamps that most of the consumer level cards cut corners on. What puts the alpine units over the traditional soundcards is that it has a true 30 band 1/3 octive eq and a great crossover.

    not knocking the alpine (if you check my sig you can see i've had first hand experience with it) but there are other alternatives out there. And depending on the vst plugin implementation, i think we can attain equal or better sound quality then the pxa-h700/1.

    oh..and the usb dac. my buddy at work just got a really nice one and a headphone amp and all i have to say is OH MY FREAKING GOD! i've never heard music sound so good. I'm not an audiophile but the music sounded so much richer and seperated. it was like nothing i've ever heard before. not saying that it will have the same results in a car but just to know it handles audio like it does was astounding!
    New System in progress:
    M10k
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
    Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
    Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
    Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
    Transflective Xenarc

    My Car Pc Install
    My Boat Pc worklog

  9. #9
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    18
    Internal or external makes no difference. Like they said its the same hardware, only the D to A converter makes a difference. I have seen some problems overloading the USB busses and it can cause the audio to drop out occasionally. I have only seen this problem twice but it is something to keep in mind. Just be aware of how much power your drawing across the bus and how much crap you have piled on it and you will never have a problem.

Similar Threads

  1. What external soundcard are you using?
    By kickercivic1 in forum General MP3Car Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-15-2006, 10:12 PM
  2. Soundcard + Epia PCI Question
    By maxxell in forum Car Audio
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-22-2005, 11:00 PM
  3. Problem with M1 PSU and external Soundcard
    By cyrax83 in forum Power Supplies
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-22-2005, 10:16 PM
  4. Sound Card on PCI rather than external
    By legend5761 in forum Car Audio
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-01-2004, 06:05 PM
  5. Looking for a 802.11b PCI card with external Antenna port
    By e_fractal in forum Input Devices
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 08-11-2003, 12:41 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •