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Thread: Planning CARPUTER, have questions about soundcard, and amplifier.

  1. #1
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    Planning CARPUTER, have questions about soundcard, and amplifier.

    Hi ya'll i been researching this for hours and can't find exactly my answer. I want to basically build a small pc ( mini itx probably ) and have it in my dash with a 7" touchscreen ( no headunit ) running windows 7. I also want to buy a car amplifier + car speakers but am not sure how to make it work with the computer. I have read you can use the output from the soundcard to connect to the amplifier.

    But I want to be able to use 4 speakers in my car.
    2 front and 2 rear. And in the future, possibly add a subwoofer.... And most soundcards only have ONE line OUT while the other 2 jacks are mic and line in.
    So that means i only can connect one pair of speakers to the line out correct? And use a Y splitter to get the 2 cables to split into one?
    So that means i would need to get a soundcard with 2 jacks that are able to do LINE OUT correct? and use a Y SPLITTER for the front and a Y SPLITTER for the rear, to the amp?

    I plan on getting this motherboard AT5IONT-I Atom D525 ION

    Intel atom dual core 1.6ghz
    comes with nvidia ION graphics and onboard audio 8 channel. This particular motherboard has 3 jacks on the soundcard. I have read upon it and some soundcards have a "jack sensing feature" which can switch from input to output? So would i just need to find the right card that has a jack sensing feature and then my amplifier would work on all 4 speakers? Im gonna use a M3 DC DC converter. thanks!

    I did not install an amp before or subwoofers in my car so i am new to car audio, but i am very experienced in computers. I am just unsure how to make all 4 speakers work from the onboard sound or will i need to buy an external ASUS XONAR PCI-E card that has multiple outputs? I need 2x 6.5 inch speakers in the rear and 2x 4 inch speakers in the front so i also need to match the right amp for the speakers and make sure the amp works with the soundcard. This is my biggest concern. I am not sure about ohms and watts and what i need. i have seen 2 ohm speakers and 4 ohm speakers and 2 ohm amps and 4 ohm amps and i do not know what i need. All i know is the size is 4 inch for the front and 6.5 inch in the rear so i want to replace those speakers with good ones and get a amp that fits the power level of the speaker and make it all work with the computer along with having the option to add a sub later on.
    Last edited by sranjesuper; 12-03-2011 at 07:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate nasa's Avatar
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    Who says most soundcards only have one line out? USB sound devices offer some possible solutions:

    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro Sound card
    Sewell USB SoundBox 7.1 USB Sound Card

    Another solution is taking the audio out via the optical connection into a DSP processor and then into your speakers. Or you could take your 2-channel audio into something like this...

    http://www.amazon.com/JBL-MS-8-MS-Di.../dp/B003KN2TQ2

    BTW: yes the audio from you sound card can go directly into your amp

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nasa View Post
    Who says most soundcards only have one line out? USB sound devices offer some possible solutions:

    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro Sound card
    Sewell USB SoundBox 7.1 USB Sound Card

    Another solution is taking the audio out via the optical connection into a DSP processor and then into your speakers. Or you could take your 2-channel audio into something like this...

    http://www.amazon.com/JBL-MS-8-MS-Di.../dp/B003KN2TQ2

    BTW: yes the audio from you sound card can go directly into your amp
    thanks for your reply. I have heard of USB SOUNDCARDS and i am wondering are they any good for car pcs? any noise or bad quality? Or is it better getting a ASUS XONAR PCI-E card with gold plated outputs? Btw that DSP processor is a good idea but way too expensive so i can not go that route. Thanks!

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    ok so i have found some speakers that should be good

    i have found POLK AUDIO 4 inch speakers that are rated at 45watts continus or 135watts peak
    and i have found POLK AUDIO 6.5 inch rated at 125 watts continious and 250 watts peak

    so does that mean ill need a amplifier that is capable of doing at least 120watts per channel? I am looking to spend around 300-400 dollars on a 4 channel amp basically.. so i guess we can start from there if these speakers require a much more powerful amp.

  5. #5
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    There is so much written about using the Creative X-Fi in the car, including pros/cons.
    There is less about the Sewell unit, but it's also out there.
    Do some searching on these forums.

    I recommend avoiding any expansion cards, be they AGP, PCI or PCI-E (or even ISA, if you're going old-school).
    The vibrations of the car will cause them to wiggle free. If they come out of the slot while the computer is running, this can destroy hardware.
    Securing expansion cards in their slots requires extra effort, but can be accomplished. Be prepared to crank your thinking cap up to 11 for that one.

    One issue with your speaker selcction. The RMS ratings are different by a wide margin.
    If you have those 4 speakers hooked up to a 4-channel amp w/ 120w RMS, you'll blow the 4" speakers in short order.
    Conversely, if you have them hooked up to a 4-channel amp w/ 40w RMS, you'll underpower the 6.5" speakers.

    I suggest finding speakers that are closer in RMS ratings.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    There is so much written about using the Creative X-Fi in the car, including pros/cons.
    There is less about the Sewell unit, but it's also out there.
    Do some searching on these forums.

    I recommend avoiding any expansion cards, be they AGP, PCI or PCI-E (or even ISA, if you're going old-school).
    The vibrations of the car will cause them to wiggle free. If they come out of the slot while the computer is running, this can destroy hardware.
    Securing expansion cards in their slots requires extra effort, but can be accomplished. Be prepared to crank your thinking cap up to 11 for that one.

    One issue with your speaker selcction. The RMS ratings are different by a wide margin.
    If you have those 4 speakers hooked up to a 4-channel amp w/ 120w RMS, you'll blow the 4" speakers in short order.
    Conversely, if you have them hooked up to a 4-channel amp w/ 40w RMS, you'll underpower the 6.5" speakers.

    I suggest finding speakers that are closer in RMS ratings.
    thanks a lot for your reply dude..

    Ok so after researching more about speakers, you are right and i would blow the weaker speaker. So basically i gotta look for the RMS OUTPUT per channel of the AMP and make sure that it doesnt output more watts than my weakest speaker can handle? cool. So lets say i have 50watts per channel. Would that blow a 45watt speaker? or be borderline? And would 4 speakers at 50 watts each sound good without a subwoofer? im not planning to bring down buildings.... yet... but for 4 speakers at 50 watts each i should be able to put out some good music no?

    and for the X-FI, so you recommend getting the USB version instead?

    Also my plans have changed about the computer.. I have researched and it seems the AMD E350 is better than the INTEL ATOM.

    It uses about the same wattage, and has radeon 6310 which should be better for multimedia than the atom and faster i think. I plan on using a 125watt M3 ATX which i ordered so i think a intel core i3 would waste too much watts plus it would require a video card, which would have over 125 watts probably after everything is assembled. Anyone think that is a good idea with the AMD chip?

    and then i guess ill get the USB soundcard?

  7. #7
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    ^your not going to find much closer-matched speakers.. 4" were never a very popular category, so there is a limited market.. i think the ones you picked out are fine.


    i would get a amp to match the 6.5" speakers rms rating and then connect the 4" speakers to that amp using some 'bass blockers' set to about 300hz. this will help keep everything working for a long time(i ran my old cars setup like that for 2 years).


    the absolute guaranteed way to connect everything is to use multiple rca y-adapters to go between the different amps, and then use the amp input controls to change how/what they do. i can promise this method would work with any amp/soundcard arrangement.

    you can try to use a multiple output soundcard to send the signal to the different amps, but that is a grey area-- there is some gear that will do it, others that won't and still others that do, but with limitations..

    as far as 'ohms', try to get 4 ohm speakers, and don't worry about it on the amp side-- there aren't many amps that don't support them.

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    Low Bitrate agentq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sranjesuper View Post
    But I want to be able to use 4 speakers in my car.
    2 front and 2 rear. And in the future, possibly add a subwoofer.... And most soundcards only have ONE line OUT while the other 2 jacks are mic and line in.
    So that means i only can connect one pair of speakers to the line out correct? And use a Y splitter to get the 2 cables to split into one?
    So that means i would need to get a soundcard with 2 jacks that are able to do LINE OUT correct? and use a Y SPLITTER for the front and a Y SPLITTER for the rear, to the amp?
    Ok on those mini-itx board, you may see for sound connectors Green,Red,Black but sounds card says it can do 5.1. How this works is in windows when you install the sound drivers, in the software you can select between two modes. First being Green=Audio out Red=mic in Black=aux of some sort. Second mode would be your 5.1ch setup, Green=Front L/R Red=Rear L/R Black=Center/Sub. So say you have a 5ch amp, you would get a mini jack to rca cable for each and run these to the amp. Thats how you get get all 5.1 chan out of 3 connectors, granted its a car which will typically be 4.1 and in the software just hit use front L/R for center. Hope you get the idea, and this info has been covered in the FAQ area I believe if not other places for sure.

  9. #9
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    I am currently using the Sound Blaster Live 24 bit External USB sound card.

    Will the Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro usb be any better.

    I'am looking to get better SQ

    Thank you

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentq View Post
    Ok on those mini-itx board, you may see for sound connectors Green,Red,Black but sounds card says it can do 5.1. How this works is in windows when you install the sound drivers, in the software you can select between two modes. First being Green=Audio out Red=mic in Black=aux of some sort. Second mode would be your 5.1ch setup, Green=Front L/R Red=Rear L/R Black=Center/Sub. So say you have a 5ch amp, you would get a mini jack to rca cable for each and run these to the amp. Thats how you get get all 5.1 chan out of 3 connectors, granted its a car which will typically be 4.1 and in the software just hit use front L/R for center. Hope you get the idea, and this info has been covered in the FAQ area I believe if not other places for sure.
    Yeah I am trying to find out from zotac if I can do this with one of the headers on my zbox nano e350 board.
    The other option is hdmi out has multiple channels. Could use something like this: http://www.ambery.com/2hddodtsdihd.html

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