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Old 28th September 2018, 13:25   #16
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

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Originally Posted by knrn View Post
My query is that is this notion true? Or was I on a high ride so far.

So based on what I gather a pioneer dsp will require an amp and new speakers with the same factory HU while the Sony dsp can provide the same output with speakers and woofer without an amp. I know it may sound silly but this what I have deduced and perhaps you can elucidate the details for non audio techs like me.

Your comment" I am really very old" - spot on satire. Had a big laugh.
You are partly correct. But that's a topic for a whole new discussion. I want to keep this thread focused on "Correcting for the extreme equalizations found in OEM HUs using a DSP on a BUDGET". Before the Pioneer came along this was the domain for some DSPs that cost 3-5-10 times as much. What excited me about the Pioneer is that it makes the DSP available and affordable for more people.

The Pioneer DSP- AMP can be used by itself as it does have 22W rms to power 4 speakers. But 22W rms is pretty limited and it cannot drive a subwoofer so it is recommended that an external amplifier be used as well. The Sony provides both a subwoofer amplifier and 45W vs 22W rms which is more than adequate for everyone but the absolute bass-heads. Another thing to keep in mind is that both these units are not in the same race as the units from Audison, JL Audio, etc. They are a fraction of the price and hence will be have lesser build quality and maybe sound quality still if you are getting 70-90% of the sound for 20-30% of the price it is a VFM solution for many of us.

And yes I am very, very, old. I designed and built my first amplifier (yes built) in 1976. By 1978 I had stuffed car audio into a Premier Padimini and by the early 80s I was already tearing apart Chevys, AMCs, Fords etc.

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Originally Posted by arethusa View Post
Thanks once again for starting this much needed thread (I am sure a lot of fellow TBHPians will share my opinion on the thread).
Thank you. The object of this thread was to expand the use of after market audio; yet retain the OEM HU and do it all on a "relatively reasonable" budget.

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Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
Is this a good portal?
Lets keep discussions here related to "DSPs for OEM HUs". Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
1. Is it possible to not use a sub woofer but still upgrade speakers and use OE headunit?
2. Considering the above, is it possible to add more depth to the music? I mean, I'm happy to hear songs on current OE system, but if at all I upgrade I want to get a nice depth incorporated into my music, like a proper surround system. Can this be achieved? I don't care much for the extra bass a subwoofer brings in (And don't want to lose the already limited boot space in my hatchback).
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1. Yes of course. You do NOT absolutely need a subwoofer to enjoy good sound. Subwoofers only re-produce the bottom 2 octaves or so of music. Everyone above 100hz can easily be reproduced by just 4 speakers.

2. 'Surround Sound' in a car is a different animal. There are several systems capable for 'surround sound' and none of them are cheap. After all these systems incorporate 7 or more channels of speakers and some real fancy DSP processing to deliver sound equivalent of a good 5.1 or 7.1 home theater system in a car. Tomlinson Holman's THX audio system for example can reproduce THX certified audio in a car. Same as Harman/Kardon's LOGIC 7 (the MS8 referred to in my original post is Logic 7 capable). Most of these surround systems are options in luxury cars. If you order an Audi A8 for example you can order it with Bang & Olufsen "Advanced Sound System". At the extreme end are systems like Range Rover's 23 speaker system from Meridian.

What the DSPs we are referring to here are much more modest and intend to do is just produce 2 channel of music but with a sound stage that resembles a concert hall/stadium and equalized so that the system does not make your ears bleed.

The Pioneer with 22W x 4 channels of power is quite capable for small requirements. If you feel that 22W is not enough you can add a small 4 ch. amp and bypass the Pioneer's internal amplifier.
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Old 28th September 2018, 13:34   #17
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio on a budget

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Originally Posted by navin View Post
To compensate for the limitations of these paltry speakers many OEM HUs are heavily equalized especially at the frequency extremes (bass and treble). As a system the combination of the heavily equalized HU and sub-standard speakers is just about tolerable however the sound is often compressed in dynamic range and lifeless.
How do I find out if my Ford Figo, audio is flat or EQ applied?
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Old 28th September 2018, 13:37   #18
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio on a budget

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Originally Posted by gauravanekar View Post
How do I find out if my Ford Figo, audio is flat or EQ applied?
Most OEM HUs have some EQ inside them. To what extent varies from car model to car model.

One practical way to determine the extent of this internal EQ is by listening to your favored brand of car speaker with both the OEM HU and a 3rd party HU from say Pioneer or Kenwood.
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Old 28th September 2018, 18:11   #19
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Thanks for the informative post Navin, I have a few doubts.

1. Is it possible to not use a sub woofer but still upgrade speakers and use OE headunit?
2. Considering the above, is it possible to add more depth to the music? I mean, I'm happy to hear songs on current OE system, but if at all I upgrade I want to get a nice depth incorporated into my music, like a proper surround system. Can this be achieved? I don't care much for the extra bass a subwoofer brings in (And don't want to lose the already limited boot space in my hatchback).

Thanks
Just to add what Navin said. You don't need the sub at all. I wouldn't have minded not having the sub except for some rare times.

The depth or surround you are referring to is not the 5.1 ch type but the stereo imaging or soundstage.

You will get that with a nice amp and good speakers.

In your case instead of the pioneer DSP, the sony amp with DSP makes a lot more sense with better speakers like Focal, Infinity, Morel, DLS etc.

The pioneer makes a lot more sense for someone who has an amp and wants to add the DSP.

The pioneer doesn't seem to have a lot of juice to drive speakers and is better as standalone DSP going by reviews.
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Old 30th September 2018, 11:30   #20
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
...
In your case instead of the pioneer DSP, the sony amp with DSP makes a lot more sense with better speakers like Focal, Infinity, Morel, DLS etc.

The pioneer makes a lot more sense for someone who has an amp and wants to add the DSP.

The pioneer doesn't seem to have a lot of juice to drive speakers and is better as standalone DSP going by reviews.
Vid,
I'm in the same boat and stuck with OEM player and stock speakers of my VW Vento due to OPS and other integration not available in any other 3rd party players. So I guess I can look at Sony-GS6DSP and then upgrade the stock speakers alone to a good set of pairs?
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Old 30th September 2018, 11:40   #21
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

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Originally Posted by ventoman View Post
Vid,
I'm in the same boat and stuck with OEM player and stock speakers of my VW Vento due to OPS and other integration not available in any other 3rd party players. So I guess I can look at Sony-GS6DSP and then upgrade the stock speakers alone to a good set of pairs?
YEs the sony is the best option if you don't have an amp already.

If you upgrade in stages, the steps to follow would now be:

1. Speakers
2. DSP with or without amp (The sony is 1 stop solution)
3. If in step 2 you got the pioneer DSP then add an amp and subwoofer.

In between damping is a very important step.

For anyone wanting to retain the OEM head unit the Sony is a great option.
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Old 1st October 2018, 11:22   #22
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

What a phenomenal thread! BIG shout out to Navin.
As someone else said, I so wish this post was done a year ago.
I’ve upgraded all speakers with a 4 channel amp in my Civic & really thought I was losing my mind as my ears insist the stock setup sounded better.
Gurus please advise if in my case should I now change just the oem HU or add the Pio DSP? Thanks.
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Old 1st October 2018, 11:33   #23
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

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Originally Posted by Memphis View Post
What a phenomenal thread! BIG shout out to Navin.
As someone else said, I so wish this post was done a year ago.
Iíve upgraded all speakers with a 4 channel amp in my Civic & really thought I was losing my mind as my ears insist the stock setup sounded better.
Gurus please advise if in my case should I now change just the oem HU or add the Pio DSP? Thanks.
For the Civic, you can actually get a good head unit with EQ and Time alignment. The reason is the Civic OEM head unit is standalone audio and doesn't mix with the car's electronics. Plus the Civic has readily available plates to accommodate after market head units.

You can add the Pio DSP but all it will do is clean up your source and not add any additional features.

Changing the head unit will give you a lot more features and controls.

More importantly check wiring for polarity as well as damping.
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Old 1st October 2018, 12:27   #24
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
The pioneer doesn't seem to have a lot of juice to drive speakers and is better as standalone DSP going by reviews.
Absolutely. The 22W amp included in the Pioneer seems to be more of a "stopgap" solution for those who do not have the budget to spend on an after market amp. The Pioneer after all costs less than half of the Sony.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventoman View Post
So I guess I can look at Sony-GS6DSP and then upgrade the stock speakers alone to a good set of pairs?
Just remember that while the Sony is great VFM at 26k or so, Sony is not known for making neutral sounding (I find them too bright, even harsh) amplifiers so please listen before you pay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Memphis View Post
As someone else said, I so wish this post was done a year ago.
Iíve upgraded all speakers with a 4 channel amp in my Civic & really thought I was losing my mind as my ears insist the stock setup sounded better.
Gurus please advise if in my case should I now change just the oem HU or add the Pio DSP? Thanks.
Thank you Memphis. Both the Sony and Pioneer products are new for 2018. I did not find them. Another TBHPian did. So actually the credit must go to shreyak_ss not me.

Just add the Pioneer DSP between the HU and the amps and you are done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
The reason is the Civic OEM head unit is standalone audio and doesn't mix with the car's electronics.

Changing the head unit will give you a lot more features and controls.
I agree. If your car's HU does not double as a screen for the car's diagnostic or status display there are after market HUs that offer phone integration, GPS, and rear camera display as well as media playback.
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Old 3rd October 2018, 14:28   #25
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

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Originally Posted by salman_ferrari View Post
This is very useful post

I wanted to retain the OEM HU on the Polo GT and I wasn't ready to go in for a full-blown speaker upgrade as it would ruin practicality of the daily driven car. I just wanted good sound quality music. So, I got the Stock speakers changed to Focal IS 165 VW 2-way component Plug & Play. Overall, I wasn't not satisfied with the outcome.

Do you think adding the Pioneer DSP without the amp would improve my situation?
Yes. The Pioneer DSP can power 4 speakers directly. It may not be loud but the power in the Pioneer DSP will be about the same as what most HUs can provide using their internal power amps.

What the Pioneer DSP brings to the table is the ability to compensate for the heavy equalization of the OEM HU when you upgrade the speakers (and/or add an amplifier).

I hope this helps.
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Old 4th October 2018, 18:55   #26
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Memphis View Post
What a phenomenal thread! BIG shout out to Navin.
As someone else said, I so wish this post was done a year ago.
Iíve upgraded all speakers with a 4 channel amp in my Civic & really thought I was losing my mind as my ears insist the stock setup sounded better.
Gurus please advise if in my case should I now change just the oem HU or add the Pio DSP? Thanks.
Speaker placements! Very important.

While there exists a case for DSP - A strong one at that, especially if your stock ICE HU is unable to adjust \ color the audio, I would recommend BHPians on a strict budget to look for better speaker placements with components as a first step followed by DSP, Amps, Subwoofer etc.

I noticed this when I had a ride on Gen1 octavia back on the early 2000s. The European brands like Skoda since the old octavia had made attempts to bring the audio upto the listeners ear by placing tweeters next to door handle, recently I have seen some of the sub-10 lakh vehicles having tweeters on the A-pillar etc(Ecosport has it on the door handle IIRC). This is a good sign.

Once you get the audio to ear level and towards listener`s ears, then you can go ahead with the next step, that is to fine tune it with a DSP etc.

Even the cheapest pair of Pioneer or JVC component system if placed properly can sound awesome in comparison to stock speakers firing at your ankles, Component speakers work with stock HU as well, so minimal cost.

I have noticed that some Tweeters have a slightly angled housing , to be able to focus properly towards listeners ears.

Door card will need a few holes, but its better on the door card than a teenager gutting your center console.

With correct speaker placements, you can listen to audio on a decent component system with the equalizer in FLAT setting.
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Old 6th October 2018, 17:30   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Thanks for the informative post Navin, I have a few doubts.

1. Is it possible to not use a sub woofer but still upgrade speakers and use OE headunit?
2. Considering the above, is it possible to add more depth to the music? I mean, I'm happy to hear songs on current OE system, but if at all I upgrade I want to get a nice depth incorporated into my music, like a proper surround system. Can this be achieved? I don't care much for the extra bass a subwoofer brings in (And don't want to lose the already limited boot space in my hatchback).

Thanks
Considering you are not doing extensive modifications, A stock HU can drive a good component system, make sure to mount them well. And get 2 pair of components.

You can buy a slim active subwoofer if you want even more bass( hide it under the seat)

On the surround sound bit: It is similar to home audio, if the HU - most DVD or video capable HU will support Dolby Pro Logic or Dolby digital, it can give you the desired sound with 4.1 channel audio + slim Subwoofer. Even if you manage to feed it 5.1 it will down mix to 4.1.

Hope that helps.
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Old 6th October 2018, 22:01   #28
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

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Originally Posted by navin View Post
What the Pioneer DSP brings to the table is the ability to compensate for the heavy equalization of the OEM HU when you upgrade the speakers (and/or add an amplifier).
(Sorry if this has been answered in some other thread before) while installing DSP/amplifiers and aftermarket speakers with stock HU, what's the best way to tap into HU output?
As far as I know most stock HUs don't have pre-outs. Also, it is hard to find couplers compatible with HUs of newly launched vehicles. Is cutting wires a common practice? Doesn't it void warranty? Or is HU output usually tapped through door speaker connectors and ran back to cabin/boot where the DSP/amplifier is installed?
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Old 7th October 2018, 09:42   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by actinium15 View Post
(Sorry if this has been answered in some other thread before) while installing DSP/amplifiers and aftermarket speakers with stock HU, what's the best way to tap into HU output?
As far as I know most stock HUs don't have pre-outs. Also, it is hard to find couplers compatible with HUs of newly launched vehicles. Is cutting wires a common practice? Doesn't it void warranty? Or is HU output usually tapped through door speaker connectors and ran back to cabin/boot where the DSP/amplifier is installed?
They should have RCA out, FL, FR etc. Which is to be used for amps / DSP etc. Since these are not standardized, you can expect some surprises.
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Old 8th October 2018, 10:56   #30
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Re: Upgrading your OEM Car Audio using DSPs (budget version)

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Originally Posted by actinium15 View Post
(Sorry if this has been answered in some other thread before) while installing DSP/amplifiers and aftermarket speakers with stock HU, what's the best way to tap into HU output?
The Pioneer DSP actually comes with a harness that can accept your OEM HU's speaker level outputs.
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