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Test Tones and Tuning Tutorial - All New Links, Again!

Tones sine waves tuning tutorial gain max volume filters crossover Oscilloscope scope

52 replies to this topic

#1
Autruche

Autruche

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I had gotten bored and started making tones so I could tune amps. I made them all in Audacity. They are just simple sine waves that are very easy to make, but I see a lot of people looking for Tones/Sine Waves/Frequencies/Hz Tracks/etc so I figured I could upload some and help them out. All tones are recorded in MP3 format at 320Kbps.

They include:

Tones for tuning your system:
These Sine Waves are 2 minutes long each

40Hz: 0dB, -2.5dB, -5dB, -7.5dB, -10dB: Download
150Hz: 0dB, -2.5dB, -5dB, -7.5dB, -10dB: Download
500Hz: 0dB, -2.5dB, -5dB, -7.5dB, -10dB: Download
1000Hz: 0dB, -2.5dB, -5dB, -7.5dB, -10dB: Download
3500Hz: 0dB, -2.5dB, -5dB, -7.5dB, -10dB: Download
5000Hz: 0dB, -2.5dB, -5dB, -7.5dB, -10dB: Download
___________________________________________________________________

Individual Tones:

1-100Hz.

I have matched them the the tuning tone amplitudes so you don't need to readjust your gain for a competition.

1 full set recorded at 0dB
1 full set recorded at -2.5dB
1 full set recorded at -5dB
1 full set recorded at -7.5dB
1 full set recorded at -10dB

These Sine Waves are 20 seconds long each.

1-100Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download

Alternatively, you can download them in smaller zips to get the tones you need without downloading all of them.

1-9Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
10-19Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
20-29Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
30-39Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
40-49Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
50-59Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
60-69Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
70-79Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
80-89Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
90-100Hz: 0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
___________________________________________________________________

Tone Sweeps:

1 full set recorded at 0dB
1 full set recorded at -2.5dB
1 full set recorded at -5dB
1 full set recorded at -7.5dB
1 full set recorded at -10dB

Each track is roughly 45 seconds long.

Tracks are:

10-80Hz, 10-20Hz, 15-25Hz, 20-30Hz, 25-35Hz, 30-40Hz, 35-45Hz,
40-50Hz, 45-55Hz, 50-60Hz, 55-65Hz, 60-70Hz, 65-75Hz, 70-80Hz

0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download
___________________________________________________________________

Tones for setting filters:

1 full set recorded at 0dB
1 full set recorded at -2.5dB
1 full set recorded at -5dB
1 full set recorded at -7.5dB
1 full set recorded at -10dB

Each track is 1 minute long each.

Tones are:
80Hz - 100Hz - 125Hz - 160Hz - 200Hz - 250Hz - 315Hz - 400Hz - 500Hz - 630Hz - 800Hz
1000Hz - 1250Hz - 1600Hz - 2000Hz - 2500Hz - 3150Hz - 4000Hz - 5000Hz - 6300Hz - 8000Hz
10000Hz - 12500Hz - 16000Hz

0dB Download | -2.5dB Download | -5dB Download | -7.5dB Download | -10dB Download

Edited by Autruche, 13 May 2012 - 03:24 PM.

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#2
Autruche

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This is my tutorial on how to set your head unit's maximum volume and how to set your amplifier's gains and filters using an oscilloscope. This is rather lengthy, but it is filled with need-to-know info. I do not recommend trying to set your head unit and gains on higher powered systems without an oscilloscope or DD-1, and as such I will not discuss any other methods. I won't bother explaining how to do it using a DD-1 as if you own one, you have the instructions on how to use it. The info in this is still usefull to you though.

___________________________________________________________________


Preliminary information:

People will tell you different things when it comes to what tone to use to set your gains. Some will say to use a 0dB tone, some will say to use a -3dB tone, and some say a -5db tone, some may even say a -10dB tone.

Now you may wonder, why would I want to tune my amp with a wave that is smaller? The answer is simple: Music is dynamic. It is not made up of 0dB tones, but by many rather smaller frequencies and notes layered together, waves on top of waves.

In an audio file the highest point that a wave can be without clipping off (it's maximum clean size) is referred to as 0dB, and anything less than that is referred to as -x.xdB (however many dB under a full wave.)

Now in music you have frequencies your tweeters pick up on top of frequencies your midrages/midbasses pick up on top of frequencies your subwoofers pick up. When you start using your amps filter (in this case your bass amp's low pass filter) you are removing the frequencies you don't want that driver to reproduce, and are left with the frequencies you do want. When you start removing the notes that are layered on top of the bass notes, the notes shrink back down to their natural sizes.

Let's use the song 'Man I' by Gorilla Zoe for reference. Even though the song fills up the audacity display window from peak to peak at points, when you use the low pass filter on it set to 80Hz@12dB/octave you are actually receiving about -13dB of music (bass) instead of 0dB. This means that there is room to increase the output of the bass safely. Almost every song is like this, and that is why it is safe to use a negative amplitude tone to tune your amp.

How do I know what tone I should use though? It's simple, if you like listening to bass boosted music, such as Decaf's music, use no more than a -5dB tone, if you just listen to regular non-boosted music you may be safe up to a -10dB tone. Choose the tones based on the type of music you listen to. For instance; I make my own edited and boosted songs, but I use a limit to my bass. I do not amplify the bass in a song beyond -8dB, and as a result I tune my system with a -7.5dB tone to get the most out of my music.

For treble I recommend a tone between 0 and -10dB.
For bass I recommend a tone between -5 and -10dB

Use whatever tone you feel safe with.

Remember though, that after you tune your system with this tone you cannot exceed that amplitude at full tilt without clipping it, so be sure you know how much bass is in a song before you play it. I usually check a song for clipping by playing it in Windows Media Player with the scope visualization on and look for flat spots. If it is clean, I put it in Audacity and check the amplitude of the bass. If it is less than my tuning tone, then I can play it at full tilt, if it is more then I will have to back off a bit on the sub level.

___________________________________________________________________


Step 1: Tuning your head unit:


Tools that will be required:

An Oscilliscope with probes or probe and clip connectors
Test tones,
For bass: I recommend using a 40Hz tone.
For treble: I recommend using a 1000Hz tone.
Make sure the tone is the same amplitude that you will use to tune your amp. If it isn't you could either be sending clipped waves from the head unit, or not getting full voltage through the RCAs.


To begin you must explore your head unit. Your head unit will have an equalizer (bass and treble) and possibly a sub control. Begin with everything at 0. On some models of head unit 0 is the middle for your subwoofer control, and your adjustment may go something like -7 to 0 to +7. Other head units the subwoofer control may go from 0 being the lowest to 10 or 15 being the highest. Both head units act differently. The first kind will allow you to ad gain to your subwoofer preamp. It is important to not do this and leave it at 0, the second kind adjusts what amount of power is allowed to go down the subwoofer Pre-Amp line, 0 being none or very little and the highest number being all the way open. On that kind you turn the subwoofer control all of the way up.



Now that we have that sorted out we must know, are you using an external amp for your mids and highs or are you powering them off of the head unit?

If you are powering them off of the head unit:

The first thing you should do id to turn your stereo up until the speakers start to sound like junk. Note the highest volume number you can turn the stereo up to before it starts to sound bad and let that be your volume peak, however you still need to scope the Sub Pre-Amps to know if it is safe to even go to that level.

If you are using an amp for your mids and highs:

For tuning treble pre-amp outputs use a 1000Hz tone at your desired amplitude. You must use the same amplitude tone to tune your head unit as you will use to tune your amp in order to get full voltage out of the RCAs. Unplug the RCAs from the amp and hook the Oscilloscope up to the RCA cable (positive lead to inner pin, negative lead to outer section) and begin turning the volume up until it clips. a clipped sine wave will look like this:

Posted Image

Then adjust your volume until the sine wave becomes rounded and looks like this:

Posted Image

Make a note of the volume.

___________________________________________________________________


Now to tune your subwoofer Pre-Amp:

Use a 40Hz tone to do this. Same as with treble, make sure you use the same amplitude tone to tune the head unit as you will use for the amp. Things go just like tuning for the treble Pre-Amp, so if you didn't read that part, READ IT NOW. There are a few simple differences

Connect your Oscilloscope up to your subwoofer Pre-Amp like you did for the treble. Then turn your volume up until you get a clipped wave and back it off to clean just like before. What is the max volume for your sub Pre-Amps? If it is more or less than the max volume for treble start to adjust the sub gain to level it out.

IE: Treble may be fine to 42, but bass may only be fine up to 37. In that case turn it up to 42 and start turning the head unit's sub gain down until the wave becomes clean again.

However, sometimes the opposite is true. Maybe your treble is fine to 42, but your bass is good until 46. This case becomes dependent on your head unit. If your head unit has a 0-10 (or whatever number) scale there is nothing you can really do, but if it has a scale like -7 to +7 you can set the volume at 42 and slowly increase the sub gain until you get the biggest clean wave from it that you can.

Now you've established your maximum volume you can turn the head unit to.

On to step 2

___________________________________________________________________


Step 2: Tuning your amplifier's gain setting:


Setting your gains with an oscilloscope is incredibly easy. The tools required are as followed:

An Oscilloscope with probes or clip connectors

Test tones,
For bass: Use the same 40Hz tone as you used with the head unit.
For treble: Use the same 1000Hz tone as you used with the head unit.

And a screwdriver: for adjusting your gains.

How to:

Assuming you first followed the steps in how to tune your RCA Pre-Amps for your stereo:

With your speakers hooked up to the amp, clip the test leads of the Oscilloscope up to the speaker wires, to their respective polarities. If your scope does not have clip style leads, but instead has probe style leads unscrew the speaker wires and insert the leads into the amp along with the speaker wires and screw them down until they are secure.

If you've tuned your filters already, leave them alone and skip the next paragraph. If not, do the following, then set them as mentioned later:

Turn your gain all the way down.
If your bass amp has a remote bass knob, turn it all the way up.
Turn your High Pass Filter (HPF) or Subsonic Filter (SSF) all the way down.
Turn your Low Pass Filter (LPF) all the way up (unless a treble amp that will not be used in bandpass mode, in which case don't worry about the LPF).
Turn your Bass Boost all the way down. If you do not know how to properly use bass boost, then you are best off to leave it at 0. Misuse of the Bass Bost feature can lead to a blown sub or other bass driver. I'm not going to get into how to properly use Bass Boost as I do not want to be accountable for damaged equipment due to bad advice.

Begin playing your desired tone at your head units maximum un-clipped volume level. Turn your gain up slowly until you start to clip the wave like so:

Posted Image

Then adjust your gain down slowly until the clipping goes away and the wave looks like so:

Posted Image



Damn! You're done setting your gain already! Now it's time for the crossovers!

___________________________________________________________________

Step 3: Setting your crossovers:

First of all, let me explain what a crossover is and how it works.

A crossover, commonly reffered to as a filter, reduces the power output to the speaker over a desired range. The object of this is to keep the driver playing only the desired frequency range without effecting the output within that range. A crossover is very useful because it allows you to keep your sub from playing treble, and your mids from playing sub bass. When a driver plays frequencies outside of it's safe range, it can damage it. Playing your mids to low can cause them to fail mechanically from over excursion, whereas playing notes that are too high through a sub can cause the voice coil to get hotter than it normally would and can potentially become a factor in thermal failure of the driver.

A big question you may have is what dB and dB/oct mean.

We are probably all familiar with the dB (decibel) unit of measurement in SPL, but it is not the same when measuring electrical signals. In SPL, every increase of 10dBs is percieved as roughly 'twice as loud' where as in electrical signals it is 3dB. That means that if we start at 10 watts, -3dB from that would be 5 watts, and +3dB would be 20 watts. We are focusing on electrical dBs with this.

Now, as for dB/octave we are looking to set the filters properly. One octave is simply a doubling, or halving of a certain frequency. lets say we were playing a 250Hz tone. One octave less (one half the frequency) would be 125Hz, where as one octave above (double the frequency) would be 500Hz. decibels per octave is not a flat slope, instead it is an exponential curve. The farther you go from the filter point, the faster it drops. This is very important for setting your filters to allow your speakers to blend in together.

----------

That's all well and good, but just how to I set my filters? and what should I set them to?

Here's a nice little diagram to illustrate what a proper crossover point is.

Posted Image

In a typical Butterworth (12dB/oct) slope, the crossover point is considered the -3dB mark.
In a Linkwitz-Riley (18 or 24dB/oct) slope, it is considered to be the -6dB point.

Don't be worried if you have to blend an amp with a Butterworth crossover into an amp with a L-R crossover, it's not the end of the world.

----------

Now, in order to tune your crossovers, you need to know what to set them to, right? In a typical setup you would want your sub's LPF to be set to about 80-100Hz, and your mid's HPF will be set to the same frequency as the sub's LPF. To blend the mids into tweeters you may want to set the filters between 2500 and 3500Hz. When you set the subsonic filter on your bass amp, you will want to set it to about 7Hz under your box tuning for a ported box, or just set it at about 25Hz for a sealed or 4th order box.

Here are some simple examples of how you may want the speakers to play in a 2 way, 3 way, and 4 way setup.

----------

2 way setup, usually a sub and coaxials, or a sub and components running passive:
Sub: SSF: 7Hz below box tuning, or set to 25Hz
LPF: 80-100Hz

Mids: HPF set to the same as the sub's LPF

----------

3 way setup, usually a sub, and two way component system running active:

Sub: SSF: 7Hz below box tuning, or set to 25Hz
LPF: 80-100Hz

Mids: HPF set to the same as the sub's LPF
LPF set to 2500-3500Hz

Tweeters: HPF set to the same as the mid's LPF

----------

4 way setup, sub, midbass, midrange, and tweeters.

Sub: SSF: 7Hz below box tuning, or set to 25Hz
LPF: 80-100Hz

Midbass: HPF set to the same as the sub's LPF
LPF set to 250-400Hz

Midrange: HPF set to the same as the Midbass's LPF
LPF set to 2500-3500Hz

Tweeter: HPF set to the same as the midrange's LPF

----------

Now for the big question: How do I set my filters?

Tools that will be required:
DMM - Digital Multi-Meter with probe connectors
A Screw driver to turn the knobs on your amp/crossover
A calculator

To get started you must select your desired crossover points, pick out the tones, and make sure they are the same amplitude as the ones you set your gains with

Next you need to disconnect the speakers from the amp and put the DMM probes into the speaker terminals.

Set your DMM to ACV (AC volts)

Play your tone at a moderate volume, but less than your max clean volume.

Turn the filters off or open them up all the way. Turn a LPF all the way up, or a HPF (or SSF) all the way down to open the filter all the way up.

Make a note of the voltage. Then bust out the calculator and do the following equation:

For Butterworth: Posted Image

For L-R: Posted Image

Now here is an example: I play the tone and get 12.4 volts out of the speaker outputs.

Butterworth:
12.4 x 12.4 = 153.76
153.76 / 2 = 76.88
SQRT 76.88 = 8.77

L-R:
12.4 x 12.4 = 153.76
153.76 / 4 = 38.44
SQRT 38.44 = 6.2

Now that you know the voltage you need you simply start the track over at the same volume and adjust the filter until your DMM says the desired voltage.

Repeat the process until all filters are set.

Simple as that

- Autruche

Edited by Autruche, 24 March 2012 - 03:11 PM.

Need Test Tones/Sine Waves? Click Here!

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#3
skittlesRgood

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how about 150hz for midbass?

[color=#FF0000;]If I answered you in a well mannered, informative way, you asked a good question or had a good attitude. If I was an asshole, you asked a stupid question or you had a fucktard attitude... or I was in a bad mood.[/color]

[color=#0000FF;]Team Bassick[/color]
[color=#FF0000;]HU: Pioneer AVIC Z110
Front: Peerless SLS 6.5", Peerless HDS 4", Rainbow tweeter - running active
Amp: JL HD600/4 and DC 4 channel (bridged to midbass)
Processor: JBL MS-8
Subs: 2x 12" AA Mayhems
Amp: DC 3k
Electrical: DC power 270xp alt. 1/0 big 4. XSpower D3400 and six D680s.[/color]

http://www.stevemead...ting-a-rebuild/

[color=#0000FF;]Top career scores: DBdrag 151.7 MECA SQ 82.25[/color]
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Yeah. im pretty sure they dont warranty retarded people.


#4
Autruche

Autruche

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how about 150hz for midbass?


Done.

Link in first post.

Anyone want any other tones?

Edited by lAutruche, 06 January 2011 - 10:33 PM.

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#5
skittlesRgood

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thanks

[color=#FF0000;]If I answered you in a well mannered, informative way, you asked a good question or had a good attitude. If I was an asshole, you asked a stupid question or you had a fucktard attitude... or I was in a bad mood.[/color]

[color=#0000FF;]Team Bassick[/color]
[color=#FF0000;]HU: Pioneer AVIC Z110
Front: Peerless SLS 6.5", Peerless HDS 4", Rainbow tweeter - running active
Amp: JL HD600/4 and DC 4 channel (bridged to midbass)
Processor: JBL MS-8
Subs: 2x 12" AA Mayhems
Amp: DC 3k
Electrical: DC power 270xp alt. 1/0 big 4. XSpower D3400 and six D680s.[/color]

http://www.stevemead...ting-a-rebuild/

[color=#0000FF;]Top career scores: DBdrag 151.7 MECA SQ 82.25[/color]
[color=#0000FF;]My SOTM build[/color]
 

Yeah. im pretty sure they dont warranty retarded people.


#6
C-Fizzy

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I've always wondered, what the difference is with doing, say, -3,0, and 3 db.
under construction


I hate People with crappy primered cars rolling on hubcaps that are louder then me.


u hate c-fizzy?


#7
Autruche

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For a sine wave it is the measure of the amplitude, or how "loud" the wave is.

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#8
3ddi31002

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noob time what tones should i use for my subs and what for mid bass and what for tweets? i seen one guy said 150 for mids is that what i should use

#9
Autruche

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noob time what tones should i use for my subs and what for mid bass and what for tweets? i seen one guy said 150 for mids is that what i should use


Use the 45Hz test tone for tuning your sub amps. Use the 1000Hz test tone for tuning your mids/highs amp when running a passive crossover network.

Skittles was asking for a 150Hz tone for use in tuning an active setup.

If you are running active you use:

40-50Hz for bass
150Hz for midbass
1000Hz for midrange
5000Hz for tweeters (not too sure on that one, correct me if I'm wrong.)

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#10
3ddi31002

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noob time what tones should i use for my subs and what for mid bass and what for tweets? i seen one guy said 150 for mids is that what i should use


Use the 45Hz test tone for tuning your sub amps. Use the 1000Hz test tone for tuning your mids/highs amp when running a passive crossover network.

Skittles was asking for a 150Hz tone for use in tuning an active setup.

If you are running active you use:

40-50Hz for bass
150Hz for midbass
1000Hz for midrange
5000Hz for tweeters (not too sure on that one, correct me if I'm wrong.)

Thanks a lot bro yeah in running active so I guess I could use the 150 for mids

#11
Autruche

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Alright, it's been a while since I've added to this thread, it was probably like 20 pages back in this section before I just added this. Anyway, we all know that setting filters is a vital part of retaining quality in your system. If you set your filters properly each different driver will blend in with the next and they will work in harmony. If you want to know how to properly set your filters, just let me know and I'll do a writeup on it.

All tones are recorded at -4.2dB and they are:
125Hz - 160Hz - 200Hz - 250Hz - 315Hz - 400Hz - 500Hz - 630Hz - 800Hz
1000Hz - 1250Hz - 1600Hz - 2000Hz - 2500Hz - 3150Hz - 4000Hz - 5000Hz - 6300Hz - 8000Hz
10000Hz - 12500Hz - 16000Hz - 20000Hz

Download Here

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#12
BassJunkie

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This needs a sticky.

Acoustical energy is free. Electrical energy is not

you havent lived until you've hit a screw with a router.


#13
Autruche

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Sine Waves have all been redone. They now have a 3 second fade-in. I have also uploaded them in 10 separate zips averaging 10 tracks per zip. Enjoy.

I will soon be re-upload the new test tones with the new longer fade-in. Those will be 40Hz, 150Hz, 1000Hz, and 5000Hz again. They will also be the same amplitudes, 0, -2.4, ans -4.2 just as before. The only difference will be the longer fade-in and they will be available in separate zips.

Edit: typo

Edited by Autruche, 04 June 2011 - 05:47 AM.

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#14
ham4864

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Sine Waves have all been redone. They now have a 3 second fade-in. I have also uploaded them in 10 separate zips averaging 10 tracks per zip. Enjoy.

I will soon be re-upload the new test tones with the new longer fade-in. Those will be 40Hz, 150Hz, 1000Hz, and 5000Hz again. They will also be the same amplitudes, 0, -2.4, ans -4.2 just as before. The only difference will be the longer fade-in and they will be available in separate zips.

Edit: typo

what is the difference from using 45hz 0,-2.4,-4.2 what will give the best results.my box is tuned to 33hz.

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#15
Autruche

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dB's are a measure of a wave's amplitude. A sine wave at 0dB takes up the whole scale. Any sine waves with a negative value are that much smaller than the maximum clean wave.

Using a sine wave with less than full amplitude to tune your system will yield in more amplifier output. Most people argue that since music is dynamic and not made out of 0dB sine waves that it is safe to tune an amplifier with such tones. That is why the smallest tone I offer is -4.2dB.

When it comes to tuning your system you should always use a 0dB tone to set your head unit volume, EQ, Epicenters, etc... but you may use whatever desired tone for the amp. If you were to use a sine wave of -3dB to set your head unit, then used the -3dB tone to set your amplifier it would be tuned as if you used a -6dB tone on the amp. However, now since you had tuned your head unit with a lower amplitude, your head unit will have a higher maximum volume. At that volume the head unit could actually be clipping a bit. If you begin to clip your subs even turning down your bass knob won't stop the clipping, only turning down the head unit will. That is something that can be avoided simply by tuning anything that is a pre-amplifier device with a 0dB tone.

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#16
Kevin

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This thread is so helpful. Thank you!

#17
Decaf

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nice job
:drinks:
one question though, why are you calling "tones" and "sine waves" two separate things when they are the same?

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#18
ham4864

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i need to get a oscope soon so i can be more accurate.

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Processor- Audiocontrol LC6

 


#19
Autruche

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nice job
:drinks:
one question though, why are you calling "tones" and "sine waves" two separate things when they are the same?


To be honest... I don't know. I know they are the same thing, it's just that when talking about them I always refer to sine waves for setting filters and gains as 'tones' and everything else is just a sine wave to me.

i need to get a oscope soon so i can be more accurate.


Do it to it man. You can pick up a brand new Velleman HPS10 for fairly cheap and it's always a good investment, because after you learn how to use it properly you can start charging people to set their gains with it and make your money back.

Need Test Tones/Sine Waves? Click Here!

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#20
Decaf

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To be honest... I don't know. I know they are the same thing, it's just that when talking about them I always refer to sine waves for setting filters and gains as 'tones' and everything else is just a sine wave to me.

well heres the thing... a sine wave is a type of tone
you can have triangle tones, sawtooth tones, square tones... etc

im lazy so im glad you took the time to do this

Edited by Decaf, 06 June 2011 - 06:57 AM.

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