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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bear with me if I'm doing something obviously wrong or am asking stupid questions, I'm new to this. I purchased and installed JBL's Ms-8 today and was honestly not impressed at all. The sound stage pulls way right, the bass was boomy and sounded about like it would if the sub was spliced into the rear speakers. The bass is also, contrary to most peoples experience, completely overpowering on every song. I run a single 12" Alpine type X on a massive audio n3 with two front and two rear speakers running of the ms-8 internal amp. So I'm trying to troubleshoot my setup. First, for the sub, it says use either channel 7 or 8 for output but each is only one RCA and I need two for the amp, so do I run both seven and eight? Or use a splitter? Second, my headunit, the pioneer avh 6300bt, puts out 4 volts and the ms is only supposed to have 2, could this be messing something up? Third, the RCA outs on the headunit are sub, front, and rear. I used the front but is that the full spectrum? Fourth, the stock system came with drivers in the front doors with tweeters mounted higher on the door that are just spliced in. In the back the drivers were in the door and tweeters were on the pillars in the way back aimed towards the front of the car (I have a Volvo v70 wagon). When I replaced the speakers I never disconnected the tweeters so each speaker is technically running two tweeters from different locations. Should I disconnect those and just let the speakers play? Could the extra oddly placed tweeters be throwing off the auto eq? I know this is a lot of stuff so thanks to anyone who attempts to help
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea I read the whole thread about the review from Erin, which is partly why I got it, and skimmed through a lot of the larger thread, but maybe contacting JBL is just the way to go :)
 

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Bear with me if I'm doing something obviously wrong or am asking stupid questions, I'm new to this. I purchased and installed JBL's Ms-8 today and was honestly not impressed at all. The sound stage pulls way right, the bass was boomy and sounded about like it would if the sub was spliced into the rear speakers. The bass is also, contrary to most peoples experience, completely overpowering on every song. I run a single 12" Alpine type X on a massive audio n3 with two front and two rear speakers running of the ms-8 internal amp. So I'm trying to troubleshoot my setup.
My guess is that this is a setup problem... probably something simple that got overlooked. You might post this in the JBL MS-8 thread to get more responses, but for now I'll try to help.

When you say "two" front and "two" rear speakers, is that channels or physical drivers? (I would call a co-ax speaker a 'single' driver as it's looked at that way, but a component setup could be either way, based on whether or not you are using the crossover or the MS-8 to do crossover duties.) Give us a list of every speaker in the car; sub, woofer, midbass, midrange, and tweeter and which ones are connected and which ones aren't.

First, for the sub, it says use either channel 7 or 8 for output but each is only one RCA and I need two for the amp, so do I run both seven and eight? Or use a splitter?
The Alpine Type X is a dual 4 ohm sub, right? The Massive Audio N3 is a monoblock amplifier, so you can either run the sub in series or parallel... I'm guessing you have it hooked up in parallel in a 2 ohm configuration for 700 WRMS out of the amp, right?

From what I read about the N3, you only need a single RCA input into the Left RCA input... so to me, I would simply use the MS-8 Channel 8 as your Sub channel into the N3.

On the N3, make sure that the bass boost is off, the gain is all of the way down, (CCW) the subsonic filter is off, (CCW) and the Low Pass Filter is all the way at 220 HZ. (CW) This makes sure that the controls are out of the way and allows the MS-8 to have full control over your sub stage.

Second, my headunit, the pioneer avh 6300bt, puts out 4 volts and the ms is only supposed to have 2, could this be messing something up?
No... not unless you plan on cranking up the HU to max after your MS-8 is setup. When your HU volume is cranked, you'll hear it start to distort so you'll know when to stop cranking it. Make SURE that your HU has ALL processing disabled; No sub output, no crossovers, no EQ, etc... You want the Front RCA signals to carry clean, full range sound to the MS-8.

The MS-8 can handle 2.8 volts of input from the HU before it reaches it's limits, but when the MS-8 is doing the speaker setup that doesn't come into play. You don't need to run the Input Setup with the CD with an aftermarket HU, so if you did this then that might be part of the problem.

Most amplifiers can handle a large range of inputs so the MS-8 should have no issues sending a signal to the amp. Your N3 can handle 0.2 ~ 5 volts input signal, so it's not a problem. What you may find is that after you setup your system the way I am describing to you, you may need to adjust the gain on your amp UP after the first setup... but right now it's overpowering so we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Third, the RCA outs on the headunit are sub, front, and rear. I used the front but is that the full spectrum?
It is if you disabled all of the settings in the HU. Make sure that you don't have the sub channel enabled and that there are no crossover settings turned on in the HU.

Fourth, the stock system came with drivers in the front doors with tweeters mounted higher on the door that are just spliced in. In the back the drivers were in the door and tweeters were on the pillars in the way back aimed towards the front of the car (I have a Volvo v70 wagon). When I replaced the speakers I never disconnected the tweeters so each speaker is technically running two tweeters from different locations. Should I disconnect those and just let the speakers play?
Oh yea... that could cause you some problems. If you can run some extra wiring, I would make each speaker (mid and tweeter) have it's own MS-8 output channel. That way, you can take full control of the options available to you. (Time alignment, crossover, EQ, etc...) Did you replace the door drivers with co-ax speakers or components? Ideally, I would want just one tweeter per location (LF, RF, LR, RR) and one mid/midbass per location.

In the front, you may find that the old Volvo tweeter is in a great location and better suited for the highs than mounted low in a door. Often times, these units have their own internal crossover (a capacitor for a 6 dB crossover for the tweeter, most likely) which you might want to look into keeping, provided that your crossover point is higher than that. (You can also remove it and replace it with a different cap to protect the tweeter, or remove it and let the MS-8 do it's thing.)

Let me know what speakers you have and in what locations, and maybe we can figure out how to wire it up for the best sound. :cool:

Could the extra oddly placed tweeters be throwing off the auto eq? I know this is a lot of stuff so thanks to anyone who attempts to help
Yes, it can. Even running a component speaker that has it's own crossover can cause some issues, because the MS-8 sees it as a single speaker and sometimes the tweeter can make the speaker sound like it's coming from a different location than the mid. In those cases, some guys will place a towel over the tweeter during the initial setup for time alignment, then let it run the sweeps for EQ to get the levels correct.

I assume that you don't have a center channel, correct? If not then you should only have two channels for the front (L&R) from the MS-8, unless you plan on splitting them and using the crossover in the MS-8 to run them as LP/HP per side. If you can run the extra wiring I was talking about earlier, you might be able to run the front door midbass/co-ax speakers as low pass, then run the Volvo door tweeters as high pass. That would use 4 channels from the MS-8, then run two channels for the rears and channel 8 for the sub. (Seven channels total.)

Double check your setup and perform a reset of the MS-8. Make sure to write down your settings (channel assignment, crossover set point, filter slope, etc...) and then run through the setup again. Set the MS-8 volume at -20 to start, then run through everything to reset the system and see how it sounds. Then come back and let us know how everything sounds. Hopefully, we can help you get it figured out.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow thanks for the reply, so I have 2 co-ax's in the front, one in each door, and 2 in the back, one in each door. Then I have the two tweets in the front, one in each door, and two in the far back of the wagon, one on each side of the hatch. Then like I said I have an alpine type x running off a massive audio n3. So the tweeters in the top of the door are probably a better place than in the co-ax at the bottom, and I pulled them out and found they have capacitors so that's spot on. Another thing is that although Ive read as much on tuning as time allows, I'm still pretty lost, so I just used the cross overs and subsonic that the manual recommends, which is probably not the most effective. Any suggestions on what crossovers and slopes to use for the fronts and rears? Thanks x2 (ps the speakers in there right now are Sony explodes. Part of the reason I got the ms-8 before I went high quality components was to see how good it could make them sound, and if I needed to spend the extra $$)
 

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For now, try disconnecting the stock Volvo speakers and run just the four co-ax speakers on the MS-8 output channels 1-4 as FL/FR/SL/SR. Set the sub for channel 8. Make sure that the speakers are all wired properly (+ on + and - on -) as this can cause some problems when the MS-8 does it's thing.

What kind of box are you using for the Alpine sub? This will determine where you set your subsonic filter in the MS-8. If it's a sealed box, then just leave it at 20 HZ. If it's ported, then we need to know where the port is tuned for your box so we can limit the sub's excursion below the tuning frequency.

When the MS-8 comes up to the Xover Setup, Sub - Chose 1 sub.
Set subsonic to 20 HZ (Sealed box) or at the tuning frequency. (Ported box.)
Subsonic slope: 12 dB.
Sub/Front crossover: 80 HZ
Sub/Front slope: 24 dB.

Front: 1-way
The crossover setting should automatically be set at 80 Hz due to the sub setting. If not, set it for 80 HZ.
Front Hi Pass Slope: 12 dB.

Center: None

Xover Setup Side: 1-way
Side Hi Pass: 80 HZ
Side Hi Pass Slope: 12 dB

Rear - None (We might use the Volvo tweeters here later... but we'll keep it simple for now.)

Channel selection:

Channel 1 - FL
Channel 2 - FR
Channel 3 - SL
Channel 4 - SR
Channel 8 - Sub

Run through the Output Diagnostics to make sure that the channel settings are correct, make any necessary corrections, then hit Done. Do the acoustic calibration next and make sure that the headphones are set on your head correctly. (You'd be surprised to hear that some people put them on backwards...) Set the volume at -20 and run the tests in just the drivers position.

Give it a listen and let us know how it sounds... it only takes about 5-10 minutes to run through the setup once you get the hang of everything, so we can make changes later to add the rear Volvo tweeters or switch your front to a 2-way setup. For now, we just want to do a simple setup to make sure that everything is setup properly and working right.

One more thing: If you can, write down the capacitor value on the Volvo tweeters. From that we can probably figure out what the crossover frequency is and use that to figure out where to set the MS-8 should you decide to use them in your setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Took a break and ran outside real quick to recalibrate. I reset to factory defaults and ran setup with Volvo tweeters disconnected. I used all the slopes and cross overs outlined above except when you say "Front: 1-way" that filter never appeared, but I assume it's automatic like you said? The result was not as sloppy as it had been, but the bass, even with the gain all the way down, seemed about what it was before the ms with the gain at 1/2, and the stage still pulls a little right. Another odd thing; when I select the channels and do output diagnostics to make sure all the connections are right, all the speakers play correctly, however, I have an iPad app for checking sound and when I play a tone for the left side it plays out right and when I do a right tone it plays out left. I checked the app with some headphones and the app plays through the correct sides on the headphones. Thinking i should try connecting iPad directly to ms and then run amp from there? And although this may just be me being paranoid, when I do output diagnostics the FR speaker seems a little louder than the rest. Weird, and thanks for all the help Fast Hot Rod ps its in a ported box I had installed at a shop, so I don't know what it's tuned to unfortunately
 

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The backward flip between your aux connection and the HU is just your left and right inputs from the HU being flipped. Don't ask me how I know that... :blush:

Are you running the factory wiring throughout the car, or have you ran new stuff? Speaker polarity can cause things to sound funky, so getting it right helps a lot.

The image pulling right may be due to the highs being low in the door. Is the left speaker blocked by your leg at all? How far right is it being pulled? Can you visualize a decent center image?

You might want to redo the setup and change how much you rotate/tilt your head. Find that tweeter capacitor info I mentioned earlier and we can see if setting up a 2-way front will help the imaging.
 

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Oh yea... measure the box dimensions and port dimensions and maybe we can figure out what the tuning frequency is. If you have any pictures of the box or install, that might help too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Alright tomorrow I will take out tweeters, find cap, measure box dimensions, and take/upload photos of everything. I'm using stock wiring throughout, and using monster home theater cable to run the ms-8 outputs to the speakers. Yea my leg blocks it a lot, which I can tell is somewhat of an issue, if my leg blocks the speaker it feels like most the sound is coming out of FR and the soundstage is significantly impacted. However, if I move my leg so it doesn't block the speaker the soundstage returns to a degree, but is still right. So the tweeter 2 way might fix this issue, and my headunit left and right inputs are switched? Good to know :), I'm guessing this doesn't affect the tune though so its kinda irrelevant. dam, thought I was on to something haha (ps its also installed upside down in the back but I looked it up and that seems fine for the ms-8)
 

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I had the same problem when I did my installation. I wasn't paying close enough attention when I made the input connections and I had swapped the L & R inputs. It didn't change anything regarding the calibration, but as soon as I listened to a familiar song I realized that something wasn't right. I hit the balance control right and the image went left... D'oh! :blush:

I swapped the RCA's and it was all good. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yup, switched them and it's all good now. The main issue at this point is that there seems to be no filter separating my sub from my speakers, as in my speakers are hitting super hard for the bass along with the sub, where as the sub should just be handling all the lows I thought? Plus my gain on my amp is all the way down and the bass is still heavy haha
 

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Yup, switched them and it's all good now. The main issue at this point is that there seems to be no filter separating my sub from my speakers, as in my speakers are hitting super hard for the bass along with the sub, where as the sub should just be handling all the lows I thought? Plus my gain on my amp is all the way down and the bass is still heavy haha
Are your main speakers distorting at all? One thing that the MS-8 does very well is make the transition from sub to midbass almost seamless. It makes it appear that your front speakers are pounding sub-bass, but they are actually giving you that 'kick' of a midbass and the sub is so seamless that it sounds like the fronts are doing it.

So long as the speakers sound good and aren't distorting, then it's not an issue. If they are, then we need to change the sub/front crossover point from 80HZ to say 100 HZ, or change the front speakers slope from 12 dB to either 18dB or 24 dB. Either one will limit the amount of bass going to the co-ax drivers.

Have you tried using the EQ and/or Sub control in the MS-8 to reduce the bass coming from the sub? Try that first... if it doesn't seem to help, then we can slightly increase the gain at the sub amp BEFORE the MS-8 performs the sweeps, then turn the gain down after the sweeps are complete. (That's more of a band aid fix, but it may work.) The bass heavy response may be due to the enclosure design or the vehicle cabin gain... where is your box located and positioned in the car?
 

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Just disconnected the tweets and recalibrated but it didn't make much of a difference
You may want to start your own thread that describes in detail what problems you are having, what kind of vehicle you have, what equipment you use, and so on.

You may also want to check the Technical forum to see the JBL MS-8 thread. It has a TON of information on it. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yea so the issue with the speakers is at this point the biggest problem, the stage is fixable and the bass from the sub seems to be alright, but the speakers are almost unlistenable at any volume past half. It sounds like of you took a totally stock system and turned the bass knob all the way over and then set volume to full. They distort a little and in general are making wayy to much noise, like a shallow punch. If I put my hand on the speaker grill, I can feel the whole thing move, way beyond what Sony xplodes should be doing. Honestly it's a little disappointing. It's probably 99% my own error but I was pretty happy with how my system was before the ms 8 and I just wanted a little more stage and to see how much of an improvement it could make. I'm thinking I might sell the ms-8 and use the money on a decent component set, but I'm gonna mess with it a little more before I sell it and see if I can fix things up.
 

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After you have ran the initial setup, adjust the MS-8 volume to -5 dB then try and listen to the system. You're only dealing with 30 watts per channel, and trying to get some Sony Xplod speakers to keep up with an Alpine X is going to be difficult as hell.

The half way volume adjust is your HU exceeding the input limits of the MS-8. Adjusting the volume up to -5 dB will help, but you're going to need more power to go loud.
 
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