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Thread: How many volts can a sound card output?

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb How many volts can a sound card output?

    I am adding an MP3 player to my suburban. I have cut out the radio slot, air/heat controls, and 4x4, switch out of the dash and replaced it with a 10.4 tft that has rca in, TV tuner, and ntsc.

    I have a complete computer amd 700, 128 ram, 20 gig, etc. Sound is built into mother board. CDRW and cd drive. All can be placed under front seat.

    Alpine 5 channel amp and an MTX sub amp, 4 - Boston Acoustic seperates, 2 Boston 6x9's and a JL Audio 12" sub.
    I want to throw out my head unit and have the computer run all audio. The CDRW can duoplicate CD's on the road or burn for friends. The cd drive can play my current cd's. FM tuner to play all FM. My current head unit sends 3.5 volts of output to the amps and allows for fade, balance, treble, sub output level, etc.

    Does anyone know how many volts sound cards outputs?

    How can you connect to the amps and allow for fade and balance?

    How far away from the mother board can I locate the CDRW and CD drive?

    Thanks for your input

  2. #2
    FLAC DodgeCummins's Avatar
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    Sound cards put out the same as home stereo equipment.

    I know some car stereo stuff was considered high voltage, but I though that put out around 10v (preamp out). Either way it should be around (maybe slightly less) what your current head unit is putting out. (I have to turn up the head unit a bit to get the same volume from the computer, but there are many variables involved)

    You won't get a fade from the computer, because you only have 2 outputs, but you can get a preamp/eq with remote control that would give your eq settings and fader control...etc.

    I haven't looked for that kind of thing for a while but look at the signal processors or that type of 'tronics.

    The cable length has been answered somewhere else (do a search)...don't remember what it was but I think 10' was the limit (under good conditions)

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  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    Actually, some sound hardware allows for a four-speaker system, outputting line-level from either the mic or line-in (which, obviously, would not longer be usable in that manner), as well as the line-out. You could hook those up to your amp, but I'm not sure if you get independent volume controls for each (i.e. fader control). I'm pretty sure there's "surround sound" software or something of the like that would work with that. Or you could add a second sound card and output to both (however one does that). Anyway, I know the onboard sound on my desktop can be used with a 4-speaker setup, so perhaps yours can as well.

  4. #4
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    Cool

    You're never going to be able to burn a CD while moving, so give up on that one right now. Also, I don't want you on the road with me if you are trying to drive and set up a burn...

    As for the voltage, line level is 1V P-P, whereas speaker level is much higher. It depends on which output you connect. You would want to use the line level.

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    Aaron Cake
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  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate gizmomkr's Avatar
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    The soundblaser live card has outs to drive 4 speakers, I never poked around the software that much, but I seem to remember full control( seprate l/r fade) of both sets of outputs
    Gizmo-
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  6. #6
    FLAC DodgeCummins's Avatar
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    I forgot that there are some surround sound cards out there.

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