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Thread: Need help tuning (new to active)

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate ronjon228's Avatar
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    Need help tuning (new to active)

    Well guys, after discussing this a bit with scott_fx I've decided to put up a thread asking for some help from you audiophiles. Basically here's where I sit right now.

    My speaker set up is in the my sig for reference.

    All my amps are on full range, gains set correctly, and no +/- db or other filters set on the amps.

    Running a SB Live OEM card, with Kx drivers and my DSP is as follows...

    Right and left front go from the FXBus, to the 10-band EQ, then to a 4th order crossover @ 80Hz, then to a time delay (thesmalldelay) to compensate for the speaker configuration and listening position, then out to the sound card rear outputs.

    Right and left rear go from the FXBus to the 10-band EQ and then to a 4th order crossover @ 150Hz, then to the front speaker outputs on the sound card.

    The sub channels (right and left) go from the FXBus to the 10-band EQ, to a 4th order crossover @ 80Hz, to a stereo volume (for the sub levels), then to the center/sub output of the sound card.

    In summary, I'm using 1 graphical EQ to control all the speakers and right now it's set flat until I get this other stuff sorted out. Then I'm using 3 seperate 4th order crossovers to tune each set of speakers individually. The rear fill is set until it's JUST BARELY even noticeable.

    Right now, it sounds great at lower volumes, but as soon as I turn it up it gets distorted in a hurry. Listening to metal (Megadeth, Disturbed, Clutch, Pantera, Tool) is my hardest part to tune. Either the lows overpower and I can't get the highs to compensate, or the highs get too bright and ruin the otherwise good sound.

    Also, I'm having a ton of trouble getting my sound stage right. It wants to get behind me. It seems that as soon as I turn on time alignment it pulls the sound back. But when it's off, my left side is way too overpowering. I've tried compensating with balance before, but it really doesn't compare to time alignment. Should I putt my rear speakers, front speakers, and subs on time alignment as well? Or just keep it only on the front speakers?

    Also, just need some help with the crossover settings. I'm beginning to think that I won't be getting the sound I want out of 5.25" speakers. They just aren't made to push the kind of volume I listen to. Because, I won't lie, I like it LOUD.

    Any suggestions would be greatly, greatly appreciated. I want to get these time alignment and crossover issues fixed up BEFORE I grab a db meter and fix up my EQ and response curve. Is this the wrong way to go about this?
    CarPC:
    1.8GHz Northwood, Intel 845 Mobo, 512MB DDR, 1x20GB + 1x160GB, Intel GPU, SB Live 5.1

    Sound System:
    Phoenix Gold RSD 65cs 6.5" Drivers, Infinity Tweets, Pioneer 305DVC 12", PPI Sedona 630IX, Alpine MRP-M500

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjon228 View Post
    Well guys, after discussing this a bit with scott_fx I've decided to put up a thread asking for some help from you audiophiles. Basically here's where I sit right now.

    My speaker set up is in the my sig for reference.

    All my amps are on full range, gains set correctly, and no +/- db or other filters set on the amps.

    Running a SB Live OEM card, with Kx drivers and my DSP is as follows...

    Right and left front go from the FXBus, to the 10-band EQ, then to a 4th order crossover @ 80Hz, then to a time delay (thesmalldelay) to compensate for the speaker configuration and listening position, then out to the sound card rear outputs.

    Right and left rear go from the FXBus to the 10-band EQ and then to a 4th order crossover @ 150Hz, then to the front speaker outputs on the sound card.

    The sub channels (right and left) go from the FXBus to the 10-band EQ, to a 4th order crossover @ 80Hz, to a stereo volume (for the sub levels), then to the center/sub output of the sound card.

    In summary, I'm using 1 graphical EQ to control all the speakers and right now it's set flat until I get this other stuff sorted out. Then I'm using 3 seperate 4th order crossovers to tune each set of speakers individually. The rear fill is set until it's JUST BARELY even noticeable.

    Right now, it sounds great at lower volumes, but as soon as I turn it up it gets distorted in a hurry. Listening to metal (Megadeth, Disturbed, Clutch, Pantera, Tool) is my hardest part to tune. Either the lows overpower and I can't get the highs to compensate, or the highs get too bright and ruin the otherwise good sound.

    Also, I'm having a ton of trouble getting my sound stage right. It wants to get behind me. It seems that as soon as I turn on time alignment it pulls the sound back. But when it's off, my left side is way too overpowering. I've tried compensating with balance before, but it really doesn't compare to time alignment. Should I putt my rear speakers, front speakers, and subs on time alignment as well? Or just keep it only on the front speakers?

    Also, just need some help with the crossover settings. I'm beginning to think that I won't be getting the sound I want out of 5.25" speakers. They just aren't made to push the kind of volume I listen to. Because, I won't lie, I like it LOUD.

    Any suggestions would be greatly, greatly appreciated. I want to get these time alignment and crossover issues fixed up BEFORE I grab a db meter and fix up my EQ and response curve. Is this the wrong way to go about this?


    With regard to the timing problem, you're going to want to run those rear channels both about 10-20 ms behind (with greater delay than) everything else...otherwise, they can really separate your front stage and pull things to the back. If they run on a timing plane that's closer to you, it's to be expected that your front stage is screwed up by their presence...your ears are telling your mind that since the sound from the rear gets there first, then the music must be behind you. If you only can get delay on two channels, I'd seriously consider either delaying the rear only, or, if you're a nut for centered vocals, ditching the rear fill altogether. Consider looking up what people are doing with regard to filtering rear fill for frequency. I haven't done it, but I believe that all you need at the back is some midrange for ambiance (bandpass filter for lower voice frequencies only), along with a strong delay to take them completely out of the loop with regard to time-of-arrival location cues. Those PA's aren't gonna mesh well in any case, imho, with those Infinitis. With regard to your output problem, I'd give those pioneers a little more top end, try 100 Hz, or even 120, and set up your front stage accordingly. You're kind of in a bit of a bind when it comes to the 80-200 Hz range with those little 5.25's in the front...Look to tighten up your install up front, make sure they are securely mounted and that your doors are deadened well.

    If you're looking to do any equipment additions/replacements on the cheap, I'd find a pair of decent, dedicated midranges and couple them with a set of 8" midbasses up front, and can the "rear fill" altogether...or if you wanna keep the rear fill, put those 5.25"s on duty in the back after you get something more in line with your goals for the front...in fact, if you wanna be really inexpensive about it, then just get the 8"s for the front, and let those infinities pull vocal and above duty only. The type of music you listen to, you're looking for that 100-300 Hz punch in the gut, and you're just not gonna get it with a set of 5.25" playing all the way down to 80Hz...it can be done, but I just haven't heard that size speaker do it without making sacrifices... (I have a hard enough time with my 6"s in this regard).
    I have too much time and too little aggravation in my life, so I built a carPC. ;)

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate ronjon228's Avatar
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    Sounds good, I'll go ahead and try what you said with the frequencies.

    Basically what your saying is get some 6.5" midranges, leave my tweets and then grab some 8" midbasses up front? If so, can you give me some good drivers (both the midrange and midbass, 6.5" and 8") on the affordable end of the scale cost wise. I've got no problem with running that kind of setup as I can control all the crossovers directly with Kx.

    Again, thanks for the insight. I figured I may be hitting a hardware limitation and it seems it could be the case. I'm going to head to lunch at work so I'll do that and get some tuning in. I'll report back with the results.
    CarPC:
    1.8GHz Northwood, Intel 845 Mobo, 512MB DDR, 1x20GB + 1x160GB, Intel GPU, SB Live 5.1

    Sound System:
    Phoenix Gold RSD 65cs 6.5" Drivers, Infinity Tweets, Pioneer 305DVC 12", PPI Sedona 630IX, Alpine MRP-M500

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjon228 View Post
    Sounds good, I'll go ahead and try what you said with the frequencies.

    Basically what your saying is get some 6.5" midranges, leave my tweets and then grab some 8" midbasses up front?
    Not exactly, I was thinking more along the lines of a 3" mid (or, just leaving your 5.25"s to pull duty as a dedicated midrange), then supplementing that with a set of 8"s to get down from the mid to about 40-60 Hz, then letting the subs take over from there. That'll bring the bass up front, give you better staging, and assist with that mid-bass "punch" your music calls for.

    In such a setup, you'd have your tweets high-passed at 3-5kHz, your mids playing from ~300Hz-3kHz, your midbasses from ~60Hz-300, and your subs low-passed from ~60 down. In general, if your different speakers are separated by some distance, then you want to lean towards pushing a given speaker in your setup to as low a frequency as possible without sacrificing sound quality, meaning that if your tweets play well nice and low, then you might choose 2.5 or 3K on the high-pass to the tweets rather than 4 or 5k....similarly, if your midbasses can get down to 40 Hz and remain convincing (doubtful for an inexpensive 5-6", more likely for an 8"), you'd probably want to run your subs low-passed at 40 rather than 60. This makes the sub less localizable. If your speakers are spaced rather closely, then you put less emphasis on getting them to play as low as possible, and more on hitting whichever frequencies the speakers are most comfortable at.

    There's also an opportunity with a smaller mid to move your vocals to the dash and raise your sound stage, if it needs it.

    As far as drivers, do some shopping...I'm good with my own stereo, and I can make general recommendations, but I'm really not experienced enough with different brands to recommend something for your particular install/tastes/budget/car.
    I have too much time and too little aggravation in my life, so I built a carPC. ;)

  5. #5
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    i'm going to go against hithere, since he's new i'd stick with a simpler two way with either a 7" or 8". and a tweeter that can match up with it
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott_fx View Post
    i'm going to go against hithere, since he's new i'd stick with a simpler two way with either a 7" or 8". and a tweeter that can match up with it
    I'd definitely agree with that, from the standpoint of keeping things simple, if he didn't already have some investment in those speakers and at least an understanding of how to set up his crossovers and operate time alignment. If he were asking for a set for a brand new install, then I'd align with the above.

    Ronjon, if you give a good listen to speakers you are considering for purchase, plan your install spatially, and stick with the manufacturer's recommendations for crossover frequency, I think you'll be just fine.
    I have too much time and too little aggravation in my life, so I built a carPC. ;)

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate ronjon228's Avatar
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    Well hit, you've definitely helped me so far. I've moved my crossover points to 100Hz HP on the components and 100Hz LP on the subwoofers. Sounds much better already.

    I've got some delay on the front left speaker to bring the two fronts to a nice center stage.

    Should I put some time alignment on the subs or not?

    For now, with the 100Hz crossover I'm very happy. Just need to know about time alignment for the subs.

    I already set my DSP up for the rears. Made a mono mix of them and also put a crossover on there set for LP at 400Hz to supplement my midbass. Set up the time delay for 12.75ms. I've been contemplating omitting them, but if I can get them in and sound good, I'll leave them. Is this the right way to do rear fill or should have have them on the HP crossover? Seems that when I put them on HP or full range they are just want to pull the sound stage back horribly.
    CarPC:
    1.8GHz Northwood, Intel 845 Mobo, 512MB DDR, 1x20GB + 1x160GB, Intel GPU, SB Live 5.1

    Sound System:
    Phoenix Gold RSD 65cs 6.5" Drivers, Infinity Tweets, Pioneer 305DVC 12", PPI Sedona 630IX, Alpine MRP-M500

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate ronjon228's Avatar
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    Wow, just drove home with the new setup and I must say, what a difference. Amazing. Thanks so much for everything so far guys. Here's what I finished off with. Let me know how it sounds.

    First, my fronts are crossed over at 110Hz. They just can't handle anything lower on loud volume levels. The delay is still in place for the left side, I believe set at 30 samples, or around .5ms. Seems too little if I measured it out, but it sounds perfect like that.

    My subs are on a LP crossover at 90Hz. Then delayed by 12.5ms. I realize this leaves a small gap between the subs and the fronts, but I just can't get the fronts any lower, and don't like hearing too high of frequencies from the subs.

    So, I decided to use my rear to fill in the gap. I have my rear 6.5's crossed over at a LP frequency of 110Hz. They are then turned up ONLY enough to fill in the gap and really not be audible at all. They are also delayed at 10.5ms.

    So far so good. Any suggestions before I grab a meter and start db testing frequencies? So far the only thing I really don't like is my highs. Too bright near the top of the Hz scale, but this can be fixed with a properly tuned EQ I would think.
    CarPC:
    1.8GHz Northwood, Intel 845 Mobo, 512MB DDR, 1x20GB + 1x160GB, Intel GPU, SB Live 5.1

    Sound System:
    Phoenix Gold RSD 65cs 6.5" Drivers, Infinity Tweets, Pioneer 305DVC 12", PPI Sedona 630IX, Alpine MRP-M500

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjon228 View Post
    Wow, just drove home with the new setup and I must say, what a difference. Amazing. Thanks so much for everything so far guys. Here's what I finished off with. Let me know how it sounds.

    First, my fronts are crossed over at 110Hz. They just can't handle anything lower on loud volume levels. The delay is still in place for the left side, I believe set at 30 samples, or around .5ms. Seems too little if I measured it out, but it sounds perfect like that.

    My subs are on a LP crossover at 90Hz. Then delayed by 12.5ms. I realize this leaves a small gap between the subs and the fronts, but I just can't get the fronts any lower, and don't like hearing too high of frequencies from the subs.

    So, I decided to use my rear to fill in the gap. I have my rear 6.5's crossed over at a LP frequency of 110Hz. They are then turned up ONLY enough to fill in the gap and really not be audible at all. They are also delayed at 10.5ms.

    So far so good. Any suggestions before I grab a meter and start db testing frequencies? So far the only thing I really don't like is my highs. Too bright near the top of the Hz scale, but this can be fixed with a properly tuned EQ I would think.
    Well, it sounds like you've come a long way toward achieving your goals...I'd give the subs a try at 110 as a means to eliminate that gap, they might just do better than those PA's. Also, since the subs are likely to be the furthest speaker from the front, and they aren't playing frequencies in common with the front, I'd try setting TA on them to 0, then aligning everything else to them. The subs don't really have a great amount to do with the directionality of your front stage, but by using TA, you can avoid out-of-phase arrivals from the subs from negatively impacting the smooth bass response you're after.

    Try this: Measure the distance between your subs and the driver's seat. Next, measure the distance between the next farthest speaker in your setup (probably something on the passenger side) and the driver's seat. The difference between these two distances will correspond to an amount of delay it will take to align your other speakers to the sub's. Use whatever distance calc to determine how to convert between this distance and a time delay to add to the rest of your speakers...just add that to your existing delay on each channel. This should work to fill in your bass a little better, and bring the subs more to the front in terms of localization.
    I have too much time and too little aggravation in my life, so I built a carPC. ;)

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate ronjon228's Avatar
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    You know, I never thought of using my subs as the reference point for the time alignment. However, now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense. So let me lay this out to make sure I understand correctly.

    From what I understand, ~1ms = 1' or .073ms = 1" in time delay.

    So I'll measure all the speakers. Here's what we'll use. FR, FL = front right and front left. S = Subs.

    Here is my distances measured in inches.

    S = 70
    FR = 33
    FL = 48

    I then use the subs as reference and subtract the other speakers from this. So my measurements for delay distance (DD) equals S - X (where X is the speaker I'm figuring).

    DDFR = 22
    DDFL = 37

    So my delay distances are now figured and I can apply the .073 ms delay for each inch by using this formula: D (delay) = DD (delay distance) x .073 (ms).

    DFR = 1.606ms
    DFL = 2.701ms

    I'll go ahead and test this out today and let you know how it works out. Seems solid. I'm sure I can fine tune it if need be to bring the sound stage back up front by lowering the front delays. Thanks for the tip man!

    CarPC:
    1.8GHz Northwood, Intel 845 Mobo, 512MB DDR, 1x20GB + 1x160GB, Intel GPU, SB Live 5.1

    Sound System:
    Phoenix Gold RSD 65cs 6.5" Drivers, Infinity Tweets, Pioneer 305DVC 12", PPI Sedona 630IX, Alpine MRP-M500

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