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Thread: Best possible sound quality

  1. #11
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    Do you think I will still get the best possible audio quality after going from a mini plug to RCAs?

  2. #12
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    Well, I read avsforum.com (a huge home theater and HT computer site) and there has been many debates regarding the SQ (sound quality) issues of mini plugs.

    Basically from what I have gathered is that the analog travels on the the PCB of the sound card in an even smaller copper lead than the mini plug therefore the mini plug itself does not affect SQ.

    The main issue of 1/8" mini plugs is the durablity of unpatching and repatching which should not be an issue in a car computer.

    For more info I suggest you do a search on the avsforums particularly in the HTPC section.

    moltensilver

  3. #13
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    If you truly are looking for the best possible sound quality the issue is with the D/A conversion.

    Perhaps your best bet would be to move to a studio quality sound card or any sound card with digital outs (spdif, toslink, ADAT ) and do the digital to analog D/A conversion with an external unit similar to how high end recording studios do (ie protools converters etc). Then run the balanced analog outputs of the converter to the amp (if possible)(I am unsure if car audio amps have balanced +4 dBu inputs) .

    Even if you can't find an amp with balanced inputs you can still run unbalanced from the converter to the amp and receive the benefits of studio grade D/A conversion.
    Apogee is one of the many companies the produce high end D/A and A/D converters.

    I consider myself an expert in computer recording and recording studio technology
    If you need more info pm or post on this thread and I will help you out.

    moltensilver

  4. #14
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    The PXA-H900's come witha RS232 computer connection. Does anyone know what all is possible to control through this connection? That opens up a lot of possibilities for that DSP if you have the MAD $$ for that kind of item.

  5. #15
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    thanks all for your comments

    If I use an outboard DAC, then I lose the onboard Dolby decoding, correct? The only way I could get around this would be to keep the line digital as long as possible and then to an outboard DAC/Decoder, correct?

    This intrigues me but I lose a lot of the functionality that I desired and that is the ability to control EQ and decoding settings with my software.

    Thanks

    AdamR

  6. #16
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    If I use an outboard DAC, then I lose the onboard Dolby decoding, correct? The only way I could get around this would be to keep the line digital as long as possible and then to an outboard DAC/Decoder, correct?

    This intrigues me but I lose a lot of the functionality that I desired and that is the ability to control EQ and decoding settings with my software.
    ST43LTH,

    Yes that is correct about the onboard decoding. Also, most studio DAC's (Digital to analog converters) do not have Dolby decoding built in like home theater setups do. I was unaware that you needed this feature when I suggested it (it is still possible but additional steps may be needed).

    Overall, the people at avsforums seem to feel they are getting great audio quality out of their HTPC's soundcard. In fact, some HT philes are using the HTPC with just an external poweramp as a total replacement of a typical HT receiver (decoding eq etc) and feel the quality rivals some very high end units. I guess the quality of the DACs in sound cards is equal or better than most HT receivers. That would would be a similar setup as a car computer outputing directly to an amp. I suggest that you read the forum I mentioned to see for yourself.

    If you need anything else just post or pm.

    moltensilver

  7. #17
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    The best way to do this, within reason, is to get the Audgiy 2 NX, or whatever the external Audigy is called. This card will produce very high quality sound outputs, and since its USB, you can place the card right next to your amps, and use very short RCA runs. You will still be able to control volume, etc through your computer.

    About the line driver, I know most everyone just runs the outputs strait into their amps. That is how I do it, and it works quite well.

  8. #18
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    As always thanks for the responses. My car computer will be located in the trunk and I will be putting a BLT (balanced line transmitter) at the sound card anyways so I am not worried about signal degredation between the sound card and the amps anymore. If cable runs were not a problem, like in my situation, would you prefer the PCI card to the USB card? I have heard some problems from coming back online from standby.

    Thanks

    AdamR

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