I have searched and have found a similar question but it was completly ignored. So heres the deal... I have a Kenwood Excelon HU with three sets of 5v preouts, connected to a Eclipse four channel amp. I want to replace the HU with a carputer and connect the amp to the carupter. I'm using 6 1/2 Infinity componets in the front and 6 1/2 3 ways in the rear. My question is this, how does the sound quality produced by a PC sound card compare to what is produced by a HU? Also, will using a sound card with RCA connections improve the sound quality compared to using the standard 1/8 mini connections?
Sound comes out of PC depneds on sound card inside PC:D . Most built in sound card are poor by audiophile standard. You can go as cheap as Chaintech AV-710($30 I think but don't be mislead by its low price) or as high as full blown studio qulity sound card. Audigy are praised a lot because it's one of the most popular soundcard but those Creative sound cards are nothing special. I have Ego U24 and it blows away Crystal chip built in sound card. Also RCA jack will be very unlikely increase sound fidelity over 1/8jack.
I havn't tried the difference personally, but I think if you have a decent soundcard, like a soundblaster audigy, it should sound just as good. Just be sure to use some good quality RCA cables to minimize on interference. I don't think the RCA or mini plugs will make much of a difference either. With all the noise in your car from traffice and the road, it'll be hard to hear the difference if there is any.
Nothing is more important than what drives the sound! So here's a question for you...Are you going to be putting the CarPc in for other things?
Here's why I ask, you can leave your HU in right now, get\build the carPc install it, if you want to try it out, use the built in sound, if you like it then keep it that way, if not put back the HU. Or put in another better sound card.
Me personally I'm doing a Car PC without a head unit, My HU broke and I could not find one that I liked which compared to my old one. I've been designing my carPc with components for over a year now and decided I'll put in the Car PC.
It will be powering my sound setup which is as follows:
2 AudioCentric 12' Subs (old school)
6 (front\rear and front tweaters) Built in to my RSX base bose speaker system and tuned for the RSX cabinet. Not that impressive but bose quality non the less.
1 Rodec 250W mono bridge AMP powering the subs
1 Alpine F240 4 channel 50W AMP powering the speakers
The Alpine Amp is on order, if you can wait a week I can let you know how it is. I'll be using the AC97 built in soundcard first.
I am an audiophille. I've had panasonic,pioneer, eclipse, kenwood top of the line HU's and am very picky about my current setups and subs. I like tight impacting sub sounds.