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Need your help and opinion with SQ setup

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Old 11-11-2007, 05:38 PM
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Need your help and opinion with SQ setup

Hello everyone, my first post here. I have the following:

Car: Hyundai Atos 2001
HU: Pioneer 880PRS
Rear speakers: Rockford Fosgate Power series 6x9s (T1693C)
Front: Used to have 150 watt Lanzer cheapo 2-way speakers ($25!), and installed MBQUART RVF210 components upfront yesterday, with tweeters mounted at bottom of pillars facing the centre console and crossovers set at 0 db for the tweeters.
Main power wire: 8 guage
Rear speaker wires: Lanzer 11 guage flats
Amp: None
Sub: None

Before installing the MBQUARTS, the sound i was getting I was able to get it near perfect (image...?) with using a FADER bias of 5 front, and using the Initial TA setting, with clear but not very powerful bass (realistic, but unlike a sub, which I have never used myself) coming from rear. I used custom EQ setting with bass registers a little higher (modified the powerful EQ preset) to fill the low end from the rears, and using HU's cutoff frequency for the Lanzers at 200Hz 12db/Oct and the rears at 50Hz at 12db/Oct.

Okay, now the problem. I go for 'realism', and pure sound quality, soundstage, detail...am not the LOUDNESS or BASS kinda guy, which is why I was a bit okay without any sub. But I am a newbie to high SQ setups and with a little bit of courage went to shell out on the MBQUARTS, which the guy mis-wired and the system sounds pathetic, till Monday at least and I am unable to compare with the previous setup I had. What I need help with now is to get a guide about how to properly tune this setup, and what to change (if any) to get the best possible SQ and imaging from this very small car. I listen to all genres of music in a few different languages and so do not have any other preference than pure sound quality. With the lanzers up front, I once got the HU to auto TA and EQ the setup, but when I used that setting the sound was VERY muddy and bassy, rear speakers boomed a lot (wonder why) so I chose the presets instead.

Help me out everyone, to enjoy pure fidelity sound in my car. I know a lot of similar posts are abundant but nothing really relevant to my setup and car. I would also appreciate if anyone could suggest any hardware changes (if required) for dramatic sound quality improvement. A volume of about 38 at the HU with the existing settings noted above was usually sufficient for me to enjoy my music, hence no interest yet in any amps.

Thanks in advance...anxiously and impatiently looking forward to the suggestions because I am going to go to the shop today and would like the suggestions before I go..
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:39 PM
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Your rear speakers boomed alot because the 880's auto eq will yeild as close to FLAT eq curves as it is capable of. This includes sub bass frequencies. I'm not saying you can't have great sound without a sub, wait, yes I am. Those lower freq. make all the difference in the world when it comes to presenting a realistic sound stage. Get a sub, And amplify your front end. Your old 2ways were most likely alot more sensitive "needed less power to get to the same volume" and while the 880 is a damn good sounding unit, the only thing i'd ever use its internal amp for is rear fill.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:50 PM
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Hey thief,

Thanks for the reply bro appreciate that. Okay, a few quick questions:
1. With the small car I have, recommend a sub, enclosure and whether to use two separate amps for the fronts / sub or one amp - which one?
2. Wouldnt adding an amp up front increase the volume only? what sq benefits would I gain from an amp apart from the volume (which I can increase by using front bias)?
3. Since you use 880PRS How good does it sound with an STD setup using a sub with the Auto TA and EQ setting?? And with the new MBQUARTS up front, should I expect a dramatic increase of SQ tomorrow?

Thanks mate...keep the replies coming
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:23 PM
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Power does ALOT more for sq than add volume. The most important part for me is speaker CONTROL. Its hard to get into this without talking over your head so a little faith in this department will go along way.
As far as a sub, it will be really up to your budget and ears to determine that. I would say for what you like to hear in your description that a single 8 or 10 would suite you just fine. Going from no sub to just about any mid level sub with proper amplification and adding an amp to your front end will instantly sound better to almost everyone.

What I did on my front end was use seperate amps "the same results can be had with a 4 channel amp" for mids and tweets with the 880 in pro mode. This allowed the unit to really shape the stage with its auto features. then used the mid output from the internal amp to power the rear fill.
By doing this I eleminated the passive crossovers with a SUBSTANTIAL gain in sq.
If you don't want to go that far with things thats ok too. A good 2 channel amp putting at least the rms rating into your components and a sub and amp will do wonders for your ride. Me personally , I'd jut run the rear speakers off the deck or not at all.
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:00 PM
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Add an amp and a sub. It's not about loudness; it's about making the music more dynamic.
Getting good midbass up front will be challenging with only a 4" up front but make all the effort you can to make it work (ie. a very good install).

I would look into either a dedicated sub/mids amp or a good 5ch. Add in a single sub that fits the space and pocketbook.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:22 AM
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As previously mentionned, you need to amp your speakers. Headunit power is really insufficient if you want to go SQ. Honestly, I believe that you can never have too much power for your speakers (as long as it is used responsibly). More power gives you more headroom, and will allow you to exploit your speakers better. Even stock speaker, when amplified, will sound better. Now, since you have 4" fronts, don't expect miracles as far as midbass goes, but you can ger something good out of them.

I don't know where they're installed, but if it's in the doors, deadening the doors with dynamat or similar material will help increase. Giving them a good sealed box would help too. Positioning is key in a good SQ setup. Kick panels are generaly your best bet given that you have enough space for them. They provide a more proportionnal listening distance to your ears give you better stereo. The DEH-880PRS is a very good headunit from what I've heard so far giving you lots of good adjustments.

A subwoofer is also necessary if you want to enjoy the full range of the audio spectrum. It shouldn't be overpowering for your speakers, and should just blend in with the rest being basicaly "invisible". That's where phase adjustments, and time alignement come in useful for the sub. A good SQ sub should be able to play cleanly into a higher audio range. Front speakers that are able to play low also help in pulling your sub-stage to the front of the vehicule.

Key points here are giving your speakers and subs ample power, good positionning and controling cancellation (sound deadening, positionning, time alignement).

I hope this will help a bit.

A good sub that can be had for relatively cheap would be a 10" alpine Type R. I used to have one and was quite satisfied with it. And, a 400~600W amp to power it. Sealed box with 0.65cu.ft. of volume. For your speakers, something with around 2 X 100W would nicely compliment your system I believe.

Last edited by sirsleepsalot; 11-12-2007 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:55 AM
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Thanks a lot everyone

Okay, so I am going to get an amp for the fronts and a sub/amp combo in the rear, but still have one small bug: Since the fronts are only 4" and the sub will only be taking care of the low end, if I run the rear fills from the HU alone would it not make a big gapping hole in the frequency spectrum right above the sub? Should I use the Pro (aka NW) mode instead of the standard to control cutoff better? the only thing i am worried about is whether in pro mode the HU churns out the same power per channel as in STD mode, to drive the rears effectively...

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Old 11-12-2007, 09:40 AM
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jeremy clarkson said it best

"powaaaaaaaaa!"

power is your friend
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by vibez View Post
Thanks a lot everyone

Okay, so I am going to get an amp for the fronts and a sub/amp combo in the rear, but still have one small bug: Since the fronts are only 4" and the sub will only be taking care of the low end, if I run the rear fills from the HU alone would it not make a big gapping hole in the frequency spectrum right above the sub? Should I use the Pro (aka NW) mode instead of the standard to control cutoff better? the only thing i am worried about is whether in pro mode the HU churns out the same power per channel as in STD mode, to drive the rears effectively...

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Yes it puts out the same power in standard mode that it does in network mode.
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:13 AM
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Hey everybody

Guess what, installed a shiny new P4004 Rockford Fosgate 4 channel (50w per channel at 4 ohm) just now, and to tell honestly the sound is VERY much improved in the front

Now for the tricky question, since I was a little short on budget and options, I opted not to go for the sub currently. So basically, the HU is in STD mode with the internal amp turned off and sending the signal to the 4 channels where I have adjusted the input gain of the fronts at about 60% and rears at about 50%. I have applied the HPF at 180 Hz up front and LPF at 280 Hz (to only give the bass frequencies) at the rear - this setting was done at volume level of 45 at the HU.
The question is, there is a disparity and low end distortion at low frequencies even though the speakers data shows frequency response at 40 Hz and above...the distortion is very apparent at moderately high levels and to be honest the amp did not increase the volume as much as I had expected ( I set the gain by setting the volume of the HU at 45 and adjusting gain from zero to the point where I heard distortion), although its better now. Secondly, the pre-amp output of this HU is 5V, and the input sensitivity for the amp is 4v - would that be causing any problems? I need a clean clean low end as well and high resolution sound without overpowering/under-powering any one frequency range....any suggestions on how to set and tune this setup now since I have an amp?

Thanks for all your inputs everyone!
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