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Old 12th February 2011, 13:12   #1
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Default Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Folks,

I'm a music noob as far as the terminology and the acronyms go on the forum, so pardon my layman talk. As always with so many of us seekers on the forum, we need help with something or the other, so here I'm sharing my story.

Story so far: I picked up my Punto sometime back and the plan for ICE was to graduate to each item step by step to learn/understand the sound requirements, research, identify the write brand/product to buy. Considering I had the 'Active' model with no stock HU, So I started out with the HU and ended up buying the Kenwood 8016 BT. Till now I have been playing my music with pioneer oval Coax (in a box, borrowed from my Wagon R) kept in the rear. Soon enough I realized the sound output wasn't as rich/vibrant considering I had moved from a Pioneer HU, given the kenny's are known to be nuetral sounding and less vibrant, but on the flip side the music from
the HU was easy on my ears and caused less fatigue. For sure, I wasn't satisfied with the sound quality so it soon became clear that there is a certain need for front components to get to realize all the sound options on the HU. Given my budget of 6-9K (for front components), I was recommended to go for the Rainbow SLG265 Titans as they are touted to be one of the better
options in the said range.

The kind of music I listen to ? - I listen to stuff ranging from Rock (classic/Alternative/Hard rock) to the latest in pop/hip-hop.

Core Problem
: I bought the SLG265 Titans (based on recommendations) and got them installed and my first reaction wasn't that of a very happy person, I was disappointed for not having found enough depth from the product for the amount of money spent getting them. Let me try and spell
out my problem with the Titan's.

Since the install, I've realized that the sound has become rich (owing to the Titans), but the front components aren't giving me the sweet bass or the thump (even if its reduced relatively speaking). On certain songs, its just missing the beat or its coming out too flat. Its doing great on hindi songs but some of 'Dubstep' remixes its just not picking up the bass at all when compared to the rear.

What was weird was the fact there was another Punto with the titan's installed and I managed to check out the sound, to my utter surprise, the bass handling was better with stock Punto HU (no door damping) when compared to mine with kenny 8016BT.

I was asked by the installer, to give it some 'break-in' time to see if the bass improves. While I am in the process of doing that, I am wondering what could be the other reasons for the abberation.

Ques. Do rainbow's require the break-in period before they come up with some bass. Is it just a SLG Titan specific thing or all rainbows suffer from it ? could it be a tuning or install issue ?

Experts, usual suspects, anybody...any thoughts on the subject are welcome !

PS: I am open to the idea of meeting up folks to do a sound comparo/ relative analysis to sort this problem out.

@Mods: I think its the right section for the thread and its contents, In case its not, please feel free to the needful !

@Gunbir - Thanks for the suggestion, would look forward to your suggestions/guidance on the subject.
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Old 13th February 2011, 02:44   #2
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

@better4worse
A quick question. Which amp are you using to power the components?

Punto doors are quite large and the 'kick' mid-bass could be slightly compromised when compared to an i-10 or Getz. 8016 is a nice head unit. Most stock HUs usually bump up the bass and treble in an attempt to compromise the lack of an amp and sub, so a 'dip' in bass with 8016 is understandable.
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Old 13th February 2011, 09:59   #3
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by better4worse View Post
I was asked by the installer, to give it some 'break-in' time to see if the bass improves. While I am in the process of doing that, I am wondering what could be the other reasons for the abberation.

Ques. Do rainbow's require the break-in period before they come up with some bass. Is it just a SLG Titan specific thing or all rainbows suffer from it ? could it be a tuning or install issue ?

Experts, usual suspects, anybody...any thoughts on the subject are welcome !

PS: I am open to the idea of meeting up folks to do a sound comparo/ relative analysis to sort this problem out.

@Mods: I think its the right section for the thread and its contents, In case its not, please feel free to the needful !

@Gunbir - Thanks for the suggestion, would look forward to your suggestions/guidance on the subject.
Break in is a widely debated topic in audio so without getting into a long debate, lets just accept that speakers are electromechanical devices. Some designs have stiffer suspension than others. So break in should effect all speakers, but some more than others. Give your speakers about 10 hours of play time and they will open up nicely.

Like 'thelord' said, the Kenwood 8016/7016 is a great sounding HU in this price bracket. But compared to an Alpine or Pioneer, it lacks the 'oomph' in bass. Try the same setup with an Alpine HU and you will find the bass magically reappears. Of course, it won't have the airy top end of the Kenwood.

Never underestimate install or tuning. The right crossover frequency/slope can change the way your speakers sound. Unfortunately most people have poorly tuned setups and never realise the true potential of their equipment.

Visit your installer and ask him to give me a call beforehand and I will be there. I think a re-tune will change the way you feel about your purchase.
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Old 13th February 2011, 11:54   #4
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunbir View Post
Like 'thelord' said, the Kenwood 8016/7016 is a great sounding HU in this price bracket. But compared to an Alpine or Pioneer, it lacks the 'oomph' in bass.
Agreed 100%. I ve used the Kenwood 7016 (X693) with Hertz Deici / Energy / Morel HO/Tempo / Sony Xplod / Blaupunkt Velocity and the Midbass is a real let down. Vocals and Highs are just wonderful, however
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Old 13th February 2011, 12:04   #5
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thelord View Post
@better4worse
A quick question. Which amp are you using to power the components?

Punto doors are quite large and the 'kick' mid-bass could be slightly compromised when compared to an i-10 or Getz. 8016 is a nice head unit. Most stock HUs usually bump up the bass and treble in an attempt to compromise the lack of an amp and sub, so a 'dip' in bass with 8016 is understandable.
No, I don't have an amp yet in the car, but yes its the next item on the agenda. I have been advised to go for an amplifier to get more bass out of the front components or to exploit their full potential. I don't have problem with that except for the fact that I am not convinced if I have understood/realized the full potential of the HU before graduating to the amp. Its like I wanna be sure of what my HU can do and can't do !

My grouse is the fact that stock HU (blau) in Punto was driving the front comps better than mine, the sound was full-er with a better kick. Now is the stock HU better than 8016 ? I wouldn't like to believe that !


Quote:
Originally Posted by gunbir View Post
Break in is a widely debated topic in audio so without getting into a long debate, lets just accept that speakers are electromechanical devices. Some designs have stiffer suspension than others. So break in should effect all speakers, but some more than others. Give your speakers about 10 hours of play time and they will open up nicely.

Like 'thelord' said, the Kenwood 8016/7016 is a great sounding HU in this price bracket. But compared to an Alpine or Pioneer, it lacks the 'oomph' in bass. Try the same setup with an Alpine HU and you will find the bass magically reappears. Of course, it won't have the airy top end of the Kenwood.

Never underestimate install or tuning. The right crossover frequency/slope can change the way your speakers sound. Unfortunately most people have poorly tuned setups and never realize the true potential of their equipment.

Visit your installer and ask him to give me a call beforehand and I will be there. I think a re-tune will change the way you feel about your purchase.
Gunbir, thanks for the revert and the answer to the original question! I plan to give the front components a full week's running and will look to visit 'driven' next weekend. It would be nice to have you there for the expert tuning and problem resolution if it still persists.(I'll keep you posted on this)

I too would like to believe, its the state of tune, that is the point of dissatisfaction, I have tried some tunings variations (with the folks at driven), but none that has helped eek out the right sound from the front components.

The install too needs some refinement too, there is some noise from the left side, which needs a 'dekkho' and 'fix karo'.

Couple of 'noob' type questions:

a. Is an Amplifier a pre-requisite to eek out full performance out of the front components. Lets make it more specific with a HU like kenny 8016, do I need amplifier immediately to fully drive my Titans well ? If yes/No, why ?

b. How do you evaluate the performance of the front components, on what parameters ? In isolation(standalone), or in combination with whats in the Rear ? Is it possible that the rear coax is picking up the mid bass while the front components aren't ? I am raising this point because, I may be able to achieve the sound of choice with a 60:40 /front:rear load setting on the fader, but as standalone, the front components aren't holding up on their on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mi10 View Post
Agreed 100%. I ve used the Kenwood 7016 (X693) with Hertz Deici / Energy / Morel HO/Tempo / Sony Xplod / Blaupunkt Velocity and the Midbass is a real let down. Vocals and Highs are just wonderful, however
I'd agree , I can already notice the refinement in the vocals and highs, thanks to the titans !

Last edited by better4worse : 13th February 2011 at 12:09.
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Old 13th February 2011, 16:57   #6
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by better4worse View Post
No, I don't have an amp yet in the car, but yes its the next item on the agenda. I have been advised to go for an amplifier to get more bass out of the front components or to exploit their full potential.

Couple of 'noob' type questions:

a. Is an Amplifier a pre-requisite to eek out full performance out of the front components. Lets make it more specific with a HU like kenny 8016, do I need amplifier immediately to fully drive my Titans well ? If yes/No, why ?
An amp will definitely do a lot of good to any speaker set. I'd say anything between 60-100 watts should be good enough for Titans. The mid-bass has a natural roll-off and the tweeter is protected by the crossover.

As for the mid-bass, there can be couple of other factors as well

- the polarity of one of the mid-bass drivers could be out of phase (highly unlikely if installed at Driven but mistakes can happen)
- improper damping leading to air gaps and leakage

Last edited by thelord : 13th February 2011 at 17:03.
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Old 13th February 2011, 18:07   #7
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

An amp would definitely help.. wait till someone here suggests you a Kenwood 8401/840X/84X.

BTW, did you buy your HU purely out of recommendations/perceptions?
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Old 13th February 2011, 23:59   #8
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thelord View Post
As for the mid-bass, there can be couple of other factors as well

- the polarity of one of the mid-bass drivers could be out of phase (highly unlikely if installed at Driven but mistakes can happen)
- improper damping leading to air gaps and leakage
@thelord

- How do I check and correct the polarity for mid bass drivers ?
- I suspect the air gaps and leakage, is damping the only way to go ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by panky12345 View Post
An amp would definitely help.. wait till someone here suggests you a Kenwood 8401/840X/84X.

BTW, did you buy your HU purely out of recommendations/perceptions?
Haha...I have already been recommended Kenwood (the cheapest 4 channel..some 6k worth item) and one from Rockford Fosgate. Suggestions galore, but I think I'm gonna audition a dozen amp's before I pick one. To be honest, I first need to understand whats missing in my HU and what type/brand will best cover for it.

To be fair, I'm open to suggestions but except a volley of questions from my side.


As for the HU, yea i got mine based on recommendations, I had a serious requirement for inbuilt BT handsfree on HU and this one happened to be in the right price range for me. I'm curious how you figured it out ?

While I hadn't auditioned it before I bought it, actually couldn't for lack of actual owners with this very HU model. I was well informed on the difference in sound that I might experience coming from Pioneer and was open to the idea of trying out a new HU.
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Old 14th February 2011, 00:31   #9
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by better4worse View Post
@thelord

- How do I check and correct the polarity for mid bass drivers ?
- I suspect the air gaps and leakage, is damping the only way to go ?
If you have a good ear, then you can download a few Stereo Polarity Check tracks. One with Correct Polarity, and the other with polarity reversed. If your mid-bass drivers are wired correctly, the bass from the correct polarity track will be authoritative and centered and the bass from the reverse polarity track will be shallow and weak. If one of your drivers would be wired incorrectly, then you won't find much difference between the two tracks.

Otherwise, if you are comfortable with opening the HU and the door panels yourself, you can easily check if the speaker wires are connected correctly. If the speaker wire has no color distinction between +ve and -ve, then you can try the mid bass battery polarity test. Take a 1.5v pencil cell, connect the mid-bass speaker wire +ve to the +ve cell terminal and likewise for the -ve. If the mid bass cone moves out, then the speaker is wired correctly. Don't connect for more than a millisecond and NEVER attempt this on a tweeter as it might get damaged permanently.

I'd suggest you let the folks at Driven double check the polarity for you.

And yes, damping is one of the most overlooked part in most ICE installs. A well damped door can make a 15k speaker sound better than a badly installed 30k speaker.
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Old 14th February 2011, 15:51   #10
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

I would certainly not doubt the Rainbow's for Midbass, they have ample kick. Not sure if your contention for bass is some songs or all the songs? Titans have an advertized lower cut off at 50Hz so even if you take that as approx 55 to 60 Hz, that is good lower range to produce the usually intended bass by the component woofers.

As thelord has already pointed out, it could be just the polarity of the speakers which could be cancelling the mids.

Try running some test tones for polarity check or even simpler, on your HU use the fader to run only your front components. Then shift the balance on the left channel listen to the bass response, then switch the balance to the right channel and compare it against what you just heard from the left. If there is a difference in the overall response including bass and vocals between the two speakers then it’s a polarity issue. .Now bring the balance to 0(Zero) and listen again. The bass response must improve now as both the woofers would be playing at the same time. If not, its polarity for sure.

As for your query on the coaxials putting out better bass, the coax’s always are more sensitive and will do so.

I hope this helps.
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Old 14th February 2011, 17:06   #11
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by better4worse View Post

I'm curious how you figured it out ?
Experience counts Sir!
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Old 14th February 2011, 20:19   #12
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Things to Check :
As Many mentioned : Polarity of the speakers. Most of the installers take care of this, but once a while, they slip up.
Second : Some of the HU's have "Low Pass Cutoff" or "High Pass Filter". If the they are set to Above 80Hz, a lot of the Bass character gets taken off.
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Old 15th February 2011, 15:57   #13
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thelord View Post
If you have a good ear, then you can download a few Stereo Polarity Check tracks. One with Correct Polarity, and the other with polarity reversed. If your mid-bass drivers are wired correctly, the bass from the correct polarity track will be authoritative and centered and the bass from the reverse polarity track will be shallow and weak. If one of your drivers would be wired incorrectly, then you won't find much difference between the two tracks.
I'll try this and get back to you on this one !

Quote:
Originally Posted by thelord View Post
Otherwise, if you are comfortable with opening the HU and the door panels yourself, you can easily check if the speaker wires are connected correctly. If the speaker wire has no color distinction between +ve and -ve, then you can try the mid bass battery polarity test. Take a 1.5v pencil cell, connect the mid-bass speaker wire +ve to the +ve cell terminal and likewise for the -ve. If the mid bass cone moves out, then the speaker is wired correctly. Don't connect for more than a millisecond and NEVER attempt this on a tweeter as it might get damaged permanently.
I'll let professionals handle this kind a test considering I have some options with these speakers. I'll get the polarity double checked at driven in a couple of days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawanarya View Post
I would certainly not doubt the Rainbow's for Midbass, they have ample kick. Not sure if your contention for bass is some songs or all the songs? Titans have an advertized lower cut off at 50Hz so even if you take that as approx 55 to 60 Hz, that is good lower range to produce the usually intended bass by the component woofers.
As I said, the problem is there is either too little bass on nearly all songs or its completely missing it on some songs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawanarya View Post
Try running some test tones for polarity check or even simpler, on your HU use the fader to run only your front components. Then shift the balance on the left channel listen to the bass response, then switch the balance to the right channel and compare it against what you just heard from the left. If there is a difference in the overall response including bass and vocals between the two speakers then it’s a polarity issue. .Now bring the balance to 0(Zero) and listen again. The bass response must improve now as both the woofers would be playing at the same time. If not, its polarity for sure.
My problem is I don't see the woofers making an effort on most songs at all and even when they do, the output is not satisfactory. I have tried the fade (L<->R) analysis, but I'm not sure if I can confirm the polarity this way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawanarya View Post
As for your query on the coaxials putting out better bass, the coax’s always are more sensitive and will do so.
Actually I find that a bit weird that the rear coax are responding to the different states of tune but the 'front' components aren't. To be honest, I wasn't expecting this big a difference between the rear to front bass handling.


Quote:
Originally Posted by panky12345 View Post
Experience counts Sir!
Yea..too many 'noob' like actions/questions I guess or the fact that you've been there before and had your share of experiences. Thanks for helping out !

Quote:
Originally Posted by allajunaki View Post
Things to Check :
Second : Some of the HU's have "Low Pass Cutoff" or "High Pass Filter". If the they are set to Above 80Hz, a lot of the Bass character gets taken off.
I have tried the variety of X'over settings on the HU (lower and higher than 80 hz) for the front components but I am not getting a feedback(worth mentioning) from the woofers, whereas the rear ones react to all the changes in the settings and difference is audible.

Guys- Give me a day or two or possibly the weekend! Let me meet up with some bhp-ians to confirm polarity/install related concerns and see what we can do improve the setup. I'll update the thread as and when I have more to share.

Last edited by better4worse : 15th February 2011 at 16:00.
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Old 17th February 2011, 23:13   #14
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

@ b4w

I had auditioned these speakers when I was searching for a pair of components, and I too found them lacking the factor that you have mentioned, or simply put they sounded like el-cheapo transistor speakers

Cheers
GT

P.S. This is purely my personal opinion
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Old 18th February 2011, 00:44   #15
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Default Re: Rainbow SLG265 Titans - Issue with bass handling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gt500 View Post
@ b4w

I had auditioned these speakers when I was searching for a pair of components, and I too found them lacking the factor that you have mentioned, or simply put they sounded like el-cheapo transistor speakers

Cheers
GT

P.S. This is purely my personal opinion
@Gt500

Bro, I'll hold my final comment on the speakers for a couple of days more, for the moment I'll stick with euphemism and refer to them as components which seem to suffer from a 'bass deficit' !

Like I said, I'll get them checked over the weekend.
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