car audio

Posted by: SatKartr

car audio - 01/03/10 02:44 AM

I've become curious ...

Lately I've noticed that my ears become so fatigued so fast in my car

And I wondered if it's because I don't have a parametric EQ as I do with the 3808 Audyssey in my living room

Long story short

Normally I can't listen to my Rhapsody account on my axiom system (3808, m80s full surround ep800) because I can't pry myself to go to bed until after 4 am which turns out to be a problem even on the weekends (ok so I am old)

But point being, Rhapsody is 128-256k or whatever, it should be unlistenable except for Denon processing, still I can't even turn it on because it's so addictive, of course whatever I choose is one of my favorite songs but please don't get me started, in the car I just want to clutch my head after the first song it's so annoying even though it sounds exceptional . . .

So if you follow me at all so far question is this:

Is there some ko standalone eq for auto that i can plug in to pimp my ride?

I have some cheap HD radio I love, sounds better than analog, and I have a pretty nice I believe JL Audio (?) system V1 speakers if memory serves, but old style EQ won't cut it, I need an Audyssey style auto para EQ

Or a new receiver with auto EQ

Or give up the dream of auto music

Or wait til never when I can afford car with less wind noise


Posted by: onn

Re: car audio - 01/03/10 07:51 AM

Alpine has some head units that use Audyssey Multi (I believe) or Audyssey Pro. I was looking at these units when upgrading the system in my car.

Posted by: duckman

Re: car audio - 01/03/10 02:23 PM

I have an alpine head unit and the Imprint audessy box but have not installed the imprint unit yet. Lotta help I am.
My first thought would be check your speakers for damage- one could be starting to let go and distorting just enough...

I't's been my experience that a decent mp3 is not nearly as foul as an overcompressed (modern) cd, so I wouldn't blame the source or lack of audessy right off. With the noise in a car you naturally turn up the vol and increase the potential for clipping/distortion. What kind of car/system do you have? I've heard that a decent oem deck is equivelent in sq to a mid-line aftermarket,so that may or may not gain you anything. A modest amp may be all you need.
Having said that- alpine sells a stand alone imprint solution, but thats not cheap.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: car audio - 01/03/10 02:52 PM

 Originally Posted By: duckman
II't's been my experience that a decent mp3 is not nearly as foul as an overcompressed (modern) cd, so I wouldn't blame the source or lack of audessy right off.

What if the MP3 is from that overcompressed(modern) cd ? ;\)
Posted by: duckman

Re: car audio - 01/03/10 06:09 PM

 Originally Posted By: jakewash
 Originally Posted By: duckman
II't's been my experience that a decent mp3 is not nearly as foul as an overcompressed (modern) cd, so I wouldn't blame the source or lack of audessy right off.

What if the MP3 is from that overcompressed(modern) cd ? ;\)

Remarkably foul?
Posted by: Murph

Re: car audio - 01/04/10 12:57 PM

Speaking of car audio, I need a double DIN CD deck with an Ipod or just an auxiliary input. Anyone have a recommendation for an inexpensive one? All Double DINs now seem to have gone the way of high end. I'm tempted to get a GPS one (and throw inexpensive out the window) but really all I want is a replacement deck at this time.

Edit: The old works fine but has no auxiliary input or MP3 ability so I'm forced into the unimaginable, switching CDs.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: car audio - 01/04/10 01:01 PM

Why not use a single DIN deck? Crutchfield will ship you a kit with a bin to put in under the head unit to fill the extra space.
Posted by: Murph

Re: car audio - 01/04/10 01:11 PM

Good idea! One I have actually used before but because the work was done at a big box store years ago, when I had no other financial choices, I was not pleased with the results. Sizing wasn't perfect and a noticeable gap was left around the edges. I'm sure it can be done properly.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: car audio - 01/04/10 01:24 PM

Well, mine fell out, so not exactly perfect quality...
Posted by: Murph

Re: car audio - 01/04/10 01:25 PM

Well when even your frogurt is cursed, what else could you have expected?
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: car audio - 01/04/10 05:40 PM

I just bought a single DIN pioneer 5100ub that has two usb ports and an auxiliary input that works really well with the Iphone/Ipod/usb drive/ect. It retails for $209-$229 but found it on amazon during a sale for $160. One USB spot is in the front and one is in the back. I bought a 3' USB extension from monoprice for $1.78 for the rear USB port and ran the cord into the glovebox so that my wife and I can hook both of our iphones up at the same time (or 1 iphone and a usb drive, ect.)

It looks like the similar double DIN receiver from pioneer is shown for about $370 on the pioneer website, but after adding it to my amazon cart it sells for $259.

The Pioneer double DIN model is FH-P8000.
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: car audio - 01/04/10 09:22 PM

I Listened to my wife's stereo today and I must say that I am pretty impressed with the ability to just plug in an iphone and listen to pandora radio on the go. The head unit has a sound retriever mode similar to the restorer on the newer denon receivers that make the internet radio stations sound pretty stinkin' good. If you want to spend a couple hundred on a single DIN or $250 on a double DIN I highly recommend the above pioneer head units (haven't seen the double DIN but I would guess it is very similar in functionality as our single DIN unit.) Let me know what you end up going with.
Posted by: Murph

Re: car audio - 01/05/10 10:49 AM

Thanks David, I had a stock, then JVC traded from a guy who wanted to return to the stock look, then a Pioneer in my old Jeep and the Pioneer was by far the most user friendly. Of course the statement is unfair as it only represents the exact models owned.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: car audio - 01/08/10 04:15 PM

I favor Alpine decks, and they have several double DIN models that let you exclude navigation from the option list to keep the price down. But it seems like Alpine is moving to the lower end in the last few years. Might be better off with a Pioneer or Kenwood, or Eclipse.
Posted by: SatKartr

Re: car audio - 01/31/10 06:22 PM

I am looking at the Alpine PXA-H100 as a possible auto eq.

My current configuration is:

4 Focal 165 V1 component speakers
JL Audio 10 inch sub in custom cabinet
JL Audio 300/4 amp Class A/B to power the Focals
JL Audio 250/1 amp class D to power the sub

When I bought the system the JVC "head unit" was frowned upon and if memory serves the Alpine units were recommended, but I felt that HD radio was what I wanted and it does seem to sound quite a bit better than analog, so I went with the JVC which was one of the few head units with integrated HD radio at the time.

I love the Audyssey auto eq on the denon 3808 for my Axiom system. Are there different options for Audyssey in automotive applications that I should consider? You mention Audyssey Multi or Audyssey Pro? What's the difference, or where could I find out? With the 3808 I just use the original Audyssey, I didn't prefer any of the options that came with the upgrade (Dynamic EQ/Dynamic Volume), but from what I understand the Audyssey processing had been refined as of the 3808, is that correct? The 3808 was my first exposure to auto eq.

At this point since I like HD radio I am still thinking about keeping the JVC and adding an EQ unit as a standalone.

Thanks everyone who made comments,
Posted by: steele101

Re: car audio - 01/31/10 07:27 PM

Another idea for equalizers is the brand AudioControl. Your car speakers are all high end and AudioControl makes high end processors, used by car stereo audiophiles. Most of their electronics are made in the USA, not mass-produced overseas. I've been out of car audio for a while now so I can't recommend a particular model, but they are an excellent brand.
Posted by: alan

Re: car audio - 02/01/10 01:03 PM

Hi SatKartr,

Getting good car audio is kind of a nightmare, given the huge variability of car interiors and speaker locations. I used to serve as a judge at a car audio competition held in Toronto called "Northern Thunder," and I heard some very good custom installations as well as some really awful ones that just played at absurdly loud levels with ridiculous bass.

All that said, I don't know how old you are, but as I've grown older I find the intrusion of wind, engine, and road noise on top of relatively loud music playback (to overcome the interior noise) quite tiring at highway speeds (about 75 mph or 120 kph).

Those factors may account for some of what you are experiencing. I used a RatShack SPL meter to measure the interior SPL levels at hiway speeds and was shocked that the levels were over 100 dB SPL combined road noise and music, with subwoofer at 75 mph.

I cut back a lot for fear of damaging my hearing. The answer, as you mention, may simply be a car with much better insulation against road, wind and engine noise.

Posted by: Murph

Re: car audio - 02/01/10 01:52 PM

I always wondered how loud my stereo was in my old Jeep, even with the top on, with my slightly over-sized and very aggressive tires. I thought about measuring it but sound quality at that point was so poor, I just stopped listening mostly. I'm betting it was dangerous levels.
Posted by: SatKartr

Re: car audio - 02/06/10 12:37 AM

Thanks Alan,

You make a good point about healthy listening, I should pull out my radio shack meter once again and check the SPL levels, they may very well be over the top, especially at highway speeds, I'm sure that's a given and I need to take that to heart at such time I am next able to afford a more luxurious vehicle.

However, I was listening in the car again today and distinctly perceived, at both moderate and loud audio levels as well as city mph/low wind noise levels, that somewhere in the lower to mid treble range was contained the offending overemphasis, that annoying harshness, as opposed to the "open and airy" sensation of good EQ, to borrow JakeWalsh's phraseology. Of course perhaps the pursuit of neutral audio may be futile in the car setting, yet I remain convinced that anything is possible, given the march of modern technology and appropriate implementation.

I also suspect that the car setting may at present be an inherently less satisfying one in which to listen to music, because I love the Dolby surround processing that you have recommended for listening to music sources with the Axiom system, and of course there is no center speaker in my automobile.

The reason I persist in my quest is that before I implemented the Audyssey on my home theater system I had to turn up the Axioms to get the sense of fidelity I desired, and there was an edge of excessive volume I did not prefer. After I put the Audyssey into play I never again had the feeling of having to grit my teeth, i.e., there was no listener fatigue, and I had greatly expanded freedom to choose the volume that I preferred. On the other hand with music I noticed that I could crank up the volume way up and my ears never felt fatigued, logic would suggest the the volume may have at times been excessive.

Anyway at the moment we seldom play HT sources at reference volumes yet are mightily pleased with the fidelity and my hope remains that if I can attain more accurate EQ in the car I will not feel compelled to crank it up so much just to attain that sense of fidelity which the Axiom speakers appear capable of delivering at moderate volumes given appropriate EQ.

BTW I have never, and I literally mean never, implemented graphic eq with any appreciable satisfaction and have not resorted to tone controls since 1989 with the exception of rental cars. Perhaps a programmable parametric eq (e.g., AudioControl) would fit the bill but given my lack of success (lack of skill?) with tweaking graphic eq I have largely accepted that JohnK appears correct: it's hard to beat automatic parametric eq.

I suppose it sounds crazy to those for whom Audyssey has not worked, but in my living room the results with music have been nothing short of rapturous, which is dangerous because like everyone else I can't afford to lose touch with there and then (the future that looms), as opposed to the here and now (the present that leaves no trace). Hmmm, what might the attainment of musical nirvana in the mobile setting mean for my driving? :-)

Well excuse my babbling all if you will, I will post if results obtain when I implement an EQ in my automobile.

Thanks again