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Thread: Car PC goal (digital audio) - how to get there

  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Jul 2007
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    Arlington, Texas
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    Car PC goal (digital audio) - how to get there

    Greetings all -

    I am new to this board and pretty much new to the topic as well. I have pretty extensive experience with home computers dating back to dos & the 286's though, and I built my current PC piece by piece. Hopefully that will make working through my concept and putting together just what I want a bit easier. It is sure nice to have a great group to bounce ideas off from too! I know I've learned a lot from my time on DIY/ECA car audio boards.

    My goal in building a car pc initially is simple, and then I can add to it as I go. First, however, I want to build something capable of extremely high quality audio output. I'm currently using a car head unit with a optical input and a terrific digital to analog converter so, I can keep that for the moment - or if it would work better - I can ditch it in favor of going straight from the pc if I can get the same or better quality signal processing somehow.

    I've been shopping through the 2.5 hard drive cases that have the media player built into them, and they are very close to serving my needs, but they are designed for people to use for hd video and such, which isn't my priority. By this I mean, they have terrific playlist abilities, but only for videos and the audio portion is an afterthought with all files lumped into one or a similar problem.

    So, having no idea about brand quality, and really no clue on what hardware would even be required to accomplish my goal, I turn to you! I'd like to be able to use my ipod video or its files through this system initially too. Things like the GPS option and wifi etc all sound good too - but down the road perhaps since I don't have the budget to just go buy a 2 grand - all in one option right now.

    Just out of curiousity though, how is the G4 (right title?) that is sold here? It sure looks all encompassing and very nice!

    Thanks in advance for your assistance - I hope I'll be able to help others before long instead of leaching experience... but you have to start somewhere!

    Less - Jim
    Sucker for technology!


    *Audison Bit One.1 *Sarotech Digital media player -500gb drive -digital out *Clarion DRZ 9255 HU *McIntosh/Zapco amps * Scan Mids/Tweets *Morel 9" Bass drivers *JBL GTi 12" Sub sealed

  2. #2
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    1,351
    Take a serious look at Auzentech sound cards...
    They use exceptional components, and all (I think) have digital out/optical out...

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    359
    What's your exisitng headunit/dac setup?

    If you're using digital out, I wouldn't waste my money on an expensive sound card. I'd simply ensure it can ouput at both 44.1 and 48khtz over digital (from memory many creative labs based chips are locked to 48/96khtz meaning any 44.1 source is going to be re-sampled by a non standard multiple).

    The biggest decision you have to make is how you're going to control the volume?

    If you want to do it in the digital domain (i.e. before the DAC) then a bit shaving alogrithm will be employed - finding one that shaves bits without hurting the quality will be your challenge here.

    If you don't what that trouble the look at controlling the volume in the analog domain. In which case incorporating your existing headunit may achieve this.

  4. #4
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    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Little Elm, Texas
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    13,500
    If you're just wanting optical, no need to spend the money on a high end sound card. Most of the money there goes into the DAC that's on the card to send the audio from digital to audio.

    Instead, spend your money on a good DAC downstream from the computer.

    It is possible, VERY possible, to get EXTREMELY high end audio quality out of a CarPC...

    Because it's what I'm into, I've created a HIGH END solutions forum in the car audio sub forum. That's specifically for Car Audio as it's related to CarPCs mind you.

    I'll just put it this way...and not to be a downer, but instead to be a realist...if you can think it, someone has probably already done it or is already working on it....like tuning done 100% via the PC...

    Good luck and be sure to learn how to use the search, it's going to become your best friend.
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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