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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, don't know if this has ever been covered and not sure that most car audio guys are even concerned about this, but does anyone have any tips on how to improve the soundstage and imaging in our cars?

I mean, besides eq'ing your system to your tastes, what are some more of the simple ways you can raise your soundstage up and expand it out past the windshield? I know Malek had mentioned marking the windshield in three spots and doing something....(didn't quite understand the concept)

I'd be interested to see what else has worked for you guys.....
 

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You need to mount the mids and tweeter in the kick panels and aim them. The aiming take time and patience to get it right. Another option is to use HLCD(Horn loaded compression drivers like those offered by Image Dynamics and USD Audio.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
so where should these drivers be aimed and where should the signal be crossed? (and I don't mean crossed over, I mean if each tweet had a laser line shining out of it, where should they cross? to the left of my head?, the right?, right at my head?)
 

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you could add a few more speakers (like 10 maybe). No joke my dad has 8 speakers in the FRONT of his S430. Now its not the same sound I enjoy (loud and bassy with really good range and most importatnly earbleeding highs could best describe my setup) but the imaging in his car is spot on. You feel like you are listening to a high quality home stereo. Now how does that answer your question? I'm pretty sure it doesnt really. Its just a suggestion if you are willing to spend some big money on a sick stereo. Now is it worth it in my opinion? Absolutely. Forget T/C and S/C and exhaust, my car modding started with sound. There is nothing better than having an amazing stereo in your car to impress your friends (and the local law)
 

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xencloud said:
so where should these drivers be aimed and where should the signal be crossed? (and I don't mean crossed over, I mean if each tweet had a laser line shining out of it, where should they cross? to the left of my head?, the right?, right at my head?)
Trial and error is the only thing I can say. You have multiple angels that vary per install and their is no magic #.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well, no magic numbers, but any general tips for making it work? I can mess with the details...
 

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Most people have good luck with kick panels, and time alignment settings help too. What are you planning on using for equipment?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
awesome! What drivers are those up near the top of the doors? how'd you fit something that large? Custom fiberglass pods?

I have a plan that would require something a little larger than stock in the stock tweet locations, like a smaller dome mid, or larger tweet....
 

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Its a DLS Ultimate UR6 Component set. The tweeter is a bit over an inch and way to big to fit in the stock A panel grill so I had to have it custom molded. The Door pod is fiberglassed and wrapped in black vinyl (p.s. the lexus 'black is not true black.. ;( ) and holds a 6.5" midbass.

Be careful on your tweeter choice, I dont think anything much laarger then a 3/4" tweeter will fit in the stock apanel without some luck or customization.


 

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mndfreeze said:
Its a DLS Ultimate UR6 Component set. The tweeter is a bit over an inch and way to big to fit in the stock A panel grill so I had to have it custom molded. The Door pod is fiberglassed and wrapped in black vinyl (p.s. the lexus 'black is not true black.. ;( ) and holds a 6.5" midbass.

Be careful on your tweeter choice, I dont think anything much laarger then a 3/4" tweeter will fit in the stock apanel without some luck or customization.



I fit a 1.2 inch tweeter in my stock housings...

Austin, i will post my ideas on imaging up for you soon...

Here is a picture of a 1.2 inch tweeter in the stock location..

 

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Some people (like me) find the sound of horns just nasty, no offense lisnup. I really enjoy the sound from ribbon drivers, but they are pretty damn big to fit into a car audio enviroment without alot of work.

Kick pods also take up alot of precious leg room for your foot resting, especially if you drive a manual. So i find that option hard to use, i can't drive without my dead pedal rest....

But the most nonintrusive way to get better sound staging would be in speaker selection. Speakers sound diffrent depending on where there aimed, and diffrent speakers will produce diffrent effects. You got to pay attention to the axis effect. After selecting the right drivers, getting it tuned/equalized/time correct can make a large diffrence too. And this is a pretty long and difficult task that requires alot of patiences. Also, installtion of the speaker also hugely impacts the performance of the speaker. Just sound deadening your outer door panels and you can dramaticly improve the bass response from your speakers....
 

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good point man, some speakers and tweets work better in OFF axis applications while others work better on axis and need to be aimed at the listener...
 

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I have a Alpine 7998 and have been rockin' that deck for about 5 years. It have everything that I need. I have switched over to MbQuart PSD216 in the front. I rewired the whole car so that I am not using ANY factory wiring. I have Dynomatted the car head to toe front to back as well. Then I sprayed the trunk The MbQ's are being pushed by Pheonix Gold. I have had a few different subs in the car but I can not come to a final decision after 5 years. I am still trying things out. I love JL though.
 

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I have found that a general guide line is to have the kick panel mid bass around 33ish degrees towards the cabin. The upward pivot is a matter of playing around. The tweeters I normally start with a string lined with the door side of the headrest to the opposite kick area. I use plumbers tape and slowly start listening to different materials that I know well . If you can have someone else doing adjustments while you listen would be ideal.
Again, their is no real guidelines as it is trial and error. The more rigid the kick panels the greater the mid-bass response which is what 80% of all systems seriously lack. I am talking welding of bolting at min to the car, sound deaden the hell out of them and use only rigid materials to construct.

90% of a good sounding system is the install with only 10% the equipment. You can use uber $$$$$ speakers, slap them in and wonder whey the sound like ass. I have had numerous customers over the years that this has happened to and its funny how they always want a refund on the product.

4 years ago or so I had a member of the forum come to me for some basic stuff. I was in the process of working my own car when the customer asked to hear it. Now I had Focal Utopia's for the front stage and Diamond Audio Hex's for fill ran off a 125*4 HiFonics amp. No sub in the setup yet. Well the customer could not beleive the way the car sounded. The midbass would move your clothes without a subwoofer.
Anyways, he came back a few weeks later and wanted the Focals and he loved the way they were in my car. The install was a basic install with a typical baffle mount in the stock location. Around 60 watts RMS was supplied by whatever amp he had at the time. When it came time to test and listen, he was extremely disappointed in the sound especially for a $1000.00 set of speakers.
I now had to try and explain how the setups are simular, they are in no way the same as I have spent over 150 hours in sound deadening and perfecting the installation of the components and that is why the sound was night and day different.

The moral behind my rambling is that you have to research and plan, and take your time to do the job right to get the performance from the system. Its not as much about the choice of product, but rather the installation and tuning.
 

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We where going to try to have just kicks and doors and found out that the soundstage was to low. Thats why we had to add the Dyna MD140s to the pillars. This brought the stage up drastically and provided the depth and imaging we needed. Dyna's also sound great on and off axis which allowed us a little more wiggle room for placement.

Lisnup I am with you on the horns. Laugh but I still have a set of USD's. As mentioned above. Trial and error. More so with kick panels than the doors but with the IS its going to be tough to get a good soundstage without having a tweeter or mid somewhere up high.
 

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Could I just add a mid-bass to the kicks and keep the stock locations with my PSD's? Would that help to provide depth or would I need to relocate the tweets. I was able to utlize the factory locations in the doors.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
well, what I'd like to do is an all active, 3 way system up front with 7-8" midwoofers in the doors, a dome mid (very similar to the Dyn MD140 actually, just need something to repsond flat out to 8k hz), and then I have a very compact planar ribbon unit that I will be trying to mount in the a-pillar or forward dash area to take car of 8k hz and up.

I think fully tuned, this setup should sound very nice.

The only detail I haven't worked out is if I want my mids in my doors to repsond up to 2k hz or so, or do I want dome mids that can take over at ~500hz......hmmmmm....any suggestions? :>)
 

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Well their is a formula for measuring when we can hear in stereo as opposed to mono and each individual differs on what freq they can start to distinguise where the sound is coming from. The human ear is really sensitive around 1-2K so I would stay well below that and run your woofer in the door as low as possible on the low-pass side. You DO NOT want the ear to detect that they are not mounted in relationship to the mid and tweeter. It will destroy the stage and drop it low fast.
 
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