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Justin Garrett

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About Justin Garrett

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  1. Justin Garrett

    Advice needed to improve JL / Focal setup... not enough volume

    thank you but the speakers are 2 ohm so I can't bridge
  2. Justin Garrett

    Sound processer for factory radio

    I'm working on a similar project now. I have a FIx 82 and the Vxi 1000/5 AMP in a 2015 Honda Accord Ex-L. One thing I wlll tell you is that what I have sounds good, but there is a high-pass filter that is part of the factroy system that cuts off the low bass. In mine it is before the amp and after the radio. In yours it might be IN the Radio, not sure. I found a video on the internet that let me cut the filter off from a hidden software menu (which then resets every time you turn off the car) and flattens the EQ. Man it sounds so much better. I have a JL 12W6v3 in a custom box and even the Fix cannot restore the missing low end. It sounds good, but the part of the bass you feel is missing. When I flatten the EQ it makes an audible difference. Now I do it every time I drive. bottom line, your friend is right, you would need something that takes away the factory EQ and time alignment. But, my personal experience, and I'm not an expert, is that the information deleted by the high pass filter is just gone and you cant get it back. If you do consider swapping the head unit, you might want to check this out on eBay: Honda Accord 2013-2017 (9th Gen) Stereo install Kit. In my case I have learned that if I can tap the signal prior to the factory amp in my car I can get a clean signal, so I am going to try to keep the factory radio. But talk to me in 3 months I might change my mind.
  3. Justin Garrett

    Should I get a 5 ch or 4 ch and mono?

    I'm no expert and I don't know anything at that company. Just speaking from trying to find a 5 channel that would run my system. I looked at more mainstream companies and no one seems to make the wattage I need. I will say the numbers look too good to be true, but what do i know?
  4. Justin Garrett

    Should I get a 5 ch or 4 ch and mono?

    one 12" at 500W you can prob get away with a 5 channel, anything above you'll need more power just for the subs. it can be hard to find a 5-channel that can push 150 per channel plus 500 for a sub. If your 6x9s require 150W then you may be better off with two separate amps to get the most out of the speakers. Better to have more power than less when matching.
  5. My current setup is Front Stage: Focal 165 KRX2 components plus Subwoofer: JL 12W6 subwoofer Amp: Vx1000/5 off the factory EX-L touchscreen unit with the signal tapped after the factory amp running into a JL Fix. I am not getting enough volume to make me happy although the SQ is excellent. Currently the passive crossovers are being used, biamped (jumpers connecting the W and Tw removed so that each channel can be individually time-aligned). I feel like I should be able to get more volume out of just the front stage and the sub... Focal says these speakers are "extreme power handling" but they don't get that loud with the current setup. We got 107 dB using an iphone's internal mic and Audiocontrol's app. Older tracks from the 70s and 80s max out in the 95 dB range. I am planning on adding rear speakers because I don't want to decide I need them later and then have to pay additional to have it re-tuned. Speakers are two ohms so bridging channels is out. They call for 120W RMS and I am only feeding them 90-100W. When I designed the system I was thinking that 100W to the Woofer and 100W to the tweeter was like giving them 200W. I guess I was wrong and I am learning this as I go. I would like to see what you think about my proposed setup It's a little different in terms of normal configurations. 1. Tap the signal ahead of the amp. Ditch the JL Fix-82 for full refund. 2. Add a Vx600/2 and power the woofers in the front doors. The speakers are rated 120W/240W and the 600/2 would feed them 225W/300W at 2 Ohms at 12.5V/14.4V. Thinking is that the tweeters are getting plenty of power off the Vx1000 but the woofers could use a little more juice. 3. Run fully active in the front with 90-100W from the Vx1000 to each tweeter and 225-300W to each woofer from the Vx600/2. 4. Add rear coaxial K2s and run channels 3 and 4 from the Vx1000 to them. A couple of questions: 1. What kind of SPL should I expect to get in an Accord Coupe with a front stage and a sub? I don't really want to make all these changes if I don't have to add rear speakers and what I have could be improved by changing to say the HD 600/4 for the front stage and XD 600/1 for the sub and then adding a separate DSP. My fear is that if I do that and its still not enough volume I will be switching amps again and incurring additional tuning and installation costs. 2. How do you feel about the SPL I am getting? Should I just suck it up ands add rears or would I be able to get a jump from a combo of (A. tapping the 3V from the radio, B. going fully active, and C. adding power to the current speakers) 2. How would you connect the factory signal into the Vxi amps? Do I need all 5 wires (FL FR RR RL SUB) or should I just connect to FR and FL to get a full range signal. SInce I am running two amps should I run the signal to each of them using the rear outputs? Are the rear outputs full range? 2. Alternatively, would you connect all five wires to the VX1000/5 and connect the Vx600/2 via optical? 3.To me it seems a little overkill but I couldn't figure another 2 amp setup that gave me: 1. 150W+ to the woofers, 2. allowed me to run fully active in the front 3. power rears 4. 600W to the sub. 4. I was told advised not to go with the Audiocontrol 6.1200 or the Focal 900/6 with a Mono for the sub and a separate DSP. The AC would have given me 150W/6 allowing me to power all the front and rear speakers and then add a mono. There would have been some cost savings there, but the lead installer/manager said I would take a hit in quality according to some of his colleagues he polled.
  6. Hey KHA, 

    I imagine its pretty rare to find someone with your credentials who has a very similar car and the same amp, so I hope you don't mind me bugging you again.  I have an upgrade install coming up in two days and before I do it, I would love to get your opinion. This ended up being quite a bit longer than I anticipated so I'd be happy to send you a gift certificate to a restaurant or something for helping me make these choices.  You can PM me.

    I attached drawings of the current and proposed setups to try to make it more clear.  I'm an orthodontist not an engineer so I hope they make sense.

    My current setup is

    Front Stage: Focal 165 KRX2 components plus

    Subwoofer: JL 12W6 subwoofer

    Amp: Vx1000/5 off the factory EX-L touchscreen unit with the signal tapped after the factory amp running into a JL Fix.  I am not getting enough volume to make me happy although the SQ is excellent.  Currently the passive crossovers are being used, biamped (jumpers connecting the W and Tw removed so that each channel can be individually time-aligned).  

    I feel like I should be able to get more volume out of just the front stage and the sub... Focal says these speakers are "extreme power handling" but they don't get that loud with the current setup.  We got 107 dB using an iphone's internal mic and Audiocontrol's app.  Older tracks from the 70s and 80s max out in the 95 dB range.  I am planning on adding rear speakers because I don't want to decide I need them later and then have to pay additional to have it re-tuned.

    Speakers are two ohms so bridging channels is out.  They call for 120W RMS and I am only feeding them 90-100W.  When I designed the system I was thinking that 100W to the Woofer and 100W to the tweeter was like giving them 200W.  I guess I was wrong and I am learning this as I go.

    I would like to see what you think about my proposed setup  It's a little different in terms of normal configurations.

    1. Tap the signal ahead of the amp as you suggested.  Ditch the JL Fix-82 for full refund.  (I asked for this originally but I don't think the installers knew how to handle balanced signals and they thought it was non-variable.  I really appreciate your input, the wiring diagrams etc.)

    2. Add a Vx600/2 and power the woofers in the front doors.  The speakers are rated 120W/240W and the 600/2 would feed them 225W/300W at 2 Ohms at 12.5V/14.4V.  Thinking is that the tweeters are getting plenty of power off the Vx1000 but the woofers could use a little more juice. 

    3. Run fully active in the front with 90-100W from the Vx1000 to each tweeter and 225-300W to each woofer from the Vx600/2.  

    4. Add rear coaxial K2s and run channels 3 and 4 from the Vx1000 to them.

    A couple of questions:

    1. What kind of SPL should I expect to get in an Accord Coupe with a front stage and a sub?  I don't really want to make all these changes if I don't have to add rear speakers and what I have could be improved by changing to say the HD 600/4 for the front stage and XD 600/1 for the sub and then adding a separate DSP.  My fear is that if I do that and its still not enough volume I will be switching amps again and incurring additional tuning and installation costs.

    2. How do you feel about the SPL I am getting?  Should I just suck it up adn add rears or would I be able to get a jump from a combo of (A. tapping the 3V from the radio, B. going fully active, and C. adding power to the current speakers)

    2. How would you connect the factory signal into the Vxi amps?  Do I need all 5 wires (FL FR RR RL SUB) or should I just connect to FR and FL to get a full range signal.  SInce I am running two amps should I run the signal to each of them using the rear outputs?  Are the rear outputs full range?  

    2. Alternatively, would you connect all five wires to the VX1000/5 and connect the Vx600/2 via optical?

    3. Anything jump out at you that you don't like?  I know it seems a little overkill but I couldn't figure another 2 amp setup that gave me: 1. 150W+ to the woofers, 2. allowed me to run fully active in the front 3. power rears 4. 600W to the sub. 


    4. I was told advised not to go with the Audiocontrol 6.1200 or the Focal 900/6 with a Mono for the sub and a separate DSP.  The AC would have given me 150W/6 allowing me to power all the front and rear speakers and then add a mono.  There would have been some cost savings there, but the lead installer/manager said I would take a hit in quality according to some of his colleagues he polled.  The JL Vx 600/6 didn't give me anymore power to the front stage.  I have ordered the 600/2 but I could always put off the install and reschedule if you think I need to make some changes.   Thank you!  And again, I know this was stupid long, so I'm happy to buy you a few drinks at a restaurant near you

     

     

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    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Justin Garrett

      Justin Garrett

      KHA,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.  When I went to the shop yesterday to get everything done, I wanted to know if I could hook up an Airport Express via toslink into the Vxi and use the Tun software to switch inputs.  I was also thinking of asking them to install a power inverter to plug it in.  Would be a cool way to get Airplay via optical and use an Airport that I'm not using anymore since I went with Google wifi in my apartment.  If you set the iphone DNS servers to blank on the wifi connection yo can get the phone to transmit airplay for audio and use LTE for internet.  I watched videos on how to use a Voltage step down to run it off USB also, but you have to hack the thing apart.

      Evidently JL tech support said no to selectable inputs on the Vxi, you had to do something via Valet mode, and a bunch of other things that didn't make sense to me, because from playing with the Tun software in demo mode it appeared it would be possible.  I would bet you probably have optical hooked up with yours!  The manual for the TxK specifically says you can do it for the TwK so I don't know.  Also, even though I had asked if we needed the hub and was told "no", it turns out that we would need a hub.  At that point I was sick of dealing with the Vx Amps.  I'm sure they are great, but I found them too limited on power and even JL Tech support doesn't seem super knowledgable.  The shop is like an upper level retailer so they get leveled up tech support too.  I was thinking they are wrong, but who am I to argue with guys with 20 years experience who are repeating what JL tech is saying.

      It also was proving difficult to figure out how to turn the volume up with the DRC knobs since I was using two different amps for the same set of components.  I asked them ahead of time if this would be an issue, but it wasn't until install day it became a problem.

      Anyway, I scrapped the whole plan because I was tired of running into issues.  I am returning the Vxi 1000/5 and the Vx600/2.  Today they are installing

      TwK 88 for DSP with the following outputs

      1,2,3,4 into HD 600/4 for front stage K2RX (150 per channel speaker rated for 120)

      5,6 into XD 400/4 to Focal Access coaxials or components.  They didn't have a 200/2 in stock and the 400/4 was only $110 more.

      7,8 into XD 600/1 to Sub (I was told to stick with the high RMS for JL Subs instead of going up to 750

      Overall the price of the three amps and the TwK was about the same as the 2 Vxi and the setup was divided more cleanly and is simpler.  Every which way I tried to keep the Vxi 1000/5 proved to be a challenge.  Its probably a great amp, but Focal speakers want power and the amp just wasn't giving me enough.  If JL made a 900/6 that was 150 per channel at 2 ohms, it would be perfect for an active front and rears, but it wasn't meant to be.

      Anyway, my sincerest gratitude for providing the schematics for the pre-amp harness.  It was exactly what I and they needed to be able to ditch the JL Fix and keep me from spending more money on an aftermarket radio.  If they ever come out with a wireless Apple Carplay radio that does toslink out, I'll switch.  I had found a Clarion that did it but was warned away from the brand at this time.

      You were a huge help through all of this, and I am 100% sure that without your assistance I would still be floundering to come up with another solution.

    3. keep_hope_alive

      keep_hope_alive

      Your new plan can achieve your desired goals, for sure.

      Yes, you can assign a preset with different input signal routing, including having a preset with a fiber optic input instead of analog inputs.  I have presets that use different input signal routing.

      Assuming you fed the second VXi through the first VXi preouts, the DRC would control volume on the preouts along with the rest.  Otherwise, the network hub allows for controlling up to 5 VXi amplifiers.  

      For systems like yours, a VX800/8i would have allowed front tweeters and rear coax to have normal power while the front woofers could have bridged output power.  That's what i'm doing in a buddy's car where the 800/8 powers ZR comps active and 8" Midbass bridged active (it replaced two HD600/4 as noted previously).

      Your new plan will be easier for the shop to get right since it is traditional and something they are familiar with. Be sure to share pics!

    4. keep_hope_alive

      keep_hope_alive

      This video (from JL Tech) explains signal routing for the VXi or TWK:

       

      This video discusses presets:

       

      He doesn't think that JL Tech support would have said no to having presets with different signal routing.  I suggest having your shop talk with Eric directly to learn more about what VXi can do.

  7. Justin Garrett

    2014 Accord Sport SQ Build keep_hope_alive

    KHA, Thank you for your amazing posts. I am getting ready to potentially tap the signal in my 2015 Accord EX-L. I am unsure why you went back to the original non touchscreen headunit after all the work involved in swapping it out. Was there a reason that I missed? Sorry if you have already explained and I did not see it. You are using the Vxi amp to take away the EQ from the original stock Sport unit, correct? Am I correct in my understanding that the EX-L headunit has all the EQ in the factory amp? Another question is from the EX-L headunit, is the 3v output variable meaning i can use the volume control on the radio? Right now i am using a volume control on my amp as the radio is set at 31 feeding the JL Fix which I plan to eliminate based on your information. Thank you so much! Justin
  8. I have a 2015 Honda Accord Ex-l coupe.  The shop that installed my gear tapped the signal after the factory amp, which then goes into a JL Fix before going into a Vxi 1000/5.  I told them about your build and some of your comments.  They wanted me to ask you where you tapped the clean signal, adn exactly how you did it.  I did not see specifics.  Would you be willing to fill me in?  

    1. keep_hope_alive

      keep_hope_alive

      My build log has information and I have a thread on the process of transplanting a premium touch screen into my Sport. 

      https://www.driveaccord.net/forums/138-audio-electronics-lighting/405098-2014-sport-swapping-hu-premium-touchscreeen.html

       You can get wiring diagrams for your 2015 from my onedrive account:

      https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ap4dXrMqgeWbjkxUXLE8ko91-nky

      In those diagrams are the pinouts for the head unit and amplifier.  The output from your head unit is 3V RMS Balanced with no eq.  This can be wired directly into the VXi (you have the same amp as me and I was one of the Beta testers).   You can intercept the wiring from the amplifier input harness and eliminate the Fix entirely.  The input harness has front, rear, and sub input signals.  Because the inputs are balanced, you do not terminate the shield.  Your installer can solder RCA ends to wiring that intercepts the HU output.  If they need any other info, just hit me up.

    2. Justin Garrett

      Justin Garrett

      Thanks so much!  I was just reading your review of the amp when you replied.  Would you please explain what you mean by  "I achieved this by routing the signal through the preouts then back into the amp.  This gives me full control/tuning of the preout channels."

       

       

    3. keep_hope_alive

      keep_hope_alive

      You won't need to do this with a clean signal, but you can gain an overall EQ by bringing the audio signal into CH 1&2 then internally routing to the PreOut L&R.  Then connect RCAs from the PreOuts to CH5&6 inputs. 

      With this process, you cannot maintain a fader at the HU (you can use the remote control for a fader). 

      This gives you the tuning capabilities of the PreOut as a signal correction which i've used to correct for EQ.  My build log has some of those images and I have a video of the process I will soon add to my YouTube channel. 

      Tell your installer they can use an RTA to see the frequency response of any head unit or out of any amplifier to check if it is flat or not.   I used this process to fix the factory signal with the VXi.  

       

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  9. https://www.audiotec-fischer.de/en/helix/accessories/hec-hd-audio-usb-interface-dsp.2 https://www.audiotec-fischer.de/en/helix/accessories/hec-hd-audio-usb-interface-dsp-pro/mk2 https://www.audiotec-fischer.de/en/detail/index/sArticle/508 They make one of these for each of their processors. It would allow a direct connection to the DSP from the iphone or android without conversion. Capable of 192 kHz / 32 Bit processing. Could completely bypass HeadUnit and eliminate the need for OEM integration like what I have, the Fix. Where can you buy Helix gear? The place that installs my gear doesn't carry them and I'm not sure if they are familiar with them.
  10. Justin Garrett

    Has anyone used these in a car? (Emotiva Big Ego)

    What are the pitfalls? Here are potential advantages Digital signal directly to DSP Maintain all factory esthetics, controls, integrations Low cost Convenience of phone app like TIDAL, no additional hardware to download music files to
  11. Justin Garrett

    Advice needed to improve JL / Focal setup... not enough volume

    Staan, I understand your point, but it's not that loud. That's what I'm trying to say. I'm 38 years old and I'm not trying to impress anyone at stoplights. But I do like to sing along with some music in my car because part of what is so powerful about music is the raw emotional experience. And nothing ruins that experience more than the sound of my own voice. Justin
  12. Justin Garrett

    Advice needed to improve JL / Focal setup... not enough volume

    Thank you for your replies, this is basically what the manager at the shop said. I like him and trust him. I think my confusion is where the distortion is coming from, since there are so many variables. I haven't actually heard the distortion but the guys at the shop have said thats all they can get out of it. I am very new to this but I have tried to learn as much as I could and have become kind of obsessed. I really didn't know car audio was this complex and fun. I don't know if my lack of volume is because 1. the signal from the stock radio (tapped after the factory amp) going through the Fix and then to the Vxi amp via toslink is not that great and so the amp is having to work too hard to boost it? 2. the tweeters are actually maxed out with a clean signal and cannot produce any more volume. This seems suspect because these speakers are supposed to handle "extreme power" and I can pretty much sit there with the volume at MAX and its not uncomfortable. For reference, the same shop just installed my old system that I had in my old 95 suburban into my fiancee's car, which is basically some kicker ds 65s front and rear running off head unit power and it gets louder. It just makes me think something is not quite right. Does my car sound better? Yes. But it's less loud when only playing through the main speakers with the subs off in each vehicle. I guess I am just trying to make sure I am getting everything out of my $1300 speakers before adding rear coaxials. So many people run just a front stage and seem to be fine. I like to play my music loud but not earth shakingly loud. I called Focal and one of their guys said those speakers should get really loud and sound really good. They do sound really good, but they don't get "really loud" with the current setup
  13. Justin Garrett

    Has anyone used these in a car? (Emotiva Big Ego)

    Or one of these? https://www.minidsp.com/products/usb-audio-interface/usbstreamer-box
  14. I saw this mentioned somewhere else... https://emotiva.com/collections/personal-audio/products/big-ego Was thinking of having one mounted behind the dash to get a digital signal from TIDAL over USB converted to optical toslink to go to my JL Vxi Amp Would bypass stock HU. already have a volume knob on the amp so that wouldn't be an issue
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