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Old 20-12-2011   #1
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Sound quality set up (long term project)

Hi everyone,

Basically I'm going after my first complete sound quality set up in car, since it's a complete grey area for me I have been chatting to Stu (volxstu) and the first thing I have to do is understand what makes a great sound quality set up (takes a lot of patience and money!) involving Time Delays and Equalisers (which Stu will hopefully elaborate on when he gets the chance!) Then I will be moving on to make a check list of everything I will need including the best brands to go for and the best way to fit them.

This is basically an introductory post as I'm yet to have a full idea of what I am looking for as I currently have a terrible budget setup in the car!

Everyone is welcome to throw there ideas around regarding how to achieve the best sound quality in car and the more information we put the forward the more everyone can learn.

The first thing I'd like to understand is how to get the most out of the front components and the best brands to buy regarding sound quality?
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Old 20-12-2011   #2
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

As far as speakers go I think you need to listen to several sets as they all sound different and it really is a matter of personal taste. I heard some Herz Mille speakers and thought they sounded fantastic but some others have said they didn't think much of them.

Also try to get to a show and hear some quality SQ set ups so you know what can be achieved and have something to compare your own efforts to.

It's easy to spend a lot of money but this doesn't always give you the best results. Installation is also key. A good set of equipment can sound average or cheaper stuff surprisingly good depending on the quality of installation......
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Old 20-12-2011   #3
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

Time delay and equalizers can help but doing the basics well will give you the best results at least initially. A set of front components and a single sub correctly mounted and amped up can sound much better than many other installs with processors and equalizers galore
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Old 20-12-2011   #4
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

I have yet to get to a show! Mostly because I'm in Ireland and its winter so can be difficult to brave the outdoors! Definitely something I will do before starting my installation anyway! I know what you are saying about the speakers and each to their own but there must still be some expensive brands that are best avoided?

Regarding installation; should front mids in the doors be in a sealed box? Or is it just a well fabricated custom mount with plenty of sound deadening?

What exactly are processors and equalizers? I understand an equalizer allows you to adjust the balance in frequencies but how do they work and what sort of brands and prices are they?
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Old 20-12-2011   #5
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

There is a massive choice of great speakers out there: Pioneer, DLS, JL audio, Morel, Genesis, Rainbow, Diamond, Herz, Helix the list just goes on!

Processors can have many functions such as time alignment, filtering frequency ranges and so on.

Equalizers allow you to adjust particular frequency bands up and down to fine tune the system.

Some headunits such as the Pioneer DEX P99RS have this type of facility included. The cheapest I have seen this unit new so far is 629 + delivery and import duty. There was a second hand one on talk audio recently for 750. Alpine F1 Status is another similar headunit that offers these facilities.

The Pioneer DEX P90 RS headunit and processor combo is another option. It is no longer available new (replaced by the all in one P99RS) but they come up second hand. I used this in my most recent install and sold it in the summer as I fancy an upgrade for my next install.
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Old 20-12-2011   #6
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

Speakers can be mounted in the doors, dash, kickpanels etc depending on the car and what works best. In the doors you can run mids on MDF baffles or can seal the door and use it as an enclosure. You don't usually box them as you need more air than that.

It really depends on the speaker you use and a bit of trial and error to see what works best on your particular vehicle.
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Old 21-12-2011   #7
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

Hi Mirafiorman. I don't think the OP is quite ready for an F1 yet. I was thinking more like a P88rs or Alpine 9887r. Alpines offerings appear to be the most financially viable yet have enough processing power to learn SQ properly.

Here is what I was initially thinking system wise. 2 way active + sub. The op is going to have my DLS iridium tweeters. They are quite cheap, very natural sounding, easy to install and compliment pretty much any mid bass.

Mid bass. Well I have 2 sets that I could sell you a pair once I'm decided on which I'm keeping. Morel Elate and DLS Nordica. These are about as high end as you want to go on a non Master level install.
Others that have really stood out to me are Dyn Audio, Hybrid Audio Technologies L6's, possibly maybe even Pioneer ODR if your lucky.

Right GTG. Time for work. Will write some more later.
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Old 21-12-2011   #8
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

What car is this going in.

Also you say you are an Audiphile but do you want the sub to actually be integrated. In the SQ world the sub bass is invisible and just sounds nice. They can do a bit of boom if you want them to but they dont shake the car to bits.
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Old 21-12-2011   #9
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

I have a mk2 Punto, I'm not necessarily an audiophile, I just love sound quality. I have a 12" JBL sub at the minute and have the gain as low as it can go so I'm really not a fan of big bass shaking the car to bits! I like having a real good depth to music and being able to hear the different levels of music really well.

Yes I'm very new to detailed sound systems but I could cover the basics quite well. At the minute I'm going purely on advice as I haven't had the opportunity to listen to higher grade in car audio.

Regarding installation again; I will be putting in some speakers soon so it will be some good practice for when I get some better quality speakers. In the Punto, is the position of the current mids a good place to mount? I will be customising them for more depth, should I change the direction of them at all? (upwards slightly for example?)

Thanks again.
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Old 22-12-2011   #10
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

No off axis in standard possition should be fine. The Mk2 is a bit of a Pain as it seems you are aware the environment for mounting the mid bass is not ideal.

Can you Send me some pics and I can ask my installer to give you some advice on what he would do. Well I know that he would fabricate a speaker pod to bolt to the door but he should be able to give more tips than me.

Based on what you have said about sub bass I would recommend the DLS RW10i. A friends used some in competition last year and beat some very high end systems. Again if you need one then I get the best prices.
I will think of some reasonably priced alternatives for you through out the day.
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Old 22-12-2011   #11
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

Off axis meaning pointed up a bit?

I will get some photos as im going to give a pod a go anyway just as a project to see what I'm capable of, then see the quality I can achieve through a new one when I get some good mids. I seen the stilo pod drawings your have up and im going to have a go at doing something like that, the first one will only be a prototype anyway to see what I can achieve!

Thanks for the help, on the mobile at the minute so ill do some research on the amp when I get onto the computer!
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Old 29-12-2011   #12
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

Quote Originally Posted by mirafioriman View Post
Time delay and equalizers can help but doing the basics well will give you the best results at least initially. A set of front components and a single sub correctly mounted and amped up can sound much better than many other installs with processors and equalizers galore

Couldn't agree more.
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Old 29-12-2011   #13
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

Its always going to be a huge positive to mount speakers correctly but i havnt heard a car with spot on stage without TA. A car isnt the ideal place to perfectly mount speakers for stage, especially a small hatchback as its rather difficult to get the sub to sound invisible.
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Old 30-12-2011   #14
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

I have just built a speaker pod for for mids. It hasnt been set up for sound stage or anything. I have basically built it to get a feel for working with fibreglass and the next pod will be built totally different now I know what I'm doing! I will get some photos up later on today. All advice for how to better build the pods would be greatly apprecitated! I still have to get some sound deadening bought, I also read somewhere that tweeters should be on the same plane as the mids. I had a look on the internet at that DLS sub you mentioned, I was wondering if anybody has any information on ICE events in Ireland? Doesnt seem to be any and if there is theres not a lot of information on them!

thanks,

Shannon.
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Old 30-12-2011   #15
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Re: Sound quality set up (long term project)

Ok, here's the pod I made.
Plenty of things I am going to do differently for the final product.
Firstly I will made and MDF or fibreglass base rather than using the original.
Secondly I will get a Circle cutting jig for the router to get perfect baffles.
Thirdly I will test the direction and position of the speakers before manufacture.
Fourthly I will won't make the baffle as wide or as deep.
Fifthly I will make sure the door closes before manufacture
Sixthly I will use proper fleece for the fibreglass to keep creases out.
I will also ensure I have enough fibreglass/sand paper/ body filler/paint to get the smooth finish I want.
I also want to work out the best type of hidden mounting fixtures to use.

The original pod and hole:


Original after a cut was made to allow extra clearance:


Baffle with speaker (filleted inner edge was a mistake):


Mounting position:


Wrapped in sheet (Should have been fleece and the plastic was a nightmare for the staple gun!):


Fibreglassed and failed a test fit so had to have a big chunk cut out of the edges for the door to dash in car:


And again (Showing the lovely thin fibreglass where I rand out of it and very nice creases )


Almost finished filling and sanding (ran out of sandpaper):


Textured filler finish from running out of sandpaper:


Finished and painted (ran out of grey):


And again:


Finished and fitted in door:


And again:


Anyone with any advice feel free to show your input
The next step I will be taking is getting all the resources I need to make a couple of much better versions of this along with custom tweeter mounts. Might be a while though as I have Exams through Janruary!

Thanks.

Shannon
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