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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there, have an 80prs and 6to8v8 and just got fed up with Pioneer. Hopefully someone can clarify a couple thoughts. The short of it, with Automatic Sound Leveler (ASL) turned Off the sound is thin. With ASL ON the signal is much fuller but the function drives me batty so left it off until the other day. The ASL is what has been missing, more output, fuller sound with ASL. With ASL off and adjusting amp gains and or DSP gain I am just amplifying a thin signal? With the Sound Leveler Adjustment cranked up to +4 seems to just increase a thin signal. So, a new budget head unit without ASL or any other crap and good output voltage is a thought.
Budget $100, Single din, USB, CD, wirh a good USB DAC. Did a few searches and found info that some manufactures use crappy DACs on the USB. Any recommendation?
Here’s the catch, after researching double dins, dacs, fiio, I picked up a nexus7 to make a head unit. Since I am pretty much useless with a computer it will take some time to complete, then install. The output and fullness of the ASL is what my brain is craving without the level fluctuations. I would probably be happy for a while with a different head unit that put out with no gimmicks.
Thanks for your time
 

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I've always thought Kenwood units sounded a little more "full" than Pioneer. That said, I never thought the 80prs sounded "thin". The 880prs I had before the 80prs sounded thin and tinny. Yes this was a direct swap. The 80prs seemed to have a signal that didn't add or take away anything from the sound. Maybe something is wrong with your headunit?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Let me rephrase , the ASL function sounds more “full” than the “thin” signal with ASL off. The 80 prs sounds good, yes indeed, but I was always after more output. The ASL gives the output I have been missing, stronger amps and higher gains never satisfied. Don’t know the correct terminology to describe what i hear, and feel. For instance with ASL off sub gain turned up just before clipping by ear sub sounds musical, blends in well with front stage. With ASL on had to turn amp gain down. Sub sounds musical, blends in well, has authority and I can feel it. Therefore sounds more “full”. The 8” midbass came alive as well.

ASL is great until you pull out of the driveway and level increases, then decreases at the stop sign, increases until the next stop sign , on and on. That drives me crazy.

In the past i went from jvc to alpine 9833, 9855 Maybe? Then ditched the alpines for a kenwood after numerous repairs/replacement/repair. I was happy with the kenwood and left it in the truck when I sold it
Had a couple guys say you should have more output and a few days ago a buddy turned on the ASL. Dammit man what a difference. Tuned some last night and have a couple adjustments to make tonight. Before at 60/62 it was loud and sounded detailed and clean. This morning at 47-52 WTF, yea buddy, rockin. Didnt turn down midbass gains yesterday which will do tonight. Looking forward to seeing what 60/62 is all about.
 

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Unless asl is adding pleasurable distortion I don't see how it could be making the sound "better". Sounds to me like you're experiencing the effects of road noise drowning out certain frequency bandwidths. Need to do more tuning.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nah, no road noise sitting in a driveway and you can hear the difference even at low to moderate levels. The ASL increases the output voltage of prs, so more voltage gives the “full” signal?
 

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Nah, no road noise sitting in a driveway and you can hear the difference even at low to moderate levels. The ASL increases the output voltage of prs, so more voltage gives the “full” signal?
More voltage makes it louder. There may also be some EQ going on, but I don't know. Just turn it off, and work on the tune. There's absolutely no reason to replace it, you'll almost certainly be taking a step back. You just need to spend some time learning how to use the tools a bit better. With a good tune, you'll have much more consistent results.
 

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More voltage makes it louder. There may also be some EQ going on, but I don't know. Just turn it off, and work on the tune. There's absolutely no reason to replace it, you'll almost certainly be taking a step back. You just need to spend some time learning how to use the tools a bit better. With a good tune, you'll have much more consistent results.
Yes. Could just be a speed dependent loudness curve that has some effect while sitting still. It would make sense since asl is meant to adjust volume while DRIVING. Personally, I don't use any form of loudness processing because it hurts more than it helps even while driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Been with the head unit a couple years now, read the long thread and many others. To get the full output voltage you need asl and sla. The SLA increases the signal across the spectrum, confirmed it with rew last night. That was sitting though, don't know what happens when you drive. So sure i can leave asl off which i had done on the past and got good results. Lower input voltage equals higher amp gain which causes amp to work harder and possibly introduce distortion?
I have used a different amps, autotek mean machine 44. Us acoust 4050, sony xm-5046 x 2, currently running 5046 midbass/mids, soundstream d60ii tweets and kenwood x-501 on dayton ho. Have set gains by ear, with dd-1. Tuned for two way and now three way, There is something in the SLA that changes what i am hearing?
 

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Been with the head unit a couple years now, read the long thread and many others. To get the full output voltage you need asl and sla. The SLA increases the signal across the spectrum, confirmed it with rew last night. That was sitting though, don't know what happens when you drive. So sure i can leave asl off which i had done on the past and got good results. Lower input voltage equals higher amp gain which causes amp to work harder and possibly introduce distortion?
I have used a different amps, autotek mean machine 44. Us acoust 4050, sony xm-5046 x 2, currently running 5046 midbass/mids, soundstream d60ii tweets and kenwood x-501 on dayton ho. Have set gains by ear, with dd-1. Tuned for two way and now three way, There is something in the SLA that changes what i am hearing?
You don't need full output voltage, you'd only get that with the head unit volume maxed anyway. Adjust the amp gain to match the input voltage, that's what it's for. A decent amp is not going to have a drastic increase in distortion just getting to good listening levels.

The SLA is just a source level adjustment (as far as I know). It's just used to match the volume of different sources so that the volume doesn't change drastically when switching from radio, cd, bluetooth, usb, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My bad not SLA, the automatic sound leveler ASL is what i should have typed, dixlixic phone dumb mofo lol. Yea the SLA just increases the source

Thanks fot your feedback guys
 

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Well, you said you were happy with a Kenwood. Why not just get the best single did Kenwood you can find within your budget? You have a nice processor doing the heavy lifting so you're mostly wasting the potential the 80prs offers.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That makes sense, looked up the Kenwood I had KDC-X396. Bought from Crutchfield in 2012 after selling off the refurb Alpine sent back. Looking back thats when i gave up on the hobby. Settled for good enough and drove on. Searched around and can pick up a used x396 for pretty cheap, heck all the other gear in the truck is used except the prs
Yea man 80prs to me at this point is a DAC, USB hub and volume control for the DSP.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yup, you guys are right. pleasurable distortion sounds about right. Before driving home from work turned the amp gains down on the mid/midbass. Got a little way down the road toggling between ASL on/off. Then the light bulb went on for a second. Reached in the center console and pulled out an SPL meter. Stopped at a light and played a 500hz test tone through the phone and looked at the SPL meter. With ASL on the meter was at 98/99db then fluctuated down to 95/96db. With ASL off meter read around 95/96db. The crazy part is when the a/c compressor kicked on the ASL function showed it's ugly head. I could hear audible adjustments in the test tone that coincided with the decibel meter moving up and down fluctuating between 95-99db. The sound reminded me of what happens when the dsp settings are changed, especially the clicks in the time alignment. So what I was hearing was an instant gratification 3db gain across the spectrum which would indeed push amp into clipping.
I messed around a little more with volume level and ASL. It does sound about the same, whether ASL is on or the volume is increased 3db and ASL off. Can't toggle between the two to get the instant 3db. So now not only hearing the ASL function but seeing it action as well, I turned that crap off.

thanks again guys
 

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have you considered a line driver? I never had good experience with asl and I keep it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
nope never considered a line driver, in fact not so sure I know exactly what a line driver is or how I would apply it.

Messed around tonight, and found the missing link. I had the SLA previously set to -1 and turned it up to +4. Set the Mosconi gain then cranked up the amp gains. Adjusted levels and got a pretty good curve in REW. The sweet sound of success. That's where the missing output was, in the SLA. At the max volume, I always wanted more, and at 52 I am satisfied for now. Even cut the SLA to +3 just to be on the safe side
 

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Have you actually scoped the headunit? I found at 58 my pioneer clipped, and sla isn’t a volume, tune in a good fm signal, then play a cd, flick between the two and you should get a similar volume from both, sla +2 is consistently where I’ve needed to set it for 4v output and 58 on the headunit, people underestimate how far the dial has to go to get full output, you will be a good few volts down at 52 I suspect... play a 0db sine wave and see... I suspect you will be very surprised and music doesn’t get to 0db generally, mostly -6db I have found from playing, so that means around 2v at 58 on sla set at +2

People forget the volume knob is logarithmic and so don’t want to push it too high... old alpines were far better in this respect you had high and low for fm and 0db on full volume and +15 on the sub were full preout voltage and no clip, simple 👍🏼
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I will mess around with it some more, but I am glad the missing output issue solved.Sheared the antenna off the truck and haven't felt the need to replace it, so no FM. I had set the SLA to -1 on a recommendation for better sq. When I set up the dsp, put the 80prs eq flat, passed network, then went on messing with gains, levels, and dsp never thinking about the head unit, damn rookie. The other day the same guy that told me to set the SLA to -1, said turn on ASL it sounds better. He also cut some frequencies(300,200) then boosted 20 and 30hz in the prs eq and told me to lower levels in the dsp for the sub. I didn’t have the laptop with me which is probably a good thing. When i drove off I set things back as they were except left the ASL on thinking that was it.
I will see when I can borrow a dd-1 and check head unit but from your info if I set max volume to 58 and go from there I should be good? The way system is set now, I have enough volume at 58 but may be able to increase gains a little. I played an album that has low output this morning on the way to work. Finally was able to turn it up loud enough to enjoy it, instead of being frustrated thinking about more power. Melvin Taylor, Plays The Blues For You, I stream it off spotify, check it out and see what I am talking about.
Another good thing that came of this is the 315hz cut on the 80prs. The truck has a large peak around 300hz and a dip at 200hz that I could tame with the dsp but not get right. Cutting the head unit eq made a difference where the dip and hump are gone.
I am so grateful for this forum and the vast amount of information, hope one day to be able to give some back.
 
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