Car Stereo Forum banner

Tweeters melt my ears in new system!!?!

4522 Views 65 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Holmz
Hi all I just did an overhaul on my audio in a 2016 chevy cruze limited and that install is complete but now the techy stuff needs tinkering with.

I'm gonna try to list everything in this system so that there is no confusion and hopefully I can narrow down my issues.
Main Concerns
1. My tweeters overpower my mids and blast my ears before I can get close to my distortion number(32) on my factory headunit. Hit about number 20 and it's about the loudest I can comfortably listen but the mids are no where near how good they can get.
2. My door chimes/turn signals are now annoyingly loud and i'm not sure if there's equipment I need to install or how to bypass this.
3. I have a whining noise now that I would like to address.

I'll start by detailing the install. I disconnected my rear door speakers and am only running 2 front door woofers and 2 tweeters. They are each ran to their own channel on a compact 4 channel amp. I have an lc2i running from my factory radio and that feeds from the main output to a minidsp which then leads to the 4 channel amp that powers my front stage and then the bass output runs to a mono channel amp that powers a single 10" subwoofer. I have 4 gauge wiring that runs to a fuse block and it's grounded to the chassis of the vehicle and everything runs off of the block.


2016 Chevy Cruze Limited

Front stage setup
Door Speakers: Silver Flute W17RC38-04 ohm 6-1/2" Wool Cone
Pillar Tweeters: Vifa BC25SC06-04 1" Textile Dome Tweeter
LOC: AudioControl LC2i 2 Channel Line Out Converter with AccuBASS and Subwoofer Control : Everything Else
DSP: miniDSP 2x4
DSP Isolator: miniDC Isolator
4CH amp: Alpine KTP-445U Universal Power Pack Amplifier : Electronics
Fuseblock: WUPP 12 Volt Fuse Block, Waterproof Boat Fuse Panel with LED Warning Indicator Damp-Proof Cover - 6 Circuits with Negative Bus Fuse Box for Car Marine RV Truck DC 12-24V, Fuses Included : Automotive

Mono Amp:

I tried to include everything but I'm sure I've missed something. I'll add some more install notes now.
Each door was treated with deadener and I installed custom mdf speaker ring adapters with speaker foam tape as well as silicone baffles
to help seal the door speaker to the panel and direct the rear waves into an eggcrate foam pad. This whole setup was recommended on another
forum regarding chevy cruze audio installs. This person posted their setup piece by piece and had at least 20 other cruze owners using the components
and having solid results with them. They also posted the "tuning files" that matched the speakers I'm using and the same car interior which should get me
in the ballpark of a nice sounding system. Everything was great until I started setting the gains and here's why.

I started by setting my gains on the mids in my car. I had already come to the conclusion that my headunit sends out an undistorted signal at the number 32 so that's where I'll have my volume at. I unplugged all of the other speakers and ran a -3 db 1,000hz test tone. I heard volt matching is what you want to do to get your peak performance from your equipment and be sure you're getting the most powerful clean signal from your head unit to your amps. So my 4ch amp states it accepts 0.2V-4V and so on my LC2i I turned my main output up until it was hitting close to 4V. From there I started turning my gains up on my mids until I heard distortion. Then I played some music just to check and listen for distortion and wow my door speakers were sounding amazing! I was so happy with how powerful they hit and how much rumble I was getting from my doors. It really brought the sound to life. After that I plugged my tweeters in to match them and immediately boom! They were so powerfully loud I couldn't even break number 20 on my radio without my ears screaming. So at this point Idk what to do. I start fresh and cut the Volts in half from the LC2i. Now I'm sending 2Volts to my amp and this makes me have to turn the gain up much higher on my mids channel now and it doesn't sound nearly as nice. Even at this 2 Volst setting my tweeters are still overbearingly loud with 0 gain on their channel.

I wanna mention that in between the LC2i and the 4ch amp there is a miniDSP which is supposed to set my crossover points and set latency on each individual driver so that I have a more clean sound stage. Other than loading in this persons file that had "hours" of tuning and plugging it into my system I've done zero tweaking with how this person has the crossovers set. I'm curious if I bought a rta mic and tried to tweak the system and possibly roll the high frequencies down if it would solve the insane shrill noise they seem to have on my ears when trying to enjoy a nice booming sound.

But that then leads me to my next issue. If I do Volt match again and bring the Volts back to 4 where the mids sounded amazing previously then I will have a lot more noise in my system. There is a whining noise that increases as I rev the engine. On top of that a higher output from my LC2i means that my door chimes and turn signals will be even more insanely loud then they already are at 2volts. I've got a solid ground but I haven't done the big 3 upgrade which some sources claim may solve the whining issue. I'm tempted to take my vehicle to an audio shop and see if they could possibly tweak everything right but for whatever reason I have more faith in myself to learn it and adjust it properly then to trust the shops around here to touch my stuff lol.

Anyways I think I've covered the majority of my install and issues that need resolved so I hope someone could possibly shed some light on what could be my issue. I didn't mention any bass related stuff bc it's perfect and has no issues. I volt matched to 4 on that as well and set my gains with my oscilloscope and it packs way more power then i'll ever need so I mostly keep the bass knob turned to the lowest setting for regular listening.

Thanks in advance everyone!
See less See more
1 - 14 of 66 Posts
Have you considered turning the amp gain knob for the tweeters all way the down?
Yes that's what I meant by 0 gain on their channel. The tweeters have no gain whatsoever coming from the amp and they still are very loud.

Did you set tweeter gains with multimeter?
I set my mids with an oscilloscope and then had them perfect and went to match the tweeters and the tweeters were way too loud. So I cut the output signal in half coming from
the LC2i which brought my mids way down. Then I had to up the gain on my amp to the mids and tried level matching again with tweets. Tweeters still seem too loud.

how do you power your components
I have a fuse block in my trunk.
Only thing coming from my factory HU is the signal to the LC2i everything else there is stock.
So I ran 4 gauge power wire from my battery back to the trunk to the fuse block.
Then ran a 4 gauge ground from the fuse block as short as I could to the chassis of the vehicle.
From there each component in my system gets grounded and power from the fuse block.
Lc2i, minidsp, minidc isolator, mono amp, 4ch amp.

Get a mic and free REW
I'll probably end up getting one down the road. I feel like it's the only way I'll get my custom tune I'm looking for.
See less See more
Turning all those controls down (LC2i, HU) and turning up the MR amp gain and minimizing the tweeter gain is as good you can do.
Ok that is what I was thinking but I figured the main output would have to be set at 0 basically on the LC2i to have the tweeters at an acceptable level
and then I'd have to crank the gain up on my mids to get them to sound good. Always heard you wanted as little gain so I never went that route yet.
Is there a entry level mic I should get and an app I should look for?
Is it possible you're saturating the inputs of the miniDSP at 4V input?
That's a good question. I didn't realize there as a jumper. I'm not using the HD. So I should probably look for .9V and make sure the jumper is set to that.
Turn down the tweeter level in the DSP so it falls near your target curve
I've never messed with tuning at this moment and I'm unfamiliar with how to do so.
Do I just grab a mic and then use an app on my phone?
Or do I need to have a laptop running with my dsp at the same time to adjust the tweeter settings?
Also idk how to find a "target curve".
There is no dishonour in getting some help
It's not that I don't want it, I just never have luck having others do work for me.
I trust myself in learning the process and actually enjoy knowing how things work at the end.
For example I didn't know much about installing all of the components in the whole system but now I have a better appreciation.
I had to run new wire to each speaker location, through factory molex connectors and up into pillars and it was tough but I'm happy I did it all.
Also had to learn how to get power to everything and built a custom box shape to fit behind my wheel well so I have max trunk space still.
I feel like the hard part is done. I just need to learn the process of tuning and make the system sound crisp. Attached box cuz I'm proud xD.

I believe the default is 0.9, but I would switch it 2V since the LC2i can output that much.
I would like to do that, however, currently at 2v the tweeters are just too loud and idk how to turn them down unless maybe using the dsp?
So I figured maybe going down to .9v from the LC2i would put my tweeters in a better spot. But I would ideally like to get the highest output
from my LC2i to the amp so that my mids have the most potential without cranking up the gain on their channel.

You mentioned a fuse block in the trunk. Is there a fuse at the battery under the hood?
Yes there is a inline fuse within 6 inches of the battery and then that runs to the fuse block. From the fuse block each terminal going
to a component also has an inline fuse for the proper rating per the equipment.

is power and ground from distribution block or it is connected to cars original
I'm using the factory headunit. I only tapped into the signal behind the headunit to get the outputs to my LC2i everything else is stock. I don't know where
my noise is coming from at this point. Trying to get a good idea of all of the things to try before I take my trunk back apart since
everything is tucked under my spare tire location.


See less See more
Start with factory default settings in your dsp, then set the gains.
That's a good idea. I'll reset the tune and then set my gains again. After that I'll do what e39 is suggesting and go back with a mic and an REW and fine tune it!
You will need to tune with a mic and REW.
Ok I will be ordering a mic soon. Probably the UMIK-1 from mini dsp. Ideally I would like to get the 2v from the LC2i but I'm curious on what I would do about the door chimes. They are quite loud. A buddy of mine had a "chime box" that was inline with his aftermarket head unit. Does that piece of equipment just cut a certain frequency down? And if so would I just cut that specific frequency in the dsp to lower their volume?

Im asking because in a lot of cases this might be the couse for noise issues you are dealing with
So are you saying I should cut the factory ground from behind my radio and run it to the same point where all of my other components are grounded at? Could that potentially solve my whining issue?

One of the first things I do is set crossovers
So when I set the dsp back to default I should set the crossover points before I go back and set my gains on the amps? Otherwise my tweeters could be subject to harmful frequencies?
While you wait for the mic, get in the dsp software and lower tweeter levels by ear.
Ok I'm gonna try it out. Still need to learn the basics of the process. Not even sure atm how to do that lol. Do I just keep plugging the dsp into my laptop and adjust settings then plug back into system and listen? I know it may be an obvious thing to you but I'm completely new to this process. I'm posting the current settings my dsp is set to just to see if maybe you guys will see something that looks out of the ordinary. The input gain setting is set at -7.2db. I'm curious about one thing. On the output channels there is a setting for gain. Is this where I could crank my tweeters down to make them play nicely into the system? If so that'll be a great solve for the 2v issue i'm having with them.


See less See more
Most dsp you can tune then save and listen with laptop plugged in
Ah i'm seeing that there is a usb plugin on the miniDSP. So I could use it while it's plugged in. I'm excited to actually start tweakin everything myself and finally getting the sound I'm after.
I need to take the cover off of the DSP and see if the jumper is set properly or if I need to swap it to 2v.
I'm messing around with the dsp software today in my car seeing if I can adjust my tweeters by ear. I'm about to reset back to default and set my gains again. Someone mentioned I should set crossovers before I do anything. I'm looking at the settings in the program and noticed that the input is set to -7.2db on both channels. Is there a reason for this? Should I have this set at 0 and then set gains? Or should I leave at -7.2db, set crossovers, and then set the gains?


See less See more
Little update from my experimenting today. I took apart the DSP and it was in fact set to .9V on the board so I switched the jumper to the 2V setting for each channel. From there I set the DSP back to default and then set the crossovers. Then I turned my gains down and turned my LC2i main output up to 2V. After which I then played a few familiar songs and played with the mids gain on the amp to find a nice spot. I went back and loaded the previous "copy/paste" tune from the other forum and was planning to turn my output gain down on the tweeters but I'm guessing one of the steps I took may have solved my issues.

Currently there is no more noise/whine in my system. I can turn the radio all the way up to volume 32 and the tweeters are blended quite nicely into the system now. Before 20-25 was excruciatingly hard on the ears. I didn't notice my chimes increasing in volume either, which was a big concern bc I was under the impression that the higher I turned the Main output on the LC2i the more signal the tweeters would ultimately receive.

I tested a few sources of music too just to verify my results. I mainly use my iphone library to listen to music but the other day I "normalized" all of the files down to -89db so they'd all be similar. Before they all were different and changing tracks was like playing Russian roulette. So I hopped on youtube and while the music was about 10db louder everything was still fine all the way up to 32. The tweeters aren't overpowering my ears anymore which is a plus and the chimes didn't seem loud. However the system seems quieter maybe? Now I can go up to 32 and it seems like what 20 used to be. I thought ultimately the system was going to be much louder due to the LC2i going from less than a quarter to almost completely maxed out and I'd have to play with the output on the DSP to get levels down to a listenable level.

Either way I'm counting this as a win for now!
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
If those input levels are still at -7.2 db, you can turn those up to 0 db, or whatever is loud enough.
At this moment I'm gonna spend a bit listening to the system and see how I feel about it. I may have spoke too soon though on my noise issues. I totally forgot to test the sound when the car was running. When I start my car I do still have the whine issue. Someone mentioned that possibly the factory ground on the radio could be causing a ground loop? I may attempt to take the ground and run it to the trunk with my other components. That and then the big 3 upgrade are my next ideas.
Mic still hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t delve into that part yet. The tweeters blending was mostly my biggest concern due to it ruining the listening experience. Once I changed the jumper on the DSP board that fixed my issue with that.

Now my issue lies in with the noise/whine. I was playing with the gain on my amp and output gain on the dsp software to find out when my door speakers clipped and I never found a point even with the Gaines turned to the max on my amp. But as I came to the front to listen I noticed the noise was horrendous at max gain. Ive turned my gain back down to the halfway point which reduces the “air noise?” and let’s the door speakers have some oompf. I’m not sure what this noise is referred to as. Just sounds like air when the car isn’t running.

When the car is running I get the whine. So today I took my radio out and ran a ground from it all the way to the trunk to where my equipment is grounded and it did nothing. Noise hasn’t changed a bit. Should I do the big 3 upgrade next to try to get rid of the noise?

My only issues at this moment are removing the noise from the system and maybe addressing a new issue I’m noticing. At the final 3-4 clicks of volume within my clean signal range I notice the tweeters turn “fuzzy” I guess you could say. I unhooked all of my speakers and left the tweeters hooked up and listened to pinpoint the area. It seems around 29 or so, on some tracks they get blurry/fuzzy. The sound muddies up and no longer sounds clear on vocals. Other tracks sound just fine all the way to 32. Different sources tested as well and I get similar results.
See less See more
1 - 14 of 66 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.