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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I first took delivery of my QV I cranked up the bass setting. I have since figured out that doing this will trash the rest of the sound because the amplifier does not have enough power to drive more base, and also because the sub-woofer does not have its own dedicated amp. Furthermore, the sound coming from the woofers (not the sub-woofer, but the woofers) would sound very muddled and imprecise.

Listed below is a list of the tweaks and settings that I have made to the system, which has had a very positive impact on the sound quality:

1.) Turned off the surround sound option. I think it actually degrades the quality of the sound.

2.) I have not done it yet, but I will eventually replace the rear sub with a larger sub and a dedicated amp.

3.) I reluctantly set the bass setting to "0". The overall sound of the system is better when it is not trying to push so much bass.

4.) I discovered that the sound coming from the dash mounted tweeters is way to loud. This is not surprising considering they are firing directly into the glass, which then sends the sound directly into the driver and passengers ears. If I increased the tweeter setting to something greater than zero so that the overall sound would brighten a little, then the dash mounted tweeters would become even more annoying. I had some very thin round black chair glides that I bought from Home Depot with an adhesive back, and so I placed one of them in the very center of each tweeter. The idea was to reduce the sound coming from the teeters just a little bit, and it actually worked. I will probably look for a more permanent solution later on, but the chair glides actually do not look too bad. Before I installed them I stuck them to my forehead first to degrade the adhesive with body oil so that they will be very easy to remove.

5.) After I did #4 above I was able to increase the tweeter setting to +3, which brightened the overall sound of the system without making the dash mounted tweeters way too loud.

6.) I also found that the mid-range sound seemed to be way too loud, and I figured out that my left ear was getting a huge dose of sound from the middle speaker in the drivers door. I did not notice the same thing when I sat in the passenger seat, but it was very noticeable in the drivers seat. This excess sound from that one speaker in the drivers door also made it difficult to choose a balance from left to right in the car, and it made it difficult to find a good setting for the mid-range sound level. After more listening I finally figured out that the sound from the mid-range speaker was too loud because it was firing directly into the side of the steering column. The sound would essentially be concentrated in that space between the door and the steering column, and as a result the drivers left ear would hear way too much sound from that one speaker. I decided to reduce the sound from that speaker by covering up half of it with clear packing tape. I just stuck a piece of tape on half of the speaker, and then used a razor blade to cut a circular perimeter. The clear tape does not cover up the visual aspect of the speaker; it only reduces the sound. This turned out to the be perfect solution to reduce the excess sound coming from that speaker.

7.) After I solved the problem described in #6 above, I then determined that most optimal balance left to right balance was in the middle with equal sound on each side of the car. Before I covered up a portion of the mid-range speaker in the drivers door it would have been impossible to find a good setting for the balance.

8.) Solving the problem described in #6 also finally made it possible to find a proper setting for the fade from front to back. I think I settled on 2 (or maybe it was 3) clicks to the back of the car.

9.) And then after the balance and fade was set I increased the mid-range sound setting to +2. This setting had always sounded terrible until I solved the problem described in #6 above, but now the +2 setting sounds very good.

I am sure that other people will have different opinions regarding the proper adjustment of this system, but this is an accounting of what made the system sound better to my ears. After doing all of these adjustments I think the system sounds pretty darn good, and has eliminated any desire on my part to spend $4 or $5k on a major after market solution. The only thing I would like to do now is spend some money on a bigger sub-woofer with a dedicated amp.
 

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I would be interested to see pictures of the solution you have now and also the final solution you end up with.
 

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Great troubleshooting, thanks for the effort. Report back if you replace the sub and add a dedicated amp.
 

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OK, your ears are clearly much better tuned than mine. That said I did immediately turn off the surround sound and love how the stereo sounds now. So much crisper. Thank you!
 

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Crazy as it may seem, surround sounds good to me when listening to news and sports. Music? I agree, not so good. I wish there was a single, dedicated on/off button for it (just like the one I want for headlight washers).
 
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thanks for the tips!!..though I have to admit that I am not an audiophile....I will try what you suggest though just to see(hear) if I can tell any difference
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is great! Please post some pictures for us visual folks
Here are some pics. The chair glide has puckered a little from heat, but it was only meant to be a short term solution anyway. The other two pics are of the mid-range speaker that I covered with clear packing tape. You can barely see the edge of the tape running vertically down the center of the speaker. The tape only covers half of the speaker.
 

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Bigk200, for reference, what type of music do you typically listen too?

That will help put these tweeks into context.

Jazz and classical necessitate much different set up than rock, EDM or pop, of course.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I listen to all kinds of music. Overall I do not think this system is super good at playing hard rock, but it might perk up with a better sub-woofer. The complicated instrumentation that is typical to rock seems to be a real challenge for this system.

I do not think that my tweaks are specific to any particular type of music because they are geared toward creating a better balance between all of the speakers. This is something that you would want regardless of the music being played. The bottom line is that the dash mounted speakers are too loud relative to the rest of the system because they are firing directly into the windshield, and the mid-range speaker in the drivers door is too loud because it is firing directly into the side of the steering column. Once the sound is reduced a little bit from those speakers it is possible to bring the entire system into a better balance left to right and front to back. After that the settings for treble and mid-range are a matter of personal taste, and I recommend leaving the bass setting at zero because the system doesn't have enough power to push a lot of bass.
 

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Any modifications for Gangsta Rap ?
 
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While driving today I tinkered with the settings you mentioned and definitely felt an improvement. Also, covering half the left door speaker helped out a lot. I was shocked. Overall, I thought the sound in this car stock sounded pretty good (I'm not an audiophile) but now it sounds even better. Thank you!

I am curious, wouldn't the right door speaker have the same issue to the passenger as the left door speaker?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
While driving today I tinkered with the settings you mentioned and definitely felt an improvement. Also, covering half the left door speaker helped out a lot. I was shocked. Overall, I thought the sound in this car stock sounded pretty good (I'm not an audiophile) but now it sounds even better. Thank you!

I am curious, wouldn't the right door speaker have the same issue to the passenger as the left door speaker?
You are welcome! The passenger door speaker does not seem to have the same problem because it is not firing directly into the side of the steering wheel column.
 

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You are welcome! The passenger door speaker does not seem to have the same problem because it is not firing directly into the side of the steering wheel column.
Hmmm, maybe some sound deadening material on the steering column shroud? Hard plastic surfaces (particularly flat ones) can produce nasty sound reflections.
 

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When I first took delivery of my QV I cranked up the bass setting. I have since figured out that doing this will trash the rest of the sound because the amplifier does not have enough power to drive more base, and also because the sub-woofer does not have its own dedicated amp. Furthermore, the sound coming from the woofers (not the sub-woofer, but the woofers) would sound very muddled and imprecise.

Listed below is a list of the tweaks and settings that I have made to the system, which has had a very positive impact on the sound quality:

1.) Turned off the surround sound option. I think it actually degrades the quality of the sound.

2.) I have not done it yet, but I will eventually replace the rear sub with a larger sub and a dedicated amp.

3.) I reluctantly set the bass setting to "0". The overall sound of the system is better when it is not trying to push so much bass.

4.) I discovered that the sound coming from the dash mounted tweeters is way to loud. This is not surprising considering they are firing directly into the glass, which then sends the sound directly into the driver and passengers ears. If I increased the tweeter setting to something greater than zero so that the overall sound would brighten a little, then the dash mounted tweeters would become even more annoying. I had some very thin round black chair glides that I bought from Home Depot with an adhesive back, and so I placed one of them in the very center of each tweeter. The idea was to reduce the sound coming from the teeters just a little bit, and it actually worked. I will probably look for a more permanent solution later on, but the chair glides actually do not look too bad. Before I installed them I stuck them to my forehead first to degrade the adhesive with body oil so that they will be very easy to remove.

5.) After I did #4 above I was able to increase the tweeter setting to +3, which brightened the overall sound of the system without making the dash mounted tweeters way too loud.

6.) I also found that the mid-range sound seemed to be way too loud, and I figured out that my left ear was getting a huge dose of sound from the middle speaker in the drivers door. I did not notice the same thing when I sat in the passenger seat, but it was very noticeable in the drivers seat. This excess sound from that one speaker in the drivers door also made it difficult to choose a balance from left to right in the car, and it made it difficult to find a good setting for the mid-range sound level. After more listening I finally figured out that the sound from the mid-range speaker was too loud because it was firing directly into the side of the steering column. The sound would essentially be concentrated in that space between the door and the steering column, and as a result the drivers left ear would hear way too much sound from that one speaker. I decided to reduce the sound from that speaker by covering up half of it with clear packing tape. I just stuck a piece of tape on half of the speaker, and then used a razor blade to cut a circular perimeter. The clear tape does not cover up the visual aspect of the speaker; it only reduces the sound. This turned out to the be perfect solution to reduce the excess sound coming from that speaker.

7.) After I solved the problem described in #6 above, I then determined that most optimal balance left to right balance was in the middle with equal sound on each side of the car. Before I covered up a portion of the mid-range speaker in the drivers door it would have been impossible to find a good setting for the balance.

8.) Solving the problem described in #6 also finally made it possible to find a proper setting for the fade from front to back. I think I settled on 2 (or maybe it was 3) clicks to the back of the car.

9.) And then after the balance and fade was set I increased the mid-range sound setting to +2. This setting had always sounded terrible until I solved the problem described in #6 above, but now the +2 setting sounds very good.

I am sure that other people will have different opinions regarding the proper adjustment of this system, but this is an accounting of what made the system sound better to my ears. After doing all of these adjustments I think the system sounds pretty darn good, and has eliminated any desire on my part to spend $4 or $5k on a major after market solution. The only thing I would like to do now is spend some money on a bigger sub-woofer with a dedicated amp.
The stereo shop that installed my after market system said the audio system they pulled out of my Q4 was cheaper than the ones they see in entry level Hondas. It is never going to sound great with the cheap components and paper speakers they sold us for $900.00. They did however use a halfway decent head unit. the shop estimated the amp, sub and speakers were no more than $100.00 in total
 

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What did you install ?
 
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