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Discussion Starter #621
Glad to see you’re making strides towards nailing down a tuning process Gerald. I just redid the tune for my Sienna last night and I’m shocked at how much better it sounds now. I followed the same process I used on my CX5 which I’ve perfected over the last year on my Ford.

I wonder how Jim is making out with what he learned at the meet. I haven’t heard from him. I was going to suggest that he disable his midrange in his DSP and tune the system as a two way active. If he still has the same issue than it’s not his midrange that is the problem.
The vehicle that you brought to the GTG sounded really good, and your tuning skills are evolving as well. It's very neat to go to meet ups and competitions and hear other peoples systems. Every time that I go, I learn something from someone that I can implement for use on my system.

A lot of people have an aversion to competitions because they do not want to feel the pressure of measuring up or think they have to have a really serious system.

I found that the opposite is true. The first competition that I went to, in fall of 2015 in Syracuse, NY I had no idea what a sound stage even was. At every competition that I have attended I have met a bunch of great guys that have helped me along the way and some of which I would consider some of my best friends.

Just from attending and hanging out at these places, and spending time with others that have been involved with I've learned tips and tricks from many people along the way, just from having conversations or from observing and listening to both vehicles and people engaged in conversation.

I'm curious to see the outcome of Jim's dilemma. It was very nice of you to spend as much time as you did trying to help him out. It was a very generous gesture of your time and knowledge.

Overall, I thought that this particular GTG was the best so far, because of how laid-back it was. We have a good group of guys and it was great to see both old and new faces.

Thank you for promoting the event on the other forum. I enjoyed exchanging demos as well as our conversation. Already itching for Spring to roll around so I can attend more competitions as well as having our Spring Meet Up!
 

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Meets and comps very much enhance the hobby! It is a lot of theoretical, a lot of your own echo chamber until you can speak face to face, listen to other’s cars - and especially, have knowledgeable folks that can articulate what they hear - listening to your car.

That is what I’m doing in Augusta today




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Discussion Starter #623
Meets and comps very much enhance the hobby! It is a lot of theoretical, a lot of your own echo chamber until you can speak face to face, listen to other’s cars - and especially, have knowledgeable folks that can articulate what they hear - listening to your car.

That is what I’m doing in Augusta today




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Oh, man I'm jealous!!!!

Especially seeing all the meats that Jason Carter has in preparation for this Event. I wish that I could have made the long journey.

Thanks so much Jason B. for chiming in.
For anyone that isn't aware Jason B. hosts the biggest car audio GTG nationwide, I believe. But I'm sure most everyone on this forum already know about them. Jason hosts car audio events in North Carolina ( NCSQ). They are fun, relaxed and informal. As many as 30-50plus vehicles attend. I drove the beast all the way to N.C. to attend one of his events.

It was at one of his events that I found out how great a tuned system can sound like. It really opened my eyes to the wonderful people involved with car audio.

Have fun today, Jason and tell Jason Carter that I said hello if you get a chance!
 

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Discussion Starter #624
So I sealed back up the AC holes. Started listening again with the doors shut and the treatments up.

I got a "New to me" Oppo Blu Ray player with a 32 bit D/A converter and put it up against the Sony C-90 / 24 bit 4000 Processor combo with all processing done through the ARC PS8.

I played the same CD track in the Sony, had me and my helper listen to the same track from the Center seat and switched to the Oppo and played the same track. Both of us heard an instrument separated from the rest that we didn't hear with the Sony.

What I gained when upgrading installing the Sony 4000, I got a little more of when upgrading to the Oppo.

The separation between instruments is what is noticeable most.

CDs play at 16 Bit 44.1khz.
The Blu Ray can play up to 24 Bit 196khz.

I played some concerts and forgot what I was missing all these months when I was more focused on getting the Audio right.

The concerts are great. Especially Phil Collins live at Montreaux 2004. WOW!

Adding the picture just makes the Van sound system more engaging.

I still have to cover the box in black carpet, but got it built today.
 

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Discussion Starter #626
So I've been experimenting with the old school audio gear. I thought that I would need just three EQTs for equalization, because I thought they were stereo but they are in fact mono. So instead of purchasing 3 more EQTs and putting one on each driver, ( as well as purchasing more interconnects ) I decided to experiment with what I have.

I hooked up two EQTs right after the Oppo and sent that signal to the back. That signal went right into the Nakamichi crossover which had the same crossover settings as I was using in the DSP. From the Nakamichi, the Highs went directly to the tweeter amp as there is no delay on those.
The mids went to a phase shift controller ( using cheap RCA cables ) and then on tho the mid-range amp. Same with the lows.

At first, I couldn't find a way to control volume through the Oppo, so I used a fader control in line between the Output of the EQT and the input of the Nakamichi.

The Sound:

I played some BB King on Blu-ray because I just had been listening to it using the ARC PS8 and the sound was fresh in my mind. What I immediately noticed, was that I had lost some separation between instruments. I didn't have more Audioquest cables to use between each piece of equipment, but I wanted to get a feel for the Analog equipment.

I then removed the fader control from the loop and the separation between instruments increased significantly but not quite up to the level of using all Audioquest interconnects. From that experiment, I validated my hypothesis that Richard Clark's Amplifier test as well as Ethan Winer Null test was incorrect as they both used a piece of equipment which acted as a filter in the loop.

The results of my experiments have shown that no matter how different the input signal may be, if one uses a filter in the loop, the resulting sound will be degraded to the same extent due to the filter. This experiment, (along with the others that I have made during the process of putting together this system), reaffirms my claim that I have been making since I've joined this forum that all parts of the chain in the electrical signal from the battery on through the entire electrical path which ends at the to speakers have an influence on the sound. Everything matters. Battery composition and quality, wire composition, size and quality, terminations quality, source unit selection, interconnects, wire length, size and type, and speaker selection.

What I was wrong about was that I didn't give enough credit to install and tuning, which everyone on this forum was trying to get through to me. The most dramatic change to my system was when I re-aimed drivers to the correct angle relative to the listening position, which allowed me to get depth for the first time as well as more cohesion and better staging characteristics as well as better focus and precision.

With regards to tuning, I will admit that for me, tuning is very difficult. I'm not very good at it, and I'm still learning as I go. I think it would take many more years and discipline for me to master tuning. My strength is in my brain's ability to process spacial differences and L/R information and notice subtle changes in sound.

Conclusion:

Just with my few days of messing around with the Analog gear, I'm fairly confident that if I were to purchase the additional EQT's, Interconnects, and one more phase shift controller for the 18" IB sub, that I could get my system with analog gear to sound nearly identical to the system with the Arc PS8 DSP. It almost does right now, but not quite.

I have no desire to invest more time, effort and money to take this experiment to its end just to demonstrate that it can be done.

For now, I need to invest all my effort into getting the tune using the ARC PS8 perfected. I would say that over the last few months, my tuning skills have improved. I feel as if I've taken my system to about 90 to 95 percent of it's maximum potential which has changed since the driver re-aiming and source unit upgrades.

Hopefully, over the next month or so, I can take the system to it's limit, but I'm thinking that I may need to reach out for help. Honestly, I don't think have enough experience, patience, or discipline to do it myself.

Future Plans:

I still have three experiments to try before I call it quits, though. I want to swap out my woofers, possibly my mid-range Amp, and to try out some Synergistic Research fuses and other products they offer. I do have an end goal in my sights. Hopefully, I'll be able to get these last few experiments done by the end of the 2020 Competition season.

One thing that I did miss out on was going to Finals in 2019. I'm glad that I worked on my system instead, and got it imaging better, but when I attended Finals 2018, it was so cool hanging out and seeing the entire car audio community there in one location. One thing that helped, was the ability to watch the awards ceremony via the internet, as well as watching some of Nick Apicella's Competitor Spotlight videos.

But if health and wealth allow, I'm planning on competing in the 2020 Season, mainly to share my creation with anybody that cares to give it a listen, but also to hang out with the gang of friends that I have made since entering this great hobby of ours.
 

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That is good stuff Gerald. I wish those pieces had been stereo so you could have used them for the entire system, but it sounded like it was an illuminating experience none the less.

It is a good reminder of what is contained within these small black boxes called DSPs.....pretty amazing what they are capable of in such a small package.

I’m looking forward to reading about the additional few things you have planned, and I’ll hopefully see you at one of the events next year.


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Discussion Starter #628
So I've been listening to the system for the last few weeks and I feel that it's finally D.O.N.E. as far as tuning goes!!! It feels very strange and weird as I have been adjusting, swapping, re-aiming as well as tuning and tweaking things for the past 7 years and I've never been quite satisfied with the tune.

I always felt that the system could be improved upon in one way or another, but since I've done the test tone tune on November 16th I'm content as she sits now. I made a couple level adjustments in the Bass/Sub Bass and and adjusted one frequency by ear since. But with the addition of those couple of
IMG_2827.jpg
changes, I'm totally happy.

Now I just need to get as many sets of ears critically listening to the system to get listening impressions. I welcome any and all feedback from beginner to expert, but I'm especially curious to see what the feedback may be from those who either have had many years experience in car and home audio or who have gone to Judges training school.

I finally have a system that I'm proud of and that I don't have to make excuses for ( in my own head ). I'm hopefully not going to hear the words "This system has the potential to sound really good." anymore, which I heard over and over from many different listeners. ( Fingers crossed ).

Now I have to work on an demo/evaluation disk that I feel highlights the strongest parts of the system.

I added an Tru Line Output Conditioner to bump up the juice. The home audio Oppo Player does not have the output voltage as high the car Audio Sony Combo has, but it is nice to be able to play Blu-Rays concerts as the audio can be of higher quality.

The audio alone stands on it's own merits ( IMHO) , but having the screen adds the visual cues that add a different flavor to the experience. I removed the screen for a very long time as to focus on just the sound. I'm wondering if having the screen in there detracts or diminishes the audio part of the equation or adds to and enhances it?

I'll include both audio only and audio/video in my demos and ask for feedback in order to make that determination.
 

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I'm hopefully not going to hear the words "This system has the potential to sound really good." anymore, which I heard over and over from many different listeners.
Haha the phrase you don't really want to hear after spending ages working on your tune and think it's great.

Hope catch up with you at a meet somewhere next year and get an updated demo.
 

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Discussion Starter #631
Haha the phrase you don't really want to hear after spending ages working on your tune and think it's great.

Hope catch up with you at a meet somewhere next year and get an updated demo.
Hello Ian,
and thanks for the reply. If health and wealth provide, I will be making rounds in the competition circuit for 2020 and if you hold a GTG I might possibly attend that one. But I will be going to SVR for sure, and Nicks event if he plans one out. I'm going to try and gather enough points to go to Louisville in the fall. So I may be in Virginia or MD if need be. Maybe you can invite a judge or two to your event and make it into a Competition for anyone that needs points. ( Like Jason Carter did ) That might be a great idea????

It would be cool to see and hear the changes that you've done to your system as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #632
Set the date for the next gtg Gerald as I have something interesting for you to listen to too
Hi Kevin,
I was hoping that the next GTG would be at your shop in the Spring. I put a bug in Nicks ear today. Hopefully he will plan something well ahead of time to give people a time period to get their systems ready. Unlike me who threw the last one together with just two or three weeks notice. ( lol )
I'm interested to listen to what you have cooking.
 

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Hello Ian,
and thanks for the reply. If health and wealth provide, I will be making rounds in the competition circuit for 2020 and if you hold a GTG I might possibly attend that one. But I will be going to SVR for sure, and Nicks event if he plans one out. I'm going to try and gather enough points to go to Louisville in the fall. So I may be in Virginia or MD if need be. Maybe you can invite a judge or two to your event and make it into a Competition for anyone that needs points. ( Like Jason Carter did ) That might be a great idea????

It would be cool to see and hear the changes that you've done to your system as well.
All going well I should also be at SVR this year, I am not yet 100% certain on hosting a meet, spoke to Jason B last year and am thinking of just doing something in the Fall, instead of both Spring and Fall, we'll see though, depends on if I get enough interest to make a Spring one worthwhile. Inviting a judge could also be fun, but in some ways that pulls a little of the fun out of a meet, definitely worth thinking about though as well. I'm hoping there are a few more events in VA/MD next year, but not counting on it as there were virtually none this year (at least that I was aware of, despite regularly checking).
 
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