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Old 01-19-2007   #1
 
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Exclamation JBL's MS-8 processor!

MS-8 comes with the pre-amp/amp, a small display, a wireless remote control, a binaural microphone and a setup CD.

MS-8 will have 8 speaker level inputs, 8 line level inputs and an iPod input. The inputs are summed to provide a full-range 2-channel signal. If 6 or fewer inputs are required, then the last 2 can be used for an additional aux input.

There are no digital inputs. Why? Because the real benefit of digital input is "no noise". The downside to providing one is that for 99 percent of users, it's more hassle than it's worth and will cause a great deal of confusion. Not too many people understand that the connector doesn't determine the signal. What I mean is, if we put a toslink input and a user hooks up a toslink output, it will only work is the signal is compatible. DVD-Audio isn't available on a digital output, DVD signals are 48k, PCM is 44.1, home-made digital audio can be anything. The signal from tuners is often only output on the RCAs. For the vast majority of users, there is no benefit and too much opportunity for disappointment. As far as noise goes, our inputs are differential, so the commoon mode noise rejection is super high. There won't be any noise.

There are 8 input channels, so the 8 speaker level inputs and 8 line level inputs are basically in parallel. You can use any combination.

Once the signals have been combined and un-EQed (for a flat 2-channel signal), the signal is processed with Logic7. That provides signal steering for a center channel (if you have one--if not, no problem) and processing for side and rear channels. L7 works on any 2-channel source and is our version is written for cars rather than live-in rooms, so it sounds MUCH better than any of the encoded formats in a car. The 2-channel downmix of any encoded DVD or DVD-A disc will play back in full surround. If good-old 2-channel is what you want, L7 is defeatable and the channels are fully configurable (there are 8 output channels and they can be pre-amp channels or powered channels--20W x 8 at 4 ohms, 30W at 2 ohms). You can have 3-way front, a center and a sub, 2-way front, rear and a sub...whatever you want to do.

The electronic crossover that's built in is fully configurable. You can assign any channel to be anything and it includes an EZ setup mode and an advanced mode. In EZ setup, you tell each channel the speaker location (front right, for example), then you tell it what speaker is connected (6" full-range). It sets the crossover point. In advanced mode, you tell the channel the location (right front) and then assign a filter type (HP, LP, BP) and then you set the filter frequency (you can assign any value between 20 at 20kHz) and the slope (1st-4th order).

After the crossover setup is completed, you move on to the EQ. You put on the microphones (they look like airline headphones but contain mics instead of speakers) and insert the CD. The display will give you some instructions to sit in the driver's seat and look at the left mirror and press "go". the unit will make a quick sweep of all 8 output channels. Then it will ask you to look forward and will make another sweep. Finally, it'll ask you to look to the right--another quick sweep. You can measure only the driver's seat or up to 4 seats. After the measurements are made (takes about 5 minutes) the unit will calculate the frequency response, level and arrival time for all 8 channels in each seat and crunch some numbers (another 30 seconds or so). It auto-tunes the car with 48 measurements per seat (up to 4 seats). It will output a tuning optimized for the driver, passenger, compromise between driver and passenger and one for the rear seats. If you use a center channel, both front seats will sound the same and the image will be great for rear seat passengers too.

After the auto-tuning is done, it will allow you to change the target curve. You can call up a 31-band EQ tool and make whatever changes you want. Unlike a regular EQ, you don't have to find an RTA and tune the car with the EQ, you just draw the curve you want to hear and press "go" and it does the work in implementing your curve. Then you can switch back and forth between your curve and the automatic one and continue making changes until you're satisfied. The curve you draw will always be adjusted in level so that the maximum number of bits are available to describe the signal (optimized for dynamic range). Once you save the curve, you can access any of the settings optimized for any seat using the remote control and the display.

You can turn Logic7 on and off, adjust the level of the center channel, use a balance control, fader, 3 or 11-band graphic EQ or adjust the level of the bass. THe bass control isn't a gain control for the subwoofer output, it's a filter that works with the crossover and applies the right amount of bass to ALL channels so the illusion of bass up front isn't destroyed when you turn up the bass.

Answers to some likely questions:

1. You don't have to use the unit's volume control. You can use the one in the head-unit if you want to.
2. Maximum input voltage on the RCAs is 2V and 15V on the speaker level inputs. The signal is converted directly into digital after the preamp buffer, so a high signal level is far less important in this device than in conventional ones. The input is fully differential, so there won't be noise. I suggest speaker level connections because they are COMPLETELY isolated from ground.
3. The automatic EQ isn't exactly parametric or graphic. It's a very powerful algorithm that works on the impulse response to adjust both time and frequency response. It's amazing and does in about 30 seconds what I can do with an 80 band parametric EQ, crossover, time alignment and a serious analyzer in about 3 days.
4. The display doesn't have to be mounted. If you don't want iPod control or the ability to adjust after setup, you can unplug the display and use MS-8 as a "black box".
5. The unit is small--about 8.5" x 11" x 2.5"
6. Price will be about $800...TBD
7. The software is updatable via USB and a PC.

It does what all other OEM integration tools do and what every other DSP (EQ, Crossover, Time alignment, 7.1) processors do, but it sounds better, is easier to use, is less expensive and is far more advanced in terms of DSP power. Best of all, it's a tool you can be successful with, rather than a whiz-bang collection of filters and adjustment possibilities that require a PhD in acousitcs to use.

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Old 01-19-2007   #2
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Wow that looks like a pretty impressive unit, someone buy one and review it

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Old 01-19-2007   #3
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

maximum input voltage is 2V??? that is dang low! Guess all eclipse and most alpine users wont be getting one. are they trying to attract customers or drive them away? that right there will put a large group of people on the "cant buy it" list.

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Old 01-19-2007   #4
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Bah, Im just waiting for a decent 4-way (lowpass - Bandpass - Bandpass - Highpass) crossover with a 31 band stereo EQ at a realistic price with no extra frills such as aux inputs, ipod, blah blah blah.

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Old 01-19-2007   #5
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by c0mpl3x
Bah, Im just waiting for a decent 4-way (lowpass - Bandpass - Bandpass - Highpass) crossover with a 31 band stereo EQ at a realistic price with no extra frills such as aux inputs, ipod, blah blah blah.
whats wrong with the PXA?
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Old 01-19-2007   #6
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdubs767
whats wrong with the PXA?
It requires you to controle it with the that god aweful Alpine deck/controler or a damn DVD player which I don't care for in a car and costs near $1000 or more for everything.

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Old 01-19-2007   #7
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobditts
maximum input voltage is 2V??? that is dang low! Guess all eclipse and most alpine users wont be getting one. are they trying to attract customers or drive them away? that right there will put a large group of people on the "cant buy it" list.
I think processor caters more to the audio enthusiasts today that have newer cars where the radio is much harder to replace with something aftermarket. It a great interface with your stock radio into an elaborate system with aftermarket amps.

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Old 01-19-2007   #8
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

i for one am very excited to check out the product there's been plenty of talk about it since its initial debut at ces2006...hopefully it's as good as andy makes it out to be .
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Old 01-19-2007   #9
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

that sounds awesome. i can go back old school an rock my ECD 510

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Old 01-19-2007   #10
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

That thing does speak to the lazy ass tuner in me.

And WTF is with the obsession over preamp output!! I seriously don't get it.

But I have to agree with c0mpl3x. Now that the iPod has infected the material word, the manufacturers have a raging case of feature-itis. :barf:
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Old 01-19-2007   #11
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Squad
And WTF is with the obsession over preamp output!! I seriously don't get it.
No one said anything about preamp output. I mentioned the JBL units restriction to a 2V INPUT.

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Old 01-19-2007   #12
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobditts
No one said anything about preamp output. I mentioned the JBL units restriction to a 2V INPUT.
I doubt that the output from most stock headunits ever exceed 2volts.

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Old 01-19-2007   #13
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

^ Im raising the BS flag.

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Old 01-19-2007   #14
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobditts
^ Im raising the BS flag.
He's absolutely 100% right! Thus my comment. Don't believe us, measure it yourself.
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Old 01-19-2007   #15
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skylar112
I doubt that the output from most stock headunits ever exceed 2volts with music.
edited for him

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Old 01-19-2007   #16
 
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Does anyone know if this unit will do something about OEM head units or after market ones that have volume dependent equalization or some other sound processing. Other than tell you to leave the main volume in one setting and use theres as the master volume.
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Old 01-19-2007   #17
 
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

You guys are funny...

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Old 01-19-2007   #18
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

The input voltage bullshit is trivial at best.
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Old 01-19-2007   #19
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

if i knew how to measure I might just do that. All I know is that my eclipse has damaged a few products because of its high output voltage. I wouldnt want to spend the $800 or whatever the price is on this thing just for my eclipse to blow it up.

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Old 01-19-2007   #20
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobditts
if i knew how to measure I might just do that. All I know is that my eclipse has damaged a few products because of its high output voltage. I wouldnt want to spend the $800 or whatever the price is on this thing just for my eclipse to blow it up.
Multimeter Bob, multimeter.

Can you please show proof of what that the high voltage signal damaged? Not trying to be confrontational at all. I hear this all the time, however I've never seen proof.

If you actally knew how much votage your Eclipse 8V deck was pumping out...even at fill tilt (80/80) on the most dynamic disk you own, you'd probably be A LITTLE surprised. Marketing shannagins for the loss!

Also, to be clear, my original comment was not directed at you personally. I personally believe that preout voltage might just be the most poorly understood facets in car audio. Not surprisingly, manufaturers take advantage of this BIG TIME!!
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Old 01-19-2007   #21
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

I didnt take it personally at all. And no I cant show proof of the damage my deck caused because I have already warrantied everything. Plus it happened like 3 years ago. here was the situation... eclipse 8442, jbl BP300.1, an alpine type S 12DVC, and a sealed box built to spec. everything was set properly including gains. basically I went through 3 different subs with the exact same setup. nothing was wrong at all. Come to find out that the JBL BP amps cant handle the 8V too well and surged too much power to the sub. sub ended up blowing. I never even had a chance to really pus the sub hard.

Ill see if I can hit my deck up with a DMM tonight, if not it will be tomorrow. I will post pics of my results in a new thread.

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Old 01-19-2007   #22
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobditts
if i knew how to measure I might just do that. All I know is that my eclipse has damaged a few products because of its high output voltage. I wouldnt want to spend the $800 or whatever the price is on this thing just for my eclipse to blow it up.

I used my Eclipse 8053 with an 10yr old amplifier that had a maximum input voltage of 1.5V with absolutely no problems.
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Old 01-19-2007   #23
 
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

Npdang, any comments this ability of this units auto-tuning to do what it promises.
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Old 01-19-2007   #24
 
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

For anyone interested, here is the original thread.

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Old 01-19-2007   #25
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Default Re: JBL's MS-8 processor!

I don't trust any software to auto-tune... as in set it and forget it. I just don't think there's anything sophisticated enough out there yet that could do a good job.

However, the nice thing it seems with the JBL unit is that rather than adjusting bands directly, you only need to change the target response and the system will do the rest... as well as the spatial averaging and other fancy stuff the dsp will calculate. Whether or not it actually works I think we will have to wait and see... but given the resources that JBL has behind them I don't see why it wouldn't. I was a tiny bit dissapointed that they didin't incorporate room correction into the unit. If anything needed it, it's definitely a car.

A speaker is only as good as the room you put it in.
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