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Discussion Starter #1
I've read a LOT here on tuning. but i don't quite trust my ears. i hear changes when i fiddle with my settings but when i think i got it... i hear a song that doesn't sound quite right and i tweak it again.

i believe i got my gain for my fronts pretty much set. high pass is set to the point where the fronts don't distort... then a bit higher to avoid some rattles I'm getting.

i don't quite get the low pass setting for my sub. can't figure out where to set the gain also. on some songs i feel that bass gets a bit muddy so i put it down a bit. lowering the low pass too much removes the fullness and warmth.

any ideas on how to tune my car? a specific song, and what to look for would really help a lot as I'm untrained and don't trust my ears. all i know is that its a bit off when comparing it to my mobile setup which is an iPod + fiio e11 headphone amp + shure srh940 headphones.

it also doesn't help that my amp doesn't have clear markings for the crossover. just 50hz and 150hz on both ends.

i also don't have a processor, or tuning capability from the HU as I'm using a stock HU.

gear:

focal v30 fronts
focal 21v2 8" sub (sealed enclosure up to specs)
focal fpp4100 amp
 

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80hz is a good starting point. if you are getting muddy bass with the proper crossover point, then consider a different sub or a different enclosure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thats the problem. I'm not even sure if its the tuning or just some bad recordings. on really well know good recorded albums... my current setup shines.

but with some other random music i feel its off when i compare it to my headphone setup. maybe headphones are more forgiving for bad recordings. not quite sure.
 

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I'm in a similar boat as you...I'm not a very proficient tuner. Lol but how I've come to understand it, do your tune and settings to the best possible recordings you can and/or test tones.
It's always going to be a compromise with varying recordings. Do you set up to high quality stuff, then adjust to what your listen to normally... But know not everything is going to sound perfect.
When you take the difference between mp3 and reference material, that's a big gap in quality.
With you not having the ability to tune and adjust on the fly, it becomes a compromise on what you can live with.
If it becomes just plain unacceptable to ya, then you need to start looking at equipment change... Processing, hu, speakers, etc.
But before you get to that point, exhaust all your options in tuning, and install changes. It'll just take some experimentation and time to see what route you need to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm in a similar boat as you...I'm not a very proficient tuner. Lol but how I've come to understand it, do your tune and settings to the best possible recordings you can and/or test tones.
It's always going to be a compromise with varying recordings. Do you set up to high quality stuff, then adjust to what your listen to normally... But know not everything is going to sound perfect.
When you take the difference between mp3 and reference material, that's a big gap in quality.
With you not having the ability to tune and adjust on the fly, it becomes a compromise on what you can live with.
If it becomes just plain unacceptable to ya, then you need to start looking at equipment change... Processing, hu, speakers, etc.
But before you get to that point, exhaust all your options in tuning, and install changes. It'll just take some experimentation and time to see what route you need to go.
I'm really planning on adding a processor but that will be maybe a year from now. i know my gear is pretty decent. focal all the way. should be decent at least for the price hehehe.

its just that for "ok" recordings... my headphone setup is waaaay better. not sure why. maybe its the car environment vs a very controlled environment of a portable setup.
 

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Oh I agree, the equipment you have is of good quality. Not being able to tune to your vehicle... Or tune at all. Will really affect it's performance. Headphones are nice for listening, but difficult to compare to a vehicle install. Phones will give you nice even smooth response, but not staging, depth, etc that you listen for in a car. They are great for getting tone down though. Processing will really help in the future. Don't give up on your stuff until you can find out their full potential.
Just get as close as yet can for the time being. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh I agree, the equipment you have is of good quality. Not being able to tune to your vehicle... Or tune at all. Will really affect it's performance. Headphones are nice for listening, but difficult to compare to a vehicle install. Phones will give you nice even smooth response, but not staging, depth, etc that you listen for in a car. They are great for getting tone down though. Processing will really help in the future. Don't give up on your stuff until you can find out their full potential.
Just get as close as yet can for the time being. Lol
ahhh... headphones can get really good too. just not that wide of a stage but there is staging nonetheless.

alice in chains unplugged was awesome earlier when i played it. other albums were meh. ill toy around with my gains and sub crossover again in the morning before heading to work. hopefully i can improve it a bit.
 

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if you can get your hands on an RTA, that might give you some answers. I am not saying that an RTA is the end-all be-all, but if you have freq response issues, it will show up there.
 

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its just that for "ok" recordings... my headphone setup is waaaay better. not sure why. maybe its the car environment vs a very controlled environment of a portable setup.
With cans or buds, there is no external / environment interference between the source of sound and the ear, plus the source is in the ear. Hence anything that is recorded loud and with even +/- 2-3 db of dynamics will sound great when fed directly to your ear.

ahhh... headphones can get really good too. just not that wide of a stage but there is staging nonetheless.
Headphones can give you good tonality if you hear a good recording, but they won't give you any staging or imaging cues.

I think your issue is the shallow slope on by the amp. I'm assuming you can't set this at your stock hu. The amp gives you a 12db slope for your sub. So even if you set it to min i.e. 50hz, 100hz would only be 12db lower. You're hearing your sub well into your mid bass.

Recordings that have more in the 150hz and above range and maybe a bit at the lower end, will sound cleaner and tighter. While ones that have a fair amount in the 30-100hz range, even if well recorded, will sound muddy.

If you can replace the stock hu, I'd get an after market unit that would let you set this xover point better and one that offers you some tuning features as well.
 

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What are you high passing the fronts at? If it is too high, you may be trying to blend the sub in too high also. If you work on the resonance issues you mentioned and crossed the fronts a little lower, it may blend better because you can lower the sub a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
what kinda car/stock deck?
its a 2011 ford fiesta. really nice looking console but almost impossible to change. screen is shared with the radio, bluetooth, voice commands, and car warnings (boot open, door open, etc).

this is not my car but it looks pretty much like this:



With cans or buds, there is no external / environment interference between the source of sound and the ear, plus the source is in the ear. Hence anything that is recorded loud and with even +/- 2-3 db of dynamics will sound great when fed directly to your ear.

I think your issue is the shallow slope on by the amp. I'm assuming you can't set this at your stock hu. The amp gives you a 12db slope for your sub. So even if you set it to min i.e. 50hz, 100hz would only be 12db lower. You're hearing your sub well into your mid bass.

Recordings that have more in the 150hz and above range and maybe a bit at the lower end, will sound cleaner and tighter. While ones that have a fair amount in the 30-100hz range, even if well recorded, will sound muddy.

If you can replace the stock hu, I'd get an after market unit that would let you set this xover point better and one that offers you some tuning features as well.
thats the problem. can't replace my deck. slope of my amp is 12db.

all the songs on the focal demo disks sound great. pink floyd remasters sound great. even john mayer sounds great. i also listen to trance. those don't sound muddy at all.

bass mudiness for me isn't that bad. just a teeny bit muddier than where i want it to be. my main concern is the lack of "fullness" (if that makes sense) with some recordings... specially those that are recorded with really low volumes. is the "fullness" issue a problem with the recordings? it may be reflections in the car? not really sure... just into car audio for less than a year and technically this is just my second setup. ditched my first setup (infinity reference) 2 weeks after i had them installed cause they plain suck lol.


What are you high passing the fronts at? If it is too high, you may be trying to blend the sub in too high also. If you work on the resonance issues you mentioned and crossed the fronts a little lower, it may blend better because you can lower the sub a bit.
i believe I'm crossed at 80-90 hz for both the fronts and the sub. I'm getting some rattles on my door in some songs if i set it lower. where I'm at now.. i couldn't locate the sub at the back.

maybe try to cross the sub lower that the fronts a bit?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
if you can get your hands on an RTA, that might give you some answers. I am not saying that an RTA is the end-all be-all, but if you have freq response issues, it will show up there.
what is considered a frequency response issue? what difference in DB on an RTA?

i have the "RTA analyzer" app on my android... just don't know if its that accurate lol.
 

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what is considered a frequency response issue? what difference in DB on an RTA?

i have the "RTA analyzer" app on my android... just don't know if its that accurate lol.
lol, no. that will not be acurate enough to set an EQ to. not unless you can connect a high quality mic to it.

I would say that if you have a 3dB+ difference from your midbass to your tweeters would be a potential issue. at the very least, it would rule out a few things.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
lol, no. that will not be acurate enough to set an EQ to. not unless you can connect a high quality mic to it.

I would say that if you have a 3dB+ difference from your midbass to your tweeters would be a potential issue. at the very least, it would rule out a few things.
kinda figured that it was pretty useless haha. either way... i don't have an EQ. won't get that ability until i get money for an audition bit ten.
 

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Set the xo at the amp to min ie 50hz and hope for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
planning to set the sub crossover a little lower and see how that goes since as of now the fronts and sub are crossed at the same position on the dial.

also... i feel that I'm not getting enough punch on average listening levels. average volume is set on 15/30. punch is more than enough on volume setting 17-18/30 (loud). would it be advisable to dial the sub gain a notch to bring more warmth and oomph on lower listening levels? then lower the crossover maybe 2 notches down from where its crossed now (same as high pass for fronts as of now)?

i know i gotta try it to really find out but would that make sense in theory?

really going for the theory of tuning so I'm seeking advice here. then after the theory... i try it out and see where it goes. really wanna get the logic of it all first before actually trying it out.

i feel that I'm just learning more and faster that way instead of blind trial and error.
 

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Set the xo at the amp to min ie 50hz and hope for the best.
^ Second this... 12dB/oct slope is not the end of the world - I use 6dB/oct slope on my sub's LP ;) (Girlfriend's car).
To add the warmth back, you can try to up the gain a little until you're satisfied with the sub's volume and integration.

80Hz-90Hz on your front comp is good and I would leave it there - especially with your rattles...

Even if your Android's RTA is not accurate, it should tell you all the peaks and phase problems. I suggest you use your RTA to measure the sub alone, your mids alone and your sub+mids to see if you have a suck out somewhere...

Also, not sure if I've mentioned it before but play with your subwoofer's polarity so that it's acoustically in phase with your mids. Judging by what you said earlier "I couldn't locate the sub at the back" it seems that your in phase ;)

Kelvin
 

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Discussion Starter #19
^ Second this... 12dB/oct slope is not the end of the world - I use 6dB/oct slope on my sub's LP ;) (Girlfriend's car).
To add the warmth back, you can try to up the gain a little until you're satisfied with the sub's volume and integration.

80Hz-90Hz on your front comp is good and I would leave it there - especially with your rattles...

Even if your Android's RTA is not accurate, it should tell you all the peaks and phase problems. I suggest you use your RTA to measure the sub alone, your mids alone and your sub+mids to see if you have a suck out somewhere...

Also, not sure if I've mentioned it before but play with your subwoofer's polarity so that it's acoustically in phase with your mids. Judging by what you said earlier "I couldn't locate the sub at the back" it seems that your in phase ;)

Kelvin
thanks. will try to lower the sub crossover point a few notches at a time and readjust the gain a bit.

hopefully it all works out. really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Even if your Android's RTA is not accurate, it should tell you all the peaks and phase problems. I suggest you use your RTA to measure the sub alone, your mids alone and your sub+mids to see if you have a suck out somewhere...

Kelvin
looks like the RTA does not work at all. fading everything to the front... it still shows a lot of low frequencies haha. its like the sub was never turned off.

on the bright side... i cleared out the muddiness by lowering the sub crossover point a couple of notches.
 
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