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Processor to do active 3-way plus sub with in-cabin controls

1813 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Lanson
I'm trying to find a single processor I can use for the next phase of my car audio plans.

I want to go to a 3-way up front + subs, preferably with the option of trying rear fill, too. So, the processing needs seem fairly steep.

What do I think this processor needs to do, feature wise?

Minimum of 8 output channels - 1 stereo pair for tweeters, 1 stereo pair for mid-ranges, 1 stereo pair for mid-basses, 1 mono for subs, 1 mono for rear-fills

Each channel should have individually adjustable:
T/A (max of 1 ms steps prefer 0.5; minimum of 100 ms total delay)
Attenuation (max of 1 dB steps prefer 0.5; minimum of -10 dB total attenuation with a complete mute/off option)
Band-pass filters with selectable slope (must have at least 6/12/18/24 dB/oct - more choices in generally better)
Phase adjustment (180* flip at minimum - again, more choices is generally better)

Also, the processor needs to have separate L/R EQ with a minimum of 10 bands. 31 bands would be better. 31 band graphic in addition to a parametric EQ (5-10 bands) would probably be perfectly (PEQ for messing with tonality, GEQ for working out L/R FR differences - having both is simply a convenience).

For rear-fill, I believe it would be necessary for the processor to do a L-R signal as a selectable option.

Finally, none of these features are worth anything if I can't adjust them while sitting in the car. I would prefer a single processor with a DIN mountable controller or head unit integration; however, I would be open to solutions that require chaining multiple processors (Behringer, e.g.), and I would be open to solutions that required a laptop to adjust the bulk of the settings but I much prefer something I can adjust at any time with a permanently installed controller interface. Also, perhaps obviously, I must be able to change these settings while a signal is being produced (absolutely no: listen, turn off, adjust, turn on, listen again cycles - I need to hear changes in real time while music/tones are being played).

So, is there anything that can do all this? (rear fill is more of an option, so I'd consider processors that failed only on that part. The rest is pretty much essential)

I think two DEQ2496's would do everything I need, except be controllable in the car (deal breaker there) and it starts getting spendy (though for what I'm asking I almost have to say this is a cost-no-object item).

BitOne may come close, but this ain't horseshoes or hand grenades, and with all the previous issues I'm honestly very unlikely to try it (don't need fanboi's telling me how they've fixed everything now, kthxbai).

Custom in-car PC setup would probably do it, too, but I'd really rather have an "appliance" specific to the purpose, if one exists, because I'd rather invest the time learning to tune rather than learning how to build a car pc.

The Ural Concert HU, which I saw for the first time recently, comes surprisingly close and I really like the interface (mainly the ability to group settings and adjust them simultaneously - but it is missing a couple key things (sub channel that isn't tied to another channel's T/A) and next to impossible to get it seems.

Any other options to get what I need? Did I miss any essential features I should be requiring?
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Zapco DSP6 would fit the bill, but you would need 2 of them.
About the only option is to do Alpine PXA-H701 if you want in cabin controls. Other option would be the Audison Bit One (just make sure to get the .1 version it fixes many problems). Although it does not have in cabin controls, it is done on a laptop so theoretically you can tune in cabin.

The only other real option is either Zapco DC amps or the DSP6, you would need 2 of them since it is 6 channel, but can be daisy chained.
i have 2 DSP6's brand new if you want to go that route.
I used the Ural CDD mentioned above. It has a TON of adjustments and is easy to use...but as said, hard to find. I sold mine for a lot less than I should I am not of much help. :) Good luck finding what you need.
The only single processor that can do 99% of what you need it the Alpine F#1 PXA-H900.
It's the only car audio processor that can do a full 3 way active front stage, center channel, subs AND rear fill for a total of 11 RCA outputs.
It does the amplitude, phase, bandpass x-over on all chanels.
31 band independent L/R eq or 10 band parametric. You get 31 bands each for front, rear, center and a bit less for sub.
T/A only goes to 20 ms, thought.
It doesn't do L-R for the rear, but it does have Dolby and DTS settings.
It does have in car control via a remote and a single din display or you can also hook it up to a computer.

Thanks for the options, folks.

I'll have to look into the Zapco DSP6. I knew some Zapco amps had some of these features, as does a Kenwood 4 ch I have, but then they're in the trunk.

The F#1 does all that. Hmmm ... Those setups are pretty freakin spendy. I'll have to look into that too.

And F1Audio, yeah, the Ural I saw the other day I tried for half an hour to get the guy to sell it to me. Worst part is he said he tried for a year to sell it at a loss and no one bought, so he gave up and decided to keep it.
RF sixty.2's can be strapped and are made to do it.

That would give you 10.2 channels, most of them are 31 band EQ adjustable, and the auto-EQ would flatten the deck's output to flat so you have something to work with on its own.
The Zapco DC reference amps have the same features on board as the DSP-6. Any DC reference amp along with the DSP-6 can be daisy chained and addressed to set up a network. This will allow you to make programming changes from the front of your vehicle via an optional controller or a PC.

A less expensive Processor to consider is the Helix DXP-6. could wait for the MS8.

Did you want your vehicle done this decade though? That might be a tall order for the MS8 unfortunately.

[/sarcasm] could wait for the MS8.

Did you want your vehicle done this decade though? That might be a tall order for the MS8 unfortunately.


lolz... Considering that it's half way through 09, no I probably won't have my vehicle "done" this decade.... if ever .... But ....... I do plan on upgrading my processing before the end of 2010, yeah. lolz.

Who is supposed to be making the MS8?
JBL. Andy's keeping us informed w/ its development. I just felt like bitching about it for a second.

Anyway, yeah, a pair of 3sixty.2's should be cheap, but extremely versatile. I love mine.
I'll definitely look into the 3sixty.2's. I was under the impression they weren't that capable. Should've looked for myself. I do recall vague mentions of poor quality (can't recall if it was sq issues or reliability issues), but I can read reviews and decide for myself.

That Helix mentioned above is miles away from what I need. My Imprint can do everything it can, and its missing some of the same things (better eq and finer T/A adjustments)
WRT 3sixty.2 issues, I now have a v2 (improved bluetooth connectivity, etc.), and have no problems. It isn't perfect, but with a laptop you have tons of control and it works smoothly enough. It even works on Windows 7 Beta 64Bit (but it isn't supposed to.)

I can dig deeper into what it does and what it doesn't if you want to...
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