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So... What options do I have with the EPIA onboard sound?

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  • So... What options do I have with the EPIA onboard sound?

    I've been told that the onboard analog sound output on the EPIA sucks and is a horrible interface for an amplifier... so, I'm thinking about using the RCA port on the motherboard that outputs SPDIF audio, problem is, I don't have an amp with a digital input!!

    (do they even make such a thing?)

    So I figured I need something like this http://www.kramerelectronics.com/ind...em.asp?desc=28 ... but that doesnt cost $400 please!!!

    Any advice? Should I get a firewire sound card? Please help

    Thanks!

  • #2
    your options:
    dac
    soundcard
    amp with digital input


    thanks for the link on that dac too
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    • #3
      Originally posted by mike6789 View Post
      I've been told that the onboard analog sound output on the EPIA sucks and is a horrible interface for an amplifier... so, I'm thinking about using the RCA port on the motherboard that outputs SPDIF audio, problem is, I don't have an amp with a digital input!!

      (do they even make such a thing?)

      So I figured I need something like this http://www.kramerelectronics.com/ind...em.asp?desc=28 ... but that doesnt cost $400 please!!!

      Any advice? Should I get a firewire sound card? Please help

      Thanks!
      well the onboard audio is definately not the best. It can muddle really low bass notes. To avoid most of the problems you should use good cables, run the wires not by the power wires, and ground the motherboard from one standoff screw to the PSU. That really cuts down on the bad sound.

      Now if you want to go a different route, you can get a nice USB or PCI sound card. High end would be the XFi. Most USB sound cards even if cheap are better than the onboard sound. PCI sound cards very of course and you wanty one with a good chip. Not just some parasitic card that feasts on your valueable cpu power.

      And yes they do make amps with digital in. Just ask red!

      Firewire is a good solution too, but there will be a lot of wasted bandwith. USB cards will sound the same and unless you go top of the line with seperate channels and like 20 of them, and then firewire will kick in its usefullness. USB is cheaper too.
      Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
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      15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
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      • #4
        pci is out of the question (voom pc case, lol)

        how do these USB DAC's work? what is their input? the usb port? is there a significant increase in sound quality over the onboard jack?

        what is your setup toaster? are you just running a 1/8" jack to stereo RCA (like me)

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        • #5
          I use onboard sound. I have my motherboard grounded correctly and audio cable run correctly. I had alternator whine for a bit, but it went away after I moved the audio cables away from the power cable.

          I don't listen to rap, and I cannot stand bass where it overpowers the music and all you hear is the "thumping" and no music itself. Needless to say I have no sub, and will not be getting one. Saying that, music I play that does have bass in it sounds great for me. Not muddled or anything. But if you are going for bass only sound, you will not like onboard audio.

          Also I am using a shielded 1/8" jack to RCA cable, as short as possible, and then monster audio cable to my P.O.S. amp. Rampage or something? I bought it off eBay for under $40 shipped refurbished. 300W max (and no that is not RMS, that is the marketing wattage). Plenty loud for me.

          Until recently I had the master volume set at 5% and then the wave volume controlled via roadrunner around 3% being normal listening to 10% being I am dying from hurting my ears.

          Now that I have Sirius, I decided to set the Wave volume to 10% and the line-in (Sirius input) to about 20% and then the master volume is between 2% and 10%.

          It sounds great to me but I am not an audiophile. scott_fx would die of the lack of SQ if he heard my system I know. But good enough for me, my friends, and my family.
          Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
          1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
          30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
          15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
          Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
            I use onboard sound. I have my motherboard grounded correctly and audio cable run correctly. I had alternator whine for a bit, but it went away after I moved the audio cables away from the power cable.

            I don't listen to rap, and I cannot stand bass where it overpowers the music and all you hear is the "thumping" and no music itself. Needless to say I have no sub, and will not be getting one. Saying that, music I play that does have bass in it sounds great for me. Not muddled or anything. But if you are going for bass only sound, you will not like onboard audio.

            Also I am using a shielded 1/8" jack to RCA cable, as short as possible, and then monster audio cable to my P.O.S. amp. Rampage or something? I bought it off eBay for under $40 shipped refurbished. 300W max (and no that is not RMS, that is the marketing wattage). Plenty loud for me.

            Until recently I had the master volume set at 5% and then the wave volume controlled via roadrunner around 3% being normal listening to 10% being I am dying from hurting my ears.

            Now that I have Sirius, I decided to set the Wave volume to 10% and the line-in (Sirius input) to about 20% and then the master volume is between 2% and 10%.

            It sounds great to me but I am not an audiophile. scott_fx would die of the lack of SQ if he heard my system I know. But good enough for me, my friends, and my family.
            well... i do expect alot of midbass from my component speakers...

            hmm... maybe ill just ground the mobo like you said and hope that it's good enough...

            otherwise... looks like im getting a firewire sound card

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            • #7
              well grounding the mobo is a second and a half of work. If it is not good enough, you wasted almost no time, and then can just order the firewire card after. grounding the mobo is a good idea anyways. It doesn't hurt.

              I suggest even if you go the firewire route, to ground the mobo.
              Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
              1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
              30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
              15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
              Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

              Comment


              • #8
                And with the bass, it is usually the bass because that is usually the greates different in pitch. In my mind it seems to work like this:

                The greater the difference is between sound, not the sound itself, the more muddled it is. If you go from high pitched singers to a quick low loud bass note, the difference there is pretty great, and therefore it is not the best sound. If you listen to a song that is all low with lots of bass, it should be fine, and likewise a song that is all high with low bass, it will be fine. It just seems that way.

                I like Weird Al, and the newest CD I play "Straight Outta Lynnwood" has a song that you have probably heard "White and Nerdy" which is a parody of a song "Ridin Dirty" or something. If you know either of those songs then you know the heavy bass notes for the "beat". Weird Al's voice is pretty high pitched. Watch the video on youtube to get the idea of fluctuations there. That song sounds just fine using onboard sound. One of my favourites off the new CD. So if that sounds good, then you can extrapolate what other songs of the same rythm might sound like.
                Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

                Comment


                • #9
                  mmm i see, ok thanks alot

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
                    I don't listen to rap, and I cannot stand bass where it overpowers the music and all you hear is the "thumping" and no music itself. Needless to say I have no sub, and will not be getting one. Saying that, music I play that does have bass in it sounds great for me. Not muddled or anything. But if you are going for bass only sound, you will not like onboard audio.
                    You do know that not every time you put a sub in your ride will you have loud bass.

                    There isn't a single compeditive SQ car out there without a sub in it. That right there should tell you something.

                    Until recently I had the master volume set at 5% and then the wave volume controlled via roadrunner around 3% being normal listening to 10% being I am dying from hurting my ears.
                    A lot of that is what is called listening fatigue. If a system isn't set up properly and doesn't recreate the full spectrum accurately will reak havoc on your ears and you won't be able to listen for very long at all.
                    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


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
                      A lot of that is what is called listening fatigue. If a system isn't set up properly and doesn't recreate the full spectrum accurately will reak havoc on your ears and you won't be able to listen for very long at all.
                      No I meant really loud. Not bad sound making me cringe, but very very loud. The gain on my amp is set pretty high I believe.

                      Originally posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
                      You do know that not every time you put a sub in your ride will you have loud bass.

                      There isn't a single compeditive SQ car out there without a sub in it. That right there should tell you something.
                      And I have not been to any SQ competitions. Well any competitions actually, so I was unaware. It just seems like everyone and their grandmas put subs in. Glad to know I am not the only one!
                      Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                      1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                      30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                      15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                      Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        the reason most people put subs in their cars is that it's the one area that a factory system drastically lacks.

                        no need to replace the entire system when you're only lacking the bottom 15% of it.

                        believe me, once you hear a car with a sub set-up properly, you will wonder what took you so long.

                        You cannot have an accurate reproduction of music without a sub. It's just not possible.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
                          the reason most people put subs in their cars is that it's the one area that a factory system drastically lacks.

                          no need to replace the entire system when you're only lacking the bottom 15% of it.

                          believe me, once you hear a car with a sub set-up properly, you will wonder what took you so long.

                          You cannot have an accurate reproduction of music without a sub. It's just not possible.
                          Probably true. I have just not heard any yet. Usually I just hear subs from my car coming from the car 2 lanes over.

                          I should take a trip to a SQ meet some time and see some good sound.
                          Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                          1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                          30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                          15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                          Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

                          Comment


                          • #14


                            I understand...

                            I had to deal with people like yourself all the time when I was selling car audio. Once you sat them in a car where things were tuned properly, they realized what they were missing.

                            Unfortunately, you can't hear the ones that are tuned properly.

                            If you are in Denver, take a trip over to Car Toys up there and ask for Wayne Watkins. Tell him Jan sent you (We're on the same sound off team). Tell him you would like to take a listen to his car one day. I'm sure he'd be happy to let 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!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post

                              It sounds great to me but I am not an audiophile. scott_fx would die of the lack of SQ if he heard my system I know. But good enough for me, my friends, and my family.
                              i'm far from an audiophile. i just like to play I
                              to OP:
                              check out this thread for a usb dac:
                              http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=75975
                              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

                              Comment

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