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1st Gear

Am sharing some ICE tuning experiences here for general discussion. Comments are welcomed.

 

1. Amp gain matching not optimized to harness the full potential of the source, amp and drivers. The advent of advanced DSP today allows users more flexibility and control in sound reproduction. However, poor understanding of and the reliance on instruments to achieve balance and tonality, short of human ears to fine-tune, often leads to boring sound reproduction. In one use case, the Helix DSP source (volume) was maximised but there was utter lack of dynamics and resolution. It turned out that the gains on amplifiers were very conservatively tuned and did not match the source output.

 

2. Not optimizing the crossover points and the slopes to maximize the full potential of the drivers. The academic and conservative use of crossover points and slopes very often reproduce defined sound stage and neat presentation. However, such practices also generally produce less engaging music. While the overall presentation is neat, it became less realistic and doesn’t engage the listener over a period of time. Do use tech spec of the speakers as reference and in doing so, attempt to fully exploit the bandwidth in which the drivers are capable of reproducing. This allows the full potential of the sound system to be presented.

 

3. Generally, the presentation of soundstage in some cars is confined BETWEEN the speakers rather than OUTSIDE the speakers. This may sound normal to some of us, especially when most tuning today is geared towards achieving certain competition guidelines as benchmark. However, the overall spirit of sound reproduction becomes artificial and confined to a certain space. The goal of sound reproduction should be that of achieving as wide a sound stage as possible without losing the focus. Sound should appear to come from everywhere other than the speakers themselves. Best is that we can tune the soundstage to the extent that the speakers are “transparent”. In my opinion, soundstage should never be defined or limited by the size of the car windscreen and the depth of the car bonnet. The objective is to make your car cabin THE space in which the recording is made.

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Turbocharged

Way over my head. I thought the ICE referred to Internal Combustion Engine, and I was confused til the third point and then I re-read the entire post and realised it referred to In-Car Entertainment.

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Supersonic

I  always tune if the ICE is turbo'ed,  Latest is RaceChip.

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Supersonic

"In my opinion, soundstage should never be defined or limited by the size of the car windscreenand the depth of the car bonnet. The objective is to make your car cabin THE space in which the recording is made."

 

That car needs to be designed by an ICE head from the first draft...but I guess no carmaker would hire one to head the design unit as good ICE has always been an aftermarket mod arena.

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1st Gear

"In my opinion, soundstage should never be defined or limited by the size of the car windscreenand the depth of the car bonnet. The objective is to make your car cabin THE space in which the recording is made."

 

That car needs to be designed by an ICE head from the first draft...but I guess no carmaker would hire one to head the design unit as good ICE has always been an aftermarket mod arena.

 

Indeed, that is why some would opine that car hifi is almost impossible to achieve given the unnatural seating and acoustics.

 

However, there are also plenty of car owners with decent setups enough to already match home audio in terms of spec and price.

 

The challenge has always been how to get it right, to work around the "unnatural" impossibilities towards possibilities in sound reproduction in the car environment.

 

Regards

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Turbocharged

The challenge to getting it right is splashing the cash :D

 

Indeed, that is why some would opine that car hifi is almost impossible to achieve given the unnatural seating and acoustics.

 

However, there are also plenty of car owners with decent setups enough to already match home audio in terms of spec and price.

 

The challenge has always been how to get it right, to work around the "unnatural" impossibilities towards possibilities in sound reproduction in the car environment.

 

Regards

 

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1st Gear

The challenge to getting it right is splashing the cash :D

 

Not necessary if we know what we are into. I always believe in cost benefits analysis.

 

Sometimes, knowing what is not there is better than trying to get there...

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Turbocharged

It all depends on your requirements.

 

SPL or SQ?

 

The SQ route is long and definitely not cheap.

 

Not necessary if we know what we are into. I always believe in cost benefits analysis.

 

Sometimes, knowing what is not there is better than trying to get there...

 

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1st Gear

SPL, SQL or SQ, there will be cost involved.

 

From pure in-car entertainment viewpoint, one can simply be contented with audio/video.

 

Some will take it to another level of enjoyment depending on preference for music genre and of course, size of their pockets.

 

I come from SQ viewpoint, hence the earlier sharing of my opinion.

 

 


Just want to gather some comments here, especially for SQ folks.

 

Question: How do you tune your Subwoofer? 

 

The question is meant to be open-ended so please feel free to share your experiences here. No right or wrong answers.

 

Looking forward to your sharing.

 

 

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3rd Gear

SPL, SQL or SQ, there will be cost involved.

 

From pure in-car entertainment viewpoint, one can simply be contented with audio/video.

 

Some will take it to another level of enjoyment depending on preference for music genre and of course, size of their pockets.

 

I come from SQ viewpoint, hence the earlier sharing of my opinion.

 

 

Just want to gather some comments here, especially for SQ folks.

 

Question: How do you tune your Subwoofer? 

 

The question is meant to be open-ended so please feel free to share your experiences here. No right or wrong answers.

 

Looking forward to your sharing.

 

On my previous ride, tuning of Subwoofer as follow as I am a SQ person too.

 

1. Set the gain.

2. Set the LPF.

3. Time Alignment of the Subwoofer.

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1st Gear

On my previous ride, tuning of Subwoofer as follow as I am a SQ person too.

 

1. Set the gain.

2. Set the LPF.

3. Time Alignment of the Subwoofer.

Good morning to you,

 

1. What reference do you have when setting the gain?

 

2. Do you also set the HPF?

 

3. When performing Time Alignment, depending how your subwoofer is placed, is the Subwoofer in-phase or reverse phase?

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3rd Gear

Good morning to you,

 

1. What reference do you have when setting the gain?

 

2. Do you also set the HPF?

 

3. When performing Time Alignment, depending how your subwoofer is placed, is the Subwoofer in-phase or reverse phase?

Hi,

 

For gain setting, i will match the amp specs to the subwoofer i am driving.

Start off with 1/3 usually and progressively up, usually not beyond 1/2.

 

Yes, HPF is for the front speakers.

Depending on the strength of my 3 way speakers, i will settle the HPF first follow by LPF of the sub.

Sometimes both settings may overlap each other.

 

I will just leave the subwoofer default in-phase for Hertz Subwoofer which I used on my previous ride

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1st Gear
There was a recent discussion on the need for subwoofer. I thought I can borrow that topic to share my thoughts here.

 

Subwoofer is regarded as a driver dedicated for reproducing lower frequencies, generally from 20Hz up to 80Hz. The bandwidth in which it can deliver depends very much on the specifications of the subwoofer driver itself, the amplifiers and the power source.  Without going into the technicalities, some may ask what is the use of subwoofer if my midbass can already deliver pretty good lower bass frequencies. 

 

My thinking is, how good an experience do you want to feel in your car. If you are one who seeks to reproduce all the avail music content from your audio source, then having dedicated drivers would increase the faithful reproduction of your music. To me, subwoofer is as important as tweeters. Subwoofer has the ability to enhance your perception of space, when tuned correctly.

 

Some also said that subwoofer reproduces non-directional sound. So, should subwoofer be time aligned then? My thinking is that they can be tuned to be not only directional i.e. coming from the front-stage, but can also be localised with the help of the midbass. When subwoofer is tuned correctly, it can provide you the perception of it coming from the front-stage, even when the subwoofer is in your boot.

 

Subwoofer not only reproduces lower freq but it also deliver texture to your music, very much like how the tweeters give you texture to the cymbals and snare drums.

 

So, is subwoofer essential? My thinking is, if space and budget is in your favour, it is good to invest in a quality one. Research and choose one that not only complement, but also work well with your front components.

 

 

Regards  

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6th Gear (edited)

Am sharing some ICE tuning experiences here for general discussion. Comments are welcomed.

 

1. Amp gain matching not optimized to harness the full potential of the source, amp and drivers. The advent of advanced DSP today allows users more flexibility and control in sound reproduction. However, poor understanding of and the reliance on instruments to achieve balance and tonality, short of human ears to fine-tune, often leads to boring sound reproduction. In one use case, the Helix DSP source (volume) was maximised but there was utter lack of dynamics and resolution. It turned out that the gains on amplifiers were very conservatively tuned and did not match the source output.

 

2. Not optimizing the crossover points and the slopes to maximize the full potential of the drivers. The academic and conservative use of crossover points and slopes very often reproduce defined sound stage and neat presentation. However, such practices also generally produce less engaging music. While the overall presentation is neat, it became less realistic and doesnât engage the listener over a period of time. Do use tech spec of the speakers as reference and in doing so, attempt to fully exploit the bandwidth in which the drivers are capable of reproducing. This allows the full potential of the sound system to be presented.

 

3. Generally, the presentation of soundstage in some cars is confined BETWEEN the speakers rather than OUTSIDE the speakers. This may sound normal to some of us, especially when most tuning today is geared towards achieving certain competition guidelines as benchmark. However, the overall spirit of sound reproduction becomes artificial and confined to a certain space. The goal of sound reproduction should be that of achieving as wide a sound stage as possible without losing the focus. Sound should appear to come from everywhere other than the speakers themselves. Best is that we can tune the soundstage to the extent that the speakers are âtransparentâ. In my opinion, soundstage should never be defined or limited by the size of the car windscreen and the depth of the car bonnet. The objective is to make your car cabin THE space in which the recording is made.

Hey Sarong1,

 

Thanks for invite to this thread for my reading and understanding.

 

Point 2 and 3 are way beyond my limited understanding and more importantly the nèeded experience of get it right.

 

On point 1, my understanding on gain matching is basically maximising source signal else no way to recover or have best possible SQ. It is not difficult to acheive and most importantly, it is measureable as follows in a simplistic steps although I still have some queries which I hope you can advise:

 

1. Set up scope to measure source i.e. usual headunit's output and turn up source "volume" until max before distortion ... can be 75% of available range or most decent headunit may not yield distortion even at 100% which is then fine and dainty.

 

2. Set up scope to measure output of amp and adjust gain knob until max before distortion .. done !

 

My queries are then:

 

What signal frequencies do you employed for the different drivers of sub, midbass, midrange and tweeters ? Obviously you do not use 1k hz for sub that you may use for midrange since it will output nothing or you do by avoiding setting crossover points ?

 

Photos are when I used my lab scope few years back but had moved to palm sized scope.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Cheers.

 

Richard

post-149594-0-90919700-1537661377_thumb.png

post-149594-0-79091300-1537661396_thumb.png

Edited by richard_crl032

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Hypersonic

My humble opinion, I will ask for the tune to be for the staging and imaging at ear level and centre of the dash.

 

SQ wise, it's difficult to achieve an accurate sound, because there's no way to know how the "original sound" is like, since we are not there at the recording studio or concert.

 

Besides, when recording, sound gets "coloured" as it passes thru the different equipment from the mic, cables, mixer, etc.

 

So tune to a level that is to your personal liking will do. ICE is very subjective just like art.

 

For woofer, i prefer it to be set at 50hz. I forgot about the slope and phase since I've been off ICE for many years. I like a bit of boomz in my music. 40hz is too tight and 60hz is too boomy.

 

For mids and tweeters, I leave it to the tuner to tune. Generally I prefer warm sound instead of bright and clear.

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6th Gear (edited)

Music not the same without the sub

Hi Budgetice,

 

Indeed and I echo also Sarong1's comments on space aka add extension and texture aka less missed frequencies range but having usual sub in car is a PITA ....

 

Have a box for 12 or 15 inch and it is ugly, heavy and sucks up valuable space .. definitely not wife friending

 

Have it built into plastic triming in fiberglass enclosure but expensive and still not optimum in size

 

Most importantly, rear seat passengers get sick with such low frequencies reproduction by the time it sound ground with upfront bass for driver.

 

Think I had it best in estima with 10" in center console but most cars will not allow it.

 

Cheers.

 

Richard

Edited by richard_crl032
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