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Hi everyone, first thread here. I'm having a car audio problem with my new system, and I could use some help from much more experienced people. I'd really appreciate some help before I just give up and set my car on fire.. :worried: I'll summarize or skip some non-important details in my troubleshooting/etc, but this will still be a really long one, so strap in :p

Vehicle: 2017 Honda Accord EX-L V6 Sedan - came with "Premium" sound system that I am replacing, all except for the stock/OEM stereo.

Tools: Installation tools; laptop and JL Audio Tune software; Multi-meter; ?? nothing like an Oscope/etc.

Gear: (Note, Some gear is being re-used from my previous sound system I installed in my old truck).

JL Audio FIX 86 DSP... for OEM systems (Link)
JL Audio DRC-100... (optional, can remove) (Link)
Kenwood Excelon XR-5S 5 Channel Amp... (reused from truck) (Link)
JL Audio C2-650 Component Set (Link)
JL Audio C2-650x Coaxial Set (Link)
JL Audio 10w1v2 Subwoofer... (reused from truck) not sure if it's the v2-4 (Link) or the v2-8 (Link) ... think it's the 4..:confused:
My wire combo set (power, ground, remote) and RCAs are MESA brand (got at local audio shop) (Link to MESA site)
3 12' twisted pair RCA cables ... 6' would have worked lol. They were $30 each, 3 of them.
Added wiring is all 16 gauge; also MESA brand I got from the local audio shop.

Gear Layout: https://imgur.com/a/sc14C ... Stock stereo --> stock amp --> DSP --> Kenwood amp --> external crossovers/speakers/sub
RCAs down right side. Power wire down middle/console. They only overlap where they come together under passenger seat and connect into the Kenwood amp.
Active Noise Canceling harness is disconnected... Ground wire is 2.5' long, but connected tightly with ring connector to a stock-screw at the back of the middle console. This screw holds down the back/right side of the console metal frame and screws into the metal frame below. Metal to metal, no paint. Multi-meter reads 0.1 tested with probe at various spots.

I installed everything myself (this is my second install), except I let my local audio shop install the DSP for me. I got the DSP to keep stock stereo and therefore the tech functionality like steering wheel controls, bluetooth stuff, backup camera, etc...

DSP gets installed, then I go home and install everything else (it actually took me 2 weekends lol.. ;) ) ... I haven't calibrated the DSP yet, and my amp gains are set all the way down. I turn on my car just to see how it sounds (aka, does it work?). As soon as the speakers get power, I notice a hiss/static/buzz/white noise/electrical noise come through all the speakers (but not sub). Radio played fine, it sounded pretty good, but still the static/etc problem. Wasn't sure if I should calibrate the DSP/etc, so I waited; The next day I go to my local audio shop b/c they're supposed to do the tuning for me $50 and I was hoping they'd be able to fix the static/etc problem as well.

They set up the FIX 86 DSP software on their laptop and I find out the DSP has its own master volume and subwoofer level settings (slider controls in the software). As he turns them down from 100%, the static/etc problem starts going away, by 60, definitely 50%, it's all gone. Great! .. He sets the amp gains to about ~50% so about 1.0v (range is 5min to 0.2max). Stereo to 30 out of 40 volume (so 3/4). Calibrates DSP. He sets EQ/etc and sends it to DSP and unhooks laptop. Turns car off then back on, and... static/etc problem is back... :worried: He tells me he's done a few of these FIX 86 DSPs and when you turn the car off and back on, the master volume/sub level always seem to get reset back to their default of 100%... The DSP just doesn't remember your setting for that (not sure if it resets the EQ/etc). He recommended a "band aid" fix; install the DRC-100 knob and keep it on 50% to "force" the master volume/sub level to stay at 50%. Ok I thought.. if that's what it takes to fix it, let's do it.. and so we did. They bring my car around and hand me the keys. I get in and play some music, but then I start noticing my tweeters are now buzzing/distorting, but only with music playing. It actually sounded like there was a loose connection for them, but it was both tweeters.. we double-checked ALL connections and everything was good. We troubleshoot some and find that at 60% or higher on the DRC-100 knob, the original static/white noise/etc problem comes back, but any lower and the tweeters have this buzz/distort sound... So we turn it up to ~75% (with static/etc problem) and turn the volume to 30 and the music sounds great.. but again, the static/etc is there. he sets it back around 50% and just tells me that's all he can really do. (I had to go at this point, so I thanked him and left).

Later on, I get my own laptop out and start troubleshooting. Still can't get DSP to remember master volume/sub level from laptop calibration, so I use the calibration button on the physical DSP unit itself. I had stock stereo at 30 of 40 volume, DRC set to 50%. This partially helped. Somehow the tweeters are working fine now. I also tinker around and find that the original static/white noise/etc problem is almost all gone, but starts coming back with the DRC-100 turned back up to around 90% or higher. My amp gains at this point are set all the way down.. and I can only assume that's the reason. However, I played some music at this point and it just sounded very weak, not very good SQ, and doesn't get very loud.. So I unhook the Kenwood amp speaker outputs and get my multi-meter. Calculated speaker channels need to be ~15.499v and sub to be ~30v. I softly tightened the probes down in the amp outputs and started testing. However, my multi-meter is reading FAR above my target voltage of 15.5v... I turn the DRC-100 knob down to 25%. Still FAR above target. I notice if I barely turn the DRC knob, even a tiny little bit, it jumps ~15-25v at a time.. So I found this video: (Link) and it says around 4:18 "If excessive voltage is being read with the input sensitivity dial turned all the way down, switch the amp’s input voltage from Low to High" ok.. so that's what's happening on my multi-meter.. but my Kenwood XR-5S amp doesn't have this "Low/High" Input Voltage setting.. so now I'm stuck. I try to research but can't find any info to help... I run out of time and just set my amp gains to ~25% so about ~3v (range is 5 min to 0.2 max). It still sounds weak, not good SQ, a little louder but still doesn't get very loud... and now I'm here. Fwew, if you've read this far, thank you!!

1. First of all, any thoughts, advice, tips, tricks, etc, etc... anything that may help?

2. Any thoughts on the FIX 86 DSP laptop calibration; DSP "forgets" my settings when I turn car off/back on..? The Turn-On Mode is set to "Remote", same as my amp.

3. Although the DSP is calibrated via the button on the unit itself, that means my EQ is stuck to being flat... Can't fix that until I can get the laptop calibration to work.

4. Any idea how I can set my amp gains if my multi-meter shows excessive voltage, but my amp doesn't have a built in "Low/High" Input Voltage setting..? Any tips on setting amp gain with a DSP in general..?

5. At least in the laptop software, it shows the DSP default output voltage as 1.0 volts for all channels (I assume calibration button on DSP unit is the same). Do I need to measure the DSP RCA outputs with my multi-meter; and is it safe to do that and not short anything? (Doesn't increasing the stereo volume make the volts increase though..? ugh idk..)

6. The stock amp is between the stock stereo and the DSP. Do I just need to attempt to re-do the DSP install that my local audio tech did and bypass the stock amp all together..? Would that potentially help..?

Again, if you're read this far, thank you. I would really appreciate any help you can offer; troubleshooting tips, things to try, anything really.. I'll check back in after work tmrw, adios.
 

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It sounds to me like the onboard master volume should be turned down like he did, your creating noise with a dirty output, you can compensate that low output on the amp end whitch it seems like was done but that's some marlarcy that wouldn't retain master volume setting I'd be on the horn with jl like yesterday.

Far as changing wiring I'd keep it simple that's where it was designed to be no? What's the point of it all if your cutting out your stock amp, not sure it can be done either most cars put out a logic 7 or some kinda funny codec these days. That's what my Kia is. Only Alpine and jbl decode logic 7. But than in my case my voulmes done on the CAN buss. So than if I used one of those I'd have to use the DSP for volume.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 
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I've got a 2013 Accord EX-L with the touchscreen radio and a Fix-86. Just want to say that you don't need the Fix-86 with the touch screen radio (the push button radio on LX, EX and Sport models do need it due to the bass roll of below 80hz). You can pull a clean signal before the amp, you just need an amp that accepts balanced differential inputs.

Here are my thoughts (sorry, they are random because I'm at work and didn't have time to match them to your individual questions):

As far as calibration using the laptop, are you saving it before disconnecting from the Fix? I've done 4-5 calibrations without issue and it always takes without an issue. Do the calibration, tune it to your liking then click on the "Save Project" button on the left hand side of the SETUP tab (second icon from the top). Name it, click save and you're done.

As for the noise issue, I don't have one. What I did was to set the gains on my amp (JL Audio RD900/5) to their minimum setting. Then go to the Fix, click the menu icon in the Outputs section and change the output gain (mine is set at 2.0V, feel free to experiment). Once that's done (and saved) then go to your amp(s) and adjust accordingly. I ended up leaving channels 1-4 at minimum and channel 5 (sub channel) turned up about a quarter turn. I've had no issues since.

I do not use the DRC (didn't bother purchasing it), my volume is controlled through the factory HU. It is slightly non-linear (volume increases in bigger steps the higher I turn the volume) but otherwise works well.

If the Fix has been calibrated you should be able to tune it with the laptop whether you calibrated it with a laptop or from the unit itself. When you plug your laptop into the Fix it should prompt you to load the existing calibration currently in use on the Fix to your laptop. If it doesn't maybe the shop you took it to didn't save it? I've got 4 different tuning sessions saved on my Fix and can load any of them to the Fix without issue.

Good luck with the install. Hope you're able to figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It sounds to me like the onboard master volume should be turned down like he did, your creating noise with a dirty output, you can compensate that low output on the amp end whitch it seems like was done but that's some marlarcy that wouldn't retain master volume setting I'd be on the horn with jl like yesterday.

Far as changing wiring I'd keep it simple that's where it was designed to be no? What's the point of it all if your cutting out your stock amp, not sure it can be done either most cars put out a logic 7 or some kinda funny codec these days. That's what my Kia is. Only Alpine and jbl decode logic 7. But than in my case my voulmes done on the CAN buss. So than if I used one of those I'd have to use the DSP for volume.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

-By onboard master volume, you mean the stock or OEM stereo volume, right? I calibrated it every time at 30 or 40 volume which is what I see recommended everywhere. I'm not sure how to tell exactly at what volume my stock stereo distorts, so I just went with 3/4 volume..
-Not sure what you mean by dirty output.
-I can compensate on amp end, but I thought I'm supposed to have the output as high as I can get it as early in the chain without getting distortion? So you're saying turn stock/OEM stereo down even more and then calibrate it, at like.. 20 of 40 volume?
-Not sure what "marlarcy" means.
-I'm emailing with JL tech support. They said the DSP isn't meant to remember the master volume setting/sub level when calibrating it from the laptop. It will either get reset to 100% (what's happening to mine) or you can control it with DRC-100 or -200 add-ons. (I have the DRC-100).
 

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I've got a 2013 Accord EX-L with the touchscreen radio and a Fix-86. Just want to say that you don't need the Fix-86 with the touch screen radio (the push button radio on LX, EX and Sport models do need it due to the bass roll of below 80hz). You can pull a clean signal before the amp, you just need an amp that accepts balanced differential inputs.

Here are my thoughts (sorry, they are random because I'm at work and didn't have time to match them to your individual questions):

As far as calibration using the laptop, are you saving it before disconnecting from the Fix? I've done 4-5 calibrations without issue and it always takes without an issue. Do the calibration, tune it to your liking then click on the "Save Project" button on the left hand side of the SETUP tab (second icon from the top). Name it, click save and you're done.

As for the noise issue, I don't have one. What I did was to set the gains on my amp (JL Audio RD900/5) to their minimum setting. Then go to the Fix, click the menu icon in the Outputs section and change the output gain (mine is set at 2.0V, feel free to experiment). Once that's done (and saved) then go to your amp(s) and adjust accordingly. I ended up leaving channels 1-4 at minimum and channel 5 (sub channel) turned up about a quarter turn. I've had no issues since.

I do not use the DRC (didn't bother purchasing it), my volume is controlled through the factory HU. It is slightly non-linear (volume increases in bigger steps the higher I turn the volume) but otherwise works well.

If the Fix has been calibrated you should be able to tune it with the laptop whether you calibrated it with a laptop or from the unit itself. When you plug your laptop into the Fix it should prompt you to load the existing calibration currently in use on the Fix to your laptop. If it doesn't maybe the shop you took it to didn't save it? I've got 4 different tuning sessions saved on my Fix and can load any of them to the Fix without issue.

Good luck with the install. Hope you're able to figure it out.
-Thanks; I have the touchscreen with extra screen up top. I don't think my amp has balanced differential inputs (I'm just using the RCA inputs).
-Yes, I do the calibration, set EQ/etc, save it to PC, then push it to DSP. I'm emailing JL tech support; they told me that the master volume/sub level sliders in the software are only used when connected to the laptop. It remembers it after I push it to the DSP until I turn the car off, but tech support said it's supposed to go back to 100% (default) once you turn the car back on. To otherwise set it, you have to get the DRC-100 (I have this) or the DRC-200 knobs... Since I get the static/hiss/white noise problem at 100%, I either need to use the DRC-100 permanently to keep it at 50% or below, or do something else in my tuning to fix it some other way. Tech support suggested trying 32-35 stock stereo volume for calibrating. Other poster here said try it at a lower stock stereo volume to calibrate; so I guess I'll try it both ways when I get a chance... or maybe the static/etc is coming from something else.. again, my ground should be good. I'll have to check my RCAs by pulling them partially out of my car (but still all hooked up on both ends) and see if they're picking up any interference from something (even tho power wire is down middle and RCAs goi down right side).

-Ok, I haven't experimented with the output gain yet. It's always been at the default 1.0v for all channels. Is it better to have it set to 2.0v on the DSP and my amp gains lower, or set it lower on the DSP like 0.5v and then turn my amp up higher..?
-I'd prefer not to need the DRC myself. I just got it to force the DSP volume to stay 50% like my audio tech suggested. Again, I'll play around with it.

-I think when you save the tuning/project, it saves to your PC? or both I guess, as I have seen that "load from existing calibration" (or w/e it says exactly). I didn't realize you could save more than one calibration on the DSP itself.

Thanks c: I'll try some of this stuff out next time I have tinker time.
 

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-Thanks; I have the touchscreen with extra screen up top. I don't think my amp has balanced differential inputs (I'm just using the RCA inputs).
-Yes, I do the calibration, set EQ/etc, save it to PC, then push it to DSP. I'm emailing JL tech support; they told me that the master volume/sub level sliders in the software are only used when connected to the laptop. It remembers it after I push it to the DSP until I turn the car off, but tech support said it's supposed to go back to 100% (default) once you turn the car back on. To otherwise set it, you have to get the DRC-100 (I have this) or the DRC-200 knobs... Since I get the static/hiss/white noise problem at 100%, I either need to use the DRC-100 permanently to keep it at 50% or below, or do something else in my tuning to fix it some other way. Tech support suggested trying 32-35 stock stereo volume for calibrating. Other poster here said try it at a lower stock stereo volume to calibrate; so I guess I'll try it both ways when I get a chance... or maybe the static/etc is coming from something else.. again, my ground should be good. I'll have to check my RCAs by pulling them partially out of my car (but still all hooked up on both ends) and see if they're picking up any interference from something (even tho power wire is down middle and RCAs goi down right side).

-Ok, I haven't experimented with the output gain yet. It's always been at the default 1.0v for all channels. Is it better to have it set to 2.0v on the DSP and my amp gains lower, or set it lower on the DSP like 0.5v and then turn my amp up higher..?
-I'd prefer not to need the DRC myself. I just got it to force the DSP volume to stay 50% like my audio tech suggested. Again, I'll play around with it.

-I think when you save the tuning/project, it saves to your PC? or both I guess, as I have seen that "load from existing calibration" (or w/e it says exactly). I didn't realize you could save more than one calibration on the DSP itself.

Thanks c: I'll try some of this stuff out next time I have tinker time.
Only one calibration will save at a time, but you can save multiple different tunes from that one calibration. Think of it kind of like presets. Do a calibration, then you can set different tunes (one for rock, hip hop, acoustic, etc...) all based on the same calibration.

I never bought the DRC and it hasn't been a problem for me. The Honda factory HU controls volume, balance, fade. bass, treble and subwoofer. Also not sure why yours was resetting when the power was switched off. Again, never had that issue.

One thing to remember, while the factory HU has been measured with no clipping at full volume, you're pulling signal from the factory amp, which I'm pretty sure clips at some point. Your amp may not accept balanced differential but the Fix does. If all else fails and you can't get it working you can always pull the signal before the amp and run it to the Fix. It's an expensive way to get preamp outputs but if you're stuck with the Fix (I don't know if you can return it) at least it will take the balanced differential outputs from the factory radio and make them usable to your Kenwood. If you can return it, maybe you can invest in a different amp. Just a suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Only one calibration will save at a time, but you can save multiple different tunes from that one calibration. Think of it kind of like presets. Do a calibration, then you can set different tunes (one for rock, hip hop, acoustic, etc...) all based on the same calibration.

I never bought the DRC and it hasn't been a problem for me. The Honda factory HU controls volume, balance, fade. bass, treble and subwoofer. Also not sure why yours was resetting when the power was switched off. Again, never had that issue.

One thing to remember, while the factory HU has been measured with no clipping at full volume, you're pulling signal from the factory amp, which I'm pretty sure clips at some point. Your amp may not accept balanced differential but the Fix does. If all else fails and you can't get it working you can always pull the signal before the amp and run it to the Fix. It's an expensive way to get preamp outputs but if you're stuck with the Fix (I don't know if you can return it) at least it will take the balanced differential outputs from the factory radio and make them usable to your Kenwood. If you can return it, maybe you can invest in a different amp. Just a suggestion.
Okay, that makes sense. Since you don't have the DRC, that means regardless of what you set the master volume/sub level to in the laptop software, once your car is turned off/back on, then your DSP will go back to 100% volume on the unit. So you must not be getting that static/etc problem on yours. Again, jl tech support said that's how it's supposed to work. So mine must be saving the EQs and all that, so that's good. Now I just need to focus on the static/etc problem itself, as well as figuring out how to set my amp gains with a multi-meter. Only problem is, it's showing "excessive voltage" on the amp speaker outputs and my amp doesn't have a "Low/High" Input Voltage setting. So I need to figure out another way to measure the volts... unless I'm doing it wrong on my MM. I've seen several sources/videos/etc say to set it to ACV or "~V" Hz) on the MM, and that's what I did for mine. Does that sound correct? I have a Fluke MM, you can just google it to see what it looks like/the settings.

Ok, I will try calibration with stock stereo at 32-25 like the JL tech said, as well as lower than 30 like another commenter here said. Maybe at 30 it's getting too much gain/clipping from the stock amp.. idk.

I'm not sure if I can return the FIX 86 since they installed it, I'll try to find out. Bypassing the stock amp will be a last resort I guess.

Going back this weekend so I'll troubleshoot this stuff.

Thanks!
 

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I've haven't set my gains with a DMM for years (couldn't afford a decent one when I was younger). I don't compete, so as long as I can get it set to where it's loud enough and doesn't have noise issues I'm happy.
 

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I've haven't set my gains with a DMM for years (couldn't afford a decent one when I was younger). I don't compete, so as long as I can get it set to where it's loud enough and doesn't have noise issues I'm happy.
Ah ok, I'm just using one of my stepdads MM's. He's an EE so he has several in his garage/shop.

I certainly don't compete either lol, and that's basically what Im trying to do as well, but I *am* getting noise issues :( and I'm also just trying to match output RMS so my speakers/sub don't get too much and clip/distort/get damaged.
 

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So this is a little bit of an update.. I pulled 90% of the RCAs out of the car (left both ends plugged in) and made sure they were not overlapping and were as far away as possible from the power wire (again power goes down middle, RCAs down right side). Doing this didn't change my original static/hiss/white noise problem at all.

TLDL: RCAs are not the source of my static/white noise/etc problem.

EDIT: also.. Not sure if I have time tonight, but tomorrow is definitely my tinkering day where I'll be trying out all of these troubleshooting ideas. Feel free to give me more ideas pls :)
 

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Hey bud, On your next attempt try this;
With the laptop connected, leave the "master volume" at 100% since this is the default. Note: the DRC will not function with the laptop connected. I have a similar set up and had the "noise" issue. I was not able to get it to go completely away.

Set the output to the highest, IIRC, 2.0V is all you get. Then, set your amp gains on the low side. The FiX should have come with a Tuning CD. Play the total silence track. Then turn up the Vol. onthe HU, my best results with my 2014 Civic, were around 25 IIRC.

Using that CD you should not hear any noise from the playback. The noise you will hear is coming from the HU.....Trust me.

Now you need to find the happy medium between the HU volume and the FiX's volume. You should be able to get the noise very low. But I suspect that you will never be able to turn up your gains and have some impact.

BTW, I also bypassed the factory amp. it did not help
 
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Hey bud, On your next attempt try this;
With the laptop connected, leave the "master volume" at 100% since this is the default. Note: the DRC will not function with the laptop connected. I have a similar set up and had the "noise" issue. I was not able to get it to go completely away.

Set the output to the highest, IIRC, 2.0V is all you get. Then, set your amp gains on the low side. The FiX should have come with a Tuning CD. Play the total silence track. Then turn up the Vol. onthe HU, my best results with my 2014 Civic, were around 25 IIRC.

Using that CD you should not hear any noise from the playback. The noise you will hear is coming from the HU.....Trust me.

Now you need to find the happy medium between the HU volume and the FiX's volume. You should be able to get the noise very low. But I suspect that you will never be able to turn up your gains and have some impact.

BTW, I also bypassed the factory amp. it did not help
Thank you, I will try this out tomorrow :)

Also, do you know anything about ground loop converters, or ferite (sp?) rings (saw that one in a video) or anything like that that might potentially help the static/etc problem? or is that stuff just if it's a ground problem?
 

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Thank you, I will try this out tomorrow :)

Also, do you know anything about ground loop converters, or ferite (sp?) rings (saw that one in a video) or anything like that that might potentially help the static/etc problem? or is that stuff just if it's a ground problem?
Don't waste your time. I will look on here tomorrow and see if I can help, nighty night!
 
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Don't waste your time. I will look on here tomorrow and see if I can help, nighty night!
Ok, so here's what I got so far. All of this so far is done with my calibration at 30 of 40 OEM/stock stereo volume...

1. Firmware is up to date. It said there was a new version but when I tried to put the new one on the DSP, it said there is already the same or a newer version already on it, so I didn't change anything there.
2. Changing the stock stereo volume does not effect the static/etc. (Haven't tried calibration at dif volume yet though).
3. Changing DSP master volume in tuning software, at 100% is has static, as you lower it, there is less static. At 0% there is still a little bit of noticeable static. This applies to all RCA output settings (500mV 710mV 1.0V 1.4V and 2.0V)... At 100% DSP master volume there is more static with 2.0v output than 1.0v, and 1.0v has more than 0.5v ... which makes sense i guess. When you turn them all down to 0% though, they all have the same level of static (like they're all just hitting a noise floor)... All of #3 was done with the amp gains set to the lowest setting... I also tried at all DSP output levels and confirmed that as I turn up the amp gain, the static does get louder/worse... so it seems like BOTH the amp gains AND the DSP RCA output voltages have an effect on the static... as well as the DSP master volume.
4. I'm about to go to local audio shop and swap out the DRC-100 for the DRC-200.
5. I will also talk to them about my amp... I noticed the little amp fan isn't running at all and it gets pretty hot... I don't know if anything is wrong with the amp itself other than the fan, but it plays music just fine (other than the static/etc problem...)

I'll see what I find out there at audio shop (they close at 5 and it's 1;30 now) so I should be back around ~4-5pm and keep doing troubleshooting. Next I plan to try out the stock stereo calibration at different volumes like 35 or 25 or 20 (instead of the current 30) and then do all these tests again at those levels and see if there is a difference.. bbl
 

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Don't waste your time. I will look on here tomorrow and see if I can help, nighty night!
UPDATE for all

Hey, so here's what I've figured out:

I did calibrations via laptop TUN software at OEM/stock stereo volumes 20, 25, 30, and 33, and the max volume (didn't do max) is 40. I was surprised to find out that in doing that, it didn't have an effect on the static/white noise problem at all... So all of this below applies to any calibration volume I have it set to (and I checked every single one of these for each calibration to confirm this):

1.(After calibration) Changing the stock stereo volume does not have any effect on the static/white noise problem. Doesn't matter if the volume is at , 20, or 4, it makes no difference.

2. With the amp gains all the way DOWN, and with the DSP master volume set to 100% (regardless if I am tinkering in the laptop software and changing it there, or if I'm changing it with the DRC-200 knob being unhooked from laptop (btw I returned the DRC-100 and got the DRC-20)) I can turn down the master volume and the static/white noise decreases with volume. However, even when I get to 0% DSP volume, although it's obviously quieter (and therefore so is music volume) there is still a little bit of static/etc.

3. I checked number 2 above at each calibration volume, and while also checking it against the DSP output voltage in the laptop software. The default DSP output voltage is 1.0v per channel (A B and SUB). Regardless of all other settings, when the DSP RCA output voltage is at 2.0v, it has the most static/white noise. At 1.4v is has a little less. At 1.0v (default) it has a little less. .710v and .500v are less as well. I'd describe it as 2.0 has high static, 1.0 has medium static, 0.5v has low static. Now, that's with the DSP *master volume* set to 100%... The interesting thing is (at least to me, idk? lol) is when I turn that DSP volume all the way down to 0%, it still has some low static, but for all DSP RCA output levels 2.0v-1.0v-0.5v etc, the static has the same volume at 0%.. so it's like they're all hitting the same noise floor. This is all with my amp gains set all the way DOWN.

4. (This was before I did the first re-calibration) I cleared the calibration that was on the DSP so it was basically like default out of the box. Turned car back on so stereo/etc turned on with NO calibration setting at all. This was by FAR the worst setting it could be in obviously lol, and the static/white noise with no calibration was absolutely terrible, fairly loud, and just sounded really bad.

5. This was my first calibration, I did 20 of 40 volume to start out. I ran through all the tests I described above and that's when I realized that the calibration volume wasn't making any difference in the static/white noise problem (as I mentioned at the top of this post)... I kept running all of these tests, each one for each time I did a new calibration (again, those are listed at beginning of post)...

Also, important note... Every time I did the calibration I would save the project to my PC and then transfer it to the DSP. I was able to load any project FROM the DSP device itself on TUN software start-up, BUT with a project open, I could click to open/load up a previously saved project from my PC, but when I did that, nothing changed.. it didn't give me any indication that it *didn't* load/open.. it just didn't change anything. The calibration graphs, the OEM inputs, the RCA outputs, the EQ, etc, etc was all the same after trying to load a different project with a lot of that stuff changed. Idk... so if I ever actually wanted to change the calibration, I'd have to put the CD in and run a new calibration at the stock stereo volume I wanted.

6. Anyway.. Since the stock stereo calibration volume didn't seem to make a difference, I decided to calibrate it back to 25 of 40 volume and then do some more tinkering... So at this point I know, the things that make the static/white noise problem get better/worse, are changes in the DSP master volume, the DSP RCA output levels, and the amp gain settings. I decided to leave the DSP master volume at 100% and tinker with the RCA output levels and amp gains. I was trying to see which was better: 2.0v DSP output level with amp gains at a matching 2.0v setting ...VS... 1.0v DSP output level with amp gains at matching 1.0v setting ...VS... 0.5v DSP output level with amp gains at a matching .5v setting... It was actually pretty hard to tell a difference between the static/white noise level of these. I'd say the 0.5v settings probably had a little more static/etc, but I didn't really notice a difference between the matched settings for the 2.0v test or the 1.0v test... Now with all of that said, I decided to put the DSP RCA outputs back to their default of 1.0v and match my amplifier gain settings to 1.0v as well (I actually put them at ~1.2v which is technically a lower gain setting/volume than if it was on 1.0v (that's how the amp gain settings work b/c 5.0v is the lowest setting (min) and 0.2v is the highest setting (max) on the amp gains))))))).

7. So with the settings just described in "6." above, I can play around with the DSP master volume by way of the DRC-200 knob (which controls the DSP master volume when you're not connected DSP to laptop TUN software). I can back this volume off from 100% to about 75% or 70% and get a good portion of the static/etc to go away (but it's still noticeable). If I keep turning the DRC knob down, the lower I go, my music obviously gets lower in volume, but it also starts sounding.. thinner, not as good SQ, not EQ balanced, etc.. but that's at least my opinion. JL Audio claims this volume knob should hold the EQ through all levels, but meh idk.. so I don't want to lower it past 75%.. and with that said, I'd really just like to leave it at 100% anyway, and then just use my stock stereo volume controls b/c I like the volume buttons on the steering wheel lol. But I do like having the DRC-200 so I can back down my subwoofer if needed b/c I listen to a wide range of music.

8. Here are some of the pictures I took of the calibrations; ( https://imgur.com/a/pP7ZO ) these mainly show the different OEM ANALOG INPUTS that are going from the stock OEM stereo, into the DSP. Note that I can't change the inputs as they are determined from the calibration. I can however change the DSP outputs.

9. So my stepdad (Elec. Eng) talked to a buddy at work and he told me since my amp seems grounded correctly, that I could potentially try cutting the ground wire for the DSP itself, and add my own wire and ground it to a better grounding spot to ensure that DSP is DEFINITELY grounded very well. At this point, I think that's a decent idea to at least try out, but I wanted to ask about you guys' thoughts on that first..?

10. So that's about all I've got.. until I can get some more input/advice on how to proceed. I think the main thing you may notice is that I didn't mention any multi-meter readings anywhere in here. Well.. I still just can't get the MM to give me a correct reading. So I did all my troubleshooting and amp gain settings without one. :/ oh well..

Finally, let me say thanks so much for reading through all that. As always, I'd really appreciate any help, thoughts, advice, tips, troubleshooting ideas, etc, etc that you can provide. Thanks!! :)
 

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I am sorry for your troubles my friend, Some people are OK with a little "hiss", I am not. I am pretty sure you will be in the same boat as I was, I wanted a dead quiet noise floor.

I ended up with a stand alone HU
 

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Is the noise you're getting a steady hiss or does it vary with engine speed/accessory loads?
It's steady for the most part. If you get right up next to the tweeter you can hear it 'crackle' (that's the best word I've got for it lol) sometimes, and it sounds a bit more.. electrical sounding.

Other than that, no, nothing else seems to change it. Everything, from what I can tell, seems to be pointing towards a volume/gain issue somehow.. or maybe a ground/interference problem somewhere.

Turning AC/etc on, accel pedal, etc etc, none of those things change it at all. Driving around, it doesn't get any better/worse, it just stays the same 'static' volume based on all my gain/etc settings.
 

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There are also aftermarket HU's available for your application, very pricey $1,000 - $1,300. My local shop let me try one and It had the same awful glare issus, Honda did a really bad job with the placement of the HU's. For two years I had to close the sunroof shade just to see the display.

The aftermarket ones will work with all the other stuff on the car side too, go to Crutchfield and see what fits your car
 
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I am sorry for your troubles my friend, Some people are OK with a little "hiss", I am not. I am pretty sure you will be in the same boat as I was, I wanted a dead quiet noise floor.

I ended up with a stand alone HU
I am not either :/ I just can't replace the stock stereo..

I know my last post was a lot to read.. but can you answer number 9 please?

Also, do regular speaker wires (like 16 gauge) or even my 18 gauge stock wiring, do they or can they pick up interference/static/white noise from the power wire? ... I ran the power wire through the middle of my firewall where most of the other wires go through (not sure exactly what all wires they are, but there's a lot)... my power wire is basically right beside them for about 1' or so.. that's where my local audio tech said he always runs his power wire in ppl's accords, and it's the only place I could find to get through.

EDIT: Thanks, but I don't really have the money for that, at least not for a long time. and even if I did, not sure I can justify that price/time/etc to remove the static I have now lol. meh :/
 
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