A lot of questions: An Audiophile Computer in the making?
A big hello to everyone reading this thread. It's been a dream since a very very long time to have a CARputer, and this was almost impossible till just last year when I got a new car and 'did it up' with some serious car audio equipment.
I have always thought to myself, "A good source is THE key to car audio."
You can have a $4000 setup in the car, but it still might sound like crap if it's not getting the correct signal (quality of the data and strength of signal, both.) THIS is exactly the reason why i intend to have a carputer. EXPRESSLY FOR AUDIO.
To feed some serious equipment like Alpine SPX-17PRO components upfront (fed by a DLS reference series RA20), Morel Tempo 6*9 Rear fills (fed by a JBL GT5-S644) and a JBL W12 GTi (fed 1250W of RMS power by a Clarion DPX11551) in a ported enclosure tuned to 36 hz. All this was powered by a VERY SPECIAL head unit, the Eclipse CD7200MKII with 8V preouts and a copper chassis (along with it's deadhead nature) The Eclipse is one of the best head units one can ever own and it has a lot of wizardry built into it, to please to most serious audiophiles. WHY did I decide to make the change? I need something that does LOSSLESS. Period.
That's the PRIMARY reason why I am about to commence my first ever car PC this week, and I have a HUGE cache of questions that I must ask, since I am still in the dark about quite a few things about Carputers.
I intend to use the following configuration:
--Intel Core i3 530 + Msi H55 E33 motherboard
--M4 ATX power supply for 250W of power
--Onboard audio (Realtek ALC889) / Creative XFi Fatal1ty Pro Xtreme Gamer sound card (whichever is easy to tune)
1. HOW am I going to feed 3 amplifiers from my soundcard? What interface will I use and HOW will my soundcard know it has to output the lower frequencies to one amplifier, feed the fronts with one of them and feed the signal for the rears to the third? I am very confused about this.
2. What will be the strength of the Preout voltage signal from the sound card?
3. Time Alignment: Now, this is my LARGEST worry. I intend to time align my speakers. That is the most important step in tuning my system, and the audio just doesn't sound the same without TA. HOW am I going to go ahead with the time alignment bit if I use a NON creative soundcard? I have read the Wiki about the ASIO etc. But I still can't get the hang of HOW my soundcard is going to know which signal it is feeding to which amplifier, so only that signal can be modified. I am highly confused. So much so, that every time this tuning bit comes to mind, a small amount of depression creeps in!
4. I intend to use Centrafuse for the interface. Will it place undue load on the CPU and cause the audio to stutter? Should I get an interface which consumes lesser resources?
5. I intend to play a lot of lossless audio. Which player would you recommend for the same?
6. I am very nervous about how it is going to sound. If I tune it well, CAN I BEAT MY $600 head unit in terms of sound quality, imaging and soundstage?
An avid request. I have read through this forum numerous times. I STILL can't find the stuff that pertains to my setup and my soundcard. Please do not ask me to and search. I have tried my best. This is the reason why I have put up this thread. I am really really keen to have the best sound from my car. I think a CARputer is the way to go. I just the correct amount of guidance, and the best people to give it are on this forum.
Thanks in advance. I have many more questions, but I am somehow at a loss for words right now (writer's block, LOL)