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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I've got a '17 ST1 and I decided to upgrade the system. What I've done so far is integrate the Audio Control LC7i, two pairs of Rockford Fosgate Prime R165X3 speakers, a SSL EVO 400.4 amp running them and the stock HU. I wanted to do something on a budget and this seemed to fit the bill at the moment until I get serious and add the sub. I've got the LC7i wired as follows:

LF & RF Main
LR & RR to CH2

Main CH RCA' on LC7i go to CH 1 & 2 on the amp and CH2 RCA' on the LC7i go to CH 3 & 4 on the amp.

I then have the speakers wired on the amp as follows:

LF CH1
RF Ch2
LR CH3
RR CH4

So bear in mind I've been out of the car audio game since the late 90's. So my question is this. The front speakers sound much cleaner and crisper then stock, however the bass is not as good. The volume level is a tad higher but not at all what I was expecting as I went from 25Watts to 45RMS. Also, the rear speakers are no better then stock, honestly they may be worse. They produce little sound and what sound they do produce is poor quality. Think AM radio sound. I've got the gains on the amp all the way down and have the gains on the LC7i at about 40% as the instructions with the LC7i said to tune with the LC7i gains first and only utilize the amp gains if needed. Anything higher then the 40% and I get distortion. I was hoping for this to sound way better then what it does and needless to say I'm disappointed. What can be causing my rear speaker issue? I know the speakers I bought aren't the top shelf variety, however I thought it would sound much better then this and provide a nicer level of bass. I plan to swap the front/rear speaker wires on the amp to possibly see if the amp just has a bad CH3 & 4, however the amp is under the driver seat and I've been ****ing with the install for right at 3 days, tired of messing with it at this point. All thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

*Update as of 01/07/2018 in post #20
 

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From what Ive read the stock radio gives the fronts a bit more power. Also check to make sure you don’t have some wires crossed. Unhook all the speaker wires and re attach one at a time to the amp while it’s playing to isolate the issue.

Also how did you tap your wires?

Did you run the source to the lc7 from the back of the radio and did you cut them and attach the wires from the amp to the factory wires?


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I was trying to look up the specs on that amp but was not finding that model anywhere, did you mean the EV4.400 like this one here?
https://www.soundstormlab.com/produ...auto-2-channel-amplifier-sound-storm-ev4-400/

first thing I would change(wont effect sound quality but its more the standard way most companies are designed to do)
the common way most companies will set their amps up is that
LF CH1
RF CH2
LR CH3
RR ch4
you know that amp was designed to do that because ch 2 & 4 have red RCA connectors and ever since RCA connectors came out, red means right.


that said if that was the correcxt amp shown above, I wouldn't expect a lot of good sound out of those amps. first while it says that its 38w RMS, I dont think I would expect anywhere near that... its fused at 15 amps and class A/B tend to be around 50% efficient, maybe a little better so you would see from 22w to 28w RMS (12v X 15a = 180w 180w X 55% = 99w 99w / 4 speakers = 24.75 watts per channel) on top of that you can tell its not a very good amp due to the lack of good controls, it only can have a non adjustable 200hz HPF for the fronts and only a fixed LPF for the rear (which is unuseable for your use) and its kinda odd to use such a high end sound interface like the LC7i and such a cheap amp like the SSL... personally I would look at getting a good quality amp, and if you get a cladd D amp, it will be a whole lot more efficient (often 90% or better) so you will waste less power being converted to heat and more power gets to the speakers themselves.

I would also check by switching the RCAs front to back and see if the bad sound follows the change (problem is upstream from the amp) or if the bad sound stays the same (problem is the amp, its settings, or the speaker install/wiring) before switching the speaker wires around.


and while those speakers may not be super expensive, they really shouldn't be too bad and should be able to produce decent bass, what did you do for a speaker adapter to make the speaker fit into the door? is there any air gaps (aka bass leaks) around where the speaker meets the door/adapter? also you will need to double check the polarity of your wires to make sure they are not out of phase and canceling each others bass out. lastly, you might need to check into the settings of the accubass to try to restore some where the OEM radio will start to roll it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
From what Ive read the stock radio gives the fronts a bit more power. Also check to make sure you don’t have some wires crossed. Unhook all the speaker wires and re attach one at a time to the amp while it’s playing to isolate the issue.

Also how did you tap your wires?

Did you run the source to the lc7 from the back of the radio and did you cut them and attach the wires from the amp to the factory wires?


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So I know the speakers are all connected right. I took my time when I did it and triple checked my work along the way.

As for how its wired up. I snipped all speaker wires in half. I then took the wires coming out of the plug and tied in new factory style speaker wire and wired to the LC7i. Then with the speaker wire that was going to the doors, I tied into those with factory style speaker wire and wired straight to the amp. I retained the stock speaker housings and reused the factory connector. I was lucky enough that 3 of the doors had the proper color wire running to them so I could identify +/-, as there was no marking/labeling on the factory speakers or connector.
 

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Did you by chance snap some picts. Or can you of your amp And lc7 id have to visually see visually what’s going on to help out. Or try to help diagnose the issue


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was trying to look up the specs on that amp but was not finding that model anywhere, did you mean the EV4.400 like this one here?
https://www.soundstormlab.com/produ...auto-2-channel-amplifier-sound-storm-ev4-400/

first thing I would change(wont effect sound quality but its more the standard way most companies are designed to do)
the common way most companies will set their amps up is that
LF CH1
RF CH2
LR CH3
RR ch4
you know that amp was designed to do that because ch 2 & 4 have red RCA connectors and ever since RCA connectors came out, red means right.


that said if that was the correcxt amp shown above, I wouldn't expect a lot of good sound out of those amps. first while it says that its 38w RMS, I dont think I would expect anywhere near that... its fused at 15 amps and class A/B tend to be around 50% efficient, maybe a little better so you would see from 22w to 28w RMS (12v X 15a = 180w 180w X 55% = 99w 99w / 4 speakers = 24.75 watts per channel) on top of that you can tell its not a very good amp due to the lack of good controls, it only can have a non adjustable 200hz HPF for the fronts and only a fixed LPF for the rear (which is unuseable for your use) and its kinda odd to use such a high end sound interface like the LC7i and such a cheap amp like the SSL... personally I would look at getting a good quality amp, and if you get a cladd D amp, it will be a whole lot more efficient (often 90% or better) so you will waste less power being converted to heat and more power gets to the speakers themselves.

I would also check by switching the RCAs front to back and see if the bad sound follows the change (problem is upstream from the amp) or if the bad sound stays the same (problem is the amp, its settings, or the speaker install/wiring) before switching the speaker wires around.


and while those speakers may not be super expensive, they really shouldn't be too bad and should be able to produce decent bass, what did you do for a speaker adapter to make the speaker fit into the door? is there any air gaps (aka bass leaks) around where the speaker meets the door/adapter? also you will need to double check the polarity of your wires to make sure they are not out of phase and canceling each others bass out. lastly, you might need to check into the settings of the accubass to try to restore some where the OEM radio will start to roll it off.
So that is the model amp I have, however I think I may have an older version. Its ratted at 45rms per the manual and is in a black housing, however everything else is exactly the same. I do have it wired as you listed, I just miss typed in my original post, Ill update that.

I bought this amp on a suggestion from a buddy and the fact I like the physical size. I knew it wasn't the best, however that price point was crazy cheap and I figured even if it is only 50-60% efficient Id be no where near maxing the speakers. Can an under sized amp actually cause distortion? Is there a class D amp in the same physical size range you would suggest?

I utilized the stock housings. I just cut the stock speaker out and trimmed the plastic that held it in. I then dropped in the new speakers and screwed them in place. There is no gap between the door and housing. The speaker sits in the housing pretty flush, however I could probably go back in and add some silicon to see if that helps. I know the polarity is right as I triple checked my work and I was at least smart enough to not put the car back together before listening to it...lol. Once I heard this problem I double checked all my connections and made sure I didn't have a +/- crossed. I was also lucky enough that 3 of the doors had the correct color speaker wire running to them, as the speaker nor the housing had any marking of +/- on them. I utilized the factory connectors in the door to plug the speakers back up. I did the accubass per the instruction manual, however I could never get the speakers to "drop off" with a bass beat. I tired many different bass songs (DJ Magic Mike, Bass 305, Bass Patrol, Warren G...etc) and never could get the bass to drop off prior to distortion. So I left the level at half and the threshold all the way down.

Ill go swap the RCA' here in a while and see if the quality sound moves to the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did you by chance snap some picts. Or can you of your amp And lc7 id have to visually see visually what’s going on to help out. Or try to help diagnose the issue


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I did not, however I can get some pictures later today. I wont be able to get any pictures from behind the dash as I really don't want to pull it apart again.
 

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I did not, however I can get some pictures later today. I wont be able to get any pictures from behind the dash as I really don't want to pull it apart again.
I just noticed your amp has a built in hi/lo. Another thing you can try is by pass the lc7 and attach the speaker wires coming from the radio direct to the amp. If that fixes the issue you might have a problem with the lc7



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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would also check by switching the RCAs front to back and see if the bad sound follows the change (problem is upstream from the amp) or if the bad sound stays the same (problem is the amp, its settings, or the speaker install/wiring) before switching the speaker wires around.
When I swap the RCA' the sound gets much better to the back speakers. So what does this tell me and is there a way to correct it?
 

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When I swap the RCA' the sound gets much better to the back speakers. So what does this tell me and is there a way to correct it?
Now, put the RCA plugs back to the way they were. Then swap the front and rear input plugs on the LC7i. If after doing that the rears still sound better and the fronts sound worse, then it's a problem with the sound coming into the LC7i (crap factory radio) and you can just not hook up the rears from the OEM radio and have the LC7i pull it from the front channel (better sound but lose fade ability)

Or if doing that change the rears still sound bad. Then it is a problem with either the settings in the LC7i or a bad LC7i itself

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now, put the RCA plugs back to the way they were. Then swap the front and rear input plugs on the LC7i. If after doing that the rears still sound better and the fronts sound worse, then it's a problem with the sound coming into the LC7i (crap factory radio) and you can just not hook up the rears from the OEM radio and have the LC7i pull it from the front channel (better sound but lose fade ability)

Or if doing that change the rears still sound bad. Then it is a problem with either the settings in the LC7i or a bad LC7i itself

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So I did that and the rears got better and the fronts got worse, so its the stock HU. Are you saying just run all the speaker wires on the amp from the CH 1&2? So front and rear speakers wired into the CH 1 & 2 slots on the amp?

Also, would this be a better amp to run the speakers?

i520.4 - Precision Power 4-Channel 520W RMS 1040W Max Class D iON Series Full Range Digital Stereo Bridgeable
 

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I agree with STSnail’s. Sounds like you ether have some interference on the rear output from the radio or a faulty lc7 or could be a setting.


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You can always get a few Y adaptors for the rca’s and split the signal out of the lc7 to the amp And call it a day


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok. Now that we've figured out I either have a bum LC7i or my HU just doesn't like my rear speakers, lets talk amps. Would that PP amp I listed above do the trick? Does not running a big enough (wattage) amp cause distortion? Thanks.
 

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The speakers are rated at 45w rms and the amp is the same. So that should be fine. I think you have a issue with the factory radio. Like I said before the Focus radio for some reason give more power to the fronts then the rears. I would try giving it a bit more output on rears see if that helps.


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or a faulty lc7...
The post before this rules this out... If switching the inputs going in to the LC7i also causes the "bad sound" to move then this shows that the problem is coming from the radio (since he is 100% sure that the wiring is correct) and not the LC7i or further down the chain.

You can always get a few Y adaptors for the rca’s and split the signal out of the lc7 to the amp And call it a day
This is not the way you want to do this... Using RCA splitters will cut down the signal level in half and the amp will have to be turned up and then it will be amplifying extra noise along with the weaker signal...

Since the LC7i is an active processor, you will want to split the signal before it goes into the processor.

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Would that PP amp I listed above do the trick?
Yes, that would be a better amp with a bit more power

Does not running a big enough (wattage) amp cause distortion?
Yes, due to distortion, it's often easier to damage/blow speakers with too little power vs having too much power.

When an amp has too much power, you will keep it turned down a little bit and it will only kick out plenty of clean power, but when an amp is not powerful enough, you have to turn it up too high and it will send out distortion/clipping.



One more thing to try...
Try turning down the output on the LC7i, those things can send out a very strong pure signal, there are plenty of times that an amp can't handle such a strong signal. I would just turn the LC7i down a touch and then turn the amps gain up just a bit.


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, that would be a better amp with a bit more power



Yes, due to distortion, it's often easier to damage/blow speakers with too little power vs having too much power.

When an amp has too much power, you will keep it turned down a little bit and it will only kick out plenty of clean power, but when an amp is not powerful enough, you have to turn it up too high and it will send out distortion/clipping.



One more thing to try...
Try turning down the output on the LC7i, those things can send out a very strong pure signal, there are plenty of times that an amp can't handle such a strong signal. I would just turn the LC7i down a touch and then turn the amps gain up just a bit.


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So my amp gains are turned all the way down and my gains on the LC7i are at about 40%. I'll try playing around with them some and see what I get. But originally I had the LC7i turned way down and was playing with the amp gains and it sounded horrid. I then read the LC7i instruction manual, maybe I should have started there first..lol, and it said to turn the amp gains all the way down and utilize the LC7i gains. If I got to the point where the LC7i gains were at 100, then start turning the amp gains up.

I did pick up a set of RCA Y splitters. It worked, however I did notice it didn't sound quite right, however it is much improved. Should I loss the splitters and maybe play with the gains controlling the rear speakers?

So would that amp be more the sufficient or should I keep looking? Got any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Correction my amp is the SSL EV400.4, still pretty much the same low budget/quality as the SSL EVO 4.400.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok y'all, just wanted to update this for anyone else who may experience the same issue. After doing lots of reading and research I found that the instructions with the LC7i aren't necessarily correct or may be out dated. I went on their website and watched a video, which showed me how to properly set up the gains. At this point I still had my gains down on the amp and was experiencing distortion at higher volumes, past 20. My research lead me to try turning the gains up on the amp in small increments and sure enough I started to lose the distortion. I still have some tuning left to do, however the sound is 100% better then what it was when I started this thread. I've got great high, mid and low range, I'm very pleased with it and once I finish the fine tuning it will be exactly what I was hoping for from the door speakers. Now its time to get my sub!!!!
 
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