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I'm having trouble getting my new system tuned exactly right in my car. I've been working on the tuning for weeks now and feel its kind of close, but not quite there. I cant seem to get it perfected. The speakers sound pretty good, as does the sound stage, but the bass seems to be lacking as well as not all that impactful. Kick drums seem to lack punch. I have had a single 10 sound system in an extended cab full size truck i used to own (same exact subwoofer model even) and it didnt seem to have this tuning. Ive tried tweaking the xovers and the eq a bunch, even switched the phase on the sub to see if it was a phasing issue, but i still cant quite get it sounding the way it should. I am not a guy who likes to blast music at high volumes (head unit goes up to 30 on the volume and i never take it above 12). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Here is my setup:
2011 Mazda 2 hatchback
  • Full Raammat sound deadener mat and Raammat Ensolite install (minus the roof)
  • Alpine ILX-W650 head unit
  • Polk Audio DB652 6.5" front speakers (this car has a mount depth limit of 2" so i had to settle here)
  • One Image Dynamics ID10 D4 DVC 10" Sub in a Belva MDFS10 sealed box (cuft of box is .77, sub asks for .4 to .8 cuft and has .05cuft of displacement)
  • Pioneer GM-DX874 4-channel Amp (rear channel bridged for sub)
My amp gain is matched to the 4V preout of the Alpine (pioneer manual states where to put the amp gain if your preouts are 4v, so that was easy), the front speakers are xoverd at 80hz and the amp does a -12db slope, the sub is xoverd at 100hz with a -12db slope (i tried 80hz on the sub but there was a gap between 80 and 100hz when i did).

Attached are pics i took of two different custom equalizer settings i have been using. Preset 3 has more bass and hits a little harder than preset 2. My time alignment is good as the soundstage is center and mid height of the dash. My amp does have a bass boost remote controller for the sub channel and i have that currently set at 2/3 of the way up to get impactful but not overpowering low notes. I did however tune the xovers and equalizer without the bass boost remote hooked up.
IMG_20200330_213916.jpg
IMG_20200330_213923.jpg
 

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My mind is a little foggy this morning.. haven't had coffee yet, but are you saying you're using both headunit and amp xovers? Do you have a mic & RTA? A screenshot of the adjustment results would be more handy than an EQ adjustment pic.

Man & Machine... Power Extreme!
 

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Comparing one vehicle of a different shape to another (truck vs small hatchback in your case) is not really a good comparison, I’d put money on it the truck had peaks at 40-50hz and also 80-100hz (just where the kick drum is) that are due to room modes, your hatchback will have peaks considerably higher than that and more evenly spread due to more variation in dimensions (your truck was a cube pretty much if it was an extended cab or at least more square so the three dimensions were very similar)

put bluntly you won’t get the same sound from them both with the same system, you need careful analysis of your current system, I would guess it’s lacking around 60-80hz which is where the impact comes from, if you have a phase issue there you can either add more midbass drivers in different locations or maybe a front sub playing higher up, that will fill in your hole and potentially give you more impact 👍🏼 It’s a conundrum many people face, especially if using stock locations in doors as they suffer phase issues the worst and is ironically where most midbass drivers are placed 😒
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My mind is a little foggy this morning.. haven't had coffee yet, but are you saying you're using both headunit and amp xovers? Do you have a mic & RTA? A screenshot of the adjustment results would be more handy than an EQ adjustment pic.

Man & Machine... Power Extreme!
I am not using the xover feature on the headunit. I have one set of RCA cables running front the front channel output on the head unit to the amp, so im letting the hu pump out the full range to the amp. Then i am xovering the front and sub channel individually at the amp level. I do not have a mic nor rta results unfortunetely.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Comparing one vehicle of a different shape to another (truck vs small hatchback in your case) is not really a good comparison, I’d put money on it the truck had peaks at 40-50hz and also 80-100hz (just where the kick drum is) that are due to room modes, your hatchback will have peaks considerably higher than that and more evenly spread due to more variation in dimensions (your truck was a cube pretty much if it was an extended cab or at least more square so the three dimensions were very similar)

put bluntly you won’t get the same sound from them both with the same system, you need careful analysis of your current system, I would guess it’s lacking around 60-80hz which is where the impact comes from, if you have a phase issue there you can either add more midbass drivers in different locations or maybe a front sub playing higher up, that will fill in your hole and potentially give you more impact 👍🏼 It’s a conundrum many people face, especially if using stock locations in doors as they suffer phase issues the worst and is ironically where most midbass drivers are placed 😒
That makes sense and explains exactly what i feel is missing. Is there anything i can do to mitigate that 60-80hz lull? Should i try and eq that range up some more or will that not help? If I positioned the sub box so that the sub is facing upwards towards the hatch glass? It is currently facing rearwards toward the rear hatch door.
 

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If you're not running two sets of rcas consider doing that and using the radio crossovers instead of the amplifier one. You have more flexibility with adjustable slope and you can set the gain for each pair of channels separately. Even though the pre out is 4V i would set gains myself. You may need a little extra for the sub vs polks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you're not running two sets of rcas consider doing that and using the radio crossovers instead of the amplifier one. You have more flexibility with adjustable slope and you can set the gain for each pair of channels separately. Even though the pre out is 4V i would set gains myself. You may need a little extra for the sub vs polks.
True. I am going to try all of these suggestions and eq boost in that 60 to 80hz lull and see where i end up. I will report back.
 

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So i took all of your advice and adjusted everything again and it sounds much better. There was definetly a drop between 60 to 80 hz because when i boosted those in the eq, the kick drum impacts became a part of the music. I tuned the xovers to happen right at 90hz. Everything sounds well balanced now and i dont notice any big peaks that throw the sound off. Thanks so much everyone. I am much happier with how it sounds now.
 

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Glad to hear you're happier overall with how things are sounding
 

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If you're not running two sets of rcas consider doing that and using the radio crossovers instead of the amplifier one. You have more flexibility with adjustable slope and you can set the gain for each pair of channels separately. Even though the pre out is 4V i would set gains myself. You may need a little extra for the sub vs polks.
This. Also, try HP the doors at 100 and LP the sub at 80. Use the xovers from the head. Turn the amp xovers up or off. Reset your gains with a DD-1 or multimeter. ALSO ... Make sure you know the MAX CLEAN VOLUME of the headunit and set gains from that. Use 1000 hz tone to set gains on full range amp and 40 hz for the sub amp. Have the head everything set flat and centered with fader full front, sub volume knob or head setting on max, xovers off for setting gains, then reset everything.
 
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