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Discussion Starter #1
Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

I listen to a large variety of music in my truck. In a single drive, I might go from the Beatles to Dream Theater to Ted Nugent. In addition, I pretty much only listen to mp3’s anymore, which have varying bitrate and sound quality levels. Because of this, I’m always tinkering with the eq settings on my JVC H/U to adjust particularly the bass and mids, but sometimes several bands and the sub level too. This ends up being a pain in the ass because I have to go through several screens to get to these settings on the H/U, and the eq is graphic sliders on the touchscreen so I have to pay attention to where I touch on the screen. I find myself taking a lot of time and paying a lot of attention to making these adjustments. I’d rather have a small half-din eq with knobs I can adjust while keeping my focus on the road.

I keep looking at the AudioControl three.1 and four.1 units as a possibility. They both have a “para-bass” feature, which has two controls for tuning bass, sweep & gain. Sweep sets the center frequency between 40-80hz, and gain provides +/-12db at that center frequency. Is anyone familiar with this? Is this like the bass boost feature on a lot of amps? I have tried a few of those in the past and didn’t really like the way they sounded, but those were always centered on a fixed frequency. Does having the adjustable center frequency make a big difference? Keep in mind that I want something to enhance the low end missing on a lot of mp3’s and older classic rock. I seldom listen to rap or want boomy low bass rattling the **** out of my vehicle and everyone around me.

Also, any opinions in general on these AC three.1 and four.1 versus going with something else? I like AC stuff, and I kind of like the idea of having fewer bands than more. Remember, I am just looking to tweak the bass and mids primarily. I like the 4-bands on the four.1; they seem to be around the frequencies I tune the most (I’m eyeballing a four.1 for sale over in the classifieds). I like that the three.1 has the sub level but I prolly adjust that less than the bands. I am using the x-overs on my amp (JL 300/4).

My other option is to go the Arc Audio XEQ or KEQ5, which basically have more bands but not the bass tuning of the AC. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found a reliable source locally for Arc.

Thanks all in advance.
 

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Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

Almost sounds like you'd be better off having a few "presets" than playing with
getting it right all the time. What would provide that, I do not know, but I am sure others would help you there. I did have PPI, but it was a whole processor that had 6 presets.
 

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Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

I used to run a 4.1. I liked that eq and the para bass was pretty useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

Alright, let me ask a different question. Isn't the para-bass on the AC unit similar to the PG Bass Cube in that it allows you to select a specific frequency and boost/cut as needed? I know the Bass Cube has a few more tuning options but it seems the AC unit has the same core capability, and from my understanding is not the "bass restoration" circuit like what is in the widely despised Epicenter's. The Bass Cube's seem to be well loved.

Anyone else?
 

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Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

Is your system tuned as it is, and, therefore, just need tweaks? Have you put it on an RTA, O-scope or imprint program of any sorts?
 

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Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

Alright, let me ask a different question. Isn't the para-bass on the AC unit similar to the PG Bass Cube in that it allows you to select a specific frequency and boost/cut as needed? I know the Bass Cube has a few more tuning options but it seems the AC unit has the same core capability, and from my understanding is not the "bass restoration" circuit like what is in the widely despised Epicenter's. The Bass Cube's seem to be well loved.

Anyone else?
That kinda sums it up. The four.1 is just a parametric eq. The bass cube also has a subsonic filter and q that is adjustable. I liked my four.1 and plan to re-incorporate it soon.

Kicker has a parametric eq with more adjustability as each knob allows parametric adjustment. There is also a knob incorporated to control the bass boost feature of a Kicker amp
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

Is your system tuned as it is, and, therefore, just need tweaks? Have you put it on an RTA, O-scope or imprint program of any sorts?
I have tuned it myself by ear, to the best of my abilities. I don't have access to an RTS or scope, and I don't want to go to Imprint or RF360.2 level of tuning. If there was a shop around that I trusted, I would go to them for expert help. Unfortunately, I haven't found one of those yet.

It sounds pretty decent, but the source material (mp3) varies in quality, not to mention the wide variety of music I listen to, is what is driving my desire for bass tuning. Most 60's and classic rock don't have the lower end of today's music, and that's what I want to tune the most. The stock stereo in my Lexus fills in the lows on these oldies pretty well in comparison, so that is what I'm trying to achieve.
 

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Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

oh...so you want more than what the artist intended. imprint and stuff like that wouldn't have given you that anyway. I only ask because that seemed to be the end of my need-to-tweek days. still after perfect tuning, who desn't want some extra oomph every now and then. good luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

That kinda sums it up. The four.1 is just a parametric eq. The bass cube also has a subsonic filter and q that is adjustable. I liked my four.1 and plan to re-incorporate it soon.

Kicker has a parametric eq with more adjustability as each knob allows parametric adjustment. There is also a knob incorporated to control the bass boost feature of a Kicker amp
The four.q has a non-adjustable (but replaceable) subsonic filter set at 33hz (I think), so it really is only lacking the Q adjustment. I saw the Kicker eq you mentioned. I thought about having that much adjustability too, but I really I think I need fewer controls to tweak the bass and low-mids to be happy.

In your opinion, does the para-bass on the AC give you enough to dial in improved low end? Or does it just add a bunch of muddied loud bass for effect (which is not what want).
 

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Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

The four.q has a non-adjustable (but replaceable) subsonic filter set at 33hz (I think), so it really is only lacking the Q adjustment. I saw the Kicker eq you mentioned. I thought about having that much adjustability too, but I really I think I need fewer controls to tweak the bass and low-mids to be happy.

In your opinion, does the para-bass on the AC give you enough to dial in improved low end? Or does it just add a bunch of muddied loud bass for effect (which is not what want).
The para bass on the 4.1 is just allows you to select the center frequency and the cut or boost. It could muddy the sound if you boost in the wrong area, but that goes with any eq. I liked the para bass eq. It works good.

It's just an eq, it's not a bass boost circuit or anything, and no it's totally unlike the epicenter. I had one of those too and really liked that also. It's a cool piece of gear, but works totally different than the 4.1.
 

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Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

In your opinion, does the para-bass on the AC give you enough to dial in improved low end? Or does it just add a bunch of muddied loud bass for effect (which is not what want).
Put simply: Yes.

I also listen to a variety of MP3's and notice that some of the older recordings lack bass while some of the newer recordings have it in abundance. So it worked both ways for me since I could boost or cut at any given frequency. It also has a second set of inputs. And don't forget it's great line driver. I think that might be what I miss the most: The line voltage.

I've often threatened to remove my head unit altogether and just run an iPod to a processor (or a Zune for you Apple haters). If I did, this would be the eq I'd use.
 

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Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

I have this problem too. I've noticed that the better my tuning of the setup is (i.e. the more "dialed in" it is EQ-wise) the less problems I have changing styles and bitrates. I realize there is not one optimal tune for all recordings (especially if you like to hear bass more than most original sound engineers did) but a decent tune can get you a long ways in the right direction. That being said I'm looking for an EQ as I type this...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: Question about AudioControl’s Para-bass and in-dash eq’s

Alright, looks like I've gotten all the responses I'm going to get. Thanks W8 and 89G for the helpful feedback. I'm prolly going to pull the trigger on this and give it a try.
 
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