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Discussion Starter #1
For years now the sound in my car pulls to the right. That is to say that when I'm sitting in my driver's seat the sound sounds like it's dominantly coming from the right (passenger) side. If I sit in the passenger side seat... the sound sounds like it's dominantly coming from the right side. To get a proper balance I have to use the deck's balance option and reduce the right side to about -5.

I swear to the Almighty I have done everything a person can do to try to fix this problem, to no avail. I've re-wired every single connection, even with new wire. I've tried two separate decks. I've tried two separate amps. I've swapped the woofers and tweeters on each side in case there was a problem with one. I've reversed the input plugs going to the amps. I've reversed the channel wires connected at the amp going to the speakers (in case there was a problem with one of the channels on the amp(s)). I've even tried reversing polarities on components to see how that effected things.

The only time, in this car, that there has EVER been a proper balanced sound, where I didn't have to greatly pull the balance to the left using the balance control on the deck (in other words keeping the balance equal at 0), was when the car was all stock parts. I don't know if one of the stock speakers was purposely attenuated to correct balancing issues.

WHAT IN THE MOTHER OF GOD IS THE DEAL?!
 

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I'm taking some assumptions, hope you don't mind.
1. Are you trying to says that whenever you sit on which side, the opposite sounds louder?
2. Best is put photo on your setup.

Anyway guess is your driver placing the main culprit. Maybe can try shifting your drivers facing to center of the dashboard and rear view mirror. I have similar to your problem and able to correct it 50% only due to still lokoking ways to face midrange to center.
 

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Sounds like either phase or time alignment issues. I've done kicks to angle the speakers on-axis and it helped give me a more 'enveloping' sound. I haven't dealt with a phase issue before though.
 

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This is why I only use amps with separate gain controls for each channel. Although I don't know why you would be right-biased, normally it would be left bias. Maybe there are some reflection issues or something.
 

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Tell us the model of car and more specifically show the interior so we can see speaker locations/ directions and also what obstructions are in the way.
 

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Hearing test, stat.

Seriously.

You can try it with headphones. Take a good set, play them semi-quietly, and pull one off, then the other. If one is louder than another, you may have hearing loss in the quieter ear.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Have you tried replacing the car? :)
Haha, I wish that were an option ;)

I know I don't have a hearing problem as I recently had a professional hearing test (mandatory for job) and I scored almost perfect - though my right ear seems to have more trouble with ultra high frequencies than my left but apparently at that high level ear wax or a cold can alter things so that doesn't mean anything.

My car is a 2003 Saturn ION - with its lovely all plastic interior ;) (this one more specifically. Here's an interior shot.)

The only modification I've done to the stock speaker placements in my car is I took out the "sail panel" tweeters (door corner tweeter spot) and cut holes in the door right next to the 6.5" speaker grill of the door. Sorta' to the 10 'o clock orientation of the grill. I've been meaning to make some kinda' thingimagig to be able to have the tweeter aimed more up-and-toward me but right now it's just flush with the door. This is the only thing that I can think may be causing an issue. If the right tweeter is firing directly my steering wheel/leg area while the other side's is clear it may cause an issue. But, with that said that doesn't explain why it still sounds right dominating when you sit in the passenger side with nobody sitting in the driver seat - unless the steering wheel is causing a hell of a lot of obstruction to the sound.

I was also going to add a 4" speaker in the door for a 3-way front stage but then I realized the metal inner frame is too wonky to be able to cut any mount point.
 

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you could use an L-pad
 

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Have you sealed the speaker against the door skin? Make a gasket to seal off errant sound waves from the plastic door skin interior. I could see that making some erroneous sound issues very possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
^The speakers are damn near flush against the door skin (though I'll turn that "damn near" into "absolutely" today) but both sides are done up exactly the same way so I can't see that being an issue to only one side.

Oh, I forgot to add that I have done all the time alignment adjustments, so that's not an issue.

As far as phase goes is there a possibility that you need to put to have a pair of tweeter or woofers out of phase in some situations? I mean I have all of my components hooked up as directed (meaning positive wire to positive lead on tweeter and positive lead on amp... nothing backwards or crossed) but are there situations where you're supposed to flip the wire so that the positive wire is connected to the positive lead on the tweeter but the negative lead on the amp (and vice versa)?

I have tried flipping phases on components and I've found that while it never sounded right when I did it to woofers it does have a different effect on the tweeters (not saying it was necessarily a good thing).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
^Yeah, I used both 'no time alignment applied' and 'with time alignment calculated and applied'.

Can I assume that no one else here found themselves needing to greatly attenuate one side of the system to get proper balance? How many here just leave the balance alone and find everything to be fine?
 

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wouldn't a check to this be to switch the wires on the amp to see if it a bug in the amp, or to switch the speakers from one side to another to see if they are the problem. If not, then It is either your hearing (which you seem confident it is not) or just speaker placement.

Tweeters that face the center console instead of up toward your ears will have a hell of an impact on how the sound bounces and gets to your ears.
 

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When you turn the subs off, does the front right still sound louder?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
wouldn't a check to this be to switch the wires on the amp to see if it a bug in the amp, or to switch the speakers from one side to another to see if they are the problem. If not, then It is either your hearing (which you seem confident it is not) or just speaker placement.

Tweeters that face the center console instead of up toward your ears will have a hell of an impact on how the sound bounces and gets to your ears.
I've switched the wires on the amp to make sure it isn't an amp issue but I've also used two different amps - so I can definitely scratch that off of the list.

As for the subs thing: I only have one and this problem has been around since before I ever bought a sub, which I only did more recently. Before I was using rear deck mid-bass drivers for bass, which didn't work well because I never did make proper boxes for them :surprised:

I'm going to dick around with tweeter placements to see what happens.
 

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^Yeah, I used both 'no time alignment applied' and 'with time alignment calculated and applied'.

Can I assume that no one else here found themselves needing to greatly attenuate one side of the system to get proper balance? How many here just leave the balance alone and find everything to be fine?
No, of course not. We generally sit way closer to one speaker than the other, and one of them is usually way more off-axis than the other. So it's not inconceivable at all that you would need to play with the balance.

However, if when you sit in the passenger seat, the passenger side is STILL louder, then something else weird is going on.

Have you switched the drivers themselves from side to side?
 

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Take it down to the basics, connect an iPod or other separate player to the amp via a phono-to-RCA adapter, and play just the two components up front.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Have you switched the drivers themselves from side to side?
Yeah, it's louder on the right even if you sit on the right. I've asked people sitting in the passenger seat to tell me where it sounds like the sound it coming from (with no one in the driver's seat) and they say definitely from the right, so it's not just in my head.
 
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