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Hi guys I am curious on the general consensus of how to tune an active system for low volume level listening. Factory systems seem to do a good job of keeping the fullness of sound at low volumes. My car really comes alive finally but not until the volume is to a point I’d rather not have to play constantly to appreciate the sound quality.

Is there a way around this? Or is this just a trade off to live with.

I run everything through a Rockford 360.3 so I could set one preset for this. Any tips or tricks would be appreciated.

Equipment:
Rockford 360.3
hertz legend 10
si tm65 v2
sb accustics sb65 2.5 “ fullrange
Dayton nd16
 

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This is exactly what the loudness feature in some head units does, I'm not sure if the 360.3 does anything like this.

I was discussing this feature this morning, here:
https://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/general-car-audio-discussion/246826-need-help-tuning-my-pioneer-deh-80prs-my-subwoofer.html

The feature is based on the equal loudness contour (Fletcher Munson)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour

We perceive frequencies differently depending on their SPL, the "loudness" feature accommodates this by boosting lows and highs when the SPL is low in order to give the same fullness in sound that you get at higher SPL. The feature slowly reduces it's impact as you raise the volume so that at a particular volume level no more boost is being introduced.

Tuning alone cannot accomplish this, the best tune will still either sound weak at low volume, or will be too exaggerated at high volume.
 

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With the 360.3, you could have one preset for lower volume and one preset for higher volume. It would be the "loudness" controller for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This is exactly what the loudness feature in some head units does, I'm not sure if the 360.3 does anything like this.

I was discussing this feature this morning, here:
https://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/general-car-audio-discussion/246826-need-help-tuning-my-pioneer-deh-80prs-my-subwoofer.html

The feature is based on the equal loudness contour (Fletcher Munson)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour

We perceive frequencies differently depending on their SPL, the "loudness" feature accommodates this by boosting lows and highs when the SPL is low in order to give the same fullness in sound that you get at higher SPL. The feature slowly reduces it's impact as you raise the volume so that at a particular volume level no more boost is being introduced.

Tuning alone cannot accomplish this, the best tune will still either sound weak at low volume, or will be too exaggerated at high volume.
With the 360.3, you could have one preset for lower volume and one preset for higher volume. It would be the "loudness" controller for you.
If you were to get a preset as close to possible to the loudness function, strictly for low volume but impactful music what frequencies might you be boosting/attenuating? Would you adjust crossovers so maybe the midbass plays lower and the sub carries less of the bass needs?
 

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If you were to get a preset as close to possible to the loudness function, strictly for low volume but impactful music what frequencies might you be boosting/attenuating? Would you adjust crossovers so maybe the midbass plays lower and the sub carries less of the bass needs?
Take a look at the curves in the link I posted. I'd boost 20-100hz (more boost at 20hz than at 100hz), then maybe boost about 5khz and up. If you have a subsonic filter set, start with whatever that frequency is, there isn't much content down to 20hz at all, so you could start with 30hz, or even 40hz

The curves show how high the SPL needs to be at each frequency to be perceived as sounding the same volume. Notice how much more of a curve there is in the curves lower in the chart? That means that the quieter the music, the more boost you need in the low and high end to make it sound balanced, as you increase the volume, less boost is needed. I'd try by just focusing on the bass at first, and boost the highs if you feel you need to.
 

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The easiest solution I have found is to use the Ford Sync OEM head unit controls for low listening levels.

I have bass/mid/treble settings.

Normally everything is flat and that is what I tune at. However, when I have the SO and kids in the truck, I add 3 clicks to the bass, cut the mid by 1-2 clicks, and raise the highs by 1-2 clicks. Classic "smiley curve" EQ basically.

Works perfect and actually sounds just fine for those 25-50 % volume knob levels.
 
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