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I am very interested as well. Need to decide if I hold out for this proc or just go with a 3sixty for the time being.
 

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Andy from Harman giving more details on the MS-8 and comparing it with the PXE-H650.

From Audiogroupforum.com

"There are lots of differences. First, MS-8 is more expensive.

Some technical differences are:
1. MS-8 includes power for speakers.
2. MS-8 includes a center channel output and a matrix surround processor (Logic7), which is more about fixing the image for the passengers than about reproducing an audio equivalent to a roller-coaster ride. The Apine doesn't include a center output and doesn't include that image processing.
3. The MS-8's crossover is fully configurable. It'll support any system of 8 channels or fewer, including 7.1, 5.1, 3.1, or the standard car-audio 2-channel bi-amped or tri-amped front stage and a sub. anything is possible, since all the channels can be anything, but crossover setup is manual in MS-8. It's automatic in the Alpine, but it's less configurable. The outputs are fixed.
4. MS-8 includes an auxiliary input and a remote control and display which allows you to make some adjustments after setup and includs a volume control for those pesky OE systems that include dynamic "bass elimination" (many GM).
5. MS-8's subwoofer level control is a shelf that's applied to all the channels through the crossover and the bass management algorithm. It'll preserve the impact in the front of the car AND add bass.
6. The automatic equalizers are completely different. The Alpine uses a 512-tap filter, which also equalizes phase and sets time alignment. It also includes some spatial averaging for multiple microphone placements (6). When you equalize with the Alipine, the first microphone placement sets the time alignment and the rest of the placements are used to smooth the frequency response over most of the car's interior. Multitap filters that operate in real time are a relatively new possibility. In years past, multitap filters in real time were only a hope, since there weren't many microprocessors that could process all that information quickly enough. The benefits of usiing a multitap filter are that they can be very precise and they equalize phase as well as magnitude since they operate on the impulse response measurement. For one tiny point in space, they can also eliminate the sound of plenty of reflections, but their ability to do that accurately diminishes in larger listening areas, since the effects of reflections at high frequencies can be very different even a few inches away from the original microphone position. The other important thing to note about multitap filters is that the 512 "bands" are distributed in a linear fashion rather than logarithmically. That means the resolution is fixed across the audio band. 512 taps gives you roughly 40 Hz resolution. That means you get 2 adjustment bands between 20 and 100Hz and 25 bands between 10k and 20k. Multitap filters, by default place more adjustment possibilities in the high frequencies than in the low frequencies because of the linear distribution of those "bands". That's the only drawback. The Alipine allows you to select from several target curves for adjustment after the automatic setup.

One more note about multitap: They are the shiznit for headphone EQ, because the "listening space" is fixed. With multitap EQ, you can add the reflective properties of a completely different space and transform the listening area to a completely believable representation of a much larger space. With speakers, that isn't possible yet because both of your ears hear both speakers and moving your head helps you determine the location of sounds (just like when your dog cocks his head when he hears a sound he doesn't recognize--we do the same thing, it just doesn't look so ridiculous).

MS-8's EQ is different. We also use a spatial average, but we use a binaural measurement system and 3 mic positions PER LISTENING POSITION. That gives us 6 measurements per seat for each of the 8 channels plus a time alignment adjustment for each seat. Once the setup is done, you can choose an optimization for any seating position and switch between them. For frequency response EQ, we make standard frequency response measurements, eliminate the phase measurement, average the measurements), calculate the phase response of the average, turn the measurement into an impulse response measurement, apply 8 biquads (filters) to the impulse response according to the target curve and the crossover settings using a very complicated and sneaky algorithm that I can't divulge because we're applying for a patent. The result is a VERY powerful EQ that can be implemented on a relatively inexpensive DSP for each channel and leave plenty of space to use the same algorithm on the eletrical signal of the MS-8's input for flattening of the input signal. The distribution of the bands is logarithmic and makes a completely adjustable target curve easy to implement and accurate. Each speaker location is equalized separately and, because of the spatial average, the acoustic sum of the channels matches the target curve. Once setup is complete, you can fine tune the car using a 31-band drawing tool. You draw the curve you want to hear and the MS-8 implements it and allows you to audition your changes vs. no EQ and vs. the automatic implementation of the predefined target.

Both pieces of equipment are technological marvels and they both include input channel summing and signal conditioning, crossover and EQ). MS-8 includes more stuff (center channel, Logic7, amplifiers, a display and remote, equalization memory and multiple seat optimization, center channel output and automatic input configuration--MS-8 will figure out what you've connected to the input regardless of polarity), but it should. It's more expensive.

Which one sounds better? You'll have to be the judge.

One last note: Both of these products are super-important and may help to revive the industry and get new customers interested in making their cars sound great while preserving their factory user interfaces. They have both been long development processes with plenty of invention and innovation, software development hiccups and decisions about which features to implement. Both products will require some new thinking on the parts of installers and salespeople about how one implements great audio. Simple 2-channel audio isn't dead, but these kinds of advancements make better listening experiences possible using a new set of rules.

Kudos to Jason ad his team for beating us to market. The other difference is that MS-8 isn't quite finished yet-but it will be.
__________________
Andy Wehmeyer
Product Marketing Manager
Harman Consumer Group
Mobile Systems Division"
 

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Me - "Hi Andy. If I dont have a center channel, can I use Logic7 mode with a no center setting and does it then do something special to the prcoessing so that its like a phantom center setup, or do I have to go with stereo mode in that case and loose the other benefits of Logic7. Also is the auto EQ only for Logic7 mode or is it availiable for stereo mode too?"

Andy - "T3,
If you don't identify a channel as a center, Logic7 won't be completely engaged. There will be some ambience processing for the rear and the time alignment will be set for a single listening position. After setup, you can choose between optimizations for each of the 4 seats, but they won't all image simultaneously like they will if you use a center.

EQ is completely separate from L7. It works no matter the setup."
 

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My Alto Processor has a 2V input limit. I agree with others when they say that most HU’s rated output is BS. Out of all the HU’s I’ve used (Nak, Becker, DRZ9255, Alpine, RFX8250) only one has given me problems, my Denford.

Most likely the JBL piece’s input goes straight into the A/D (TI I bet) with no analog stage at all (like the Alto). All input boost and cut is handled in the digital realm.

What one can do, if too high of an input voltage really is a problem, is use a limiting resistor. I had to do this for my Denford/Alto setup and it worked perfectly.
 

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But I have to agree with c0mpl3x. Now that the iPod has infected the material word, the manufacturers have a raging case of feature-itis. :barf:
x2! Gotta love all these ipods, mp3 players, etc. where lower quality media is becoming the norm......:(

I wonder what the the whole audiophile market will be like in 5, 10, 15 years..... I guess we'll see.....
 

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My Alto Processor has a 2V input limit. I agree with others when they say that most HU’s rated output is BS. Out of all the HU’s I’ve used (Nak, Becker, DRZ9255, Alpine, RFX8250) only one has given me problems, my Denford.

Most likely the JBL piece’s input goes straight into the A/D (TI I bet) with no analog stage at all (like the Alto). All input boost and cut is handled in the digital realm.

What one can do, if too high of an input voltage really is a problem, is use a limiting resistor. I had to do this for my Denford/Alto setup and it worked perfectly.
That should not be a concern with the MS-8.....

"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."
 

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That should not be a concern with the MS-8.....

"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."
Addition - "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."
 

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If you can drop that price I'll definately buy one and I guarantee you will sell tons of them :D
 

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Any idea when this is supposed to be released? I am about ready to crush my 3sixty into little tiny pieces.
 

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Any idea when this is supposed to be released? I am about ready to crush my 3sixty into little tiny pieces.
5-3-07 - "Yes, it'll be available in the fall. Difficulty integrating the microcontroller, the UI software and the audio software is to blame.
__________________
Andy Wehmeyer
Product Marketing Manager
Harman Consumer Group
Mobile Systems Division "
 

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Any idea when this is supposed to be released? I am about ready to crush my 3sixty into little tiny pieces.
what don't you like about the 3sixty? I been putting my system on hold for awhile waiting for this or the alpine h650 to come out.might buy a 3sixty. just looking for a device to give me a flat, unequalize signal from the stock bmw radio to the alpine hub that I'm using..
 

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what don't you like about the 3sixty? I been putting my system on hold for awhile waiting for this or the alpine h650 to come out.might buy a 3sixty. just looking for a device to give me a flat, unequalize signal from the stock bmw radio to the alpine hub that I'm using..
Noise, cheap volume control, lack of volume adjustment, volume that fluctuates on its own, and did I mention noise? I'm not ready to write the thing off quite yet, but if I can't get rid of the hiss or get the volume control working properly its going away.
 

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Noise, cheap volume control, lack of volume adjustment, volume that fluctuates on its own, and did I mention noise? I'm not ready to write the thing off quite yet, but if I can't get rid of the hiss or get the volume control working properly its going away.
thanks for the feeback. back to square one.
 

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"Yes, it'll be available in the fall. Difficulty integrating the microcontroller, the UI software and the audio software is to blame.
__________________
Andy Wehmeyer
Product Marketing Manager
Harman Consumer Group
Mobile Systems Division "
Looks like Gary Biggs is already using a prototype MS-8 in the JBL BMW 325 demo vehicle.

Alpine may beat them to the market by 3 months but they are ~1.5 years late. The H650 was shown at CES2006 but obviously required much more fine tuning before market release.
 

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Andy from Harman giving more details on the MS-8 and comparing it with the PXE-H650...

...One last note: Both of these products are super-important and may help to revive the industry and get new customers interested in making their cars sound great while preserving their factory user interfaces. They have both been long development processes with plenty of invention and innovation, software development hiccups and decisions about which features to implement. Both products will require some new thinking on the parts of installers and salespeople about how one implements great audio. Simple 2-channel audio isn't dead, but these kinds of advancements make better listening experiences possible using a new set of rules.
Couldn't agree more. The CleanSweep kicked it off but it was still limited in processing. These two models from Alpine and JBL, IMHO, will revolutionize what we think of processing for the industry.
 
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