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Running without a head unit

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  • Running without a head unit

    What is the best method of running without a head unit?

    I really can't see the point of using one any more. All it does is connect my DAB unit and attenuate the speakers when I get a call on my phone.

    I have the MII 12000 and an Audigy to play music out of... My main interest is being able to easily adjust volume.

  • #2
    I've been doing some more scouring and would be interested in the following input:

    If you are running without a head unit, how do you connect to your amps (via DSP? or direct) and what parts are you using (e.g. KEF KP-5.1 with S/P-DIF).


    • #3
      most just go analog from their soundcard to the amp(s). fairly simple setup.
      Your everyday carpc geek and tech guru at your service. *bow*


      • #4
        any more information on this? how do you change the volume, im guessing with the computer but any easier methods? also how is the sound quality if you do it like this?


        • #5
          volume is usually done through the computer, yes. but its not as hard as say going through the volume control and manually sliding it up. most (if not all. cant see a frontend without a volume control) frontends out there have very easy to use and simple volume controls right up front usually in the form of a fairly large volume up, down, and mute button as well as a small line of text telling you what percentage the volume is at.

          sound quality all depends on how you have your system wired. if you did the job good and you dont get any buzzing or whatnot, the quality is usually really darn good and comparable to what you would get from your headunit. but what alot of people run into that hiners quality is they get ground loops in the system which introduces buzzing into the audio and other artifacts.
          Your everyday carpc geek and tech guru at your service. *bow*


          • #6
            It's also quite straight forward to wire in some remote controls for the volume control/ track advance, etc.

            Sound quality is down to the parts you use, and the quality of your installation. Sound quality in mine has been exceptional and far better than the headunits output (hence I am doing away with it).


            • #7
              then possibly your old head unit sucked?

              HU can give you just as good a sound quality as most PCI cards and breakout boxes.

              Wire in some controls for volume? Thats what the software running on your carputer and touchscreen is for. What you talking about?
              (All done)
              iPad Mini 128GB, RF 600.5 amp, JL12W0V2, 8 Infinity Components


              • #8
                It's nice to have a physical button to press to change some things... For example, connecting steering remote controls into the computer can be safer and more accessable. Especially regularly accessed functions.

                Only recently have head units with optical outputs started to filter down into the mainstream... PC equipment has been available with digital outputs for sometime and S/P-DIF is standard on many low end systems these days. Keeping the signal digital right through to the boot eliminates any problems that can be introduced through analogue sources such as ground loops.

                I'm not saying that head units have lesser output quality.. Just in my experience I have got a cleaner output from my PC than the head unit.


                • #9
                  I just plan on getting the Soundblaster Xfi platinum, eliminating my head unit and using the provided remote control. I believe there is even a volume control on the unit. You just may have to make some extension cables for it. In my car i have a lower double din space and above my hvac controls i have h half depth din space because of my vents but thats more than enough room for the audigy controls.
                  3.2GHz Northwood P4
                  1GB SDRAM
                  300GB Maxtor SATA HD
                  (Seeing as though i work for Maxtor)
                  Soundblaster X-Fi Platinum
                  Deck Ice USB illuminated keyboard
                  Lilliput 7" Touchscreen
                  Adesso touchpad
                  Casetronic Travla C137 120W