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Red GTi VR6
Red GTi VR6's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jul 11 2006 - 9:25am
Help with equipment in CarPC

Now that I'm sure I've turned a lot of people off on this post, perhaps someone will be curious enough to look further at the content.

The situation:

I compete on a national level in Car Audio Sound Quality competitions. This is not the loud boom boom you probably think of when you're thinking of car audio. This is trying to accurately reproduce the sound stage in a vehicle.

Last year I was the USACi Intermediate Consumer 0-600 watt world champion and the Intermediate Consumer Best of Show. This past weekend I took 5th place in IASCA World Finals for the Amature Street class.

I'm currently running a CarPC that I sourced all the product for and built myself. My husband and I also did 100% of our install in our garage, paying only for paint and vinyl work. What I'm getting at is that I'm pretty serious about this stuff.

As such, I'm always looking for new options. Currently I'm using a 31 band 1/3 octave eq in the car (for a total of 171 possible bands of EQ). It's the Alpine H701 processor. This processor takes a tos-link input. I'm using an optical cable in from my Audigy ZS 2 sound card. This card allows me to run bit perfect playback.

Ultimately I'd like to do away with the Alpine processor and do everything on the computer.

This means finding a USB DAC or the like, to take a signal, and convert it to at least 5 channel RCA out. I will also require high output voltages on these RCA outs. So far, all I've found is 2v, nothing higher. I'm looking for at least 4 volt output.

With this set-up, naturally I'll need a program that will allow me to tune on at least a 1/3 octave 30 band EQ. Time alignment, phasing, and a cross over would be necessary as well.

I'm almost positive that the software side of things would be the easy part. But what about the DAC? Does anyone have any insight?

Thanks for your time!

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Last seen: 6 years 7 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: Help with equipment in CarPC

Hi Jan - Congratulations on your achievements. That's really cool. I'm not very well versed in the whole Car Audio world... I'm only familiar with what my pal, Wes Phillips (before he was my pal), covered in some of his Stereophile columns a number of years ago, and a couple of pro installations that a friend had put into his Porsche.

From what I've read, I seem to recall USB DACs having very poor jitter performance. This might be enough to compromise your sound. Over the years, several components in my various main rigs employed (and still do) jitter reduction. I know high jitter is not good for good sound. Hopefully, someone more knowledgeable will chime in and assist you, but, I'd be careful about the choice of USB as an interface.

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