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Old October 24, 2008, 06:00 PM
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Default Audio cards with a reference line out

I've asked this before, but at the time my understanding was that there were only software solutions and I'm wondering if there is anything out there now.

What I'm looking for is a computer Audio card which outputs a fixed level analog signal similar to what a cassette deck or CD player would output to an amp.

Any ideas?
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Old October 25, 2008, 09:32 AM
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That is almost ANY onboard or add-in soundcard. They all follow the Line Level specification which IIRC, is about 2volts. This is why they call the output a line output to signify that you can use the device for audio input or output to ANY other consumer audio component, it is just a matter of cables or adapters for some. The Auzen cards (XM,Prelude) are the exception as they have hotter outputs, pushing about 5 volts...
They can still be used you just have to be carful you don't overdrive some types of gear.

Your HT OMEGA Striker 7.1 should have a compatible line-level output for conenction to a receiver or amplifier. Hope this helps.
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Old October 25, 2008, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
That is almost ANY onboard or add-in soundcard. They all follow the Line Level specification which IIRC, is about 2volts. This is why they call the output a line output to signify that you can use the device for audio input or output to ANY other consumer audio component, it is just a matter of cables or adapters for some. The Auzen cards (XM,Prelude) are the exception as they have hotter outputs, pushing about 5 volts...
They can still be used you just have to be carful you don't overdrive some types of gear.

Your HT OMEGA Striker 7.1 should have a compatible line-level output for conenction to a receiver or amplifier. Hope this helps.
I'll do some more digging, but maybe I'm not understanding something here.... in my mind a line-out (as opposed to a speaker-out) should not be affected by volume settings in windows. The amp is what should control the sound levels but every time I've tried to use a "line-out" the signal level is changed by windows.

Am I missing something, or am I asking too much?
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Old October 25, 2008, 01:28 PM
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The line_out will be affected by the volume panel but only within the specifications of line_level. Many Consumer audio devices don't have control for the output levels, However many of them do, I have a dual cassette deck I use for transfer that allow you to control the output level, however even if it is cranked it is still within the limits of the line_level specifications.
I have my soundcard connected to all kinds of audio gear from a Cassette deck, CD player, Equalizer, Frequency analyzer to a 12 channel audio mixer and external recording effects.
The consumer gear is all built to this standards so any one device can be connected to any other. Does this make sense?

to me the difference between a line_out and a speaker out is nothing more then the levels. Both can have level controls but line_level is within the smaller voltage range that is compatible with other gear and the speaker_out can be, well any level your device has been designed to drive. PC audio cards have line-level inputs and output so you can connect them to receviers, CD players, whatever you feel like. It is all compatible becasue it is line-level. There are a few exceptions. Turntables may require a preamp to bring it up to line_level..etc..

Why are you asking, or more importantly what are you thinking of doing?

Last edited by Robscix; October 25, 2008 at 01:34 PM.
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Old October 25, 2008, 05:15 PM
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Ok, I guess I wasn't completely clear on what a proper line level output would be. I understand from your explanation that it's a max o/p of 2V.

The reason I'm asking is that my young lad is now driving a couple of Cerwin Vega D7s with a kenwood 100W amp with his computer as the audio source. My concern was that he not blow these speakers by overdriving the amp (he doesn't have a very good ear for distortion yet... seems to me I suffered from the same "problem" when I was his age... :) ) he went through a nice set of older missions a year ago with a similar setup.

I think I've got it into his head (by explaining the basics of amplification vrs the input level) that the output from the computer needs to be kept down, but I'd feel a lot more comfortable if the computer was only putting out a fixed level output.
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Old October 25, 2008, 05:38 PM
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No, if he is just connecting up the line-level to a amplifier, this is done all the time. You can keep the line level down to about half way if you want to feel safer. If he is blowing speakers it wouldn't be because of the line-input...perhaps he is driving the speakers to high when Mom and Dad aren't around. Connecting up the PC is the same as connecting up a CD player or tape deck, only you can vary the output level. Hope this helps.
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Old October 25, 2008, 05:42 PM
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Ok thanks.

So since I'm using my Striker to o/p Coax Spdif and he's still using pretty old onboard sound I'm thinking that he'd be better served with the striker, and I'd get the same quality O/P from the onboard of my new P5Q.... have to see if he's listening to me this week.... :)
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Old October 26, 2008, 11:07 AM
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The striker would sound better then a older onboard. If the receiver/amplifier has a S/PDIF input you can try that and see which sounds better to you.
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Old October 26, 2008, 11:13 AM
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I personally always just leave Windows set to 90-95% audio and let whatever device I have hooked up control the volume.
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