I was not aware the entire 7.1 channels would be audible in a car environment (due to lack of space between speakers and seats). Heck I thought 5.1 would impossible to distinguish.
You have done a great job tho!
Thanks! This was my first try at all this.
The Left and Right Channels were easier to set up. The left and right rear doors mostly reinforce and enhance the left and right stereo channel separation. Keeping the tweeters up high also helps a lot, as they tend to be more directional, whereas the lower frequencies tend to be more mono.
Instead of installing some type of center speaker in middle of the dash and finding a matching center channel amp solution, I decided to experiment a little. After bench testing a number of setups I found that two center speakers, one on either side, sounded even richer when playing true 5.1 audio. Moreover, there were already existing mounts in the dash that were perfect!
Most systems are set up to automatically “Fill” these speakers with some sort of reverb matrix and much of the separation becomes blurred unless a true 5.1/7.1 source is played like a 5.1 DVD or 5.1 audio CD. Most 7.1 systems use an additional set of “surround fill” speakers in the side or rear, blurring separation even more. VST Plugins allow me to correctly set all the channels and clean up the blur.
There were only a few true 7.1 recordings so it was really more of a proof of concept even though I did test a SDDS movie, and it really did work. Mostly I use the center mounted Ribbon speakers behind the rear view mirror as 10th Octave Transient Optimized Upstage tweeters via VST to reinforce left and right channel separation locally, so each front seat has optimum stereo separation. I did this by putting them close together, reversing channels, and pointing them to the rear. Because they are very unidirectional only a little “leaks” into the critical listening areas providing the all-important image to the center stage and left and right channels.
With the Ribbons playing down the center of the car from front to back, and the subwoofer playing from back to front, it's like a 3rd sound dimension correctly centered in the middle of the vehicle. The result has been described as an extremely well balanced and pleasure to listen to system.
How has that Xenarc been? I heard that there were a lot of problems with that model originally but maybe they fixed all those.
I went with the Xenarc MDT-X7000 to avoid fabrication and because of the built in Computer CD and the only choice at the time (2009). Even though the reviews were mixed, I took the gamble. It sat over a year in the box before the project got underway and soon discovered an audio problem. They stood by their warranty and even exchanged it for a new one. Again, it took a while to get back to the project and this time there was a ground hum in the CD. Again, they stood by their product and exchange it for a third unit. The latest unit has game and seems more Paul proof. I used it on the bench for almost six months putting all this together before installing it and it has worked excellent.
Knowing it would be delicate and need maintenance like the CPU, my plan expanded to have a backup unit that could be easily swapped in an out. I bought the Nakamichi ND-7 as a backup unit because of the audiophile 5.1 control, and also had to exchange it three times before Woofers etc got it right. Now they are both mounted in the same Metra in-dash mounting kit adaptors and quick connects so I can swap them out in under 30 min.
Following that logic, I did the same for my old class A Sony 4 Channel analog amp so I can now switch from a total digital to total analog system, whenever I want to test out different sound combinations. Mix and Match Heaven...
Be glad to help. What kind of upgrade did your dad have in mind or what would he like to have? Also do you know what year and what he has in it now? Helps in figuring out what can fit.
Congrats on pulling off the 7.1. Im sure it sounds great!
“Curious…Can you share with us the 7.1 speaker schematics?”
Jeep Grand Cherokee 7.1 Computer Audio System
Main Audio Components
Source/Preamps - 2
Xenarc MDT-X7000 VGA/DVD/Receiver
MCS Atom 330 Computer
Amplifiers - 4
Brand XXL-800.8 Marine- 16 Channel x 37.5 Watts RMS @ 8 ohms Bridgeable
Nitro Mini 4 Channel X 50 Watts RMS @ 4 ohms
Pyle Mini Marine 4 Channel X 100 Watts RMS @ 4 ohms
Dual 200 Watt RMS @ 4 ohms Built-In Subwoofer Amplifier
Speakers - 13
(Two Pair) Boston SR-60 Bi-Amp/Bi-Crossover Mini Pro Separates (Thin Depth)
One Pair Boston S35 Center Speakers
One Pair Elite Kapton Ribbons
Dual 12" Dual Bass Reflex 200 Watt RMS Self Powered Subwoofer
Six Channel A/B Switch
Xenarc MDT-X7000 5.1 Receiver
MCS/Sabrent 7.1 DAC Soundcard
Professional Audio RCA Interconnects
EFX HeXaD Litz Type 6 Pro
All exactly 6’ matching cable length runs
OFC Copper Accuflow Frequency Tuned Conductors
Low Profile Rhodium Plated RCA Connectors
Litz Individually Insulated Strand Construction
HeXaD Braid Geometry with Dual Opposing Ground Path
Professional Audio Speaker Wire – 200 Feet
Scosche EFX E2 ES3BL-200 Blue 3mm Pro Litz OFC
OFC Litz individually insulated strand construction
All speaker runs are exactly 12 feet so the load on the amp is exactly the same
All speaker runs are exactly 12 feet for 4-meter wavelengths
All speaker wire runs extrude in the correct direction
The speaker wire is the correct gauge for the amplifier at full load
The speaker wire is the perfect gauge for the length of the 12' speaker runs
The speaker wire is the exact gauge for the speakers at full load
Here are some more pages from the reference manual I made for the system...
Attachment 65856Attachment 65857
True 7.1 audio sound system
Attachment 65858Attachment 65859Attachment 65860Attachment 65861Attachment 65862Attachment 65863
And some extras...
What operating system are you using? That is my greatest struggle is figuring out OS/software that works efficiently. I am currently using Tiny-XP with winamp for music and MapFactor Navigator for gps. However, these are only so touch/user friendly and have made me want to look for better alternatives. What would use suggest for a 'frontend'? (I do not want to pay for Centrafuse and since the features are not really that great)