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Nick Miles

Adjusting the gain in my kenwood head unit

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Hey guys I'm fairly new to car audio but I need to find the source of my system having really high pitchy ness when the high notes are hit on just about any song at decently high volume. I talked with a friend of mine he said first adjust the EQ to lower the right part of the line graph down which is whta I believe the treble. I did this by lowering them from high 9/9 all the way down to zero at the very rightmost part of it. Then he told me to lower the gain. So I have a few questions with this.

Which gain is he talking about? Because I've narrated through and I found the DTE gain and I also found the gain for front left front right rear right and rear left as well as the sub in the crossover and also the tweeter. I don't wanna mess with this too much until I know what I'm doing for sure because I don't wanna blow my speakers out since they are already clipping pretty bad. I had adjusted all the gains to -3db from zero I hope I didn't do something wrong.

I'm using a Kenwood KDC-X303 cd receiver. Let me know thanks again for reading.

Edited by Nick Miles

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Could you elaborate on what you mean by "really high pitchy ness ?" Like is it just too loud on the high notes, are you hearing distortion, or something else? Is the volume otherwise to your liking if not for this issue (I.e. Are you having to max it out.) Also, are you running any other aftermarket equipment? Since you originally had the right side of the EQ maxed out, it may be helpful to know what all of those settings are currently at.

 

As for what your friend means by adjusting the gains, you'll need to ask him, because it could mean several things and I'm not going to try reading his mind. While a true gain setting isn't the same as a volume control, it should be noted that it will affect all frequencies similar to a volume adjustment. So by turning a gain setting down as advised by your friend, the lows and mids will go down with the highs and result in a quieter output. So if this is only an issue of your high notes, adjusting a gain setting isn't likely to help.

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On 5/23/2019 at 6:44 AM, Mooncatt said:

Could you elaborate on what you mean by "really high pitchy ness ?" Like is it just too loud on the high notes, are you hearing distortion, or something else? Is the volume otherwise to your liking if not for this issue (I.e. Are you having to max it out.) Also, are you running any other aftermarket equipment? Since you originally had the right side of the EQ maxed out, it may be helpful to know what all of those settings are currently at.

 

As for what your friend means by adjusting the gains, you'll need to ask him, because it could mean several things and I'm not going to try reading his mind. While a true gain setting isn't the same as a volume control, it should be noted that it will affect all frequencies similar to a volume adjustment. So by turning a gain setting down as advised by your friend, the lows and mids will go down with the highs and result in a quieter output. So if this is only an issue of your high notes, adjusting a gain setting isn't likely to help.

 

Sorry if that was vague. Yeah so it becomes almost piercing noise with the high notes of songs I suppose? That's about the best way I can discribe it it really even gets uncomfortable with my ears. The volume is appropriate for what I like but this is where that piercing noise comes into play at about 20/35 volume settings on my Kenwood Excelon KDC-x303. And yes I'm running a 'PSV 300 Fully REgulated Low Ripple 30 Amp Switching DC Power Supply (to be specific .. It's basically a ac to dc converter to use all this stuff In my room which is where it's all at), some kenwood excelon KFC-xw100 10 inch subs (2) with the deck stated from above with a kenwood excelon monoblock sub amp all rated at 300 watts rms. With some 10-15 year old MB Quart QM 1269 KX speakers rated at 4 ohms impedance 39-32khz frequency response with a 60 watt rms and 130 watt peak power handling. The head unit i believe is rated at 4 ohm for the built in amp for 22 watts of rms power with peaks of I believe 50.

 

I was thinking perhaps the power being supplied through the built in head unit amp might actually be lower than that of the minimum power required for the speakers. Thus possibly damaging the head unit and the speakers. Not sure though can't find the specs online of these speakers other than the info I gave which was on the back for the min power recommendation.

 

Also Another thing to consider I was using youtube and I tried actually going to the people who made the song's actual page instead of using the things uploaded by random youtubers. This seems to eliminate about 50% of the piercing noise at some times during the song. Although it still happens. I've had recommendations to use a CD by two different people as youtube is a terrible source for the most part at least what I've heard. So I will go ahead and try that first.

 

If you have any other ideas provided the setup along side the other things I had stated here feel free to give some input. Again thanks for the reply, MoonCatt.

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is it the sssss or shhhh sounds on the singer's voices or is it the tsk tsk cymbals high hats sounds? 


09 Sienna Subs : Four Team Ascendant 18s......Sub amp: Two Taramps 15k

Headunit: Pioneer 80PRS......Mids/Highs two pioneer gm 8604 bridged, one at 4 ohms bridged one at 2 ohms bridged, one ppi 600.2 for tweets.

Front stage: Two PWX 10s per door midbass only....... PRV 6MR500 midrange....... Massive CT 2 german tweeters.

320 amp Singer alt....... 1 group 34 under the hood 6 group31 agms in the back 560 amp hours total.

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The radio would power those MB Quarts fine, just not as loud as if you put a full 60 watts to them.

 

I'm still kinda leaning towards this being an EQ issue, but you did say in the first post that they had been clipping. If this only happens when maxing out the radio, then I would agree those speakers need more power for your listening tastes. It could be distortion you're hearing, but that normally distorts at all frequencies. If you have the volume low enough not to clip but still have harsh highs relative to the lower notes, I'm going back to the EQ being out of whack.

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3 hours ago, Mooncatt said:

The radio would power those MB Quarts fine, just not as loud as if you put a full 60 watts to them.

 

I'm still kinda leaning towards this being an EQ issue, but you did say in the first post that they had been clipping. If this only happens when maxing out the radio, then I would agree those speakers need more power for your listening tastes. It could be distortion you're hearing, but that normally distorts at all frequencies. If you have the volume low enough not to clip but still have harsh highs relative to the lower notes, I'm going back to the EQ being out of whack.

"It could be distortion you're hearing, but that normally distorts at all frequencies" I'm not sure I understand this.

 

I don't know if it is clipping but thats just what somone told me it could be. As far as the volume being high or low it's typically at 20 out of the 35 max when it does this i still hear faint pitchyness as I've described it a little lower say 3 or 4 lower volume. So yeah I'm guessing it could be the EQ as well seemed like when it was factory it was much better I tried using the reset button when removing the faceplate and holding it in for 3 seconds and it really didn't do jack squat... As far as the EQ goes A friend told me to lower the right side of the bar graph or in this case the treble on the high parts of the EQ to zero and the rest tapering down from 9 in the begining low frequencies so it would look like this I'll make it a bit easier to understand it ranges from a scale of -9 to positive 9 for all the EQ bands check it:

 

62 ,5hz -- +3

100hz --+3

160hz -- +3

250hz -- +8

400hz +1

630 hz -- +6

1khz -- +5

1,6khz -- +4

2,5 khz -- +3

4khz -- +2

6,3khz -- +1

10khz -- 0

16khz -- 0

zero factor -- 1:50

Now that I looked this over it wasn't how I had it it was something like 9, 9, 9, 8, 7 , 6, 5, 5, 4, 3, 2 ,1, 0, 0

I know that's two short but that's how I had it I think I might have used a preset eq to try and fix it recently and also I mess with the easy eq and turn down the Sub level down from 3 to zero and the bass level from 3 to zero when it hits night time and I don't want the police showing up at my doorstep you know cause basss. :) other than that the mid level is about 5 and tre is zero all the time. Thanks again moon for your help.

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4 hours ago, Jeffdachef said:

is it the sssss or shhhh sounds on the singer's voices or is it the tsk tsk cymbals high hats sounds? 

It's like the symbols or I guess the instruments like in the song in the air tonight - phil collins I hear that high pitch I talked about when the instruments or digital sounds hit I guess.

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9 minutes ago, Nick Miles said:

"It could be distortion you're hearing, but that normally distorts at all frequencies" I'm not sure I understand this.

Distortion via clipping is when you try to make an amp play beyond its limits. Instead of a smooth in and out motion, the speaker cone is held at a given position. This can kill a speaker quickly, and is usually heard as an unclear sound. A tweeter can sound harsh, sometimes like a clashing of sounds. Mids and lows can sound almost blubbery, or to be blunt, like flatulence. Because music plays multiple frequencies at once, over driving the radio's built in amp would make all the notes distort, not just the highs. 

 

Playing at 20 out of 35 shouldn't over drive the radio unless something extreme is going on with other settings and the recorded audio. The EQ settings don't look like they would cause this either.

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8 minutes ago, Nick Miles said:

It's like the symbols or I guess the instruments like in the song in the air tonight - phil collins I hear that high pitch I talked about when the instruments or digital sounds hit I guess.

lower the 6.3khz to 10khz range down to the negatives. 


09 Sienna Subs : Four Team Ascendant 18s......Sub amp: Two Taramps 15k

Headunit: Pioneer 80PRS......Mids/Highs two pioneer gm 8604 bridged, one at 4 ohms bridged one at 2 ohms bridged, one ppi 600.2 for tweets.

Front stage: Two PWX 10s per door midbass only....... PRV 6MR500 midrange....... Massive CT 2 german tweeters.

320 amp Singer alt....... 1 group 34 under the hood 6 group31 agms in the back 560 amp hours total.

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31 minutes ago, Mooncatt said:

Distortion via clipping is when you try to make an amp play beyond its limits. Instead of a smooth in and out motion, the speaker cone is held at a given position. This can kill a speaker quickly, and is usually heard as an unclear sound. A tweeter can sound harsh, sometimes like a clashing of sounds. Mids and lows can sound almost blubbery, or to be blunt, like flatulence. Because music plays multiple frequencies at once, over driving the radio's built in amp would make all the notes distort, not just the highs. 

 

Playing at 20 out of 35 shouldn't over drive the radio unless something extreme is going on with other settings and the recorded audio. The EQ settings don't look like they would cause this either.

The recorded audio would be about 90% of youtube. Perhaps a cd would do it more justice? never had this problem on other amplified systems I've had. And no the tweeter for the mids and lows don't sound like that at all. And it seems like it is most of the notes now that I listen to songs like Heavy Metal - sammy hagar almost the entire song is peircing sounding (pitchy). If someone else extreme is going on what else is there to consider? Lastly how would I reset this to factory settings provided something did go wrong with the settings? If you know thanks man. But yerah I tried the EQ at more of smiley face and that seemed better at first and usually when I do change it no matter the config it seems better right after but like 1-2 songs after that it seems like it goes back to that awful pitchy piercing noise on most notes. Thanks for all your help you helped me at least eliminate some things. 

28 minutes ago, Jeffdachef said:

lower the 6.3khz to 10khz range down to the negatives. 

Thanks a bunch I'll go ahead and try that.

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27 minutes ago, Nick Miles said:

The recorded audio would be about 90% of youtube. Perhaps a cd would do it more justice? never had this problem on other amplified systems I've had. And no the tweeter for the mids and lows don't sound like that at all. And it seems like it is most of the notes now that I listen to songs like Heavy Metal - sammy hagar almost the entire song is peircing sounding (pitchy). If someone else extreme is going on what else is there to consider? Lastly how would I reset this to factory settings provided something did go wrong with the settings? If you know thanks man. But yerah I tried the EQ at more of smiley face and that seemed better at first and usually when I do change it no matter the config it seems better right after but like 1-2 songs after that it seems like it goes back to that awful pitchy piercing noise on most notes. Thanks for all your help you helped me at least eliminate some things. 

Thanks a bunch I'll go ahead and try that.

are you talking about this youtube link?  This song sounds like absolute garbage on youtube compared to spotify premium. I just tested its not even a miniscule difference its a day and night, fire and ice difference.  You might want to get a much better source for your music, youtube is completely compressed down to literally nothing left.   the best youtube has to offer is 128 mps bitrate even if the uploader uses a Flac file.   Not to mention the uploaders do weird stuff to the song to avoid copyright claims.  Get tidal or spotify premium (i'm using family premium and its 15 bucks a month for 6 people)  Even normal free spotify is 192kbps which will be quite a bit better than youtube off the bat. 

differences heard youtube vs spotify. Youtube had zero sound stage, sounded like an empty tin can, no body to the music, no detail, with screechy treble, no stereo seperation, etc... sounds like an absolute mess of sound.  Spotify you heard every instrument seperately, drums had real thuds and impacts and sounded real in front of you. Treble is lively and smooth highly detailed. Vocal tonality is full bodied, doesnt sound like a tin can at all. I'd definitely upgrade your actual music source and stay off youtube forever when it comes to serious listening.  If you think it wasnt the problem for other setups that just meant the other setups had a lot more sound quality left in them and you never ever tapped into it. 

 


09 Sienna Subs : Four Team Ascendant 18s......Sub amp: Two Taramps 15k

Headunit: Pioneer 80PRS......Mids/Highs two pioneer gm 8604 bridged, one at 4 ohms bridged one at 2 ohms bridged, one ppi 600.2 for tweets.

Front stage: Two PWX 10s per door midbass only....... PRV 6MR500 midrange....... Massive CT 2 german tweeters.

320 amp Singer alt....... 1 group 34 under the hood 6 group31 agms in the back 560 amp hours total.

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1 hour ago, Jeffdachef said:

are you talking about this youtube link?  This song sounds like absolute garbage on youtube compared to spotify premium. I just tested its not even a miniscule difference its a day and night, fire and ice difference.  You might want to get a much better source for your music, youtube is completely compressed down to literally nothing left.   the best youtube has to offer is 128 mps bitrate even if the uploader uses a Flac file.   Not to mention the uploaders do weird stuff to the song to avoid copyright claims.  Get tidal or spotify premium (i'm using family premium and its 15 bucks a month for 6 people)  Even normal free spotify is 192kbps which will be quite a bit better than youtube off the bat. 

differences heard youtube vs spotify. Youtube had zero sound stage, sounded like an empty tin can, no body to the music, no detail, with screechy treble, no stereo seperation, etc... sounds like an absolute mess of sound.  Spotify you heard every instrument seperately, drums had real thuds and impacts and sounded real in front of you. Treble is lively and smooth highly detailed. Vocal tonality is full bodied, doesnt sound like a tin can at all. I'd definitely upgrade your actual music source and stay off youtube forever when it comes to serious listening.  If you think it wasnt the problem for other setups that just meant the other setups had a lot more sound quality left in them and you never ever tapped into it. 

 

This is the one I was listening to I tend to listen to the ones provided by the artists channel seem to be a bit crisper than the one you were listening to but I'll go ahead and try spotify Now since that has bette quality and I'm actually now that you said that considering buying premium since the sound quality gets even better? But yeah it's definitely worth the extra 15 bucks a month even tho I'm low income cause I take my music seriously.

Thanks for coming up with this suggestion my dude I'll try to make some comparisons to the pitchyness that I've talked about between the spotify and this youtube link I shared. Thanks again.

 

PS. How low would you go for those EQ bands you told me to go into the negatives I have them on -5

Also yeah even with spotify free i notice stuff in those songs I didn't even hear before holy smokes the pitchy ness is still a littl ebit there but I would imagine once I get my new speakers as well as the amp I've been looking at should be zero problems at that point. Althought I would like to reset my whole head unit just to make sure I didn't jack any settings up too bad I went through them and it don't seem like I messed anything up too bad but you never know

Edited by Nick Miles

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