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Emery.H

Tuning An Amp By Ear

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This kind of setup you can easily tune by ear, which I prefer over the DDM method. Here is a little "how-to".

Find a song that is bass heavy around 40 hz or so. Start the song with the SSF and the gain all the way down, and the LPF all the way up. Have everything flat on your HU, and then turn the volume on the HU to your MAX LISTENING level (you must not ever go past this point after tuning or else further risk danger to the components of the system). During the bass heavy portion SLOWLY turn the gain up 'till you're happy with the output or start to hear mechanical noise, smell anything funky, see stress in the surround, stop hearing any increase in volume, or anything else out of the ordinary. Back off the gain a tad and make sure your voltage is steady. If the voltage is dropping below 12.4 back the gain off. Some will have a different number for that, but that's the lowest I ever want to see my voltage, which never happens ;) .

Once you're happy with where the gain is get a 30 or 31 hz track and turn the SSF all the way UP. Turn the tone on and slowly climb to your MAX LISTENING level. If the sub is moving too much you may want to back the gain down. If the sub is only moving a little you can start to turn the SSF down 'till you start to hear mechanical noise, smell some funk, or see any distress. If you notice any of those happening, turn the SSF back up a tad to stop them from happening. If, at any point you're happy with the output you can stop turning the SSF down and have it be there, no harm done.

Great! You've got low end! Now let's tweak the higher spectrum that the sub plays at. This is going to vary on your own personal taste. Some set their LPF at 60, some 80, others 100! It all comes down to what you want your sub to be doing and how you want your music to sound. Personally, I have mine set to 80, I believe, with a higher slope. We will use that for this walk-through.

Turn the LPF all the way down, sound familiar? Get a 80 hz tone and start at a low volume and work your way up to MAX LISTENING level. Make sure there isn't any of the previously stated hazards happening. If there is, tap your gain down. If not, then slowly start to raise the LPF to a point where any of them start to happen (back off at that point) or 'till you're happy with the output at that point.

As for your slopes that's going to be another personal preferance which you need to tune around. I would start with a higher slope on the low end. If you're not happy with that, turn the amp off and switch it to a lower setting, again watch for any hazards that would result in more signal being sent to those lower notes; heat, mechanical noises, over excursion, stank. For the HPF slope I have a steep slope because i have my HPF relativly high (to those that prefer 60 hz or 80. You know who you are!). This depends on where you want you midbass played. My mids don't really have much mid bass, so I have my subs do some of the work. I'm happy with it, but you may be happy with a lower slope and a lower HPF. Remember; the higher the slope the sooner the amp is going to cut signal to the frequencies on the other side of the filter. i.e. if you have your HPF set to 80 with a 12 db slope you're going to have more output at 100 hz than if you used a 18 db slope.

Through all of this you need to watch your voltage reading. If it gets too low adjust accordingly to prevent such drops. I don't advise walking away from this and saying, "I'm done, lets go beat the trunk up". You need to listen to a range of songs to see what other songs play like. Some will get very low, which hog power (watch your voltage and listen for mechanical noise). Others play heavy notes for a longer period of time, which drains power and makes a lot of heat (watch voltage and constantly be aware of any heat/electrical smells and pause the song to feel the cone and make sure it's not getting excessivly warm).

Main point I'm trying to make here is that you may be constantly be tweaking your setting to get them dialed right in to where you want them and sound best for your listening tastes at a safe level for the components of the system.

Edited by Emery.H

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Please give me feedback. If anything sounds wrong, let me know. This is just how I tune my amps and they seem to work fine for me. I see this asked a lot and figured I could finally write something up for those that it could help!

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worked out well. Got the DD M1c setup now 800 watts @2ohm. sounds deeper, but still running to clipping issues on some songs, not alot allot of bass of others. wondering if it is the .mp3 compression at this point and some pandora pounds other songs not so much.

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Different recordings will sound different. Also, how are you getting your music? Before I bought all mine from Amazon, or a similar site, my music was all over the place. I finally decided it was worth the dollar a song for good quality.

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I finally decided it was worth the dollar a song for good quality.

There is still room for improvement even then by downloading lossless, or FLAC files.

Pandora streams at different bit rates. You don't get their highest quality unless you pay for their premium service. Even then, your connection will determine what bit rate it can keep up with.

Edited by smoothfidelity

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I will try that pandora paid service as well. If I do burn my CD's I ussuay go 256k bit i believe.

Edited by Verlaist

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so the pandora seems better for pay. On the other hand, seems sub could be louder still. Set with my MM and the LPF dont wont on my amp if LOF is all way down, nothing comes though. other than that seems to we working out well. Will be ordering a 5100 XS power tommorow and and 170 amp alt in Febuary. Maybe it my electrical. Deep bass make the Volt go as low as 11.8. This is a no brainer to get a new battery ASAP. Until I get the alt.

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Got the XS power volt drop to about 12.4 now after heavy bass for 5-10 min so after the alt I think all will be well.

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