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Discussion Starter #1
So I just popped in my first active system, thought I had the general crossover points in mind, gains adjusted, did a little bit of equalizing with the headunit (9813 ~6 parametric channels) and I have to say, it sounds like poop. Maybe it's an adjustment thing, but passives sounded way better...

just venting after my first experience. What's the key here, good equalization?

I have a coustic xm-7 crossing over my 6" a/d/s/ mids at 2000hz @ 12db/oct (only slope available) and the tweets at 2.5khz @ 12db/oct .

It sounds retarded around the 800-2000hz range, very cold...

How many people gave active a shot and just said the hell with it, not worth it?
 

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In this case, I don't think you're really comparing active vs. passive crossover. Rather you're comparing a passive that was designed better than the arbitrary settings that you chose for that active unit.

The trick to getting good results is to keep listening by ear while you change the levels, cutoffs, and slopes. Or just measuring the frequency response of the drivers and then finding the correct settings.
 

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Ocelaris said:
So I just popped in my first active system, thought I had the general crossover points in mind, gains adjusted, did a little bit of equalizing with the headunit (9813 ~6 parametric channels) and I have to say, it sounds like poop. Maybe it's an adjustment thing, but passives sounded way better...

just venting after my first experience. What's the key here, good equalization?

I have a coustic xm-7 crossing over my 6" a/d/s/ mids at 2000hz @ 12db/oct (only slope available) and the tweets at 2.5khz @ 12db/oct .

It sounds retarded around the 800-2000hz range, very cold...

How many people gave active a shot and just said the hell with it, not worth it?
youll have to try different xover points, slopes and speaker phases.. basically, you have to know how to tune.

Active is awesome! you can do just about anything at anytime! i could put ANY speaker (that would fit) in my car right now and tune it into my car. I could switch from ribbon tweeters to 8 ohm conventional tweeters to 4 ohm tweeters (or mids) right now! i could try different xover points and slopes to get any speaker to sound best in My car!

Alpine 9813, right? that has on-board xovers, right? why are you using that Coustic piece..?

i dont know what speakers you have but you might want to try switch the phase on both tweeters or mids they might be some cancellation between your mids and tweets (or even mid to mid)...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yeah, definetly not a downer on active yet, but it really lays bear all the guts of your system for you to hear...
 

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I first went active in my car and i can honestly say that i wouldn't go back to passive if i had the option. Its so much more flexable for me, and i'm using a 10+ year old crossover, for those who know of the Coustic Ref. DX-28, and i have Plenty in not more than i need flexability in my crossover points.

I would suggest starting with your mid or midbass and going from there, taking the midbass down to around 70-80hz if not a little lower, and then taking your midbass or midrange up as high as you feel comfertable, me i have the Seas CA18, and i have them going up to about 3khz or so @ a 12db octave, and then i simply took mytweet crossover point somewhere very close to my midbass crossover point and then messed around with trying to exact the settings and whatnot, trying to make sure i wasn't over emphasising the tweets more than the midbass (basically level matching), and then working with phasing and the like, and now i have a VERY nice sound, still needs tons of work but overall i'm loving the flexability that i have, and the sound that i've gained (as well as installation knowledge). One problem that i had was in the upper midrange i got a very peaky sound, which if you look at the actual response graph for the driver, it happens around 4khz so i simply backed down my crossover point and lowered my tweeter point just a tad to flatten it out some so it wouldn't be so peaky, and this was an audible peak. One last thing that i need to correct with my install is my midbass/sub blending, and its getting better everyday, but i still havn't started on my new sub box, and when i get that done i will need to redo my sub/midbass blending, as well as getting a brand new HU. As i'm working completely stock right now.

BTW this is my frist install, and active is def. the way to go. Passive is in some cases much easier to implement, but if you want complete control over your sound, and slopes and xover points, then stay with active and get your points dialed in right. It will take time but in the end it will pay off.

BTW what drivers are you running and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
well... I had intended to do fronts + rears so needed some extra channel crossovers... but now it seems like it might be a better idea to just turn off the rear channels and get some control back with my bass pro like you mentioned...

Don't care for coustic? I quickly mounted it to the chassis of the car (back of seat) and it is giving me terrible whine, might be the gains that are all the way up on the mid driver which is causing it, but I took out a cheapo RF amp because it was causing noise issues.

I know what my tweets are supposed to be at, 2500hz @ 12db/oct is what the passive crossover does, but the mid I am having trouble figuring out where to cross it over...

they are a/d/s/ 346is 6" drivers and a/d/s/ PX tweeters... and yes it is VERY peaky in the upper midrange area.
 

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Just try to blend it in as good as possible, listen to your ears and what sounds best. If the passive was at 2500hz @ 12db then possibly try some lower or higher setting, with a shallower or steeper slope, it could make a lot of difference and end up sounding better at 3k or 3500hz rather than 2500, so just keep trying different points and slopes. And i agree to use the HU crossover instead of the coutic, should be more accurate and whatnot.
 

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personally i'd get rid of that coustic unit and just use your alpine's crossovers.....it can do more slopes....and points are more easily identified...
 

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yeh im a bit concerned about DIY myself i've never done it before .. diamond audio hex and dynaudio 240gt splits cost about 500 second hand here in .au, and the lpg/ca combo is 300 and the dayton rs combo is 350 ... so i can get new stuff for cheaper than second hand, but the splits will only take two channels up on my amp while the active setup will take four .. which means ill need to get a second amp for the sub ! and im not sure if i can 'tune' it as well as a pretuned diamond/dynaudio crossover .. but on the other hand the DIY method is 150 dollars cheaper which i can spend on dynamat and it has a pretty good midbass (7") ...

hey how is anyone satified with the dayton or ca18/lpg combo without a sub ?
 

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An active set up is not as plug and play as it should seem. A couple problems I had with my first active rig using a/d/s was that the mids did not have a LPF at first, I just slapped them in and let them go. I was kind of planning to use the natural roll off of the mid and bring the tweeter in. Well... The natural rolloff of the a/d/s AL6 6.5" ain't so natural!

I was recently divorced and dirt poor... I had to add this because you are going to laugh at what I did to remedy it at first! I took the "duct tape and bailing wire" approach!

I cut some jeans off to make shorts... I had some "legs" laying around... I took 2 layers of denim and placed it over the mid with.... duct tape... even outside the door panel! This was too much so I went to one layer. Played that for a while and then actually hit the denim with a sander to thin it out. Believe it or not the system sounded great after this "mechanical tuning".

Later I bought an active crossover... well... built one. I found with the AL6 that I needed to leave a gap between the mid and tweet, keep in mind this is in a pickup truck, a loud one, with hard stuff inside. I ended up crossing the mids a little above 2K and the tweets a little above 2.5K This took the rasp out of the rig. I still have my old passives at the house, I'll check and see if there is a notch filter on the mids to help them avoid the modal problems they seemed to have. Sometimes designers voice the system with the crossover to sound a little softer and give it that consumer "hi-fi" sound, I have been listening to studio monitors for the past 20 years so I am more accustomed to a more "unadulterated" sound, a little bite does not bother me at all.

You are free to do what you want with an active setup providing you protect the tweeters from overexcursion. It took me some time but the benifits were rewarding.

Chad
 

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i've been using passive a couple of years back until i decided to go full active around 6mos ago. I'm never going back to passives. Full active is just more flexible, speakers also get to use more power lost from the passives.
 

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I tried passive about five times and never could quite get the sound that I wanted. I always ended up switching back to some cheap coax set and giving up for a while. The last time I tried it, it still didn't work for me and I decided to give active a try.

At first, it sounded like CRAP. It took TWO MONTHS of screwing around with it and switching this and that, fixing rattles, changing polarities, and every other thing I could think of.

Now, after a lot of work, I am very, very happy.

Be patient, try everything, and then try it again. Eventually you will hit it on the head and you will know when you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks all for the advice, I think it's just the difference in sound that I am unaccustomed to.. The tweets are getting plenty of power, but the 6" drivers on my 60 watts I can barely hear with the gain cranked ALL the way up and volume at max. Is that a typical problem with mids?

Is there any other explanation for low volume except for not enough power? Would that explain the really hollow sounding mids since there's not enough power for the lower end of the mid range 300-2000hz...

I was just looking for some "yeah you'll get it eventually" type responses because it's hella discouraging to go from good sound to crappy sound, but it seems like every time I upgrade it does that for a while... but it always gets better :)
 

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Ocelaris said:
Is there any other explanation for low volume except for not enough power? Would that explain the really hollow sounding mids since there's not enough power for the lower end of the mid range 300-2000hz...
Proper door-prep and installation goes a long way. Check for any air gaps. Also, try changing the phase on one side of midbasses.

My active setup isn't that great sounding right now. Hang in there. Try some different x-over points. I'm pretty sure that's my problem.

-aaron
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've done a good amount of door prep, albeit using generic roofing asphaultic based dampening material, but 100 square feet for 55$ can't be beat. Jute also...

that is a good idea about the polarity, I had not checked that and honestly I was rushing through the install as it was beastly ass hot in the garage.

some pics of the 2 different times I had my car gutted for sound dampening, running wires etc...

 

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The passive crossovers that came with the Rainbow References I once owned may have been the best designed passives ever built. I used them for a couple of months but finally went to active and never regretted it, far better that way.

The only passives I have had any good luck with where custom built after months and hundreds of dollars worth of tweaking them. By then I was in the mood to change speakers again so out they went, not cost or time effective.

Passives are great for home audio, far easier and almost always better to go active in a vehicle.

Rick
 

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man I know one thing when you gutted your car you really should have used some butyl based mat and some ensolite or other foam on the floors instead of that jute

man if you have a water spill you are going to hate the smell that stuff gets when it molds uuuughh

and your doors need some mat work also just my two cents--never thought it would maek that much difference till I did my car over three weekends

but I feel your pain on the active tuning

you almost need a pc tuner to get it sounding perfect lol unless you have golden ears

I am selling off all kinds of stuff to get a laptop/mic/soundcard just to tune my car LOL
 

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Remember with power, it's the first watt that counts! Subsequent wattage is perceived as 3dB per doubling. I'm happy with my rated 25 watts going to my mids in the truck although actual output is more, but less than your 60.

Remember that tweeters are incredibly efficient, passive crossovers account for this with heavy padding to match the cone driver. Your gains in the tweets will be MUCH lower than that of your mids.

When I was frustrated I started with the mids only and vowed to not turn on the sub till I got the balance and staging right. I recommend the same. Start with the front and run the mids only, Just a LPF filter, let them play all the way down. Leave a little room for the sub in future gain staging but don't be afraid to crack them open. Listen as you slowly bring the tweets in. You WILL overshoot at first. When you find that you have done this then it's time for a break. I would give myself a minimum of a half hour out of the car to give my ears a rest. You CAN listen to music but at a low level on a system you trust and enjoy. Before firing up the system back the tweets off a bunch and start from there. If you fire it back up again and don't turn them down then you are back to square one. We perceive loud as good and backing them down after the fact will sound unnatural. As you get better your "break time" will be less and less. But I've been voicing PA's for a long time and I still have to turn it off between tunings to reset my palette.

It will take a few days of driving and you will notice little things you want to change, after you are confident then engage the sub and tune further. I like to tune to piano and voice first, Norah Jones works well for me, the "come away with me" album is very uncompressed and open. Later albums fall to the more popular forms of mastering. Tori Amos works well too. I use the female voice alot for mid to tweet settings due to the fact that it falls in the "Grey Zone" of the crossover. For mid to sub I use more male voice and bass, bot electric and upright. Leonard Cohen is great for getting that chunk out of the male voice region because of his deep voice. Any solo bass artist is good too, Victor Wooten, Sting, etc come to mind. Another fave is Mickey Hart's "Planet Drum" One of my favorite tuning CD's for PA work, this CD single handedly helps me get my attack and low end right. If I had to go on the road again with one CD that would be it!

Try this and report back, just minimize the possibilities and work up to the final result. Unfortunately I learned to tune active pro audio stuff first and ALL of our knobs are calibrated in Decibels, makes life easier. Unfortunately in car audio it's calibrated as "min-max" :)
 

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I have a 9813 and have been running active for over a year now. Never going back. I do have my tweets still on the passive crossover though, but just the tweets, with no eq. If you install everything right 6 bands of parametric eq should be all you need.

the problem with your mids almost sounds like your crossover points are off. If you are using the crossover from the deck, you should set your amps crossovers to full. The Alpine should be in 3-way mode too. If it is set for front and rear crossover points, you need to do a combination of deck and amp crossovers for the high and lowpass on the woofer. You should have a lowpass crossover for your sub, a mid-low and a mid-high, then the highpass for the tweet. Using the deck this way makes it so your amps don't even need crossovers.
 
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