DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

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Old 02-20-2012   #1
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Default DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Installed it on Saturday Feb. 18th.

Biggest discoveries after a couple of days to listen-

1) The quality of the sub bass is as good as I could ever want and matches exactly my preference for excellent subwoofer bass. It sounds so much deeper, tighter, fuller, more accurate and correct than my previous head unit (Pioneer DEH-P8300UB). I didn' change the amp, the gains, nothing. Just the headunit and one complete auto tune session with custom network.
I don't know where the credit should go but I have to believe the ultra steep cutoff slope at the crossover provided by the units processing (80Hz, 36db per octave) has really tightened it up immensely. This improvement leaves me unbelievably impressed. This head unit all at once made my subwoofer and amp that much better.

2) Just one auto EQ yields much better sound, stage, accuracy, centering, clarity etc. than the best tune I could achieve with several months owning my old head unit.

3) I ditched the auto time alignment. It seriously detracted from the sound. I will revisit some form of manual TA as time allows- but with former head units I never found it to be a plus.

4) Biggest so far- the clarity of the sound allows the volume to be turned up significantly louder without fatigue or harshness! Again, no change in amp or gain settings- the ultra clean signal this source unit puts out lets me really really crank the volume much more than my old head unit.
This tells me that a "good" head unit with decent specs is not all it is cracked up to be- and that specs do not tell the whole story. I thought my old deck was a decent sounding CD player and pre-amp, it had great SN specs, had a 24 bit DAC, etc. just that it didn't have audiophile features like parametric EQ, time alignment, etc. It had 5 channels, adjustable high and low pass filters, subwoofer level, etc.
The DEX 99-PRS literally blows the old head unit out of the water- it made my amp and speakers so much better and louder!
It is really unbelievable and a bonus that I was not expecting.
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Old 02-20-2012   #2
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Nice write up, you'll have to keep adding to it once you get it dialed in even more.
They are sexy aren't they.

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Old 02-22-2012   #3
 
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

You didn't find the 36db per octave slope a little cold? I had previously had a 800prs, and I had the sub stage on 30db, but 36 on the p99 is so precise it takes a bit too much warmth out for my liking. I cranked it back to 24 at all points except the the tweeter low pass, which is set at 36db. That makes such a huge difference and reels in a lot of the harshness that comes with some tweeters natural top end roll off.

Does the auto EQ effect any X-over network settings?
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Old 02-22-2012   #4
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No, not if you set custom network, it only does eq and TA. You can set all your x-overs and slopes prior to using it.

08 Chevy Silverado ccsb >>>Pioneer DEX-P99RS>>>JL HD600/4×2, JL HD1200/1>>>Rainbow cal28>>>Pioneer ts-s062prs>>> Rainbow w175 platinum>>>JL zr800>>>Diyma R12 ×4 sealed>>> lots of Second skin, Raamaudio, and knuconcepts
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Old 02-22-2012   #5
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by Yuck. View Post
You didn't find the 36db per octave slope a little cold? I had previously had a 800prs, and I had the sub stage on 30db, but 36 on the p99 is so precise it takes a bit too much warmth out for my liking. I cranked it back to 24 at all points except the the tweeter low pass, which is set at 36db. That makes such a huge difference and reels in a lot of the harshness that comes with some tweeters natural top end roll off.
yeah I'm starting to notice this- especially with my Focal tweeters- but the bass sounds so good!

i plan to attempt to fix this when i'm able to get some quality tuning time in- hopefully by adjusting the 80hz+ EQ range / slope settings etc. for the mid bass drivers.
-

does anyone have the HD radio module with the DEX? I would like to know if it allows the DEX to display the RDS info like my old HU did.
-
i did notice some weird things in the auto tune settings-
the time alignment modes all drastically lower the subwoofer output level. I bumped up the SW level and the TA actually sounds much better- such a wide stage, it really is nice although I have more work to do.

autotune also reversed the phase of the subwoofer. it sounds great so I'm leaving it this way for now.

-
with such a clean signal output as mentioned in the first post above, allowing the volume to be much higher and less fatiguing than my old "decent" head unit despite its reputable specs and the same amp / gain settings, i would speculate that this DEX unit offers a sonic advantage over systems using a decent or factory head unit and an external signal processor to do the work.
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Old 02-25-2012   #6
 
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

I had the HD unit with P99RS. It does display the info coming from HD signal.

I also had the subwoofer at -7/-7 and tweeter at -8/-8 after auto EQ. No idea why but it does sound pretty good to me.
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Old 02-25-2012   #7
 
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

if you are having to have a 8db reduction on your tweeters, why not lower your gains on those channels and run it without any need for attenuation.

i see a lot of people doing this and not maximizing their noise floor. doesn't make sense to me:P

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Old 02-25-2012   #8
 
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

I actually asked the same thing in another topic in dumb question. I will be doing a new install in the next few weeks and I will lower the gain from there, probably down to (expected output) around 25W and see. I was setting the gain at 150W(24.5V)@3/4 volume with 1k tone on all of my channels at that time.
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Old 02-26-2012   #9
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by 82801BA View Post
I actually asked the same thing in another topic in dumb question. I will be doing a new install in the next few weeks and I will lower the gain from there, probably down to (expected output) around 25W and see. I was setting the gain at 150W(24.5V)@3/4 volume with 1k tone on all of my channels at that time.
This confirms that it does not take much power to run tweeters effectively. I wish they had some ultra portable 2-channel amps you could easily wire and power and install behind or under the head unit to drive tweeter channels. Something like the small Alpine power pack or the amp that comes with the Japanese DEX. This would really simplify matters, especially if you have rear door speakers consuming amp channels like my car does.
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Old 02-26-2012   #10
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by 82801BA View Post
I had the HD unit with P99RS. It does display the info coming from HD signal.

I also had the subwoofer at -7/-7 and tweeter at -8/-8 after auto EQ. No idea why but it does sound pretty good to me.
Thanks for then info. The GEX-P20HD is next on my list.
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Old 02-26-2012   #11
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

After a nice couple of hours tuning today I am really really pleased with the SQ of this unit and the improvement from my previous one.

The amazing discovery I made today was during the process of left right EQ centering of the (31) EQ bands using the individual test tones that a poster provided links to in the "ate my windshield" thread.

It is absolutely amazing how reflections, slight turns of your head, even moving your arm to adjust the control on the deck- can completely alter the volume and direction perception of those focused individual tone signals. Also amazing is how different frequencies behave and react so much differently- even than their "neighbors" in a given octave or range of frequencies. The experience of tuning these 31 individual frequencies left and right to center them was truly eye opening and nothing what I expected. As the poster of the "windshield" thread mentioned, my EQ looks jacked. One band needed a severe cut on the left / boost on the right to be centered, while the next band up needed just the opposite form of correction.
It is little wonder why most "SQ" stock systems rely on heavier bass and midbass and softened vocals / high frequencies to get their "pleasing" sound. I have now learned how difficult and (expensive) it is to properly tune a system for a vehicle. If you don't have left / right EQ, especially the 31 bands that the DEX has, I would have to believe that achieving a decent stage focus is an uphill battle at best. I am so glad I didn't wait for the new pioneer unit to come out that only has 16 band EQ.

I'm telling you, this experience was enough to make me wish for sound absorbing glass- that I could get rid of those unbelievably focused laser beam reflections that act differently from frequency to frequency.

The process was just as if a brilliant light bulb lit up for the first time- now I understand!

You play a tone signal, say 1.5Khz, and it seems to be coming from the right. Turn your head just slightly, and your right ear no longer hears the tone, it drops in pitch, and your left ear hears it. Absolutely fascinating. Not only do I wish for sound absorbing window glass, I now feel that I need to keep my head totally steady while driving!
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Old 02-26-2012   #12
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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If you don't have left / right EQ, especially the 31 bands that the DEX has, I would have to believe that achieving a decent stage focus is an uphill battle at best.
This is something I want to try for myself, and I believe it's going to be as eye-opening as dialing in time alignment well for the first time. Thanks for your remarks in this thread.

My system: Clarion CX305, Massive Audio Core-1, Cerwin Vega V600.4, CV B2, CV V1500.1D, CDT ES-6CW, CDT ES1200iS, CV V465 rear fill, Dayton Titanic 12 in 2.0 cubes @ 36 Hz
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Old 02-27-2012   #13
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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This is something I want to try for myself, and I believe it's going to be as eye-opening as dialing in time alignment well for the first time. Thanks for your remarks in this thread.
no problem. the improvements i found after dialing in the L/R EQ are not as eye pobbing for me as they were for the "ate my windshield" DIYMA member. but i do notice much more stage stability, width and placement accuracy and I am finding more positives the more I play familiar material. the instruments and effects seem to be easier to locate, they pop out, you imagine them in the stage, and it is a nice effect. the tonality seems more balanced too- much less smearing.
by far (for me) the biggest benefit is knowing that if i hear a vocal that is left, right or center, I know that is how the recording was produced- that is how it is intended- and not because of an imbalance in the way my system is setup. i have confidence in the sound stage and don't have to wonder or quesition it- i can relax and listen, which is awesome!
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Old 02-27-2012   #14
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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What setup are you running (Amps, Speaker, Subs, Misc)?
JL audio 900 HD 5-channel amp- all filters off except for infrasonic @ 30Hz.
Front doors= Focal 165 V30, running passive, tweeters in the upper front door panels.
Rear doors- Focal 165VB, passive, tweeters flush mounted just above the midwoofers.
Sub= JL 12W3V3 in a sonic electronix ported box which is nearly ideally tuned per JL specs, but I lined the enclosure with 2" thick polyfill sheets, careful not to block the port entrance, an additional 2" sheet on the wall opposite the sub.
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Old 02-27-2012   #15
 
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

it is probably having difficulty with the T/A since you are running passive front and rears.

scrap the rears and put those amp channels on your front stage. go active. then you will really hear a difference in the imaging and sq

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Old 02-28-2012   #16
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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it is probably having difficulty with the T/A since you are running passive front and rears.

scrap the rears and put those amp channels on your front stage. go active. then you will really hear a difference in the imaging and sq
thanks for bringing this up!

I did not like the original autotune TA settings because it drastically lowered the level of the subwoofer channel- once I adjusted it I am now runing with the TA settings for the LEFT seat- it sounds much better than without TA.

I did do the L/R EQ centering with the TA turned off, and then turned it back on once I finished the EQ. I dont believe these two items are in conflict. As long as the distances are measured at the mic with the ticking sounds (which are not full frequency spectrum) - it delays the signal accordingly.

--

I am fully ready to go active- and would love to find a nice small amp that I can put behind the head unit to run my front tweeters. I just do not comprehend what value this has for me. I am happy with the level of the tweeters, the passive crossovers are well suited for my drivers based on their frequency plots. What would I gain?

--
Regarding the rear speakers, or "rear fill" as some people call it, I definitely like the added mid-bass the rear door mid-woofers provide.

With the rear speakers on the "LOW" channel on the DEX, I did experiment with cutting the high frequencies out by setting a 2K crossover point for a low pass filter, 18db slope.
To me, and this is probably a personal preference, with all the high frequencies coming from the front speakers it sounded almost too precise, to easy to tell the direction of everything, and made the stage much smaller. I tried this for a day or so. Then I set the read door slope to "PASS" and let the high freqs through once again. Everything opened up, the stage became much larger, wider and deeper, even deeper forward, the vocals became "angelic" again, especially the female vocals. Call it ambience, or whatever but I am one that prefers this setup. It sounds much better to my ears, and I mean much better. My system is slowly becomming an SQ hall and I'm lovin it!
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Old 02-28-2012   #17
 
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

So you are saying that playing full range on the back speakers make the front sound further away and wider? Are they being turn down of just leave at 0dB? Are they full range or only midrange woofers?
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Old 02-29-2012   #18
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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So you are saying that playing full range on the back speakers make the front sound further away and wider? Are they being turn down of just leave at 0dB? Are they full range or only midrange woofers?
I have focal v165 vb components in the rear doors- tweeters are 12 o'clock 8 inches from the woofer centers. They are running about -4 db.

I am now running into a situation where the stage is too deep rearward on the right- getting too much exposure from the right rear tweeter making the stage have an L-shape accross the front and right.

I'll probably have to run a compromise where I start cutting the rear door high frequencies lower than pass but higher than 2K. This is a bummer but I can't avoid it- it is too distracting having the stage too deep on the right.
I am still not in love with a pinpoint front stage though with the rear tweeters completely cut. It just sounds too focused, too confined, flatter and less open.

When the rear speakers are properly blended, the sound stage still has left and right focus, it's repeatable but not so laser sharp. Much deeper and dispersed.

I know why most find rear "fill" a royal pain in the ass- more speakers, more amp channels, more HU channels, more expense, and more difficult to tune, but to me once dialed in it sounds better. You go to a live concert and you cannot have laser like sound directionality. Listening to a time aligned front stage sounds great but is not duplicating a live performance- it sounds more like a super deluxe boom box.
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Old 02-29-2012   #19
 
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

sorry but i completely disagree with that :P

a properly tuned front stage should not sound like a super deluxe boom box.
and most music you listen to is recorded in studio, not live performance.
even so, i know when i listen to mine, there is definitely no lack of depth or openness on live recordings.
it just sounds like you are having a slow transition in your tuning tastes and haven't gotten away from the rears yet.
also, having a pinpoint center should not deter from your imaging if its done right

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High: ML28, Mid: L3SE, Low: ML 165 / Sub: (2)IDMax12 v.3 / Shaker: Buttkicker Mini
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Old 02-29-2012   #20
 
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

When I first get rid of my rear speakers, I felt so strange. Once getting used to it, I have no more complaints and actually love it. I do all the same to my friends and refuse to install rear speakers to them. The always complain at first, then they stop after a while.

If it sounds like a super deluxe boom box you are probably doing something wrong. Can you tell us more about how the install and equipments are?
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Old 02-29-2012   #21
 
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

Super Deluxe Boom Box? Oh crap.

Are you happy with the mid bass response from the rear woofers or would you upgrade to 8" or larger subwoofers?

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Old 03-01-2012   #22
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

i threw out the boom box term only as a comparison- it sounds very very good with the highs cut from the rear speakers- but the image is definitely smaller and easy to pinpoint-
when i turn the high pass filter from 2K to pass, it opens up the depth of the sound. for example, a cymbal crash from the right tweeter is a foot wide when the rear highs are cut above 2K. when the rear highs are fully passed, the same cymbal crash is two if not three feet wide, splashing on he entire front door panel or so it seems.
just when i thought everything was perfect on the way to work this morning, it went to crap on the way home. when playing FM all of the vocals are now biased to the left- even after much L/R centering.
So I spend another hour trying to correct it- my ears are tuned out!
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Old 03-02-2012   #23
 
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

I've heard some people run everything flat, that its more balanced and simple...

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Old 03-03-2012   #24
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

Quote:
Originally Posted by icehellion View Post
Super Deluxe Boom Box? Oh crap.

Are you happy with the mid bass response from the rear woofers or would you upgrade to 8" or larger subwoofers?
I'm "OK" with the mid-bass output when the EQ fortifies the 100 to 250 Hz bands~ 3db or so.

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Old 03-03-2012   #25
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

well i tried something smart today after still having a horrible image despite the L/R EQ centering exercise- it was somewhat OK with TA off but not so good when TA was turned on- and I have grown accustomed to the TA.
-
on a curious note, several tones in the upper midrange spectrum just would not center- and even seemed to get louder on the opposite side than the side i was boosting- many tones also started to "ring" and present a second tone on top of the first that also seemed to be on a different side than the non-ringing tone. i assume these were all cabin reflections- what does one expect trying to play musical tones in a small glass cubicle (from the arms up anyway).
-
regardless, i just re-centered all of the EQ levels and made them flat. since the original TA shifted everything too far to the right, i decided to give DEX's very smart internal brain another shot at getting the TA and image centered correctly- but played a little trick on it.
I made a "crash test dummy" out of pillows and a sleeping bag and a roll of shop towels for the "head". I tie strapped the mic to the vertical roll of shop paper towels which was set on the top of the "dummy". Before I did this, I carefully measured where my nose (center) and ears were using some reference measurements from the same surfaces of my car. I then put the mic on the dummy to represent where the center of my ears would be.
Because the original TA placed the image way right, I moved the mic center on the dummy a full 12" to the right of my previous autotunes when the mic was strapped to the center of my headrest. The 12" shift was an attempt to reduce the relative output of the passenger side speakers and increase the driver's side so as to shift the image to the left from the previous autotunes.

Well I it rip- still cracks me up that you need to operate the controls and read the faceplate when it's facing ceiling of my car- and I hoped my dogs would keep quiet and that no planes or trains would come by to upset the autotune.

When it was finished, I hopped in and checked out the results. Once again, the autotune really lowered the subs level drastically, but that was easy to fix. a week later and i can rip through the DEX's menus pretty well.
The new image was now to strong to the left- I had made some progress but overshot the mark. Easy to fix? Hope so.
I replaced the crash test dummy and this time moved the mic 6 inches toward the left, biasing it 6 inches to the right of the autotunes I did last week-end. Let it rip, and voila! The new image is nearly dead center! It sounds GREAT! I drove around for an hour playing tunes and am quite pleased with the results.
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Pioneer P99 source, JL HD and Slash amplifiers, HAT, Morel, Scan Speak and Focal drivers.
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