Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Audio advisor suggests using PC as head unit is horrible...

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Audio advisor suggests using PC as head unit is horrible...

    I wasn't sure where to post this, but since it's directly related to the audio portion of the pie, I figured this was best.

    I recently spoke to a customer service rep at an audio products company, (I'll leave them unnamed, don't want to unnecessarily call anyone out) and informed them of my plan to get rid of my OEM head unit and replace it with a PC, which would then be amped to the speakers.

    They advised me this was not a good idea and that the sound quality from PC to amp is horrible. I've seen people on here do it, so I'd like to know what the results are in the real world and suggestions on getting the good sound

  • #2
    There are a great many things that contribute to the quality of the audio when a computer is involved. The quality of PC power, shielding on cables, quality of the mp3/audio that is being played, quality of the sound driver in the PC, quality of the amplifier....

    Done wrong, yes it can be worse. Done right, it can possibly be better than a stock headunit (possibly).

    My guess is the audio adviser thinks he won't make any money off you if you put a PC in your car :P
    "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
    RevFE
    My Shop

    Comment


    • #3
      I thought about that too, after telling him I was OK with my stock system but a little upgrade couldn't hurt he suggested keeping my head unit and installing 4 Boston Acoustics S85s, totaling $240.

      So, I'm a little dubious of the advice, rightfully so I believe. Earlier in the day I had an email chat with a different advisor where I mentioned ditching the head unit but keeping stock speakers and they gave me a list of stuff:

      Stereo Mini to RCA Adapter, Kenwood KAC 6404 Amp, Amp wiring kit, 4 RCA cables from PC to amp, Speaker wire to go from amp to stock speakers. This seemed to be a much more thought out response, and afterwards I figured maybe I should at least upgrade the front speakers.

      If anyone else is interested in giving advice or critiquing the advice I received, the PC I'm building is using the D945GCLF2 motherboard, so the 5.1 sound on there is what is available to me.

      Comment


      • #4
        For good SQ i recommend, NO INVERTERS, have pc as close to amp as possible, preferably do not use integrated audio, and lastly ...overground the ***t out of everything!!
        Sig, smig...

        Ford Flex Toshiba Excite 7.7 Install

        CoverMess - Cool Flash Covers

        FlashFlex - Flash Components for your skinning pleasure

        Mazda Millenia, Road Runner

        YouTube - Road Runner, IGO8 PC, Dashcommand OBD, Visteon HD Radio

        Comment


        • #5
          you can get very good sound quality out of a PC if you use a digital output into a good sound processor then into amps, but this method can be very pricey. A high end sound card will give you a good sound, or even a decent integrated can give pretty good sound if you use a hardware processor / eq to tune it right. If you're not looking for audiophile sound then just using the integrated sound into a some amps and some tuning in software EQs will produce a better sound than most OEM sound systems

          Comment


          • #6
            That's kind of what I thought. There's no way people are doing this and living with crappy sound. I'm not an audiophile, most of my music is on my iPhone so it's compressed anyway. I'm happy with the sound from my stock stereo, I just figured if I'm gunna ditch the head unit, I might as well upgrade just a little.

            I mean using that Kenwood amp the other advisor suggested and upgrading the speakers will probably result in audio that is superior to my stock unit, wouldn't you think?

            Comment


            • #7
              For decent quality sound, get a sound card.

              RedGTIvr6 wins SQ competitions with her computer based sound system, so it can be done.
              Originally posted by ghettocruzer
              I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
              Want to:
              -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
              -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

              Comment


              • #8
                Why no Inverters? Maybe not certain types/kinds?
                06 Silverado LBZ wants onboard everything...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CwF View Post
                  Why no Inverters? Maybe not certain types/kinds?
                  I'm not an expert, but the sine waves of the current created are square like, not smooth.

                  This can induce really bad noise and whine into the audio. I have used one with a laptop, and the noise was unbearable.

                  The cost of a really good one plus the cost of an atx psu will probably be double the cost of a decent dc-dc regulator/psu.

                  With the dc dc regulator/psu you also get pc startup and shutdown control. Mine can also delay the power up of my amps to protect my speakers from the pc startup 'pop' .....
                  Sig, smig...

                  Ford Flex Toshiba Excite 7.7 Install

                  CoverMess - Cool Flash Covers

                  FlashFlex - Flash Components for your skinning pleasure

                  Mazda Millenia, Road Runner

                  YouTube - Road Runner, IGO8 PC, Dashcommand OBD, Visteon HD Radio

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Why no Inverters? Maybe not certain types/kinds?
                    Most inverters use a modified sine wave which causes a buzz in the speakers. There are expensive pure sine wave inverters which would probably be okay to use but you lose efficiency and theres no guarantees that it will be perfect. It's pointless to go from DC to AC to DC again which is essentially what you're doing when hooking up a computer through one.

                    They advised me this was not a good idea and that the sound quality from PC to amp is horrible.
                    I would advise you to use some form of a hardware pre-amp. In my car if I plug my mp3 player directly into my amplifiers, it sounds okay, but if I plug it into my head unit and plug my head unit into my amps, it sounds much better as the head unit is tweaked to provide the best sound for a car environment.
                    My Nearly Complete Car:
                    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

                    Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
                    http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

                    Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
                    http://paulfurtado.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have one question.
                      My Commell LS-373 have Realtek ALC888 onboard sound card. If someone compare this Realtek ALC888 Sound card with some other USB card? I will use digital out(optical) connected to processor(Audison BIT ONE)... So is in optical out any diference?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PaulF View Post
                        I would advise you to use some form of a hardware pre-amp. In my car if I plug my mp3 player directly into my amplifiers, it sounds okay, but if I plug it into my head unit and plug my head unit into my amps, it sounds much better as the head unit is tweaked to provide the best sound for a car environment.
                        Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't a preamp to amp low level signals to line level? The PC is already at line level? Is a preamp really necessary?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by stratosigma View Post
                          Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't a preamp to amp low level signals to line level? The PC is already at line level? Is a preamp really necessary?
                          Right. PC is at line level. If your sound card provides equalizer (which it ought to), you will probably be okay.
                          Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                          I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                          Want to:
                          -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                          -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yeah Bugbyte is right, if you have an equalizer to work with you can probably make it sound pretty good. Give it a shot without a preamp or head unit and you can always put one in at a later point. Even without tweaking, it will probably sound okay.
                            My Nearly Complete Car:
                            http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

                            Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
                            http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

                            Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
                            http://paulfurtado.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              im probably jumping in here a little late, and bugbyte is right, no preamp is needed.

                              one thing i would look at to help you make an informed decision is "The Art of Bulding a Computer Transport"....google it. I know you arent into the whole audiophile thing, but it will give you an idea as to how far PC's have come compared to high-end hi-fi equipment (as well as maybe even help you decide on certain components and how to keep EMI at a minimum). EMI is electromagnetic interference if you didnt already know that....but im sure you did.

                              anyways...if you are worried about the connections to your amplifier (as that sales-rep supposedly said it sounds like crap), you can just get a quality y-splitter 3.5mm jack to RCA (usually around 24 bucks for 3 feet..ill do a search for one and post it for you here...i use one from Stinger, and it definately sounds better than monster cable did) and keep it clear of all power cables/grounding cables and your VGA cable (energy bleed which causes interference in your cable).

                              someone else probably responded since bug's last response, so im gonna go search for a y-splitter that you wont have to worry about...if you do end up going this route
                              Trouble deciding on car speakers? Clicky Clicky
                              Speakers: DLS Ultimate Iridium 6.3 Link
                              Subwoofer: removed
                              Amplifier#1 (Front Stage): DLS Ultimate A4
                              Amplifier#2 (Sub) removed
                              Carputer: Removed for tablet install

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X