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Thread: Advice on build with Android phone and high quality sound output.

  1. #1
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    Aug 2010
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    Advice on build with Android phone and high quality sound output.

    I have been toying with the idea of a carputer ever since I used to use an old laptop for a front end. I used to be MECP certified back in the 90's and collect "old school" car audio from that era. Sadly most of the Headunits from that time period werent built to last like the amps(in most cases).

    So here I am in 2014, finding that technology changes nearly daily; especially on the fringes like carputers. I am not new to building computers, HTPCs, etc, but I'm not much on programming/coding.

    What I have...

    Old school ESX amps, Orion NT mids/highs, Gen1 Kicker Solo 10's....all that works great.

    External 2TB HD, I like my music lossless, sorry...mp3 doenst sound good to me. I have more than one vehicle, and though each would have their own carputer, I would like to have the EXT HD be portable, preferably through an esata connection.

    Android S4

    JRiver for my whole house media server.

    What I need...

    An "audiophile" grade front end for my car. I have seen Android based FEs, apparently as stand alone units that I guess use bluetooth as the main integration method to stock or aftermarket audio. What I want to do is have my Android control the carputer that has a digital output(or a *really* nice inboard dac that can do multichannel output, and digital time delay for "time alignment" from each speaker...all are actively crossed-over). I have a few older time alignment units, but I want to start anew as I doubt there is much support for integrating those units into my "dream system". I am not looking for surround sound, but those outputs can, in some cases, be re-purposed for what I need...at least 8 channel output to each amplifier channel. Jriver would be nice but I'm still not "sold" on that as a suitable front end for my media. I obviously would like everything to be seamless...but I know that might be asking alot. I am not a fan of bluetooth, except for control functions. Basically I would want to use my Android as a remote control for my carputer(along with a double din touch screen for redundancy). Primarily interested in audio...maybe video, but all the other bells and whistles that I have found here are secondary.

    I have many more questions but I am hoping that someone can point me in the right direction if there is a thread that I have missed, or someone already doing what I want.

    Thanks for your time.....Nathan

  2. #2
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    Apr 2013
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    Nathan - for $20 the Behringer UCA202 has a burr-brown chip and works with my Nexus tab. Using one with my carPC as well.

    All that being said, I think you should re-evaluate your tendencies. I ripped some music into various compressions and then reconverted to WAV format so they were all the same size. Passed these to my audiophile friends and had them determine which song sounded better blind. Encouraged the use of headphones. At some point the mp3 compression was indiscernible for them. Some even at low compressions. For myself it becomes obvious at an earlier point than most, but having over 30 combined years of music lessons and tons of professional time in live music reproduction has my ear trained better than most.

    I bring this up not to discourage FLAC or space, but the chase for a really great source isn't so necessary. Even a stock Android device in general has a good enough source when put into a reasonable DSP to deal with the speakers you have installed. In a car, there are many portions of the audio that almost have no bearing on the output. The source and the amplifier being the two major that really don't make much difference as the quality today is all really high. (excluding crap of course)

  3. #3
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    Apr 2013
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    So what I am saying is focus HARD core on installation of the speakers and how they are chosen for which location as this is the biggest bang for the buck there is and will be the limiting factor no matter what.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2010
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    Well ironically the UCA202 is what I used to use for my laptop for a toslink out to a soundstream dac(the one supposedly designed by Krell. It does what it is supposed to, but I find it a bit "bulky" for what I am looking to do. As for the installation...believe me, it is already "HARD core". Complete stealth, even down to the Orion nt1(ads built) tweets in the stock pillar location. The only thing I might add is a pair of 4" upper mids, but the nt8" woofer/mid does fairly well into the upper octaves. I just need something to replace my sony c90 and 4000x.

    As for my "really gerat source" I have found alot of really well recorded music, across all genres that you can certainly tell the difference between lossless and compressed. I use my Conrad Johnson PV1 and MV52 with customized Magnepans for a reference, Beyerdynamic Dt770 Pro80's through a Parasound Zpre2 as a HP amp for more "critical" listening. Though a little bass heavy the Beyers reveal just about all "recording" deficiencies. Ive been doing car/home/pro audio for over 20 years, and playing guitar for over 30...

    That being said, we each have our own ears and our own perceptions.

    A few things I would like to add to my original "wish list" that I forgot in the initial post is the ability to record audio/video with a 360 degree view. I figure four good "wide" lenses and again dont want to use "wireless". I dont want a bunch of GoPros all over the place, just nice stealth cameras that can load to the cloud in realtime, both for security and for an accident/driving "black box" function.

    Am I asking too much, or should I just go back to lurking and keep "my stealth to my self"...a lesson hard learned after a someone stole thousands of dollars in Autotek BTS amps after a stereo comp in the 90's...FWIW, the LAST time I competed, but not the last time I judged. For me...its all gotta be stealth.....

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