Amplifier Sound quality advice - Civinfo
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 27th August 2013, 00:01 Thread Starter
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Sound quality advice

Hi again all -

I can i pick your collective brains? Ive got a sub and a replacement headunit (PIONEER TSWX77A sub, and a PIONEER AVH3200BT). In other cars ive had before the CIVIC8 FK3, just bunging in the sub was good enough, but in the CIVIC the roadnoise is much more significant, meaning that the volume power has to be increased. From memory, the AVH3200BT chucks out 50W RMS per channel, and ive noticed that once the volume level goes above 50% of the maxvol level, the speakers distort (audio clipping) in particular with vocals.

so ive decided to replace the front speakers (JBL GTO628 and JBL6508C seemed to be a good bang-for-buck).

so this dynamat (or similar) stuff. how much do you guys actually use? and where do you stick it? (oo er! hehe) is there really any value stripping the carpet and seats out and dynamatting the entire car .. or is that a "purist thing" and 90% of the benefits are realised just by doing say, the doors?

im not looking to spend hundreds chasing down fractions of a percent subjective improvement, but i do want the car to sound good as its become the main way i play music these days (hence the HU, Sub, and replacement speakers). Im going to be owning this FK3 for quite some time , so its worth investing the money in an improved experience in my view - but was wondering what everyone's take on things were?

Really wish i had a bunch of car-mates, but as per blimmin' usual i end up pioneering all this stuff, and then my mate starts asking ME for advice (hahahaha! good one, eh?) as their "car mate" and "youve done this before..."


sigh...
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 27th August 2013, 00:19
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The head unit you mentioned will be chucking out max 17 watts rms. not 50 watts rms. you need dedicated amps to get 50 plus watts rms.

I have a alpine pdx5 amp, hertz speakers, and sound deadening on front doors, inner and outer skin. I am also running a jl audio slim line sub. Love it really. Would not swap it

Here is my dynamat install.


http://www.civinfo.com/forum/ipods-m...at-enough.html
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 27th August 2013, 13:46
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What have you set the equaliser, bass etc to on the headunit? I never got distortion from the stock speakers until they were pretty loud, changing the speakers took the distortion level much higher again. If you are getting distortion at half volume somethings not right. Of course you may have a dodgy album or two, I bought one off Amazon as an MP3 that distorts. Subsequently I bought the CD which is fine.

Even a modest amount of dynamat is noticeable, the door acts like a drum so adding insulation stops this and as a bonus, makes it slam with a reassuring thud. I would start off insulating the doors and changing the speakers and see how you get on. I didn't bother using insulation anywhere else.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 29th August 2013, 00:14 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devil84 View Post
The head unit you mentioned will be chucking out max 17 watts rms. not 50 watts rms. you need dedicated amps to get 50 plus watts rms.

I have a alpine pdx5 amp, hertz speakers, and sound deadening on front doors, inner and outer skin. I am also running a jl audio slim line sub. Love it really. Would not swap it
well, i do have a KENWOOD amplifier wired in with power, no audio going to it at the moment. i bought it for another reason - i was going to use it for a LEFT-RIGHT mono delta channel for a basic surround effect in the car. Suppose i could use that, but that would require more faffing about with wiring though. *sigh*..
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 29th August 2013, 00:36 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discus View Post
What have you set the equaliser, bass etc to on the headunit? I never got distortion from the stock speakers until they were pretty loud, changing the speakers took the distortion level much higher again. If you are getting distortion at half volume somethings not right.
ive used the AUTOEQ mode of the headunit to set the speakers, loudness is set to ON, but ive also tested it without. Oddly, and this may be a psychological thing, but im sure if the speakers have been "resting" overnight , theyre ok for a few minutes at around 70% total power before distortion at oarticular frequencies (seems to be around vocals)

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Of course you may have a dodgy album or two, I bought one off Amazon as an MP3 that distorts. Subsequently I bought the CD which is fine.
good point - tested this (good excuse as any to jam some U2 on hehe) still getting the same effect. hmm..

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Even a modest amount of dynamat is noticeable, the door acts like a drum so adding insulation stops this and as a bonus, makes it slam with a reassuring thud.
yes, i think ive come to this conclusion too - i think after reading some posts here (and some onward links) - a good approach seems to be to do the back of the doors with a couple of sound deadening material, stuff some acoustic convoluted foam in the door cavity, and apply the foil-y stuff to the inside door panel to "seal the door" - apply this to 4 doors and evaluate.

not liking the idea/thought of pulling up carpets and headliners to apply soundproofing there, to be fair. one thing i read seemed to be suggesting that "70% of the total sound dampening effect comes from the first 40% of sound deadening" - so it seems to be a case of throwing even more cash to chase down diminishing possible returns in terms of sound dampening performance. so unless it really hasnt changed anything, i stongly suspect i'll do the doors and then that'll be it. while im at it, i'll swap the new speakers in.

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I would start off insulating the doors and changing the speakers and see how you get on. I didn't bother using insulation anywhere else.
yeah, this seems to be consistent with most of the things ive read so far. Annoyingly, most ofhte youtube videos ive come across seem to be more along the "pimp my ride" style makeovers, where everyhting (surprised they didnt dynamat extreme the car arial too)


wonder if theres a possibility of underpowering on the headunit. read that a few places and that might be a possible source of distortion, hmm.... *think think think*...

thanks for writing in chief - appreciated!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 29th August 2013, 10:37
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The rear speakers are only woofers so dont expect any high frequencies from them. The front component speakers are wired in series so no cross over which isn't good. I think you have a better ear than most hence why you notice the distortion, some cheap 6.5" coaxials for the rears and 6.5" front component speakers with a cross over do sound better, certainly the clarity and punchier bass and no perceivable distortion up to levels where my ears are bleeding. Just dont expect the same improvement as your double din. You will need some 6.5" x 19mm(ish) thick spacer rings by the way.

I didn't like Dynamat, found it a bit too thick and inflexible for inside the doors so I used some slightly thinner stuff off ebay which was less than half the price and was a joy in comparison to fit. I used a hairdryer to heat it up when applying and no way that is ever coming off now.

I dont get the underpowering theory, you set the volume to a desired level and quite often the output power from the amplifier will be just a few watts (no matter whatever the total ability of the amp may be). As long as you dont exceed the speakers maximum input what's the problem? I have Pioneer 940bt's in both the Civic and the Boxster and neither distort - certainly at no level I am able to listen to.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 31st August 2013, 23:58 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discus View Post
The rear speakers are only woofers so dont expect any high frequencies from them.
yeah, ive got coaxials to replace those, and components for the front

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The front component speakers are wired in series so no cross over which isn't good.
.. so i heard! crazy that - why would they not put even a simple one in? Im wondering if this has been the source of the my quality issues, maybe im hearing scruffy tweeters.. hard to know. its distorting in a similar way to some hifi speakers that blew years ago.. so still assuming its got scruffyspeakeritis

Quote:
Originally Posted by discus View Post
I think you have a better ear than most hence why you notice the distortion, some cheap 6.5" coaxials for the rears and 6.5" front component speakers with a cross over do sound better, certainly the clarity and punchier bass and no perceivable distortion up to levels where my ears are bleeding.
well this is the plan.. the speakers front and back cost 60 a pair, i think much more than this and the money just chases down diminishing returns qualitywise. I wouldnt say that ive audiophile-level hearing, but i do want it to perform well as its the main way i listen to my music these days. Not worried about flat out volume, but i do need it to sound good and with "authority"

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Just dont expect the same improvement as your double din. You will need some 6.5" x 19mm(ish) thick spacer rings by the way.
oh yeah. forgot about that. thanks for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by discus View Post
I didn't like Dynamat, found it a bit too thick and inflexible for inside the doors so I used some slightly thinner stuff off ebay which was less than half the price and was a joy in comparison to fit. I used a hairdryer to heat it up when applying and no way that is ever coming off now.
ok - could do with a bit of advice here.

Have i got this right - I need/should get 3 things:

1) sound deadening pads that fit on inside of the outer door metal panel
2) acoustic grade convoluted foam to dampen internal door resonance
3) stuff to line the door on the "inside" (immediately behind the door card)

... did you bother with 3? or was dynamat-style-stuff for "1" all you needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by discus View Post
I dont get the underpowering theory, you set the volume to a desired level and quite often the output power from the amplifier will be just a few watts (no matter whatever the total ability of the amp may be).
inclined to agree.. id have thought if there really were an underpower issue, there would be distortion spread across the complete frequency range as the entire signal would be clipped and distortion would be experienced across the complete audio spectrum, and these seems to be frequency specific. Out of curiousity i might make a test CD with a sinewave sweep and find out what the spectral distortion range actually is .. anyway - i suspect youre right here.

take care bud!
Si
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 1st September 2013, 01:39
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If you ever around the bucks area, happy to demo to you my set up.

Alpine pdx5 amp
Hertz components 150 quid
Jl audio slim line sub
Sound proofed
Good quality speaker cables
Diffuser
Mdf spacer
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 1st September 2013, 09:53
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I got a couple of metres of this stuff:

1m x 1m Car Audio Sound Deadening / Proofing Sheet Mat | eBay

silver one side, sticky, tar like black on the other. This melts when you apply heat from a hair drier and molds itself like the floor in the photo. Probably not quite as good as the dynamat I used on the rear speakers as is a bit thinner but so much easier to apply. I didn't use anything else.

I was lazy and bought these spacers, they are pre-treated so dont swell from moisture:

Pair of 6.5" 16.5 / 17cm 9mm MDF Speaker Spacer Rings | eBay
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 1st September 2013, 16:32
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If road/engine noise are your problem, sound deadening the whole car isn't as daunting as it might first sound, provided you've got a free weekend to remove the interior. I used a product called Brown Bread/Rhino Mat for the doors and three rolls of Sound-X for the rest of the car (the floor, boot, footwells, rear wheel arches, under the bonnet and around the suspension turrets, etc). The results are worth it provided you are willing to put in the effort, imo.

On the other hand, if just improving the sound of the stereo is your thing, I'd have thought doing just the doors should suffice.

There was a guy on here called Rasmus who pioneered aftermarket sound deadening in the 8th gen, and along with a few additions, I have pretty much copied what he has done, albeit using different materials.

http://www.civinfo.com/forum/how/524...isolation.html
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