Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Poor audio imaging?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Poor audio imaging?

    Hi all

    First post, so I'll get the compliments out of the way first.

    Media engine RULES! I'm using it in my Bora (Jetta, for you US chaps ) on a mini-ITX PC with 7" touchscreen and a large part (30GB) of my music collection. Haven't bothered with DVD or SatNav yet - I'm too busy enjoying having all my music in one place!!!!!!!

    Oh, and of course, the obligatory "Any news on a release date for ME2 yet?"

    So, I've got a high-end audio setup, which borders on monitor-quality sound, when using the head unit's CD player or tuner. But, using ME, the sound quality is noticeably poorer. Seems to be lacking top end completely - anything above say 12KHz.

    I've tried another sound card, and didn't notice any difference. Have disabled XP's "what type of speakers do you have" because it's so rubbish, and that improved the channel separation. But, there's still a lot of definition missing.

    Any ideas guys? Suggestions? I can re-EQ Winamp, I guess, but I'm kinda hoping there's a simpler option.....

    Thanks in advance
    Pioneer DEX-P9R h/u / DEQ-P9 eq/dsp
    PPI 5440 amp
    Cerwin Vega 7" components
    2*Focal 5WS subs in the front

  • #2
    Well, for one, if your going for Audio Quality your EQ should be flat. I don't think your problem is media engine. I think it's a combination of the quality of MP3 and soundcard. How are you piping your audio from the PC into the stereo? Standard RCA? How heavily are they insulated.

    I myself run straight TOS-LINK to my Alpine DSP. Zero sound quality loss. In fact, in 5.1 applications such as DVD playback my car sounds better than my Pioneer Elite setup at home.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agreed on the flat EQ business. The stereo's setup is with a flat EQ, but I was toying with using the PC's EQ to boost frequencies if the sound output wasn't up to scratch.

      Soundcard quality was a possible, as I'm using the onboard sound on my mini-ITX m/b. But, having checked the specs/reviews out on it, it doesn't seem to be the problem. Plus, I replaced it with a Soundblaster Live! and didn't notice any improvement in the frequency range

      I'm using a Pioneer DEX-P9R head unit, with DEQ-P9 eq/processor on the back of it. The sound's coming in via two adequate (but not great) quality RCA's into Pioneer's RCA-IPbus adaptor.

      Thing is, the standard XP-starting sound (you know, that nice plinky-plonky noise) sounds fine - complete stereo image and a nice set of high frequencies. It's just the mp3 playback within ME that seems to suffer.

      Going to try a CD in a CD-ROM drive tonight, to confirm the audio-input quality - just to make sure it's not the RCA-IPbus causing the problem. But, any further comments gratefully received
      Pioneer DEX-P9R h/u / DEQ-P9 eq/dsp
      PPI 5440 amp
      Cerwin Vega 7" components
      2*Focal 5WS subs in the front

      Comment


      • #4
        Ooo - forgot to say. The mp3's are 128kb/s or 192kb/s and, if I use Nero to re-burn the mp3's onto an audio CD and use that same disc in the car CD player, it sounds fine
        Pioneer DEX-P9R h/u / DEQ-P9 eq/dsp
        PPI 5440 amp
        Cerwin Vega 7" components
        2*Focal 5WS subs in the front

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmm.... then maybe it is ME. I'm not sure I know what CODEC it's using to play the MP3's.

          Comment


          • #6
            All I knows is that it's using Winamp 2 (2.8 I think) as that's the one in the ME directory. More than that is beyond me.

            But then, if you're using ME without any problem, I have to assume it's something I've set up differently from you......?
            Pioneer DEX-P9R h/u / DEQ-P9 eq/dsp
            PPI 5440 amp
            Cerwin Vega 7" components
            2*Focal 5WS subs in the front

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm not actually running ME.

              Comment


              • #8
                Everything I have read indicates that the sound quality of the mini-itx sucks. Maybe if you were using a digital out it would be better, but the analog outputs are totally lame. I have the same problem.

                I am considering using an extigy.

                --C

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah - nice one - a fair comparison

                  Odd though, that my SB Live wasn't much better - although I could just have been hyper-critical. (That's the problem with setting up a new car-audio system - I spend months listening for things that are wrong with it - rather than how damned fine it sounds )

                  Time to invest in a daft sound card, methinks
                  Pioneer DEX-P9R h/u / DEQ-P9 eq/dsp
                  PPI 5440 amp
                  Cerwin Vega 7" components
                  2*Focal 5WS subs in the front

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK first thing first. You mention your audio system is border line monitor quality, that said any imperfection in the audio signal will degrade significally. Ex: RCA wires, speakers wires, corrosion on your terminals, poor connections. Another thing to look at is your compressions rate. 128/192 is **** compression and that is a fact. If your sound system is as good as you mention you will notice a HUGE quality loss. Have you tried to listen to a MP3 file on a BOSE system? It sounds horrible.

                    Things you might want to check. Try to listen to a Music CD or DVD from your PC, if the sound is still ****, its your sound card. If it sounds just right, its your compression rate. Use diferent players, use WMP, Winamp, have you tried Foobar?

                    I seriously doubt its ME, I think the problem is your poor soundcard and or compression rate.
                    What im curently listening to.
                    My complete carpc setup

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I read an article a few months back (can't remember where) on MP3 sampling rates. The article indicated that professional audio technicians listening to mp3s on professional gear could not tell the difference between compressed mp3s and the uncompressed originals at sample rates at or about 192kbps.

                      I did about a days worth of research at the time, in order to determine the sample rate that I would use when archiving my music collection. Although I cannot remember where the source is, I am fairly confident that my search was rather thorough. Sorry to be such a lame *** and not site my references.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Uh err... I sheepishly take it all back. It was 256kbps. Dang there goes my credibility.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't think it's software related either...

                          EPIA on board sound blows chunks...I tried it and it has very poor low end response...I got a M-audio usb sound device and it is much better...not quite audigy quallity but close enough...
                          Aura MR62 (F and R)
                          My Current MP3s
                          IamDefiler.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the replies, guys. All input gratefully received.

                            osirisdon - just to clarify, the "my stereo is as good as a set of monitors" was more to make sure you guys didn't assume I was Mr "I've got a sub the size of a house and so my stereo sounds great" It's a damned fine system, but it ain't that good

                            That said, when using the head unit's CD player, or tuner, the quality is all there. The main reason for my concern is that even if I take one of the mp3 albums and use Nero to convert it back into an audio CD, and play that on the CD player, it sounds far better than the PC version.

                            Will dig out a CD-ROM drive and play a CD through the PC, to see if that's any better. After all, that will use direct audio, rather than the sound card's processor. If that's better, I can safely assume the problem's with the PC or the software.

                            I am inclined to think it's the sound card though - hell - anything built-on ain't going to be much cop on a 100 board Got a 24bit sound card coming, on loan, in a day or two. Hopefully, that'll make the difference I'm after.

                            Keep up the good work guys - all comments appreciated
                            Pioneer DEX-P9R h/u / DEQ-P9 eq/dsp
                            PPI 5440 amp
                            Cerwin Vega 7" components
                            2*Focal 5WS subs in the front

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A reply for you...

                              I use the EPIA M9000.... I used the on-board sound card for aboue 3 days. It sounded like ***. Then I bought a Sound Blaster Live! Value and it sounded 300 times better. The mini-itx onboard sound is a nasty sounding nightmare. Dont use it
                              BTW: msg hijinks (Jy) and ask him where the PCI extension cords webpage is... I forget but you need it.. Check out these pics..

                              also, here is a shot of my mini-itx carputer b4 I mounted the sound card on top of it



                              -Mitch

                              Get MediaEngine !!!
                              Media Engine Download

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X