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Old 11-08-2008, 01:22 AM
hdisbetter hdisbetter is offline
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Default [car audio] Why is cassette adapter give better volume than auxiliary jack?

I've been using a cassette adapter for years to listen to my mp3 players in the car. Last year, I bought an auxiliary jack to install in my car (Toyota RAV4) because it would be a "cleaner" solution than having the wire from the cassette deck hanging out. However, the mp3 player's volume is extremely low when played through the Aux input. WIth the cassette adapter, the volume was perfect. So I'm not using the Aux, just the cassette. But why is this the case?

I know a lot of people say "well, the volume from the headphone jack is not meant for anything but low impedence (or something like that) headphones." But the problem with this statement is that the volume from the cassette is great, and that uses the headphone jack also! Shouldn't the aux input devices be able to do the same?

I thought it might be a problem with my particular brand of aux jack I bought (USA SPEC) but I've heard that it's a problem with most aux jacks. I've never tried those head replacement units, nor do I want to spend money for one. I just wish a simple aux input would work.

I also don't want the FM transmitter, those don't work as well nor sound nearly as good as the cassette.

Anyone had success with third party aux inputs (not part of a head unit)? I'm surprised that through all the years, not enough fuss has been made about the volume for someone to come up with a better unit.
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2008, 08:53 AM
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beteks beteks is offline
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the only 2 solutions i can think of is to put your MP3 player at the highest volume possible or it could be your radio, USA Spec doesn't sound like a good brand.
Can you post some more info on your car like the year and trim and also put down what MP3 players you got?

My dad has a 2007 Nissan Frontier LE with a Rockford Fosgate package and the volume is fine with my Sansa E270, the radio is very powerful though, it's got 6 speakers, 2 tweeters and a subwoofer!
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:54 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdisbetter View Post
However, the mp3 player's volume is extremely low when played through the Aux input. WIth the cassette adapter, the volume was perfect. So I'm not using the Aux, just the cassette. But why is this the case?
Because AUX expects a line level output, and not a headphone output, which is generally a lower voltage. If you max out the volume on your headphone jack, that will often get you pretty close to line out voltages however.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:10 AM
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blaydese blaydese is offline
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(Solution below)

Iím glad I read this, because weíre moving to Japan next month and buying two new cars once we get there. I too AM GOING the AUX INPUT method vs. the God awful FM transmitter way. BTW - I've heard nothing but bad things about the mass of FM transmitters and their horrible uses. No offence to the ones that think they are great, however have no idea how BAD they really are.

Side note: The cassette tape adapter will sound better because you are sending from the portable the correct signal, analog to analog. This is what a cassette adapter is made for, (Dummy proof). Iíve got one in my 98 Isuzu Trooper and both my SanDisk and Zune sound just fine.

Now for the auxiliary input method you are talking about. Your problem is you are going from analog to digital, thatís not correct. You need to get an adapter that takes that analog signal and turns it into a digital signal then send it into the auxiliary plugs hooked to your car head unit. The persons before my post explained this also; however he/she didnít provide you with a solution.

(Solution)

Go to http://www.sfcables.com/ and call them at:

SF Cable, Inc.
P.O Box 990
Union City, CA 94587-0990
Toll-Free: 1-888-275-8755
Local: 1-510-324-2299
Fax: 1-510-324-1122


Explain to them exactly what youíre trying to do and I kid you not, theyíll direct you to the exact item on their web page and find you the right adapter you need.

Iíve used SF cable for years and they are 98% there to answer the phone during normal hours, M-F, and any questions you have they tell you right there over the phone (and itís toll free!) and / or they can tell you ďNo such adapter exists or Iíve never heard of that combinationĒ (Iíve called with some strange requests and they have saved me a lot of time and searching the web for ďsorry, thatís not been invented yet.Ē

Good luck!
Let us know what happens.
Peace!
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2008, 01:01 AM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Originally Posted by blaydese View Post
Now for the auxiliary input method you are talking about. Your problem is you are going from analog to digital, thatís not correct.
AUX is analog. The output is identical to the headphone jack except scaled to a different voltage level.

Fow what its worth, neither the Zune nor Sansa are even capable of outputting a digital audio signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaydese View Post
You need to get an adapter that takes that analog signal and turns it into a digital signal then send it into the auxiliary plugs hooked to your car head unit. The persons before my post explained this also; however he/she didnít provide you with a solution.
Honestly, I kind of want to see what you think a digital to analog converting cable looks like.
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:39 PM
Th3_uN1Qu3 Th3_uN1Qu3 is offline
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Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
Honestly, I kind of want to see what you think a digital to analog converting cable looks like.
+1.

The cassette adapter is louder because the preamp that the cassette head outputs to is very sensitive. Also, since the interfacing isn't done directly, some intermodulation distortion appears which makes sound brighter, so it seems louder.

The AUX jack is the "cleaner" solution, but if your MP3 player can't output a high enough signal for it, try using a headphone amp with it. Fiio amps are good and very very cheap.
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