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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all -

I greatly appreciate your help in advance. Let me give you the run down. Factory head unit. Polk Audio in all doors, including tweeters. Running active in the front to a Rockford 4x400. Back doors are running to a Rockford 2x300. Kenwood Excelon 10s (2) under the rear seat driven by a Kenwood amp. I recently had a RF 3sixty.3 installed. The 3sixty started to fail (Hz settings on certain bands were randomly set, to say 10476, 12874, etc.). So I contacted the dealer and shipped it back. This was the second unit. So, before I replace parts (I'm waiting on a store credit, so I have time to solve this), I want to ensure I have the right pieces in place.

I utilized the high level speaker inputs on the 3sixty. These were OUT of the Sony amp. Now, I need to make sure I spec this correctly because I'm unsure what signals are being sent out of that sony amp...Here are my thoughts...your experience will help me decide.

JL FiX 82 prior to the input on the amp to flatten the signal - then out to a DSP. Or, LC7i handles the high level speaker inputs, then runs RCA out to the DSP? Or, just run straight to a DSP?

One other consideration, I'm ok with any type of DSP that will work correctly, and have been looking at the Helix, but after reading many threads here, I'm curious if the MS-8 is a better option?

At any rate, please let me know your thoughts - I greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!

Edit: I'd like to keep the OEM sound pieces, if possible - but if I have to sacrifice those to ensure I get the sound I'm paying for, so be it.

Edit 2: If the LC7i ONLY is also the best option, I'm ok with that too - like I said, I just want the best option and the best sound for what I have from a component perspective.
 

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So the Sony amp is the factory? If so, I would not use the outputs from the amp. I would use the outputs from the factory H/U. That could be the reason the 3sixty3 has had some failures. If you can verify the output power of the Sony amp then you could be sure if the output from that amp is too much for the 3sixty3 high level inputs.

IMO, you may be seeing some factory EQuing from the H/U and amp. If you can research on a Ford forum to see where any factory EQ is made, either in the factory amp or H/U.

In my case I used the FiX to integrate with the factory H/U and bypassed the factory amp. It was a little tricky to locate the output signals from the H/U but worth the labor.

Does the 3sixty3 do signal summing and de-EQuing? That could be important once you find out if the factory Ford system has built in EQ and such. If it doesn't then you should be fine with the 3sixty3.

If your factory system has these features then you should choose a DSP that deals with these conditions. The RF website doesn't seem to do that, but since you already have it, or will get it back from repair, then maybe the FiX is a good fit. The 3sixty3 looks like a decent unit, although I have no experience with any but the FiX and TwK.
 

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P.S. I would think that any DSP would experience failures if connected to the outputs of almost any amp. I know the factories are small but even a 30 watt output signal maybe too much for any DSP. I would suspect that any DSP would work for a while but taxing the internals of a DSP with long periods of high wattage would cause a slow death to even the best DSP.

I did look at the RF and Helix DSP's and did see they can handle 28v and 20v inputs respectively so you should check what the output is at your maximum listening level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
P.S. I would think that any DSP would experience failures if connected to the outputs of almost any amp. I know the factories are small but even a 30 watt output signal maybe too much for any DSP. I would suspect that any DSP would work for a while but taxing the internals of a DSP with long periods of high wattage would cause a slow death to even the best DSP.

I did look at the RF and Helix DSP's and did see they can handle 28v and 20v inputs respectively so you should check what the output is at your maximum listening level.
Hey man, thanks for the response. I'm done with the 3sixty - other than the issues I'm laying out, it has it's other limitations too. That said, I think what you're telling me is that the amp is going in to the processor (3sixty) way too hot. Which, in effect, would be the case with any DSP - not many are rated above 28v input...

Rockford has assured me that it can beyond handle what the factory amp is sending it...which I now tend to disagree with. Either way, from what you're saying I think I can gather that I'm best off with a device like the FiX from the head unit, out to a DSP of choice? So if I do that, it would eliminate any type of sound processing from the Sony amp or head unit, or at least flatten or level out what I'm getting from the head unit and completely ignore the sony amp. However will I lose basic functionality of the OEM system, such as Sirius? The volume aspects I can work around and hardly use. Other than the reverse sensor alarm.

Again, thanks - this is invaluable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So the Sony amp is the factory? If so, I would not use the outputs from the amp. I would use the outputs from the factory H/U. That could be the reason the 3sixty3 has had some failures. If you can verify the output power of the Sony amp then you could be sure if the output from that amp is too much for the 3sixty3 high level inputs.

IMO, you may be seeing some factory EQuing from the H/U and amp. If you can research on a Ford forum to see where any factory EQ is made, either in the factory amp or H/U.

In my case I used the FiX to integrate with the factory H/U and bypassed the factory amp. It was a little tricky to locate the output signals from the H/U but worth the labor.

Does the 3sixty3 do signal summing and de-EQuing? That could be important once you find out if the factory Ford system has built in EQ and such. If it doesn't then you should be fine with the 3sixty3.

If your factory system has these features then you should choose a DSP that deals with these conditions. The RF website doesn't seem to do that, but since you already have it, or will get it back from repair, then maybe the FiX is a good fit. The 3sixty3 looks like a decent unit, although I have no experience with any but the FiX and TwK.
I should also comment on this. Vendors that sell the 3sixty, including Rockford advise against using the outputs from the H/U. The reason being, the signal is generally very weak.

I did verify the voltage on each high level, and the total output wasnt' beyond the 28v, FYI. I also know the Sony amp itself does some level of DSP work, but what is unknown. (unless I can find and pin down a Ford engineer, and I don't have any trips to Detroit planned I know of).

That said, the 3sixty will sum, but no de-EQ function I'm aware of (at least in software, hardware is unknown as well, and not documented). The only solid evidence of "best practice" I've received from RF is use as few high levels as possible, like 2 total. Which probably helps your point hold water.

I'm looking at either the Helix, or the JBL MS product at this point, which I've seen both specifically called out on this forum. However, I just want to make sure that I should or shouldn't bypass the factory amp. At this point, I'm ready to buy the JL FiX 82 and the Helix and make sure it's not even in the equation. At least I know what signal I'm getting, and I won't have to use a high level converter.

Edit: and having someone chime in with practical experience and application would also make me more comfortable before I spend that in store credit. ;)
 

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Well I can tell you what my experience is so far. I could not get a definitive answer on where the factory EQ came from, H/U or factory amp. So the FiX was a good fit for my Civic. So to be clear, I connected only the H/U outputs and left all other connections as they were. This had no affect on any other function of the vehicle systems, everything still functioned properly.

I noticed that the Tweeter output was a function of the amp only and probably just a crossed full range. I connected all five outputs, 4 full range and one sub output to the FiX. I ran the calibration process as described and was thouroghly impressed. Even with a very weak output signal the FiX does an incredible job.

I do hear some changes in the EQ as I turn up the volume on the H/U. So for me this won't be an issue as the TwKD8 comes with remote control with volume control. I was able to overcome this before the TwK by lowering the H/U volume and then re-calibrating the FiX. This also caused me to re-do my gain structure a bit but worth it for now, until I can get a better tune from the TwK.

FWIW, after setting T/A, crossovers and a few tweaks on the PEQ.......I am totally Jazzed up now. I need to work on speaker placement for the two widebanders and will change the titanium dome twts for silks. But I am really enjoying this.

Oh, one more thing, when I connected the FiX to the factory H/U, I got a little noise and had to do some shielding and grounded the shielded wires I used to connect the two, to the other end. The factory wires were grounded at the connector on the H/U.

Hope this helps and keep us posted on your progress.
 

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Strange that Rockford recommends only two inputs???

What if you have a sub? separate signals for tweets, etc.? That leads me to believe that there zero to very little summing capabilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I can tell you what my experience is so far. I could not get a definitive answer on where the factory EQ came from, H/U or factory amp. So the FiX was a good fit for my Civic. So to be clear, I connected only the H/U outputs and left all other connections as they were. This had no affect on any other function of the vehicle systems, everything still functioned properly.

I noticed that the Tweeter output was a function of the amp only and probably just a crossed full range. I connected all five outputs, 4 full range and one sub output to the FiX. I ran the calibration process as described and was thouroghly impressed. Even with a very weak output signal the FiX does an incredible job.

I do hear some changes in the EQ as I turn up the volume on the H/U. So for me this won't be an issue as the TwKD8 comes with remote control with volume control. I was able to overcome this before the TwK by lowering the H/U volume and then re-calibrating the FiX. This also caused me to re-do my gain structure a bit but worth it for now, until I can get a better tune from the TwK.

FWIW, after setting T/A, crossovers and a few tweaks on the PEQ.......I am totally Jazzed up now. I need to work on speaker placement for the two widebanders and will change the titanium dome twts for silks. But I am really enjoying this.

Oh, one more thing, when I connected the FiX to the factory H/U, I got a little noise and had to do some shielding and grounded the shielded wires I used to connect the two, to the other end. The factory wires were grounded at the connector on the H/U.

Hope this helps and keep us posted on your progress.
Fair enough - one thing I do like the aspect of, is having the ability to use the built in RTA with the Helix, or even REW and my miniDSP RTA mic to calibrate this thing full on. Since I've already rand the high levels out to a DSP, I'm thinking I'll wait to see what audiotec-fischer comes back with - I just emailed them. I'm hoping I can get some kind of definitive answer on how to actually run this thing, since there more options than solid "working" answers. I've even PMd folks on this forum that have the same year/model...so let's see what happens. Like I said, I have about a week to wait for the store credit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Strange that Rockford recommends only two inputs???

What if you have a sub? separate signals for tweets, etc.? That leads me to believe that there zero to very little summing capabilities.
Well exactly - they basically recommend using the least amount of high level inputs to the 3sixty, then summing your channels out to your amps. Supposedly that works, but I didn't try that before I returned it. I found that on a board or got that from Forrest with their support, who is a rock star honestly. Given the wide array of vehicles and issues he could get hit with, his knowledge and patience is unparamount. If you need to call Rockford support, do it. He's great to work with. That said, the limitations and bugs with the 3sixty (sorry Steve Meade), i just can't deal with it anymore. Plus the Helix is about 3 times the DSP the 3sixty is. I still have RF amps, and will keep them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Strange that Rockford recommends only two inputs???

What if you have a sub? separate signals for tweets, etc.? That leads me to believe that there zero to very little summing capabilities.
OVerview vid of the processor - give you an idea of what you have to work with. Great concept, and I have no doubt the 3sixty.4 or .5 will be there. I'm not a RF fan boy by any means - but I have to call it how it is with their DSP. Google it - issues galore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9NE0GpFDRA
 

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I just looked up the schematics for your truck, I think that your integration will be quite similar to mine. The sub output is from the H/U and looks like you also have 4 full range outputs. So eliminate the factory amp from the equation, it is now superfolus.

Didn't dig too deep into the schematics but you should verify that the amp does not provide any other interconnects or functions for other systems. or you could do what I did, only disconnect the outputs from the H/U and just leave the amp. I found after disconnecting the factory amp connectors had no ill affects to other vehicle functions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just looked up the schematics for your truck, I think that your integration will be quite similar to mine. The sub output is from the H/U and looks like you also have 4 full range outputs. So eliminate the factory amp from the equation, it is now superfolus.

Didn't dig too deep into the schematics but you should verify that the amp does not provide any other interconnects or functions for other systems. or you could do what I did, only disconnect the outputs from the H/U and just leave the amp. I found after disconnecting the factory amp connectors had no ill affects to other vehicle functions.
Awesome, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just looked up the schematics for your truck, I think that your integration will be quite similar to mine. The sub output is from the H/U and looks like you also have 4 full range outputs. So eliminate the factory amp from the equation, it is now superfolus.

Didn't dig too deep into the schematics but you should verify that the amp does not provide any other interconnects or functions for other systems. or you could do what I did, only disconnect the outputs from the H/U and just leave the amp. I found after disconnecting the factory amp connectors had no ill affects to other vehicle functions.
So I think I'm going JL FiX 82 from the H/U, then to a Helix. I like the EQ and tunability of it. Thoughts?

Thanks again!
 

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I think that will work just fine. The only thing I am curious about is the volume control. What I mean is that if you wish to use the factory volume controls, steering wheel, etc. and there is EQing coming from the H/U then you could have an issue there.

I did but after turning down the factory volume and re-calibrating the FiX the EQing seemed to go away. I would feel pretty bad if my suggestions got you into any traouble here. I can't say for sure that "it went away", it may have been minimized to a point where I can't hear it, but it could still be there. I am waiting on a mic so I can measure with REW. That would be a good questionf for JL and Audiotec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not to send you too far down the rabbit hole, but this is the first thread I read on Ford integration when I started my research...

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum...8034-measuring-oem-hu-frequency-response.html

There are others like it if you search "Ford Sync" or some similar pairings on the forum. Very interesting reading from some of the contributors.
That rabbit hole is most welcome! So, what I've learned is that the H/U is EQ'ing the signal. Now I'm curious to see what/if Helix says in response to my email last night. MS-8 recommends Front L/R and Sub connections only - not sure if Helix is going to say the same thing.

I need to search for the "flashing your OEM head unit thread". I understand this can be done, so now I just need to figure out exactly what components to get, or if I should try to flash the h/u. Still leaning towards the FiX 82, then going TOSlink to the Helix. The FiX should at the very least flatten the signal that's coming from the H/U. I tried to call JL this morning, but they are closed for Christmas...not a bad thing. :)

Thanks again for all the insight - this entire project is a rabbit hole at this point, so any type of forum post that helps educate me on what this thing is actually doing, I'm all for!
 

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I have the exact same truck and factory system as yours. I even use the 3sixty with now issues.

You cannot that the HU outputs directly to any DSP because they are on a can-bus between the HU and Sony amp.

Regardless of what DSP you choose you will want to take the front woofer and tweeter signals and sum those to get a full range signal.

Do Not use the sub channel out of the Sony DSP as an input to the new DSP. The Sony sub channel is actually a low-level signal. The sub amplifier is integrated into the factory sub enclosure.

Here is a thread where they actually measured the response and distortion levels of the factory DSP. http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/build-logs-project-install-gallery/135919-2012-ford-f150-raptor.html

This also has peaked my interest because it is specifically designed for the Ford Sony systems. DSR1 - 8-Channel Interactive Signal Processor w/ Integrated iDatalink Maestro Module | Rockford Fosgate®
 

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That said, the 3sixty will sum, but no de-EQ function I'm aware of (at least in software, hardware is unknown as well, and not documented).
From page 11 of the 3Sixty user manual:
"Input Denormalization
The 3Sixty.3’s input denormalization function is designed to measure the electrical frequency response of each channel from your source unit and calculate
the correction curve needed to flatten the output of each channel. It then combines the correction curve with the source units output, giving you a flat
frequency response on the output channels. Select track #2 (Correlated Pink noise) on the 3Sixty.3 setup disk. The volume of the source unit can be left at
its maximum level unless the source unit has a volume dependant equalization circuit such as most BOSE systems, in which case the source unit should be
set to half of the maximum level calculated when level setting the input. Select the “Auto Normalize” button, this can take aprox 1-5 minutes to calculated
the correction curve needed to normalize the output. You can now use the drop down menu to switch between the measured input frequency response
and the corrected output frequency response displayed on the graph. The color correlating to each channel on the graph will be displayed on the right
hand side. The “Read Results” button on the left hand side is only used when a 3Sixty.3 processor unit has been previously configured and the user wants
to view the input or output curves previously calculated without rerunning the “Auto Normalize” .

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have the exact same truck and factory system as yours. I even use the 3sixty with now issues.

You cannot that the HU outputs directly to any DSP because they are on a can-bus between the HU and Sony amp.

Regardless of what DSP you choose you will want to take the front woofer and tweeter signals and sum those to get a full range signal.

Do Not use the sub channel out of the Sony DSP as an input to the new DSP. The Sony sub channel is actually a low-level signal. The sub amplifier is integrated into the factory sub enclosure.

Here is a thread where they actually measured the response and distortion levels of the factory DSP. http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/build-logs-project-install-gallery/135919-2012-ford-f150-raptor.html

This also has peaked my interest because it is specifically designed for the Ford Sony systems. DSR1 - 8-Channel Interactive Signal Processor w/ Integrated iDatalink Maestro Module | Rockford Fosgate®
I was hoping someone with the same vehicle would chime in! Thanks. So that said, how do you run your subs? I'm going to take the front L/R high levels for the mid and tweet, and will run those to the DSP ONLY. I'll probably go Helix, because I like that product a lot and should be able to "de-EQ" and normalize everything via REW, the DSP RTA and my RTA mic. My only question is how your sub amp is ran - did you just use the factory low level signal directly to your sub and left it off the DSP, or did you sum that with a high level from the fronts and then ran your channels accordingly in the DSP?

Thanks again - this is helpful
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
From page 11 of the 3Sixty user manual:
"Input Denormalization
The 3Sixty.3’s input denormalization function is designed to measure the electrical frequency response of each channel from your source unit and calculate
the correction curve needed to flatten the output of each channel. It then combines the correction curve with the source units output, giving you a flat
frequency response on the output channels. Select track #2 (Correlated Pink noise) on the 3Sixty.3 setup disk. The volume of the source unit can be left at
its maximum level unless the source unit has a volume dependant equalization circuit such as most BOSE systems, in which case the source unit should be
set to half of the maximum level calculated when level setting the input. Select the “Auto Normalize” button, this can take aprox 1-5 minutes to calculated
the correction curve needed to normalize the output. You can now use the drop down menu to switch between the measured input frequency response
and the corrected output frequency response displayed on the graph. The color correlating to each channel on the graph will be displayed on the right
hand side. The “Read Results” button on the left hand side is only used when a 3Sixty.3 processor unit has been previously configured and the user wants
to view the input or output curves previously calculated without rerunning the “Auto Normalize” .

Very valid point - I honestly think part of the problem is having too many high levels ran to the DSP. It only needs the front mids and highs to be able to normalize and sum the signal going out. Also that DSR1 looks snazzy - too bad it's not spring time already.
 
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