Surround Sound: Internal preamp or external preamp?
I probably plan to use an Epia motherboard for my setup. I like the idea of using the motherboard internal preamp directly to my existing amps because that will keep additional equipment and wiring to a minimum.
However, I've had instances with Windows in the past where for some reason, the volume control is automatically jacked up to max, or some piece of software does it. That can't be good for the amps & speakers, not to mention could scare the pee outta me. Has anyone had this happen in their CarPC setup? Would it be a better idea to drop $200-300 on an external digital sound processor? I know the sound processor would have better sound quality, but I'm not a golden ears audiophile either.
Also, can an Epia's built-in 6-channel sound convert 2-channel analog sources (FM, MP3, etc.) to Dolby Pro-Logic Surround 4.1? I like the surround effect on stereo sources and I think it would be a better use of my rear speakers than as rear fill. If this is not possible, then in that case maybe the external processor would be a better idea since I think they can do it.