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  • Sound cards from incarpcs , sacrificing sound quality?

    Hi there all. Im prity new to all this carpc stuff, so would like to ask a simple question.

    The sound cards that run in the pc in-car, are they generally all of high quality?

    And how have people got the pc connected up to their sound systems?

    The reason i ask if for 2 reasons,

    1/ I allways feel that my sound card on my home pc had an inability to re-produce lower freqencys, ie. 50Hz > , allthough this may have simply been down to the quality of the copy on the PC, or the speakers i was using. This is quite important, as i need extremely nice sound for my system. The carpc will be going in my extensive street-bass/competition install, with a wall of subs behind the front seats, and around 5000wrms of bass amps,

    Not only that, but i also have a very nice sounding front stage at the moment, which i dont want to lose the quality of, so its ability to re-produce all the freqency range well is very important!

    2/ The voltage of the signal needs to be fairly nice for my amps. atm, i think its a 4 - 5 v RCA signal going into the amps. Can a carpc sound card supply me with this?

    I think the main questions seem to revolve around what i can use for sound. I guess i could plug the Sound output on the car into the AUX input on my head unit? Then that would still allow me to play CDs with the same quality as now, and it will also mean the h/u can act like a linedriver for the sound from the pc.

    but would a sound car be able to directly connect to the head unit? As i would like to stay away from using things like those little devices which convert a basic head phone socket into a pair of RCAs.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

  • #2
    I've had a PC in the car for the best part of 4 years... started off a 486-100, then pentium 166, then P233MMX, now a 533Mhz Eden Mini-ITX, and through all those revisions, I can't say *anybody* has picked any quality difference between CDs and the PC.

    As long as you have good quality source files, you'll be fine.

    Sounds like you're way to gung-ho with your setup, but hey, whatever floats your boat on that... A normal PC soundcard usually delivers a higher frequency range than most audio equipment can output anyhow... especially if you use Class B Amplifiers (tech suff - not the marketting 'Class A' ****e).

    I still drive my setup with a 3.5mm -> RCA adapter with no problems at all... no need to be so fancy if the basic things work...

    Comment


    • #3
      A lot of us have experienced noise from onboard audio when in a vehicle environment. It'll sound clear as a bell on the bench and then you hear all sorts of whirs & pops & clicks that echo activity from PC components (especially disk seeks & mouse movements). This tends to happen due to minor ground loops. To help you can:
      1. ground everything to a common point
      2. use a 'ground loop isolator' (insert Marvin the Martian imitation)
      3. use a USB sound card

      I hope this helps.
      EPoX mATX SocketA w/onboard Geforce4MX / 512MB PC2700 / AthlonXP 1600
      Lilliput / DVDrom / Opus 150W / WD 3.5" 160GB / SB Audigy NX
      XP home / Road Runner / iGuidance 4.0

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      • #4
        buy a good sound card, "onboard" soundcards are complete crap, most people recommend usb because it avoides interferance from other pc components, i use an Extigy
        Signature: [==||========] 20% complete

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CRCinAU
          I still drive my setup with a 3.5mm -> RCA adapter with no problems at all... no need to be so fancy if the basic things work...
          Exactly, don't fix what ain't broke!!

          Peace,

          Rafster
          Post # 3000

          Comment


          • #6
            Well I think you need an Audigy 2, and you will be best going external to make sure you dont get any hissing,drive noise etc. However if you want RCA ports on the actual card, you might be best going internal with the platinium version of Audigy 2. This doesn't have it on the card but on an 5.25 drive bay extention (I think thats the cheapest Audigy2 that comes with those ports). However you might have a little more trouble getting rid of Hard Drive noise.

            EDIT: Sorry I thought the Platinium of the Audigy cards had ourtput in RCA, it is only for input it seems, so you are best going with a plain Audigy2 if you want to go internal.


            Originally posted by skinhead
            Hi there all. Im prity new to all this carpc stuff, so would like to ask a simple question.

            The sound cards that run in the pc in-car, are they generally all of high quality?

            And how have people got the pc connected up to their sound systems?

            The reason i ask if for 2 reasons,

            1/ I allways feel that my sound card on my home pc had an inability to re-produce lower freqencys, ie. 50Hz > , allthough this may have simply been down to the quality of the copy on the PC, or the speakers i was using. This is quite important, as i need extremely nice sound for my system. The carpc will be going in my extensive street-bass/competition install, with a wall of subs behind the front seats, and around 5000wrms of bass amps,

            Not only that, but i also have a very nice sounding front stage at the moment, which i dont want to lose the quality of, so its ability to re-produce all the freqency range well is very important!

            2/ The voltage of the signal needs to be fairly nice for my amps. atm, i think its a 4 - 5 v RCA signal going into the amps. Can a carpc sound card supply me with this?

            I think the main questions seem to revolve around what i can use for sound. I guess i could plug the Sound output on the car into the AUX input on my head unit? Then that would still allow me to play CDs with the same quality as now, and it will also mean the h/u can act like a linedriver for the sound from the pc.

            but would a sound car be able to directly connect to the head unit? As i would like to stay away from using things like those little devices which convert a basic head phone socket into a pair of RCAs.

            Any input would be greatly appreciated.

            Thanks,

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok this might be of some help to you. http://www4.tomshardware.com/video/20040223/index.html A review of USB sound cards, the last one, the Terratec Aureon USB might have something you want. However if you want the best sound it still seems to point to the Audigy.

              Comment


              • #8
                usb sound = yuk lol

                the epia M1000 may not output perfect quality sound - but in a car full of road noise - bet you couldn't tell the difference. the quality of my system is lovely and clear - FAR better then the stock clarion cd player - I think its wiring that lets down most carpc's audio.... my 2 cents...
                www.digital-car.co.uk - The UK CarPC Forum

                Comment


                • #9
                  buy a good sound card, "onboard" soundcards are complete crap, most people recommend usb because it avoides interferance from other pc components, i use an Extigy

                  I dunno, I have been using the onboard M10K sound since I installed the pc in the car and it sounds great running 192kbps mp3s. Kicks my old Bose system in the ***. Of course I replaced all my speakers and amps too.
                  Car: 2000 Audi A4 Avant 1.8t
                  Carputer 2.0: removed. Back to stock.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    i'm not a fan of the audigy 2 nx usb... it uses way too many resources and has too many problems w/standby.
                    I'm switching to a pci audigy as soon as i finish getting everything mounted.
                    Car: 2000 Toyota Celica GT-S
                    Mods: Yep
                    Carputer: VIA M9000 | Opus 150 | 512MB PC2100 | 60GB Notebook HD | Slim/Slot DVD/CDRW | Audigy2NX | Xenarc 700TSV | (2) DSCustoms DS700HRS (in trunk) | SMC USB 802.11b | CoPilot | DLink FM tuner | Cliffnet

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not a problem with onboard sound nowadays, maybe with cards that are 3-4 years old (SB 16) etc.

                      I use onboard sound from my Shuttle and my ASUS and have no hiss problems whatso ever. The ASUS had some engine noise because of the inverter, but I fixed that with a good case ground.

                      The shuttle had the same problem, but dissapeared when I powered it with an OPUS.


                      Craig
                      Audi S8 supercar
                      Modded Xbox 400GB HD
                      Rear 7" screen & navplus

                      Toyota Hiace Van
                      Shuttle PIII 866 256Mb 10GB OPUS powered
                      MediaCar & Mappoint 2004
                      Custom fit 7" TFT VGA TSK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I use an old PCI SB Live value (4 channel) in my Epia V8000 car setup, and I reckon it sounds very good. I have an Audigy 2 ZX in my desktop and I don't think I notice a huge difference. The onboard sound on the Epia was absolute rubbish, no bass would ever come out clean, and the levels were too low. Epia M's have much better audio apparently.
                        I use my SB live in 4 ch mode feeding 4 channels into Kicker crossovers mostly to pull the levels up a bit before they hit the amps. Sounds great. There is background hiss when nothing is playing though.
                        I've tried a cheapish no-name USB sound card (admittedly with gold-plated terminals so can't be too bad) in my car and it had NO hiss at all and sounded quite good. I believe things like the Xitel pro audio link may be good for you, USB, and has RCA outputs, but USB will always have standby and CPU issues, and so I'll probably stick to my PCI.
                        89 Celica, CarPC installed, 1st bday :)
                        http://www.fishy.net.nz/carpc/
                        • MediaEngine
                        • Epia V8000
                        • 80GB WD 7200RPM HD
                        • Xenarc 700TS
                        • SB Live
                        • Opus 90W
                        • CIMR100 remote
                        • Deluo serial GPS
                        • D-Link USB radio wired to power antenna

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          http://floridamusicco.com/ua1x.htm


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                          • #14
                            I downgraded from my Extigy to my FV24 onboard sound while I was troubleshooting something.. Yuck.

                            Some onboard cards are ok, but you can't go wrong with an extigy.
                            www.arbybean.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nic
                              buy a good sound card, "onboard" soundcards are complete crap, most people recommend usb because it avoides interferance from other pc components, i use an Extigy
                              thats kinda funny, in my car, using onboard sound from a laptop no less, I still find that audio source plays the largest role in quality of sound.....

                              and its a cheapy compaq armada, to boot......

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