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RTA'ed my truck stereo, now it sounds ...


Active Member
I used the droid rta app on my HTC Aria. I know it's not the best but I figured it'd get me pointed in the right direction. Well, thread bass has never been more "up front" but it has a bit of a hollow sound to it. I did have to drop the upper frequencies quit a bit, like around 10k Hz at 2 octaves wide to get the nasty peak out. Any thoughts?
I'm not into car audio so forgive my ignorance but what exactly is "thread bass"?
I'm no car audio expert either, but I would imagine they're designed more to be "exciting" speakers than neutral...? E.g. pumped up bass and highs. That could explain why you had to do some tweaking there. Of course, the most important question is, does it sound better for regular listening after this adjustment? Do your ears agree with what you're measuring, putting aside questions of measurement accuracy for the moment?
I have to wonder if running an RTA inside an automobile would be effective for anything more than determining SPL levels. The environment is an acoustic nightmare with speakers in corners and reflective surfaces and thick sound absorbing seats...
The mid is a Silver flute that's made for home audio with a nice flat frequency response from 50hz up to 5000hz. The tweeter is by Clarion for car use. I'm trying to put all things aside, but I keep coming back to how easily our ears are trained and am wondering if what I've been listening to all along was wrong.

My EQ is very powerful, 30 bands per channel @ 6 channels plus 2 parametric eq bands per channel and the para eq has an adjustable q of 1/12, 1/6, 1/3, 1/2, 1, 2 and3 octaves .
Here's the EQ I have, the DQS.

http://www.audiocontrol.com/t34/5247/Di ... ssors.html

I know you're supposed to set the RTA at a reference level of around 90 dB. I set mine a bit higher then that, around 105 dB or so, at a level I typically listen to. So knowing that, I listened to Toto's Africa at said volume. After raising 800 Hz, 1.6k Hz, and 4k Hz on the HU (Head Unit) it doesn't sound as hollow at all, but at lower volumes a bit of the hollowness is still there.

Man what I wouldn't give to have a true RTA for a day instead of the Android app one. The mic on the phone it the weak link.
I would just disable the EQ in the head unit so your not over processing the signal. Then I run the wires long enough for the audio control so your able to make the adjustment from your seat. Set the Audio control to flatand work from their. Since your in the driver seat your not having to make an adjustment from the back then play the track over and then doing it again. The people over at the the12volt.com are very good with car audio. I am on there too as Dragon51
The EQ in the head unit I keep flat when adjusting the audio control EQ. I only use the EQ in the head unit for minor tweeks depending on the material being played.

I decided to raise the10k Hz In the parametric EQ from -10dB to -6dB. That seemed to help.
I'm going to try one more thing. I know there's a reason behind it, not sure what it is, but after thinking about it for a bit it might've hit me. Setting the listening volume to -90dB, where as I did it at ~ -105dB. At full volume it sounds great, no more hollow sound. Only at low volumes does it sound a bit hollow.

So that means I'll go back out and reset everything and start over, but at as -90dB reference level. That and I'll make a stand to hold my phone at ear level, not 2' below that.
So I took my son out to buy a CD today and he go some Linkin Park Live album, so I went to turn on the HU's DSP for that Live effect. When I ejected the CD I remembered that I need to turn on the SSR and viola, that hollow sound went away. I usually have it set to Hi, but Mid sounded best. I had it turned off when I set the freq response.

So now I ask, Have I become so dependent on the SSR that I think that that is good sound?

I had a co-worker listen to it w/o the SSR on and he too thought it had a hollow sound.