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Clarion DVC920 and DVH940 digital processor combo

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  • Clarion DVC920 and DVH940 digital processor combo

    It seems like there has been a question about the viability of Clarion's DVC920 and DVH940 controller/digital processor in our car PC application.

    After reading about the various (read: few) options available for an all digital (and no head unit) connection to the stereo's amplifiers I decided to give this Clarion stuff a try.

    In case you're wondering just what is this combo...
    It's basically a little controller device attached to a box that does Dolby Digital and DTS decoding of whatver goes into its 2 digital inputs.
    Go to Clarion's website to read more about it. What you need to know is that it facilitates connecting your PC's SPDIF optical (not COAX) output to a preamp like device (the DVH940) and then send the 6 channels via RCA cables to your amplifier(s).

    Alpine offers a similar setup but it needs an Head unit or outboard controller (much like the DVC920 is an outboard controller). The difference is that the Alpine is major $$ -- $300 gets you just the controller. I think the processor itself is another 5 bills or such. However, for complete tunability, you can't beat the Alpine. The Clarion has 3 band parametric EQ and some "effects" but that's about it. The big deal -- just $300 total for the Clarion setup. So, if you just want a clean connection (no ground loops or other noise injection) to your amp, this is the way to go.

    Now, the trick to getting this thing to work is the included optical cable (I think it came with the DVH940, not the 920 "controller"). I found this link while using everyone's favorite google...
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start...23.pdf&e=14911

    It's a pdf, apparently from someone at Clarion EU, that says cut off the gray connector of the included optical cable and then take care to file down the glass and put a standard TOSLINK connector on there. Not having a standard toslink end lying around, I first disassembled the grey end of the plug to see what was in there (a tinny PCB and little optocoupler). I cut the end off a TOSLINK cable I had lying around and attached this grey thing -- no go. I'm of the opinon that the cable is actually unidirectional. This is further substantiated by the fact that taking the bare end of the clarion cable (that still had the black connector on the other end) and sticking it into my PC's SPDIF (optical) output made the whole thing work. Now I just have to wait form my TOSLINK cable end to arrive and I'll be set.

    That's all I have. Not sure what more there is to say, but as RED_GTi_VR6 ha pointed out wherever possible, the Clarion doesn't have as many tweakable settings as the Alpine it's always compared against. No doubt -- it's less than half the cost.

    And yes, this setup does have an "outboard" control unit. I'm not sure how you could get around that since you need a way to tell it what settings to use. I suppose, since the unit is no thicker than a tin of altoids, you could just set it and throw it in the glove box. (I can confirm that it doesn't work without the controller plugged in.)

    Good luck all.

    Oh, and here are pics of the wonky cable ends...
    Attached Files

  • #2
    quick question...the controller, is that 1/2 din size?
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    • #3
      Originally posted by grayvader
      However, for complete tunability, you can't beat the Alpine. The Clarion has 3 band parametric EQ and some "effects" but that's about it.
      I would just like to emphasise this, I would hate for someone to buy this product, thinking they are getting something equivilant to the alpine for a cheaper price. If you don't need these EQ functions, then the Clarion is a deffinate good buy, however, if you will be needing those eq functions, the clarion will not do the job for you.
      Jan Bennett
      FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

      Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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      • #4
        Here's a pic of the controller:



        DVC920 Link

        and a pic of the processor:



        DVH940 Link
        Jan Bennett
        FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

        Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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        • #5
          **edited and reposted here**
          For sale:
          AOpen Pandora MiniPC

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          • #6
            you might want to post up an entire new question/new thread for that since it really doesn't have anything do to with the clarion or the alpine directly.

            That and I'd like to see this question get some answers, as I'd like to know as well about the software avaliable.
            Jan Bennett
            FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

            Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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            • #7
              Will do...thanks for the advice.
              For sale:
              AOpen Pandora MiniPC

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              • #8
                made edits to original post

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                • #9
                  I'm thinking this is the way I'll go with my system, however I have a question about the cable mod. How hard is it to do? Cutting fiber optic cables sorta freaks me out, but I'm willing to give it a shot. So you have any more pics of the cable assembly you made? I'd love to see more shots of that if you've got them. Thanks!

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                  • #10
                    I know it sounds freaky -- I was kinda scared to cut the cable too, but after I cut the one I wouldn't miss and figured out that polishing the end was cake it became easier.

                    I ordered some of these:
                    http://lifatec.com/Lifusa_connectors.htm

                    and they came with some sandpaper that you can use to polish the fiber after you insert it into the housing. You basically just rub it 'til it's flush with the housing.

                    Here's the finished pic:
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Awesome awesome awesome!!!

                      Thank you very much.

                      I have this very same unit (DVH 940 + DVC 920) and I was about to install it when I saw the optical connector type mismatch, I am planning to connect the clarion unit to an spdif output from a usb soundcard.

                      I searched this forum without any helpful results and also sent a few private messages to some people asking if it's possible to use the original cable + spdif end (I thought about using fiber ethernet connectors because I have some of these + a tool to "press" the heads, but your solution looks more clean).

                      Do you need any tool for "installing" the toslink connector or all you have to do is to plug it in, close the lid and that's it?

                      Thanks again!

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                      • #12
                        Strip some insulation from the fiber then stick the clear part into the connector and close the lid. Then smooth out the part sticking of connector until it's flush. That's it. Too simple for words.

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                        • #13
                          I have a question about this...I have the DVH 920 which is the older model but the same specs...I have the motorized screen/headunit in the dash which is alreadly connected to one optical input...There are two but the other one will not activate because its for a changer...So basically a cenet changer has to be connected to activate that menu screen...Is there anyway around this?
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pimpmode
                            I have a question about this...I have the DVH 920 which is the older model but the same specs...I have the motorized screen/headunit in the dash which is alreadly connected to one optical input...There are two but the other one will not activate because its for a changer...So basically a cenet changer has to be connected to activate that menu screen...Is there anyway around this?
                            I definitely don't know the answer to that one. My controller unit has a button to change between the inputs and that's about it. Since it's so simple, there is no menu stuff so my experience is pretty much useless.

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                            • #15
                              Hey grayvader,

                              Are you incorporating a HU with this or just using your PC for input? Do you use the PC for media selection and the DVC920 to adjust the settings on the DVH940?

                              I have the previous model like pimpmode (DVH920) and am trying to decide if I should connect the PC to the HU (Clarion HX-D10, no internal amps) via the RCA aux input or bypass it and connect via optical to the DVH920. Ideally I would hope by going with the first option I could use the HU to adjust settings, rather than fiddling with the DVC920. How is it working out so far?

                              Thanks!

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