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View Full Version : 2v to 4.5v - Interesting



mlstrass
09-28-2007, 01:40 PM
So the GF's car has a budget/hand me down system that's nothing special, but sounded decent and she was happy.

Pioneer 4700mp
Profile 4 channel
Crystal comps
Polk coax's rear
15" Q
PG Octane R15 sub amp

Again, nothing special, but for about $800 is was pretty decent, although to me it never sounded right. No matter how much I tweaked things, etc... it just always sounded hollow/flat. Using Loudness helped the front/rear speakers, but made the sub muddy.

Well I slapped in my old eXcelon the other day (more hand me down stuff) which has 4.5v pre outs vs the 2v of the Pioneer. OMFG the diff is night and day. Clarity/detail in the speakers is amazing, Q hits hard and low, but plays clean as can be. Whole system seems about twice as loud as before.

When she heard it the next day she seriously thought I put new amps/speakers/sub in her car.

I've always read that the only diff should be possibly less noise and not having to turn gains up as high, so I'm kind of wondering why I experienced such a drastic improvement, not that I'm complaining...:)

mavster
09-28-2007, 01:42 PM
increased signal output = louder amplified signal....

tez4life
09-28-2007, 01:46 PM
I have to agree with you on that one, adding the Audiocontrol Four1 to my setup both times (when I had my stock HU running off a aftermarket LOC and my lil Pioneer CD player) made a huge difference in my setup. Both the LOC and the Pioneer only put out about 2v throught the preamps. The linedriver in the audiocontrol made a big difference for me.

squeak9798
09-29-2007, 02:22 PM
Sounds to me as though you either didn't adjust the gains for the new headunit, or if you did adjust them you adjusted them "differently" (output for a given volume level) than when the Pioneer was in the car so you are now getting more power from the amp for a given volume setting.

That and it depends on what other features are on both headunits and how you had them set.

Simple settings issue......not a "higher voltage sounds better" issue.

prochobo
09-29-2007, 09:49 PM
Yeah, I went from a 2v unit to a 5v unit and didn't notice a difference.

mlstrass
09-30-2007, 01:52 AM
Squeak,

Didn't touch anything, just swapped HU's. Gains were the same and EQ was flat on the eXcelon. After tweaking it sounds even better. Just wonder if the Pio was somehow defective.

I had even bridged the 4 channel amp to the Crystals off the Pio and that was no where near as loud/clean as the eXcelon unbridged.

Since an increase in pre out voltage doesn't seem to exhibit the changes I noticed I'm seriously thinking the Pio was fubared....

gijoe
09-30-2007, 02:11 AM
You mentioned that you didn't change the gains at all between the two head units. That is why there is a difference in sound. You should have changed the gains according to each hu. The gains should have been set differently. The voltage on the preouts isn't going to make a big auidible (if any) difference as long as the gains were set up properly. So, i don't doubt at all that the new hu sounds better, but most of the difference is because of the improper gain adjustment. As well as other settings. Either way, I'm glad it sounds better.

squeak9798
09-30-2007, 12:01 PM
Squeak,

Didn't touch anything, just swapped HU's. Gains were the same and EQ was flat on the eXcelon. After tweaking it sounds even better. Just wonder if the Pio was somehow defective.

I had even bridged the 4 channel amp to the Crystals off the Pio and that was no where near as loud/clean as the eXcelon unbridged.

Since an increase in pre out voltage doesn't seem to exhibit the changes I noticed I'm seriously thinking the Pio was fubared....

Switching to a higher voltage IS the reason for the change in sound that you hear. But it's because you didn't properly readjust the gains as is necessary for the higher voltage headunit.

As was mentioned in the post just above mine, you must readjust the gains to account for the higher preout voltage of the new headunit. You "hear" a difference because you now have the gains set incorrectly (too high) for your new headunit.

With proper gain readjustment there won't be any difference in sound that can be attributed to the Kenwood having a higher preout voltage.

audiowizard
09-30-2007, 12:11 PM
Switching to a higher voltage IS the reason for the change in sound that you hear. But it's because you didn't properly readjust the gains as is necessary for the higher voltage headunit.

As was mentioned in the post just above mine, you must readjust the gains to account for the higher preout voltage of the new headunit. You "hear" a difference because you now have the gains set incorrectly (too high) for your new headunit.

With proper gain readjustment there won't be any difference in sound that can be attributed to the Kenwood having a higher preout voltage.

Should the gain be lower than is was before? I went from half to 1/4 on my sundown due to the increase in voltage. Would it hurt anything to have the gains half way up though? I notice that when they are the sub is louder. But since I don't have a DMM ATM, I just left it at 1/4. Even though you don't really like me Squeak, could you please explain:)

Grinder1989
09-30-2007, 12:12 PM
Should the gain be lower than is was before? I went from half to 1/4 on my sundown due to the increase in voltage. Would it hurt anything to have the gains half way up though? I notice that when they are the sub is louder. But since I don't have a DMM ATM, I just left it at 1/4. Even though you don't really like me Squeak, could you please explain:)

That was me on a friend's name....

Paddy McTaint
10-03-2007, 11:01 PM
My change from my old pioneer to my Eclipse was night and day. I did have to adjust the gains down from the previous pioneer setting but after that the difference was very noticable and the sound quality is better on FM and Sirius but most importantly it is much much cleaner on CD's. There were sounds in songs I had no idea were there because you couldn't hear them on the pioneer.

Don't listen to the pioneer die hards. Your ears heard right and the difference is in the quality of the HU and not the adjustment of your gains.

squeak9798
10-04-2007, 02:01 PM
Should the gain be lower than is was before? I went from half to 1/4 on my sundown due to the increase in voltage. Would it hurt anything to have the gains half way up though? I notice that when they are the sub is louder. But since I don't have a DMM ATM, I just left it at 1/4. Even though you don't really like me Squeak, could you please explain:)

Without knowing what headunit you have, it's hard to say.

If you set the gains properly with a DMM with the first headunit, then yes with a higher voltage headunit the gains would be set lower.

But depending on the headunit or which method you subscribe to as for gain setting.....setting it to the "half way" point very well may be fine.

squeak9798
10-04-2007, 02:03 PM
Your ears heard right and the difference is in the quality of the HU and not the adjustment of your gains.


Yeah....because switching to a higher voltage headunit without readjusting the gain isn't going to result in a difference in sound, right ? :rolleyes:

its_bacon12
10-04-2007, 02:07 PM
you tell em squeak.

mlstrass
10-04-2007, 03:18 PM
Well I could understand the gain effecting the comps, but when she still had the Pio I swapped a sub/amp from my car with the eXcelon and it wasn't even close to the same output, even after setting the gain for her HU. It was like the sub wasn't even turned on, unless I used Loudness.

Either way NO more 2v HU's for me...

Grinder1989
10-04-2007, 04:32 PM
Without knowing what headunit you have, it's hard to say.

If you set the gains properly with a DMM with the first headunit, then yes with a higher voltage headunit the gains would be set lower.

But depending on the headunit or which method you subscribe to as for gain setting.....setting it to the "half way" point very well may be fine.

Went from a $150 panasonic (1/2 gain) to an Eclipse 8051 (1/4 gain).

joetama
10-04-2007, 05:03 PM
Louder always sounds clearer due to the 'increase' in dynamics.

Sounds like you didn't have your Pioneer set correctly...

mlstrass
10-05-2007, 01:41 AM
Louder always sounds clearer due to the 'increase' in dynamics.

Sounds like you didn't have your Pioneer set correctly...

I literally spent 10+ hours setting/tweaking the Pio and it just never sounded right. Maybe the HU was messed up. Don't miss it that's for sure...

joetama
10-05-2007, 08:36 AM
Well if you like the sound of the other headunit in there then you should have pretty much doubled the gain settings for the pioneer... ;)

tRiGgEr
10-05-2007, 01:06 PM
From my experience, a lot of head units sound differently not only due to Preout voltage. But to the actual build parts and built in features. I would venture to say the the increased output and better quality attributed to the difference in sound.

joetama
10-05-2007, 02:07 PM
Very true. I am used to the higher end Pioneer HU so their lower class ones most likely don't sound as good...

mlstrass
10-05-2007, 05:26 PM
Well if you like the sound of the other headunit in there then you should have pretty much doubled the gain settings for the pioneer... ;)

Set them with a DMM, then by ear, then tried maxing them out, NOTHING helped. HU was weaksauce :furious:

goodstuff
10-05-2007, 05:40 PM
Yeah I swaped my 7871 for a 9830 and it sounds much better...havn't touched the gain or even checked it with the new deck though...what a difference the t/a makes...really brought out a lot of details that I was missing. Don't know about the voltage I think they were both 4v outs

squeak9798
10-05-2007, 07:04 PM
Went from a $150 panasonic (1/2 gain) to an Eclipse 8051 (1/4 gain).

I don't know about the Panasonic, but the Eclipse has 8V outputs. I had the 8053 w/ 8V outputs connected to an amplifier that had a "maximum" input voltage of 1.5V with the gain set to minimum.....and I had to really be jamming on it to drive it into clipping.

That Sundown has a pretty wide swing on the input sensitivity...up to 6V. Depending on your listening habits, musical content and other settings (bass boost, etc) you would probably be fine with it set a little higher than you have now with music. Just be careful if you're blasting test tones at a loud volume. If you don't have access to a DMM listen carefully for distortion/etc for a while.....or just run to Radio Shack and grab one of the $10 cheapies.

denim
10-05-2007, 07:30 PM
I insist on 5v or more and like ot add line drivers if needed, but not everyone follows that idea.

Ignatowski
10-05-2007, 07:42 PM
I noticed the same thing......Never using 2V again

Grinder1989
10-05-2007, 11:14 PM
I don't know about the Panasonic, but the Eclipse has 8V outputs. I had the 8053 w/ 8V outputs connected to an amplifier that had a "maximum" input voltage of 1.5V with the gain set to minimum.....and I had to really be jamming on it to drive it into clipping.

That Sundown has a pretty wide swing on the input sensitivity...up to 6V. Depending on your listening habits, musical content and other settings (bass boost, etc) you would probably be fine with it set a little higher than you have now with music. Just be careful if you're blasting test tones at a loud volume. If you don't have access to a DMM listen carefully for distortion/etc for a while.....or just run to Radio Shack and grab one of the $10 cheapies.

I don't blast it all the time and I have no bass boost on. I'll mess with it a little to get it perfect. So let me get this straight the more input the lower the gain correct?

O and the Panasonic was 2.5V with a line driver so about ~8 volts and I had it on half.

squeak9798
10-07-2007, 12:33 PM
So let me get this straight the more input the lower the gain correct?

Generally, yes.




so about ~8 volts and I had it on half.

Then there's really no difference between the Panny+LD to the Eclipse in terms of voltage, assuming the LD was truly capable of a clean 8V and you had it set to where you weren't limiting it's output voltage.

60ndown
10-07-2007, 12:36 PM
new hu has better sq.

60ndown
10-07-2007, 12:39 PM
hu output voltage varies with volume, so if your listening at 1/3 volume your only getting 1/3 of 2 v = .6? but 1/3 of 4.5 v is 1.4? 'ish'

= clean. er

joetama
10-07-2007, 12:41 PM
new hu has better sq.

I would say this is a bigger factor than output voltage and gain...

Grinder1989
10-07-2007, 01:01 PM
Generally, yes.


So I could clip the amp by having the gain too high on 8 volts? I turned it up a little past a quarter last night and it helped alot. I'M leaving it alone till I get my box and another battery to run @ 0.5 ohm.