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Arno Ferero

Not happy with sub stage. Need some help.

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Hey guys, hoping to get some help or suggestions here, but I'll just introduce myself a little first. I've been reading this forum for a long time though I have not really posted much, and I've basically used it ever since I did my first system about 4 years ago. Like I said, I've been in to car audio for a while, I've done 4 different of my own installs in that time, and have done and helped with many of my mates installs as well, so though I have lots to learn still, I have a fair bit of experience. I live in Australia, so our set-up here is a bit different in terms of brand availability and what we can listen to at shops etc.

 

So, on to the problem. I recently bought a new car, and finished my install about 2 days ago, using most of the gear I used in my previous car but with a few changes.

I'm running:

Pioneer DEH-80PRS (New)

Eclipse XA4200 4channel (from old car)

Option Audio OAK1200 sub amp (from old car but I'm running it at 1ohm now instead of 2ohm with old setup) (option audio is an Australian brand BTW)

Alpine SPR-60c in front (from old car)

Alpine SPR-60 in rear (from old car)

Fi Q12 in 2.25cuft @ 32Hz (New) We don't have Fi in Australia, so I imported my sub purely base on good reviews without being able to listen to it

 

Electrical is up to scratch (HO alternator, dual batteries, etc) and I'm not getting any voltage drop (sitting at 14.3V at full volume). All gains we're set with an oscilloscope.

 

Now I have only had time to listen to it for a couple of hours and I have not even had time to EQ it properly, but first impressions are pretty disappointing. The sub does not hit nearly as hard as I expected it to and honestly seems pretty slow and muddy (completely contradicting pretty much all the reviews I read). Comparing it to a mates 13W7, I did not expect the fi to be as loud or maybe even as good quality as the JL, but honestly, it is not even half as loud and definitely sounds worse. Same can be said when comparing to a 12W6, again,not as loud as the W6 and SQ is not there.

 

In my old system I had 2 12inch polk db's in a compound ported box. For those of you who don't know what a compound arrangement is I'll just explain what it does: Basically you get the extra power handling, and motor force of 2 subs, but with the cone area of 1. So it's louder than 1 sub, but not quite as loud as 2 subs in a normal set up. Anyway. I was pretty happy with that set up, SQ was decent, and it went quite loud (louder than the W6, but still not on the same level as the W7). At the end of the day though, they we're entry level subs so I really expected the Q12 to be an upgrade (even if it was just in sound quality, though i would have liked it to be louder too). At the moment, it is a significant downgrade.

 

I'm just looking at some suggestions or opinions as to where to start trouble shooting (I might have done something stupid, or have an issue in my system). I'll start: It could be the amp, it has always performed flawlessly but I've never run it at 1ohm. It's supposed to put out 1200wrms at 1 ohm which is a little under the recommended 1500w, but even at full blast, the sub is barely moving, so I suspect it might not be putting out claimed power (however I am pretty sure it put out claimed power at 2 ohms). Also, I've heard that the Q's get better as they break in, could this be the case? (though I can't imagine it would make THAT much of a difference)

 

I'm not trying to compete or one up any of my friends, I just build systems for my own enjoyment because I love music. Comparing my first impressions with on-line reviews and youtube videos, there really is a night and day difference. I did not expect it to be better or even as good as a 13W7 (despite some reviews claiming that), but I expected it to be at least in the same ball park... So yeah, it's a weird thing to hope, but I really hope there is something wrong with my system, and that I would be able to get more out of this sub.

 

Anyway, sorry for the long post, and thanks for any help.

 

Arno

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Check your amp and head unit settings. Also check your subs wiring, could of accidently wired to 4 ohms instead of 1 ohm.

Edited by jay-cee

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I have no idea, normally FI Qs sound and perform great, the 10 or so I have used do...  I have no idea if it is the install or a defect of the woofer...  Is the orientation of the FI Q box the same as your others?

 

If you are talking compound Isobaric, they have the output of 1 woofer, as Vas is decreased 50% (Hoffman's Iron law comes into play here), but that really doesn't really do anything for your problem, just wanted to point that out...

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Thanks for all the replies so far guys. I'm going to have a play with the head unit today, and double check all my amp settings too as soon as I get home (I'm 99.99% sure I've wired it all in parallel but i'll check that too). There we're no visible defects with the sub, and I was very impressed with the build quality (also I'm silently wishing that the sub is fine, because it's going to be rather difficult to try and sort that out from over here). I'm betting that it is the amp though, although mine has served me very well for 3 years, I know 2 people personally who have had issues with option audio. I'll see if I can hook it up to a mate's 1000w jl some time this week.

 

I have the same orientation yes, but it is in a larger car. (both were SUV's though)

 

And yes, that does make more sense on the compound isobaric box, Because that is how I experienced the sound for myself, I must have miss read or misunderstood what I read on it. I mainly built it for the smaller enclosure volume.

 

 

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Get a DMM and measure the subs terminals while you have it pulled it as well, this will help make sure the sub is not the culprit.

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 I mainly built it for the smaller enclosure volume.

 

That is the reason to do Isobarik, 1/2 the box size for the same F3 and lower distortion in some ways...

 

So this is the only subwoofer system you personally have had in this car?

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Thanks for all the help guys, I managed to find the issue (though I'm a bit embarrassed about what it ended up being, haha). It was a combination of utter stupidity and the sub needing more break in time.

In my old car, I set my low pass filter to exactly 80hz on that amp (and it took me a while too). So when I set the gains this time around, I didn't even bother looking at it again. Turns out I must have turned it all the way down when I took it out of the old car, as it was set to 30hz (so basically filtering out most of my Sub stage). Hahahahahahaha.

I'm over the moon with this sub now! Though it definitely needs to be broken in. It's literally getting louder by the hour (I've had to re-tune my system twice now as the sub just keeps getting louder).

Anyway, thanks for all the help, I'm glad it ended up being just an error on my end. I'm heading on holiday tomorrow, but i'll put up some build pics once I get back.

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Great!  Gald to hear you got it straightened out!

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:fing34:

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