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Discussion Starter #1
I put a new Sony Android Auto head unit in my 07 RTL, and I really like it. I decided I was going to put a modest system in before I bought it, and I knew I wanted to have more bass than the stock sub. I bought an Alpine Type S 10", and I built a box to fit under the rear passenger seat. I built the box to the dimension of that seat instead of building it to meet the space required for the sub. That was not ideal but I was hoping for the best. The thing is it just doesn't sound that good. It's better than the stock sub but not what I've been accustomed to in the past. I have a single Kicker 10" in my wife's Beetle, and it sounds great. But when I tried the same Kicker and box in the Ridgeline in place of my Alpine and built box, it sounded weak too. The Alpine and homemade box sounds fine in the Beetle.

Is the Ridgeline's acoustics just bad? Has anyone else experienced a similar issue? Some bass sounds pretty good. But some rock songs (and others), the bass seems non-existent. I've never had this problem in anything else I've had. Two subs in different boxes sound poorly in the Ridgeline. But each sub in it's respective box sounds perfectly fine in the other vehicle. I should also mention the amp in the Ridgeline is slightly more powerful than the one in the Beetle.
 

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I built the box to the dimension of that seat instead of building it to meet the space required for the sub. That was not ideal but I was hoping for the best.
Sub enclosures must be built to the characteristics of the driver to have any hope of "the best" (or even a close approximation) sonic performance. For all of their bare subwoofer drivers Alpine provides all the specs you need to build a proper sealed enclosure for that driver with no other input, and when suitable for vented enclosures they provide the specs needed to enter into an enclosure modeling program for proper vented enclosure design.

Certainly the acoustic environment (vehicle cabin) has a huge impact on the perceived sound of the system, but that's a hit-or-miss situation and you may get 'lucky' with a rare combination of bad enclosure in a certain vehicle, but as you're observing that's no way to build a system with any hope of consistent results.

Until you build an enclosure properly designed for the driver (raw speaker) you have no basis whatsoever for judging that driver. The 'sensible' approach is to build an enclosure per the dictates of the driver, then tune the system (XO, slope, and EQ) to accommodate the environmental variables. If you can't fit a proper enclosure for the driver within the space constraints you or the cabin impose .... you've picked the wrong driver for the wrong reasons.

There's nothing inherently 'bad' or particularly unique about the cabin acoustics of the RL; each vehicle has it's own characteristics and challenges, each must be approached holistically (from the HU to the speakers including the system 'tune') if you're aiming for good audio performance, when "good" is a measure of accuracy of music reproduction.

If you're aiming for 'loud' above accuracy (e.g. "SPL" [Sound Pressure Level] rather than "SQ" [Sound Quality]), my apology for wasting your time, please ignore my comments.

IMO
 

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2019 RTL-T Forest Mist Metallic
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I had a similar problem and figured out that my head unit setting was for driver enhaced sound or something like that. It biased the signal to the front speakers and the sub signal was coming from the rear. So the sub was getting no juice. I just had to find the setting and push the right button to fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sub enclosures must be built to the characteristics of the driver to have any hope of "the best" (or even a close approximation) sonic performance. For all of their bare subwoofer drivers Alpine provides all the specs you need to build a proper sealed enclosure for that driver with no other input, and when suitable for vented enclosures they provide the specs needed to enter into an enclosure modeling program for proper vented enclosure design.

Certainly the acoustic environment (vehicle cabin) has a huge impact on the perceived sound of the system, but that's a hit-or-miss situation and you may get 'lucky' with a rare combination of bad enclosure in a certain vehicle, but as you're observing that's no way to build a system with any hope of consistent results.

Until you build an enclosure properly designed for the driver (raw speaker) you have no basis whatsoever for judging that driver. The 'sensible' approach is to build an enclosure per the dictates of the driver, then tune the system (XO, slope, and EQ) to accommodate the environmental variables. If you can't fit a proper enclosure for the driver within the space constraints you or the cabin impose .... you've picked the wrong driver for the wrong reasons.

There's nothing inherently 'bad' or particularly unique about the cabin acoustics of the RL; each vehicle has it's own characteristics and challenges, each must be approached holistically (from the HU to the speakers including the system 'tune') if you're aiming for good audio performance, when "good" is a measure of accuracy of music reproduction.

If you're aiming for 'loud' above accuracy (e.g. "SPL" [Sound Pressure Level] rather than "SQ" [Sound Quality]), my apology for wasting your time, please ignore my comments.

IMO
I agree with everything you said, and everything you said is true. I've been into car and home audio for a long time. I know the importance of building enclosures to spec. But it doesn't make much sense that 2 different subs in 2 different boxes sound very good in one vehicle, yet both subs in each of their boxes sound poor in the Ridgeline. If the Alpine sounded like it does in my Beetle I could wipe my hands clean, call it a day, and be very satisfied. But right now I'm left scratching my head.

I really think it has something to do with certain frequencies are OK where others are not. But I've never ran into that issue before.

I do plan on building another box. I'm going to make it wider. I believe when I was working on the measurements I can get it to 1.3 cubic feet. I was thinking of trying a ported box, and 1.3 is Alpine's recommended volume for ported. I may try the sub downfiring as well to see how that does.
 

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I really think it has something to do with certain frequencies are OK where others are not.
That's usually the case and the same speaker can sound different from vehicle to vehicle for a number of environmental reasons just as it can in different home audio installations. Tuning may or may not be able to accommodate that in any given environment.

What is the model number of both the speaker and HU, and what subsonic and HP XO's and slopes have you set?
 

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What are the dimensions of the box you built? Is it sealed or ported? Have you set your gains on your amplifier correctly? What amplifier are you using? What are the crossover and EQ settings on the head-unit and amplifier? How much excursion of the subwoofer are you getting when you play bass on the system at medium-high volume?
 

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If your custom box sounds fine in your wife's car and her sub (which sounds fine in her car) sounds terrible in the 07 RTL then maybe your HU isn't sending enough power to the sub. Is that possible? My Dad bought an 07 RTL yesterday so I'm reading up now to help him with a stereo upgrade. I'm all in on helping you find a solution. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If your custom box sounds fine in your wife's car and her sub (which sounds fine in her car) sounds terrible in the 07 RTL then maybe your HU isn't sending enough power to the sub. Is that possible? My Dad bought an 07 RTL yesterday so I'm reading up now to help him with a stereo upgrade. I'm all in on helping you find a solution. :)
I installed my new Rockford R500x1d amp the other week, and it really makes a difference. The other thing I found is if I just turn the volume dial up to a "loud" level, it really thumps. That sounds dumb to say but I'm used to feeling it and hearing it even at low volume in the Beetle. In the Ridgeline you don't really get that kick in your back at low volume, but when I turn it up it really starts to shine and makes me smile. I think another thing is some of the music that I'm disappointed with just doesn't have the kind of bass that tests a subwoofer.

My next step is going to be some components for the doors. I think some good midbass may help.

Here's a pic of my box when it was in the early stages. I'll take one as it is now when I get a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To answer some other questions you guys asked:

The sub is an Alpine S-W10D4. The head unit is a Sony XAV AX5000. The amp is a Rockford R500x1d. I have the high pass filter on the Sony set at 80 Hz and the low pass filter on the Sony set at 80 Hz. I'm using factory front and rear speakers.

The box is sealed and has an internal volume of 0.458 cubic feet before displacement. So the sub itself takes up a little bit of that. I built the box to pretty much only take up the space under the rear passenger side single seat. That's why I didn't build the box to the sub's specs. I was trying to conserve as much of the space under the rear seat as possible. I would love to be able to see one of those single sub enclosures that's made for the Ridgeline. The ones I've seen say they're 0.75 cubic feet. Unless they made it wider than mine I don't see how they're getting that much volume. I cut my box in "real time"... meaning I measured one part, cut it, then measured another, cut it, and then I could start seeing how they fit under the seat. I felt like I maximized every inch I could. I actually made it too tall at first. When I put the sub in the box, I couldn't let the seat down. I had to cut the box down which caused me to re-do the sides.
 

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I have the high pass filter on the Sony set at 80 Hz and the low pass filter on the Sony set at 80 Hz.
Is that a typo (HP/subsonic and LP both set at 80Hz for the sub)?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
QUOTE="CentexG2, post: 3109554, member: 136761"]
Is that a typo (HP/subsonic and LP both set at 80Hz for the sub)?
[/QUOTE]

No. The HPF on the Sony head unit is set to 80 Hz for the front and rear speakers. The LPF on the Sony head unit is set at 80 Hz for the sub.
 

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Are you familiar with how to set gains on an amplifier? Just checking if you are talking about the "volume knob" on the amp. If so, that is not a volume knob. Rftech has a good write up on setting gains if you need that info.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

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Are you familiar with how to set gains on an amplifier? Just checking if you are talking about the "volume knob" on the amp. If so, that is not a volume knob. Rftech has a good write up on setting gains if you need that info.

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Yes, I'm familiar with setting gains, and I was talking about the actual volume on the head unit. I will admit that I had to set the gain a little differently than I'm used to. In the past I've used an amp for the front speakers so I'd turn the volume up 3/4 and set my gain. Then I'd turn the gain up on my sub amp to match the fronts. Maybe not the most accurate but I've been pretty satisfied this way in the past. But this time since my fronts are used just from the head unit's power, I had to turn it up to what I considered loud and then set the sub's gain.
 

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No. The HPF on the Sony head unit is set to 80 Hz for the front and rear speakers. The LPF on the Sony head unit is set at 80 Hz for the sub.
I'm no expert on this but doesn't that mean you are filtering out everything above 80 and everything below 80?
Don't you want to pass the frequencies roughly higher than 20 and lower than 100 for example?

edit: I think I understand now that the hpf is effecting the input to the speakers but not the sub signal?
 

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I'm no expert on this but doesn't that mean you are filtering out everything above 80 and everything below 80?
Don't you want to pass the frequencies roughly higher than 20 and lower than 100 for example?

edit: I think I understand now that the hpf is effecting the input to the speakers but not the sub signal?
Same confusion I had.

Looking at the OM it turns out the the Sony XAV AX5000 has the ability to select the LPF for the sub output (there's no user-selectable HP/subsonic filter for the sub) and the ability to select the HPF applied to both the front and rear speaker outputs.

It does not support band-pass (HP+LP) filtering for any speaker output. No worries since it has only one output pair for L&R front and one output pair for L&R rear; it's not designed to provide bi-amping / active XOs for multi-way systems, if you want to use discrete 2-way/3-way speakers front or rear you need to use an external passive XO / filter for those (or drive through a signal-splitting amp that provides active XO after the Sony HU).

Nothing wrong or bad with any of at IMO :). Crossing between the sub and F+R at 80Hz strikes me as a decent starting point, then maybe tweak that up a bit to see if it improves the overall sound. Personally I'd always set those LP&HP the same, I'm not a fan of overlapping speaker ranges other than within the slope of the XO.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Same confusion I had.

Looking at the OM it turns out the the Sony XAV AX5000 has the ability to select the LPF for the sub output (there's no user-selectable HP/subsonic filter for the sub) and the ability to select the HPF applied to both the front and rear speaker outputs.

It does not support band-pass (HP+LP) filtering for any speaker output. No worries since it has only one output pair for L&R front and one output pair for L&R rear; it's not designed to provide bi-amping / active XOs for multi-way systems, if you want to use discrete 2-way/3-way speakers front or rear you need to use an external passive XO / filter for those (or drive through a signal-splitting amp that provides active XO after the Sony HU).

Nothing wrong or bad with any of at IMO :). Crossing between the sub and F+R at 80Hz strikes me as a decent starting point, then maybe tweak that up a bit to see if it improves the overall sound. Personally I'd always set those LP&HP the same, I'm not a fan of overlapping speaker ranges other than within the slope of the XO.
I have read in the past that the "proper" way to set high pass and low pass filters is not to set them at the same setting. So I think technically if you set an 80 Hz low pass filter, then the high pass filter should be around 100 Hz or so. But in the past, I used two amps in my Explorer. The only option you could select on both was either 80 LPF or 80 HPF (or ALL, which meant no filter).

To me, setting a LPF at anything above 80 ends up being a mess. I notice louder (mid)bass but it just doesn't sound clean. Flipping the switch to 80 usually clears it right up.
 

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To me, setting a LPF at anything above 80 ends up being a mess. I notice louder (mid)bass but it just doesn't sound clean. Flipping the switch to 80 usually clears it right up.
IME that's totally a function of the sub and midbass speaker capabilities and cabin acoustic characteristics; the ideal XO between sub and mid can vary depending on the situational specifics. This can be readily seen when tuning using tools like REW with an in-cabin mic. Your LPF setting for your situation may well be best at 80Hz, but that's far from a hard-and-fast rule for all situations. Note that most DSPs and some amps allow adjusting XO values in very fine increments to optimize this.

I have read in the past that the "proper" way to set high pass and low pass filters is not to set them at the same setting. So I think technically if you set an 80 Hz low pass filter, then the high pass filter should be around 100 Hz or so.
I'll respectfully disagree, and explain why.

First, we need to agree that we're discussing 'rules of thumb' here; IOW values useful for the majority of typical situations. Second, it's very important to understand the nominal XO 'set value expression' is not the frequency where the EQ curve of the filter starts or ends, it's the frequency on the slope of the EQ curve and depends on the slope of the filter. E.g. for an XO set at '80Hz', the EQ is well-depressed at that 80Hz point.

To illustrate I'll refer you to the dB vs frequency plots in the attached for Audiofrog GB-series passive XO's, a very high-quality line of SQ components. You'll note that in those the LP filter that hands-off to a HP filter are always at the same "nominal XO frequency". The overlapping slope of the output from each speaker yields a 'flat' overall EQ response in the range of the XOs.

When you set the HPF higher than the mating LPF, you inherently introduce an 'dip' in the overall EQ curve between the two speakers; similarly when you set the HPF lower than the mating LPF, you inherently introduce a 'peak' in the overall EQ curve between the two speakers.

Using some passive XO plots to illustrate, but the phenomenon is exactly the same with active XO's.

It's rare for an XO-introduced inherent EQ dip or peak to be beneficial to overall sound, that's why starting with coincidental XO values is typically the best situation. Granting that there are case-specific situations (speaker and/or environmental characteristics) where an intentionally non-coincident XO setup, or asymmetrical XO slopes, may help an acoustic shortcoming. But those can't be addressed well with any 'rule of thumb' and are best detected and resolved by tuning with acoustic measurement tools like REW and a mic.

IMO and FWIW.
 

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