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  1. #1

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    Default HU on the way. Tuning help needed!

    Ok so most of you have seen the sail panels I recently modified. If not, here's the thread!

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106771

    You'll notice I've got a crappy HU installed at the moment. Well soon that deck will get taken out and be replaced with this Kenwood that's on the way :D

    http://www.crutchfield.com/s_113KDCX...ml?search=x794

    Got it because for the price, it had what I was looking for which is a decent amount of tuning to include time alignment. Not only that, I've got some Vifa tweeters coming in from Madisound to go with the Polk SR6500 components I just bought from the garage sale :D

    Once they get here, the currently installed (yet not even broken-in) Alpine components will be coming right out!

    Now, to the point. I've never 'properly' tuned/tweaked any car audio so I'm all ears as to where to start exactly, what CD's are best used for testing+tuning/etc. Pretty much want to get the most out of my system before I upgrade my amp and sub down the road. I'm still kicking the idea of making my own kick-panels for the SR's woofers and possibly modifying my sail panels for the new tweeters. We'll see once they're here.

    -Freddy
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  2. #2

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    Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 2007
    Pioneer DEX-P99RS, IPOD Touch 64gb, Rockford Fosgate T1000-4, T600-2 & T1500-1bd CP
    Polk Audio SR speakers, 6.5's, 5.25's, SR tweets and 2 SR124-DVC subs in 1.57cu ft sealed enclosures

  3. #3

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    With all the drivers being at different distances from you, TA and eq lets you recreate the 'sweet spot' experience of home audio. Of course, to varying degrees depending on how much dsp you have at hand, speaker placement etc. One difference though, you'll always be sitting either just left or right of centre stage.

    TA ensures that sound from the drivers at unequal distances, reaches you more or less at the same time. You can also measure and set things up so that the sound does arrive at the same time, but thats normally just a starting point. 'More or less' sounds more lifelike. Arrival time, different L/R intensities at the same frequency, on / off axis and reflections are the major obstacles in a car. Finding your way around them is what tuning's all about.

    Normally there are two parts to learning tunning. One is the, how things work bit and the other is the how things should sound bit. You'll start with a fair knowledge of the second. Thats a good hu specially when you consider its price. The hu has a 5 band eq, any idea which 5 frequencies?

    With your level of dsp, mids in kicks would be a good option. Lesser PLD and less of the on/off axis issues and hence beaming issues around the 2-3khz range. Yes you want the tweets up high. Sails, top of the dash or a-pillars are all good locations Try them in different spots before deciding. The Sr tweets work best when both tweets are more on axis. Don't run two pairs of tweets. You can swap the two tweets to see which one sounds best with the sr mid. But you should run only one pair.
    Last edited by arun1963; 09-20-2010 at 03:36 PM.

  4. #4

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    With all the drivers being at different distances from you, TA and eq lets you recreate the 'sweet spot' experience of home audio. Of course, to varying degrees depending on how much dsp you have at hand, speaker placement etc. One difference though, you'll always be sitting either just left or right of centre stage.

    TA ensures that sound from the drivers at unequal distances, reaches you more or less at the same time. You can also measure and set things up so that the sound does arrive at the same time, but thats normally just a starting point. 'More or less' sounds more lifelike. Arrival time, different L/R intensities at the same frequency, on / off axis and reflections are the major obstacles in a car. Finding your way around them is what tuning's all about
    Yeah, I read into it and what other decks provide to take care of that for you but I figured with time I'd figure it out. Don't expect this to be done overnight ;)

    Normally there are two parts to learning tunning. One is the, how things work bit and the other is the how things should sound bit. You'll start with a fair knowledge of the second. Thats a good hu specially when you consider its price. The hu has a 5 band eq, any idea which 5 frequencies?
    They are;
    62.5hz, 250hz, 1khz, 4khz, and 16khz with up to -9db to +9db.

    With your level of dsp, mids in kicks would be a good option. Lesser PLD and less of the on/off axis issues and hence beaming issues around the 2-3khz range. Yes you want the tweets up high. Sails, top of the dash or a-pillars are all good locations Try them in different spots before deciding. The Sr tweets work best when both tweets are more on axis. Don't run two pairs of tweets. You can swap the two tweets to see which one sounds best with the sr mid. But you should run only one pair.
    Not to worry, I'll only be running 1 pair of tweeters. The original tweeter location (for my stock premium stereo) was up in the dash which I wasn't too fond of because the tweeters would aim straight up torwards the windshield.

    That's why I modded my sail panels to bring them as close to ear level as possible.

    I ordered the Vifa's because they're the closest recommended replacement for the original SR tweeters (at a fraction of the cost). The SR's I purchased aren't coming with tweeters, just the mid-bass drivers, crossovers, and all mounting hardware.

    Btw, thanks for taking the time to respond :D

    -Freddy

    Edit: The HU also adds options such as being able to select what size drivers you're using, whether they're coaxial or components, speaker placement whether in door/etc.
    Last edited by kawizx9r; 09-20-2010 at 05:49 PM.
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  5. #5

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    Would've gone with Alpine but after researching several decks (even their higher end models) I guess their alternative/replacement for TA is this thing called Imprint.

    Figured I'd just stick with TA so I went with the Kenwood. I'm not a fan of ipods/iphones at ALL (Zune guy here) but hey, maybe if I get one used or something I'll be able to use the Kenwood's ipod control. The cool thing about that is it bypasses the ipods internal DAC when connected to the HU's USB :)
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    Arun's advice is pretty solid. I wanted to wait until he responded because even if I did post first, he wouldve just reiterated everything I said so it could come from him ;)

    There have been several threads recently (last 6-9 months) that have some really good tuning information in them. I'm too lazy to find them at the moment, but with a little bit of searching you might not ever even have to ask any questions.

    You can read up on it all you want, but it will overwhelm you until you get into the thick of it. It will take multiple trial and errors to get it right. One day it will sound amazing, and the next you jump in and it dumbfounds you what your ears were able to convince you of the day prior. My car is definitely not a daily driver, but it took me about 6 months to really get it where I think it sounds good on a regular basis. At this point, I only do minor tweaks occasionally, and those usually reconfirm the previous settings.

  7. #7

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    I remember a few threads coming up with others having questions about tuning as well. Will have to give the search function a little workout ;)

    The car is my daily driver so, it shouldn't take that long to get things settled....however it just might since I like to tweak stuff non-stop :D
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    +1 for Crutchfield! I'm working on buying a new head unit myself at the moment. I'm just not as concerned about sound quality, since there's so much road noise with my car... I just need it loud! :)
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : MFW-15 (RIP): Yamaha Aventage RX-A1000 : Adcom GFA-7500 : PS3 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Onkyo TX-SR575 : DIRECTV HR22 DVR : LG 50PQ30 HDTV
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  9. #9

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    No kidding, always loved dealing with Crutchfield but it's been awhile since I've ordered from them.

    I still had their seasonal catalog coming in up until I moved, and prior to that it was about 6-7 yrs since I had last ordered something. I miss that old Rockford Fosgate amp I ordered from them, when they were way underrated and actually worth something.
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  10. #10

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    Good active cross-over recommendation?

    Won't be purchased anytime soon, juggling between car audio+car parts+home audio :p

    Mole just sent me an AGP WGA, now just wondering if I should get a boost gauge or wideband first....stupid Chrysler should've put in a boost gauge given the car is a turbo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kawizx9r View Post
    No kidding, always loved dealing with Crutchfield but it's been awhile since I've ordered from them.

    I still had their seasonal catalog coming in up until I moved, and prior to that it was about 6-7 yrs since I had last ordered something. I miss that old Rockford Fosgate amp I ordered from them, when they were way underrated and actually worth something.
    I used to drool over those catalogs when I was a kid. They've kept me interested over the past several years, since they participate in my credit card's rewards program. Their service has been fantastic.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : MFW-15 (RIP): Yamaha Aventage RX-A1000 : Adcom GFA-7500 : PS3 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Onkyo TX-SR575 : DIRECTV HR22 DVR : LG 50PQ30 HDTV
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdaudioguy View Post
    I used to drool over those catalogs when I was a kid. They've kept me interested over the past several years, since they participate in my credit card's rewards program. Their service has been fantastic.
    Yep same! Lol

    That was back when the older Bose speakers actually sounded OK, and when Pioneer Elites had the rosewood side panels
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    Quote Originally Posted by kawizx9r View Post
    Don't expect this to be done overnight ;)
    Very rarely will something happen overnight in this hobby. When it does, it will mostly be because you stumbled on it by chance. Take your time.


    Quote Originally Posted by kawizx9r View Post
    They are;
    62.5hz, 250hz, 1khz, 4khz, and 16khz with up to -9db to +9db.
    Graphic or parametric?

    Quote Originally Posted by kawizx9r View Post
    I'm not a fan of ipods/iphones at ALL (Zune guy here) but hey, maybe if I get one used or something I'll be able to use the Kenwood's ipod control. The cool thing about that is it bypasses the ipods internal DAC when connected to the HU's USB :)
    You may find that as the sound gets better, compressed media will sound worse. Lossless and cd's sound the best.

    Quote Originally Posted by kawizx9r View Post
    The car is my daily driver so, it shouldn't take that long to get things settled....however it just might since I like to tweak stuff non-stop :D
    Time is relative here. If you love tweaking, welcome to the mad house. :D

    Quote Originally Posted by kawizx9r View Post
    Good active cross-over recommendation?
    1. Carbon series polk amps - ebay etc
    2. A hu that lets you go active
    3. A processor. This of course would be the ultimate choice.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by arun1963 View Post
    Very rarely will something happen overnight in this hobby. When it does, it will mostly be because you stumbled on it by chance. Take your time.
    Oh I know, I meant that it's NOT something that should just happen overnight!

    Quote Originally Posted by arun1963 View Post
    Graphic or parametric?
    Doesn't say

    Looking over the manual that's found online and it just tells me what I can adjust (which I listed above) and how to do so but that's it.

    There's also an electronic cross-over built in that allows tailoring of front/rear/subwoofer at different slopes.

    Front 30hz up to 100hz, then 120hz, 180hz, 220hz, and 250hz at -6db, -12db, -18db, and -24db.

    Same for the rear and subwoofer and those too can be set separately from the other speakers and of course phase (I know how to work that, and blending in the subwoofer).

    Here's the manual - http://a248.e.akamai.net/pix.crutchf...113KDCX994.PDF

    Audio settings begin on page 38

    Quote Originally Posted by arun1963 View Post
    You may find that as the sound gets better, compressed media will sound worse. Lossless and cd's sound the best.
    You missed my 2-channel side, I don't even burn CD's much less listen to digital media. I'm redoing my home-audio but for that setup I'm thinking of going back to Magneplanar speakers and maybe look for another NYAL Moscode Tube Hybrid amp. I'm all about the quality of things and want to achieve more or less the same in my car.

    Quote Originally Posted by arun1963 View Post
    Time is relative here. If you love tweaking, welcome to the mad house. :D



    1. Carbon series polk amps - ebay etc
    2. A hu that lets you go active
    3. A processor. This of course would be the ultimate choice.
    Hmmm.......
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    how is it coming along so far?
    mole'

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    Quote Originally Posted by mole' View Post
    how is it coming along so far?
    Well, Crutchfield has yet to send it out even though I ordered it Sunday. They did call me because my card requires authorization before payment is completed (security feature). That was done yesterday and they said everything should be good to go but I've yet to get a tracking number. No worries, they're probably just swamped but their customer service has always been top notch.

    SR's currently being shipped via UPS (arriving the 27th) and Vifas are coming in via FedEx (tomorrow).
    Last edited by kawizx9r; 09-21-2010 at 04:19 PM.
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  17. #17

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    The crossovers on the HU will do you little good as far as an active network. The biggest issues are setting the Sub to the proper xover and blending the mid with the tweets. The mid/tweet crossover is one of the most noticeable areas in my car and having tuning options over that can really change the experience.

  18. #18

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    Ordered yesterday from Crutchfield and UPS picked it up less than 2 hours later. :)

    Been using them for almost 25 years. Not the cheapest. But customer service, technical support, etc is worth the extra price at times. The free or 1/2 off stuff helps to make the pricing a bit more fair.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22atplay View Post
    Ordered yesterday from Crutchfield and UPS picked it up less than 2 hours later. :)

    Been using them for almost 25 years. Not the cheapest. But customer service, technical support, etc is worth the extra price at times. The free or 1/2 off stuff helps to make the pricing a bit more fair.
    Yeah, this is the first time I've run into problems but I'm not worried. Used to order my stuff from them for years!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    The crossovers on the HU will do you little good as far as an active network. The biggest issues are setting the Sub to the proper xover and blending the mid with the tweets. The mid/tweet crossover is one of the most noticeable areas in my car and having tuning options over that can really change the experience.
    Expanding on this, since your hu does not let you go active, your control on the tweetrs will be limited to the gain switch on the passive xovers or the couple of bands on your eq in this range. I would look at bi-amping if you can, so you get better control on your tweets via gains on the amp. Will help a ton with the blending of mids and highs that Dskip mentioned.

    It will also make your mids more dynamic as they will get more power. The sr crossover lets you connect via bi-amping. Your sig mentioned plans of the RF 360.2. Is that on?

  21. #21

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    Vifa's are in!

    Excelon is expected here this Friday and the SR's are due this coming Monday.

    Think I'll have to mod my sail panels again
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    Vifa's





    Comparing the Vifa tweeter with the installed Alpine tweeter

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    Plan on getting a 12" SR sub later down the road as well as an amp to replace my MTX TR55 sub and JL Audio 360.2 amp.

    As much as I love Polk products, what's a good alternative for a Polk amp for the SR sub? Today I was checking out JL Audio's 500 1v2 slash-series amp and it had a good amount of features for tweaking my sub. Any thoughts on it, or anything better? Budget could be from 350-450.

    I know I keep saying 'won't buy this/that til later' like I said about the HU and such but who knows ;)

    Just anxious to get everything in the car so I can start messing with things :D

    Oh and btw, the JL Audio amp that's currently powering my sub is a stereo amp which I plan on using to power the SR components @120wpc.
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    The HU just arrived!







    Now time to install it! :D:D:D

    Love the extra free accessories I got, such as the wiring harness (which I already have for my current HU) and the front panel (to fill in the double din location which I too already have).

    Won't be using the antennae adapter since I never listen to the radio anyway.
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    Congrats, looking good. Hook it up and see how it sounds
    Suggestion: You may want to look at getting a mono amp used for now and use that on your sub. Use the 2ch x 2 amps to bi-amp (topic beaten to death in the other thread :)) via your sr xovers. Ability to control gains on your drivers, flexibility in choosing angles of your tweets, TA, eq, these are all tuning tools. You'll be using them together. So its best to have as much flexibility and dsp as is possible.

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    Roger that :D

    So that'll be 60wpc for the tweeters, 120wpc for the woofers (on the SR's, and I know these ratings aren't exactly what they put out).

    Hmm, will take a look around at a good mono amp. The SR's aren't due to be here til Monday anyway.
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    Installed.





    Thinking I'm going to put the Sony back into the Ford Focus ZX3 SE. Anyone need a factory radio/cd player for a Dodge/Chrysler vehicle? Still works, just used and a bit dusty.

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    Just playing around with the HU.

    The equalizer is a 5-band graphic equalizer. It's amazing how using the TA, the sound was literally MOVED from the floor/door and up to the dash almost. I also used it to set the sub's distance and wow, it's much harder to locate or believe that the sub is in the trunk/hatch. I've had exceptional results when blending a subwoofer+mains in a dedicated 2-channel setup but to hear such seamless blending in a car is awesome.

    I'm just getting started though, familiarizing myself with the HU and messing with x-o settings and such. Will need to turn the gain down as well on my amps because the new HU is putting out 4v signals to the amps pre-inputs as opposed to 2v from the Sony. Everything is just...louder and dynamic compared to the Sony and cleaner too.

    Still a long way to go, and the fact that I'll have to do it over again once the SR's are here and installed. But it'll be fun, of that I'm sure :D
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    The majority of the Home Audio crowd don't know what is possible in a car. I think it takes a lot more dedication to recreate that sound because it is such a harsh environment.

    We will win you guys over, one by one....

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    Wrong - when a capo is on the 2nd fret you've just raised the pitch of each string a whole tone (i.e., two half tones). Each fret up the neck raises the pitch of each string a half tone.

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