We are still trying to get an answer to this question.
Zotac board with built in sound card. Just removed previous system (Clarion DZ775USB) that ran a Memphis 250x4 and a Memphis 1200x1 into 2 boston accoustiic G55 and the highs are Memphis Matched components (not coax). On previous setup, Clarion put out 5 volt signal and amps were set to 35-50% gain, with subs on about 40%.
Hook up carputer, Run jacks to RCA's to Amps. Turn it on, and music is ungodly loud. Turn everything off (by unplugging audio jacks) and go turn the amps down to NO GAIN. turned the bass boost down to 0%. Plug the audio ports back in and get "Pretty frickin loud"... this is when i realized that centrafuse was running at 15% volume. As I turned it up past 40% it was unbearably loud. Exited, went into winamp. Winamp was set at 5%. turned it up and it got ungodly loud again. Opened up windows volume control. I have either the wav out or the master volume control set to 1%, I have the amps turned down to 1%, and I still cannot turn the volume up over 50%.
The only thing I can think of is that the audio ports are trying to put out real wattage instead of 4-5volts. Although for this to be THAT loud, it would have to be some serious voltage.
Is this a common issue? do we need to change a setting somewhere so that the ports are putting out "Line-out" volume?
Would be great to have some measurements. Can you produce a sine wave (tone) on your motherboard audio? 50 or 60 Hz would be most compatible with all conceivable digital multimeters and 1 kHz would be a standard for audio measurements. For a sine wave, V = V RMS. I use the software Audiotester for this but maybe you can get a hold of a sine wave mp3 or make one with Audacity or something like that. Be careful with test tones on your speakers, you could toast tweeters easily and mid-woofers too, to a lesser extent.
I would expect out of a on-board audio 1V to 2V RMS.
Maybe your outputs are set to headphone mode and produce a higher level?
Hmm, I should go and measure mine. Edit: Did that. Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-UD2H motherboard, ALC 889 Audio. Played a 50 Hz Tone grabbed from a Test CD with iTunes.
When plugged in as Headphones: 1.5 V RMS.
When plugged in as Loudspeaker Output: 1.45 V RMS.
So on my audio, headphone operation is only ever slightly louder.
And the other thing that would be good, can you measure the current draw of your amps when the music is insanely loud? You'd need a DC capable clamp-on ammeter, the very cheap ones do AC only. My semi-modest audio system draws about 20 Amps on full volume, with regular music. Your setup would be able to draw much more and be much louder also.
There is no "no gain" setting on any amp. How many Volts is stated for minimum gain in your amps' manual or the amp itself?
You guys got me worried...bought this motherboard for my carpc build and I really like it..I am just in testing/setup right now but I am scared lol. Luckily I won't have the car I want to put it into until the spring and maybe a nice firmware update will come a long....
Anyone have any suggestions for a fix on this? We recently installed Windows7 and this issue is still present... although we have found a work around that "fixes" its self and returns to LOUD mode after a couple days.