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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow forum members! Long-time lurker, first-time post'r, love the site. :)

I haven't exactly DIY'd my way to where I am now, but I've been to two different car audio shops and cycled through more components and speakers than I care to admit. I'm hoping I can get some expert advice on how to configure my front soundstage for best SQ with plenty of kick & slam with rock music. I'm profoundly frustrated to have thrown so much money and equipment at this problem only to have a system that seems to require perpetual tuning...

The Shaker500 "premium" sound system that came with my 2012 Mustang GT convertible is long gone, replaced with Audison Voce speakers, subs, amps, and a BitTenD processor. I wanted to retain my factory navigation system with hard drive for music, so the installer wired the factory HU to the BitTenD and ran it through the de-EQ process. It seems to have successfully circumvented the bass roll-off inherent to the Shaker500 system at higher volume.

My system is comprised of:
-9 channels of amp (Voce AV5.1k, Voce Quattro) and 8 channels of DSP (BitTenD) - PROBLEM! (ahem, are you listening, Audison?!)
-Audison Voce AV1.1 and AV3.0 in custom fiberglassed A-pillars
-Audison Voce AV5.0 on custom MDF baffles where front 5x7's were
-Morel MX33.3 3-way crossovers on front 1.1/3.0/5.0 (due to 8-ch BitTenD limitation)
-Illusion Audio Carbon C8 mid-woofers where factory 8's were, in their own sealed (plastic) enclosure apart from AV5.0's, using polyfill
-Audison Voce AV K5 pair in the backseat - on the sides - for rear-fill
-Audison Voce AV10 pair of subs in custom trunk enclosure

BitTen D is configured as:
-CH1: FL 1.1/3.0/5.0 on Morel MX33.3, 300/3.8 fixed
-CH2: FR 1.1/3.0/5.0 on Morel MX33.3, 300/3.8 fixed
-CH3: FL 8" active
-CH4: FR 8" active
-CH5: RL AV K5, Audison 2-way x-over
-CH6: RR AV K5, Audison 2-way x-over
-CH7: AV10 pair, wired in series at 2ohm

Amps driving the setup:
-CH1&CH2: bi-amp Morel MX33.3 with Audison Voce AV5.1k Class A 75Wx2 and Quattro Class AB 120x2
-CH3&CH4: AV5.1k Class AB 140Wx2
-CH5&CH6: AV Quattro Class AB 120Wx2
-CH7: AV5.1k Class D 1000Wx1 @ 2ohm

No matter how many times my installer sits down to tune and tweak the BitTenD, I still don't get that tight, clean mid-bass punch complemented by a smooth midrange and subtle highs that I've been searching for. The tweeters are overly loud and bright, the 3" mids sound like they were made to generate standing waves on my dashboard, and the 5's don't seem to be realizing their potential. I suspect the Morel crossovers we used are not a good fit for this application... Meanwhile, I can get the Carbon 8's and AV10 subs to play very nice together and almost completely get the sub frequencies into the front seat.

How would you recommend I configured this thing? Should I change out the Morel crossovers to something with a higher midrange cut-off, perhaps the MX33.4 with 700/3.8 fixed xover points? Or should I park my rear-fill for now, go active on my AV5's, and use Audison Voce MH xovers on the 1.1/3.0's? Ultimately, a 10-channel Audison Bit DSP product would really help here, but we're all on hold for that one, aren't we?!

I would really appreciate any help or insight you could offer on this setup!
 

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The ideal stereo setup is 2 point-source speakers. I think you would be a lot happier with the sound if you simplified things. Getting 14 speakers to blend together correctly would be a nightmare, even for an advanced DSP.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Any advice on ideal crossover points and slopes for this particular combination of drivers? I understand the benefits of point-source speakers, but there is also something to be said about a well-engineered solution involving multiple drivers and crossovers.
 

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You are right, multiple speakers are needed in the real world, but 14 of them is going to be a real challenge. You are going to have a lot of phase issues. I honestly wouldn't know where to start giving advice on how to make it work, it's difficult enough to get a 2way front stage to sound perfect, let along what you have going on.

I'm sure others here can help better, if you insist on keeping all of those speakers, but a well tuned 2 way or 3way front stage and subs will win competitions. More isn't better in the audio world. Good luck, I hope you find a solution to make everything work the way you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What if I implemented Dynaudio x362 crossovers on the AV1.1/3.0/5.0 front 3-way setup? This would have the tweeter playing from 3500 Hz and up (just over 3 octaves), the 3.0 midrange from 3500 Hz down to 900 Hz (2 octaves), and then I could use the BitTenD to set a hi-pass of 225 Hz on the AV5.0 mids (2 octaves). The 8's could then cover from 225 Hz down to 60 Hz (2 octaves), and sub would cover from 60 Hz on down (again, roughly 2 octaves). Thoughts?
 

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I think your best bet would be to eliminate some speakers so that you could have full control of each individual speaker of the front stage.
 

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I would run the mids and tweets in your pillars active, use the 8"s for mid bass, and the subwoofers. And then I'd get rid of everything else.
 

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^^^ yes, three way + subs all active can work wonders and be hard enough to get right.

I couldn't imagine getting everything tuned and the phasing right with all of those speakers you currently have, 3 speakers in multiple locations on one passive. You couldn't get the TA right very easy either. It'd be a job for an acoustical engineer.

At least scrub the rears for now and run the 5's active with the 3's and tweets on the passives. Do you have an rta at you disposal? That can help find trouble areas/phase issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Taking early feedback into consideration, here are some possible options I could consider:

1. Pull out the Morel MX33.3 crossovers and instead use matched Audison AVCX 2W MH crossover on the AV1.1 tweeter and AV3.0 midrange in the pillars, go active on the AV5.0 mids, and disconnect the rear-fill until a 9+ channel DSP becomes available.

2. Replace 3-way MX33.3 xovers with Dynaudio Esotec x362 crossovers, raising my midrange's xover point to 900Hz. If I went with the Dynaudio crossovers, I would lose the Morel's xover's bi-amp capability, but I could use either the AV5.1k's Class A 75Wx2 or its Class AB 140Wx2 to drive the passives. Dynaudio's own website makes this sound like the sexiest option: "Regardless of the driver complement chosen, the result is an incredibly linear frequency response with an extremely detailed midrange reproduction and excellent dispersion."

3. Replace 3-way MX33.3 xovers with newer model MX33.4E, raising the crossover point between AV3.0 and AV5.0 to 700Hz. However, I'm not crazy about the "Morel sound" I'm getting out of the current xovers, so I'm not sure the 33.4E would be much improvement.
 

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A bit ten is only a 5ch processor. It isn't a bitOne? Or do you have multiple bit tens?

Definitely ditch the 5" speakers and the rears. That will be the only way to get a good coherent sound without a tuning nightmare. Then you can run everything active and have good control from one interface.

Run the 3" speakers from 250 Hz up to 4000-5000 Hz or so. You want to run the mids down as low as reasonable to keep the stage high since they're in the pillars. The audison site says 250Hz. Run the tweets up from there, 8" midbasses from maybe 50-60 Hz up to the 3" speakers, and run the subs below 50-60 Hz or so. Measure the distances to each speaker and use those as initial time alignment values in the processor. This is all just a starting point but should sound good. Set amp gains carefully and make sure you have sufficient power on your midbasses.
 

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Simplicity is the key. Get rid of the 3way cross overs. If you must use passive then Cutoff at 4k for the midrange, or go active. Active would be your best bet.
To many speakers. Some have to go.

I tried something like what you did years ago,it never works out to well for me. I ended up with 9 speakers, and dumped the external processors. Best decision I ever made. I also redone some center channel speakers in parallel /series wiring and changed out one amplifier. My systems mid-base improved allot by removing the processor. I used some Mb Quarts 6.5's I had in my closet from the late 1990's . I got a allot more punch crossings them active at 4k. The Mbquarts midrange starts at 40hz Through. So you might want check your frequency range on your main front stage.

I have time alignment on my Panasonic headunit with an 7-band EQ . That made a big difference also.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have been contemplating all of your feedback for quite a while, and ultimately I agree that I need to reduce the quantity of speakers in my system AND use my 8-channels of active processing more wisely. I have decided to eliminate the front pair of 5" mids, maintain only tweeters in the pillars pointed off-axis, and relocate my 3" mids to the 5x7 upper door locations. My original installer was recommending that I keep all my existing speakers and just add another Bit processor in a master-slave setup, but I'm flat-out done with the notion of adding more complexity to my system. All the feedback I'm receiving -- and my gut -- is telling me that less is more in this case.

While I'm at it, I'm excited to say I'll be upgrading my front highs and mids from Voce to Thesis! I'm also planning to change my 8" door mid-bass drivers from Illusion Audio Carbon C8's to a pair of Audison's new Prima AP8's, as the latter seem better suited to off-axis response in a car door enclosure. The Carbons have been performing well for the past year, but I like both the off-axis rating of the Prima and the idea of running a full Audison system.

The BitTen D plan is:
CH1: Front Left Pillar - Audison Thesis 1.5 Violino tweeter - Class A 5.1k
CH2: Front Right Pillar - Audison Thesis 1.5 Violino tweeter - Class A 5.1k
CH3: Front Left 5x7 loc - Audison Thesis 3.0 mid - Class AB 5.1k
CH4: Front Right 5x7 loc - Audison Thesis 3.0 mid - Class AB 5.1k
CH5: Front Left 8" door loc - Audison Prima AP8 mid-bass - Class AB Quattro
CH6: Front Right 8" door loc - Audison Prima AP8 mid-bass Class AB Quattro
CH7: Rear-fill MONO - Audison AV K5 2way xovers Class AB Quattro
CH8: Trunk sub - either Audison AV10 or TH10 Basso (upgrade?) Class D 5.1k

Stuff that's coming out:
Voce 1.1
Voce 3.0
Voce 5.0
Carbon C8
Morel MX33.3 crossovers (BYE BYE, passives!!)
possibly removing a pair of AV10 subs

Stuff that's going in:
Thesis TH 1.5 Violino
Thesis TH 3.0 Voce
Prima AP8
possibly a single TH 10 Basso
possibly BitPlay HD for Full DA

I'm scoping out what kind of performance I can expect from one TH10 Basso sub in my convertible's trunk. My Voce amps are currently in the spare tire compartment under a false floor, but they aren't getting enough air and have occasionally gone into protect mode after 60+ minutes of intense rocking-out. The thought is to have an amp rack built across the rear of my trunk, mount the amps and Bit DSP there behind a clean but breathable wall, and maintain only a single sub in the spare tire compartment instead of the 2x Voce 10's I currently have in a sealed enclosure.

Enthusiasts, any thoughts on the changes? Anyone out there who has experience with the Thesis line of speakers, including Basso subs?
 

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I have an idea! perhaps its the booz talking but..

channel 1 fl 3 mid and tweeter using audison crossovers
channel 2 fr mid and tweeter using audison crossovers
channel 3 and four 5 speakers in doors
channel five and six for the eights
channel 7 for the rear fill, mono, yes I'm serious about this
channel eight for subs

Now you have control of the most hard to tune parts independently, the five mids. You can also time aline the 3 and tweet separately from the five, apply whatever crossover point you desire, and go nuts with tuning!
 

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I have been contemplating all of your feedback for quite a while, and ultimately I agree that I need to reduce the quantity of speakers in my system AND use my 8-channels of active processing more wisely. I have decided to eliminate the front pair of 5" mids, maintain only tweeters in the pillars pointed off-axis, and relocate my 3" mids to the 5x7 upper door locations. My original installer was recommending that I keep all my existing speakers and just add another Bit processor in a master-slave setup, but I'm flat-out done with the notion of adding more complexity to my system. All the feedback I'm receiving -- and my gut -- is telling me that less is more in this case.

While I'm at it, I'm excited to say I'll be upgrading my front highs and mids from Voce to Thesis! I'm also planning to change my 8" door mid-bass drivers from Illusion Audio Carbon C8's to a pair of Audison's new Prima AP8's, as the latter seem better suited to off-axis response in a car door enclosure. The Carbons have been performing well for the past year, but I like both the off-axis rating of the Prima and the idea of running a full Audison system.

The BitTen D plan is:
CH1: Front Left Pillar - Audison Thesis 1.5 Violino tweeter - Class A 5.1k
CH2: Front Right Pillar - Audison Thesis 1.5 Violino tweeter - Class A 5.1k
CH3: Front Left 5x7 loc - Audison Thesis 3.0 mid - Class AB 5.1k
CH4: Front Right 5x7 loc - Audison Thesis 3.0 mid - Class AB 5.1k
CH5: Front Left 8" door loc - Audison Prima AP8 mid-bass - Class AB Quattro
CH6: Front Right 8" door loc - Audison Prima AP8 mid-bass Class AB Quattro
CH7: Rear-fill MONO - Audison AV K5 2way xovers Class AB Quattro
CH8: Trunk sub - either Audison AV10 or TH10 Basso (upgrade?) Class D 5.1k

Stuff that's coming out:
Voce 1.1
Voce 3.0
Voce 5.0
Carbon C8
Morel MX33.3 crossovers (BYE BYE, passives!!)
possibly removing a pair of AV10 subs

Stuff that's going in:
Thesis TH 1.5 Violino
Thesis TH 3.0 Voce
Prima AP8
possibly a single TH 10 Basso
possibly BitPlay HD for Full DA

I'm scoping out what kind of performance I can expect from one TH10 Basso sub in my convertible's trunk. My Voce amps are currently in the spare tire compartment under a false floor, but they aren't getting enough air and have occasionally gone into protect mode after 60+ minutes of intense rocking-out. The thought is to have an amp rack built across the rear of my trunk, mount the amps and Bit DSP there behind a clean but breathable wall, and maintain only a single sub in the spare tire compartment instead of the 2x Voce 10's I currently have in a sealed enclosure.

Enthusiasts, any thoughts on the changes? Anyone out there who has experience with the Thesis line of speakers, including Basso subs?
You can keep swapping equipment for nominal gains at best. Kinda like going around in circles. It's not about if the thesis will sound better than the voce. If you're spending serious bucks on the upgrade then your ears will tell you it sounds much better. But if you were to do an ABX between the old equipment vs the new equipment keeping the everything else the same, the difference would be nominal at best. Beyond a point it's not about the equipment.

Go with a simple 2 way or 3 way plus sub. That's all you need. By adding speakers you're getting a bit louder, but you're adding to the chaos and cleaning up the mess will become even harder.

One can keep swapping stuff looking for that elusive utopia. Do it for long enough and one will eventually realize that one is going around in circles, without really going forward.

Good sound is down to tuning, once you have a correct install and decent equipment. When you have the right tune you will realize it's not about the equipment, the axis response of the driver, the whatever else. It's all about getting the right response at your ears. Devote the next year to tuning, you will soon realize it's the right path ;).
 

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why move the mid from the pillar to the door? it is already there. You can use what you have, eliminate 5s and it costs nothing. This has been the consensus of the thread. You seem not to even want to entertain this idea, yet keep throwing components at the problem. Another thing to try if you insist on using the door location, is eliminating the 3". This also requires no further equipment purchase. or major reinstall. You have good stuff, just too much of it, in a less than ideal configuration. No wonder the tuner is having issues.
 

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The last three posts above mine all have good points. Before you go buying more equipment you should try running just the tweeters, mids in pillars, 8s, and subs. This is a very popular setup that should get you the sound you're looking for. Or you could try the 5" mids instead of the 3" mids to hear which setup you like better. Either way it's going to simplify tuning, not cost you a dime (unless your installer charges you to tune), and allow you to hear your systems potential. Good luck!
 

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I agree with all posts above, except I think if you own it, use it, at least to see what can be done with a complex set up. I do think you can process things a bit more smoothly by making rear fill mono andprocessing the 5.25 drivers separately from the 3 mid and tweet. These small install changes plus a proper tune would I think be a huge improvement.
 
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