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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I have been running my horns for about 7 months. Tonight I went through my third round of tuning. The first time was just good enough to enjoy, the second time I tried to just improve things from baseline, tonight I tried to get things perfect. I am able to tune the system to get quite flat on the RTA i am using (audiotools + iphone). I know the app isn't perfect but it is pretty good when compared to an ECM mic and 8024. So here is the issue I am running into. When I tune so that everything is flat (please no msgs about how flat isn't flat in a car, I know), I still have a very forward sound. The sound isn't quite a "honk" anymore as it is just piercing. Because of this I did a second tuning where I pulled out the 4khz and a little bit around it. This is less piercing but it sounds a dull. I also tried pulling down the horn amp a dB or two but that just made things sound out of balance. What should I try next?

I have 2 theories on what may be happening, if it is not a tuning issue, both could be wrong.

1. My midbasses are way outclassed and the horns are just dominating the sound spectrum.

2. I am noticing the HOM that Earl Geddes discusses in his research.

I am not replacing my mids anytime soon so if thats the case I am just going to have to deal with it.

If it is HOM, which I am doubtful of, the only two things I can think of would be to fill the horn with open cell foam or to line the interior of the horn with thin felt of flocking. This would cause any waves that were to bounce between the horn body walls to lose energy much faster then if they bounced off the resin.
 

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How you use the microphone has a lot to do with the rta curve and what your ears hear correlating.

If you are using a stationary mic position it needs to be around where the tip of your nose would be seated in the listening position. Also when eq with stationary mic position it needs some tweaking by ear afterward. for now try this additional EQ adjustment-3 @ 2.5Khz -3 @ 3.1Khz, put 4Khz back where you had it before bringing it down, and then listen and proceed from there. You might try -1 to -2Db at 2Khz and 1.6Khz also.

To have less after tuning move the mic in a figure eight on the same plane as above about the size of your head and take 10 second averages if possible. This should require little tuning after you are done.

This method I use for all speaker types.

Eric
 

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Back the gain down on the horns just a tad and try again.

Eric posts baseline EQ's here, most look just like CD horn EQ.

Look for his other posts but it looks like you are pushing the horns harder than the cones wanna try for.

There is a Chicago meet coming up Sunday, I work with horns every single day and am privy to them... Just not in a car. Because that's how I roll. But we may be able to take a listen and work something out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Chad where can I find the details on the meet up? I'm not sure I can make it but I want to try.

Eric, I used your base EQ settings that I found in another post, durring my second tuning. I did try cutting 1.6khz and 2khz along with 4khz but to my ears it was the 4khz that was the most offensive.

I just realized I might be crossing over my horns to low. I have them crossed over at 1000hz with 24db slopes. Should I move that up to 1.2k? Could that be part of my problem?
 

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Chad where can I find the details on the meet up? I'm not sure I can make it but I want to try.

Eric, I used your base EQ settings that I found in another post, durring my second tuning. I did try cutting 1.6khz and 2khz along with 4khz but to my ears it was the 4khz that was the most offensive.

I just realized I might be crossing over my horns to low. I have them crossed over at 1000hz with 24db slopes. Should I move that up to 1.2k? Could that be part of my problem?
You could try to move your Xover point to 1.2k in order to see how it sounds...

Kelvin
 

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You said it was better but lost its liveliness so I thought you had dropped the wrong area.

The indicator its crossed too low is if its ok at low volume and gets progressively more forward and harsh as you increase the volume level.

De500 can be forward and typically its in the 2.5 and 3.1 area the most. Dont be afraid to pull down hard at one frequency. when its right it will be dynamic without harshness and forwardness. You can use your rta to help identify the frequency thats bothering you too, just watch it while listening. Or just pull each frequency in that area down 6 dB one at a time to determine what needs the cut. return each to the original position before doing the next.

getting good at tuning is a product of experience and eventually you hear something and know exactly what it is.

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My ear used to be a bit more accurate but I haven't been actively using it lately.

Today I did some extended listening between 2 tunings I made. They are both pretty close. The first is flat, the second has the 4khz pulled down hard and the 3k and 2.5k pulled down lightly + 48db on the slopes. Compared to my old tune, these are MUCH better. Up until this last tuning I have been afraid of large EQ adjustments, this last time I was a little more bold. I think I may try knocking down 2.5k and 3.5k and seeing if I like it. The harshness is not as bad today as it was last night but I think I may have started getting used to it. I am going to listen for a few days before I make any changes, sometimes it takes me a day or two of listening to really pick out what I like or don't like.

I have a feeling that I am going to settle some where between the 2 tunings and I am going to try crossing over the horns at 1.2k to see if that improves things. I will keep you guys posted on what I find.

If one of my horns was knocked out of alignment, could that have an effect on what I am hearing or does that just affect stage and imaging mainly?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I spent an hour or two today, just tuning by ear a bit. Here are my toughts

-I wonder if part of the problem with tuning with horns is their polar response. HLCDs have a much different polar pattern then a 6.5" driver in door. I am sure mounting the mid in the kicks would improve things but that isn't going to happen in this car.

- Moving the crossovers up to 1200hz made an improvement but it wasn't as large as I was hoping.

- pulling down 2.5k-4k hard does help with honk/shrillness of the horns but it comes at a perceived loss of detail. I have a feeling that this area is going to be a delicate balancing act.

-Pulling down the level of the horns by a few Db lowers perceived honk/shrillness but the sound quickly becomes unbalanced. I think that a dB or two does help balance the difference between the polar pattern of the two drivers, though.

- My door drivers are not keeping up with my horns. I have a pair of JBL 2118s I really want to try with horns but I am not about to build new doors just to try them in my car. I am also not sure if I am going to spend any money on new drivers either. I am going to get these guys to sound as good as possible and go from there



I have a DEQ 2496 on the way to replace the 8024 I don't remember selling off. Once it is here I am going to spend at least one more big RTA day before I just just tune the rest by ear. I will keep this updated as I go.
 

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So I spent an hour or two today, just tuning by ear a bit. Here are my toughts

-I wonder if part of the problem with tuning with horns is their polar response. HLCDs have a much different polar pattern then a 6.5" driver in door. I am sure mounting the mid in the kicks would improve things but that isn't going to happen in this car.

- Moving the crossovers up to 1200hz made an improvement but it wasn't as large as I was hoping.

- pulling down 2.5k-4k hard does help with honk/shrillness of the horns but it comes at a perceived loss of detail. I have a feeling that this area is going to be a delicate balancing act.

-Pulling down the level of the horns by a few Db lowers perceived honk/shrillness but the sound quickly becomes unbalanced. I think that a dB or two does help balance the difference between the polar pattern of the two drivers, though.

- My door drivers are not keeping up with my horns. I have a pair of JBL 2118s I really want to try with horns but I am not about to build new doors just to try them in my car. I am also not sure if I am going to spend any money on new drivers either. I am going to get these guys to sound as good as possible and go from there



I have a DEQ 2496 on the way to replace the 8024 I don't remember selling off. Once it is here I am going to spend at least one more big RTA day before I just just tune the rest by ear. I will keep this updated as I go.
How good is your transition from horn to underdash? Have a gap? Even a small one?
Asking coz if transition is not "smooth enough", you might not be able to cross your horns that low, even though you're using the DE500...

Simple thing to try, take some masking tape (large enough) and put it half of it on the horn and half of it on the underdash - do that on the whole body length <-- smoothing out the transition to the dash.
Then relisten... It's pretty much free and doesn't hurt to try ;)

Kelvin
 

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Discussion Starter #13
On the passenger side it is very smooth, on the driver side I have a piece of cardboard smoothing the transition but it isn't perfect. I plan to replace it with plastic when I have a chance.

Should I be trying higher crossover points? I would that that 1.2k should be ok.
 

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On the passenger side it is very smooth, on the driver side I have a piece of cardboard smoothing the transition but it isn't perfect. I plan to replace it with plastic when I have a chance.

Should I be trying higher crossover points? I would that that 1.2k should be ok.
Try higher @ 1.6kHz and listen. Then try @ 2kHz...
And report back.

Kelvin
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well today I replaced my Sony xm-4s that was driving the horns with a Soundstream d200. This actually affected more then you would think. I had to re-EQ my horns and mess with my gains, quite a bit to get things back in line. I also moved the crossover to 1.5k @ 48db/octave.

I think that the Sony may have had some trouble driving an 8 ohm load properly as it is rated 50X4 into 4 ohms which should be 25X4 into 8 ohms. The d200 has smoothed out a lot of the harshness I was EQing out on the Sony. The d200 doesn't seem to have as strong of a center image as it sits but that may be correctable with some tweeks to the time alignment. It's a very simple amp and I could see how that would affect things a little.

The problem with changing more then one thing is that you can't tell which change made the difference. Because I had to chance my EQ so much after the amp swap, I feel like the amp had a much larger affect on harshness then the crossover change.
 
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