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I recently totalled my Nissan Versa (well about 3 months ago) and moved my system from that into my Subaru Legacy. Going to the junkyard to pull out my system and salvage what wires I could while it snowed was tough. I had moved it from an altima before that... I've made a few posts so far looking for advice and have been doing an awful lot of research here and around the web. Everything in the Subaru sounds pretty good but my speakers don't seem quite as clear, while the mid bass is certainly improved (first time treating doors), and it is my first time mounting the tweeters in the pillars so that does add to the sound stage.

I want to plan out an upgrade path that will take me from where I'm at (lower quality amps pushing convertible passives) into a DSP active 2 way setup. I'm a teacher so my budget isn't great. I have a few times a year I can put together 600$-800 and hope to upgrade in a couple of steps.

What I'm running so far:
Alpine head unit CDE-HD148BT (was one of their best at the time but certainly older now, but 6 x 4v rca outputs with HD radio)
diamond fronts d364.5 (their convertible 6.5" budget components you can make them into coaxials)
running these off a Sony XM-Z1252 (all I had to replace a defective alpine amp, this does 125x2 @ 4ohms)

Bass seems to be strong and clean, I don't really want to add amps to this but sometime might look at replacing the amplifier with something more efficient / quieter:
Kicker 07DCVR122 ported double 12" pre-loaded run off a Kenwood 9103d (900 rms @ 2ohms)

Its important that I don't use more than 110 amps or so of power because I don't want to upgrade the electrical system beyond the big 3 that I've done and possibly adding an AGM battery. Clarity of sound is an important consideration for me. I listen to lots of music types (classic rock, wutang, metal, house music, EDM, etc).

So now we can talk DSPs, obviously the Dayton 408 is the budget winner, but if I ever want to do 3 way active plus rears and the sub then that's over channel. I could upgrade to the 408 and better components in one shot, possibly even with an amp.

The other DSPs I really have no idea I see people talk about the helix a lot but those seem to run upwards of 800$ which might honestly not ever fit into my budget. The audiocontrol looks interesting, and that's about in between price-wise. I hear people talk about the minidsp but when I look around there are so many versions an old information its hard to tell what is what and which one I should be looking at.

I'm also wondering what people do with amps because lets say I get a 4 channel amp that does 60x4, it seems wasteful to send 60 watts to the tweeter and 60 to the woofer, it would be nice to send less to the tweeter and more to the woofer, but it seems that means TWO 2-channel amps. How do most people deal with this or do you just use a 4 channel and cut down the tweet channels on the dsp?
 

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I'd go with the Dayton DSP, partially because I don't recommend rear speakers, even when with differential processing. Skipping rears makes it an easy decision to buy the Dayton. If you want to also run rears not only do you need a DSP with more channels, you also need more amp channels, wiring, etc.

Most 4 channels have 2 separate gain knobs, so you can adjust the gains on the mids and tweeters independently. Regardless, the DSP will have level controls, so you can balance the output of the mids and tweets. You definitely don't want the same amount of power going to your tweeters as you do your midbass.
 

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I'd go with the Dayton DSP, partially because I don't recommend rear speakers, even when with differential processing. Skipping rears makes it an easy decision to buy the Dayton. If you want to also run rears not only do you need a DSP with more channels, you also need more amp channels, wiring, etc.

Most 4 channels have 2 separate gain knobs, so you can adjust the gains on the mids and tweeters independently. Regardless, the DSP will have level controls, so you can balance the output of the mids and tweets. You definitely don't want the same amount of power going to your tweeters as you do your midbass.
What is meant by differential processing of the rear speakers? Someone very recently mentioned that to me and I wasnt certain what was meant by that.
 

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What is meant by differential processing of the rear speakers? Someone very recently mentioned that to me and I wasnt certain what was meant by that.
Here’s a quick how-to on setting it up as well as some links to where differential LR was first discussed.
 

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L-R/R-L. You’re removing sound that is only for the left or only for the right so you are left with sound that is common to both channels. So rear fill really becomes an ambiance channel for expanding the sound stage some.
 

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L-R/R-L. You’re removing sound that is only for the left or only for the right so you are left with sound that is common to both channels. So rear fill really becomes an ambiance channel for expanding the sound stage some.
Id imagine then that this effect would change from song to song, as information dedicated only left or right changes from song to song. This is dictated during the multitrack to 2 channel mixdown process.
 

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L-R/R-L. You’re removing sound that is only for the left or only for the right so you are left with sound that is common to both channels. So rear fill really becomes an ambiance channel for expanding the sound stage some.
Opposite. You are removing the correlated information.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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Differential rear fill removes the common information that both speakers play, and leaves only the extreme left, and extreme right signal. It is then delayed, and bandpassed to remove low, and high frequencies. This essentially creates an “echo” behind you that simulates being in a big room and hearing the reflected sounds off of the wall behind you. It creates ambiance, and some people really like it, but it’s also artificial, since that “room” wasn’t mixed into the recording in the first place. I get why people like it, it sounds more like a live performance, but I don’t personally like it because the album isn’t supposed to sound like a live performance.
 

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Differential rear fill removes the common information that both speakers play, and leaves only the extreme left, and extreme right signal. It is then delayed, and bandpassed to remove low, and high frequencies. This essentially creates an “echo” behind you that simulates being in a big room and hearing the reflected sounds off of the wall behind you. It creates ambiance, and some people really like it, but it’s also artificial, since that “room” wasn’t mixed into the recording in the first place. I get why people like it, it sounds more like a live performance, but I don’t personally like it because the album isn’t supposed to sound like a live performance.
So the extreme left and right information is the signal that was panned there during the mixdown?
 

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Differential rear fill removes the common information that both speakers play, and leaves only the extreme left, and extreme right signal. It is then delayed, and bandpassed to remove low, and high frequencies. This essentially creates an “echo” behind you that simulates being in a big room and hearing the reflected sounds off of the wall behind you. It creates ambiance, and some people really like it, but it’s also artificial, since that “room” wasn’t mixed into the recording in the first place. I get why people like it, it sounds more like a live performance, but I don’t personally like it because the album isn’t supposed to sound like a live performance.
So I assume there are processors that do this or no?
That Audiofrog Mercedes?
 

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So I assume there are processors that do this or no?
That Audiofrog Mercedes?
And one could even do that analogue with two resistors, or an OP-amp.
The bandpass could also be done in anolgue, but the delay is always done digitally.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The idea of never taking apart and treating the rear doors is pretty satisfying... But I worry that when my teenage daughter has to ride in the back that all she will hear is the thump thump of the bass. I guess at least now I have tweets on the a pillars where before my tweets were by the woofers in the doors. I might turn it on later today and sit in the back and see how rough it is.

Is the dayton 408 pretty clean and clear? Does anybody have experience using one and how it adds to the noise floor or affects SQ?

There are a lot of reviews of their remote knob that are quite poor, saying that the knob adds RF interference and audible noise to the 408...

Does anybody use the DSP just for their mids and highs and then use head unit time alignment and have the subwoofer channel skip the DSP?
 

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So I assume there are processors that do this or no?
That Audiofrog Mercedes?
Yes, the extreme left and right is the signal that was mixed only in those channels. The shared information, which is the centered information, usually vocals, and a lot of the instrumentation is removed completely. Once you have the L-R signal, you delay it heavily, and bandbass it. This creates a new "room" by giving the illusion of sound reflecting off of the back wall and returning to the listener many milliseconds later with some frequencies attenuated.

You can do this with the Helix stuff, and a few other processors, the MS8 is one of them I believe. I really don't know the full list of which processors do this, but there are plenty of members here who have used a lot of different equipment, and can answer that question.
 

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But I worry that when my teenage daughter has to ride in the back that all she will hear is the thump thump of the bass. I guess at least now I have tweets on the a pillars where before my tweets were by the woofers in the doors. I might turn it on later today and sit in the back and see how rough it is.
it’s going to sound like crap if you don’t have a separate preset for rear listening. Subs will be way out of phase with the mids in the front, and likely overwhelming them. You may get it to sound decent, but what are her standards?
 

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I wouldnt run rears, and havent in years. Like mentioned above if you dont have a processor it really isnt done correctly. The best non processor version I have heard ran a band pass signal to a set of full ranges with delay on the channels. I thought I remember hearing that rears should get bandpassed so they are not playing anything above 4k or 5k, cant remember.
 
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