DiyMobileAudio.com Car Stereo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 775 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For a review of just the Alpine CDA-9887, please see here:

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17645

System diagram:

http://www.mspreef.com/imprint/diagram.jpg

Ok, now on with the Imprint kit (KTX-100EQ) eye candy:





The program itself will NOT run without the computer hooked up to a powered on CDA-9887:








A scanned copy of the manual :)

http://www.mspreef.com/imprint/ktx-100eq.pdf


Setup:

The setup is easy, the cables are long, so it is easily setup. The microphone base has a tripod mount, making placing it in the car in the right spots simple.

At this point, the results shown above are from only checking 1 location in the car (driver seat). There are no options in the program to choose multiple driver seat tests, nor can you just check the two front seats. When I did the multiple location test, and it required the microphone to be in the back, it came up with an error that my subwoofer system was incompatible. At that point I stopped playing for the night.

There are very few options for tuning in the program... what you see in the pictures is IT (3 preset response curves). You cannot pick your crossover points, nor the response. Additionally, I would have thought you could at least pick if you have front / rear speakers or a 3 way setup without rears (the deck has you make that choice with the DIP switch on the HU). However, as in the pictures, it only shows a front / rear / sub setup. I am not sure if the program picks up the 3-way setup switch setting from the HU.

The bass level can still be controlled when MultEQ is turned on (0-15), and there are now bass (-7 to +7) and treble (-7 to +7) controls added as well. What frequencies those affect I have no idea.


Sound:
I listened to the linear curve today while driving to work. Although I normally prefer heavier midbass / bass, the notes were suprisingly more detailed / refined. I am not one to wax on with strange words for sound, but I am not sure how better to describe it. Instead of a bass note, I heard a drum note, or a bass guitar string being plucked. Certainly thumbs up there.

Imaging greatly improved. I believe both imaging and the above bass changes are a result of the time-alignment more than anything else, as that is not something I had turned on in my setup so far. I will be trying that though to compare. Soundstage was much better focused than before.


Overall:
The sound is better than before, but still not where I want it to be. I think at this point I need to make all the level settings in my amps equal, then rescan the car, and try to see if that changes things. As is though, I am keeping MultEQ turned on, as it is better than the settings that can be done through the HU built-in controls.
 

·
DIYMA Founder
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
Check out my post on the h650. It seems the imprint kit is more limited than the h650? Just curious, are you running a 2-way frontstage? Perhaps it's assuming you are using the headunit xovers which is why it doesn't let you choose any.

Have you tried using the reference comp, and taking 4 or 5 measurements around the driver's headrest? 1 measurement isn't really sufficient for MultEQ. I don't understand at all why they want you to put the mic in those 6 random spots?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
18,514 Posts
Is there any way you can use this software/hardware as a standalone RTA?

The user-friendliness seems like it would be better to use than RTA software. Especially the time correction function. I can never figure out how to do that with my software. :mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
npdang, yes, it seems to be more limited than the H650 review you posted. I wonder if the h650 software would work on the 9887? ;)

my diagram is posted... but, morel supremos and 4" midranges off a passive xover in the kicks, morel elate 9" midbass in doors, e12k sub in trunk. The xover settings are 250hz @ 24db HP on the midrange / tweeters, 63-250hz BP @ 24db on the midbass, and 63hz @ 24db LP on the sub.

The program tells you where to put the mic "Front Left", "Front Right", "Front", "Back". It also does not give you the option of taking multiple measurements at any of those locations... one scan per location. I could "trick" it and just keep it at the drivers seat regardless of what location it thinks the mic is in, but other than that, I don't see a way :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Is there any way you can use this software/hardware as a standalone RTA?

The user-friendliness seems like it would be better to use than RTA software. Especially the time correction function. I can never figure out how to do that with my software. :mad:
I actually plan on trying out the microphone in the standard mic port on my laptop tonight with TrueRTA... see what happens.

I agree with the time-correction function though. That is one part I am very happy with... check the graph showing the before and after time-response!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Neat! Nice review.

Does the cable plug into the Ai-net port? That sucks to have to pull the HU and route another cable..
The cable to the 9887 plugs into the front of the 9887. You actually have the face completely off when you plug in the cable and run the software.
 

·
DIYMA Founder
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
Hey, maybe you should try tricking it? I don't think it cares.... just space the mic out maybe 2 or 3" along the driver seat. I do know that 1 location is going to give you non-optimal results. I'm just surprised they only give you 3 rather crappy looking target curves to pick from. I'm not surprised that you don't have time alignment/crossover/eq as that is probably integrated into the hu processor?
 

·
DIYMA Founder
Joined
·
4,757 Posts
I actually plan on trying out the microphone in the standard mic port on my laptop tonight with TrueRTA... see what happens.

I agree with the time-correction function though. That is one part I am very happy with... check the graph showing the before and after time-response!
Unfortunately the "after" plots are just simulated. I took some actual measurements and they aren't nearly as nice as the simulations. :( ... makes sense right since you don't see the program running another measurement after it applies the filter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
643 Posts
This is dissappointing to me.

I was hoping it would be a little better. At least imaging is much improved.

Do you get a Sub control still. That is my biggest concern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
i'm pretty content with the sq from my CDA-9887 without the imprint hooked up to it. do you think if thats the case i should hold off on this and focus on other things like deadening my doors properlly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Turns out the mic that comes with the kit is a pretty good one, as npdang discovered on testing the H650.

It works fantastic just plugged into the mic port on my laptop, and trueRTA picked it up right away. I don't have time until this weekend, but then I'll use it to compare the graphs that the kit came up with and then generated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Sorry for all posts as a newby and forgive me if it has already been covered....

I found this on Crutchfield regarding the Imprint Kit, $50 total cost sounds like a good deal.

Use it once and send it back
Making sound adjustments with the IMPRINT is a one-time process, so there's no need for you to keep the KTX-100EQ kit after you've used it. Normally, this kit is sold only to dealers, but Crutchfield wants to make this special offer to all you car audio "do-it-yourselfers" out there:

Use the sound tuning kit and then return in to us within 30 days. We'll refund the purchase price, minus a $50 re-stocking fee — that's less than you'd pay a dealer to adjust the sound for you. On the other hand, if you decide not to use the kit, return it to us with the software unopened and we'll refund the full purchase price.

What if you get a new car?
Just give us a call if you move your Alpine stereo to a new car. You've already paid to use the KTX-100EQ kit once, so we'll send it to you again free of charge so you can make adjustments for your new vehicle. As before, just return it within 30 days.

I've had my 9887 for about 2 weeks and still adjusting/tweeking it. It sure does sound like the unit does have quite a bit of flexibility though.

Looking on Alpine's website, they also do recommend the PXE-H650 for the 9887 HU. They describe this unit as the next step to "really" improve the baseline.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
I was wondering if you could use the 9887 front output into the H650 processor and have the 650 tune your car and still have the 9887 EQ/crossover funtion to fine tune it to your taste.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
For a review of just the Alpine CDA-9887, please see here:


Overall:
The sound is better than before, but still not where I want it to be. I think at this point I need to make all the level settings in my amps equal, then rescan the car, and try to see if that changes things. As is though, I am keeping MultEQ turned on, as it is better than the settings that can be done through the HU built-in controls.

I'm curious to know have you adjusted your amps? If so, did you notice anything different?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
SETUP:
Saab 9-3 hatchback, Alpine CDA-9887 head unit, Polk SR-6500 components (drivers in the stock front door locations firing horizontally, tweeters in the stock 3.5" speaker location in the corners of the dashboard firing up at the windshield), Polk SR-124 DVC 12" sub in a custom box in the hatch area, back against the back of the rear seats, firing towards the rear, powered by Alpine PDX-4.100 and 1.600 amps. Gains set at 12'oclock on both amps, amp crossovers off.

Just finished doing measurements for my new KTX-100eq....I did all 6 positions and nearly drained my entire battery...definitely keep this in mind id you want to analyze all 6 positions (the manual says 2 positions should be sufficient). I uploaded the settings to my head unit using the first two "response curves", "Reference" and "Reference with mid-comp"....the third option is "Linear". Not sure what these curves delineate to be honest, as I'm a bit new to tuning...

I was particularly careful about where I placed the mic within each position...the height was uniform for the most part using a tripod, but I did not do precise measurements of where the axes were relative to the speakers...in other words, for the front left seat, I just put the mic up around headrest level and roughly in the middle of the seat (of course your head moves depending on whether you are leaning back or sitting up straight while driving)...not sure if this will greatly affect the usefulness of the measurements...

Also, you are supposed to do it in as quiet an area as possible....where I live, there is always some street traffic outside...again, not sure if this negatively affected my measurements...my car is decently sound-treated so hopefully not.

After finishing and trying out my usual lineup of reference songs, the results were rather surprising. Previously I had tuned the system only using the T.A., crossovers, and very slight amount of parametric EQ. Comparing pre-multieq to post, post seemed very forward in the mids and highs and quite bass shy...soundstage was definitely drastically improved, but I found the overall sound a bit painful at loud volumes. Perhaps I am just used to hearing th system out of balance and just need o get used to what a well-tuned car sounds like? Anyway the results were similar to what the other reviewer said...the definition of isolated sounds was improved dramatically, nuances in the low-mids and mid-bass benefited a lot, but at the loss of visceral impact...Again perhaps I am just used to listening to a bass-hyped system, but I was definitely not getting much body-shaking bass from the Polk SR-124 sub in the hatch of my Saab 9-3 with the multieq on. I have to say at softer to moderate listening levels, the sound is 100% better, but the added definition and clarity seemed to push some more sibilant frequencies forward making it a bit bright at higher volumes. (I should mention that I have my tweeters firing up against the front windshield, so that is somewhat unavoidable, but my pre-multieq tuning did not emphasize this much in comparison.

Now, from what I understand, the Multieq tuning from all 6 positions achieves a final profile of settings that is meant to be as optimal from each sitting position in the car. So I am wondering as was discussed earlier if it is possible to optimize from the driver's seat alone, which is obviously how I tuned things pre-multieq. Perhaps the qualities that I liked least about the sound post-multieq are a result of the compromises made to achieve settings that would benefit each listening position (that might explain the bass-shyness as I'm sure the levels that I have my sub at normally would severely compromise a listener in the rear seats which are touching the back of my subwoofer cabinet. I wonder if you did all the listening positions in the front driver seat as suggested earlier if it would eliminate these"compromises" or does the system make adjustments assuming that the mic is in the indicated positions, only?

BTW, I had my head unit's subwoofer level set at around 7/15 when doing the multieq tuning giving me room to boost the sub level...but doing so might create additional acoustic problems due to , say, overlapping bass frequencies between the sub and the component drivers in my front doors, right? In other words, the whole tuning relies on the levels of each speaker being at a particular point (as dictated by the setting on your amps), so raising or lowering the levels might render the T.A., EQ and crossover settings dialed in by the imprint system, useless. Likewise, simply boosting the bass adjustment that is available post-multieq might do similarly? If the process allowed just a few points of user customization DURING the tuning, as opposed to after, the whole system might be much more effective, since all the tuning parameters are presumably interdependent?

I think I will give it a day of listening, and if I am still not satisfied with the sound, I will experiment with new measurements that are taken only in the driver's seat to see what effect that has. Unfortunately the documentation is as mentioned, useless..

Oh yes, I think someone might have asked this already, but I am a little confused as well about whether the system automatically detects what type of speaker setup you have..I have only a pair of 2-way components in the front and the single 12" sub in the hatch...so is the software able to determine what type of speaker is attached to each channel of the head unit, or is it assuming a particular configuration? I think I had my tweeters on the "LR" and RR" channels and the drivers on the "LF" and "RF" channels...hopefully the system knows this or else it could set the crossovers the wrong way and fry your speakers. I am assuming for now that the system assumes whatever you have chosen already on the 9887 (3-way or F/R/Sub). If anyone could tell me if they know what the correct configuration is supposed to be in terms of channel-to-speaker for 3-way (1 set of 2-way comps +sub), would be much appreciated..was always confused about this, as intuitively I would think LF and RF should be the tweeters and LR RR would be the drivers.
 
1 - 20 of 775 Posts
Top