The growing popularity of line transformers and their differences
During the last decades, technology has taken huge steps forward. Car audio systems in particular have developed explosively. One such technological advance that has attracted much attention and discussion is the growing use of line converters.
In recent years, the use of line converters has increased enormously. This is no accident. More and more integrated original car stereos are one key reason for this. In the past, car audio systems were relatively easy to update and change, but today many cars, such as certain Volvo models, have become so individual that replacing the original player is not only challenging but also very expensive. In some cases, the exchange is only possible with a model-specific player.
Many car owners have asked us what type of line converter they should get. What is the difference between a passive and an active line converter? And why should you invest in a more expensive active line converter when there are cheaper passive alternatives on the market? The purpose of this article is to shed some light on these questions and provide a clear understanding of line converters.
Let's start with the basics. What is a passive line converter and why might it not be the best choice? A passive line converter is a simple device, which is often also the cheapest option on the market. It is usually connected via speaker cables to the car, and it provides RCA outputs for the amplifier. While this sounds simple and appealing, passive line converters have their own challenges.
First, their sound quality is usually not as good as active line converters. Also, they may not fit all the latest car models without the car giving error codes like "speaker broken". One significant weakness is also the fact that passive line converters are not capable of providing excitation current to the amplifier.
An active line converter is worth the price
An active line converter differs from passive line converters in that it uses an electrical current to convert the speaker signals into an RCA level signal. This current can come either directly from the car's battery or from the switching system. The main advantage of an active line converter is its ability to preserve signal quality and dynamic range, while passive line converters can lose some signal detail and strength.
An active line converter is especially useful in more complex sound reproduction systems and in situations where you want to maintain as clean and accurate sound quality as possible. Because they use electrical current, they can also handle higher signal levels without distortion. This means that powerful bass pulses and high peaks are reproduced with greater clarity and strength.
However, it is important to note that active line converters require proper installation, including proper grounding and powering, to operate optimally. If installed incorrectly, they can cause interference or even damage the car's electrical system.
All in all, an active line converter is an excellent choice for those who want the best possible sound quality and power in their car audio system. When installed correctly, they offer superior performance over passive line converters.
Focal HILO.V3 is Focal's 2-channel line converter with excitation current created for hifi enthusiasts. In the converter, good signal recognition for all systems. The 2-channel device takes in a speaker-level signal and outputs a line-level signal with RCA connectors, allowing amplifiers to be added to the original player. As a new feature, the V3 model has an impedance simulator, in which case the line converter also works with new smart instruments, creating an artificial load for it instead of the original element.
Another excellent example of a quality line converter is DLS HLC4.2. Its appearance may not compare to other products on the market, but its functionality and sound quality are top class.
DLS has carefully familiarized itself with car signal problems, such as interference, getting woken up due to signal recognition problems or error messages when the line converter is connected. DLS HLC4 works flawlessly in the car like in a car.
Line converter for subwoofer
When we talk about car audio systems, a subwoofer is often the first car upgrade that many car owners want to make. This is because the original speaker systems may not be able to produce enough low frequencies. Adding a subwoofer significantly improves the depth and dynamics of sound reproduction.
The use of a line converter is especially important when you want to connect a subwoofer to the original car stereo. Many original car audio systems do not provide a separate RCA output for amplifiers or subwoofers, which is why a line converter is necessary.
When choosing a line driver for a subwoofer, it is important to choose one that can handle low frequencies effectively. Active line converters are often a better choice for subwoofer use because they can more accurately and efficiently convert speaker signals to RCA level signals without significant signal degradation or distortion.
Another important point is the excitation current characteristic of the line converter. Since the subwoofer and its amplifier require an excitation signal to function properly, it is recommended to choose a line converter that can provide this feature.
Finally, when installing the line converter on the subwoofer, make sure that it is placed in a place where it is protected from possible shocks and vibrations. This guarantees that the device works without interference and gives the best possible sound quality.
Choosing and installing the right line converter for subwoofer use can significantly improve the quality and depth of your car's sound reproduction. It is important to do careful research and ask experts for recommendations in order to achieve the best possible end result.
Choose an active line converter carefully
In summary, the selection of a line converter should be approached seriously and thoughtfully. Although the temptation to save money by choosing the cheapest option can be great, it is worth remembering that there can be significant differences in sound quality and functionality between different products. It is important to do careful research and ask the experts to get the best possible result for your car. Ask our experts for more!