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Thread: So... What options do I have with the EPIA onboard sound?

  1. #1
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    Arrow So... What options do I have with the EPIA onboard sound?

    I've been told that the onboard analog sound output on the EPIA sucks and is a horrible interface for an amplifier... so, I'm thinking about using the RCA port on the motherboard that outputs SPDIF audio, problem is, I don't have an amp with a digital input!!

    (do they even make such a thing?)

    So I figured I need something like this http://www.kramerelectronics.com/ind...em.asp?desc=28 ... but that doesnt cost $400 please!!!

    Any advice? Should I get a firewire sound card? Please help

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    your options:
    dac
    soundcard
    amp with digital input


    thanks for the link on that dac too
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  3. #3
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike6789 View Post
    I've been told that the onboard analog sound output on the EPIA sucks and is a horrible interface for an amplifier... so, I'm thinking about using the RCA port on the motherboard that outputs SPDIF audio, problem is, I don't have an amp with a digital input!!

    (do they even make such a thing?)

    So I figured I need something like this http://www.kramerelectronics.com/ind...em.asp?desc=28 ... but that doesnt cost $400 please!!!

    Any advice? Should I get a firewire sound card? Please help

    Thanks!
    well the onboard audio is definately not the best. It can muddle really low bass notes. To avoid most of the problems you should use good cables, run the wires not by the power wires, and ground the motherboard from one standoff screw to the PSU. That really cuts down on the bad sound.

    Now if you want to go a different route, you can get a nice USB or PCI sound card. High end would be the XFi. Most USB sound cards even if cheap are better than the onboard sound. PCI sound cards very of course and you wanty one with a good chip. Not just some parasitic card that feasts on your valueable cpu power.

    And yes they do make amps with digital in. Just ask red!

    Firewire is a good solution too, but there will be a lot of wasted bandwith. USB cards will sound the same and unless you go top of the line with seperate channels and like 20 of them, and then firewire will kick in its usefullness. USB is cheaper too.
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    pci is out of the question (voom pc case, lol)

    how do these USB DAC's work? what is their input? the usb port? is there a significant increase in sound quality over the onboard jack?

    what is your setup toaster? are you just running a 1/8" jack to stereo RCA (like me)

  5. #5
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    I use onboard sound. I have my motherboard grounded correctly and audio cable run correctly. I had alternator whine for a bit, but it went away after I moved the audio cables away from the power cable.

    I don't listen to rap, and I cannot stand bass where it overpowers the music and all you hear is the "thumping" and no music itself. Needless to say I have no sub, and will not be getting one. Saying that, music I play that does have bass in it sounds great for me. Not muddled or anything. But if you are going for bass only sound, you will not like onboard audio.

    Also I am using a shielded 1/8" jack to RCA cable, as short as possible, and then monster audio cable to my P.O.S. amp. Rampage or something? I bought it off eBay for under $40 shipped refurbished. 300W max (and no that is not RMS, that is the marketing wattage). Plenty loud for me.

    Until recently I had the master volume set at 5% and then the wave volume controlled via roadrunner around 3% being normal listening to 10% being I am dying from hurting my ears.

    Now that I have Sirius, I decided to set the Wave volume to 10% and the line-in (Sirius input) to about 20% and then the master volume is between 2% and 10%.

    It sounds great to me but I am not an audiophile. scott_fx would die of the lack of SQ if he heard my system I know. But good enough for me, my friends, and my family.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    I use onboard sound. I have my motherboard grounded correctly and audio cable run correctly. I had alternator whine for a bit, but it went away after I moved the audio cables away from the power cable.

    I don't listen to rap, and I cannot stand bass where it overpowers the music and all you hear is the "thumping" and no music itself. Needless to say I have no sub, and will not be getting one. Saying that, music I play that does have bass in it sounds great for me. Not muddled or anything. But if you are going for bass only sound, you will not like onboard audio.

    Also I am using a shielded 1/8" jack to RCA cable, as short as possible, and then monster audio cable to my P.O.S. amp. Rampage or something? I bought it off eBay for under $40 shipped refurbished. 300W max (and no that is not RMS, that is the marketing wattage). Plenty loud for me.

    Until recently I had the master volume set at 5% and then the wave volume controlled via roadrunner around 3% being normal listening to 10% being I am dying from hurting my ears.

    Now that I have Sirius, I decided to set the Wave volume to 10% and the line-in (Sirius input) to about 20% and then the master volume is between 2% and 10%.

    It sounds great to me but I am not an audiophile. scott_fx would die of the lack of SQ if he heard my system I know. But good enough for me, my friends, and my family.
    well... i do expect alot of midbass from my component speakers...

    hmm... maybe ill just ground the mobo like you said and hope that it's good enough...

    otherwise... looks like im getting a firewire sound card

  7. #7
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    well grounding the mobo is a second and a half of work. If it is not good enough, you wasted almost no time, and then can just order the firewire card after. grounding the mobo is a good idea anyways. It doesn't hurt.

    I suggest even if you go the firewire route, to ground the mobo.
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  8. #8
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    And with the bass, it is usually the bass because that is usually the greates different in pitch. In my mind it seems to work like this:

    The greater the difference is between sound, not the sound itself, the more muddled it is. If you go from high pitched singers to a quick low loud bass note, the difference there is pretty great, and therefore it is not the best sound. If you listen to a song that is all low with lots of bass, it should be fine, and likewise a song that is all high with low bass, it will be fine. It just seems that way.

    I like Weird Al, and the newest CD I play "Straight Outta Lynnwood" has a song that you have probably heard "White and Nerdy" which is a parody of a song "Ridin Dirty" or something. If you know either of those songs then you know the heavy bass notes for the "beat". Weird Al's voice is pretty high pitched. Watch the video on youtube to get the idea of fluctuations there. That song sounds just fine using onboard sound. One of my favourites off the new CD. So if that sounds good, then you can extrapolate what other songs of the same rythm might sound like.
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  9. #9
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    mmm i see, ok thanks alot

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    I don't listen to rap, and I cannot stand bass where it overpowers the music and all you hear is the "thumping" and no music itself. Needless to say I have no sub, and will not be getting one. Saying that, music I play that does have bass in it sounds great for me. Not muddled or anything. But if you are going for bass only sound, you will not like onboard audio.
    You do know that not every time you put a sub in your ride will you have loud bass.

    There isn't a single compeditive SQ car out there without a sub in it. That right there should tell you something.

    Until recently I had the master volume set at 5% and then the wave volume controlled via roadrunner around 3% being normal listening to 10% being I am dying from hurting my ears.
    A lot of that is what is called listening fatigue. If a system isn't set up properly and doesn't recreate the full spectrum accurately will reak havoc on your ears and you won't be able to listen for very long at all.
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