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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have augmented my 2012 Ford F-150's stock stereo a bit so far. But, I am not liking the sound. I need to find the weak link in the setup. I have a feeling it's in the processing. Or the equipment set up.

I am using the stock radio, going to an Audio Control LC7i with speaker level inputs. I have never had a problem in the past, but my decks have always had dedicated 5V pre-outs.

That's feeding a JL Audio HD900/5

Speakers are JL Audio Evolution C5 components in the front doors, and coaxial in the rear doors. With a JL Audio Stealth Box under the rear bench.

Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What is it doing? Or I mean to say...what don't you like about it? Output? Sound quality?
Sound quality. It's hard to be specific, but it just doesn't sound "right". I listen to mainly Heavy Metal and am an audio enthusiast. Chugging, galloping guitar rhythms don't have the visceral punch.

I have decent home theater and headphone setups at home. Not top-of-the-line by any means. But it gets the job done.

These sound "right" to me. EQ is either off or flat.

HT - Onkyo TX-NR 5007, Aperion Audio 6T towers, SVS PC-13 Ultra sub.
HP - Win 7 PC, Foobar2000, Schiit Modi DAC, Schiit Magni Amp, Mr. Speakers Alpha Dogs
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Definitely not enough info to give any sort of meaningful advice.
Sorry, this is hard to explain. It's almost as if there is TOO MUCH separation. Electronic type music sounds alright, but Metal is off to my ears. Most likely culprit... the mids?
 

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Sorry, this is hard to explain. It's almost as if there is TOO MUCH separation. Electronic type music sounds alright, but Metal is off to my ears. Most likely culprit... the mids?
The C5 are supposed to be pretty nice already. I think it is from the headunit. I have just installed a jnl ms-8 to my f150 factory radio and it made such a difference. I would keep the c5 and invest in a processor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The C5 are supposed to be pretty nice already. I think it is from the headunit. I have just installed a jnl ms-8 to my f150 factory radio and it made such a difference. I would keep the c5 and invest in a processor.
Thank you. I had a feeling it's the Audio Control LC7i. I've never used speaker level inputs before. But, I will not gut the dash for a head unit and lose all the other functions.
 

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Yes I would invest in a dsp. Sounds like you need a good tune. That won't nesseseraly fix your issues though.
Have you used any sound deadening?
Where are the components positioned? How far away is the tweeter to the mid?
What source do you use for your music? For all the info you given us it should be your music or source type giving you the bad sound.
Do you know the crossover points you have applied now? If do what are they etc.
 

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Where did you tap the OEM signal? You may not have a full-range input, and that is why you are "missing" some information.
 

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I feel your pain and know what you are talking about. It is true a $40 set of headphones many times sounds better than multi k car systems. Your best bet if you have to have the component set in the front doors is a 2 or 4-channel mini-dsp. Your drivers side speakers are just to close to give you that holographic image you are looking for without some TA and EQ. Also sealing and dampening the doors will help give you that lower mid-bass punch you are prob. lacking. For a start dis-connect the rear speakers I think you will find that helps some.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes I would invest in a dsp. Sounds like you need a good tune. That won't nesseseraly fix your issues though.
Have you used any sound deadening? Yes, dynamat stuff in the doors
Where are the components positioned? How far away is the tweeter to the mid? Tweeter is front window panel, mid in the bottom of the door
What source do you use for your music? For all the info you given us it should be your music or source type giving you the bad sound. FM Radio Classic Rock, Ipod Classic 320kbps MP3 (EAC), CD's mainly Metal
Do you know the crossover points you have applied now? If do what are they etc. No idea, I had a shop (Progressive) on Miramar MCAS (San Diego) do the install. Every business in the Bay Area seems shady, and I mean every business. Tried to get Landscaping and Custom Cabinets for my house, BAD BAD BAD service.
My reference is the system I had in my 1999 Civic Hatchback. Kenwood Excellon deck, 4-chan amp, mono sub amp, and JL Audio speakers. 6.5" components in the front doors, 6x9's in the hatch, 12w3 in a sealed box. This sounded fan-fvcking-tastic for my Metal devotions.

I'm going on a limb and saying my sound now is very "V" shaped and not enough mids. I need a qualified professional to listen and or tinker with my set up. I don't have the time and/or patience any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh, I think I forgot to mention that I am new to the Bay Area. I moved up here for a job after retiring from the Navy in San Diego. Been in my house for 8 months now. =)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Ok,

Thanks to Chris at Mobile Solutions. The F-150 sends 3 outputs, H-M-L, and only the H and L are summed into the LC7i, hence no mids. This is why it sounds so strange.

Now, one route is to replace the factory deck. 5V pre-outs directly to the amp should make a huge difference.

Any recommendations? I have been a fan of Kenwood Excellon decks in the past. I want top-notch sound quality.
 

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I have that lc7i unit. It should do exactly what you want, even with the H-M-L output (infact that is exactly what it is made for). Make sure your H is inputed to channel 2 your Mids to channel 1 and your sub to channel 3. You can play with summing and not summing using a small jumper inside the unit (you have to take the cover off). if you turn off summing the unit becomes a straight through converter.. summing will put all the ranges out the channel 1 RCAs - all summed up.

Also of note with that unit... turn the gain all the way down on the amps, per the manual. adjust the gain by the lc7i. For me, turning up the gains on the amps added a terrible distorted shound.

Before you give up on the 7i.. fiddle with it a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have that lc7i unit. It should do exactly what you want, even with the H-M-L output (infact that is exactly what it is made for). Make sure your H is inputed to channel 2 your Mids to channel 1 and your sub to channel 3. You can play with summing and not summing using a small jumper inside the unit (you have to take the cover off). if you turn off summing the unit becomes a straight through converter.. summing will put all the ranges out the channel 1 RCAs - all summed up.

Also of note with that unit... turn the gain all the way down on the amps, per the manual. adjust the gain by the lc7i. For me, turning up the gains on the amps added a terrible distorted shound.

Before you give up on the 7i.. fiddle with it a lot.
Thank you, good info!!!

So, if the LC7i will sum LMH into channel 1 RCA... How does the amp (HD 900/5) separate the frequencies?

In my old car I had 2 separate amps. 4chan for speakers and mono for sub. The 4chan had 2 RCA inputs from a Kenwood Excelon deck and 1 RCA input for the sub amp.
 

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you could use an external xover.. but that seems like a poor way to go. Are you running passinve Xovers or an active system? I am not too familiar with that amp, but I use the xovers on the amp.

In my setup I take the summed output into my KAC-X4r on imput 1+2. I have a switch that tells the amp that input 2 is not used.. it sends the signal from input 1+2 to both channels 1+2 and 3+4... on channels 1+2 I tell it to high pass at 3k hz..on channel 3+4 I bridge it and tell it to Low pass at 3K hz (I do the same on my second KAC-X4r).

I would think your xover on your amp has a similar setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
This may sound weird, but I had my old system set up like below. I want mids and up to the door speakers and bass to the sub. I will read my LC7i and HD 900/5 manuals tonight at work. Expect more posts LOL

Front components - HPF 80 Hz
Rear coaxial - HPF 80 Hz
Sub - LPF 100 Hz
 
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