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Carputer didn't work for me. It's not 100% stable like a hardware box, and the start/shutdown times we're a bit annoying. I think for simple setups it can work great, but just try running all these fancy toys we love and it may (or not) be a dealbreaker for you.
 

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http://www.audiogroupforum.com/csforum//showthread.php?t=65668

I've received lots of PM and a bunch of questions about how this thing will work, so this is more for informative purposes than a shameless plug for our product...For those of you who may be wondering about this thing, Here's a description:

MS-8 comes with the pre-amp/amp, a small display, a wireless remote control, a binaural microphone and a setup CD.

MS-8 will have 8 speaker level inputs, 8 line level inputs and an iPod input. The inputs are summed to provide a full-range 2-channel signal. If 6 or fewer inputs are required, then the last 2 can be used for an additional aux input.

There are no digital inputs. Why? Because the real benefit of digital input is "no noise". The downside to providing one is that for 99 percent of users, it's more hassle than it's worth and will cause a great deal of confusion. Not too many people understand that the connector doesn't determine the signal. What I mean is, if we put a toslink input and a user hooks up a toslink output, it will only work is the signal is compatible. DVD-Audio isn't available on a digital output, DVD signals are 48k, PCM is 44.1, home-made digital audio can be anything. The signal from tuners is often only output on the RCAs. For the vast majority of users, there is no benefit and too much opportunity for disappointment. As far as noise goes, our inputs are differential, so the commoon mode noise rejection is super high. There won't be any noise.

There are 8 input channels, so the 8 speaker level inputs and 8 line level inputs are basically in parallel. You can use any combination.

Once the signals have been combined and un-EQed (for a flat 2-channel signal), the signal is processed with Logic7. That provides signal steering for a center channel (if you have one--if not, no problem) and processing for side and rear channels. L7 works on any 2-channel source and is our version is written for cars rather than live-in rooms, so it sounds MUCH better than any of the encoded formats in a car. The 2-channel downmix of any encoded DVD or DVD-A disc will play back in full surround. If good-old 2-channel is what you want, L7 is defeatable and the channels are fully configurable (there are 8 output channels and they can be pre-amp channels or powered channels--20W x 8 at 4 ohms, 30W at 2 ohms). You can have 3-way front, a center and a sub, 2-way front, rear and a sub...whatever you want to do.

The electronic crossover that's built in is fully configurable. You can assign any channel to be anything and it includes an EZ setup mode and an advanced mode. In EZ setup, you tell each channel the speaker location (front right, for example), then you tell it what speaker is connected (6" full-range). It sets the crossover point. In advanced mode, you tell the channel the location (right front) and then assign a filter type (HP, LP, BP) and then you set the filter frequency (you can assign any value between 20 at 20kHz) and the slope (1st-4th order).

After the crossover setup is completed, you move on to the EQ. You put on the microphones (they look like airline headphones but contain mics instead of speakers) and insert the CD. The display will give you some instructions to sit in the driver's seat and look at the left mirror and press "go". the unit will make a quick sweep of all 8 output channels. Then it will ask you to look forward and will make another sweep. Finally, it'll ask you to look to the right--another quick sweep. You can measure only the driver's seat or up to 4 seats. After the measurements are made (takes about 5 minutes) the unit will calculate the frequency response, level and arrival time for all 8 channels in each seat and crunch some numbers (another 30 seconds or so). It auto-tunes the car with 48 measurements per seat (up to 4 seats). It will output a tuning optimized for the driver, passenger, compromise between driver and passenger and one for the rear seats. If you use a center channel, both front seats will sound the same and the image will be great for rear seat passengers too.

After the auto-tuning is done, it will allow you to change the target curve. You can call up a 31-band EQ tool and make whatever changes you want. Unlike a regular EQ, you don't have to find an RTA and tune the car with the EQ, you just draw the curve you want to hear and press "go" and it does the work in implementing your curve. Then you can switch back and forth between your curve and the automatic one and continue making changes until you're satisfied. The curve you draw will always be adjusted in level so that the maximum number of bits are available to describe the signal (optimized for dynamic range). Once you save the curve, you can access any of the settings optimized for any seat using the remote control and the display.

You can turn Logic7 on and off, adjust the level of the center channel, use a balance control, fader, 3 or 11-band graphic EQ or adjust the level of the bass. THe bass control isn't a gain control for the subwoofer output, it's a filter that works with the crossover and applies the right amount of bass to ALL channels so the illusion of bass up front isn't destroyed when you turn up the bass.

Answers to some likely questions:

1. You don't have to use the unit's volume control. You can use the one in the head-unit if you want to.
2. Maximum input voltage on the RCAs is 2V and 15V on the speaker level inputs. The signal is converted directly into digital after the preamp buffer, so a high signal level is far less important in this device than in conventional ones. The input is fully differential, so there won't be noise. I suggest speaker level connections because they are COMPLETELY isolated from ground.
3. The automatic EQ isn't exactly parametric or graphic. It's a very powerful algorithm that works on the impulse response to adjust both time and frequency response. It's amazing and does in about 30 seconds what I can do with an 80 band parametric EQ, crossover, time alignment and a serious analyzer in about 3 days.
4. The display doesn't have to be mounted. If you don't want iPod control or the ability to adjust after setup, you can unplug the display and use MS-8 as a "black box".
5. The unit is small--about 8.5" x 11" x 2.5"
6. Price will be about $800...TBD
7. The software is updatable via USB and a PC.

It does what all other OEM integration tools do and what every other DSP (EQ, Crossover, Time alignment, 7.1) processors do, but it sounds better, is easier to use, is less expensive and is far more advanced in terms of DSP power. Best of all, it's a tool you can be successful with, rather than a whiz-bang collection of filters and adjustment possibilities that require a PhD in acousitcs to use.

__________________
Andy Wehmeyer
Product Marketing Manager
Harman Consumer Group
Mobile Systems Division
We have an 8 channel output.

Can ANYBODY explain to me how your going to be to do a Logic7 setup with this, using an active setup?

Clue
Three way front
Two way centre
Two way rear
two way sides
Sub


I count 17 channels required.

For most of you, your only going to be able to use this for a two channel stereo(?) front.

It is therefore going up against the incumbents.

All that work on the MS-8 is going for Logic7 to work in a car. It is a MAJOR upgrade over two channel.

Point
It is designed for a "standard car setup". IE factory positions and passive crossovers. If this floats your boat, your in the wrong site.:(
 

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We have an 8 channel output.

Can ANYBODY explain to me how your going to be to do a Logic7 setup with this, using an active setup?
Obviously, the solution is to use further active crossovers after the MS-8. My plan with the MS-8 is completely active, and involves a 4-way left, 4-way center, 4-way right, plus a sub on the bottom. To do this I will need 5 additional active crossovers. This means I give up time alignment between the tweeters and dome mids and midranges, but I don't care since all these speakers are co-located in my install.
 

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Obviously, the solution is to use further active crossovers after the MS-8. My plan with the MS-8 is completely active, and involves a 4-way left, 4-way center, 4-way right, plus a sub on the bottom. To do this I will need 5 additional active crossovers. This means I give up time alignment between the tweeters and dome mids and midranges, but I don't care since all these speakers are co-located in my install.

Yup yup. Mine will be a little simpler though, either no rear and active 2 way LCR+sub all from the MS-8 or with rears and LCR 2-way active with exterior active DSP for the single center channel output.
 

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So how does that compare to a car computer price wise?
I can get five 24db active xovers for $40 each from marchandelec.com, as prebuilt circuit boards with setscrew I/O terminals. They need a regulated DC-DC power supply, which you can get at mouserelectronics.com for about $70 (this single PS will drive all five xovers with room to spare).
 

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Everything you want to know is pretty much there^.





Yes, RME, ESI-pro, M-Audio, Motu-you have to look at the pro cards. You could get up to 32-48 channels of processing if you really wanted to.



Audssey and a few other programs with do auto EQ in the software world. Look through my links.



You sure about that? HOw big is the MS-8? Doesn't it have a built in amp?


Misconception. The right soundcard makes all the difference in the world.



Maybe I missed something in this thread and please forgive me if I did, but I wanted to add something about the MS-8's L7 format. I am under the impression from Andy that the algorithm being used in this DSP is completely proprietary and is specifically designed and developed for a car environment. Unlike all of the other surround formats currently out there and available. So, unless I am unware or ignorant to something, which maybe well be, I don't think you would be able to replicate this aspect with a carpc.

Also, we all know that almost everything that is done my the MS-8 can be and has been done by old tried and tried and true methods of manual tuning, but where one might take days and this takes 10 min to get to the same level, without experience and expertise, is not even comparable. Andy has competed for years and has tuned for a long time and Biggs does not really need introduction and if they say that something is unequaled, then I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, Biggs already competed and won 1st is SQ with an inferior and incomplete prototype. Thats saying something, don't you think?
 

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http://www.audiogroupforum.com/csforum//showthread.php?t=65668



We have an 8 channel output.

Can ANYBODY explain to me how your going to be to do a Logic7 setup with this, using an active setup?

Clue
Three way front
Two way centre
Two way rear
two way sides
Sub


I count 17 channels required.

For most of you, your only going to be able to use this for a two channel stereo(?) front.

It is therefore going up against the incumbents.

All that work on the MS-8 is going for Logic7 to work in a car. It is a MAJOR upgrade over two channel.

Point
It is designed for a "standard car setup". IE factory positions and passive crossovers. If this floats your boat, your in the wrong site.:(
Are you insinuating that true car audiophiles ONLY use active crossovers?! I didn't know this forum was so elitist that if I wanted to use an active & passive system combined, I shouldn't venture over here!:confused: Just like any other piece of processing or audio equipment I have come across over the years, they all have their limitations. Any logical person implementing a system and wanting to use something like the MS-8, can figure out how to implement a system while incorporating its sought after functions.

Since the MS-8 has signal summing and input frequency flattening, I assume that the component is marketed to people who are seeking answers to their OEM HU integrations, but still would like more flexibility than what the other current processors offer. I just hope I'm not stigmatized around here since I want to drop my next system into my car within the stock locations!:rolleyes:
 

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Since the MS-8 has signal summing and input frequency flattening, I assume that the component is marketed to people who are seeking answers to their OEM HU integrations, but still would like more flexibility than what the other current processors offer. I just hope I'm not stigmatized around here since I want to drop my next system into my car within the stock locations!:rolleyes:
I have to admit. I'm looking for a solution (regardless of effort or cost) that will give me sonic nirvana using stock head unit and some speaker locations. I feel like a minority.

My vehicle is my daily driver. I want to keep the stock look as much as possible. Adding fiberglass structures and alternate speaker locations would go against my primary objective in most instances.

I don't know if ANY processing option is available today to do this. You need to either go against the laws of physics (doomed) or find a way to manipulate them to accheive your goal.

Ge0
 

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It would work perfectly for me.

2-way front L/R
1-way center
1 way rear L/R
1 way sub

Homemade passive crossovers for center and rears (which will have mid & tweet right next to each other) and that's a wrap.

I wonder if 2 MS-8's could be strapped together for those with more complicated setups...
 

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I have to admit. I'm looking for a solution (regardless of effort or cost) that will give me sonic nirvana using stock head unit and some speaker locations. I feel like a minority.

My vehicle is my daily driver. I want to keep the stock look as much as possible. Adding fiberglass structures and alternate speaker locations would go against my primary objective in most instances.

I don't know if ANY processing option is available today to do this. You need to either go against the laws of physics (doomed) or find a way to manipulate them to accheive your goal.

Ge0

Thats the route I am going. I use to and still would, with a different vehicle, go the physical modification route, but for now I am just looking for 3 way fronts dropped in and no front stage modifications. The G37 has all of the ideal stock locations with their Bose premium system and if I can shoe horn a bigger mid channel speaker in the center when the MS-8 comes out, I should be golden......if the MS-8 is all its cracked up to be. Which I am gathering from Andy, it could very well be.

I have always been of the less DSP'ing the better, but it seems with the current OEM limitations, I have started searching for the DSP nirvana.
 

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Maybe I missed something in this thread and please forgive me if I did, but I wanted to add something about the MS-8's L7 format. I am under the impression from Andy that the algorithm being used in this DSP is completely proprietary and is specifically designed and developed for a car environment. Unlike all of the other surround formats currently out there and available. So, unless I am unware or ignorant to something, which maybe well be, I don't think you would be able to replicate this aspect with a carpc.

Also, we all know that almost everything that is done my the MS-8 can be and has been done by old tried and tried and true methods of manual tuning, but where one might take days and this takes 10 min to get to the same level, without experience and expertise, is not even comparable. Andy has competed for years and has tuned for a long time and Biggs does not really need introduction and if they say that something is unequaled, then I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, Biggs already competed and won 1st is SQ with an inferior and incomplete prototype. Thats saying something, don't you think?
Specifically designed for the car environment? Hmm. That's a bit short citied. I believe JBL has taken the logic 7 concept along with room correction and ADAPTED it for car use. I wish them the best of luck in doing so. However, I'd bet my ass (need to loose some of it anyway:)) that alternate surround methods can also be tweaked for car use. This can be acchieved through PC. Room correction is already available for PC (Audiolense, etc...). Don't discount them because nobody has implemented them in a car yet. Hell, if JBL had this mentality, the MS-8 would never have been developed.

I agree that those like Andy and Gary have pushed technology and methods available to the limit. They have done the best with what they have. However, we are talking about a whole new set of tools here. New rules apply. I find some are more content in sticking with what they know will work and living with its limitations than trying out something new.

Ge0
 

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Thats the route I am going. I use to and still would, with a different vehicle, go the physical modification route, but for now I am just looking for 3 way fronts dropped in and no front stage modifications. The G37 has all of the ideal stock locations with their Bose premium system and if I can shoe horn a bigger mid channel speaker in the center when the MS-8 comes out, I should be golden......if the MS-8 is all its cracked up to be. Which I am gathering from Andy, it could very well be.

I have always been of the less DSP'ing the better, but it seems with the current OEM limitations, I have started searching for the DSP nirvana.
You're stuck with a vehicle you don't want to modify significantly to achieve your goal. Most variables are bound (source, speaker locations, etc.). I believe the only way to success is signal manipulation. This is my boat. Jumping aboard?

Ge0
 

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It would work perfectly for me.

2-way front L/R
1-way center
1 way rear L/R
1 way sub

Homemade passive crossovers for center and rears (which will have mid & tweet right next to each other) and that's a wrap.

I wonder if 2 MS-8's could be strapped together for those with more complicated setups...
Why would you need passive crossovers for the center and sub channel?! AFAIK each channel has a crossover option of HP, LP or BP. All 8 channels can be run actively. I will be running my with 3 way front, 1 way center and 1 way sub. I might just end up running the tweets and midrange with a passive and actively LP the midrange with the MS-8, run the midbasses, center, sub and rear sides actively through the MS-8 and get a 5.1 system out of it. Decisions decisions!:D
 

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Specifically designed for the car environment? Hmm. That's a bit short citied. I believe JBL has taken the logic 7 concept along with room correction and ADAPTED it for car use. I wish them the best of luck in doing so. However, I'd bet my ass (need to loose some of it anyway:)) that alternate surround methods can also be tweaked for car use. This can be acchieved through PC. Room correction is already available for PC (Audiolense, etc...). Don't discount them because nobody has implemented them in a car yet. Hell, if JBL had this mentality, the MS-8 would never have been developed.

I agree that those like Andy and Gary have pushed technology and methods available to the limit. They have done the best with what they have. However, we are talking about a whole new set of tools here. New rules apply. I find some are more content in sticking with what they know will work and living with its limitations than trying out something new.

Ge0
I hear ya with the room correction, but I am not knowledgeable to develop any type of variance of current surround formats!:) Even though there are current PC based softwares for room correction, I have no idea of the extent of manipulations within those programs. Is it developed to be able to adjust or compensate for an environment with such atypical structures such as a car? From what Andy has lead me to believe, there is no current such software. And considering that Harmon is the developer of L7 and with their extensive resources, I assume that even if an attempted developing was done third party, that this might just be the creme' le la creme. As far as I know, all other currently used in-car surround formats are formatted just as the originals were.
 

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You're stuck with a vehicle you don't want to modify significantly to achieve your goal. Most variables are bound (source, speaker locations, etc.). I believe the only way to success is signal manipulation. This is my boat. Jumping aboard?

Ge0


Pffftttt....I was on board once I got this car and started to get back into the game, after a 6+ year layoff;)
 

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I have to admit. I'm looking for a solution (regardless of effort or cost) that will give me sonic nirvana using stock head unit and some speaker locations. I feel like a minority.
I'm with you, but I've also got a limit on cost. :p But I'm willing to spend the money where necessary. I also realize that I will probably be getting a headunit in the future, which is why the 3sixty.2 is compelling to me; It's expandable where the Alpine h701 is not nearly so.....
 

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Why would you need passive crossovers for the center and sub channel?! AFAIK each channel has a crossover option of HP, LP or BP. All 8 channels can be run actively. I will be running my with 3 way front, 1 way center and 1 way sub. I might just end up running the tweets and midrange with a passive and actively LP the midrange with the MS-8, run the midbasses, center, sub and rear sides actively through the MS-8 and get a 5.1 system out of it. Decisions decisions!:D
He would not have a free channel for an active 2 way center.
 

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He would not have a free channel for an active 2 way center.
I don't see in his post where he states a 2 way center.:confused: For simplicity sake, I think I would just go as good and big of a coaxial as I could anyways.
 

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I'm with you, but I've also got a limit on cost. :p But I'm willing to spend the money where necessary. I also realize that I will probably be getting a headunit in the future, which is why the 3sixty.2 is compelling to me; It's expandable where the Alpine h701 is not nearly so.....
When I said "regardless of cost" that was wishful thinking. I'm constrained to a budget as well.

If you can set a system design goal and identify what you need to buy to achieve that goal, you're less likely to waste money. I'm still in the process of identifying what I need.

Ge0
 
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