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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to upgrade my OEM 2012 Toyota 86/Scion FRS head unit as the Bluetooth has died. The sound quality is OK with upgraded Polk MMC6500 speakers.

Sound quality is important to me, do not want to run an AMP at this stage just to avoid additional hassle of installing

Alpine costs $1200

Joying and equivalent costs 1/3 of that, around $450-500.

I like how Joying blends in with the car, however my main priority is the sound quality. The questions I have are as follow:

Is the sound quality any better than the current OEM I have in my Toyota 86/Scion FRS?
Is thee a massive difference between the sound quality of the two units?

I have read some reviews that the Alpine does not need an external Amplifier if you do not intend to run a sub or listen at extreme volume levels.

If there is not a massive difference in sound then I could just try Joying and maybe add an Amplifier at a later stage (I understand that it has a very poor RCA out less than 2V).

Any other recommendations?

I am also considering Kenwood DDX920WDABS, which is the right width of 200mm for a Toyota 86.
 

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If you are only going to use the internal head unit's built-in amplifiers to power your main speakers, definitely go with the latest Alpine Halo or the Kenwood DDX920WDABS.

I think that the new Halo has the better PEQ that is independent L & R for each Speaker or RCA output channel (which is desirable to achieve a better soundstage and tonality).

And I really like the optional RUX-H02 Volume Knob for the Halo. But the Kenwood is a fantastic unit as well. Either one will be a SIGNIFICANT upgrade in SQ compared to your OEM Toyota head unit!

I would not use the Joying if you are planning to use it's built-in amplifiers to power your speakers, nor its 2v RCA outputs connected to separate amplifiers in the future. Both the Alpine and Kenwood will be much better IME.

However, if you are going to run a separate DSP or DSP/Amplifier in the future that has Toslink optical or coaxial Digital inputs, and the Joying head unit also has one or both of those Digital Outputs, I might try the Joying. Not sure about the longevity of these units yet, or warranty/repair support if you need it.

Either way, you will notice a significant upgrade in SQ from the OEM Toyota head unit! Every factory Toyota head unit I've heard is complete crap unless there is some type of OEM integration module for that specific vehicle and system.

There are several other threads here that have excellent information regarding the Joying head units. Use the search tool. One recent thread is titled something like "Joying...what you need to know".

EDIT:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you bbfoto.

That's what I am thinking, could buy the well known brands for SQ.

Is there much difference between Alpine iLXF509 V Kenwood DDX920WDABS. The later is much cheaper than the Alpine. I am in Australia, the price for ILX509 is $1,500 v DDX920WDABS for $1,000.

I can't seem to find much information on their CPU or Screen type. I am guessing that the CPU is weaker on the well known brands.

I could possible run a separate DSP or DSP/Amplifier in the future that has Toslink optical or coaxial Digital inputs but I can't seem to find one at a reasonable price. The two I have seen mentioned in the threads are:

Helix M Four DSP
Alpine PDP-E800DSP

The price of the above plus an Alpine or Kenwood is almost double than Joying + DSP Amplifier combination.

Is there a better cheaper option for DSP Amplifier with Toslink Optical or Coaxial inputs, my car is small and only need to run two channels.

I will read Joying - What you need to know, thank you for the link.
 

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Thank you bbfoto.

That's what I am thinking, could buy the well known brands for SQ.

Is there much difference between Alpine iLXF509 V Kenwood DDX920WDABS. The later is much cheaper than the Alpine. I am in Australia, the price for ILX509 is $1,500 v DDX920WDABS for $1,000.

I can't seem to find much information on their CPU or Screen type. I am guessing that the CPU is weaker on the well known brands.

I could possible run a separate DSP or DSP/Amplifier in the future that has Toslink optical or coaxial Digital inputs but I can't seem to find one at a reasonable price. The two I have seen mentioned in the threads are:

Helix M Four DSP
Alpine PDP-E800DSP

The price of the above plus an Alpine or Kenwood is almost double than Joying + DSP Amplifier combination.

Is there a better cheaper option for DSP Amplifier with Toslink Optical or Coaxial inputs, my car is small and only need to run two channels.

I will read Joying - What you need to know, thank you for the link.
I did some measurements in another thread.

you can see what Joying will do (digital only)

If you're going to use analog out, don't both with the Joying. Just don't.

If you're going to use digital out, the Joying can be a decent option, but you may need to debug Android at some point.

MiniDSP Harmony (or 8x12) isn't' cheap, so yeah makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you're going to use digital out, the Joying can be a decent option, but you may need to debug Android at some point.
Ok, thank you. I will study your measurements.

Is there a noticeable difference between the Optical Toslink and Coaxial digital output.

Does the MiniDSP Harmony (or 8x12) has both options.

I have not looked much into a DSP option, how do you control the SQ settings? is it done via linking to a PC or your phone?
 

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Thank you bbfoto.

That's what I am thinking, could buy the well known brands for SQ.

Is there much difference between Alpine iLXF509 V Kenwood DDX920WDABS. The later is much cheaper than the Alpine. I am in Australia, the price for ILX509 is $1,500 v DDX920WDABS for $1,000.

I can't seem to find much information on their CPU or Screen type. I am guessing that the CPU is weaker on the well known brands.

I could possible run a separate DSP or DSP/Amplifier in the future that has Toslink optical or coaxial Digital inputs but I can't seem to find one at a reasonable price. The two I have seen mentioned in the threads are:

Helix M Four DSP
Alpine PDP-E800DSP

The price of the above plus an Alpine or Kenwood is almost double than Joying + DSP Amplifier combination.

Is there a better cheaper option for DSP Amplifier with Toslink Optical or Coaxial inputs, my car is small and only need to run two channels.

I will read Joying - What you need to know, thank you for the link.
Nice! I'm in the Los Angeles area and was born Stateside, but I have family all over Oz...mom is from Brisbane and one of my sisters and her husband live there still, aunt & uncle in St. Ives Sydney, nieces and nephews in Brisbane, Cairns, Palm Beach, and Longreach of all places, haha.

Anyhow, there is a new Alpine iLX-507 7" along with the iLX-F509 9" and F511 11". Not sure what the equivalent model #'s are in Oz as they'll have the DAB tuners rather than our "HD" tuner in the States. The new Alpine Halo units here all boot up in about 8 seconds which is par for the course with any of these full feature DSP head units.

It takes a little longer to connect to Android Auto or Apple Carplay, but is still relatively fast. And the Backup/Reverse camera(s) will activate and show on the display just a second or two after starting the vehicle, before the unit has fully booted.

The new 5-series Halo models all have the same features other than their display size. In their DSP's "Advance EQ/Network Mode", they have INDEPENDENT Front Left, Front Right, Rear Right, Rear Left, and Subwoofer Crossovers and Parametric EQ.

This would allow you to separately power each of your Polk MM 6.5" midwoofers and tweeters in your front component set, and replace the passive crossovers with the custom adjustable crossovers in the Alpine's DSP. It would also allow you to have INDEPENDENT Time Alignment (Digital Delay) and PEQ for each speaker (and a Subwoofer if you added one later).

All of those independent control features are important to have if you want to achieve better SQ with a realistic upfront Soundstage that is centered and hovers just below your rearview mirror over the dash, with the various instruments and background vocals spread evenly from far Left to far Right across and above your dash, just as if you were watching the performers at a live concert. This does require good recordings, but nearly all stereo recordings will have some amount of Left to Right imaging elements, with the singer usually placed in the center.

And I really like the idea of Alpine's separate optional $80 RUX-H02 Bluetooth Volume Knob that can be attached to either side of the Alpine's display, or mounted anywhere in the vehicle you would like it. Especially in a sports car, trying to use the steering wheel controls or pushing tiny buttons on the front of the head unit is challenging. Reaching for an actual Volume Knob is much easier and safer!

Output device Automotive lighting Home appliance Automotive design Cameras & optics





With any of the built-in head units that have DSP, there aren't as many overall options, features, or PEQ Bands per channel, nor the "fine" adjustments and control that a good separate DSP or DSP/amplifier combi will have. But the Halo especially is plenty good enough to give you a very nice soundstage and lifelike tonality using your 2-way front components without having to add a separate amplifier or DSP. And the head unit would allow you to add a subwoofer with a separate mono amp in the future as well.

The Kenwood is a very nice unit and has Excellent SQ as well, and I can see how it's 200mm Toyota-specific bezel would look really nice. But it's EQ is just a "Global" EQ that affects ALL channels equally. There is no INDEPENDENT Left & Right control for each speaker, tweeter, and subwoofer. I believe that this Kenwood model only has a GRAPHIC EQ as well, not a Parametric EQ. And while it has more EQ bands, they are not as precise as using Parametric EQ bands. But if you used it with a separate DSP and amplifier, or a combi DSP/amplifier, those limitations don't matter.

Watch this short video, and the second slightly longer one for more details about the INDEPENDENT Left & Right PEQ and Time Alignment features in the new Alpine Halo 5-series. The second video doesn't show the Double-DIN size iLX-507, but the features are the same. I hope these videos aren't blocked in Oz!...




One other relatively inexpensive route you could go, is to add a small Kicker KEY200.4 DSP/amplifier. This is a TINY 4-channel amplifier that has a built-in fully Automatic DSP Tuning feature.

You simply set some DIP switches on the end of the amp for the proper "Bi-Amp" mode so it will independently power your 2-way front component set's separate 6.5" midwoofers and tweeters. Then you play some specific test tones through your system (you download them from Kicker's website) while the built-in microphone & internal DSP analyzes your setup and adjusts all of the Crossovers, PEQ, and Time Alignment in about 5-8 minutes, AUTOMAGICALLY. :)

It can give you really good results without you having to know ANYTHING about properly setting up or "Tuning" a DSP. And it should have plenty of power for your Polk component set. In the States, the Kicker KEY200.4 is $269 USD. They also make a KEY500.1 mono DSP subwoofer amp that is the same size.

And unless you can find a truly experienced "DSP Tuner" that is relatively close to you (easier said than done!), using the Kicker KEY's automatic tuning feature could very well give you BETTER results than someone haphazardly tuning a "high-end" standalone DSP or DSP/amp.

You don't even have to run a big power wire for this small Kicker KEY amp, and you would just need a single set of good 2-channel RCAs from your head unit to the KEY200.4. It gives you both a DSP and 50w x 4 @ 4-ohms Amplifier in a TINY package that is easy to install and Automatically Tunes itself!

Cable Electrical wiring Font Electronic device Wire



Another really nice head unit that has a great display (but wide bezels) with Excellent SQ, and an excellent, high-power built-in amplifier is the newer Sony Mobile ES XAV-9500ES. But it is just available as a 10.1" screen. It has a simple but nice GUI, and the nicest PEQ GUI, except that it is a "Global" PEQ and not Independent Left & Right for Each Channel like the new Alpine Halo.
 

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You’re asking for quality, there is no quality even with upgraded head unit and run them to the speakers, it just doesn’t work like this.
Amp is needed for better speaker control, dynamics, and of curse flexibility.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice! I'm in the Los Angeles area and was born Stateside, but I have family all over Oz...mom is from Brisbane and one of my sisters and her husband live there still, aunt & uncle in St. Ives Sydney, nieces and nephews in Brisbane, Cairns, Palm Beach, and Longreach of all places, haha.
Very interesting, I guess you come to Australia often having your close family living here, it is a beautiful part of the world.

Anyhow, there is a new Alpine iLX-507 7" along with the iLX-F509 9" and F511 11"
We have the same models here in Oz. I have not keeping up to date with the car equipment for the last 10 years or so, with the DSP built into these units, I guess I do not need to buy a separate DSP as it is already built into the system. I have been reading a bit about the DSP, I do not see much benefit if you are running two speakers in a small sports car. It seems to be more designed for OEM units or perhaps units like Joying where the output signal quality might be poor.

This would allow you to separately power each of your Polk MM 6.5" midwoofers and tweeters in your front component set, and replace the passive crossovers with the custom adjustable crossovers in the Alpine's DSP.
This part does interest me. Will I need a separate Amp for this set up or I can run straight from the Alpine Head Unit? I do have a Rockford Fosgate Punch Series 4 Channel 100W RMS amplifier sitting somewhere in the storage. I just wanted to avoid the hassle of installing it in the car.

All of those independent control features are important to have if you want to achieve better SQ with a realistic upfront Soundstage that is centered and hovers just below your rearview mirror over the dash,
That is what I am after.

I really like the idea of Alpine's separate optional $80 RUX-H02 Bluetooth Volume Knob
Yes, nothing like the volume knob.

But it's EQ is just a "Global" EQ that affects ALL channels equally. There is no INDEPENDENT Left & Right control for each speaker, tweeter, and subwoofer.
I have seen this feature mentioned a few times, not sure how important it might unless I really try it.

I hope these videos aren't blocked in Oz!...
I have seen these videos already, that's what attracted me to Alpine plus the bigger 9" screen which will suit my car well rather than a smaller 7" screen.

Time Alignment in about 5-8 minutes, AUTOMAGICALLY.
With my experience I think this would be the only way. I am guessing that it should not be too hard on the Alpine HU, it is something I would need to learn to fine tune.

you would just need a single set of good 2-channel RCAs from your head unit to the KEY200.4.
This seems like a good option for a small car like mine. Does this also work with speaker output level as well or just with RCA cables?

Another really nice head unit that has a great display (but wide bezels) with Excellent SQ, and an excellent, high-power built-in amplifier is the newer Sony Mobile ES XAV-9500ES
I have read about it but it does not seem to be available in Australia. I can't find any retailer in Australia stocking it. I have always liked their ES equipment.

You have not mentioned anything about Joying unit in your last post, it seems that you want me to stay away from it, lol. Could I get the same result using Joying Plus Helix M Four DSP 4 Channel Amplifier?



You’re asking for quality, there is no quality even with upgraded head unit and run them to the speakers, it just doesn’t work like this.
Amp is needed for better speaker control, dynamics, and of curse flexibility.
You are probably right, I may need to add an Amp at some stage. Those Polk speakers I have are very efficient, they don't need much power to drive them.
 

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You’re asking for quality, there is no quality even with upgraded head unit and run them to the speakers, it just doesn’t work like this.
Amp is needed for better speaker control, dynamics, and of curse flexibility.
Mario, the OP initially stated that he didn't want to hassle with the extra wiring and complexity of installing a separate amplifier. That's why i suggested the particular options that i did.

And in this case, the OP was just looking to Replace his OEM Head Unit with something nice with good SQ because the OEM BLUETOOTH chip for his music streaming and hands-free calls stopped working in his OEM head unit. In addition, not everyone with a FRS/BRZ wants to add a bunch of extra weight to it.

From spending a good bit of time in Australia myself, trying to find a reputable DSP tuner for a Helix DSP or the like would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack there. It's even much more difficult than here!

He's running good but affordable Polk MM 2-way components, not Focal Utopia M or the like where you'd want to match the rest of the system with the ultimate in high end DSP and amplifiers and then also want to add tons of sound deadening (weight) throughout the car.

I've done several stereo upgrades in friend's and family member's cars that just used a Kenwood eXcelon XR or similar upper tier aftermarket head unit with built-in DSP Network Mode and using only the Deck Power on decent front 2-way components that sounded fantastic and 200% better than the OEM deck and speakers!

And in this case, replacing just the lackluster quality of the OEM Toyota head unit will make a HUGE difference on its own...ask me how I know, LOL!?

But IMO, adding a separate subwoofer and subwoofer amplifier to the system will make the single largest improvement if you have a good upper tier Network Mode/DSP head unit like this, decent front components, and just want to keep the system simple and lightweight otherwise. But at that point, yes, you might as well go "all in" and add a 5-channel amp to power the front components as well, but that is IF you want to spend the extra money. Some people don't or can't.

BTW OP, I would suggest adding some good quality sound deadening/resonance control products at least to the front door speaker mounting locations that will seal any openings, holes or gaps in the door skin under the door panel and minimize vibration, rattles, and resonances. And apply some to the back side of the door card/panel itself. This will improve the midbass output and overall performance of any speakers that are mounted in the doors. There is a good application guide for the best use of these products on www.ResoNixSoundSolutions.com as well as many good "Build Logs" that showcase this.

You might want to look at other DIYMA member's BRZ Build Logs such as @bertholomey and @Zippy just for reference.

I'll address the OP's other questions in a future post.
 

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bbfoto said:
Nice! I'm in the Los Angeles area and was born Stateside, but I have family all over Oz...mom is from Brisbane and one of my sisters and her husband live there still, aunt & uncle in St. Ives Sydney, nieces and nephews in Brisbane, Cairns, Palm Beach, and Longreach of all places, haha.
Very interesting, I guess you come to Australia often having your close family living here, it is a beautiful part of the world.

Agreed. Before COVID I would travel to Oz at least twice a year. My sister and B-i-L were finally able to travel here to California to visit my parents this last April, and hopefully my schedule will allow me to get back to Oz soon!

bbfoto said:
Anyhow, there is a new Alpine iLX-507 7" along with the iLX-F509 9" and F511 11"
We have the same models here in Oz. I have not keeping up to date with the car equipment for the last 10 years or so, with the DSP built into these units, I guess I do not need to buy a separate DSP as it is already built into the system. I have been reading a bit about the DSP, I do not see much benefit if you are running two speakers in a small sports car. It seems to be more designed for OEM units or perhaps units like Joying where the output signal quality might be poor.

There would still be a HUGE benefit to using DSP and a significant upgrade in SQ even in a small sports car with just 2-way front components! The size of the car or amount of speakers doesn't matter. The improvements will just be more dramatic with a DSP when upgrading a mediocre OEM system.

Yes, a good, standalone DSP or DSP/Amplifier will be more powerful and versatile than the DSP that is available in these head units. But, it will also require extra expense, more space, and much more wiring complexity, along with much more involved "tuning" to get to a good final result.

IMO, for YOUR particular and current setup and desires, I think that the DSP features and the quality of the built-in head unit amplifiers in one of the new Alpine Halo models would be more than sufficient, and a HUGE upgrade from the OEM head unit with your Polk components!

And the Halo head unit would also be an EXCELLENT foundation with a pure, clean source for any future updates that you might desire. And BEWARE, because once you get started down this rabbit hole (as you alredy have here), it's never-ending, LOL! ;)



bbfoto said:
This would allow you to separately power each of your Polk MM 6.5" midwoofers and tweeters in your front component set, and replace the passive crossovers with the custom adjustable crossovers in the Alpine's DSP.
This part does interest me. Will I need a separate Amp for this set up or I can run straight from the Alpine Head Unit? I do have a Rockford Fosgate Punch Series 4 Channel 100W RMS amplifier sitting somewhere in the storage. I just wanted to avoid the hassle of installing it in the car.

You can power your existing Polk 2-way front components perfectly fine directly from the head unit. As you said, the Polk components are very efficient and don't need much power in order to sound good. And I can guarantee it will be a night & day difference for the better compared to using the Toyota's OEM head unit to power them!

Initially you stated that you wanted to avoid the complexity and hassle of adding a separate amplifier. But if you already have a decent 4-channel amplifier that is in good working condition, Yes, just about any speakers can benefit from the extra available clean power from a separate amp. It's up to you if you want to find the space to mount it, and run the extra Power Wire & Fuses, RCA cables, and Speaker Wiring throughout the vehicle to use it.


bbfoto said:
All of those independent control features are important to have if you want to achieve better SQ with a realistic upfront Soundstage that is centered and hovers just below your rearview mirror over the dash,
That is what I am after.

In that case you will need the high quality, clean, 4v-5v RCA Preamp output signals from a high quality head unit which also has good built-in DSP & Network Mode features such as those in the new Alpine Halo's.

OR, the Joying head unit combined with a good standalone DSP/Amplifier such as the Helix M FOUR DSP, or another good DSP that has a Digital Toslink Optical or Coaxial input so you can utilize the Joying's Digital Output. Do Not use the RCA or Speaker Level outputs from the Joying into a DSP or amplifier unless it is the last resort. ;)


bbfoto said:
I really like the idea of Alpine's separate optional $80 RUX-H02 Bluetooth Volume Knob
Yes, nothing like the volume knob.

x2!
bbfoto said:
But it's EQ is just a "Global" EQ that affects ALL channels equally. There is no INDEPENDENT Left & Right control for each speaker, tweeter, and subwoofer.
I have seen this feature mentioned a few times, not sure how important it might unless I really try it.

The INDEPENDENT Left & Right P-EQ, Time Alignment, and Crossover adjustments are EXTREMELY important IF you want to achieve excellent front imaging, soundstage, and lifelike balanced tonality.

The details are complex, but in short, because we sit so far off-center to the Left and Right stereo speakers in a car, the individual component speakers will all have Unequal Time Arrival to our head & ears. And both the Frequency Response and Amplitude or Level of each speaker will be very different on the driver's side as opposed to the passenger side.

This is because we are sitting so far off-center, and the driver's side speakers will be much closer (louder) and aimed Off-Axis to our ears compared to the passenger side, resulting in very different Left & Right Frequency Response and Levels. This completely destroys the potential for lifelike balanced tonality and perfect stereo imaging and wide, even soundstage.


Since all of these aspects are so different between the Left & Right sides in a car, we NEED INDEPENDENT Control of these adjustments in order to balance them perfectly between the Left & Right sides, just like a home stereo setup where we can sit perfectly centered between the speakers in the "Sweet Spot" without all of these issues.

Other head units that only have a "Global" EQ that applies the Same EQ settings across ALL of the Left and Right speakers cannot balance the Frequency Response and Levels so they are the same from both sides of the car.


bbfoto said:
I hope these videos aren't blocked in Oz!...
I have seen these videos already, that's what attracted me to Alpine plus the bigger 9" screen which will suit my car well rather than a smaller 7" screen.

(y)
bbfoto said:
Time Alignment in about 5-8 minutes, AUTOMAGICALLY.
With my experience I think this would be the only way. I am guessing that it should not be too hard on the Alpine HU, it is something I would need to learn to fine tune.

The Kicker KEY200.4 DSP/amplifier would do all of this automatically. With the Alpine Halo head unit, you can set the initial Time Alignment for each speaker and tweeter in the head unit (or a separate DSP) by using simple tape measurements from each speaker to your ears at your listening position. And there are band-limited Pink Noise tracks in individual 20Hz to 20kHz steps that you can play to set the independent Levels and EQ to equalize the Frequency Response between the Left & Right sides.

The PC software that is used to do this in a separate DSP such as the HELIX units can get much more involved and time consuming, but can offer better results IF you have the knowledge and experience to do it correctly.


bbfoto said:
you would just need a single set of good 2-channel RCAs from your head unit to the KEY200.4.
This seems like a good option for a small car like mine. Does this also work with speaker output level as well or just with RCA cables?

Yes, it can work with speaker level outputs, but using the RCA outputs from a good 4v-5v aftermarket head unit would be MUCH better!

bbfoto said:
Another really nice head unit that has a great display (but wide bezels) with Excellent SQ, and an excellent, high-power built-in amplifier is the newer Sony Mobile ES XAV-9500ES
I have read about it but it does not seem to be available in Australia. I can't find any retailer in Australia stocking it. I have always liked their ES equipment.

That's too bad. It's a great unit and probably has the best built-in DAC and internal amplifier. But it has large bezels, No Volume Knob, and No Independent L & R EQ. :(


You have not mentioned anything about Joying unit in your last post, it seems that you want me to stay away from it, lol. Could I get the same result using Joying Plus Helix M Four DSP 4 Channel Amplifier?

I haven't included the Joying unit in my previous conversation because initially it seemed as if you did not want to add a Separate Amplifier or DSP. That is the only way I would consider using the Joying, AND only when using its DIGITAL OUTPUT into the DSP. AFAIK, both the RCA outputs and the Speaker Level outputs on the Joying units are subpar. But read the other Joying threads to confirm this.

Yes, I think that the Joying unit should sound fantastic when combined with the Helix M FOUR DSP Amplifier when using the Digital connection between them, though I have not tried this myself. That's just been my experience using other Helix DSP' digital inputs combined with other digital sources.

However, while the Helix's PC Tool v5 tuning software is among the most versatile and well designed on the market, it can get very involved and complex. I would go to the Audiotec-Fischer Helix website and download the PC Tool v5 software and try using it in Offline/DEMO mode to see if you think you can wrap your head around it and learn to use it.

For most of us, it has required a SIGNIFICANT investment in time and energy to learn all of its subtleties proficiently in order to produce an excellent result. But the latest version has added some newly updated Auto-Tune features that help to make the process much easier. However, not all of these features apply to every Helix model. Double check before purchasing. But if set up and tuned properly, the Helix line of DSPs and DSP Amplifiers can offer some of the best SQ results possible.


And as I stated in another post, finding someone who is truly experienced in properly setting up and tuning a DSP unit such as the Helix is a difficult task even here in the States.

It all depends on how much time, energy, and money you are willing to part with in order to get the results that YOU want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
But IMO, adding a separate subwoofer and subwoofer amplifier to the system will make the single largest improvement if you have a good upper tier Network Mode/DSP head unit like this,
No Amp for the front speakers? I do have a 4 channel Rockford Fosgate Amp, Punch Series, sitting in storage for years. I might have to pull it out of the storage. I also have a sub in the storage. This being a small car, it is hard to find room for subs etc . In my previous car, I was running the front speakers from the Amp, sub from the Amp and rear 6 x9" speakers from the head unit.

Plus the Toyota 86 build quality is not great as far the acoustics are concerned, it is a good fun car to drive, there is no noise isolation from the road, it will struggle without sound deadening materials as you suggested.

I have been looking at this kit for sound deadening material, all the cutting etc. already done for you to save time. Not as good as tailored solution but better than factory set up.


ResoNix, is not available in Australia.

And BEWARE, because once you get started down this rabbit hole (as you alredy have here), it's never-ending, LOL! ;)
That's what I am afraid of, you can spend a lot of money on car sound, ideally this car needs to have some sort sound deadening skin on the roof, floor and boot but that just too much work and add a lot weight to the car. You don't buy this car for quiet cabin or audio sound sytem.

You might want to look at other DIYMA member's BRZ Build Logs such as @bertholomey and @Zippy just for reference.
I will check out their build logs.

think that the DSP features and the quality of the built-in head unit amplifiers in one of the new Alpine Halo models would be more than sufficient,
I am leaning towards this option, even though the cost of this unit is twice as much as the Joying unit. It will give me more options but it does lack Digital/Optical output option like the Joying unit.

I would go to the Audiotec-Fischer Helix website and download the PC Tool v5 software and try using it in Offline/DEMO mode to see if you think you can wrap your head around it and learn to use it.
I will give it a try.

r most of us, it has required a SIGNIFICANT investment in time and energy to learn all of its subtleties proficiently in order to produce an excellent result.
I am not sure I will have time and energy, that's why I was looking for quick and easy fix. Kicker Key200.4 might be a better option for a novice like me.

Are there Presets for different car models to save the hassle of trying to tune it yourself? I am guessing this is not possible because of different car speakers etc for each car but at least it could give you some sort of starting point.
 

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This might be much better solution


CC3 unit


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No Amp for the front speakers? I do have a 4 channel Rockford Fosgate Amp, Punch Series, sitting in storage for years. I might have to pull it out of the storage. I also have a sub in the storage. This being a small car, it is hard to find room for subs etc . In my previous car, I was running the front speakers from the Amp, sub from the Amp and rear 6 x9" speakers from the head unit.

Yes, add your 4-channel Rockford-Fosgate amp for the front speakers since you have it and IF you are willing to do the extra work to install it!

HOWEVER, I would have it professionally tested BEFORE using it. Old amplifiers that sit unused for long periods are prone to develop leaky capacitors in the power supply or output stage. Other parts can degrade over time as well. And this might cause it to blow unexpectedly when you power it up again. This could also blow your Polk component speakers when it happens. Unfortunately, using an old amp can be risky, even when it is a reputable brand. :(


But you started this thread saying that you did NOT want to add an amplifier, so I suggested that with one of these new top tier aftermarket head units, their built-in amplifiers would still do a great job and be way better than your OEM head unit's speaker outputs.

Regarding the subwoofer, you didn't say which brand or model you have in storage?

Do you regularly have a passenger in the front while you are driving? If not, a fantastic place for a small to medium subwoofer is tucked into the front passenger foot well against the firewall! Check out @bertholomey 's BRZ build log and see the results that he achieved.

If you were to use your existing subwoofer, I would try to power it with your R-F 4-channel amp (if it checks out okay) if there is a wiring configuration that would work well with your subwoofer. Is the subwoofer a Single Voice Coil, or DVC, and what Ohm rating is each coil???

You might be able to bridge 2 of the R-F amp's channels to power the subwoofer, and use the other two channels to power your front 6.5" midbass drivers. Then use the built-in head unit amplifier to power your tweeters (they will rarely need more than 10 watts max to make them scream and drive you out of the car).

But we need to know more about exactly which subwoofer you have. You can obviously add all of this very inexpensively because you already have the subwoofer and amplifier. It's just some extra wiring and labour on your part to install it.


Plus the Toyota 86 build quality is not great as far the acoustics are concerned, it is a good fun car to drive, there is no noise isolation from the road, it will struggle without sound deadening materials as you suggested.

I have been looking at this kit for sound deadening material, all the cutting etc. already done for you to save time. Not as good as tailored solution but better than factory set up.


ResoNix, is not available in Australia.

I can't comment on the quality or effectiveness of that specific Carbon Systems sound deadening kit for your Toyota 86. I would check the ResoNix product testing database and see if any of the other CLD products that were decent are available there.

Even small pieces of CLD that are selectively placed on the worst resonating panels can do A LOT to dampen the resonance of the sheet metal.

And I would try to use the 3M Thinsulate SM600L acoustic insulation wherever you can if you find it available there. Unfortuneately, it can be expensive. But it is relatively light weight, as well as being compress-able and stuff-able, and very effective when combined with some CLD. The major luxury auto manufacturers are using the Thinsulate products quite extensively.

Again, check the BRZ/FRS build logs here to see what others have done. Most of them obviously did not want to add a lot of weight to these cars either.


That's what I am afraid of, you can spend a lot of money on car sound, ideally this car needs to have some sort sound deadening skin on the roof, floor and boot but that just too much work and add a lot weight to the car. You don't buy this car for quiet cabin or audio sound sytem.

Yes, I definitely "get it". But treating just the worse offending areas at least with some selective CLD and insulation where possible will help.

I will check out their build logs.

[Alpine Halo]
I am leaning towards this option, even though the cost of this unit is twice as much as the Joying unit. It will give me more options but it does lack Digital/Optical output option like the Joying unit.

See what the cost of the Joying + the Helix M FOUR DSP would be compared to the Halo alone and weigh the Pros & Cons.

[Helix Software demo]
I will give it a try.

[Tuning a DSP]
I am not sure I will have time and energy, that's why I was looking for quick and easy fix. Kicker Key200.4 might be a better option for a novice like me.

Yes, I think that for your use case scenario the Kicker KEY200.4 would be a worthwhile, inexpensive, and excellent option, and you could combine it with the lower priced Kenwood 200mm wide head unit as you wouldn't need to rely so much on the head unit's built-in DSP. It would have plenty of power for your Polk Audio 2-way front components and I think that you'd be really impressed with the results, especially when starting with a good, clean RCA preamp output signal from the Kenwood head unit!

Are there Presets for different car models to save the hassle of trying to tune it yourself? I am guessing this is not possible because of different car speakers etc for each car but at least it could give you some sort of starting point.
No, that's not really possible due to the reasons you mentioned. There are too many variables to create a "one-size-fits-all" DSP preset. Different speakers especially will need completely different EQ adjustments even if installed in the same OEM locations.

This is another area that the Kicker KEY has an advantage, because no matter what speakers you use, it tries to match their response to a known "Target Curve" or frequency response curve that has proven to be pleasing to the vast majority of listeners, while also keeping the important attributes that give you excellent imaging and a wide, even soundstage.

Most of the Helix DSPs now have excellent Auto-Tune functions, but they are nowhere near as hands-off and Plug & Play as what the Kicker KEY does. The downside to the Kicker KEY is that it doesn't allow you to go in and do any minor or major adjustments after it has completed its Auto-Tune. But you can still use the head unit's custom Global EQ or simple Bass and Treble controls to taylor the sound to your liking.

Just realize that no type of DSP can correct certain vehicle-specific acoustic issues, especially when you are limited to using the OEM speaker locations. But it will be vastly better than the same system without any DSP!

HTH! Ta!
 

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On second look, the Carbon Systems Soundskins Door Kit looks decent and would certainly be an improvement compared to nothing at all. Seems a bit expensive for 4.7kilos of product, but you're paying for the convenience of the pre-cut kit and includes the installation tools, so I get it.

I would probably want to do the rear wheel arches as well, and some of the rear floor/tray. But check with the BRZ/FRS guys here and see what other areas you should concentrate on if any.

I'd imagine that a few well-placed smaller pieces of heatproof, high-tack CLD mat would do good for the underside of the overhead roof sheetmetal combined with some Thinsulate between the sheetmetal and headliner as well, but I realize that'd be heaps of work. :( Would probably add less than 2.5 kilos though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
But you can still use the head unit's custom Global EQ or simple Bass and Treble controls to taylor the sound to your liking.
So the DSP settings on the HU become redundant with an external DSP like Kicker and Helix?

I would probably want to do the rear wheel arches as well, and some of the rear floor/tray. But check with the BRZ/FRS guys here and see what other areas you should concentrate on if any
Once you start, you can't stop, might as well the do the whole car, lol.

This might be much better solution

CC3 unit
It does look interesting but the build quality seems cheap in the pictures, not a lot of weight behind the screen, just plastic, not sure how it would sound. It says two DSP chips! I would definitely need AMP with digital inputs for that one. The specs don't say the output level on RCA. I am assuming less than 2V like the other Android units. My initial intention was to keep it simple but to get decent SQ is a lot more work, I am realising that now.
 

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Ok, thank you. I will study your measurements.

Is there a noticeable difference between the Optical Toslink and Coaxial digital output.

Does the MiniDSP Harmony (or 8x12) has both options.

I have not looked much into a DSP option, how do you control the SQ settings? is it done via linking to a PC or your phone?
Toslink and Digital coax a functionally the same. In theory, you could create a ground loop (noise) with digital coax, but as most cars are well grounded to chassis, this is highly unlikely and does not typically occur.

From a digital audio stand point, they're the same. Optical advantage is 100% zero interference and no noise concerns on the physical layer of data transport.

I use the miniDSP via my PC. The head unit I do not use for anything except a source and volume control. If you were to use the internal DSP on a Joying unit, and boosted a frequency, that could cause clipping, as 0dB max volume was 0dB max volume.
 

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So the DSP settings on the HU become redundant with an external DSP like Kicker and Helix?
Yes. You do not want to use the DSP in the HU if you have a decent EQ outboard.

Another option is MiniDSP. DIRAC Live can get you to a 90-95% done tune very fast. There are also a few threads around here on ways to make sure you get good results. I've never used the Kicker, and I've heard many systems with Helix.
 

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While from sound perspective it is inticing but you would need Amp, what Amp do you use? Not sure I am going to fit it all in a small car. Power requirements?
I have a MiniDSP Harmony. It's 12 channel 40w amp. Each channel can be swapped to line level, as 40w is a bit low for some drivers. I'm also using an ARC audio x2 1200.6.

if you have efficient drivers, the MiniDSP Harmony could power most of your system. If not efficient, you'll need more power
 
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