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    Thread: Ice tuning - tips and tricks

    1. #1
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      hareshjethwani's Avatar
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      Ice tuning - tips and tricks

      Ok when someone get's his ICE installed,they would always think the way it has been tuned,though any amplifier manufacturer provides a catalouge on how to tune an amplifier,that's the standard way of doing things.
      This thread is intended with the following in mind
      1. The car being iced
      2. The equipment being used
      3. Requirement of the user specifics(for eg-more biased on vocals,forget everything-i'm a bass head..all i want is bass,driver oriented imaging/staging,overall imaging/staging,etc)
      4. The most important part - the way the setup was tuned-by installer or yourself-how the gains were set,what was the first link in the chain of speakers which was tuned,the settings on the amplifier.
      If an active setup how and which part of the equipment was tuned first and why? other tips and tricks used for tuning the setup.
      There are a lot of things which are not discussed regarding tuning when a "member build log" thread is being created.
      Hope all the members contribute in their own way for others to take advantage of the tips and advises given on this thread to help them tune their setup in the best possible way
      And last but not the least GO LOUD OR GO HOME !!!!
      Last edited by hareshjethwani; 12th Feb 2012 at 20:21.
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    2. #2
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      Before getting into tuning your ICE, here is a brilliant article anyone venturing into ICE must read atleaset once.

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    3. #3
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      karanbhatia's Avatar
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      Nice idea haresh sir

      Here is how I tune my setup ( not different from what most people do )

      Please choose the equipment wisely knowing your requirements. A good installer will also help you make the decision properly. Do your research online, through friends etc. Half the battle is won here

      *** The top most thing to do before tuning the setup is getting the installation right. Damping, wiring layout, wiring polarities, speaker mount, enclosure size, soldered joints etc should be done properly and safely ***

      Tuning from the amplifier :

      This is easy to do if you have some one to accompany you and do the tuning from the amplifier in the back while you sit in the front and listen to the changes but this is just my way

      1) Use an Audio CD and a track that you are most familiar with.

      2) Most HU's start clipping and introduce distortion at around 75% of their max volume with not other tuning option ( loudness, bass boost etc ) with a very dynamic track.

      3) Turn off all tuning options and audio enhancements from the HU. Keep the volume slightly less than the point of 75% max volume.

      4) Turn the gains up slightly where the setup is comfortably audible ( this is not the final gain setting )

      5) Tune the speakers first so turn off the subwoofer. Tune the front speakers first so turn off the rear speakers as well ( use fader if needed )

      6) Turn on the HPF from the amplifier and keep the frequency at maximum ( maximum in clockwise direction ). The speaker will sound thin and bass ridden at this point Slowly turn the frequency knob to low frequency ( anti clockwise ) till you feel the balance of bass, vocal and highs of your liking. Do not use a very low frequency just to get more bass out of the speakers as it can damage your speakers specially if the amplifier is quite powerful.

      7) Repeat the process for rear speakers after turning them back on. I prefer mine to be just rear-fills so I do not extract too much bass out of them. You can however keep them as per taste

      8) For the subwoofer, turn on the LPF ( if using 2ch or 4ch amplifier .. it is by default on in a mono ) from the amplifier. Turn down all Bass Boost from the amplifier. Turn on the subwoofer from the HU or how ever you had turned if off.

      9) Turn the frequency knob to minimum value and slowly increase it till it sounds best to your ears. Once this is done, reverse the polarity/phase of the subwoofer from the HU or by inverting the speaker cable connections on the amplifier. If this sounds better, keep this configuration. *** Some amplifiers have phase adjuster in form of a knob or button so that can also be used *** I prefer up front bass and careful tuning can easily give you that.

      10) No re-adjust the gains to suitable levels. Listen carefully and adjust till the point it starts to sound unbalanced or the speaker seem stressed out. This the point that you should not cross and should ideally be the maximum volume level for you to listen at. You risk damaging the equipment if you go about turning the gains up too merrily. Know your and your equipment's limit.

      11) Miscellaneous tuning options such as Bass Boost, Loudness, BBE etc can now be utilized as per taste but I suggest making use of the EQ before using the above mentioned options.

      *** Before proceeding with point 9, Please play around with tweeter location and direction and angle before making the final decision. This can change the state of tune all together and can give you the desired sound. Off-axis, On-axis, facing the opposite listener etc. Factory location may or may not give the desired result always but they do ensure that the install is symmetrical and compliant to the cabin design most of the time. If not using stock location, ensure that the tweeter is not too far off from the mid-bass as this will affect the cohesiveness and integration of sound. ***



      Tuning from the Head Unit :

      So your HU has all the needed tuning options and you want to make use of those. Fair enough .. they are there for a reason so let's make use of them.

      1) Please be familiar with the HU's interface. The manual will be a big help in getting to know the HU.

      2) The first 5 steps mentioned above remain the same.

      3) Turn off the HPF and LPF from the amplifier. This configuration will be All-Pass or Full-Range mode on the amplifier.

      *** It is not possible to turn off the LPF from a mono so to bypass it as much as possible, turn the LPF frequency to the maximum value ***

      4) Your HU will have the HPF, LPF settings in the menu. Adjust the frequency and the slope ( 6dB, 12dB etc ). There will be lot of configurations possible so take your time in trying as many as possible. Most of the time, HPF between 60Hz and 100Hz with a 6dB or 12dB slope will work for most speakers and same for the LPF for the subwoofer but this is generalizing it so try all options.

      5) Check the phase of the subwoofer again in case it sounds better when it is changed.

      6) Re-adjust the gains to suitable level. Again, listen carefully and adjust till the point it starts to sound unbalanced or the speaker seem stressed out. This the point that you should not cross and should ideally be the maximum volume level for you to listen at. You risk damaging the equipment if you go about turning the gains up too merrily. Know your and your equipment's limit.

      7) Play with the miscellaneous tuning options as per need and taste.


      *** Play a number of songs that you listen to quite often to judge the performance and tuning up to your taste. While one genre of music may sound really nice and the other not, this is pretty much a part and parcel of the setup due to numerous genres, equipment and combination possible. Tune the setup to suit your needs first and then for other IMO ***

      *** Adjusting the gain using a multi-meter is another industry technique but I have left that out and provided a general method of tuning that most can follow ***

      *** Position of the sub also plays a role IMO ... 90% of the time it sunds good facing the boot lid but depending on the vehicle, it may sound better in any other position as well so use this as a tuning tool as well ***



      Time Alignment/Delay

      The black magic of audio

      Without getting into technical details, Let me share my way of doing TA for the front stage and sub stage ( if needed )

      1) Turn off rear speakers and subwoofer.

      2) Play a dynamic track that you are familiar with. Go to TA menu of your HU

      3) Start delaying the Front Right ( or Left if you want it for the passenger ) channel of the setup. Listen carefully and notice the sound literally move on top of the dash from right to left. First timers will be confused but take your time and it will be noticeable. Stop at the point where you feel the sound stage is right in front of you or where you want it to be.

      *** Some HU have TA in terms of distance i.e. increasing the distance will increase the distance of speaker from you and hence taking more time to reach you hereby being delayed compared to the other side. The ones with TA in terms of time, will have the same thing in time. It may be given in negative or positive value but the principle remains the same. ***

      *** Delaying the other side may or may not make a positive difference but worth the shot. Just remember that keeping both sides delayed at equal values will lead to no TA at all as they will be cancelled out ***

      4) I do not use TA for the rear speakers ( heck I don't use rear speakers ) but you can try it nonetheless.

      5) Turn on the sub woofer and delay the sub. You can feel the bass coming upfront (if it already is not) as you delay the sub channel and integrating better with the front speakers. I found a point after which the bass was quite up front but the kick was also less. So listen carefully for this balance and it will sound really nice.

      *** Some HU like kenwood 7016, Pioneer P80RS/RSII provide TA for sub in stereo i.e. Left and Right. For such cases, delay one side first and then the other side to the equal amount. It surely takes more time and more careful listening but it gets the job done as well. ***

      *** Measuring the distance of speakers and sub from you and entering those ( or converting them to time ) is also a suggested method but since I have never tried it and done TA by ear, I cannot say whether it will work or not. Please do try it if you feel like. There is no right or wrong method to tuning the setup ***

      *** TA has to be changed if any part of the equipment is changed. RCA cable, speaker, HU, speaker, speaker location, subwoofer, woofer direction, amplifier etc ***

      My methods may differ from many but this is how I tune my setup. Please remember there is no right or wrong method and each can work in it's own positive or negative way.

      I have not tuned a full active setup yet so all mentioned tips were for Passive setups.

      Cheers
      It's the best way to dump money and spend an inordinate amount of time...because all debts are paid when the hairs on the back of your neck stand straight up and goosebumps cover your arms, because the sound is SO good. - Scott Buwalda

    4. #4
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      hareshjethwani's Avatar
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      In a passive setup usually the front components are tuned first,then comes the sub and finally the rear coaxials.
      What i would like to know in an active setup,is there a similar order which is followed or first the tweeters,then the mid range,then the midbass and last the sub.
      And i'm sure there will be a difference in the setup sounding the way it is depending on the order in which it was tuned or is it just an illussion?
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    5. #5
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      Another tip for all you JBL, Infinity, HK amplifier owners ..

      There is a small white dot on the frequency knob ... that is 80Hz ( 12dB slope I think ) Pin Pointed by the manufacturer ... 8 out of 10 setups using amplifiers from these brand will sound good around this or on this point ..
      It's the best way to dump money and spend an inordinate amount of time...because all debts are paid when the hairs on the back of your neck stand straight up and goosebumps cover your arms, because the sound is SO good. - Scott Buwalda

    6. #6
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      Karan Bhai, I cant thank you enough for the detailed guide and I'm sure this is all because of experience.
      Haresh Bhai a big thanks for starting OP and nfspoet for directing me to this thread.

      I'd been struggling to tune my setup for the last 02 week's
      What I was doing wrong was tune everything at the same time.
      Instead today it took me about 2 hrs to do it the the right way and the result is overwhelming.
      I still have to re-position the tweeters - will visit the installer tomorrow
      The overall SQ is very balanced, detailed and the best part is the Sub-woofer actually disappears - one word ENGAGING !!



      Quote Originally Posted by karanbhatia View Post
      Tuning from the amplifier :

      This is easy to do if you have some one to accompany you and do the tuning from the amplifier in the back while you sit in the front and listen to the changes but this is just my way

      1) Use an Audio CD and a track that you are most familiar with.

      2) Most HU's start clipping and introduce distortion at around 75% of their max volume with not other tuning option ( loudness, bass boost etc ) with a very dynamic track.

      3) Turn off all tuning options and audio enhancements from the HU. Keep the volume slightly less than the point of 75% max volume.

      4) Turn the gains up slightly where the setup is comfortably audible ( this is not the final gain setting )

      5) Tune the speakers first so turn off the subwoofer. Tune the front speakers first so turn off the rear speakers as well ( use fader if needed )

      6) Turn on the HPF from the amplifier and keep the frequency at maximum ( maximum in clockwise direction ). The speaker will sound thin and bass ridden at this point Slowly turn the frequency knob to low frequency ( anti clockwise ) till you feel the balance of bass, vocal and highs of your liking. Do not use a very low frequency just to get more bass out of the speakers as it can damage your speakers specially if the amplifier is quite powerful.

      7) Repeat the process for rear speakers after turning them back on. I prefer mine to be just rear-fills so I do not extract too much bass out of them. You can however keep them as per taste

      8) For the subwoofer, turn on the LPF ( if using 2ch or 4ch amplifier .. it is by default on in a mono ) from the amplifier. Turn down all Bass Boost from the amplifier. Turn on the subwoofer from the HU or how ever you had turned if off.

      9) Turn the frequency knob to minimum value and slowly increase it till it sounds best to your ears. Once this is done, reverse the polarity/phase of the subwoofer from the HU or by inverting the speaker cable connections on the amplifier. If this sounds better, keep this configuration. *** Some amplifiers have phase adjuster in form of a knob or button so that can also be used *** I prefer up front bass and careful tuning can easily give you that.

      10) No re-adjust the gains to suitable levels. Listen carefully and adjust till the point it starts to sound unbalanced or the speaker seem stressed out. This the point that you should not cross and should ideally be the maximum volume level for you to listen at. You risk damaging the equipment if you go about turning the gains up too merrily. Know your and your equipment's limit.

      11) Miscellaneous tuning options such as Bass Boost, Loudness, BBE etc can now be utilized as per taste but I suggest making use of the EQ before using the above mentioned options.

      *** Before proceeding with point 9, Please play around with tweeter location and direction and angle before making the final decision. This can change the state of tune all together and can give you the desired sound. Off-axis, On-axis, facing the opposite listener etc. Factory location may or may not give the desired result always but they do ensure that the install is symmetrical and compliant to the cabin design most of the time. If not using stock location, ensure that the tweeter is not too far off from the mid-bass as this will affect the cohesiveness and integration of sound. ***



      Tuning from the Head Unit :

      So your HU has all the needed tuning options and you want to make use of those. Fair enough .. they are there for a reason so let's make use of them.

      1) Please be familiar with the HU's interface. The manual will be a big help in getting to know the HU.

      2) The first 5 steps mentioned above remain the same.

      3) Turn off the HPF and LPF from the amplifier. This configuration will be All-Pass or Full-Range mode on the amplifier.

      *** It is not possible to turn off the LPF from a mono so to bypass it as much as possible, turn the LPF frequency to the maximum value ***

      4) Your HU will have the HPF, LPF settings in the menu. Adjust the frequency and the slope ( 6dB, 12dB etc ). There will be lot of configurations possible so take your time in trying as many as possible. Most of the time, HPF between 60Hz and 100Hz with a 6dB or 12dB slope will work for most speakers and same for the LPF for the subwoofer but this is generalizing it so try all options.

      5) Check the phase of the subwoofer again in case it sounds better when it is changed.

      6) Re-adjust the gains to suitable level. Again, listen carefully and adjust till the point it starts to sound unbalanced or the speaker seem stressed out. This the point that you should not cross and should ideally be the maximum volume level for you to listen at. You risk damaging the equipment if you go about turning the gains up too merrily. Know your and your equipment's limit.

      7) Play with the miscellaneous tuning options as per need and taste.


      *** Play a number of songs that you listen to quite often to judge the performance and tuning up to your taste. While one genre of music may sound really nice and the other not, this is pretty much a part and parcel of the setup due to numerous genres, equipment and combination possible. Tune the setup to suit your needs first and then for other IMO ***

      *** Adjusting the gain using a multi-meter is another industry technique but I have left that out and provided a general method of tuning that most can follow ***

      *** Position of the sub also plays a role IMO ... 90% of the time it sunds good facing the boot lid but depending on the vehicle, it may sound better in any other position as well so use this as a tuning tool as well ***
      Last edited by Mr. Officer; 10th Aug 2012 at 18:33.

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Officer View Post
      The overall SQ is very balanced, detailed and the best part is the Sub-woofer actually disappears - one word ENGAGING !!
      glad to be of help sir

      one picks up new skills only by trying so keep on tuning with all the possible options you have on the setup ..

      experiment with the tweeter location and aiming and direction ... makes a hell lot of difference .. all the best
      It's the best way to dump money and spend an inordinate amount of time...because all debts are paid when the hairs on the back of your neck stand straight up and goosebumps cover your arms, because the sound is SO good. - Scott Buwalda

    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by karanbhatia View Post
      glad to be of help
      Don't thank him too much Mr. Officer you might regret it later
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    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by karanbhatia View Post
      glad to be of help sir
      Karan bhai no sir vir please...

      - - - Updated - - -

      Quote Originally Posted by hareshjethwani View Post
      Don't thank him too much Mr. Officer you might regret it later
      That I know, have read a lot of threads but its always for the good, ain't Karan ?

    10. #10

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      I was playing with the imprint kit on my Alpine CDA-9887. I found that there is a big dip around 500Hz. I did measured multiple times and from multiple positions. The dip was quite apparent. Even Mi10 mentioned that there was a dip around 700Hz in his Verito's German Maestro setup. I wonder whether these kind of dip is caused by the car's interiors.

      Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Unity Fronts.JPG 
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ID:	101284

      Thanks to cmsajith and Digital Vampire for pointing out the flaw in mids. After this correction, the mids picked up the pace noticeably. The weight on vocals are quite apparent.

      Btw, i did not like the final result of imprint after measuring from 6 positions. Luckily, i found a position in Front right where the result was closer to my taste. I am yet to successfully replicate that in manual EQ.

      Is this kinds of dips common? Is there any easier way to identify them?

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