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Thread: 5.1 to Car Audio Question

  1. #11
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    Is there actually a site out there that one can search for amps with options like optical inputs? I haven't had any luck finding any.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraziFuzzy View Post
    If you are going optical, I certainly wouldn't pay money for a 'premium' sound card... you could get a cheap USB-SPDIF card and get accurate digital duplication out the optical on it just as well as on a $300 sound card...
    that is a slightly debatable topic due to the quality of the components used in the soundcard-- some feel that you NEED to have tight tolerance electronics to get quality sound, so cheap sound cards don't fit into that..


    for the optical amps-- this thread in the car audio faq's(though, the main poster, redgti, doesn't post much, so some of the info might be out of date): 5.1 Amplifiers with Optical inputs

  3. #13
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    I didn't have much luck finding any SPDIF input -> 4.1/5.1 DACs but I did realise that there's the Creative X-Fi Surround 5.1 which may be of use. It has a USB input and the outputs you need in a car if you use 4 channel amp and sub amp and connect the centre channel to the sub amp. The software should allow you to switch to 4.1 surround. Here's their link:

    http://uk.store.creative.com/product...id=17751&nav=1

    I currently use a Creative Sound Blaster Connect with my Alpine 2ch amp, and the Connect is the same DAC but only with 2 channels (didn't feel the need for more in my MR2). Does a great job.

  4. #14
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    i tried the x-fi for a little while-- DO NOT USE with a intel 954glc board-- the combo extends post at least 15-30 seconds..

    otherwise, it seems like a decent card, as long as you don't install everything on the included cd(lots and lots of bloatware)

  5. #15
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    as for amp's which have the optical inputs....

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    that is a slightly debatable topic due to the quality of the components used in the soundcard-- some feel that you NEED to have tight tolerance electronics to get quality sound, so cheap sound cards don't fit into that..
    The one exception to that is spdif...you need to deal with drift and jitter but all but the crappiest cards take care of that. Its all 1's and 0's...even if that 1 is slightly less defined its still a 1.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    i'll try to stay on the low technical side, but no promises

    5.1 audio is almost useless in the car.

    most audio sources that you will listen to, like cd's, mp3's, nav directions, radio, etc. are stereo sources-- meaning that your sub, and center channel would be wasted purchases without expensive audio processing that would convert that stereo signal to a 5.1 audio signal.. even then, it is not easy to convert some files, and not other ones..

    the second problem with 5.1 in the car is speaker-to-seat placement.
    almost every single speaker in the car is in a poor position relative to the seats to give a true 5.1 sound stage.

    again, it is possible to use audio processing to adjust this for 1 seat, but i don't believe that it is possible to get a perfect sound stage from all seats without lots of vehicle reconstruction, and moving the speakers from their stock locations.

    5.1 audio is extremely tough to do, and in most cases, it is not worth the extra expense in a car environment for the little amount of usage it will get.

    it might be more usable if you are creating a movie-car, or a show car, but not worth it for a daily driver, imo..

    but otherwise, i would only worry about connecting the front, and sub channels(not all motherboards support using the rear speaker outputs for a stereo source)
    I agree with most of what you said but a couple of things you might have missed:

    1. My Infiniti FX35, also the Sequoia too only sounds NAV directions from the center and/or left front speaker, to minimize the sound reduction in other channels and not to bother rear passeger with driving directions. So if you just yank the central speaker while keeping the nav engine (voice control too for A/C, radio, NAV, etc.), you may miss a lot of info...

    That's why I chose to keep my OEM unit, it would be HARD to keep all the other systems working...It's not only radio, it's bluetooth, voice control, nav, etc. all integrated.


    2. The Infiniti M35/45/56 do have 5.1 sound from the factory (BOSE premium option). Speaker placement? How about two rear speakers in the headrest area (plus all the others). I think some Lexus (Mark Levinson) and Jaguar (B&W) also come with such goodies. I DO know that the sound on the M35 is great (although it's crappy BOSE, the 5.1 rendition is not crappy).


    3. There's also the DVD Audio and Super Audio CD (DVD-A and SACD), which do come with 5.1 audio and they DO sound great with correct speaker placement.

    But not many do listen to that in the car, of course, just want to point that out what's out there (OEM) and do some justice to Infiniti here (top notch electronics of any car I've ever driven).

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipplingHurst View Post
    1. My Infiniti FX35, also the Sequoia too only display NAV direction sound from the center and/or left front speaker, to minimize the sound reduction in other channels and not to bother rear passeger with driving directions. So if you just yank the central speaker while keeping the nav engine (voice control too for A/C, radio, NAV, etc.), you may miss a lot of info...
    I've got a somewhat similar setup going with my carpc. While I don't have a 'proper' center channel in my old 2000 Expedition, I do use the internal speaker in my EBY701 for nav voice (along with the front left). I'm using an Audigy card with kx drivers, allowing me to fully tweak the sound paths.

    Basically, when Mrs. Nav-Lady is speaking, it quiets the media to the front speakers, (slightly drops the rears as well), and plays her back through front left and 'center'. (Media doesn't ever play out the center). really is a great setup. The DACs in the Audigy are passable, but certainly not perfect.. that said, I'm putting it into a cheap amp right now, so it's not a huge issue yet. However, the great thing about the Audigy board, is that it contains full quality SPDIF outputs (discrete Stereo SPDIF signals, instead of compressed AC3), allowing the use of higher quality DAC's if I feel the need later on.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer - Bi-Fuel Gasoline/CNG
    Intel D945GCLF2 w/512MB RAM, CL Audigy w/KxProject, M2-ATX, Lilliput EBY701

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post
    The one exception to that is spdif...you need to deal with drift and jitter but all but the crappiest cards take care of that. Its all 1's and 0's...even if that 1 is slightly less defined its still a 1.
    Well, not only are the 1's skinnier, and more 'one-like', the 0's are much rounder, and more 'zero-like'...

    Just make sure you use an expensive 'high quality' optical cable, too... light will travel faster through them, reducing jitter....
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer - Bi-Fuel Gasoline/CNG
    Intel D945GCLF2 w/512MB RAM, CL Audigy w/KxProject, M2-ATX, Lilliput EBY701

  10. #20
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    I think I am just going to stick with the analog outs from a Xonar D2X... It seems to open up a larger pool of possibilities as far as amps are concerned.

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