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  • PCI Sound Card With RCA?

    OK, I've read this forum & the Digitial-Car forums, I've searched, but I can't find an answer to my problem....... time to ask the experts!

    My research into components for my PC is going well and I really only have a few things to choose - one of which is the sound card.

    Ideally, all I want is a PCI card which can accept a mic input (3.5mm jack) and gives RCA outputs for front, rear & sub. I am after RCAs because I'll be running a 6 channel amp (in 5ch mode) and want to use proper inputs, not line level inputs, to get the best quality (within reason, these things are all subjective!!).

    I also don't want to use any 3.5mm jack (from basic sound card) to RCA adapters, as I've heard that there's a noticable quality drop here too. I've not tried this route myself, just going on the advice of others.

    I don't really want a USB device, as powering it on/off via the CarNetix PSU will be an issue. I'll have the CarNetix operating the 2nd output via DLYON to switch off the TFT screen with the car ignition, whilst leaving the PC on for 15mins before entering standby. As the 2nd & 3rd outputs from the CarNetix have the same power down mode (I believe), I can't mix the power down time of the 2 devices (USB sound & TFT), so that takes me back to PCI!!

    I've been hunting around the net for a while, but can't find anything I'm totally happy with..... so, experts, any advice? I was thinking of one of these M-Audio Sound card, but it doesn't have a mic-input!!

    Any advice guys? What would you recommend? There must be something out there to do the job?!

    Thanks & regards,

    Mark
    2013 Ultima Can Am - Can I fit it with a CarPC?
    MP3Car PC build worklog here
    Facebook full car build here

  • #2
    Why does it have to have RCAs?
    you can use any type of port provided you got the right adapters ie stereo 3.5mm to dual rca socket adapter. you would need two if your running a 4 speaker setup and a good sound card like a creative sound blaster Audigy/Live! would do it too or nearly any 5.1ch sound card as no doubt you already know this...
    - Forget headunits, its all about CarPCs -

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    • #3
      TruCypriot: Did you even ready the original post?

      Anyways, sorry I can't be of more help, but I too would like to know if such a thing exists. Not because I need one, just to know
      Jarrod - Holden VX S!

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      • #4
        As I said, to maintain optimim audio quality, I want RCA to RCA, not 3.5mm converted to RCA. According to posts on this site and others, using the 3.5mm conversion, noise gets into the system and it can sound less than optimum.

        As the PC build is going to cost a substantial amount of cash, I don't want it to sound below par.

        Any ideas? Anyone? What are people using out there?

        If all else fails, I know the M-Audio will give me the outputs and I would have to sacrifice the mic-in (which was going to be used as part of a phone hands-free setup)......

        M
        2013 Ultima Can Am - Can I fit it with a CarPC?
        MP3Car PC build worklog here
        Facebook full car build here

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        • #5
          yes i have, i would like to also add from my original post that if you use a good sound card with gold plated adapters it would sound better but using even non gold-plated adapters wouldnt really make much difference unless you are spliting a 3.5mm jack into two wires then you would start getting problems as you are extending the distance the signal has to travel to get to the amp and increasing resistance, maplins sells short plastic adapters. the only other possible solution i can think of is the soundcards that have the front panel connectors but that would mean placing the panel somewhere which means more work and some soundcards only do the panels with rca connectors for audio in only! dont ask which sound cards coz i cant remember...
          - Forget headunits, its all about CarPCs -

          Progress {|||||||||---}


          Helix 5ch Amp @1850w
          Helix 17cm Component speakers x 2
          Audiobahn 12" Sub @400w RMS
          boot mod

          Comment


          • #6
            Cant help you on the card but you could use the one you have seen and use a USB mic. They don't get connected to external power so you can run it straight back to the PC. They are allegedly better sound quality too.

            Edit.... Just actually had a look at the card you fancy and it uses break out cables via an adapter. I cant honestly see this being any better quality than a 3.5-RCA cable. In fact the 3.5-RCA cable will have less joints in it so should in theory be better quality.
            Visit my site V8 Scimitar

            SP13000, 300GB SATA HD, 1GB DDR. Opus 150, K301 screen, Cisco WIFI, AQmax GPS, RoadRunner and FreeDrive, Sony MEX-R5 head unit. 4 years installed and it just keeps running!

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            • #7
              thats a good one, hmmm might have to do the same....
              - Forget headunits, its all about CarPCs -

              Progress {|||||||||---}


              Helix 5ch Amp @1850w
              Helix 17cm Component speakers x 2
              Audiobahn 12" Sub @400w RMS
              boot mod

              Comment


              • #8
                TruCypriot - SB do a couple of card with those front panel thingies and they still don't have the necessary connections - ggrrrrrrr!! I'm starting to think that I'll have to either:

                1. Go for the M-Audio card and come up with an alternative mic connection (possibly 2nd very simple / cheap USB device)
                2. Get an SB Live 5.1 card and try the 3.5mm to amp (using high level in or convert to RCA) and see what the sound quality is like for myself

                Unless anyone else has any ideas....

                M
                2013 Ultima Can Am - Can I fit it with a CarPC?
                MP3Car PC build worklog here
                Facebook full car build here

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                • #9
                  id say get the m-audio card and a usb mic, i dunno if they make bluetooth mics, that would be good but saying that bluetooth in my opinion is unsafe and prob the mic would be another device to power... but the usb mic and m-audio card is the better option and i think the cheap one too.
                  - Forget headunits, its all about CarPCs -

                  Progress {|||||||||---}


                  Helix 5ch Amp @1850w
                  Helix 17cm Component speakers x 2
                  Audiobahn 12" Sub @400w RMS
                  boot mod

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I use these without any problems http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...Range&doy=31m8

                    these can give problems tho http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...Range&doy=31m8
                    Visit my site V8 Scimitar

                    SP13000, 300GB SATA HD, 1GB DDR. Opus 150, K301 screen, Cisco WIFI, AQmax GPS, RoadRunner and FreeDrive, Sony MEX-R5 head unit. 4 years installed and it just keeps running!

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                    • #11
                      yea the top link is a good brand and they are gold plated, but i would of thought the second link would be the better choice but i guess it takes out in extra component so in turn would produce a better sound come to think of it...

                      god im not on the ball today...
                      - Forget headunits, its all about CarPCs -

                      Progress {|||||||||---}


                      Helix 5ch Amp @1850w
                      Helix 17cm Component speakers x 2
                      Audiobahn 12" Sub @400w RMS
                      boot mod

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Esi makes a card called 'Julia' (or Juli@). Its a 2ch RCA output card - so it doesnt exactly meet ur requirements, but it is something.

                        The other option is an ESI - GigaPort. Its a usb device which has 8 RCA outputs (and I think 3.5mm mic in)

                        ][ce

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                        • #13
                          As I believe I recently posted in another thread..

                          The M-Audio card you're talking about is not a surround sound card. It offers 4 pairs of discrete audio outputs for use in professional audio multitracking environments. It will not give you front/rear/sub the way you want unless you have the software to do it. There are only two 'consumer' cards by M-Audio that are 'surround'. The Revolution 5.1 and Revolution 7.1

                          The card in question is also an older one, more than likely discontinued.

                          I may be mistaken, but with cards like this the way it works is that each 'pair' of outputs will show up as a seperate audio device. It only has one stereo input, and I belive S/PDIF in/out. Unless you want to use this card to allow multi-zone environments (like everyone can listen to something different), it won't work for what you want.

                          Honestly? The only difference between adapting from 3.5" and RCA is a shared ground. For all you know, a card with seperate RCA outputs might be sharing the grounds already.

                          If you're really worried about sound quality, get a card with an S/PDIF output, then get a DSP with S/PDIF input, or an amplifier with such.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the background, Jahntassa, that's put things into a whole new light and sent my research all the way back to the begining again ;-) I just can't believe how hard it is to find a sound card that does what every half decent HU does as standard!!! Oh, the joys of the world of CarPuting!!
                            2013 Ultima Can Am - Can I fit it with a CarPC?
                            MP3Car PC build worklog here
                            Facebook full car build here

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, you gotta watch out on those kinds of soundcards. Generally anything with true RCA outputs or better is going to be for a 'pro' setup and won't work the way you think it will. Unless you had someone that can really write software and somehow wrote something to be able to utilize the card, well...

                              Honestly though, is there that much difference between the 3.5" adaptation and RCA's? Especially in a car environment?

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