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Old 9th June 2013, 05:21 AM   #11
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Thanks for the great info guys,

A few months back when I started dreamin up this project I purchased a pair of headphones, Beyerdynamic DTX 101 iE's they are very balanced and really gave me an idea of what I was missing in the 10 hours I spend listening to music in my car every week.

I am looking for a very balanced system, I listen to a wide variety of music ranging from classic rock, through modern rock (mostly), there is dubstep and house music in there sometimes as well.

anyways, I have done a bit of research into a "carputer" system to handle all of my crossovers and time alignment, along with anything else I might need, but as I got deeper and deeper into the idea I realized the amount of money I would be blowing on what I could accomplish with some crossovers and a good head unit.

also on the subject of a component set with its own passive crossovers, That is the route I took previously with a sony component system and I was extremely disappointed. I did not get nearly the amount of adjustment I was looking for.

To remedy this I have been doing a TON of research into ways to do an active crossover set up. I came upon a head unit with that capability, the Pioneer DEH-80PRS. So I am looking at that along with either a 6 channel amp, which appears to be what I need if I want active crossovers for each component. (if someone knows a better way PLEASE share) and then a separate amp for the sub woofer.

But now that I have been introduced to the miniDSP it looks that that might be a more affordable and possibly a better option, Im a little confused as to whether it is a stand alone component that just needs power or if it is intended to be part of a small computer system. I will definitely be doing more research into that. maybe save some $$ on a head unit?

For sub testing I have made quite a few boxes for my 12in infinity reference sub. pretty much every combination I tried sounded horrible in my car. The best was a sealed enclosure that was a little on the small side, it gave me good response but was very peaky and made any electronic or house music, or any rock with heavy bass guitar sound absolutely dreadful. I had 2 different ported boxes that I could tune to either too quiet to hear or make the entire car rattle, wayyy beyond the point of being reasonable. (I don't want a rattling car but this was loud enough to drown out music, and there really aren't any other rattles in my car besides what is caused by bass) there was a sweet spot but I had to adjust to pretty much every song, and that got old FAST.

Next were the 2 infinity 8 in subs in sealed enclosures built to manufacturer's specs that are completely inaudible in my trunk so they currently reside in the foot well of my back seat. they sound excellent for what they are, but I can't carry passengers and have decent music at the same time.

Its also worth mentioning that I already have a "Clarion EQS746 1/2 DIN Graphic Equalizer with Built-in Crossover" that made a pretty huge difference in the sq after I installed it. but it still doesn't have all the control I would like.(customizing crossover points and such)

New Speakers
I am not to particular here, I have heard a lot of good things about a lot of different brands. I am not remotely opposed to building my own component set from various companies to get the best bang for my buck. I don't particularly want to buy a pre-made component set that gives me crossovers I don't plan on using.

I wasn't to clear about my plan for my IB setup. (might try an aperiodic set up also? many more woofer choices is good but the main reason for IB is for trunk space and less weight) there is a sizable hole in the back seat when I put the armrest down, would it be reasonable to aim the sub through there? This isn't all that important at the moment because I am pretty far from purchasing a sub. I plan on getting the rest of the system together first.


There is plenty of room in my front foot wells to put the high mid-range and the tweeters so I will be building a custom box for them, Which means I need to get my @** into gear and find what I am going to do for those two speakers asap ideas anyone? also have some BXT II sound deadening in my cart just begging me to press the checkout button

Sort of related: has anyone read keep hope alive's build thread over at sound domain? its worth a read and was sort of the inspiration for my build. (my car essentially exactly the same.
http://forum.sounddomain.com/ubbthre...page/1/fpart/7

anyone still here? anyone read this whole thing? hahaha
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Old 9th June 2013, 09:59 PM   #12
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Default MiniDSP

Looks like ideally I need a signal processor that has 4 inputs? I think? right and left channel, and then the channels for a sub woofer. I will then need 8 outputs? 2 to the sub amp, and 3 for the right and 3 for the left channels of possibly a 6 channel amp. that is if there is one to be had that is decent quality that doesn't blow my entire budget.

This is my understanding at the moment, PLEASE correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 10th June 2013, 07:20 AM   #13
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Hey Brad.

My rec would be the MiniDSP 2x8. HU into that then all the xo's and eq handled by connecting you laptop by USB. The MiniDSP boards are all 12v stand alone. Just select the appropriate plugin (10 dollars). Also get the miniDC for power isolation and remote turn on. If you need digital in there is the miniDIGI And miniUSB.

I don't think you will need desperate sub in from your HU. Just set the main L/R outputs to full.

I bought a 2000 dollar pioneer HU a few years ago and still regret it. Not enough flexibility and poor HiFi parts/specs. Wish I had bought an Eclipse HU or something like it. Because you won't need all the HU extra's (functions replaced by the MiniDSP) you can look for one with digital out or better D/A chips...

Dean
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Old 10th June 2013, 07:39 AM   #14
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The sub....

You will need to make a decision to some degree between SPL & SQ.. Many car audio subs are designed for SPL. This means low efficiency and often one note bass caused by massively over damped suspension systems.. Grab a 90+dB efficient 15" pro audio woofer for 200 from someone like Eminence and see the difference. I am not trying to bash car audio brands but when you can hear proper bass note delineation you won't need as much outright SPL.

Remember to sound test various options with tracks from multiple genres of music.
I have replaced many customers high SPL subs because they got sick of poor note definition and happily gave up some SPL capability.

Dean.
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Old 10th June 2013, 07:42 AM   #15
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Your rear arm rest hole is perfect for woofer mounting.
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Old 10th June 2013, 12:51 PM   #16
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You will need 7 or 8 amp channels depending on sub(s) used. 50 good watts per driver for the fronts will do it but 100 will allow plenty of headroom for peaks. Your amps will have a very easy life only driving a single driver of limited bandwidth.

More about the MiniDSP. While you can manually set xo and eq you can also use Room EQ Wizard (plus others) to take measurements in car and have it generate Biquad data for import into the MiniDSP. This opens up a massive amount of tuning options..

The mini also enables you to ( with correct plugin) sum outputs for mono sub setups. And adjust individual output levels on each channel so you can mix and match (within reason) different drivers....

Don't get me wrong about my sub comments earlier... When you have a decent front end you will quickly hear what you prefer....
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Old 10th June 2013, 01:52 PM   #17
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So the miniDIGI is all optical inputs and outputs? I wasn't aware there is that much support for that technology in car audio. or is there?

anyways what your are saying with the miniDSP is that the only inputs I need to it are for a left and right channel. ALL filtering/splitting and eq of the signal will happen in the chip. that sounds excelent and exactly what I am looking for!

HU: you said that because all the signal processing will now be handled by the miniDSP I can get a reasonably priced head unit with a better D/A chip, digital analog converter? how do I determine weather or not a head unit has a better than average D/A chip? and will going to digital outputs really help alot? I don't have very long cable runs and I was under the impression that having a ballanced line level signal (I think this is what you mean by digital outputs) has an advantage in rejecting forein signals, however I don't believe that will be a problem in my ~~10 foot cable runs. correct me if I am wrong.

Sub, I am planning a single sub and the emphasis is definately on sq over spl.

Thanks so much for the help so far. I feel like I have been wollowing arround on the internet for months slowly learning only to find more and more that I have no idea about. I am now developing a clear plan and can hopefuly begin ordering components very soon. the anticipation is kiling me!
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Old 10th June 2013, 03:26 PM   #18
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The only 6 channel amp I can find from a company I have ever heard of is JL audio's XD600/6. From the manufacturur's specs is appears to offer 100W RMS per channel at 2 ohm's with <1% THD. and 75W per channel at 4 ohm's. but no there is no THD listed @ 4 ohms. does this sound like a decent amp or should I be looking at less of a "high output" company? as in someone more concerned with high quality stuff than lots of products. I hear JL is lagely overpriced and more spl than sound quality.

If anyone has amp reccomendations I would be glad to hear them! preferably under $800 or so, but I am not opposed to used equipment, so if you know of a higher end amp that I might be able to get my hands on second hand please let me know.
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Old 10th June 2013, 06:06 PM   #19
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I have only seen super high end Sony gear from 10 years ago that had digital out but its been a while since I have read many spec sheets for car audio gear.
Basically the idea is to minimise the amount of times you convert from digital to anolouge and anolouge to digital.

The miniDIGI is a daughter board that plugs directly ontop of the MiniDSP to allow digital coaxial and optical connect ions. I only mentioned it in case you needed it but these modules can be easily added later if you like/need.

Balanced line level is not digital but does generally offer higher voltage and superior shielding/noise rejection. It can be added later also if required... Start with standard line level RCA.

HU. Second hand is always an option.. You will have to do some Google/forum searching and see what the lads are saying about various models....but think of it this way... Your HU has a CD reading mechanism, tuner, 4 amp channels.. Etc etc... All cramped into a tiny case rattling around inside a car. Not great. Eclipse released a model that used superior mechanical isolation, great D/A chip + CD mech with no onboard amps. Again hit the forums for other brands.. Its only one option, but with the mini your HU won't need many expensive extras.

Like everything, do some research and see what others are saying about build quality/reliability of amp. Secondhand is a great option... Brands that have been in business for years have to be doing something right.

I have read forums with MiniDSP/car audio setups which could have many handy tips.

Dean
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Old 10th June 2013, 07:12 PM   #20
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Type forum at the end of your Google searches. Should help find people talking about your same questions...

Dean
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