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Why do I have low volume???

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  • Why do I have low volume???

    I installed my carputer a few months ago and I WAS very happy with the sound. I have a soundblaster X-fi sound card and the clarity is amazing. But recently I realized that the volume doesn't get as loud as I would like it to, even when at 100%. I have to listen to music at 90% just for me to hear the music at a moderate level. Its just not as loud as other systems that I have seen. There are just some times when I feel like listening to music loud and my system setup right now doesn't allow me to do that. Even my stock system was way louder than this while still sounding clean.

    I realized this volume issue when I sat in my friend's car who has an alpine deck (which I do not...I run from the sound card directly to the amps) running to a couple of alpine amps, CDT speakers and no computer setup. His system gets very loud and you can judge how clean it sounds by the hardware...its amazing :P.

    I've done some research and from what I hear getting a line driver does nothing to solve volume issues. Anybody have the same experiences? Any suggestions??

  • #2
    have you checked the sound on windows?
    have you checked the sound in whatever program you're using to play your music?
    have you checked your gains on your amps? (better yet, have you set them properly?)
    are you sure that this isn't just your recording?
    do CDs play any louder?

    if you're reading that a line driver does nothing, I'd like to see that thread please! Post up a link if you can.

    If you're not getting your amps the voltage they need, then they can't produce the volume in the first place. This is where many people rely on the adjustable gains. They are there for this reason, but many times, people abuse them.

    If you don't have anything to work with in the first place, then turning up nothing won't give you much of anything....make sense?

    btw - I know that on the M10000, the voltage out from the mobo on-board sound is only like .5v....that's hardly anything

    do you know what the voltage out on the X-FI card is?
    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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    • #3
      This is a common problem when not using a headunit - the typical suggestion is to use a line driver or use the aux-in on a headunit.
      My install log
      My "selling entire system" thread

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      • #4
        have you made sure that both your WAVE and MASTER volumes are set at a appropriate level?? (I assume you are experiencing the volume issues when playing a MP3 ...
        Pentium 4m 1.5GHz|MB896|Roadie Extreme|XM-Direct|Rikaline 6010|T-View 7"|Streetdeck|160gb Western Digital|1Gb DDR2-533 Ram

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        • #5


          Your wave or master volume level is low. The xfi has PLENTY of output voltage. no line driver required.
          Take my advice: Do not try to build a system that includes EVERY feature. Start with the basics, build it to a bug free state, and THEN add on.

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          • #7
            Set the gains on your amps properly (tern em up a bit)....and make sure that your front end maps your music volume to general volume.
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            • #9
              how about we let the guy come back in here and respond to the given things first....lol
              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!

              Comment


              • #10
                Thanks for all the input guys..

                The SB X-Fi puts out 2V RMS and the wave volume controls are all up. Centrafuse, which is the front end that I am using, does have direct control of the master volume. Is this what you mean by having my front end "map" with the master controls? I am not able to set the gains on my amp (Alpine MRV-F345), all I can do is digitally specify the input voltage. I have it set at 2V and I have tried putting it at 4V to see if it makes a difference, but it doesn't.

                I have this problem with any audio I play on the computer, including videos, MP3s, and Cds. I have to turn the master volume up half way just to hear the music when im driving. Then I have to go to 90% to get the volume to a normal listening level. I am running the amp to stock speakers in the car...do you think there is a problem there? I have a Lexus and I hear that Toyota/Lexus speakers dont mix well with aftermarket amps.

                I'm not sure how much a line driver would really help me because I already put out 2V RMS from the sound card. Any other thoughts on this?

                I can't find the thread that people stated line drivers do not make a difference in volume but I will keep looking. They probably had cards that already put out 1-2V.

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                • #11
                  haha I think I was typing out my last reply when Red posted :P

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                  • #12
                    Instead of setting your amp gain digitally to 4V.....try setting it to 1V or less than 1V if possible and report back.
                    PostCount++


                    - SrCsTc's Bezel
                    - Alpine W200/H701
                    - ED Nine.2X
                    - OZ Matrix Elites
                    - ED Nine.1
                    - Idmax 12's

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                    • #13
                      have you set your gains on your amps correctly?
                      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!

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by PhatMo
                        Thanks for all the input guys..

                        The SB X-Fi puts out 2V RMS and the wave volume controls are all up. Centrafuse, which is the front end that I am using, does have direct control of the master volume. Is this what you mean by having my front end "map" with the master controls? I am not able to set the gains on my amp (Alpine MRV-F345), all I can do is digitally specify the input voltage. I have it set at 2V and I have tried putting it at 4V to see if it makes a difference, but it doesn't.

                        I have this problem with any audio I play on the computer, including videos, MP3s, and Cds. I have to turn the master volume up half way just to hear the music when im driving. Then I have to go to 90% to get the volume to a normal listening level. I am running the amp to stock speakers in the car...do you think there is a problem there? I have a Lexus and I hear that Toyota/Lexus speakers dont mix well with aftermarket amps.

                        I'm not sure how much a line driver would really help me because I already put out 2V RMS from the sound card. Any other thoughts on this?

                        I can't find the thread that people stated line drivers do not make a difference in volume but I will keep looking. They probably had cards that already put out 1-2V.
                        I don't see how it couldn't make a difference. That's what they do, increase the signal (voltage)

                        I can tell you for my setup (stock infinity amp with no adjustments) works great.

                        BTW, it bumps mine up to about 4.2v
                        GE Cache Builder | [email protected] |Coolstuff :autospeed.com | bit-tech.net | Nitemax Ultra Pinouts

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                        • #15
                          Hmmm maybe a line driver is something for me to look into then.

                          I will try putting my input voltage setting at 1V and I will tell you what happens when I get out of class (lecture got boring so I decided to check the forum). Maybe the amp will amplify the output more because it thinks the input voltage is lower. Good idea 3ondubs.

                          Red, I dont have any direct control over my amp gains. All I can do is specify the input voltage from the source. Its cool but it sucks at the same time.

                          Shotgunefx, are you saying that you noticed a difference in loudness and clarity with the line driver?? Are you using integrated or a card from your computer??

                          Keep the ideas coming guys!

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