Building a car computer audio system...

By Per Hansson ยท 11 replies
Jun 1, 2003
  1. Right now I have an Alpine 3DE-7887R cd-changer in my car, accepting regular audio cd's only:


    Mid- range sound is produced via it's built in 4x40w RMS amplifier connected to two rear speakers (MDS Fanatic 3-way 6.3") and two regular 4" front speakers
    The bass is produced via a Pioneer 10" speaker in a closed box, connected to the stereo via a Coustic amplifier and Coustic Active Crossover:


    What I had in mind was to get rid of the Alpine stereo and build myself a computer the same size as the stereo...

    Power distribution and size considerations of the components will I not have any problem with...

    It's just the I've heard that the built-in soundcard in the VIA mini-itx mainboards is quite poor so I was thinking of using the VIA Envy 24HT soundcard instead:


    Though what I don't know is if this will work or not, I.e. can I simply connect an RCA cable between the soundcard and amplifier and get as good sound as I currently get with my Alpine stereo? I.e. are the outputs on a computer soundcard low impedance outputs?

    Of course I will need a new amplifier for the front and rear speakers but in theory would this work?

    [UPDATE] If anyone knows where the above soundcard can be bought be sure to let me know also;)

    But first I need to know if the outputs indeed are low impedance, I.e. 100ohms...

    Any soundcard with three separate low impendance RCA output channels will do, if they are in the range of 100ohms and offer sound-clarity at the level of VIA Envy/Audigy2...
  2. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,957   +214


  3. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,957   +214

    Please, with sugar on top?
  4. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    I'm not sure of the impedance of the outputs, but you can always check them and if necessary, you can use a matching transformer to lower or raise them as needed and it should work fine.
  5. bedlam_4

    bedlam_4 TS Rookie Posts: 156

    Watch the movie Fast and Furious.
  6. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,957   +214

    That would be a quite bulky solution that would also introduce noise and clarity degradation. (If not done completley properly)

  7. bedlam_4

    bedlam_4 TS Rookie Posts: 156

    Sorry, those guys had pretty cool computers running different systems in their cars.
    You could to, or go with a car adapted mp3 player.

    For a specific answere to your tech question you might call Radio Shack
  8. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,957   +214

    They had pretty nice systems in their cars yes... Though what I want is something different... Not something just anyone can go out and buy if (s)he has the dough...
    What I simply need to know is if this soundcard has low impedance outputs, and if it doesn't, I'd like another card (preferrably with RCA outputs) and three channels just like this one...
  9. bedlam_4

    bedlam_4 TS Rookie Posts: 156

    OH yeah right. k well i'm sure that I don't know. I think that if it doesn't though - the Audigy Platinum series do. I didn't think that components made for A.C. based power would work with D.C. 12 or 24 volt systems. So thats why I would call radio shack.
  10. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,957   +214

    All components in a computer are 12v DC and below...

    It's only your powersupply that converts the 110-230v AC to DC voltages your computer can use...

    Thus I can get away with a very cheap powersupply to use in the car since it already has 12v DC and all I have to do is buy a powersupply which supplies that current to the computer...
  11. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,957   +214

    VIA got back to me today with a reply, they recommended the M-Audio Delta410 soundcard but where not certain if it had low impendance outputs or not...
    I've now sent a question to M-Audio, we will see what their answer is...
  12. sxotty

    sxotty TS Rookie

    I have been contemplating this myself.

    I thought that a touch screen LCD on the front, or a trackball built in somehow would be the way to go. Plus USB, and Mic input which would allow for quite a cariety of things.

    Anyway is the amplifier you are discussing one that is made for car stereos? If so it won't really work b/c the output from a soundcard on the computer will be the same as the output to headphones (unamplified basically). If you hook this to a regular amp it will still be way to quiet.

    Maybe I am wrong, but I think that is the case b/c I tried hooking up a portable cd/mp3 player directly to an amp once and it was way to quiet.
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