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WS-420 tuning with amp....

 
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ryan351w
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PostPosted: May 13, 2011 8:15 am    Post subject: WS-420 tuning with amp.... Reply with quote

Ok so I got my 420 in the other day and am really excited to set it up and use it!
So I read the tuning section carefully.
My question is this, for the in-boat speakers and tower speakers it only references the high pass crossover setting for the amp.
I have "high pass" "low pass" "bass boost" and "gain" adjustment.
Along with a low pass-full-high pass selector switch.
Now I assume that for both Tower and boat speakers I should use "Full" setting; and I got the "high pass" setting from the Wet Sounds manual.
Or do I set the selector to "high pass" and then don't worry about the "low pass" and "bass boost"? That might make more sense....

2 questions.
1-what/how should I adjust the "low pass" and "bass boost" to?
2-in the manual it states...."Slowly turn the gain up until you hear the speakers distort." Now is this the gain control on the amp, or the volume knob on the EQ??

For reference, I'm using a separate amp for the sub, tower, and in-boat...so 3 amps. So they can all be tuned independent of each other.

I'll include a pic of the plate for reference.....

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PostPosted: May 13, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Set everything but your sub amp up to hi pass. Set the hi pass frequency at ~80 hz. Turn the bass boost to 0 Then follow the Wet Sounds instructions by turning up the head unit and eq to the levels it says. Finally, turn up your amp gain until it distorts and back off. Then play a bunch of different music to see if you need to nudge it down just a bit more. Do that for each amp independently like the instructions say and you'll be set. When you do the sub amp, that is the only one you want to set for low pass. I'd still leave the bass boost at 0 to start with until you tune the whole system. If you feel you need more bass after tuning, then turn it up a bit.
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PostPosted: May 13, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sweet! thanks man! So by setting the HI-pass to say ~100hz does that mean anything BELOW 100 is cut out and anything above remains?
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PostPosted: May 14, 2011 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct. One thing to make sure of is that if you set hi pass to 100, you set low pass on your sub to 100 or you will have a "hole" in the sound.
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PostPosted: May 14, 2011 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OHHHHHH! that makes PERFECT sense now!
So WS wants the sub at 80, so I should then set the tower/in-boat at 80 on the hi pass.
So on the Low pass side, you're setting the max hz the amp will put out. For ex if its set at 80, the sub will only produce up to 80hz but will produce anything below that it can?
I think this makes sense now!
So on the tower/boat amps, when the HI-Pass crossover is selected the Low pass adj doesn't do anything correct?
So what happens when FULL is selected? Does it just pump out full range or can you still set the max highs and min(lowest) lows?
thanks for the help!

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PostPosted: May 15, 2011 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've got it. On the full it may disable the frequency adjustments.
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PostPosted: May 15, 2011 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sweet!
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PostPosted: May 18, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ryan351w wrote:
sweet! thanks man! So by setting the HI-pass to say ~100hz does that mean anything BELOW 100 is cut out and anything above remains?


Sort of. It depends on the octave slope of the filter. -6dB, -12dB and -24 dB/octave are the usual choices, but that depends on the hardware. You may only have a fixed choice of -12dB/ octive, which is where most people start tuning.

I do agree that you should start tuning with the LPF and HPF set to the same spot. However, through tuning, you may find you need to set the hpf higher than the LPF, or add dedicated woofers (as opposed to subwoofers) with an active crossover.

A setting of 100Hz on a LPF means that the filter rolls off starting at *about* 100 (in your example), but it rolls off gradually. A -24dB cut rolls off faster, -6dB rolls off slower.

The problem you'll probably encounter is that a 100dB cutoff on the high pass may send too much low frequency energy to the smaller speakers. You'll need to play with this to balance distortion and the "hole" referenced. Notice in this graph (graph of HPF set to 75Hz) that a 75 hz hpf still has sound below 75 hz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:75_Hz_HPF_on_Smaart.jpg

The way around this is with active crosses, a variety of speakers, etc. In other words, more $$$$! On some custom audio installations I've done, we might have 12-15 speakers so that each speaker can be optimized for the frequency we want it to play.

So, without breaking the bank, and so you don't trash your speakers by accident, play with the settings a bit. You might find that you need to set the hpf to 200 or 300 hz to keep the LFE out of the towers so they don't distort at higher volume. Distortion is part a function of speaker design, and (big) part power being delivered. I didn't see a spec on your amps. You won't notice too much of a hole with the spread between 100 and 300 hz. There isn't too much there in most music. The roll-off on the filters will be enough so that there's more of a "valley" than a hole.

BTW, I'm not a dealer, never have been. I've just done a ton of installations.
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PostPosted: May 18, 2011 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TurboFan, nice response! I will have to let that digest for a few. Very Happy

I have problem....
So here was my starting spot and setup...
Both Gains at 3/4
Both high pass at 80hz
low pass all the way down.
both X-over at HPF
Bass Boost at 0.

I have 2CH selected. here is verbatim from the manual.... MODE 2CH/4CH allows the amp channels to have input from either 2ch input (front) or all channel inputs.

So I have it set to 2ch. because the WS-420 EQ is only 2channel output.

So here is where it got interesting, with my old POS speakers (i ran it just to make sure it all worked) the fronts ran fine the rears were quiet, but I attributed that to being really shi**y old speakers. The fronts were Kenwoods, the rears were messed up external speakers.
So I got my new speakers installed today; all new wire run.
Now the rears CRANK and almost nothing out of the front.
So I was curious what would happen if I switched to 4ch tried that, and nothing. Nothing at all. Switched back to 2CH still nothing. So now I've lost the rears as well.

Do I need a splitter to run to the front and rear inputs?

I have the same amp for the towers as well only these will be bridged, will I have to give the amp all 4 inputs as well to have the bridged worked correctly?

Thanks for any help.

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PostPosted: May 18, 2011 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ryan351w wrote:
TurboFan, nice response! I will have to let that digest for a few. Very Happy

I have problem....
So here was my starting spot and setup...
Both Gains at 3/4
Both high pass at 80hz
low pass all the way down.
both X-over at HPF
Bass Boost at 0.

I have 2CH selected. here is verbatim from the manual.... MODE 2CH/4CH allows the amp channels to have input from either 2ch input (front) or all channel inputs.

So I have it set to 2ch. because the WS-420 EQ is only 2channel output.

So here is where it got interesting, with my old POS speakers (i ran it just to make sure it all worked) the fronts ran fine the rears were quiet, but I attributed that to being really shi**y old speakers. The fronts were Kenwoods, the rears were messed up external speakers.
So I got my new speakers installed today; all new wire run.
Now the rears CRANK and almost nothing out of the front.
So I was curious what would happen if I switched to 4ch tried that, and nothing. Nothing at all. Switched back to 2CH still nothing. So now I've lost the rears as well.

Do I need a splitter to run to the front and rear inputs?

I have the same amp for the towers as well only these will be bridged, will I have to give the amp all 4 inputs as well to have the bridged worked correctly?

Thanks for any help.

EDITED for iPod to 420 to Amps

Wiring:
Just to make sure weíre on the same page
1. iPod to WS-420 aux input
2. Sub output to 880
3. Boat output to 660 w/ y connection to utilize both inputs
4. Tower output to 660 w/ y connection to utilize both inputs

Tuning/Setup

1. Turn all the amps off.
2. Back down ALL amp gains and boosts to 0. Use them later to tweak the sound for the desired listening area. Set the gains on the WS-420 to the min position. Set all xovers on the 420 to full. Lets use the amps to do the crossing.
3. Set both 660ís to 4 channel for the boat, 4 channel for the tower. Set the filters to HPF on both channels.
4. Set the 880 to LPF,
5. 80Hz is WAAAAY too low for an HP filter. Start the 660ís at 300 for mid-bass and midrange on the boat. The tower may be able to handle a little more bass, so start with 200Hz. Iíve not played with HLCDís yet.Very Happy
6. Set the LPF of the 880 for 200Hz. You'll probably end up turning this down closer to 100-150Hz.
7. Power up the sub amp. The rest are off.
8. Set the volume for all zones of the 420 to 25% of max.
9. Play whatever track you like, preferably something with a good bass kick, at a reasonable volume. Do you hear anything but good tight bass from the sub? If you hear ANY vocals, guitars, etc, turn down the LPF until it's just the beat of the music.
10. Turn off the sub amp, turn on the tower / boat amps.
11. Play the same track at a low volume. Gradually turn up the volume to 85%. If at any point you start to hear distortion, even a little, back the volume all the way down, turn up the HPF in 50Hz increments and repeat. Keep doing this until you don't get distortion at the desired volume. It will sound bad, don't worry, we're just tuning the filters.
12. Turn on all the amps.
13. Play the same track yet again at 85% on all WS-420 volume knobs. I thought about it a little more, I usually use my iPod at about 75% volume in these applications.
14. Slowly turn up the gain on the sub amp to the desired level of thump, being VERY careful not to distort the signal. Distortion can wreck even the best speakers in milliseconds if you're not careful. You shouldn't need to turn it past 3/4 gain. Beyond that and most amps get clip-happy. You want to leave some headroom for a hard hit in another track when some clown turned up the volume too high.
15. How does it sound? If the tower is too soft, slowly dial up the tower gain on the amp, not the Xover. If the boat is too quiet or loud, dial it in the same way.
16. Now you have a good basic tune from which to tweak. As you just have an iPod, youíre kinda limited to the stuff EQ it offers.

Background:
To get an increase in 3dB of sound, you need to double the power going to the speaker. Subs as you well know are very power hungry to start, as they have to move a ton of air to make their sound. If you don't get the bass you are looking for, you need to look at the sub enclosure and where it is, then the amp, and then the driver. Many drivers can handle power greater than the rated RMS if it is CLEAN power. Subs usually blow when they get a clipped signal that causes a brief over excursion. They can also blow with too much excursion from too much clean power, but not many people get to that point. Amps that can do that are pretty pricey, and the drivers pretty cheap.

A clipped signal from an amp is when the amplitude (voltage) of the output signal exceeds the capacity of the amplifier design. The amp will only go to a certain point, and anything above that comes out as continuous voltage. This is a shock to the driver that sends the cone out to full excursion and holds it there. It's like hitting the trampoline of your subwoofer with a big hammer. You wouldn't do that voluntarily would you? Distortion can indicate the onset of clipping, and you need to turn down the volume ASAP.

The sub box also plays a big part here. You need to have the right size and design box matched to the right driver. Guys in white coats with PhD's on the wall write 100 page essays on the internal bracing of the box, so Google to your hearts content on that one. You can get big gains just from having the right box for your driver, and having it in a location where it isnít just pressurizing a small space (like the port side locker!)

Finally, driver design obviously plays a part. With all that air you want to move, you need a tough driver. If you want to hit a lot 16Hz ass-kicker note, that cone has to move back and forth 16 times per second. The louder you want it to be, the further that cone needs to move back and forth, but it still needs to do it 16 times per second. So, a heart-stopping bass note means the sub cone is hitting a pretty good excursion (distance the cone travels from the rest position), and it has to return and repeat 16 times per second for the duration of the note. That's a lot of quick movement for such a massive driver, moving that much air. That necessitates a good stiff cone that won't flex or vibrate, but it also needs to be light enough so the driver can move the cone. You could make the cone from thick steel and it would never flex, but it would be too heavy to move.

That's probably way more info than you wanted, but it might help you understand what your system is doing.

BTW, you want to keep the gains on your WS-420 at min settings. Let the amp hardware work with line level signals. If you introduce gain on the line level, you'll introduce noise and distortion as well, which will be amplified by the amps. You have enough amp channels to adjust gain independently for each speaker set. This allows you to amplify the cleanest signal possible from your hardware, and minimize the introduction of noise and distortion from other components.


Last edited by TurboFan on May 19, 2011 9:38 pm; edited 5 times in total
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PostPosted: May 19, 2011 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow! sweet! as if i didn't have enough to digest from your first post! Good thing its raining here all freaking day i'll have time to go though this. But for the most part it makes total sense!

Ok.
Setup, all Polk audio amps. PA880 for the sub PA660 for the in-boat PA660 for the tower. No head unit. Just the 420 and ipod.
The reason i really wanted the 420 wasn't for the eq it was for the multiple volume adj between the tower and in-boat. However the eq is pretty nice.

Sub-Wetsounds 12"@2ohms
in-boat- 4 polk DXi650 4ohms around.
tower-Wetsounds Pro-60s 4ohms

thats interesting what you said about hearing anything but bass from the sub, because I do hear a little voice....so I'll adj that.

So you think that maybe I did pop a fuse? I guess that would make sense. The amp has two separate fuses.... Confused

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PostPosted: May 19, 2011 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think my head just exploded.

F/\ck that. I just get JonyB to set up my sh1t for me. Laughing
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PostPosted: May 19, 2011 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan

ok, I see why you need the 420. Pretty good way to skip a HU if you just want iPod. Let me read up on these amps today/tonight, I'll post more later. I'll probably edit my 2nd post too, just to make it relevant.

So I undertand, you're running from the headphone jack of the iPod with a stereo mini to RCA cable? Taking the RCA into the 420? If that's the case, remember that the iPod has a crude EQ in it and is coloring the sound. Make sure you have it turned off so we get as raw a sound as possible from the iPod. Also, do your tuning with the iPod at 50% volume or less.

You don't want to hear ANY voice from the sub. That means the xover is set too high and you're asking a giant driver to move a shitton of air at 300-500 Hz. It's killing your bass output.

I'll give you some troubleshooting steps for your lack of sound after I read up on your amps. I may also draw up a wiring diagram, a picture is worth a 1000 words, right? lol.

Have the wetsound towers ever worked? I'm curious, as I'm looking at some PRO696's to fit into my stock cans.
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PostPosted: May 19, 2011 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TurboFan, Yes, from the ipod, to the 420 via headphone jack, to an AUX input on the 420. The 420 then gives 3 RCA outputs, Sub, in-boat, Tower. And yes I have the bs ipod pre-set EQ turned off; i was running about 3/4 volume as described in the 420 manual but I can see the reason for having it a bit lower.

I called up Polk actually, he said the reason is because I don't have a second input for the rear channel. Even though it has a 2ch mode. Its not utilizing the rear x-overs. So I need to use Y-adapters. So no big deal there.

As far as the tower speakers; haven't gotten there yet.
Amp is connected, towers are not wired up. Just going nice and slow and in order.
I've heard these exact speakers though, bought them used....they are amazing!

I'll adjust down the low pass x-over for the sub tonight as well.

here is my other thread of my install so you an see sorta what I got going on...
http://forums.wakeboarder.com/viewtopic.php?t=89949

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PostPosted: May 19, 2011 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I edited my post from yesterday to make it more relevant. Looking at your other thread, I think you're pretty well set.
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PostPosted: May 19, 2011 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto to haugy's sentiment...that just went past my current skill level.
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PostPosted: May 20, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Laughing Laughing

TurboFan, my only question is the tuning of the 420 in the manual is says to adj the 420 for peak sound and set the amps to a specific level.
What is the reason for doing it your way?

thanks man! Ryan

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PostPosted: May 20, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you talking about levels or crossovers? The WS guys want to show what all their hardware can do, but without more detail on their crossovers, I'd rather use the amp crosses. I prefer to modulate the signal as little as possible prior to the amplifier, minimizing noise. The exception would be if I had a quality active crossover, which cost hundreds, if not a thousand dollars.
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PostPosted: May 20, 2011 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For levels, I recommend setting the WS420 to about 85% of max (step 13) and dialing in the amps from there. I think that's pretty close to what WS says. Make sure to keep the idiots hands off the volume knob!
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PostPosted: May 22, 2011 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TurboFan, i got it up and running yesterday. Had some issues after I installed the y-connector I still couldn't get the fronts running. So i checked all my connections etc etc. nothing. Pulled the amp and noticed the x-over selector was between Full and HP on the fronts Embarassed then the right front wouldn't work. I checked all my connections for that speaker all looked good. Swapped the right for the left, nothing. So it wasn't the amp. I got back under the bow and looked at the speaker terminals again. All looked fine. Thought I'd meter the wire for continuity, as soon as I touched the probe to the speaker the - terminal fell off! Must have crimped to hard! Laughing

Anyway all up and running now. Sounds great! Thanks for all the help!
Today the towers go up!

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PostPosted: May 22, 2011 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you got it figured out.

I got mine in the water (56F!!) Saturday, I'm ordering gear for mine tomorrow. Laughing Stock isn't going to cut it, but the major overhaul will have to wait. For now it's 4 PRO 696's to go in the stock cans, new sub enclosure, new WS Syn2 amp, modified cooler door. 56 was $%^@ cold, but it was good to get out.
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