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Do I Really need a Preamp with a Carputer Installation?

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  • Do I Really need a Preamp with a Carputer Installation?

    Greetings,

    I have been reading several Car audio magazines that are featuring in-car computer setups. All of them recommend to install a preamp/eq to raise the volts coming out of the computer (2v). Is this necessary or they are doing this because they realy want to blast the music out? You help will be highly appreciated.

  • #2
    Necessary? No.

    Good idea? Yes (in many situations).

    Most decent headunits have 2V-8V preouts (most being in the 2-4V range), where-as most soundcards have 100mV-1V preouts. What that equates to is having to drive your gains up higher which can shorten the life of your amps and also introduce distortion. The problem really is getting away from cards that have such low voltages though. Putting a device in between that bumps up the levels is a band-aid solution. Your best bet is going for high quality sound cards that have higher outputs so you don't need to "fix" the problem. EQ's do have benefits in their own right and are used for those properties. I'm not saying not to use one, but don't use one for your particular concern unless you absolutely need to.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your response StrataG. I am planning to use a Hi-Fi pro USB for my sound output. I do not know the output on these but I heard one on a home stereo and it sounded great!

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      • #4
        So is it true the vast majority of HU less people used high volt output soundcards to their amps? Im looking into some for the mac, and I cant seem to find any volt output specs.
        (All done)
        iPad Mini 128GB, RF 600.5 amp, JL12W0V2, 8 Infinity Components

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        • #5
          I'm not saying that it isn't happening, but I'm saying I personally wouldn't suggest it. Also not many care about really good sound quality. I do and that is how my opinion is formed. Having a high quality sound card also helps with that goal. It's a win-win if you ask me, and if you are willing to part with the extra cash, it's a no brainer.

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          • #6
            any suggestions on some soundcards that give up enough volts?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by khanhdom
              any suggestions on some soundcards that give up enough volts?
              Ditto on the question, specifically USB ones?

              -arebelspy
              See my trades here! My For Sale/Trade Thread. Email joe at eipse.com
              Originally posted by xdjxklusivex
              i think every thread is now a whoreing thread

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              • #8
                I completely have had too many problems with using sound cards without a preamp, so i have invested in an arc audio mx-3 which is a crossover + line driver to boost the signal to 8v. and its chock full of vitamins and other goodness.
                replicant
                Audi A4 (flickr pics)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by defsquad
                  I completely have had too many problems with using sound cards without a preamp, so i have invested in an arc audio mx-3 which is a crossover + line driver to boost the signal to 8v. and its chock full of vitamins and other goodness.
                  This is what I was afraid of when going without a headunit straight to an amp.

                  How much did that cost?

                  -arebelspy
                  See my trades here! My For Sale/Trade Thread. Email joe at eipse.com
                  Originally posted by xdjxklusivex
                  i think every thread is now a whoreing thread

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                  • #10
                    I currently use a Terratec Aurion 7.1 Space. Problem is that it won't upmix a stereo signal natively. I have to use a plug-in with Foobar2000 to do it as none of the winamp ones that did work sounded good. I'm going to be going with an Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 instead. Both of these cards have outputs equivalent to many headunits.

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                    • #11
                      arebelspy, it retails typically for 350-400 depending on authorized dealers you purchase from.
                      replicant
                      Audi A4 (flickr pics)

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                      • #12
                        StrataG, i've heard good things about the AUdiotrak products.. i was considering moving to one of their products instead of this cheapy soundblaster 24bit usb one i have.
                        replicant
                        Audi A4 (flickr pics)

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                        • #13
                          Where do manufacturers list the output voltages?
                          (All done)
                          iPad Mini 128GB, RF 600.5 amp, JL12W0V2, 8 Infinity Components

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                          • #14
                            I was looking at the MayaEX (6 individual RCA outputs)... I wonder if it is good enough...

                            I wonder if their driver does 4.1, 2.1 and 5.1....
                            Roy

                            2005 Range Rover 4.4
                            Any ideas for putting a PC in this? :)

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                            • #15
                              how much does that maya runs?

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