DSR-1 review, the love hate relationship


Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
17,262
253
South Coast Metro, CA
Review of Head Unit:

Rockford fosgate DSR-1 DSP.

so me and CSCstang got to playing with this on his SQ mustang as a stand alone processor via low level rca inputs. Right off the bat, it had a horrible time trying to pair with his note 8 which has bluetooth 5.0 lol. We literally had to turn off the car, unplug the harness and restart the app on his phone for the bluetooth to connect. The bluetooth range is extremely short, even sitting in the driver's seat with the DSR1 in the bottom of the passenger seat, it would disconnect here and there if it starts acting up. However for the most part it worked well enough for me to do the tuning for a few hours. I can foresee a lot of frustration with the bluetooth connection in the future though while driving.

Its a 3 way active front plus subwoofer setup, his head unit is a pioneer 2800bs which has a 4 volt pre-out signal. All adjustments on the head unit is off and flat, I've put on basic crossovers points and slopes for all the drivers and we started testing with 40/40 on the head unit volume and also max on the phone volume. Gain settings are the same as before we put the dsr-1 in. On the config wizard we chose the 4 volt pre-out signal to match the head unit.



Off the start we noticed the output was weak in comparison and had to gain up to get proper levels. So to remedy this, we actually chose 2 volts on the config wizard and that made the dsr-1 output a much stronger cleaner signal. In the end we ended up choosing 1 volt pre-out input in the config wizard and got a very powerful signal which allowed us to lower gain on the amps.

Also when we were adjusting time alignment and output levels on the software, some how the right and left side got switched mid tune.... Utterly ridiculous. You cant get it back to normal without redoing the config wizard again. So i just lived with it and flipped the time alignment numbers. Stage is pretty dead center regardless of this roadblock.

I noticed the EQ cuts and attenuations make very small minor changes unless you really stack on the DB cuts, it goes by half db increments but i wish they just made it a full db increment because you barely notice anything with half increments.

Final thoughts
Audio performance signal and tuning wise = A
software stability/reliability = D+ for now
Software ease of use = B, for what it is.

I still actually like this software and interface waaay better than the ARC audio PS8 processer i got to play with on fly_marlin, another socal buddy has. I might snag one up for myself in the future.

All in all, its worth what it costs The achievable blend between mid, midbass, tweeter and sub with the crossover slopes and points alone already made it worth it even with all the bugs in the software which are actually workable. Hopefully they make software updates to fix all these bugs we experience.

Audio wise, the signal is very clean with no noise and powerful as well if you choose the right config wizard setting. No worries on the sub signal, its very strong and powerful so SPL guys would love this as well. For dsp beginners, it'll be a steep learning slope for people used to simpler dsps and head units. Lets just say you cant really wing it by ear as you would with the simpler dsp/head units. An RTA will definitely be helpful with the EQ work.

The whole setup sounds a lot better even though we didnt spend much time on the EQ portion. We will later if he gets an RTA. But seriously though, **** sounds pretty fking sweet already just from crossover work and relatively flat EQ.
@blazian87, ya'll might want to see my experience with it. @Jcsaudio did you experience some of these issues? How was your tuning experience like? This unit requires much more extensive tuning work than the TWK's advanced mode especially the parametric EQ portion, you really need to know what you are doing precisely
 

LosIsATool

CarAudio.com Veteran
Apr 7, 2011
18,504
68
Pensacola, Florida
360.3 has buggy software also. Rockford just can’t get that right.

Wait until it starts dropping the tune. Might want to cap the tweeters just in case.

 

Jcsaudio

Senior VIP Member
Sep 28, 2017
460
13
Worcester, MA
Jeff,

Your review is pretty much inline with what I experienced as well before I returned the DSR1 for a JL Twk 88. I just set up another Twk 88 last night right after I put my interior back together and I had all the crossovers, HP and LP filters, input/output settings, and time alignment done in 30 minutes. To be fair though this is my second JL Twk so I have experience with its software. Like you said the software for the DSR1 needs work and it was frustrating to set up. I can see someone being new to a DSP getting lost real easily with the DSR1. I had issues with the Bluetooth range too and having to go back through the setup mode to change something was frustrating. You cannot just directly input parameters like you can with other DSP's. I also had issues with the input and output gain settings that I set exactly to what the JL Twk was set at when I swapped it with my JL Twk for comparison. The input and output settings didn't seem to be what they should have been.

Another thing I thought was suspicious was that there are no technical specifications given for the chip used, the frequency it runs at, or the bit rate for DAC in the DSR1. For example most of the DSP's like the Twk are 48 khz with 24 bit DAC's. Its good that your experience with the sound quality was good, mine wasn't so much so but I didn't spend as much time with it as you did as I was so frustrated with it after a few hours of trying to set it up that I threw it in the shipping box and said to myself "forget this thing, I'm getting another JL".

 
OP
Jeffdachef

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
17,262
253
South Coast Metro, CA
360.3 has buggy software also. Rockford just can’t get that right. Wait until it starts dropping the tune. Might want to cap the tweeters just in case.
havent had any tune drops yet. But yeah it has a secondary amp high pass filter in place

Jeff,
Your review is pretty much inline with what I experienced as well before I returned the DSR1 for a JL Twk 88. I just set up another Twk 88 last night right after I put my interior back together and I had all the crossovers, HP and LP filters, input/output settings, and time alignment done in 30 minutes. To be fair though this is my second JL Twk so I have experience with its software. Like you said the software for the DSR1 needs work and it was frustrating to set up. I can see someone being new to a DSP getting lost real easily with the DSR1. I had issues with the Bluetooth range too and having to go back through the setup mode to change something was frustrating. You cannot just directly input parameters like you can with other DSP's. I also had issues with the input and output gain settings that I set exactly to what the JL Twk was set at when I swapped it with my JL Twk for comparison. The input and output settings didn't seem to be what they should have been.

Another thing I thought was suspicious was that there are no technical specifications given for the chip used, the frequency it runs at, or the bit rate for DAC in the DSR1. For example most of the DSP's like the Twk are 48 khz with 24 bit DAC's. Its good that your experience with the sound quality was good, mine wasn't so much so but I didn't spend as much time with it as you did as I was so frustrated with it after a few hours of trying to set it up that I threw it in the shipping box and said to myself "forget this thing, I'm getting another JL".
the dac sounds right around 24 bit. That 1 volt input setting trick i used made a huge difference, literally went from sounding like a weak 16 bit sh*t signal to a mega powerful clean signal, Like night and day from pure SQ alone without any other changes. The 4 and 3.5 volt setting, even with higher gain didnt sound right at all. Its like you took off a 5lb wet blanket off your system.

 

blazian87

CarAudio.com Elite
10+ year member
Mar 12, 2007
1,374
27
Los Angeles, CA
Sounds promising. Can't wait to install mine. Just by looking over the app, the tuning features look very advanced with all the little increments you can do so I kinda expected to put in more work into the tuning rather than an easy set it n forget it. I really need to get myself a RTA mic soon.

 

Boomin_tahoe

Hurtin' feelings errrday.
10+ year member
Jul 24, 2005
15,282
137
WA
@Jeffdachef, how did Chris manage to get some free time for you 2 to experiment with the DSR-1 knowing he was working crazy hours at work?! Poor guy hasn't been on the forum in months...
 
OP
Jeffdachef

Jeffdachef

Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
17,262
253
South Coast Metro, CA
[quote name='Boomin_tahoe']@Jeffdachef, how did Chris manage to get some free time for you 2 to experiment with the DSR-1 knowing he was working crazy hours at work?! Poor guy hasn't been on the forum in months...[/QUOTE]

his work gives him time to breathe once in a full moon before they drown his @ss in work again. One good thing is he's raking in that overtime pay. Just hope we can get his daily driver sounding absolutely beautiful and ready for SQ comps once the RTA arrives.

[quote name='blazian87']Sounds promising. Can't wait to install mine. Just by looking over the app, the tuning features look very advanced with all the little increments you can do so I kinda expected to put in more work into the tuning rather than an easy set it n forget it. I really need to get myself a RTA mic soon.[/QUOTE]

expect a lot of quirks that comes with the cheap price lol. hope you find some of my work arounds useful when you start with the setup/tune.
 

wew lad

wew lad inc
Mar 22, 2015
5,810
80
MA
has anyone gotten the bluetooth to actually work on this stupid thing? it took an hour of just turning **** on and off and updating firmware to get it to even recognize it existed, and now i cant write ANYTHING to it because it says the bluetooth disconnected as soon as it opens the main page. pretty ridiculous if you ask me

 

Jcsaudio

Senior VIP Member
Sep 28, 2017
460
13
Worcester, MA
has anyone gotten the bluetooth to actually work on this stupid thing? it took an hour of just turning **** on and off and updating firmware to get it to even recognize it existed, and now i cant write ANYTHING to it because it says the bluetooth disconnected as soon as it opens the main page. pretty ridiculous if you ask me
I had similar issues with my DSR1 too. I recommend a better DSP such as the JL Twk too and I’ve had the DSR1 and own 2 Twk’s and a Fix 86. JL software is better designed and more user friendly in my opinion.

There is also Mini DSP, which I have no experience with but I hear is the budget champ in the DSP world and it can have its settings directly loaded with REW auto EQ, a major plus in my mind. If you keep plugging away at the DSR1 it will do what any DSP can do but it will be a frustrating affair getting there. I did aquire mine back in November 2017 so maybe Rockford has ironed out some of the software bugs and you just need to update the DSR1. Let’s face it, it’s a $250 DSP and in that price range it’s not going to be on par with the $500 + DSP’s.

 

wew lad

wew lad inc
Mar 22, 2015
5,810
80
MA
I had similar issues with my DSR1 too. I recommend a better DSP such as the JL Twk too and I’ve had the DSR1 and own 2 Twk’s and a Fix 86. JL software is better designed and more user friendly in my opinion.
There is also Mini DSP, which I have no experience with but I hear is the budget champ in the DSP world and it can have its settings directly loaded with REW auto EQ, a major plus in my mind. If you keep plugging away at the DSR1 it will do what any DSP can do but it will be a frustrating affair getting there. I did aquire mine back in November 2017 so maybe Rockford has ironed out some of the software bugs and you just need to update the DSR1. Let’s face it, it’s a $250 DSP and in that price range it’s not going to be on par with the $500 + DSP’s.
I agree to some extent, however I expect it to fully work. Not just fail right out of the box.

Even the PPI 88R DSP I had took less time to get fully functional than this.

This is extremely limited and I'm disappointed. Had I not just gotten a new phone I wouldn't be able to use this AT ALL. My iPad mini one won't work with their app, nor will my note 4 (still one of the most powerful phones and its four years old).

They need to fix this, bottom line.

 

ChaseinBass

CarAudio.com Veteran
Jul 13, 2013
2,051
6
Calif
has anyone gotten the bluetooth to actually work on this stupid thing? it took an hour of just turning **** on and off and updating firmware to get it to even recognize it existed, and now i cant write ANYTHING to it because it says the bluetooth disconnected as soon as it opens the main page. pretty ridiculous if you ask me
I got you man , give me a few min I will pm you I figured it out

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

wew lad

wew lad inc
Mar 22, 2015
5,810
80
MA
I got you man , give me a few min I will pm you I figured it out

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I have gotten past what you PM says to no avail, it's a different error..

Well, similar, but different

 

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