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Thread: Best possible sound quality

  1. #1
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    Question Best possible sound quality

    All,

    First I want to say that I have been reading this forum for a little bit and have so far found it incredibly useful and has answered many of my questions. With that said, my question is as follows...

    One of the primary design goals of my project is to have the BEST possible sound quality but have no head unit and instead only use a sound card. The reason for this is the fact that I can modify so many of the properties on the sound card through an interface I am writing and not have to be concerned with a headunit. My real question lies in getting the sound from the sound card to the amps. I would like to use the SoundBlaster Audigy 2ZS Platinum Pro which has center, front, rear and sub (through 1/8" connectors). I am planning on using a multiple amp configuration so would I still get good sound quality by using 1/8" to RCA converters and sending them to a line driver and then to the amps?

    Thanks!

    AdamR

  2. #2
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    I doubt you'll need a line driver with the Audigy 2ZS.. I have that going to my amps w/out a line driver, although some people live and die by line drivers, so who knows.. It depends how high your noise floor is to begin with.

    Get that down first.. Make sure your grounds are GOOD.. REALLY GOOD! That way, no power will run into your computer/speaker setup, and you won't get any "white noise" or background noise aka "line noise".

    Also, if your computer is in the trunk with your amps, then you will be lucky, like me. You will have really short RCA runs (mine are 2.5') so you won't get much interference. You can buy double-shielded high-resolution video RCA cable, too, and put some good ends on it. It will take a while, but that RCA cable is good stuff.

    Or you could do optical out, but I doubt that would help much.

    Get good components up front, and align them properly for best imaging. To get good imaging, talk to the guys on caraudioforum.com, and get the speakers in phase at your ears. You may need a time delay device (sound blaster has this in their software!!) or you may need to swap the phase on one side of speakers in your car.

    Get a good crossover to kill some spikes and resonances, and get the signal really flat, for good sq..

    I hope this helps. Let us know how it turns out!

  3. #3
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    Thanks so much for your insight! Its always nice to talk to someone who has a lot of respect for SQ and doesnt just settle for the sound of a 96k MP3 As far as the line driver goes, I know the SB only outputs 1-2V on the lines which makes me REALLY want to get that closer to 4 or 7. You mentioned the optical out on the SB. This was something I was thinking of but the optical out would have all 6 audio channels muxed on that line, right? And wouldnt it have to have an external decoder like an Alpine PXA?

    Again, thank you for your response!

    AdamR

    Quote Originally Posted by sq_geek
    I doubt you'll need a line driver with the Audigy 2ZS.. I have that going to my amps w/out a line driver, although some people live and die by line drivers, so who knows.. It depends how high your noise floor is to begin with.

    Get that down first.. Make sure your grounds are GOOD.. REALLY GOOD! That way, no power will run into your computer/speaker setup, and you won't get any "white noise" or background noise aka "line noise".

    Also, if your computer is in the trunk with your amps, then you will be lucky, like me. You will have really short RCA runs (mine are 2.5') so you won't get much interference. You can buy double-shielded high-resolution video RCA cable, too, and put some good ends on it. It will take a while, but that RCA cable is good stuff.

    Or you could do optical out, but I doubt that would help much.

    Get good components up front, and align them properly for best imaging. To get good imaging, talk to the guys on caraudioforum.com, and get the speakers in phase at your ears. You may need a time delay device (sound blaster has this in their software!!) or you may need to swap the phase on one side of speakers in your car.

    Get a good crossover to kill some spikes and resonances, and get the signal really flat, for good sq..

    I hope this helps. Let us know how it turns out!

  4. #4
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    The best solultion is to use an Alpine processor!!!The PXAs you mentioned??
    It depends on you and wether you can afford it!!!
    I am waiting for my PXA-H900 to arrive!!!
    With this processor you can avoid passive systems!!!
    Each speaker has it's own channel with digital crosoovers for best SQ!!!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sq_geek
    Get that down first.. Make sure your grounds are GOOD.. REALLY GOOD! That way, no power will run into your computer/speaker setup, and you won't get any "white noise" or background noise aka "line noise".
    How to get ground really good?


    Also, if your computer is in the trunk with your amps, then you will be lucky, like me. You will have really short RCA runs (mine are 2.5') so you won't get much interference. You can buy double-shielded high-resolution video RCA cable, too, and put some good ends on it. It will take a while, but that RCA cable is good stuff.
    Or you take a USB soundcard like Audigy II NX to the trunk. That way u'll have short RCA runs too. I prever USB nyway, no interference from sound-unfriendly PC environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DjBac
    The best solultion is to use an Alpine processor!!!The PXAs you mentioned??
    It depends on you and wether you can afford it!!!
    I am waiting for my PXA-H900 to arrive!!!
    With this processor you can avoid passive systems!!!
    Each speaker has it's own channel with digital crosoovers for best SQ!!!!
    As nice as that processor is, it really hurts some of the design goals of the system. While it does a great job of decoding, I lose volume control (because of the digital feed) which is a big consideration. How is your system going to be setup with the H900?

    AdamR

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    Bump Any more comments on this? Would it even be possible to use the digital out to feed anything w/o having a processor? Also, do you know of any SDKs that would allow me to control EQ parameters from within my application for the card.

    Thanks

    AdamR

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST43LTH
    Bump Any more comments on this? Would it even be possible to use the digital out to feed anything w/o having a processor? Also, do you know of any SDKs that would allow me to control EQ parameters from within my application for the card.

    Thanks

    AdamR

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ST43LTH
    Hi,

    Dont bother with a digital processor, unless you are using SPDIF out on the soundcard and have a digital amp (with processor). All you will be doing is going:

    Analog -> Digital Proc -> Analog

    You would be better off eq'in using software or hardware eq.

    Line drivers are ok, but generally not needed - if you amps good and can take low level inputs then keep your RCA's short and go direct from the soundcard to the amps.

    Regards

    John

  10. #10
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    BTW monster cable makes some high end stereo 1/8" mini to RCA cables for going from your sound card to your amp. Check their site as there are two models.

    moltensilver

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