Self Driving 2016 Civic SQmobile: iOS | USB/SPIDF | Tubes | 3 DSP’s | Dirac - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

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Default Self Driving 2016 Civic SQmobile: iOS | USB/SPIDF | Tubes | 3 DSP’s | Dirac

CONTENTS:

CAR
COMMA AI
SOUND DEADENING
POWER
STOCK AUDIO
SOURCE/PROCESSING
AMPLIFICATION
SPEAKERS
TUNING
MISCELLANEOUS

Self Driving 2016 Civic SQmobile Prototype: iOS | USB/SPIDF | Tubes | 3 DSP’s | DTS Neural | Dirac Live | Center Channel | Rear Fill

Something in the thread title brought you here. Now that you're here, this is what you’ll find:

Comma Ai OpenPilot | iPhone/iPad source via USB and SPIDF | iFi audio gear | Helix DSP Pro mk2 | miniDSP DDRC22D | miniDSP DDRC 24 | Biketronics amps | MMATS HiFi amp | Scan Speak | Audiofrog | Stereo Integrity | Morel



***DISCLAIMER:***

What you won't find here is anything cosmetically pleasing or fancy. The build is unrefined in regards to cosmetic presentation. View this as a possible blueprint for others to modify or build upon. I am not gifted with the craft side of this hobby. I chase the sound not necessarily an appearance.

Take note that this build is scalable in both directions. Dial back on some of the excess for a more economical version or take it to the max with your own boutique tastes.
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Default CAR

CAR




This is car audio so.... let’s start with the car.

The purpose of this build was to have a vehicle to serve as:
  • A personal daily driver that isn’t overly compromised in its functionality as a daily driver.
  • A daily driver that is able to entertain more than just the driver at times. (I have friends and a wife with SQ tastes as well)
  • A personal and versatile tinker lab for ‘my’ audiophile tastes and desires.
  • Have a removable system that is adaptable to equipment swaps and additions. I’m keeping my gear when I sell.
There has always been a Honda vehicle in my family since I was born. I bought a 2016 Honda Civic Sedan Touring when they first came out. My previous 2006 Civic I kept up to 247,000 miles and was still able to sell it within a week cash for $3000. Not too shabby. In my experience they handle daily driver duty with ease.

The 2016 Honda Civic Touring sedan sport the following specs:
*1.5L Turbo engine
*CVT transmission
*17” Wheels
*35 mpg efficiency
*Brake Hold capable = foot saver

Honda Sense Safety Features:
*Adaptive Cruise Control Radar
*Active Road Departure Mitigation System
*Active Lane Keep Assist Camera
*Active Crash Mitigation Braking System
*Lane View Camera
*Rear View Camera

Comfort Features:
*Heated Leather Seats (front and rear)
*Moonroof
*Large 7” screen Android based GPS Head-unit with Stereo and Climate Control
*10 Channel 5.1 DTS Neural CarPlay/Android Auto Stereo system with USB & Bluetooth input


I was pleasantly impressed with the amenities found in the touring trim for the price tag of a civic. May not look it but one can have a vehicle that competes nicely in many regards to the functionality of a much more expensive Tesla vehicle.

The one glaring thing I hated was that despite all these included amenities... Honda overlooked a remote garage door opener. But no worries I grabbed a HomeLink module from an older year junkyard Accord and performed this simple
HomeLink garage door opener mod:

https://www.civicx.com/threads/homelink-install.13221/



The next thing to do was get the windows tinted. I don’t know why but I just like the look and I like the privacy. Especially when I’m jamming out to some audio goodness oozing out of my speakers

Just like audio equipment, not all tints are the same.

I view 3m Crystalline, Huper Optik Ceramic, Spectra PhotoSync, Llumar Pinnacle, and Llumar Stratos as the best tints one can buy. Feel free to shout out any other you may know that might be better or on par in terms of the rejection numbers.

For this vehicle I went 15% Lumarr Pinnacle F1 all around and 60% Spectra PhotoSync for the windshield.


“15% rear window tint?! That’s too dark. You cant see anything behind you, especially at night!”

Yes, now that the rear window is pretty dark, I am compromising my daily driver functionality goal.

The solution?

For me it was to purchase an Argus Drivers Guardian system. This is a high quality, high brightness, high contrast, and hi definition active video feed rear view camera mirror.

I can see a full 180 degrees behind me (4 lane width) and better visibility of my rear view at night. The video feed can be disabled send the screen will still serve as a standard rear view mirror.

Works like a charm.

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Default COMMA AI

COMMA AI

“So what exactly is this self driving nonsense your talking about in the thread title?”

If you notice in the specs I listed above, the 10th get civic has a lot of active safety driving features in the Honda Sense package that at the time were not included in most vehicle makes and trims until one was spending 50k+.

Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™)
CMBS™ can help bring your Civic Sedan to a stop by automatically applying brake pressure when the system determines that a frontal collision is unavoidable.

Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM)
RDM can determine if you cross over detected lanes without signaling, can provide steering assistance to help you return to your lane or provide braking to help you keep from leaving the roadway entirely*.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow
ACC helps you maintain a set following interval behind a detected vehicle for highway driving. If the detected vehicle slows to a stop, ACC is designed to slow and stop your vehicle as well. After stopping, a tap on the throttle instructs the car to continue maintaining the desired interval*.

Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
Long Highway drives rives are easier with LKAS. Steering wheel active adjusts steering to help keep the vehicle centered in a detected lane.

There are mixed reviews on these features and their performance. Exploiting these safety amenities for better performance is a worthwhile modification I’ll quickly dive into before we move on to the audio stuff.

One of the firsts things I wanted to do with all these awesome active driving features was to find a way around their “Stock Limitations”. The adaptive cruise control worked most of the time but could be jerky to the point of unusable in stop and go highway traffic (the majority of my 1.2 hr each way daily work commute). The active lane keep assist would be awesome active steering the vehicle and keeping it centered in lanes but you could only keep your hands off the wheel for up to 10 seconds or so before it would disable and prompt you to take control of the wheel.

“Ummm BnlcmbCar... those limitations are there for a good safety reason...”

YES.. these are all reasonable limitations for an automaker to implement to maintain driver safety and avoid lawsuits
BUT.. that’s not what I wanted. I want a self driving car to alleviate the stress of my traffic ridden work commute so I can thoroughly enjoy my sound system.

Well it must have been meant to be because then came along George Hotz.

“Who’s George Hotz?”

Here ya go:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Hotz
But to put it simple he is a genius software engineer/hacker that turned down an insane salary to be on the Tesla’s Autopilot self driving team to start his own self driving tech company. And what do you know... it was a 2016 Honda Civic that he was 1st able to hack and override the active safety features to self drive on par with Tesla Autopilot with relatively minimal physical modifications.

His company is called Comma Ai:
https://comma.ai
The concept embraces an “open source” approach to the challenge of building a self driving system/platform. Open source meaning that the system works across multiple Auto makes/trims. The Comma Ai is based on MIT’s OpenPilot software that is also open source on GitHub allowing for contributions, customizations, and improvements. Lastly it is open source in the sense that the self driving algorithm/Ai/System improves and gets better as more users use and contribute to the system.

Here’s the compatibility list so far:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open...Supported_Cars



There are 3 parts to the system:

1) A small 3D printed OBDii device called a Panda that “is the nicest universal car interface ever. It allows you full access to the many communication buses of your car from a computer or a phone.
2) Another small 3D printed device called a Giraffe that is needed because cars have many CAN buses not exposed on the main OBD-II connector. giraffe is an adapter board that lets you read the buses that aren't exposed.
3) A EON Dev Kit which is dash cam hardware that is basically an Android Phone flashed with Comma Ai software/OpenPilot in a 3D printed case with a fan and heatsink.
All 3 work together and essentially override the cars active safety feature to let you as some say...

Ghost ride the whip.

OpenPilot uses the cars stock radar to track and control driving speed (acceleration and braking) up to your desired speed while adapting to vehicle in front of you. OpenPilot coordinates that with the cars stock Lane keep assist Camera to keep the car centered in a lane through bends and curves (up to a certain degree of course.. no 90 degree turns). Driver can leave hands off the wheel indefinitely as long as the driver is facing forward and watching the road when driver monitoring camera on the EON dash an is enabled. Or up to 3-6 minute increments (depends on firmware) if you disable the driver monitoring feature or if it is too dark for the driver monitoring to recognize your face (sun-visor in the way or nighttime).

The EON drive footage is uploaded and stored on an accessible cloud. Each drive contributes back towards the betterment of the algorithm. George Hotz’s belief is that this will build a self driving system much quicker than the way of Tesla Autopilot. on the horizon the next steps for the Comma Ai system is to be able to stop at traffic lights and stop signs via sign recognition and coordination with HD map GPS info. Comma Ai has just struck deals to provide users with unlimited cellular data services to upload when not in WiFi or unable to tether. The ultimate end game of the company is to eventually become an insurance company.
“Yea yea. Mumbo Jumbo.. its all hype! Does it even work? Do you trust it?”

Works for me. Platform is constantly updated and improving.

Before you knock it, do some research on it. There is a lot of info on it out there. They have a very helpful community on Discord:
https://Discord.comma.ai

*********WARNING*********
I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY HARM OR DANGER TO YOU OR OTHERS ATTEMPTING TO DO ANYTHING ON THIS LOG.
*********WARNING*********


One is technically able tune on the road if they desired to do so using a laptop while the vehicle is driving on a non hectic highway. You can youube a bunch of examples of the system in use. I shot a quick video where I am playing the motions of pulling out a laptop, connecting a mic, and running REW and Helix DSP PC TOOL.

*********WARNING*********
I know my vehicle inside out and how it drives. You may have different results.

“OOOOOOhhhh!! Bnlcmbcar... you crazy!”

Maybe a little but so far Comma Ai platform has without any major incident so far:
*12,884,225.12 Miles logged
*372,132.72 Hours logged
*9,053 Drivers

Personally I have contributed:
*10,972 Miles
*391 Hours
*656 Drives

The system is learning and improving and updated nearly every month.

Here’s the video of me tinkering with the Helix DSP PC Tool while driving:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at5MsxfGrrA&t=
*********WARNING********
I AM JUST ILLUSTRATING HOW I AM ABLE TO UTILIZE THIS HARDWARE. I DO NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY CAR ACCIDENTS YOU MAY CAUSE ATTEMPTING TO REPRODUCE THESE RESULTS.
*********WARNING********
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Default Sound Deadening

SOUND DEADENING

Okay okay now that is out of the way, it is time to talk about the audio system.

That said we must start at the foundation for any audio system; the listening environment.

The 1st part of this build is the tedious and arduously painstaking process of trying to deaden my 2016 Honda Civic Sedan to the max. The goal was to minimize road noise as much as possible and provide myself with the best listening conditions I could obtain. NO RATTLES.

I researched various methods posted on this forum as well as the knowledge nugget Sound Deadener Showdown website. I ended up combining and mixing multiple products from different brands and companies. These include SDS products, Second Skin products, Sound Skin products, Dynamat products , Raam Audio Ensolite, Corning 703 insulation, UltraTouch insulation, MLV, lead tape... the whole shebang.



After a bunch of researching and reading I buckled down, rolled up my sleeves and dove in. The entire interior was removed minus some of the upper front dash. Neighbors thought I was tweaking or something.



`

I installed 50-60% SDS CLD coverage averaged across the whole vehicle.

FLOOR LAYERS:
(front firewall, bottom floor, and under rear seat bench)

SDS CLD






2) Layer of Raam Ensolite CCF attached to SuperSoundproofing MLV





3) Layer of Luxury Liner Pro (more CCF/MLV)


4) Another layer of Raam Ensolite CCF attached to SuperSoundproofing MLV (Sealed with vinyl seam tape and lead same tape)








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Default Sound Deadening

5) Layer of SDS Cargo Mat instead of stock carpet (which is even more CCF/MLV)




It is a pretty heavy and thick material to work with:






With all the extra material in place, the stock flooring would not fit back and look right. The SDS cargo mat is my replacement for the stock carpet. It was my 1st time working with the cargo mat but it came out decent minus a few imperfections:








DASH:
(Stuffed with UltraTouch Recycled denim and SDS Hydrophobic Melamine foam)


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Default Sound Deadening

DOORS

1. Outer skin - SDS CLD Tiles




2. Outer Skin - Corning 703 insulation covered in 1 mil Home Depot tarp






3. Inner skin - Close off door hole with 2 sheets DynaPlate + Second Skin Damplifier Pro







4. Inner skin - Cover the Dynaplate MLV/CCF combo:



5. Last layer of Luxury Liner (more MLV/CCF):


6. UltraTouch recycled denim on door card:




7. SoundSkin CCF Speaker Ring and Backwave product and SDS Hydrophobic Melamine foam behind tweeters:




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Default Sound Deadening

TRUNK

1. Second Skin Damplifier Pro




2. Stinger RoadKill Carpet + Raam Audio Ensolite:




3. Layers of Raam Ensolite CCF/SuperSoundproofing MLV and sealed with Lead tape:








4. 2nd Layer of Raam Ensolite CCF/SuperSoundproofing MLV sealed with vinyl tape:


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Default SOUND DEADENING

GENERAL

Throughout the chassis I installed 50-60% SDS CLD coverage

For MLV seams and gaps I’ve been resorting to using lead seam tape and then covering that with with an even wider vinyl tape.

SSP Lead Foil Tape 1.5 X 100 Roll-Super Soundproofing Store

https://www.soundaway.com/mass-loade...-tape-s/48.htm

https://www.tmsoundproofing.com/Mass...inyl-Tape.html
Throughout the trim I have CCF, UltraTouch, SDS Acoustic Melamine Foam, 3m Thinsulate, and Black Hole Tiles stuffed:













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Default Re: Self Driving 2016 Civic SQmobile Prototype: iOS | USB/SPIDF | Tubes | 3 DSP’s | D

There is so much sound deadening I have loss mpg efficiency and think I need to consider a suspension upgrade down the road.

Last part of my road noise mitigation was replacing the tires. I opted for the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus. One of the few tires marketed for being quiet.



https://www.bridgestonetire.com/tire...-serenity-plus

The car IS much quieter no doubts about it. By how much? I can’t say with numbers but noticeable enough to others besides myself. I also feel it is a better acoustic environment for the system to get more robust performance out of my speakers.

But even after all that laborious work, once I’m not idle or at city cruising speeds and I’m on the highway going 60mph+, that awesome difference I mentioned becomes less awesome in terms of road noise blocking because my ears now focus on the untreated surface right at my head level.. all the windows. In a previous thread its been mentioned before that the acoustic level glass in luxury vehicles, is one of the factors that sets them apart in terms of quieting your ride at higher speeds.

I purchased my new 2016 Civic Touring for $26K. My wife found her barely used 2016 BMW 328i for $22K! Noticing how much quieter her ride was with stock deadening than my stock Civic is what sent me down this whole deadening journey. I took a stab at it, but even then I feel the windows sealing and glass thickness is a factor that I can’t overcome without breaking the bank to point of just buying the higher end vehicle in the first place.

Acoustically, I am very pleased. It’s Dead. No rattles. Definitely contains the music within the car. And lower road noise.

Sorry but no I didn’t take any before/after measurements. Very unfortunate.
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Default POWER

POWER


Crucial and vital for any audio system is a very solid electrical system. It's important to feed our gear clean power to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Plus nobody likes noise. I especially don’t. Throughout my power system there are excessive and way overkill pieces. This was chosen to be done to minimize any power noise issues with gear connected to the power grid at any point in the system. Everything is fused, RFI/EMI protected, and clean.

The stock Civic alternator puts out 125-135 amps. The 2016 Civic like previous models has an ELD. I cant find any info on the 2016 ELD, I’m not sure if upgrading the alternator would be beneficial if the ELD isn’t programmed to take advantage of the extra available amperage or a new ratio of power from an aftermarket higher output alternator. Any advice regarding input on this is greatly appreciated.

So far my strategy is to optimize and get the most out of the ~125 amps I have on tap.

Step 1 Install XS Power XS5100R battery in front engine bay.
Step 2 Perform BIG 3 with 0 awg OFC cables
Step 3 Run a fused line of 0 awg to the trunk
Step 4 Install a Harrison Labs FluxCap 14.4 regulated power supply.
Step 5 Use Distribution blocks deliver regulated power for gear.




The XS Power 5100R is the biggest I could fit without modification. I trust XS power quality from personal experience.



For the Big 3 I used a NVX OFC cable kit.

Then I have a 0 awg Stinger OFC cable with a 150 AMP inline fuse (near battery) that is ran along the driver’s side into the trunk to another 150 AMP inline fuse.

This 0awg power run feeds my flux capacitor.





The Harrison Lans FluxCap is a nice piece. Thank you bbfoto for putting me on. It will do whatever is needed to churn out steady 14.7v by pulling energy from your alternator/battery. for me it serves as an isolated 14.7v regulated power supply for all my gear in the trunk. Of course there is a minimum input voltage required for it to do its job.The FluxCap can accept 10v-16v input.
*NOTE
The FluxCap always will allow power to feed thru even when not triggered on, but at a slightly lower voltage than the input. If the input voltage is 1 volt the output will be slightly less. This should not be a problem since amplifiers typically do not draw current when triggered off. However, the FluxCap does also act as an isolator since current cannot feed back from the output to the input. The reason for the feed through voltage/current from the input to the output when off is related to its high efficiency design. So if you do not want any feed through, then a power relay that is wired in conjunction with the FluxCapacitor trigger terminal would be necessary.
The regulating portion of the FluxCap circuitry operates at about 60,000 times per second. There is a 50amp, 100amp, 200 amp model. Each model will draw a higher amount of amperage from your alternator. But it does so at 98.4% efficiency. It costs amperage but the price isn’t too bad.

For example, if you have the 100amp model and are powering a load that requires all 100 amps at a given moment, the FluxCap will require roughly 122.5 amps from your 12v alternator/battery to deliver 100 amps at 14.7v.

It is basically a better Jacobs Accuvolt. It will take your car’s 12v and step it up to steady 14v that can also act as a relay for a secondary battery.

You can find out how much amperage you lose by calculating the following:

Amp Draw = V out / V in x 1.05 x load of amps





In case I ever upgrade my alternator, I opted for the 200 amp model. Which is 2 x 100 amp models together running in parallel. I used Rockford Fosgate RFD1 Distribution blocks to split my 0awg battery to trunk power run to the 2 x 100amp units in parallel:

Clean regulated 14.7v power leaves the FluxCap and is distributed to a multitude of devices via several distribution blocks.

The first is the Audison Connection SFD41C distribution block.

This splits power to go directly to my sub amp and a to a secondary distribution block, Blue Sea SafetyHub 150.

The SafetyHub 150 feeds the rest of the amps and main DSP. It also powers some West Mountain Radio devices: 1x ISOpwr+ and 2x RigRunner 4005.

The ISOpwr+ is a computer programmable, all solid state FET switch with no relays. It Handles up to 40 amperes and feeds 2 RigRunner 4005 devices which are fused Anderson Power Pole distribution devices with power protection circuitry. These feed switched power to some non traditional for car audio devices that are incorporated throughout the build.

“What about devices (source) connected inside the vehicle that receive power from the alternator/battery before it hits the Flux Cap in the trunk?”

Under the stock head-unit is a 12v cigarette lighter port used to provide power for my source equipment. This port receives power before it hits the FluxCap power conditioner. To help address this discrepancy in power quality resorted to the following:

Powerwerx CigBuddy:

CigBuddy has an LED power indicator and dual ground tabs. Rated at 14VDC @ 20A, includes a user replaceable 20A fuse.
https://powerwerx.com/cigbuddy-cigar...erpole-adapter

Then connected to the CigBuddy is a 16awg power pole to DC barrel cable. The DC barrel plugs into an iFi iSilencer2 DC ipurifier2.



This little bugger uses active noise canceling to minimize power supply noise:
Inside the iPurifier there are two plates . One permanently glued to the casing of the device, which is metal that simultaneously as a heat radiator, and the other, which is inserted with long legs into the micro-DIP8 connector. There are Panasonic aluminum-polymer capacitors and MELF metal resistors. On some elements there is also a copper cover in gold enamelling, which allows to reduce interference already in the device itself.
Quote:
ANC2 is designed to identify noise frequencies coming from the SMPS, then generate identical but opposite frequencies to help actively cancel all the incoming noise.
SP-Cap Polymer Aluminum Capacitors: These capacitors are engineered with a low Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) for enhanced noise reduction and stable temperature & frequency characteristics.
MELF Resistors: MELF (metal electrode leadless face) resistors are engineered for enhanced accuracy, stability, reliability, and pulse load capability.
Low-Noise Amps: The internal amps are designed for low noise and fast speed.
Copper-Alloy Shielding
The EMI shielding is designed to isolate devices and cables to help block RF electromagnetic radiation.
Wideband Design: The DC iPurifier2 is engineered to be effective from 1 Hz to 5 GHz, and particularly in the audible range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Integrated Polarity Protection
Designed for Wide Compatibility: The DC iPurifier2 handles 5 to 24V and takes up to 3.5A or 84W. It has a built-in 5.5 x 2.1mm barrel and includes adapters for 5.5 x 2.5mm and 3.5 x 1.35mm barrels, making it compatible with a variety of devices.
The purified power enters a what you can consider a “power buffer” or battery bank. I’m specifically using the OmniCharge Ultimate. This is not your average powerbank:
https://www.omnicharge.co/products/omni-ultimate/

The Omni Ultimate uses premium chips and MOSFETs from ST Microelectronics, Texas Instruments, Infineon Technologies, and Fairchild Semiconductor Company. This beast of a power power bank features a 60W USB Type-C power input/output port, two USB Type-A charging ports (QuickCharge 3.0 5v/3A each), a 120W pure sine wave AC outlet, and a 150W DC-out port with fully adjustable direct DC output voltage between 5-60V up to 8A with 0.1V/A increments. It also has a replaceable battery pack and passthrough charging that allows you to power your devices even while the Omni Ultimate is being recharged.




The USB C output powers my iPad Pro 2018. The DC output from the OmniCharge Ultimate feeds another iFi audio DC iPurifier2 that supplies purified power into an iFi micro iUSB 3.0:
https://i.postimg.cc/TKH880mS/E5609230-E4-C2-4663-9855-7192-AB082-AE1.jpg[/img]

Also peep an iFi iDefender 3.0 and iFi iSilencer 3.0 that ensures clean power for stock head-unit USB port. The iFi iSilencer is an active noise canceling and jitter reduction device. The iFi iDefender is a ground loop eliminator and injects a clean 5v power line which in my case is coming from the iFi micro iUSB 3.0:


I’ll touch on the iFi micro iUSB 3.0 more later on but this device is an audiophile quality USB conditioner for both USB power and data lines:

https://ifi-audio.com/products/micro-iusb3-0/
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Default STOCK AUDIO

“Yeah Yeah... you deadened the car and have good electrical..what about the actual gear in the Audio system Bnlcmbcar?!”

Okay okay. Now that we have a sound listening environment and clean power,... let’s start talking about some of the tech and audio goodies packed into this build. They provide a myriad of avenues for different setups, different tunes, and flexibility for upgrading or change.

STOCK AUDIO:


Let’s begin with the Stock Audio system of the 2016 Honda Civic.

In the center of the dash you’ll find a central Android based Head Unit with a 7” LCD screen. This screen displays Back up, Camara feed, Lane Watch feed, Climate Controller, Premium Audio system controls, and pretty much any options or setting for the car. Replacing the stock Touring trim head-unit with an aftermarket head-unit isn’t reasonably feasible yet as of 2019.



The head-unit sends a digital SPDIF stereo signal to a stock amp located in the passenger wheel well area.




The amp is by Pioneer and can be enabled to provide 5.1 DTS Neural sound. Say what you want about it. It’s 5.1 and provides an adequately enjoyable experience for multiple passengers in the vehicle (one of my initial requirements).

**IN DETAIL NOTE:**
The service manual says:

The stereo amplifier is a separated power amplifier interface. Digital audio signal (SPDIF2) that is received from the audio unit is
processed on the DSP, and sent to each speaker after amplified by the AMP IC.

The stereo amplifier communicates with the audio unit using the dedicated serial bus (RS485). This communication includes the
vehicle speed (for SVC) information, audio settings, and the MUTE commands. The stereo amplifier adjusts the speaker outputs by
oneself which is based on the received information.

The stereo amplifier receives the guidance signal and the system beep signal via independent lines, and mix them to applicable
audio lines.



**********************************************

The available premium audio system in the Touring trim is marketed to deliver “450 watts” through 10 speakers “tuned” for the civic sedan interior.


10 channels are configured in a 2-way front stage with a single center channel and a 2-way rear stage with a rear deck 8” sub.
The head-unit plays both HD Radio and Satellite radio. There are no analog inputs only accepts USB digital input or Bluetooth digital input. Music through a standard music player interface or via CARPLAY or ANDROID AUTO.

There are also some EQ controls for tuning like Fader, Balance, Separate Sub Gain. unfortunately even when the settings are at default and untouched the output signal is not necessarily flat. It is at default tuned specifically the the stock speakers and time aligned to stock speaker locations.

https://www.civicx.com/threads/audio...h-volume.6814/
https://www.civicx.com/threads/2018-...m.33835/page-9

So yes yet another automaker audio system with potential that falls victim to the compromises of low costs incentives.

One can only take the torment of these shortcomings for so long before itching to upgrade the quality of the listening experience.

Key to this upgrade was installing a DSP to serve as the core gateway for everything audio. I opted to use the Helix DSP PRO mk 2. The Helix Director Remote control is installed in a bottom dash storage compartment right under the head unit granting me easy convenient access:
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Default SOURCE/PROCESSING:

SOURCE/PROCESSING:

For my audio source I use one of my 3 different iOS devices: iPhone 6s, iPad mini 4, and iPad Pro 2018.

Digital radio = iHeartRadio radio or TuneIn app.
Digital streaming = Apple Music, Spotify, and TIDAL
Digital Hi-Res = EverPlay app
Digital Video = Infuse Player (DTS), and It’s Playing Pro (Dolby)


POWER ROUTE: Alternator—> Battery—> 12v Cig Port—> CigBuddy—> DC iPurifier2—>OmniCharge Ultimate—> iOS device

For all 3 iOS devices I use the MagBak system:
https://1lss.com/

With MagBak, I can mount my iPhone and iPad in various locations and orientations:

iPad mini 4:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZixMjx4q2o8



iPhone 6s:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik5HLFTx6q8



iPad Pro 2018:


What is also flexible about this build is that the same iOS device can have its digital audio feed sent down 3 seperate audio routes. Each route serves a different purpose and offers options of different tunes.


STOCK DTS NEURAL MULTI SEAT ROUTE:


iOS > 1.5ft Lightning USB cable > iFi iSilencer > iFi iDefender > USB input of head-unit > Stock AMP DTS NEURAL 5.1 > Stinger 9 wire (x2) > High Level input: Helix DSP Pro mk2

Setup 1 is for entertainment purposes. It is mainly used when I have people in the car with me. Remember the stock amp is tuned specifically for the stock speakers. There is no way to defeat the tune to get a flat signal. The signal is also time delayed for the stock locations. So for the most part Setup 1 is the stock amp signals passed through a Helix DSP on to my own amps and speakers. The main tuning mission is to basically convert the stock amp/speaker tune to a tune that is enjoyable on my aftermarket setup. The tuning options at hand for setup 1 involve the stock head-unit EQ/Balance/Fader/Sub Gain options followed by the Input/Output EQ features on the Helix DSP.

I use a short Lightning cable from my iOS devices to connect into the head-unit via USB A input port. You’ll notice 2 iFi devices mentioned above.

The iFi iSilencer 3.0 reduces RFI/EMI noise on USB ports and silences jitter up to 40dB or 100x.


The iFi iDefender 3.0 is a ground loop eliminator that creates a single grounding point and injects clean 5-volt power (in my case this is purified power from the OmniCharge Ultimate > DC iPurifier 2 > micro iUSB power conditioner > iDefender)


For me these are used to ensure zero noise from usb power and to ensure precision data delivery to the head-unit. No there not necessary. If you think its pointless... well good for you. Disregard and keep reading on. It's an option I opted to use in my pursuit of addressing any possible bottle neck. My way of feeding the head-unit the cleanest possible signal to work with. The head unit then takes that digital signal and spits it out via a proprietary SPDIF connection to the stock amp for DTS neural processing. I tapped the output signals from the amp and routed them to the high level inputs of the Helix DSP.

To do this is used 2 runs of stinger 9 wire. Here is a breakdown of the the stock amp wiring:



For me the stock volume of 26 out of 40 is where the Helix inputs begin to clip. I open the Helix to adjust the input gains to accomplish more volume but the house curve exhibits more bass is proportion to the rest of the frequency range when the volume is lower. I often don’t raise the stock volume past 20-22 out of 40. The rest of the volume I get from turning up my Helix DSP. So far it's enough.

Setup one is enjoyable and good quality but it is not audiophile quality.

STEREO DIRAC LIVE ROUTE:

iOS > USB Camera Adapter > 1.5ft iFi Mercury cable > iFi micro iUSB 3.0 > iFi Gemini cable > iFi micro iLink > 16ft Esoteric Audio D7 digital coax cable > iFi iSPIDF iPurifier > miniDSP DDRC-22 > 1ft Esoteric Audio D7 digital coax cable > iFi iSPIDF iPurifier > Digital coax input: Helix DSP Pro mk2

Setup 2 is a zero noise digital Dirac Live setup with a high end iFi audio USB input path. Dirac Live performs its room correction in the digital domain and passes that goodness to the Helix that spreads the goodness to my amps and speakers.

This setup begins with an iOS device used with an Apple’s USB Camera Adapter to send out digital signal via a 1.5ft iFi Mercury USB cable.

The iFi Mercury cable connects into an iFi micro iUSB 3.0.

The iFi micro iUSB 3.0 cleans and conditions USB data and power lines:

This conditioner works by correcting signal balance, suppressing frame, packet, and ground noise, cleaning power, correcting impedance mismatch, restoring signal integrity, and eliminating USB jitter. It offers a 0.1µV noise floor, Active noise cancelation, and 5.0 Gbps transfer rates via a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Two more USB 3.0 ports provide power only.

In other words, the micro iUSB3.0 reclocks, regenerates, and repeats the USB audio data stream. iFi's active noise cancellation generates a mirror image of the noise signal, actively canceling it out for a noise floor of 0.1µV.
  • REgenerate creates a new USB signal for downstream DACs and employs the REclock master clock to minimize computer jitter.
  • REbalance removes DC offset and rebalances the USB signal.
  • IsoGround removes the noise caused by your computer's ground connection without breaking it, in order to stay compliant with USB standards.
  • The Auto/On USB power line option gives you more control over your power.
  • Two sets of Dual-Ports let you connect two devices, such as a DAC and hard drive, without the noise from one source contaminating the other.
  • The ports are also Bus Charge 1.2 compliant and can recharge devices at up to 2.5 A.

POWER ROUTE: Alternator—> Battery—> 12v Cig Port—> CigBuddy—> DC iPurifier2—>OmniCharge Ultimate—> micro iUSB 3.0
Next an iFi Gemini cable is used to transfer those separate USB power and data lines independently in order to avoid any possibility of noise contamination.

This cable sends the conditioned USB digital signal into an iFi micro iLink.

The iFi micro iLink is audiophile grade USB to digital coax converter:
Quote:
Trademarked Super Digital Output: Full Galvanic Isolation, True Balances
In addition to possessing less than one-third the jitter of class-leading audiophile USB-S/PDIF converters, iLink boasts Super Digital Output. It encapsulates an array of unprecedented features, including High-Level Output, Galvanic Isolation, True-Balanced Output, Perfect Impedance Matching, and Ultra-Fast Rise Time. Developed through meticulous analysis and ground-up re-design of each S/PDIF transmission protocol, these advances translate into near-vanished jitter and noise - and superior music clarity and delivery.
POWER ROUTE: Alternator—> Battery—> 12v Cig Port—> CigBuddy—> DC iPurifier2—> OmniCharge Ultimate—> micro iUSB 3.0–> micro iLink

The iLink handles asynchronous high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/192kHz that setup tp send 1’s and 0’s through a 16ft digital coax cable. 16ft isn’t long for digital coax but it is one of the longest cables in my build. In comes more overkill with an iFi SPIDF iPurifier.



Quote:
Bit-Perfect Transfer Up to 24-Bit/192kHz, Galvanic Isolation
Comprised of 53 individual components, including two separate PCBs mil-spec'd and packed with advanced technology, SPDIF iPurifier ensures a bit-perfect transfer. It can handle 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz, 16- to 24-bit, DSD/DoP, and even Dolby Digital and DTS. SPDIF iPurifier has co-axial/optical input and co-axial/optical output. It also has galvanic isolation, which converts a signal from one form to another and discards spurious noise. This is a major factor behind SPDIF iPurifier's ability to stop noise contaminating the signal.

Global Master Timing and Memory Buffer System Solve Jitter Problems
The Global Master Timing (GMT)/Memory Buffer System represents an out-of-the-box systematic digital solution that solves the digital SPDIF jitter issue. SPDIF iPurifier's Intelligent Memory System holds a large number of complete audio samples, so it may completely absorb a large amount of variation (jitter and drift) in the incoming signal while still sending out data at a fixed and precise clock rate, regardless of variations in the incoming clock. Central to the GMT clock system is the ultra-low jitter, quartz-driven clock system (<300 femto second crystal) capable of producing millions of different frequencies with a precision of better than 0.001Hz. If the frequency shifts from 192,000.002Hz to 192,000.003Hz over a period of minutes (drift), the GMT clock will intelligently and precisely track the change.
POWER ROUTE: Alternator—> Battery—> FluxCap—> SFD41C—> SafetyHub150—>ISOpwr+—> RIGrunner 4005–> USBbuddy—> iSilencer3.0–> USB micro Y cable—> SPDIF iPurifier

The iFi SPDIF iPurifier reclocks and reduces and possible jitter before the digital signal enters a miniDSP DDRC 22D.


Quote:
The Dirac Series of 24/96 high-resolution audio processors with Dirac Live® are designed to fit into an existing system with minimum disruption, yet with the flexibility to allow for new and more cost-effective system configurations. The DDRC-22D interfaces via digital signals.
  • Processor: 32-bit floating-point Analog Devices SHARC DSP
  • Input/ouput resolution: 24 bits
  • Maximum input sample rate: 216 kHz
  • Internal operating sample rate: 96 kHz
  • Output sample rate: 96 kHz
The miniDSP DDRC 22D receives the purified SPDIF coaxial signal and is processed with a stereo Dirac Live calibration in the digital domain. This avoids any extra DA or AD conversions.

The DDRC22D spits out its digital goodness via digital coax into a another iFi SPDIF iPurifier to be reclocked and dejittered before entering the Helix DSP Pro mk2 digital coaxial input for matrix and crossover processing.

I’m open ears to any recommendations when it comes to how to incorporate Dirac Live. As mentioned above my strategy in this setup is to let the Helix handle signal matrix and XO duties while the DDRC22D handles EQ and time alignment duties.


POWER ROUTE: Alternator—> Battery—> FluxCap—> SFD41C—> SafetyHub150—>ISOpwr+—> RIGrunner 4005–> USB Buddy—> iSilencer 3.0 —> DC purifier2—> DDRC22

FULL MANUAL STEREO ROUTE:

iOS > USB Camera Adapter > 20ft Mono Price USB cable > USB HEC > Digital HEC input: Helix DSP Pro mk2

Setup 3 is a direct path into the Helix and is ripe for complete manual tune of a 12 channel beast.


“12 channels? I thought you said DSP Pro mk2? That only has 10 outputs.”

Correct. So let's talk more about processing and amplification.

My outputs are:

1) Left Tweeter
2) Right Tweeter
3) Left Midrange
4) Left Midrange
5) Left Mid Bass
6) Right Mid Bass
7) Rear L (Full range)
8) Rear R (Full range)
9) Center (Full range into a Passive 2-Way)
10) Subwoofer (Mono Sum)

Outputs 7 and 8 are sent to a 2nd DSP.

Say hello to the MiniDSP DDRC 24.
This little brute splits the 2 full range rear fill signals from the Helix into 4 signals allowing for 2 way rear fill also capable of Dirac Live calibration.

POWER ROUTE: Alternator—> Battery—> FluxCap—> SFD41C—> SafetyHub150—>ISOpwr+—> RIGrunner 4005–> Mean Well SD-15A-12—> DC purifier2—> DDRC24
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Default SOURCE/PROCESSING

"BLAH BLAH BLAH. 2 way rear fill?! WTF BNLCMBCAR? WTF!?"

Yes 2 way rear fill. People have their schools of thought on it and I have mine.

“It’s waaaaaaaay more difficult to get right.”

Yes it is indeed. I embrace the challenge. This car ain’t going nowhere. That’s the point. Getting the rear tweeters in alignment with the front is a headache. Any tips and pointers are much appreciated.

Most people treat rear fill like an ugly stepchild that is hidden and neglected. My line of thought on is is is if you are going to attempt to add “extra” to your awesome front stage, why do so with afterthought parts? Rear fill is and should be considered expensive for a marginal effect you receive in return.

Some do and don’t like the effect. Hence why it is merely an option that I can enable or disable.

The DDRC24 allows me control over the rear fill signal to fine degree. It also allows for DIRAC Live processing of my rear fill channel for further assistance in staging precision.

Overkill. I know.
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Default AMPLIFICATION

AMPLIFICATION:


So now that our digital signal has passed through DSP processing, it’s time to send that signal into the analog domain for amplification.

So what exactly do I do next? After using several measures to obtain clean pristine digital pureness?

Tube it.


In comes the iFi audio micro iTube2 preamplifier:


The micro iTube2 is is a tube output stage, tube preamp, tube buffer, AND an impedance-matching device all in one. This expensive gizmo is based on the GE5670 military grade tube and specs for audiophile use:
  • Tube: NOS GE 5670×1
  • Maximum output: > 7.75V (>+20dBu)
  • SNR: 119dB(A) re. 2V, buffer, 0dB Gain
  • DNR: 131dB(A) re. +20dBu, buffer, 0dB Gain
  • THD & N: < 0.009% (re. 2V, buffer, 0dB Gain, A- weighted)
  • Frequency Response: < 10Hz -to > 200kHz (-1dB)
  • 20Hz – 20kHz (+/-0.003dB)
  • Input impedance: 1M ohm Direct Tube Buffer
  • 100k ohm Pre-Amplifier with Volume Control
  • Output stage output impedance: <1 ohm
  • Corrected output impedance: <150 ohm
  • Input voltage: AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz
  • Power consumption: <4W idle, 10W max
  • Dimensions: 175(l) x 67 (w) x 28 (h) mm
  • Weight: 278g (0.61lbs)
Quote:
New PCB, Direct-Coupled for Sonic Purity. There is no output-coupling capacity in the unit's PCB, and, fashioned in such a way, the device is set up to procure a most pristine signal path. Inherently low-distortion capacitors aid in achieving sonic purity as well.
Quote:
iFi Audio micro iTube 2 is designed to bring the sound and feel of tubes to your listening environment, providing a tube preamp, a tubed output stage, a tube buffer, and impedance matching. It accepts RCA inputs and outputs, and is designed to be inserted at various points along the chain. For instance, you can use the device as your sole preamp, or in conjunction with a solid-state preamp to inject the tube sound on the output stage. To accomplish this, the iTube 2 provides switchable settings: SET gives you the sound of single-ended triode power amplifier, while push-pull gives you the sonics of a push-pull power amplifier. Alternately, you can choose to effect the sound of a classic, low-distortion tube preamplifier.
It switches between these sonic profile by adjusting and modifying the feedback level.

Quote:
iFi audio:
“In the iTube 2 (and in the Pro line) we adjust the open loop gain to differing amounts.

If you reduce the open loop gain within a feedback circuit, it will also reduce gain slightly.

The ideal feedback circuit has infinite open loop gain. Then overall gain is set absolutely by the amount of feedback.

If by comparison we take a circuit with an open loop gain of 1 (however this may be achieved) and a normal feedback loop applied, the gain is set only by the open loop gain and the feedback loop is in effect defeated.

Using above unity but finite open loop gain gives results in-between the two extreme cases set out above. Changing open loop gain will also affect overall gain and yes, SET has the least open loop gain and so the least closed loop gain. The differences in gain are however quite small even so.”
Tubes are definitely a subjective thing in SQ. I don’t compete. I listen to this vehicle nearly every day. I enjoy the sound of tubes. It is a less fatiguing but still just as detailed presentation on the signal. Very enjoyable if I may say.

Due to the subjective nature of tubes in SQ, I’ll let others who have already said it before, state the case of the iFi micro iTube2.

Here are some highlights from a bevy of reviews for the iTube2 that can be found on head-fi:

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/ifi....22244/reviews

Quote:
The first thing I noticed was just how black the iTube2's sound was when added into the chain; I heard absolutely no discernible difference. That in itself is pretty remarkable. The came the sound itself, which hit my ears like a hammer. That weight, wow! It's not just in the low end, but the whole frequency range! I love weighted treble, and the iTube2 adds body yet simultaneously retaining any airiness, sparkle, and shine. Midrange becomes remarkably smooth, yet zero detail and texture is lost. And bass, that bass... Glorious! The iTube2 in no way boost the low end, rather enhances with added pressure, resulting in a harder hitting impact for the mid-bass and a more weighted sub-bass but no bloat or looseness whatsoever. In fact, bass detail in general has been increased! Lastly (for now) the soundstage and instrument separation/focus can be summed up in one word: Natural. While width, depth and height have been expanded, to a degree, the biggest change seems to be more to do with how the sounds "bloom" within the soundscape. It is rather hard to describe this aspect, partly due to the SET, Classic, and P/P options which change the behaviour of the sounds in the soundscape, and partly due to how each source track reacts, or interacts with the enhancements caused by the tube itself. I guess you can say it's magic!
Quote:
Only when I got down to removing the iTube2 from the chain did I get blasted by a dose of reality! The music had lost some of the warmth and intimacy I had been enjoying. It's a little difficult to describe, but I would say that the stereo image is brought slightly forward (in my near-field listening configuration) and depth is increased. The result is that every vocal element really begins to take on a three-dimensional form which the BL alone (with its already great resolution but with 3D+ off) couldn't pull off. If you don't normally listen seriously for the effect, this added three-dimensionality lends a subtle richness and midrange-bloom to the music. But when you are settled-in and pay attention, you begin to realise that the effect is not subtle at all -- it just happens to be self effacing because it the effect is so natural as to be taken for granted by our hearing apparatus!
Quote:
I have a real problem with ifi ITube, and is that when it goes out from the sound I really miss is magic it does, the brain misses the natural presentation and body that the iTube gives to the sound.

With the iTube in the middle ou the audio chain the presentation and soundstage is more human and the overall result is longer audio sessions without fatigue.

This is something you notice immediately when you take it out, the body and the magic it does simply vanish, so you can’t live without it, that’s the effect of valves.
Quote:
Interestingly, the iTube2 is more like "flavors" of Tube sound.

SET: somewhat softer and polite, deep soundstage, rolled off at both frequency extremes (most notably, less bass) but very even across most of the audio band. Pleasant, shines on some types of music.

Classic: faster, more detailed, extended at both ends with very good bass quality & depth, very extended in the treble, wide soundstage. Most hi-fi sounding. A bit too sharp in the treble for me right now, although with everything new in the chain except the DAC and headphones (including the new ifi cables from the iRACK) I'm hopeful that might work its way out, as this mode has the most broad capabilities.

Push-pull: bass isn't as taut as Classic, but is very full, deep, warm, and fun. Highs are just a bit muted. Extremely rich tube harmonics and instrumental timbres. Frequency response seems a bit uneven compared to the other two modes. Really a fun listen, though, I ended up using this a lot.
Quote:
My overall impressions are a more organic/visceral bass. I don’t feel like there is any bass extension or that it is more syrupy but just more forceful. The mids were more natural especially on voice. I cannot explain how in words but the female voices sounded more realistic. The treble seemed both extended and yet smoother which is bizarre. Again cymbals sounded more metallic but not splashy or spiky. I do like headphones to give me good imaging (hence the HD800s) and there seemed to be no real difference in the stage width of the music or vocalists but there did appear to be more stage depth front to rear and I had not expected this. To the point I was looking round behind me on a couple of tracks as it appeared sounds were coming for well behind me! In summary the sound was not softer or rolled off and yet smoother, more natural and organic and hit harder dynamically.

Curious to know even more detail about the itube2? Here are a couple papers from iFi:

https://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/upl...per1_Tubes.pdf

https://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/upl...hy-GE-5670.pdf

https://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/upl...tidotePlus.pdf

https://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/upl...olographic.pdf

So far I’m using four itube2 units to sweeten up my front tweeter, midrange, and mid-bass drivers. The 4th unit tubes up my center and subwoofer channel. Considering a couple more units in the future to tube up the rear fill as well.

The Class A tube signal flows out of the iTube2 units into Class D high efficiency amplifiers for some efficient audio bliss.

POWER ROUTE: Alternator—> Battery—> FluxCap—> SFD41C—> SafetyHub150—>ISOpwr+—> RIGrunner 4005–> DC purifier2—> iTube2
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Default AMPLIFICATION

The Class A tube buffer circuit sends the analog signal out from the iTube2 units into the inputs of Class D high efficiency amplifiers for speaker power.

A match made in heaven.

* Biketronics BT4180
- 180 Watts (4ohm) x 1 - Front Center Passive 2-Way Component
- 180 Watts (4ohm) x 2 - Rear R&L Tweeters

* Biketronics BT4180
- 180 Watts (4ohm) x 2 - Front R&L Tweeters
- 180 Watts (4ohm) x 2 - Front R&L Midrange

* Biketronics BT4250
- 250 Watts (4ohm) x 2 - Front (R&L) Midbass Drivers
- 250 Watts (4ohm) x 2 - Rear (R&L) Midbass Drivers

POWER ROUTE: Alternator—> Battery—> FluxCap—> SFD41C—> SafetyHub150—>Biketronics amps

* MMATS HiFi 4250D
- 800 Watts (4ohm) x 2- Trunk (Mono Sum) Subwoofers

POWER ROUTE: Alternator—> Battery—> FluxCap—> SFD41C—> MMATS Amp

“Biketronics? Aren’t those for motorcycles? What are those doing in an SQ build?”

Biketronics is indeed primarily a motorcycle amplifier company. But there amps use a specific patented technology for their implementation of the class D topology that is very conducive to SQ. This class D technology is well regarded in the home audio community and is called Hypex UcD. It is the brainchild of Bruno Putzey. The Hypex mopdules are well known for being load invariant throughout audible frequency range. Meaning a clear and accurate signal reproduction. The UcD modules more than deliver on their power ratings and do so while maintaining integrity to the source material.

Biketronics is a staple in the motorcycle/Harley community for those that are in search of a quality upgrade to their bike’s stereo system. You might be asking yourself.. SQ on a Harley? Why on a loud motorcycle? But hey, who are we to judge? Many home audio peeps think the same of us car audio folk. We all have our reasons. What matters is that the demand led to a supply. The supply for an audiophile level amplifier, able to fit in a small footprint, and be durable enough to survive on a motorcycle. These factors eventually lead to Biketronics combining Hypex UcD modules with their own custom 12v power supplies.

Thank you Mike Meehan. This for me is a car audio dream. These are exactly what I was looking for. An amp with no extra distracting features. Wire with gain mentality. An amp with power and headroom for dynamics and hungry drivers to feed. An amp that I could fit without sacrificing much space. An amp that my “reinforced” stoc Civic electrical could handle comfortably. An amp with with audiophile SQ specs. All the boxes were checked for me. But wait.. there is a life time warranty? It’s made in the USA?

Hmmm… I’ll take 3 please.







So using motorcycle amps for car audio? Here are a couple notes and details to help you maneuver that concept. For starters Biketronics sells majority of their amps with no gain knob. Only the BT450 and the pictures of a BT6150 prototype have gain pots to my knowledge. 4 individual gain pots for the 4250 and 3 channel pair pots for the 6150. The BT2180, BT4180, and BT 2250 do not have any gain gain controls.

Instead they are set to reach full tilt in the 2~4v range. Instead of setting gain on the amp, one is simply ale to adjust gain for each channel via their DSP.

I bought one of my BT4180’s not directly from Biketronics. The sound was amazing. But with no musics, I had the faintest whisper of a noise floor. Take in mind I’m using high sensitive home audio tweeters in a well deadened vehicle... but hey.., I wanted better. Plus my Helix DSP Pro mk2 is capable of 8v output.

I contacted Biketronics and received
Quote:
We would be happy to desensitize the unit(s) but understand that the dsp can do a far better job than if we have to "swamp" some of the gain of the amp. We are doing quite a few amps for diy'ers these days and there are a few points to consider about matching to high voltage inputs. First there is a fixed gain with the Hypex amp modules of around 3-4 V/V. Next recall we use temperature controlled gain rollback where a temp sensor controls a digital pot - so you have to have some gain to be able to rollback. Finally from a noise perspective you dont really want to swamp the input signal if possible. All these things considered we have been setting units for full scale at about 3-4 volts rms input while leaving a factor of two for gain rollback. Since you have big fans in your build we may be able to get rid of the gain rollback and then you get to full scale with 6-8 volts. If you are interested in doing that send in the parts and we can do something to reduce the overall gain. You will also get a little better noise performance as well. Note that this is our peak season so you have to be a bit patient with us relative to response time.
I sent my amp purchased not from Biketronics BT4180 in to Biketronics for them to alter the input voltage sensitivity to better suit my DSP. They stand behind the Life Time Warrany. I ordered a 2nd BT4180 from them and a BT4250 while i was at it. They rolled back the input voltage which also inherently lowered the noise floor into non existence and I still have more power on tap than I need. They even milled out more space around the RCA inputs of the BT4250 for me and removed the pots for me to have a set gain in place lik the BT4180’s.

Quote:
Mods to 4250 were really nil as we just removed the pots to make room for RCA profile - There is still a fixed resistor in there.
To make 4180's noise floor better we lowered the gain about as much as possible - even taking the gain margin used for rollback (~4-6v to bring amp to full tilt).

Since you are in a car (low ambient noise) and fans are full-up, I doubt you'll have a temp issue. If a guy calls in we'll know what to do as long as they have 4+ volts rms of drive capability.
The amps are small but still bear a mini heft and feel like quality in your hands.



The BT4180’s use XT60 connectors for their power inputs and Deutsche Novello pin connectors for speaker outputs signals and remote turn on signal. Same goes for the BT4250 except it uses an XT90 power connector. The Deutsche Novello connectors are pretty sweet. They are kind of like ferrules but more solid and they ‘click’ into placed when pushed in. A release button has be. Pressed in order to remove the ‘plugged’ in cable.





The speaker output connectors can fit 14awg. Bare wire works but is tedious. The terminals are specifically designed to use Deutsch Novello connectors. Makes things a lot easier. They push in and ‘clip’ in very secure.


Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Novello-Conne.../dp/B000WPF9W2

Gold:
https://www.electricalhub.com/deutsc...UaAhBaEALw_wcB

Or

https://www.ebay.com/itm/50x-Deutsch...d-3ade3712bbf9

You’ll notice y amps bear a different cover plate design. Biketronics is able to do a custom anodized plate for customers. In homage to the Hypex UcD modules I wanted to use the Hypex Waveform graphic. Then also homage to the ‘Titan’ Power greek reference on the standard Biketronics amps, I want the word euphōnos next to the wave in Futura font. Euphōnos is Greek for “sweet sound” or “sweet voice” representative of the sweet sound the amp produces

I KNOW I will be keeping these amps for a LOOOOOONG time.

For my subwoofer amplifier, i am using the MMATS HiFi 4250D. This is a BEAST of an amplifier in conveniently small package with the Bur Brown input stage preserving our cherished sound quality. They are good sounding amps. I don’t know of anyone disappointed with their sonic performance.

Quality parts for quality sound:






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Default Re: Self Driving 2016 Civic SQmobile Prototype: iOS | USB/SPIDF | Tubes | 3 DSP’s | D

Now that's dedication to car audio. Makes my systems look like a transistor radio.

Chevy Sonic: Pioneer DMH-C2550NEX, JL VX 800/8i, VX 1000/1i,Morel CCWR254 AF GB60, SS D3004, SS 12" 30w/4558T. Chevy Silverado: Factory HU, NAV-TV GM-650, JL TWK, NVX JAD 800.4, NVX JAD 1200.1, Audiofrog GS690, Morel 2.5, SS R2004, DA HO 12"(2)
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Default Re: Self Driving 2016 Civic SQmobile Prototype: iOS | USB/SPIDF | Tubes | 3 DSP’s | D

EPIC!

No kids I assume? lol
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Default Re: Self Driving 2016 Civic SQmobile Prototype: iOS | USB/SPIDF | Tubes | 3 DSP’s | D

wow, impressive!

I am sub'd - keeping this one for a good reading time.

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Default Re: Self Driving 2016 Civic SQmobile Prototype: iOS | USB/SPIDF | Tubes | 3 DSP’s | D

Wow!

Sub'd - Gotta come back and dig deep into this when I have time...

"Car audio is all about compromise. There's no single best way to do anything. Optimization in the face of several variables ... often conflicting ... means compromise. The educated are better positioned to sort through the compromises than the opinionated." - werewolf
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Default Re: Self Driving 2016 Civic SQmobile Prototype: iOS | USB/SPIDF | Tubes | 3 DSP’s | D

Well - first of all, thank you for a HECTIC reading episode

I have some remarks and a TON of questions -

Power train
-------------

I totally get it! the fluxcap is awesome there were such products in the past from helix and as well there was another Spanish product that used to regulate the power like that - this one is new to me and I really liked the powerwerx and the ifi audio power handling side products.

It was a good decision to get a deep cycle battery to be coupled with the power flux but as for alternators - have you tried to open a query in front of the technical support of US alternators or Mechman?

Noise - And the first audio route via the stock system
------
Not sure what is the point of suppressing all that noise than using the high level entrance of the helix? on that specific route I mean.

DSP and DIRAC LIVE
-----------------------

1. Where do you place the UMIK (microphone) in the front of the car?
2. Where do you place the UMIK (microphone) in the back of the car?

As much as I understand the DIRAC LIVE uses a microphone feedback in order to implement the house curve corrections.

3. How does the DIRAC corrects the subwoofer? center channel?

Not sure I fully got that part...

Sound deadening and Comma AI:
-------------------------------------

Would it be possible to implement this technology on a subaru that has the eyesight system? assuming is a model that has auto breaking and adaptive cruise control?

As much as I know about the last generation of Subaru - the glass is noise treated.

AMPs - and other technologies
------

The biketronics amps are extremely interesting products - have you considered other amplifiers for example:

ARC audio XDi or KS mini
TARAMPs - very interesting brand
ZED Audio

What about other technologies such as Audison Full DA meshed by BtiOneHD coupled with Thesis or Voce amps using CAT6 interconnecting them?

Wonderful thread and a massive read! thank you!

Oh - I really liked that Argus FHD

I am a follower of your work now!

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Default SPEAKERS

SPEAKERS

It's finally time to bring these amplified signals into the car environment for my ears to enjoy. These are the following instruments I selected to sing the notes of my music:


1 Center Channel: 1 thin Morel Virtus Nano MW6 midbass + 1 MT120N tweeter (ran off passive crossover) :

I was looking to cover largest frequency range possible for my center channel. This is usually achievable with 2-way setup. Most midbass woofers in a 2-way setup are conducive to fitting in the footprint of a dash without major modification.

The Morel Virtus Nano helps me achieve my center channel desires. I 1st learned about this woofer from one of Bing’s build logs. Lastly in my opinion Morel’s tend to have a warmer presentation to them. Seeing as this woofer is firing up into the glass windshield, I was not opposed to the speaker having a warmer tone to it. No science or measurements to back this up, just my own psychoacoustic thoughts.

I played around with the tweeter for a while. On axis vs firing directly into windshield vs firing up into the windshield.
My tastes settled for firing up into the windshield. This caused the speaker to “disappear” more than the other options. Once I had placement and positioning settled, my wife allowed me to take the car the La Jolla audio for some professional work to make it look nice and presentable:


Thank you to Scott over at La Jolla audio for helping me out. I’m very pleased with the results.

This speaker doesn’t get a lot of play currently. I am patiently waiting on the Helix DSP Ultra to fully utilize this speaker. Really only use currently for the DTS Neural multi seat is used for passengers and even then it is still under utilized since the stock center signal was originally intended for a single 3” woofer.

2 Front Tweeters: Scan Speak D3004/6020-00


The Scan Speak D3004/6020-00 silk dome tweeters are not strangers here on DIYMA. These are staples in the home audio scene and are more than capable playing the upper frequency range with pristine clarity and detail. It’s usually diminishing margins of return when looking for better tweeters than these. But hey that’s what I do. So I have purchased but have not installed yet the beryllium version of this tweeter the D3004/6040-00.

I will post my opinions on their differences when I get around to swapping them out.

My tweeters are installed in the stock A-Pillar location in a cross firing configuration.
The consideration that went into this decision was mainly maintaining the stock tweeter location for when I use the stock head unit route for DTS Neural. The stock amp processing is already time aligned for that location.

2 Front Midrange: Audiofrog GB25

These are a consistent midrange that seems to be a jack of all trades for being musical, able to handle power/play clearly with volume, and fit in nifty spaces conducive to car audio. These gems are just what I was looking for.

Mine are installed on pillars very close to my stock tweeter location in the same cross firing continuation as the tweeters. They are sealed in the token German metal pods with a volume of 0.25-0.3 Liters.

They are a bit heavy for the Honda trim. Currently usin Sorbothane hemisphere bumpers wedged in support positions to eliminate any pod wobble while driving over bumper terrain.


2 Front Mid Bass: Stereo Integrity TM165 mkii
All I can say is what is already known:
Legendary powerful midbass performance at a steal of a price.

Mine are installed in stock Door location of some doors treated with a healthy dose of sound deadening.

2 Rear Tweeters: Stereo Integrity M25

This handles the upper frequencies for my rear deck 2-way rear fill. They are currently in the back most corners of the rear deck firing up.
[IMG][/IMG]
I’m trying these out. They play crystal clear and behave with power nicely. I say “trying” because is if I ever give up on them (big if), they would be replaced by Stereo integrity M3 Midrange s installed on axis sealed in pods. Still for 2 way rear fill purposes just a 2 way rear fill that doesn’t play s high as one with tweeters.

2 Front Mid Bass: Stereo Integrity TM165 mkii
Lower end of the rear deck 2 way rearfill.

2 Subwoofers: Stereo Integrity BM mkV (ran off single mono sum channel)
I have a wife who wants to start having kids soon. This build originally had a 10w7 which provided glorious bass with some veerious tedious trial and error tuning. But it occupied to much trun space per the wife. Shallow sub time.
I had to go for the Stereo Integrity BM mkV’s. These are audiophile jewels that will push the boundary of what to expect from a shallow mount sub.

Thank you Dennis at DV Audio for helping me out with the enclosure! My subs are sealed in a MDF enclosure that provides each woofer with an individual volume of .655L. The enclosure is a sealed baffle to the cabin in a similar fashion that an IB sub is setup.
Double baffle front wall is an exact fit for the back seat opening. SDS CLD was used to outline the opening.

I dont have before pics, but then a bunch of layers of butyl rope was also place around opening so that when the enclosure was placed into positions and screwed in the car frame, buytly rope was squeezed and pinched both front and back providing a dampened seal. It is hard to see but you can see the butyl along the baffle wall seal:


The rear deck was treated heavy with several layers of CLD both top side and underside. The center stock 8’ sub hole is sealed of with MDF and MLV. The underside of the Rear deck was then sealed with Gorilla Wet and Seal Tape. Gobs of butyl rope pushed into any openings in nooks/corners and around cable pass throughs. .Then the entire rear trunks side of the sub enclosure/baffle was sealed (left right up down) with 2 layers of CLD.

The top side of the rear deck has CCF on top of the CLD. The only openings in the rear deck are the 2 x stock 6.5” woofer holes that are currently ‘sealed’ with the TM65 mk2 woofers that are mounted in them.
The entire trunk including the lid is lined with CLD/CCF/MLV. I tried every measure i could to make that trunk a backwave pit. The angle of the subs firing into the cabin is in alignment with the angle of the back of the rear seats


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Default TUNING

TUNING:


There several tools incorporated into this build to help one tame such an animal.

Stock Headunit:
Volume: 1-40
EQ:
  • Bass -6 to +6
  • Middle: -6 to +6
  • Treble: -6 to + 6
Fader: Rear to Front (-9 to +9)
Balance: Left to Right (-9 to +9)
Subwoofer Gain: -6 to +6
Speed Volume Compensation: Off | Low | Mid | High
DST Neural Surround: Off | On


miniDSP DDRC 22D:
Volume
Time Delay
EQ
Fir Filtering via Dirac Live

What is Dirac Live?

This is a “auto” tune of sorts that while meant for room correction, it can also yield strong results in the car environment.

Quote:
Dirac Live is a proprietary algorithm that miniDSP licenses from Dirac Research.Dirac Live is a proprietary algorithm that miniDSP licenses from Dirac Research.

Quote:
Dirac Live™ is a room correction algorithm developed by Dirac Research AB of Sweden. It uses a very powerful algorithm to analyze a set of nine measurements taken around the listening area and to generate a correction filter. The correction is implemented using what Dirac Live call mixed-phase filters.
Quote:
Dirac Live Calibration Tool corrects the measured in-room amplitude response to a specified "target curve." Usually, it has a rise in the bass and a slight fall in the treble…Dirac Live Calibration Tool uses the measurements around the listening area and searches for optimizations that it can perform across the whole listening area...
Quote:
Dirac Live Calibration Tool also corrects the time domain response of the loudspeaker.

I use it as the STEREO GLOBAL EQ in source route #2.

Helix DSP Pro mk2:
Master Volume Gain (Analog & Digital)
Individual Source Gain
Output Gain
Channel Matrix
Channel Crossover
Input EQ
Output EQ
All Pass Filter
Time Alignment
Phase Alignment
AKM DAC Settings

I use it as the gateway to the speaker channels. Primarily the channel matrix and crossovers. Then secondary time alignment and EQ


miniDSP DDRC24:
Volume
Channel Matrix
Crossover
PEQ
Fir Filtering via Dirac Live

I use it as a crossover to get 2 more channels for 2way rear fill and the assistance of Dirac Live Calibration to better align with the front stage.

iFi micro iTube2:
(Analog Signal Processor)
Volume Gain
Bass EQ
3D Matrix Processing
Tube Feedback Settings

I use this as a tube buffer mainly. I dont really dabble much with the Bass EQ or 3D Matrix toggles. I leave them switched out fo the circuit. I more so enjoy playing with the Tube profile toggle. Very cool feature.

Quote:
The front panel houses the analogue potentiometer, as well as 3 separate switches. The volume-pot has a very nice level of resistance to it (physical, not electrical), and also doubles up as the power-switch.

The first of the 3 toggle switches has 3 positions to alter the iTube 2’s 3D+ feature. The middle position is the off position, whilst flipping the switch downwards will engage the + setting. IFI describes the + setting as “this matrix recreates the original ‘width’ of the soundstage and is the recommended DEFAULT setting”. On the other hand, flipping the switch to the top position engages the 30°+ circuitry, which IFI says “this matrix adds an extra 30° to redress the narrow placement of speakers (eg either side of a PC monitor).

Then we move on to the second switch, which deals with the XBass+ feature. This switch too has 3 positions. Starting from the bottom-most position this time is the off position, whilst the middle position adds 12dB of bass boost which IFI says is “for speakers missing some bass notes (below 80Hz)”, and lastly is the top-most position which only adds 6dB of bass boost and is intended “for speakers missing only the lowest bass notes (below 40Hz)”.
You’ll notice that IFI specifically puts an emphasis on the use of the iTube 2 with speakers, rather than headphones. Whilst the device certainly can be used with headphones, some of the functions and/or features are indeed more appropriate for speakers.

Finally we get to the last switch which is arguably the star of the show – the “Tube+” switch. No, this switch doesn’t select between different tubes, but rather between different tube sound signatures…or at least what IFI describes as being the equivalent of different tube driven topologies.

The middle position selects the default setting which “produces a sound parallel to classic, low-distortion tube-based studio equipment”.
Switching to the bottom-most position enables the Push-Pull setting which is meant to engage “the sound signature of a Push-Pull tube amplifier”, and lastly the upper-most position is labeled as “Set” which IFI describes as “the sound signature of a Single-Ended Triode amplifier.
-https://www.samma3a.com/tech/en/ifi-...preamp-review/

I have these options to apply to my channel pairs (front tweeters, front midrange, front mid bass, center, and subwoofer).

Measuring Tools:

I use a Lenovo 14” Thinkpad + Cross Spectrum calibrated MiniDSP UMIK-1 microphone to run REW, Helix DSP PC Tool, and Dirac Live Calibration Tool.
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