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Thread: Full carputer stereo replacement? Opinions Welcome.

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
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    Full carputer stereo replacement? Opinions Welcome.

    Who here has totally replaced their stereo with a carputer?
    I built my first carputer 3 years ago... for the purpose of GPS navigation only. Now, in my new car I am thinking of "going crazy" with it.!

    I have been contemplating totally removing my Alpine 9815 w/ Aux in, and connecting my carputer directly to my amps. My biggest concern is keeping sound quality and ease of use.

    Some of the things I haven't found anyone address on this forum yet are:

    I need to have knobs somehow connected to the carputer.. Probably 2 of the griffin powermates (when they release the new drivers). One for Volume, one for advancing CD/MP3 tracks. I was thinking of mimicking aftermarket radios such as you press the volume knob to adjust sub level, again for bass, again for treble, and such...

    How well do slot-load CD/DVD drives work while driving.. any skipping? I am not talking rough off-roading, just typical city/highway driving.

    How well do the Hauppauge FM tuner cards receive signal while driving? (Coupled with the OEM antenna). I played with the D Link USB one... which was terrible as most of you know, even with an external antenna connected.



    What are the downsides you guys have experienced by removing your headunit?

    Looking forward to hearing feedback

  2. #2
    Newbie funt4stic's Avatar
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    I recently buyt a USB Extigy Soundblaster. It has a hardware Dolby Digital Decoder. I will connect this one directly to my Amp. Volume will be controlled by a Griffin PowerMate Knob (ordered, but still waiting for it). Depending on the quality i will remove my stereo then. I will let you know, but it will surely take a week or more. Btw. does anyone know a Amp with digital Line In ?

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate osirisdon's Avatar
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    I dont have a HU, no downsides. I also have 30GB's of music, that gives me plenty of tunes to listen to. I love it cause I dont have the glorious oportunity to listen to ghetto stupid DJ's (the ones from South Florida) talk smack all day. 100% commercial free, and so on.

  4. #4
    FLAC chut's Avatar
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    Nope, no HU. I gave up my XM radio but am working on
    the replacement for it. Unfortunately, the laptop I use as a carputer only has a microphone input. (mono) so this is a problem with the tuner I want to attach. But I think with the Extigy I just bought this will eliminate that problem. I have about 27 GB of music and I love the commercial free aspect and the lack of jerk off DJ's I no longer have to listen to. My vote is to go for it! Get rid of that HU. I'm working on a hardware volume control and would like to know what the Griffin is?
    Peter

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
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    Griffin Powermate

    The Griffin Powermate is a USB knob /w a programmable LED in its base. You can use it to control almost anything in windows / linux.

    Here is the manufacture's website:
    http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/powermate/

  6. #6
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    Chut,

    Do you a FM tuner on-board? I still want to / need to keep FM to check traffic reports and such in my area. Plus at times I enjoy listening to local morning shows on radio.

  7. #7
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    Haven't had a head unit in either of my vehiicles for over 4 years now. Between MP3s, DVD music video, and uSB FM, I haven't had a need for the HU garbge anymore... Not to mention it sounds so much better going direct to the amps rather than through a head unit's AUX input..
    Two "Carputer" vechicles:
    1991 Nissan 300ZX-TwinTurbo; 500+RWHP
    1990 Mazda B2200 Pickup; >80RWHP ;-)

    http://ashleypowers.com

  8. #8
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    if your really concerned about SQ, find a linedriver/eq and put it between your box and amps
    audiocontrol makes some nice units...

  9. #9
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    Hmm. So can anybody else confirm what ashsZ said? I was under the impression that the best you can do for sound quality is go with a nice sound card and go directly into the HU AUX input.

    Up until now thats what I planned on doing but maybe I won't. SQ is very important to me so I want to go with the best setup.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate
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    Same here... I purchased an great sounding Alpine 9815 receiver.. and am using aux in with it. For me to remove it from the overall system, I want to make sure I still will have full control over bass/treble/sub levels... not to mention a slot load CD player.

    I was going to use a slot load CD/DVD... which will work quite nicely, I believe. but I am concerned about the FM using a PC based solution.


    The one reason I am thinking of removing my HU is to allow a cleaner looking install. That way I can mold the LCD into my double-din spot, instead of using a pull-out LCD monitor (I am currently using that, and I am not happy with the overall apperance of the system. It looks rather thrown together with the pull out screen, which blocks my HU and part of my climate controls.) Along with this mod.. I plan to control the climate control via relays and servos though the PC.

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