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Thread: Poor audio imaging?

  1. #1
    Newbie globbits's Avatar
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    Question Poor audio imaging?

    Hi all

    First post, so I'll get the compliments out of the way first.

    Media engine RULES! I'm using it in my Bora (Jetta, for you US chaps ) on a mini-ITX PC with 7" touchscreen and a large part (30GB) of my music collection. Haven't bothered with DVD or SatNav yet - I'm too busy enjoying having all my music in one place!!!!!!!

    Oh, and of course, the obligatory "Any news on a release date for ME2 yet?"

    So, I've got a high-end audio setup, which borders on monitor-quality sound, when using the head unit's CD player or tuner. But, using ME, the sound quality is noticeably poorer. Seems to be lacking top end completely - anything above say 12KHz.

    I've tried another sound card, and didn't notice any difference. Have disabled XP's "what type of speakers do you have" because it's so rubbish, and that improved the channel separation. But, there's still a lot of definition missing.

    Any ideas guys? Suggestions? I can re-EQ Winamp, I guess, but I'm kinda hoping there's a simpler option.....

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate Skippman's Avatar
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    Well, for one, if your going for Audio Quality your EQ should be flat. I don't think your problem is media engine. I think it's a combination of the quality of MP3 and soundcard. How are you piping your audio from the PC into the stereo? Standard RCA? How heavily are they insulated.

    I myself run straight TOS-LINK to my Alpine DSP. Zero sound quality loss. In fact, in 5.1 applications such as DVD playback my car sounds better than my Pioneer Elite setup at home.
    Stereo:Alpine IVA-D900 Head Unit | Alpine PXA-H510 DSP | Boston Pro Component Speakers Upfront | Boston Rally Rear Speakers | 2 Polk 10" Subs in the Trunk | Phoenix Gold Ti900.7 Amp

  3. #3
    Newbie globbits's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Agreed on the flat EQ business. The stereo's setup is with a flat EQ, but I was toying with using the PC's EQ to boost frequencies if the sound output wasn't up to scratch.

    Soundcard quality was a possible, as I'm using the onboard sound on my mini-ITX m/b. But, having checked the specs/reviews out on it, it doesn't seem to be the problem. Plus, I replaced it with a Soundblaster Live! and didn't notice any improvement in the frequency range

    I'm using a Pioneer DEX-P9R head unit, with DEQ-P9 eq/processor on the back of it. The sound's coming in via two adequate (but not great) quality RCA's into Pioneer's RCA-IPbus adaptor.

    Thing is, the standard XP-starting sound (you know, that nice plinky-plonky noise) sounds fine - complete stereo image and a nice set of high frequencies. It's just the mp3 playback within ME that seems to suffer.

    Going to try a CD in a CD-ROM drive tonight, to confirm the audio-input quality - just to make sure it's not the RCA-IPbus causing the problem. But, any further comments gratefully received

  4. #4
    Newbie globbits's Avatar
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    Ooo - forgot to say. The mp3's are 128kb/s or 192kb/s and, if I use Nero to re-burn the mp3's onto an audio CD and use that same disc in the car CD player, it sounds fine

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate Skippman's Avatar
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    Hmm.... then maybe it is ME. I'm not sure I know what CODEC it's using to play the MP3's.
    Stereo:Alpine IVA-D900 Head Unit | Alpine PXA-H510 DSP | Boston Pro Component Speakers Upfront | Boston Rally Rear Speakers | 2 Polk 10" Subs in the Trunk | Phoenix Gold Ti900.7 Amp

  6. #6
    Newbie globbits's Avatar
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    All I knows is that it's using Winamp 2 (2.8 I think) as that's the one in the ME directory. More than that is beyond me.

    But then, if you're using ME without any problem, I have to assume it's something I've set up differently from you......?
    Pioneer DEX-P9R h/u / DEQ-P9 eq/dsp
    PPI 5440 amp
    Cerwin Vega 7" components
    2*Focal 5WS subs in the front

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate Skippman's Avatar
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    I'm not actually running ME.
    Stereo:Alpine IVA-D900 Head Unit | Alpine PXA-H510 DSP | Boston Pro Component Speakers Upfront | Boston Rally Rear Speakers | 2 Polk 10" Subs in the Trunk | Phoenix Gold Ti900.7 Amp

  8. #8
    VENDOR - SpatialMinds millec's Avatar
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    Everything I have read indicates that the sound quality of the mini-itx sucks. Maybe if you were using a digital out it would be better, but the analog outputs are totally lame. I have the same problem.

    I am considering using an extigy.

    --C

  9. #9
    Newbie globbits's Avatar
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    Ah - nice one - a fair comparison

    Odd though, that my SB Live wasn't much better - although I could just have been hyper-critical. (That's the problem with setting up a new car-audio system - I spend months listening for things that are wrong with it - rather than how damned fine it sounds )

    Time to invest in a daft sound card, methinks
    Pioneer DEX-P9R h/u / DEQ-P9 eq/dsp
    PPI 5440 amp
    Cerwin Vega 7" components
    2*Focal 5WS subs in the front

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate osirisdon's Avatar
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    OK first thing first. You mention your audio system is border line monitor quality, that said any imperfection in the audio signal will degrade significally. Ex: RCA wires, speakers wires, corrosion on your terminals, poor connections. Another thing to look at is your compressions rate. 128/192 is **** compression and that is a fact. If your sound system is as good as you mention you will notice a HUGE quality loss. Have you tried to listen to a MP3 file on a BOSE system? It sounds horrible.

    Things you might want to check. Try to listen to a Music CD or DVD from your PC, if the sound is still ****, its your sound card. If it sounds just right, its your compression rate. Use diferent players, use WMP, Winamp, have you tried Foobar?

    I seriously doubt its ME, I think the problem is your poor soundcard and or compression rate.

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