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Thread: No one has really addressed the issue...

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb No one has really addressed the issue...

    Hey all. Been perusing the board for about 3 hours now, and decided to be bold and make my first post. I really like the ideas you guys have come up with for carputers and the like. The only thing I haven't seen _really_ addressed is how the quality is with an aftermarket HU and a full sound system.
    I'll get to decision of LCD and carputer later on, but I am still curious the proper way to hook everything up without getting the "distortion" some have faced when hooking it up to their HU. Some say Audigy, some say just a decent soundcard. But what kind of connection to this? Are you running a 1/8" out into a RCA for the screen or into the HU? I have a really good system in my vehicle with a CDA-7894 with 2 12" audiobahns with a nice MTX hitting them. I dream of stuffing a mini form factor carputer fabb'ed under one of the seats (with proper ventilation, etc). I would like to use a touchscreen LCD linked into my computer to do my MP3 playing and having it rock through my sound setup.
    It's not so much the computer parts im worried about(i buy quality anytime I need to), but more of the best way to hook all this up. VGA cable? USB? Haven't seen any real clear cut way to hook all this up via a aftermarket HU.
    Mods, please move to appropriate forum if I dumped this into the wrong one.
    Thanks for any input. If I could be more descriptive, let me know!

  2. #2
    MySQL Error MatrixPC's Avatar
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    If you want to know about LCD, check display forum. Way to power computer, check Power forum. For link between HU and Computer, check Radio forum. Best of all, check show off forum.
    2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
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  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    All of this has been covered, actually it has been well covered in the last 2 months. I know searching the boards is time consuming and sometimes bores the hell out of you, reading nonsensical post after post in a thread until you get to the meaty parts, but believe me, it is all there.
    As far as the quality with an aftermarket HU by jacking into the AUX port of the HU you can expect the same clarity as if you were to put a CD in the HU filled with your favourite mp3s... possibly even better because you can adjust so many aspects of the song before it reaches your Alpine, nice HU by the way.
    Here is a scenario:
    Car PC under your drivers seat, built using the best components you can afford. Go ahead and upgrade the sound card to something better than the onboard, Creative MP3 or Audigy2 for instance. Using a high quality 1/8"->RCA cable pump the music from your carputer to the AUX-In of your Alpine.
    Mount your LCD on your dash, in your visor, in your passengers bra... wherever you want it, make sure it is a VGA and not just a composite LCD, if you want touch screen get one of those (this is really good if it is mounted in the passengers bra). Using high quality tripple shielded cables, extend the VGA cable to the computer, same goes with the USB cable if you are using a touchscreen. While you are at it run the power cable for the screen. The rest is common sense when it comes to hooking up a carputer, or any computer at that. As far as the distortion comment, that is mostly due to people having bad grounds, crossing RCA with any cable that channels current, running a 4 meter ground wire, not using a line driver when using the onboard sound, etc....
    hopefully this post will point you in the right direction. I must go now, I have a bottle of Tullamore Dew with my name all over it.

  4. #4
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    Awesome. That's the reply I was looking for brandon since I really couldn't find the "meaty parts"!
    Just got a little worries because alot of people were complaining about crappy sound quality.
    Cheers and thanks!

  5. #5
    C4M
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    Dood

    You're in a car. You're not in a sound studio. If you've learned nothing else from playing with car audio, you should have learned that the inside of a car is possibly the worst environment in the world for reproducing music.

    There are deficiencies with mp3. It's lossy compression. OGG is better, and FLAC is better again. If you have the ability to do critical listening while driving, I hope you're not in Australia - I don't want you crashing into me!

    If you're purely about SQ, which I highly doubt given the current audio setup you describe, and you really want a CarPC, then you should skip MP3, and just rip to WAV, and buy an expensive sound card.

    Personally - my 1/8" stereo mini jack to RCA lead plugs directly into my Audio Control crossover, and from there to the Soundstream Reference, which is a nice short signal path.

    YMMV. I must go now, I have a bottle of South Australian Cabernet with my name all over it.

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  6. #6
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    Despite those good points about proper auxilliary in connections and file compression, the other SQ issue many people here have to deal is are corrected by: proper grounding, adding noise filters, using an opus dc-dc instead of an inverter (which I don't), etc. Competetion sound is really a possibility with a enough work and tweaking (as it is even without a carputer). Good luck and look forward to seeing the outcome.

  7. #7
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    this question was answered MANY times in the near past. Check the Car Audio section it would help, there are even replies in the first 10 threads.

    It all depends on how good you want it sounding. If you can't hear the difference between an mp3 and a cd, then don't bother, plug your 1/8" to RCA to HU.

    If you bother, then get a good decoder and plug your digital (SPDIF) output to it, then run it into your amps. It's only this way that you can go into sound quality... and using properly encoded music or original cds.

    Etienne

  8. #8
    Jesus Freak antimatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C4M
    There are deficiencies with mp3. It's lossy compression. OGG is better, and FLAC is better again
    I am FLAC and i am better than all of you Muahahahhahaha

    [hiding behind a rock waiting for frodo to come show off his 4000+ post count]
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  9. #9
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    Yeah, Frodo is APE not FLAC
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