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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Dixon, IL
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    Default Hiss in Tower Speakers?

    Just installed new Exile surf-style speakers with a Kicker ZX550.2 amp powering them. The speakers sound awesome when turned up, couldn't be happier. However, when I turn the tower speakers all the way down on my EQ, I can hear a hiss coming from them. When I turn the gain down on the amp it goes away but if I turn the gain down just to the point where I can't hear it, I then can't turn the volume up enough on the EQ enough (volume all the way up is only about where I would want half or 3/4 to be).

    Any suggestions? Here's a link to some pics on the supra forum:

    http://www.supraboats.com/bbs/showth...er-PINK!/page6

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    North Texas
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    1,819

    Default

    I didn't click the link yet, but which eq do you have?
    06 Supra 24 Gravity Games

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
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    312

    Default

    Hmmm.. It appears you have a Krypt EQ....


    First - off, take the EQ out of the equation and wire the Kicker amp straight to the radio. Set the gain on the amp to get the volume you want based on the radio being at about 3/4 of max volume. Note, your head unit tone controls, (bass and treble) should be flat. With the setup this way and the radio turned down all the way do the speakers hiss?

    If when the amp is wired straight to the radio there is no hiss and you can get your desired loudness, the hiss is coming from the EQ.

    If when the amp is wired straight to the radio there IS hiss, the noise may be due to your perception that the tower speakers need to be louder, and you are compensating by setting the gain higher than necessary to try to get more than max power out of the amp.

    At high volume do the speakers get all crunchy like your dads stock car stereo when it is turned all the way up? I ask this question somewhat gingerly, as I don't want to offend you, but I hear way too many systems where the owner has no clue that the amp is in hard clipping and the speaker cones are being bashed around so hard by the clipped square wave signal that the sound is more a buzz than music... A generation or two have grown up with no sense of what a clean non-distorted stereo sounds like; they simply don't know and think that crunchy sound of a heavily-clipped amplifier is what music is supposed to sound like when it is loud...


    I have a feeling that the hiss is going to go away when you remove the EQ from the signal chain. Every piece of electronic gear you put between the CD or iPod and the speakers has a pre-amplifier gain stage, and all pre-amps make some noise. Some are worse than others, but know that the better the gear, the lower the noise generally. Your radio has a preamp stage and it makes a little noise. The EQ has a preamp gain stage, and it amplifies the little bit of noise in the radio, plus it adds its own. As you experienced with the amp, its gain stage will add noise when turned up, so that is a good example. For every part of the signal chain you want gains set as low as possible while set just high enough to give you rated power output from the amp.


    Unfortunately, sometimes you find that a piece of gear is just inherently noisy, and a HLCD tower speaker is going to be very revealing of that. There is not going to be much you can do short of finding out where the noise really lives, and then either eliminate it by removing the offending piece of gear from the system, or replacing it with a product that has similar function, but better performance and signal-to-noise specs.

    Phil
    Kicker
    Last edited by philwsailz; 05-17-2012 at 02:21 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snellville, GA & Lake Sinclair
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    7,011

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by philwsailz View Post
    Hmmm.. It appears you have a Krypt EQ....
    Phil,

    Awesome write up, as always, but really your explanation could've just read as above. . .

    Chris, no offense meant towards you in my statement.
    Drew
    New ride: 2012 Mojo
    Old ride: 2008 OBV

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Mckinney, TX
    Posts
    279

    Default

    Why do i feel worried now??
    89' Comp Resto:
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    89' Supra/Custom Tower & Interior/Swivel Racks
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    880

    Default

    Here is a quick check. If the amplifier is run at a 4-ohm load the input gain may be set a little higher...for 2-ohm load a little lower. If the EQ has strong preout voltage this will reduce the amplifier input gain. So disconnect the RCA inputs to the amplifier and set the amplifier input gain at an anticipated 35 percent to reach full power in this scenario. When the amplifier is turned on any thermal noise you hear is totally owned by the amplifier and I would expect it to be there but minimal. Any additional noise you hear once you plug back in the input RCAs (please power down before un/plugging/in RCAs) is totally owned by the components upstream in the signal path or a mismatch in the interface between the upstream components.

    David
    Earmark Marine

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Dixon, IL
    Posts
    295

    Default

    Phil, thank you for the detail, however I don't have a radio/HU. My source is my phone, which goes aux in to the EQ, then to the amps. Also, I know what you mean by not understanding what loud is supposed to sound like, but it truly wasn't loud enough.

    Wolfeman, my system is an on-going project that can't be completed all at once with my budget, can't wait to get the whole thing dialed in with high-quality stuff!

    David, thanks for the suggestions, I'll try that out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    237

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisK View Post
    Just installed new Exile surf-style speakers with a Kicker ZX550.2 amp powering them. The speakers sound awesome when turned up, couldn't be happier. However, when I turn the tower speakers all the way down on my EQ, I can hear a hiss coming from them. When I turn the gain down on the amp it goes away but if I turn the gain down just to the point where I can't hear it, I then can't turn the volume up enough on the EQ enough (volume all the way up is only about where I would want half or 3/4 to be).

    Any suggestions? Here's a link to some pics on the supra forum:

    http://www.supraboats.com/bbs/showth...er-PINK!/page6
    Sounds like it is just your tower speakers with the hiss from your discription. Do your in boats have the hiss sound as well? If its just the tower speakers I'd think you would be able to narrow it down to either the EQ, EQ and amp gains, or some wiring, either cheaper RCAs to the tower speaker amp (550 i believe). I doubt that it would be your phone if you are not experiencing the hissing coming from the other speakers (inboats). Also could try just flip flopping the RCA outs on the EQ (inboats swapped with the tower) and see if that makes a difference. See if that changes the hissing from the towers to the inboats. Good luck, I had the hissing last year just from the tower speakers but it ended up being a bad HU and you don't have one, so that rules that out.
    2004 Moomba LSV Blue

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    880

    Default

    Listen to what Phil said about the line driver after the iphone and before the EQ. You can bet that EQ has hiss and is the primary culprit. 'Hiss' is a matter of a ratio between the EQ's noise floor and the music material. The iphone has very little voltage which places the impetus for increased gain mostly on the EQ. If a cleaner line driver takes most of the gain responsibility then much less is demanded of the next gain stage which is the EQ. I can definitely see how this would produce less noise.

    David
    Earmark Marine

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Dixon, IL
    Posts
    295

    Default

    Just messed with the RCA's. The hiss went away when I disconnected the two RCA's designated for the tower from the back of the EQ. So this obviously means the culprit is the EQ, correct? Would a line driver solve that problem? Would a higher quality RCA between EQ and tower amp help the problem?

    Thanks again guys.

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