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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Russell Springs Ky, Lake Cumberland/Dale Hollow
    Posts
    95

    Default COPS, Speaker POPS, and Bad Sound SHOPS

    Well as some of you have seen and responded to on the ZLD thread, I had a problem with speaker "slap" and distortion on Memorial day weekend. My uneducated self thought that it was a equipment issue of not having a ZLD. When I got my sub installed the week before Memorial day I told the guys to go through and make sure everything was tuned and set right for the holiday coming up. I was assured this would be takin care of. Got to the sound shop and the boat was inside the shop where I could hear it .. It sounded great but the issue is, inside the shop is a whole different ball game then out on open water.When the weekend came and the party started I was constantly having to turn up and down and up and down the bass cause of distortion and pops from song to song. It got very annoying but I made it through the weekend. Well here we are now. After talking to Brian at Exile I found out very quickly that it was not a "missing" equipment issue but a equipment setup problem. Now by no means I am a expert so that is why I am doing this write up. For the guys that are intimidated at tuning their own system(this is me)I am going to tell you what I did to get this thing to rock and get the cops called on me for disturbing the peace. First I will give you the run down on the gear.
    2 XM9s powered by a Exile 800.4
    6 6.5 Exile in boat speakers powered by a Exile 800.4
    1 12 Memphis audio powered by a Prx 500.1
    Stock sony head unit in a 2014 Moomba Mondo
    First thing first, My head unit was all out of whack! -6 low..+2 mid ..-1 hi blah blah blah.This was the "tune" that I got from the audio shop. To start the tune I turned everything to ZERO. this starts you at square one where you dont have the EQ in the head unit messing with your sound coming out of your speakers. This includes your AUX input .. mine was +6 .
    Second up was the volume. Now, i'm not going to go through all the scientific reasons why I set my volume to this but basically, you want to set your deck to 80% or below on max volume. When you crank your deck wide open it causes a massive amount of distortion. No matter how much you work on your amps you will NEVER get it out if your deck is wide open. My deck goes to 50 so I set mine to 35 just to be on the safe side. So now my deck levels are set to 0 and my volume is set to 35. In order to attack my system I needed to set my 3 zones(tower,cabin,sub) one by one. So next I unplugged the RCAs to the sub and the towers cause I wanted to start with the cabins.
    So on the amps there was a switch that said LP(lowpass) HP(hi pass) and Flat(full range) now since these are only 6.5in. drivers they are not made to handle the bass that a sub is. Just like a sub is not made to project voice. The sound shop had put these on Flat so all the music including the bass meant for a sub was traveling through these speakers. THIS IS BAD. Cabins need to be set on HI PASS. Now to get into the tech side, preferably you want to turn your HP hertz setting on the amp to 110 hertz. This will allow only the frequency's that are suppose to pass through the 6.5s hence stopping the pops,cracks, and distortion. On the Exile and it went from 20 to 400 so about 20 clicks(est)clockwise did it for me. All I did was start really high probably about 35-40 clicks clockwise and started turning counter clockwise until I got the POP back. Then I took it back up 1 or 2 clicks and the pop went away. This immediately made a big difference in the sound quality and made a big impact on the clarity of the cabins. Now when gains(how much it amplifies the sound) come into play it is kinda a ball park on where you will have them set at. Mine on the cabins was somewhere between 10-11 o'clock and this produced a good level to satisfy my ears. Again to my knowledge this is a trial and error and by no means a dead set amount to have your gains on your amp set at. finally I began to understand why this was so important. Why spend thousands of dollars on good equipment and let a few settings keep you from your full potential.
    Next was the Towers. I unplugged the cabin speakers and plugged back in the tower speakers. Again I did the same thing turning up the hertz then back down till I got distortion and POP .. Back up a click or 2 and BOOM.. SET.. Now these were a little different. Ideally you want to get these around 80 hertz. You can achieve this be cause you have a lot larger speaker on the towers which are designed to handle mid bass. Now a lot of people might not know this about the XM9s but if you unscrew the Exile logo on the back you will find a switch that has a NO and 1 Ohm setting on the speaker. Want to get all you can get out of the tower speakers set it to NO. Want to get a warmer sound with less brightness to the sound, set it to 1 ohm. I had no clue about this little hidden feature and it can make a big difference if your not trying to reach out to that wake boarder all the time.
    Last but certainly not least the BASSSSSSSSSSSSSS. now by this time I had this sucker blasting for almost 45 mins to a hour trying to get this set up right. This was causing the biggest problem on Memorial Day weekend because the Sub was getting a Mechanical sound like it was almost jumping out of the box. Found out that's called over excursion. Now with the sub you do the exact opposite. Go to the amp and switch it to LOW PASS. No voice should be coming out of your sub at all. Subs are designed for the low end of the music range kinda like a tuba in the orchestra. Holla to my band nerds!!! I set the hertz on this bad boy to about 60 hertz or so i'm guessing its kinda about what music ya listen to and when you want this puppy to hit. Not to mention before I started the sub level on the deck was +10 .. WTF. So with this I started on the 20 hertz side and moved my way up until I heard what i think was voice then turned it back down a few clicks ...
    This where my story ends my friends. At this point I was interrupted by what we country folks like to call the POPO. I was in a old factory parking lot and could not see a house for over a 1/4 away and some how got the cops called on me for disturbing the peace. haha... SUCCESS!!
    But to sum it up I was skeptical to try this on my own But thanks to Brian couching me through the process I was able to get my gear straighten out and sounding great!!! Whether you love or hate EXILE the customer service is second to NONE. He was at a t ball game and still answered my calls 3 or 4 times. BIG THANKS TO BRIAN!!!
    PS: heres the police .. it took 3 of them apparently LOL
    IMG_20140530_204931_902.jpg
    1995 Moomba Boomerang-SOLD
    2008 Moomba Outback DD- SOLD
    2014 Moomba Mondo
    EXILED and STYLED

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    11,329

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    Finally, someone just explains this in good old fashioned plain English. Props to you man! You have solved the mystery of how to tune a system for all of us in one simple, easy to follow post. Here, here! Looking forward to seeing the cops in my nearby Target parking lot.
    My Mom said I'm not allowed to get wet!
    2008 LSV
    2000 Outback LS (sold)
    Exile Tunes
    PWI
    LLTR!!!!!!!!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    205

    Default COPS, Speaker POPS, and Bad Sound SHOPS

    Awesome write up, I may have to go through my system and try this, thanks!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1998 Outback

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Katy, TX
    Posts
    4,211

    Default

    What were you playing to tune it? I hear Nickleback is good to tune a system too...
    David

    2008 Mobius LSV, Gravity III , Wake Plate, Z5, Exile SX65c's, Exile XM9s, Exile XI12D, Exile Harpoon, Exile SM600.1 , Exile Xi800.4.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Russell Springs Ky, Lake Cumberland/Dale Hollow
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rdlangston13 View Post
    What were you playing to tune it? I hear Nickleback is good to tune a system too...
    I listened to all kinds of different music .. so what I did was put it through about 4 different songs after I thought I had it set where I wanted. If I had no issues and the quality was great on all 4 songs then I would move along .. If I had a problem even on one song at any part .. I dialed it back just a tad and I knew I was set.. Nickleback is a good one to start with on a rock song because of how they recorded their albums but, if you listen to dub or club music you might find that your sub will be over pushed with these songs if you tuned it to rock only.
    1995 Moomba Boomerang-SOLD
    2008 Moomba Outback DD- SOLD
    2014 Moomba Mondo
    EXILED and STYLED

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    314

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jwredmon101 View Post
    I listened to all kinds of different music .. so what I did was put it through about 4 different songs after I thought I had it set where I wanted. If I had no issues and the quality was great on all 4 songs then I would move along .. If I had a problem even on one song at any part .. I dialed it back just a tad and I knew I was set.. Nickleback is a good one to start with on a rock song because of how they recorded their albums but, if you listen to dub or club music you might find that your sub will be over pushed with these songs if you tuned it to rock only.
    I think that the use of Nickleback comes from my recommendation, due to the fact that Nickleback does a heavy amplitude compression algorhythm on their recordings. Every sound is about as loud as it can be without clipping, right up to the digital media maximum. With Nickleback loud sounds are loud, and even quiet sounds are loud. There are no soft passages in a typical Nickleback recording so you know with a CD from them that you have a recording that is as loud as digital media will allow. There are no digital recordings out there with greater overall volume or density. This is done by running their recordings through a compressor which is set to take the loud sounds right up to the digital maximum volume, and at the same time bring the quiet sounds way up in volume. That is a very good way do describe AMPLITUDE COMPRESSION, as opposed to the digital compression used to create MP3 files that removes analog information to shrink file size. Lots of folks get that part confused.

    There is a digital limit to maximum amplitude, (loudness) for .WAV files, .MP3 files, or other digital files as found on a CD or an MP3 device. In digital terms, one cannot exceed this max becuse there is not a series of 1's and 0's defined in the digital audio language that exceeds the limit. On a CD or MP3 you can only record to this digital maximum.


    Now to Jwredmon101's point... If you have a recording that is recorded at absolutely the loudest level possible at all frequencies, ( Nickleback) and you use it to tune your audio system you can be CERTAIN that you will not find a recording at a later date that is recorded louder. It is digitally impossible. Let me explain:

    We want to set our audio systems where when the system is at its loudest without clipping, EVERY COMPONENT is operating at its loudest without clipping. Audio pros call that UNITY gain. First we set the head unit to just below clipping, (often near that 75% range of the volume control). Then we move downstage and set the next item in the signal path to its very loudest, just below clipping. We move down the signal path in this manner until we get to the amp and we raise the gain control on the amp(s) to the point where they clip, and then turn them back down slightly. Going through this procedure ensures that the gains on the amp(s) are as low as possible. Every component then theoretically clips at the same time, hence UNITY gain. Back to the CD:

    I use a Nickleback CD every time when I can because technically the CD can be considered the very first component of the audio chain. The recording/mastering engineer set its gain prior to mastering and printing the CD. I know with a Nickleback CD that the recording is set to unity gain; it is recorded at that point just below clipping where it will be reproduced as loud as possible. With the exception of some Lab-grade test CDs with tones and noise, you will not find any other material on the market as close to this theoretical max volume.

    THEREFORE, (to close the loop) If after tuning with a Nickleback, (for the reasons and in the manner I describe) you find that another CD or another hunk of music is causing your subwoofers to pop, be overdriven, distort, etc. you can be fairly certain that you did not fully "ring out" the system and get the gains totally set right. That or you turned around and cranked bass boost or Loudness back up after your tuning!

    In summary, it is not that Nickleback puts out hard driving rock music that makes their recordings worth using. It is the WAY they are recorded that makes them worth using. Even if you never listen to Nickleback, you will be hard-pressed to find another CD that so perfectly acts like a lab-grade max-amplitude test CD while still sounding like music...

    I sure hope that clears things up a little bit about WHY I recommend Nickleback. It is ONLY to get that initial gain setting done. It is a tool only, not a musical preference...

    Phil
    Kicker

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Calgary Alta Canada
    Posts
    887

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    Just to throw a wrench into the mix. Some of us actually LIKE Nickleback music. Just Saying....
    07 Outback DD

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    11,329

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    Uh, 50 million albums sold. I like a lot of their stuff too.
    My Mom said I'm not allowed to get wet!
    2008 LSV
    2000 Outback LS (sold)
    Exile Tunes
    PWI
    LLTR!!!!!!!!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    314

    Default

    I worded that awkwardly.

    I'm not flaming on Nickleback fans... I own two of their CDs!

    I simply recommend Nickkeback to fans and flamers alike for setting unity gains on your audio systems.

    Phil
    Kicker

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    651

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by philwsailz View Post
    I simply recommend Nickkeback to fans and flamers alike for setting unity gains on your audio systems.

    Phil
    Kicker
    Which songs do you use?

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