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Leopold Dilg
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Joined: Sep 6 2007 - 9:26pm
BoomBoxzilla

Hi all,

Well I'd given up on forums in this quest but I stumbled by your place here and read some threads and thought, what the hell, yeah they're audiophiles but maybe they will find it in their hearts to help a lowly music lover.

And I promise not to say I like mp3s, that has a tendency to make the crickets chirp even louder.

My musical evolution (maybe I'll be walking upright by the time it's over);

45s>LPs>8track>cassette>CD>digital

Having had some "on air" experience spinning platters and having done some mobile DJ work (back when I had to lug boxes of 45s and LPs) when I finally plugged a decent 2.1 speaker system into my computer and started listening to (well I guess I gotta say the "M" word) mp3s, I was amazed at how good it sounded. And, how easy it was to select cuts, create playlists etc. Then, I got a laptop. Plugged in the same 2.1 speaker system and realized but for the power output I had something that was light years ahead of the old mobile DJ hardware in almost every respect.

And when I set this stuff up for other people, I found that like me, they were amazed how good it sounded. But like horsepower (as someone mentioned in another thread) I want more. I want to be able to set this mobile system up and rattle the windows. But to add the power I want I feel I need a dedicated power amp. I figure I'll do well with a powered sub but the amp that caught my eye is the Crown XS500.

I'm told (by someone selling them of course) that I can go from my Audigy 2Z sound card straight to the amp.

The same person pointed out to me that there are rack mount cases made that have a laptop compartment on top with the amp down below. But I've been looking at an 8U rack (the amp is 2U) so I'll have 6Us left over for whatever else I want to put in it. The idea here is to have a powerful, portable system. To some, portable means something you can stick in your back pocket. To me, it means something I can button up and throw in the trunk. Yeah, it'll be heavy but I can handle it.

Now here's where the story takes another turn. I start looking at 1U and 2U computer cases and since I used to build computers, I happen to have almost all the parts to build two desktops right here in the airtight garage. So I think, why not save the wear and tear on the laptop and just add a full computer to the 8U rack? I also use the LT for other things, tuning my drag car etc so if I built a machine to go into the rack, it would be pretty much a dedicated music machine. I could trim the OS down so that it would make the most of the resources I have already (CPU, ram, etc.) And, I can look at another OS since I don't have to worry about compatibility with all my windows software, maybe even Linux. And there are many more sound cards available for desktops than laptops.

These are my thoughts, this is what I'd like to do.

Does anyone have any input or suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Leo

Windzilla
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Re: BoomBoxzilla

whatever you do don't go analogue out from an audigy to the crown. the environment in computers is full of nasty electronic interference. you'll be better off using something to take a digital signal from the audigy (if thats what you use) and doing the Digital Audio Conversion in a dedicated separate component, then feed that to the amp. I would look into the many offerings by M-audio. they offer some USB stuff that would eliminate the need for an audigy (I have one from years ago, at dosn't get much use.)

another option, since you have free bays, is to get a unit like the berhinger DEQ2496. this would allow you to do some on the fly room calibrations, as well as serve as an external DAC.

anyway, good luck, and if your building a PC, why not pick up a 500gig HD and have everything compressed in a lossless format like FLAC? mp3's are great, but if you don't need to compress that much, why would you?

cheers!

Leopold Dilg
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Re: BoomBoxzilla

Wow, thanks for the quick, comprehensive reply WZ! It just so happens, (really, I'm not making this up) that I clicked back over here from looking at M-audio stuff at Newegg. I'm thinking that since this whole "new" thing of building a dedicated machine (computer) for this boombox from hell, I'll get something else other than a "creative" product. This is what I like about doing the dedicated CPU, it opens up so many options.

Keep it coming folks, I may just get this thing put together right!
Leo

Leopold Dilg
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Re: BoomBoxzilla

Another chapter to this saga is that Music Match is the player/ripper I've been using for years and it was sold to Yahoo! hoo proceeded to to change it to the point that I'm also in the market for another player and also another source for downloading $.99 cuts. In investigating FLAC I noticed that WinAmp is about the only program that has no problem with either playing or ripping to FLAC.

Leo

Windzilla
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Re: BoomBoxzilla

for your amp, if your really looking for a party blaster, and not intent on anything resembling critical listening, how about going for the crown XTI series, they are digital chip-based amps, weigh less, run cooler and require less power. the Xti1000 is around the same price as the solid state you mentioned but puts out a whopping 1400w. The digital amps often offer a special soft clipping function (similar to NAD perhaps?) so as not to blow out a speaker. combine that with a UPS backup battery and you'd have an hour+ of seriously loud sound, with about as pure a power source that you can find.

as for music players, Winamp is actually pretty good. The good folks over at slimdevices offer up there great slimserver software free. it is open source and you don't need there squeezebox to use it. this allows for great plugins/extensions and some first class organizational tools for a big library.

speaking of libraries, give Exact audio copy a try if your ripping from CD's.

thats lots of crazy stuff, but you defiantly could put together a unique system that way. Audiophile in its own way

Leopold Dilg
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Re: BoomBoxzilla

Anymore thoughts, ideas, anyone?

Help create The Monster!

Leo

cyclebrain
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Re: BoomBoxzilla

Yea, I would never trust having a computer driving an amp directly. Maybe not an issue, but I would insist on having a good old fashion analog volume control somewhere in between the two. Computers do too many wierd things.

Leopold Dilg
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Joined: Sep 6 2007 - 9:26pm
Re: BoomBoxzilla


Quote:
Computers do too many wierd things.

Yep, true this. Might not be an issue with a $50 2.1 set up but with beau coup power no telling what might happen.

Thanks for your response, you guys have been very helpful and I appreciate it.

Now if I can just decide whether to go 1U or 2U on the computer. I'll need at least 2 PCI slots, one for the vid card, one for the sound card. The mobo I already have doesn't have onboard vid. So I guess 2U it is...this 8U rack is filling up fast. I wanted to add at least one of those locking drawers for accessories and I'm still up in the air about whether or not to try to have the keyboard and monitor somewhere in this rack. I could get another for that, a 4U maybe...I dunno....

Leo

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