DiyMobileAudio.com Car Stereo Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the market for a DSP and I've been looking into all levels of them. For my needs I would want an 8-channel out and since I'm putting it into my 1981 C10, I'm using an Alpine head unit so the factory integration isn't really important. I was leaning a lot towards a new JL Twk-88 but also considered others such as:

  • Used Helix DSP or DSP.2
  • Used Alpine PXE-0850S or X
  • New or Used AudioControl DM-608 or 810
  • New MiniDSP 6x8
  • New Musway DSP68

And finally a new Hertz H8 DSP. Local dealer has them new on sale for $448 CDN which fits in my desired budget which is about $400 USD or $500 CDN. It comes with a controller which I very much like (so does the JL but it's about $125 more). In doing some research on it I've heard of some noise issues (same with the related Audison Bit Nove) but I haven't seen anything within the past couple of years about the H8. It also has a very well written manual, some nice features to it that are useful to me and a 31-band EQ per channel. It only goes up to 24 DB on xover slope but that may be sufficient for me.

I've downloaded a handful of software programs for various DSP units to see how they are to use and most of them look pretty user-friendly to me. Hertz was a popular brand to use 10-15 years ago and it still seems to be a quality brand if I'm not wrong but I'm curious who has experience and comments about the H8 or any of them above. I know Helix is the top DSP and I'm not opposed to a used one if I can find one to fit my budget.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,528 Posts
I wouldnt touch an H8 with a ten foot pole. The only processors really worth going with these days are the Helix/Brax, Mosconi, Arc, and minidsp. The JL twk can sometimes fit, but the price is close enough to better options that I feel it almost never makes sense either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Monk47

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
I have spent more time with the H8 DSP over the last year than I want to admit. I bought it based on the knowledge that I needed a DSP and price alone thinking it would be good enough. I have my car sounding very good with it now. But it has been difficult to get it to this point. It's not a great DSP. Can you make it work? Yes with limitations. Can you do better? Oh yeah. If I knew of the struggles I would have with it, I would have spent double to get something better like a Helix or miniDSP.
Here are my pros and cons:

Pros:
Good for a budget build or simple system where the vehicle/installation may not need much in regards to EQ.

Easy to use software.

DE-EQ feature for restoring a flat response from factory head units.

Balanced inputs. No noise that I can detect.

Time alignment entry is simple using a tape measure (includes a time offset value too).

Comes with a remote for adjusting sub level, volume, etc.

On/off delays to control amplifier on/off times.

Cons:
Older technology from 2016 and the firmware and software has had no recent updates since 2017.

You can only toggle between 2 memory presets.

31 fixed band graphic EQ. Yes, you get 31 bands for each channel but your active system will not be able to utilize frequencies outside of the speakers response curve.

No parametric EQ to target problem frequencies. (the EQ is is my biggest gripe with the H8)

No shelf filters.

24db max crossover slopes.

Temperature range of 0 °C to 55 °C (32°F to 131°F). Audison models (same hardware) had some major issues working in colder climates. Looks like Hertz didn't extend the temperature range on this model either so operating below 0 °C may be an issue. This is really not acceptable for installation in cars that will be driven in the winter months. (my car is stored during winter so I can't verify).

The remote is awkward to use when selecting subwoofer level function as it always defaults back to volume setting sometimes even while you are adjusting the sub level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,528 Posts
Cons:
Older technology from 2016 and the firmware and software has had no recent updates since 2017.
I would be surprised if this was anything other than a facelifted bitone hardware/software. If that is the case, were talking tech and software from before 2010..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
I have a Hertz H8 and I agree ,,,,, i would not ever recommend it to anyone.

It is not rated to work below 0 deg C, and i can vouch for this as the noise floor and tonal quality was altered depending on weather temp, the features are really basic and when I was looking at it on the bench I was noticing stuff in the magnitude and phase response (transfer function) that was not anywhere close to what i would expect for its DSP filters so i stopped playing with it. I use helix now myself and I am happy with that choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for everyone's replies. I do appreciate them. It really is invaluable what a person's experience is with the product.

One thing I wasn't liking about the JL was the 10 band parametric EQ because I thought a 31 band graphic like on the Helix, or the H8, would be better but I recently realized as well that the 31 bands on the output channels are actually never used on anything but a full-range signal and no speaker on a fully-active (or passive for that matter) system really experiences that as we use drivers for specific frequencies. So I can appreciate parametric EQ's more so. I find it a downer that the MiniDSP uses only 6 bands per channel, but I do like that it also includes 6 bands per input channel as well.

I also find it a bummer that the MiniDSP has 2V outputs and not 4V or more. But I can also say that I just took out a 1989-vintage Alpine 3656 crossover that I've been using until it started having noise issues (internal ground issues I'm thinking) and it was being fed from a 4V deck, although only rated for 0.5V in and out and really didn't have any problems so perhaps this isn't as much of an issue. In the meantime I'm using an AudioMobile Drive 30 from 2005. Wow, what a noisy POS but the features for a 15 year old DSP are actually impressive as it really is an ancestor to the modern computer-controlled DSP.

The Mini does seem to have a lot of more "techy" features that the lower-priced DSP units do not, of which I'm sure I can get myself into all kinds of trouble with :cool:

Why does the JL get such a bad rap though as not being a more upper end DSP unit? What is it that it lacks? it seems to have great support, a fairly easy software to use (I've been downloading and trying out several brands software in demo modes), a strong crossover section, 10 bands of parametric EQ, a simple but effective controller that I'm thinking inspired the much-lauded Conductor, etc. it doesn't have all pass or shelf filters I believe but is there something else that makes it a not so great choice?

I'll likely get a MiniDSP 6x8 but I'm enjoying this conversation.

Anyone hear of what the Musway's are like? Features seem decent but not a lot of feedback out there on it.

It sounds like any of the Bit-series is not a good choice?

I would like the AudioControl units more but a pretty weak crossover section considering the price, in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,528 Posts
The Helix is 30 band parametric per channel, not graphic. will also do shelf and all pass filters too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Going back into the demo software, I see that now in the Fine EQ portion where the band can be moved around somewhat and the the Q is adjustable. Very slick. There's no doubt that the Helix are just really good units.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top