Car stereo subs converted for PC

redsmurf

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I'm wondering if there is some way to connect car subwoofers to my PC.
I want to place 3 "12 inch Alpine subs around my PC, for use with Games, music, and movies.
I only have the subs and the amp (no car speakers), so ideally the setup would use my current PC speakers (Creative 2.1). Is it possible? Ever heard of a setup like this?
These subs absolutley pound in a car- but would they sound as good in an open area?
 

phsstpok

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One problem with using car subwoofers is power. The amplifiers run off of 12V DC and use a lot of current.

Relatively low powered subs (say 100 watts and less) will use the car battery's reserves for peak power demands but higher powered subs use large capacitors to supplement power. I don't know how it is done with the killer sound systems they have today.

<b>56K, slow and steady does not win the race on internet!</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by phsstpok on 06/27/04 07:01 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

redsmurf

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I think I might take the easy route and pick up a high end desktop package instead. It'll be more reliable that way- considering my limited audio-technical knowledge.
 

Crashman

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There are other solutions. You could get a home stereo with subwoofer output and connect your system to that.

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phsstpok

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Solutions are possible, but it depends on what hardware he has.

If he has amps plus powered subs then he has the 12V problem.

If he has separate amps and raw drivers then he could connect the drivers to a home amplifier fed by the Subwoofer output of his soundcard. Needs to be careful of loads.

I don't see how a home stereo with a subwoofer output would help. The Subwoofer output would be RCA level.

<b>56K, slow and steady does not win the race on internet!</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by phsstpok on 06/30/04 02:03 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

Crashman

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Yes, that's true of most component recievers. However some cheap all-in-one home stereos have amplified sub outputs. Anyway, I was just thinking of my last home sub, which was powered by the speaker lines and had a crossover built in with speaker outputs. But I don't even want to think about crossover construction right now!

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phsstpok

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" However some cheap all-in-one home stereos have amplified sub outputs."

I was wondering what you meant.

Years ago, before there were cheap powered subwoofers, I wanted to build a subwoofer. Back then electronic crossovers were only high-end and way out of my budget. The parts for passive crossovers weren't too expensive but I decided that by the time I tried the various parts, tuning the subwoofer, I thought the project could end up expensive. Besides, I've listened to some really terrible passive subwoofers over the years and didn't want to end up with one. So I never did build it. A killer subwoofer wouldn't be such great idea in an apartment anyway.



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Crashman

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I used to make high end speaker enclosures, I used passive crossovers without issue, but it's a pain in the ass if you have a 4 ohm sub and would like to be able to use 4-ohm or 8-ohm surrounds. Most home stereos can handle the 4-ohm load even though they're usually designed for 8-ohm speakers.

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phsstpok

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One thing that would make it easier for adding just a subwoofer (as opposed to building a whole speaker array from scratch) is that you can choose the loading, at least for a simple project of 1 driver and one crossover (or even just a low bandpass filter). I think (but I'll bow to your superior knowledge) that subwoofer drivers are usually dual voice coil, intended to receive stereo channels. However, the coils can be configured serially for a single input, changing the nominal load from 4-ohm to 8-ohm, not counting crossovers.


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Crashman

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No bowing needed, but most of the car subs I've seen have been single voice coil. Single voice coils are cheaper to produce, and most people who build their own boxes want at least 2 subs anyway. But you're right, dual voice coil subs can be wired in series to provide 8-ohm loads, or (for the extreme stereo guys), parallel for a 2-ohm load on those super heavy-duty amps.

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phsstpok

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[Way off-topic now]

What's the advantage of low impedence loads other than being able to say you have a gazillion watts? Does lower impedence mean greater sensitivity? I'd love to see one of those uber car amplifiers. The amount of current they must put out boggles my mind.

I've got a home stereo amp that peaks at 40 amps and it's just a 100 watt amplifier (200 into 4 ohms). Those car amps must put out considerably more current than that.

<b>56K, slow and steady does not win the race on internet!</b>
 

Crashman

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Yes, it's actually the Gazillion Watts factor, hehe, less resistance drawing more amps. Remember that it takes 10x the power to make 2x the sound, hence 50,000 watt competition stereos being twice as loud as 5,000 show stereos being twice as loud at 500W thug systems being twice as loud as 50W typical car audio.

Competition woofers are supremely innefficent, typically having 87-89 db at 1 watt, compared to 91-93 db at 1 watt for the good sounding stuff.

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