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Best Way To Boost Voltage From Onboard Soundcard? - Linedriver?

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  • Best Way To Boost Voltage From Onboard Soundcard? - Linedriver?

    I have a D510MO Intel motherboard (a prebuilt system from MoCoSo) running Windows XP, using the onboard soundcard, Going into a Alpine MRP-F300 Amp for my door speakers, which is also feeding a Alpine MRP-M500 for my subwoofer.

    The sound is good with the gain on the amp at halfway, but when turned any higher I get alot of distortion and garbage. Also the 4 channel amp for the door speakers gets very hot when the music is loud. I assume because it is working hard to amplify the poor signal coming from the onboard soundcard.

    What I have been told is to use a line driver to UP the voltage coming from the carputer, going into the amplifier. Would a line driver acomplish this? Will it make a difference as far as sound quality / sound clarity?

    I'd like not to use an external soundcard if possible.

    What I was looking at in particular was Phoenix Gold TLD22 or the JL Audio CL-RLC unless there was a better option out there. I use Centrafuse for volume control and equalizer and have been pretty happy with it.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
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  • #2
    if you still want to use the windows volume control, don't use the cl-rlc. it requires that the external volume controller be plugged in, so it would be more of a pain then other line drivers..

    i used to use a 3 channel version of the pheonix gold one you linked to-- it worked great-- until i blew it up...(it doesn't like +12v across the negative rca connections)


    but it sounds like there is another issue at play here. i have a mrp-f300 for my mids/highs, and it barely gets warm... and i believe my gain is around 1/2..

    check that the speaker resistance is correct(this amp is 2 ohm stable, so you you need at least that at every channel), and that no wires are shorted for starters..
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided

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    • #3
      I have four SPR-17C Alpine type R, which are 4ohm, and they are bridged on the amp to get the 2ohm power. I've had this setup for awhile now and haven't had issues. But I built a system for someone recently with a Kenwood headunit and a Polk Audio PA660 amp, and the amount of volume puts mine to shame. Which makes me think it's time to upgrade
      Carputer Progress
      [||||||||||] 100%
      Finally Installed!!
      Everything is in the car and working.
      I painted the cilpboard mount and it looks good.
      Shutdown/Startup is working excellent!
      View My Progress Here

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      • #4
        Originally posted by we87 View Post
        The sound is good with the gain on the amp at halfway, but when turned any higher I get alot of distortion and garbage. Also the 4 channel amp for the door speakers gets very hot when the music is loud. I assume because it is working hard to amplify the poor signal coming from the onboard soundcard.
        Incorrect assumption here. The amp is not going to work harder with low signal voltage coming in, in fact it will work less because there is less gain. On the flip side, if you have too much gain going into the amp, you can overdrive the input stage of the amp and clip it before the output stage even gets a chance to amplify. In this situation it sounds like you have plenty of signal (which you should), but it doesn't go loud enough for your tastes and you are over-driving the amp with either a clipped signal going in (maybe too much equalizer boost), or you have the gains set too high. I wouldn't bother with a line driver. What does your EQ curve look like?

        Your buddy's 4 channel amp is about the same power as yours, so there is some other outside factor you have not listed from your buddy's car. Maybe your buddy's speakers are more efficient, maybe he has more subwoofer/subwoofer power? Smaller car? More bass? more treble? Maybe his speaker placement is better. What is yours lacking that his has that you want?
        Last edited by durwood; 03-07-2011, 03:07 PM.
        System always under construction


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        • #5
          What is a clipped signal? Like I said before I only use Centrafuse to equalize, and its using the onboard soundcard. I dont think this would qualify as too much equalizer boost?

          My Car: Four Alpine Type R SPR-17C Door Speakers, on a Alpine MRP-F300 Amp (which has a line output for the other amp MRP-M500 for subwoofer 10w1v2-4), being fed by the onboard soundcard of the pc. All gains on the amplifiers are set a little passed halfway, call it 1 O Clock like on a watch.

          Buddies Car: Four Pinoneer TS-A6872R door speakers, on a Polk Audio PA660 Amp, being fed by a Kenwood DNX-5120.

          ---------------------

          That aside, am I understanding correctly that most people can use the onboard soundcard's output directly into an amp and the amp should do the rest as far as great sound quality?
          Carputer Progress
          [||||||||||] 100%
          Finally Installed!!
          Everything is in the car and working.
          I painted the cilpboard mount and it looks good.
          Shutdown/Startup is working excellent!
          View My Progress Here

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by we87 View Post

            My Car: Four Alpine Type R SPR-17C Door Speakers, on a Alpine MRP-F300 Amp (which has a line output for the other amp MRP-M500 for subwoofer 10w1v2-4), being fed by the onboard soundcard of the pc. All gains on the amplifiers are set a little passed halfway, call it 1 O Clock like on a watch.

            Buddies Car: Four Pinoneer TS-A6872R door speakers, on a Polk Audio PA660 Amp, being fed by a Kenwood DNX-5120.

            ---------------------
            So what you are saying is that your buddies apples, being carried in basket, by a blonde girl somehow taste different from your oranges in a bag being carried by an old man?

            Just my 2 from 10+ years installing car audio. Take any one variable and you can compare systems. Any two and it's a crap shoot. Take every variable (speakers, amps, head units, vehicles) and everything will change. If you took all of his equipment and put it in your car, it would sound different than his.

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            • #7
              i think i found your problem-- you said that you have 4-4ohm coaxial speakers that are bridged-- so you are using the amp as a 2ch amp right?

              the amp is 2 ohm stable while using all four independent channels, but is only 4 ohm stable in bridged mode. when you connected a 2 ohm load bridged, this would cause the extreme heat, and some of the clipping issues your having-- your overworking the amp..
              My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
              "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


              next project? subaru brz
              carpc undecided

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              • #8
                Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
                i think i found your problem-- you said that you have 4-4ohm coaxial speakers that are bridged-- so you are using the amp as a 2ch amp right?

                the amp is 2 ohm stable while using all four independent channels, but is only 4 ohm stable in bridged mode. when you connected a 2 ohm load bridged, this would cause the extreme heat, and some of the clipping issues your having-- your overworking the amp..
                That is correct. I hear a sound difference when I have them wired into separate channels (50x4 @ 4ohm) and then better at bridged, all four wired into two channels for 75x4 and 2ohm.

                So, I should keep my 4 ohm speakers wired in separately?
                Carputer Progress
                [||||||||||] 100%
                Finally Installed!!
                Everything is in the car and working.
                I painted the cilpboard mount and it looks good.
                Shutdown/Startup is working excellent!
                View My Progress Here

                Comment


                • #9
                  yes.

                  some other better educated audio guru is going to need to confirm this(durwood?!?), but connecting them as 4 ohm speakers will also increase their sensitivity level, so you will get better quality audio when they are connected as 4 ohm loads.
                  My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                  "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                  next project? subaru brz
                  carpc undecided

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
                    yes.

                    some other better educated audio guru is going to need to confirm this(durwood?!?), but connecting them as 4 ohm speakers will also increase their sensitivity level, so you will get better quality audio when they are connected as 4 ohm loads.
                    Increasing sensitivity level means what exactly? Higher voltage? Less fluxuation inside the amp?

                    I connected them seperately and listened to them on the way home from work, and all I can really notice is on a a few particular songs when the volume is at its highest point, now I hear a little distortion when I didnt before at 2 ohms bridged.
                    Carputer Progress
                    [||||||||||] 100%
                    Finally Installed!!
                    Everything is in the car and working.
                    I painted the cilpboard mount and it looks good.
                    Shutdown/Startup is working excellent!
                    View My Progress Here

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by we87 View Post
                      I connected them seperately and listened to them on the way home from work, and all I can really notice is on a a few particular songs when the volume is at its highest point, now I hear a little distortion when I didnt before at 2 ohms bridged.
                      I'm no guru, but I play one on TV.

                      At a 2 ohm load, you have lessened the resistance, and the amp will push harder. This will give you more volume, but will also generate more heat, and use more watts of power. As you have noticed at the 4 ohm load, there is distortion at higher volume levels. This is because the amp has run out of power so to speak and the signal is distorting. With the 2 ohm load, the amp has less resistance and can go louder before it runs out of power.

                      This is of course an over simplified version. You really have to live and breathe this stuff for a couple of years before it becomes second nature. I always get a kick out of self proclaimed 'audiophiles' who will gladly fork over hundreds of dollars on things like solid oak volume knobs because it makes their CD's sound better.....

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                      • #12
                        is it distortion or cone breakup? what are your highpass settings at?
                        My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                        "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                        next project? subaru brz
                        carpc undecided

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by we87 View Post
                          Increasing sensitivity level means what exactly? Higher voltage? Less fluxuation inside the amp?

                          I connected them seperately and listened to them on the way home from work, and all I can really notice is on a a few particular songs when the volume is at its highest point, now I hear a little distortion when I didnt before at 2 ohms bridged.
                          so now with the speakers at 4 ohms are you turning up the volume higher to get the same output? this will be adding distortion. now you're amp is safer because it's running cooler and withing it's spec, but you're going to quickly blow your speakers.

                          I may be on minority here; but based on my equipment experience, If you're hell bent on sticking with the on board sound, id look into purchasing a line driver and x-over like the audiocontrol 24xs. i was using a cheap soundblaster live soundcard (kxdrivers) with low output voltage and as soon as i added the 24xs i noticed a huge improvement overall. I'm not sure that this is the best option for you though, onboard sound is a huge kink in your setup.

                          another option; though not yet tested... In my current build i opted for a slightly different approach. i am not terribly concerned with 'audiophile' (what ever that truly means) sound since it's going in a boat, but i'm going with an inexpensive usb dac and the jl cl-rlc. the usb dac should give a clean signal and the jl unit should give it the bump it needs as well as a clean way to control the volume. all for about $100.

                          so in short... make sure you wire the speakers correctly (as directed by durwood) and then clean up that signal path.
                          New System in progress:
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
                            is it distortion or cone breakup? what are your highpass settings at?
                            What exactly is cone breakup? I've never heard of this term before...

                            My high pass is a little under 150

                            Originally posted by scott_fx View Post
                            so now with the speakers at 4 ohms are you turning up the volume higher to get the same output? this will be adding distortion. now you're amp is safer because it's running cooler and withing it's spec, but you're going to quickly blow your speakers.....

                            Well the volume is the same as before. If I am alone in the car I usually listen to the volume as high as Windows will allow it to go. But like I said before I can notice a little distortion now that wasnt there when the amp was wired in 75x4.... So now that I am getting distortion and under-powering even more I am more at risk of blowing speakers?

                            I am slowly learning about a USB DAC and will look into that aswell. I have been running this setup for a pretty long time and have been fine, but now I would just like to upgrade.
                            Carputer Progress
                            [||||||||||] 100%
                            Finally Installed!!
                            Everything is in the car and working.
                            I painted the cilpboard mount and it looks good.
                            Shutdown/Startup is working excellent!
                            View My Progress Here

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              anytime your speakers distort, you are running the risk of ruining them. if you push your amp to hard by running them at 2ohms when they weren't designed for it, you are in danger of damaging the amp. def keep your speakers wired correctly so that the amp is pushing them at the 4 ohm load. next set your gains correctly (there used to be a how-to on the forums with a great walkthrough on this) then figure out where you want to go from there.
                              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

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