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      01-09-2020, 09:27 AM   #1
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Best DSP time alignment settings for F31 Touring (up7bmw)

So I've got the Match up7bmw amp and a boot / trunk sub.... but time alignment settings will apply to anyone running any brand of DSP

I've been playing with time alignment settings for hours and hours (over a few weeks) now and I'm just not sure which sounds best.

I've tried going off exact measurements to the speakers and then tweaking a couple of cm either way but the results are just not quite what I THINK I should be getting. That said... it does sound pretty good so maybe I'm just expecting something that will never be achieved.

At the moment I've got a driver focused set up as follows:
In cm and milliseconds (bear in mind this is UK RHD)

FL - 131.5cm - 0.56ms
FR - 95.5cm - 1.60ms
FLsub - 126.5cm - 0.69ms
FRsub - 126.5cm - 0.69ms
RL - 15.5cm - 3.96ms
RL - 0cm - 4.44ms
Centre - 102cm - 1.44ms
Boot Sub - 150.5cm - 0ms

I know the rear speaker distances seem a bit odd, but this seems to sound the best, giving them a bigger delay... bearing in min I'm 6'4" so have my seat back so I'm almost sitting parallel to the B pillar.

Would be interested to hear other peoples set ups or get any general advice on time alignment.
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      01-09-2020, 12:05 PM   #2
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If you're hoping to hit some level of time-delay where suddenly everything just gets dramatically better, it's not going to happen. This is contrary to what you'll hear from pretty much everyone else, but: Time-alignment really isn't much help in a vehicle. Why? Among other things, the vehicle is a highly reflective but not reverberant environment. It's kind of a weird mix of being in the nearfield (where direct sound dominates) and the far field (where sound field is diffuse) at the same time. (It's on my very long to-do list of blog posts to detail this a bit, if we can ever catch up on product dev and start getting to some of that.)

Our SoundstageDSP™ Ultra has a driver-optimized preset. I can tell you from the work we've done, that of the three tools you have for driver-optimizing - level, eq, and time-delay - level and individual speaker eq are far more important than time delay.

In terms of the rears, delaying them is the right move, and also reduce the level. Take a look at Figure 5 on page 2 of this: https://integralaudio.com/other_file...20Speakers.pdf. That should help inform on the rears.

My recommendation for you would be to time-align based on measured distance (note that the acoustic center of a speaker is the voice coil!), then adjust your levels with the rears off, then add in and adjust rear level/delay. EQ-ing individual drivers is very helpful but not possible without the ability to measure.
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Last edited by Kevin @ Integral Audio; 01-11-2020 at 11:37 AM..
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      01-09-2020, 01:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin @ Integral Audio View Post
If you're hoping to hit some level of time-delay where suddenly everything just gets dramatically better, it's not going to happen. This is contrary to what you'll hear from pretty much everyone else, but: Time-alignment really isn't much help in a vehicle. Why? Among other things, the vehicle is a highly reflective but not reverberant environment. It's kind of a weird mix of being in the nearfield (where direct sound dominates) and the far field (where sound field is diffuse) at the same time. (It's on my very long to-do list of blog posts to detail this a bit, if we can ever catch up on product dev and start getting to some of that.)

Our SoundstageDSP¬ô Ultra has a driver-optimized preset. I can tell you from the work we've done, that of the three tools you have for driver-optimizing - level, eq, and time-delay - level and individual speaker eq are far more important than time delay.

In terms of the rears, delaying them is the right move, and also reduce the level. Take a look at Figure 5 on page 2 of this: https://integralaudio.com/other_file...20Speakers.pdf. That should help inform on the rears.

My recommendation for you would be to time-align based on measured distance (note that the acoustic center of a speaker is the voice coil!), then adjust your levels with the rears off, then add in and adjust rear level/delay. EQ-ing individual drivers is very helpful but not possible without the ability to measure.
Hi.

Thanks for the reply. I just read through that article and I think that I understood most of it.

I've already got the rears set about -3db on my DSP. I'll play with the levels some more.

Should I also cut the level of everything over 1khz as well for both the rears and the centre (the centre on the up7bmw is a mix of both FL and FR but with clever effects that it only actually plays sounds that occur on both channels simultaneously and it won't play something that only occurs on one channel)
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      01-09-2020, 07:48 PM   #4
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Also turn off xclarity for both center and FL/FR speakers. It does make some female vocal sound screechy especially Adele. Turn off Bass Xpander too.
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      01-10-2020, 01:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi-knight83 View Post
Should I also cut the level of everything over 1khz as well for both the rears and the centre
Short answer: yes, that is what I would recommend, as well as sum the rears to mono and invert one.
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      01-11-2020, 07:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin @ Integral Audio View Post
Short answer: yes, that is what I would recommend, as well as sum the rears to mono and invert one.
Firstly.. Thank you for your initial advice. I made a few more tweaks and it sounds SO much better now!

I cut the rear speaker 1khz - 20khz by another 5db and then a couple of minor alignment tweaks.

What do you mean about 'sum the rears'? In the I/O tab run both L and R inputs to both rear speakers? Then invert polarity to one rear side?
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      01-11-2020, 07:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierreye View Post
Also turn off xclarity for both center and FL/FR speakers. It does make some female vocal sound screechy especially Adele. Turn off Bass Xpander too.
Yeah I've got these both off already.
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      01-11-2020, 10:30 PM   #8
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Once you have it to where you are happy with it, be sure to save and share.
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      01-13-2020, 06:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin @ Integral Audio View Post
Short answer: yes, that is what I would recommend, as well as sum the rears to mono and invert one.
Sorry another question (not quite related to the thread subject but still relevant)

Mid - Tweeter Crossover.... on my Rainbow's the passive crossover is 4500khz. On the Focal ES100K for instance, it's 3500khz.

Would the lower crossover point help 'raise' the sound stage? Wonder if its worth me playing with different passive crossovers
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      01-13-2020, 06:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onizukachan View Post
Once you have it to where you are happy with it, be sure to save and share.
Will do. In fact I was going to start a separate thread just for the Up7BMW amp for people to upload their tunes (there is a long running thread for the PP82DSP but I've tried a lot of those tunes on the up7BMW and they don't seem to sound any good (in my opinion)
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      01-13-2020, 05:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi-knight83 View Post
Firstly.. Thank you for your initial advice. I made a few more tweaks and it sounds SO much better now!


Quote:
What do you mean about 'sum the rears'? In the I/O tab run both L and R inputs to both rear speakers? Then invert polarity to one rear side?
Correct. The inversion is a crude attempt to decorrelate the two rears in the absence of the ability to run a decorrelation filter. Inverting doesn't really decorrelate (they remain exactly correlated, just negatively), but in practice it does work a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi-knight83 View Post
Sorry another question (not quite related to the thread subject but still relevant)

Mid - Tweeter Crossover.... on my Rainbow's the passive crossover is 4500khz. On the Focal ES100K for instance, it's 3500khz.

Would the lower crossover point help 'raise' the sound stage? Wonder if its worth me playing with different passive crossovers
You can quickly run down a very, very deep rabbit hole here. The crossover needs to be designed for the specific drivers. Taking a textbook crossover (i.e. off-the-shelf 4ohm X-slope at Y-freq) and using it with your existing speakers would be worse for sure - MUST be a custom crossover. Not a thing I would recommend without experience.

We cross as low as we can - well below those two above. You are limited by how low the tweeter can go. It is a challenge in these vehicles to get the tweeter crossed low enough to transition well to the mid, and also to get the mid crossed low enough to transition to the underseat. FWIW all of the other BMW-specific aftermarket options use ONLY a 1st order (6dB/octave) high pass on the tweeter (i.e. JUST a capacitor)at 5-6kHz. That's it. No low pass on the mid at all.

We use custom 2nd order HP on tweeter and LP on midrange. Ours vs "thiers" for the F30:



You'll also notice that our crossover board has no resistors. That resistor on "their" crossover is the first clue that you should be real suspect of claims that their speakers are more efficient/sensitive than the factory speakers.
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      01-13-2020, 05:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin @ Integral Audio View Post
Correct. The inversion is a crude attempt to decorrelate the two rears in the absence of the ability to run a decorrelation filter. Inverting doesn't really decorrelate (they remain exactly correlated, just negatively), but in practice it does work a bit.
I'll try this tomorrow.

Although I've managed to get the rears to blend in better now by dropping the high frequency, is this meant to do the same just via a different method?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin @ Integral Audio View Post
You can quickly run down a very, very deep rabbit hole here. The crossover needs to be designed for the specific drivers. Taking a textbook crossover (i.e. off-the-shelf 4ohm X-slope at Y-freq) and using it with your existing speakers would be worse for sure - MUST be a custom crossover. Not a thing I would recommend without experience.

We cross as low as we can - well below those two above. You are limited by how low the tweeter can go. It is a challenge in these vehicles to get the tweeter crossed low enough to transition well to the mid, and also to get the mid crossed low enough to transition to the underseat. FWIW all of the other BMW-specific aftermarket options use ONLY a 1st order (6dB/octave) high pass on the tweeter (i.e. JUST a capacitor)at 5-6kHz. That's it. No low pass on the mid at all.

We use custom 2nd order HP on tweeter and LP on midrange. Ours vs "thiers" for the F30:



You'll also notice that our crossover board has no resistors. That resistor on "their" crossover is the first clue that you should be real suspect of claims that their speakers are more efficient/sensitive than the factory speakers.
When you say 'BMW specific aftermarket options'.. The rainbow IL-C4.2 crosses at 4500khz with a 12db slope.

Where do the OEM 'hi-fi' option speakers cross out of interest?

Also... ok yes I accept its difficult to perfect... but if it is perfected, does lowering the crossover point of tweeter to mid raise the sound stage? And if not, what other effect would it have.

I might but the Focals just to try them and compare them first hand to the Rainbows.
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      Yesterday, 05:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi-knight83 View Post
When you say 'BMW specific aftermarket options'.. The rainbow IL-C4.2 crosses at 4500khz with a 12db slope.
The Rainbows aren't available in the US, I was referring to the more well-known options available here. Good on Raindbow for actually using a proper crossover. Looking at them briefly, a few things jump out at me.

1) They appear to use a single crossover across all vehicles, rather than a vehicle-specific crossover like we do (to be fair, no one else does this...).

2) Looking at the crossovers and the spec sheet it appears that they have high passed the midrange at 180Hz. That's way too high to be able to transition to the underseat woofer.

3) I also doubt their claimed 90dB sensitivity number for a number of reasons.


Quote:
Where do the OEM 'hi-fi' option speakers cross out of interest?
Around 8kHz IIRC.

Quote:
Also... ok yes I accept its difficult to perfect... but if it is perfected, does lowering the crossover point of tweeter to mid raise the sound stage? And if not, what other effect would it have.
Yes, though the more important benefits are smoother, flatter frequency response. As you get above 2-3kHz the midrange response at the listening position gets pretty ugly, depending on the model.

Quote:
I might but the Focals just to try them and compare them first hand to the Rainbows.
We're considering making ours available, ping me if you want. I guarantee you'll prefer them to any of the others.
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