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Thread: Sound card Advice

  1. #1
    Formerly known as Andehh Andeh13's Avatar
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    Sound card Advice

    I am in the market for a cheap, small soundcard. The motherboard I have isn't producing a strong enough signal/enough power to drive the amp/sub I have in my carPC. With the amp turned all the way up I can only just hear the sub & speaking to people on the carPC forums it is because of the motherboard's low power output for the speakers.

    The easiest fix for this is a more powerful external soundcard.

    I know nothing about soundcards, aisde from the principle behind them. As a result can anyone offer any suggestions on somethings thats a) cheap and b) small as possible (though non essential. It doesn't need any fancy features, just be more powerful then the mobo in built soundports.

    Cheers guys

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    Now with added Ruffus Dog Tattysnuc's Avatar
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    Re: Sound card Advice

    Are you using the Line out or the earphone out? I've found that they vary quite a bit, so if you've tried one, switch to the other. Most have some sort of software gain control.
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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Sound card Advice

    Asus Xonar DG

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    Formerly known as Andehh Andeh13's Avatar
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    Re: Sound card Advice

    It is just connected to the output jacks at the back. Green one goes through a series of splitters until it hits the amp, which is connected to the speakers. This is plenty loud enough & i have the amp set to 1/3rd power just so i dont blow the speakers!

    The sub/amp is the only one I am having issues with, and it is connected to the orange (sub output) jack on the mobo? is that what you mean?

    Thanks kalniel, any particular reason for that one? is there a way of telling it it more powerful then a generic mobo output jack?

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Sound card Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Andehh View Post
    It is just connected to the output jacks at the back. Green one goes through a series of splitters until it hits the amp, which is connected to the speakers. This is plenty loud enough & i have the amp set to 1/3rd power just so i dont blow the speakers!

    The sub/amp is the only one I am having issues with, and it is connected to the orange (sub output) jack on the mobo? is that what you mean?

    Thanks kalniel, any particular reason for that one? is there a way of telling it it more powerful then a generic mobo output jack?
    Two ways - 1) it's got a high signal to noise ratio, so they can dial the signal up without worrying about noise so much and more relevantly 2) If you use the headphone out then it'll amplify the signal for you as it's got a pre-amp built in - but that's only 2.0 output. You're worrying specifically about sub level so I'm not so sure on that one - the Asus software should allow you to control crossover frequencies etc. though to help get the most out of it.

    The other reason for that one is price - it's dirt cheap and fits in a normal PCI slot. It's also tiny!

    Lots of reviews on the web for it too.

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    Re: Sound card Advice

    Did not know that's how you could tell - in terms of mobo output jack - helpful stuff. Thanks.

  10. #7
    Formerly known as Andehh Andeh13's Avatar
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    Re: Sound card Advice

    I have the soundcard installed and it has helped, in the sense that the outputs are more powerful then the mobo, which means everything seems a bit louder.

    As a result I have dialed down the amp that powers the speakers, leaving the usb turned up tot he highest. This has made a difference emphasising the sub output & bass.


    My issue now is the sound card is set to output 5.1 sound (fine), so it now sends a signal to the sub via the orange jack. My issue is that it isn't sending the bass freq - rather the same freq the speakers are getting. This really muddys out the subs signal, ruining the bass totally (if i mute the speakers i can more or less hear the song, lyrics etc being forced through the sub).

    Can anyone think of a work around to this? i have gone through the soundcard's settings, but this is a new area for me, so I am not 100% sure what it is i am looking for.

  11. #8
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Sound card Advice

    On my Asus software I have a tab called 'flexBass' - that page controls crossover frequency so what gets sent to the sub and what doesn't.

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    Formerly known as Andehh Andeh13's Avatar
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    Re: Sound card Advice

    I will have a good look for it later, any recommendations on a good freq to set it to?

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Sound card Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Andehh View Post
    I will have a good look for it later, any recommendations on a good freq to set it to?
    Not without knowing what speakers you have. You should have a frequency response curve for your normal speakers and your sub. If the sub is particularly badly affected by trying to play higher frequencies then concentrate on the curve for the normal speakers and the lower end - set the crossover to just above the point the response starts to drop.

    If in doubt, experiment!

    Definitely get to know the other tabs as well - mixer can help you balance out your speakers (and send more volume to the sub, if still needed).

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  16. #11
    Formerly known as Andehh Andeh13's Avatar
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    Re: Sound card Advice

    I think I love you kalniel. Sub still sounds off, but its all working at least! That soundcard effectively pre-amping the signal to the main amps has boosted everything up enough for me to have a decent amount of wiggle room to adjust everything up & down as i see fit.

    Found the Flexibase options as well (working on a 7" screen makes everything easy to miss ) and got more adjustments there to play with, so hopefully through blind luck, lack of intelligence, and a ham fisted approach I'll figure something out!
    Last edited by Andeh13; 08-02-2011 at 11:35 AM. Reason: speeling

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