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Discussion Starter #1
I have a near mint, bone stock EK Civic (except an Alpine CDE-HD138BT and Phoenix Gold amp) that I do not want to modify in order to improve speaker placement. Currently I have German Maestro 6.5 coaxial speakers in the front doors and the sound is pretty terrible since they are aimed at the shins of the driver and passenger.

Would getting a DSP and properly tuning make a dramatic improvement or am I limited by speaker placement?

I thought about kick panels but there doesn't seem to be much room with the clutch pedal being where it is.

I can't/won't modify the car beyond the head unit because it's one of the few EK Civics left on Earth that hasn't been riced out, rusted out, raced, or wrecked.
 

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A DSP will help only if you know how to tune it. You need someone who knows what they're listening for. You will definitely be able to get the tonal balance right but if there are null spots due to bad speaker placement you will not be able to fix that. It will help out a lot though but don't expect to hear movie theater audio just because you got a DSP.
 

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Depends what you're trying to improve. What is it about the current system that you don't like?
1. The sound coming out of the passenger speaker sounds louder than the driver side speaker. Had to adjust balance +2 to the left to sound remotely balanced.

2. The vocals do not sound at all like they are coming from in front of me. It just sounds vague. I have no rear speakers connected.

3. Overall, everything except the bass notes has a hollow type of sound to it. It's hard to explain but I can tell you it's not very pleasing to the ear. I am not even that picky when it comes to sound.

The car is 20 years old and bare bones. It feels like a tin can when driving compared to a modern car. Maybe that has something to do with it.
 

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1. The sound coming out of the passenger speaker sounds louder than the driver side speaker. Had to adjust balance +2 to the left to sound remotely balanced.

2. The vocals do not sound at all like they are coming from in front of me. It just sounds vague. I have no rear speakers connected.

3. Overall, everything except the bass notes has a hollow type of sound to it. It's hard to explain but I can tell you it's not very pleasing to the ear. I am not even that picky when it comes to sound.

The car is 20 years old and bare bones. It feels like a tin can when driving compared to a modern car. Maybe that has something to do with it.
Since you have coaxial speakers, the first thing I would try (assuming you haven't already), is to set the time alignment available in the CDE-HD138BT. That will help make the signals from left and right reach the listening position at the same time.

Looks like that head unit also has a 9-band parametric EQ. Buy or maybe borrow a calibrated mic, and tune it with REW. You might still need to use the balance feature to get a centered image.

From there, if the staging/imaging isn't improved, I don't think there's much else a full fledged DSP would do in that regard, in your situation. A DSP would let you EQ left and right channels separately, but one of the biggest benefits of a DSP (in my opinion) is being able to set delays for a fully active component setup, where tweeters and mids are in different locations.

If you still wanted to try a DSP, the Dayton DSP-408 is an affordable option. I have it in one of my vehicles (the 4Runner in my signature), and I'm pleased with it.
 

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1. The sound coming out of the passenger speaker sounds louder than the driver side speaker. Had to adjust balance +2 to the left to sound remotely balanced.



2. The vocals do not sound at all like they are coming from in front of me. It just sounds vague. I have no rear speakers connected.



3. Overall, everything except the bass notes has a hollow type of sound to it. It's hard to explain but I can tell you it's not very pleasing to the ear. I am not even that picky when it comes to sound.



The car is 20 years old and bare bones. It feels like a tin can when driving compared to a modern car. Maybe that has something to do with it.


2. Time alignment and matching the resp curve of the left and right speakers with a DSP will fix that.

3. Make sure you wired the speakers up properly. Negative and positive to negative and positive on the amp. Trust me, people mess this simple step all the time. If that's all good, that hallow sound is comb filtering. Your left and right speakers are interacting with each other and creating valleys within the freq response. This usually is not noticable at higher freqs 1khz+, but anything lower than that you'll hear it.

That car is a tin can. You won't be able to seal the sound in without lots of sound deadening.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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DSP is not ment as bandaid for bad install/inappropriate driver placement/orientation. There will be difference in a positive way, but without any miracles.
 
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