Good upgrade from FOcal Utopia tn52 tweeters - diyAudio
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Old 16th November 2005, 10:48 PM   #1
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Default Good upgrade from FOcal Utopia tn52 tweeters

I'm starting to get aggravated with my Focal Utopia 165w system. The tweeters sound very harsh on many songs. On the headunit I have the high frequencies set to -3, and also -3 on the crossovers. What kind of tweeter can I upgrade to that will handle the same power, sound as clear, and be plug and play with my current setup.

Pioneer Avic-n1
Focal 165w
Sound Stream Van Gogh 500.4 with 125wrms to each channel
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Old 16th November 2005, 11:33 PM   #2
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the tn52,s are good sounding tweeters as long as crossed over properly and tuned,are you using the factory passive crossovers?or biamp with electronic x-over?i have mine high in the pillars crossed over at 4k 12 db sometimes 18 db depending on music,crossed over by my eclipse 8053- if they sound a bit bright i use the eq and switch to 18db instead of 12.
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Old 17th November 2005, 01:01 AM   #3
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Hi silver00spike,

maybe the harshness is coming from upstream in your system. Maybe even an oscillation in the amp or just a harshness the tweeters are revealing.

Don't shoot the messenger.

cheers,
Greg
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Old 17th November 2005, 03:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by dodgerblue
the tn52,s are good sounding tweeters as long as crossed over properly and tuned,are you using the factory passive crossovers?or biamp with electronic x-over?i have mine high in the pillars crossed over at 4k 12 db sometimes 18 db depending on music,crossed over by my eclipse 8053- if they sound a bit bright i use the eq and switch to 18db instead of 12.

could you give me a quickie explanation on how slope effects harshness? Which frequencies should I try to lower on my headunit? 3.5, 10, 12.5, or 15k?
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Old 17th November 2005, 04:50 AM   #5
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there is no simple answer on what freq,s to tune,it will vary between vehicles, mounting locations and owners etc. use your ears-3-6k?depends on your x-over freaks,as far as crossover slopes affecting harshness -if using a steeper slope at the same freq it will decrease the lf at a quicker rate but may not mate as smooth with the mid,the other post had mentioned osc. possibility,tuning your gains will help also good luck
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Old 9th May 2007, 01:46 PM   #6
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The TN52 has a factory peak at about 6.3KH. I set my last setting at 10KH using a parametric EQ and dip at about -6 at 6.3 KH then slope back up to 1.6KH... This setting has definitely gotten rid of the harshness in the TN52. If you don't have a parametric EQ then just try decreasing 6.3KH until you're happy. Hopefully it helps for you.
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Old 13th May 2007, 10:32 PM   #7
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I would look toward the head unit. I have been looking for 3 years now to buy a head unit. I cant find one that sounds worth a damn. They just dont build stuff like they used to. Since most people listen to MP3's and cant tell the difference, Manufacturers dont feel the need to make head units that sound as good...

While I have not listened to the Avic-N1, I did check out several other high $$$ Pioneer units. None of them were up to the grade. If you like the Pioneer stuff, then I would recommend a Pioneer DEX-M88 or some of the ODR stuff. I continue my search and leave my critical listening at the house...
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Old 14th May 2007, 12:03 AM   #8
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Have you considered a difference in quality of the source material? I have a decent system with a Clarion HX-D10, old school a/d/s components and Linear Power amplification, and there is an obvious difference between CDs, which are my only source. I can pop in MFSL Gold CD of Santana "Abraxas", and despite being recorded originally in 1970 or so, the SQ is unbelievable. Or I can put in a new Billy Squier CD recorded in recent years and the sound is very harsh, like you describe. I've found that the better capability a system has, the more revealing it is of the poor source material.
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Old 14th May 2007, 04:30 AM   #9
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I agree strongly with the source material comment to. I use old school a/d/s components too and Soundstream D-series (originals) for amplification. I use a mid level Panasonic CD (got a good deal) until I can find a suitable head unit. I dont have the problem so much in the car, but in the house... NAD CD/Pioneer turntable, Harmon Kardon integrated Tube amp and OLD, OLD, OLD Infinity speakers. It is VERY revealing and makes many CD's sound like crap. You can easily hear the song mastering engineer switching tracks on and off in many songs. Lots of background hiss and harshness in many cd's. Alot more so in newer stuff. They just dont take pride in making things anymore.

If you are willing to go without all the bells and whistles of the Avic-N1, then I would recommend a McIntosh or the comparable Clarion CD units. I am working on a guy that has a new in the box Alpine 7909. Or you could try to locate an old Denon 9770.

Hell it could be the passive crossover unit for the tweeter. I have heard that Focal kinda skimped on them. They are nice, but not what they could have been. I haven't heard or seen them personally though. I am a focal guy through and through (full theater surround system), so I would try to keep the tweeters.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 05:33 PM   #10
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69CamaroSS396 hit the nail on the head. I have listened to 80,000 home systems that sound like a live concert right in front of you, but if you chose poorly recorded material, it will sound like crap. Once you reach the level of having focal Utopias in your vehicle, the source material is exposed and a bad CD can sound worse than a well recorded tape. You can also consider looking at your RCAs and speaker wire. Silver wire is typically "faster" than copper and can seem less smooth. I still think since some music sounds good and others not so good, the source material is probably the issue. Also keep in mind that if you are using an IPOD as a source for some of your listening that anything less than an uncompressed format will also sound like crap. You are also still held back by the original source material and then further by the cheap DACs in your IPOD. Good luck with your quest. Try listening to some music you never thought you would like. Check out "records to die for" or R2D4 on stereophile.com. Just the fact that the recordings are so good makes the music very enjoyable to listen to on a high end system.
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