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ZEP
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ZEP

Name : Zach
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PostSubject: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyTue Jul 20, 2010 8:43 pm

Hey everybody. Here's something that some of the audio geniuses on the site hopefully will be able to help me with. And believe me... I've asked many other people/places.

As of right now, there is no bass in my car... none from my speakers and none from my subwoofers. I have Kicker 6x9's and 5.25"s, a 2.5 year old Pioneer head unit (which I usually love), Rockford Fosgate P2 12" subwoofers and a Powerbass 1600 watt amplifier for the subwoofers.

As I mentioned, there is no bass. The sub amp is getting power, and all of the wires are fastened very securely. The wires were purchased from Wal Mart about 3 years ago and the power/ground wires are 8 gauge. I plan on going to 4 or 0 gauge. Everything else in the vehicle works perfectly fine and the mids and treble both sound excellent. The head unit's connections all seem to be good, and I just had the head unit checked by Best Buy, who originally installed it, and they said that my problem does not lie in the head unit. My problem started gradually, at the beginning of this year. One day, the head unit did not turn on when the car was turned on. I turned the car off, then turned it back on and it came on. This kept happening for a while until the head unit itself stopped coming on at all, so I had to take the dash off, fiddle with it a bit, and it came on out of the blue. Then, I would turn the car on one day and there would be no bass at all. I would shake the head unit a bit and then 1-2 days later, it would be on, and then it just didn't come on at all...

And that's where I am now. The guy who installed it (I ran the wires and had everything shipped to me @ the time b/c I was pretty new to car audio and wanted somebody else to do it) said that he felt it may be a head unit problem. I don't play my subs very loud and the amp is of decent quality, or so I think. I just don't know how to solve this problem, and I don't have many people to take it to for them to look at it, so I'm basically on my own. Anybody have any advice? Other web sites I can visit? I am tired of the non-stop vehicle issues.
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Hometown Hero
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyTue Jul 20, 2010 11:46 pm

Sounds like an issue with your head unit to me. There is no reason you should have no bass in any speakers that aren't related to your subwoofers, unless there is a problem with the head unit itself.

I can only assume your high end is run directly off head unit power. There is a good chance the internal amplifier on the deck itself has a problem, possibly from heat over time, or possibly a power supply problem from maybe a bad ground either external or internal. This is another big reason why i go out of my way to use amplifiers to power all speakers in the system as opposed to decks. 1 thing I have learned 98% of the time there is an issue with a system its due to grounds, the other 2% is usually equipment failure.

The reason i say internal amp on the deck is I am pretty sure your pre-outs from your deck are a part of that internal amplifier. Even though they do not run "watts" to your amp they are rated usually around 5V-9V depending on the deck, that power has to come from somewhere through the head unit. So I would imagine they piggy back through the internal amplifiers circuit board to save on space and materials. Therefore if there is a problem in the decks internal amp it will affect everything that is controlled by your deck, so that means your entire workz essentially, because it is the brain of your audio system. I would say the processor for the SUM adjustment on your deck but again this has no relation to anything but the auxillary amp running your subs.

I could be wrong but, thats my opinion anyways. smoke
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97 park ave
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97 park ave

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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 2:35 am

yeah i would check the head unit connections, its free and it seems to me that when you were "fiddling" with it for the other problem that you may have knocked something loose. after that i would check all the wires, definitely dont spend any money if its just something simple like a loose connection
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ZEP
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 6:33 am

Tyler, that's what I thought initially: that I had knocked something loose at some point, or something had just come loose over time because it had been a while since I examined the wires before my probs started, but I checked and hadn't found anything loose a few weeks ago.

Klix, what you're saying is basically what the guy that installed the subwoofers/amp a while back told me: It's a head unit problem, take it to the guys that installed it. They allegedly found nothing wrong with it, but I can basically take what they said with a grain of salt. I'll check the connections first, then take the head unit apart. Every connection is fine that I checked except the ground or one of the multiple wires connected with twist-connectors coming out of the back, which I did not have time to look at initially. Thanks so far.
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 9:18 am

#1 Are you using RCA cables to power your amps from the head unit.
The reason i ask is i have had RCA cable go bad internally and it naturally stopped all sound going to my sub as well as stopping the bass to the speakers somehow.

#2 What the heck are you using twisted wire connectors on.

If I was the place that you brought the head unit to and complained my head unit had failed and I saw a bunch of shitty wire connections, I'd tell you there was nothing wrong with the head unit also.

Either do the wires properly, solder and heat shrink, or have someone that knows how do it properly, then you can condemn the Head Unit once all wiring is done correctly.

Just my $0.02
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97 park ave
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97 park ave

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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 10:18 am

ZEP wrote:
Tyler, that's what I thought initially: that I had knocked something loose at some point, or something had just come loose over time because it had been a while since I examined the wires before my probs started, but I checked and hadn't found anything loose a few weeks ago.

Klix, what you're saying is basically what the guy that installed the subwoofers/amp a while back told me: It's a head unit problem, take it to the guys that installed it. They allegedly found nothing wrong with it, but I can basically take what they said with a grain of salt. I'll check the connections first, then take the head unit apart. Every connection is fine that I checked except the ground or one of the multiple wires connected with twist-connectors coming out of the back, which I did not have time to look at initially. Thanks so far.

you might want to check the other ends too, they may be plugged in to the head unit but what good is that if the other end going to the amp/ground/etc. is unplugged. another thing to check before tearing your head unit apart because of the similarities between the problems, is look at your RCAs. if rick has had the same problem and that is what he found that would be the first place i look.
i cant remember if you said that music comes out of your other speakers or not, have you checked your amp fuse? have you checked the wiring going to your sub box and even the wiring inside the sub box? just a few easy things to check before you have to tear apart the dash.

edit: another thing i just thought of if you arent receiving bass from ANY speaker, has your battery been unhooked recently? the reason i ask is if your head unit lost power for even just a few seconds the settings for bass might have got reset. this happens to my car and it tripped me out the first time because i have the sub setting at +15 on my head unit and when its at 0 theres not much bass, just a thought....
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 10:38 am

97 park ave wrote:
edit: another thing i just thought of if you arent receiving bass from ANY speaker, has your battery been unhooked recently? the reason i ask is if your head unit lost power for even just a few seconds the settings for bass might have got reset. this happens to my car and it tripped me out the first time because i have the sub setting at +15 on my head unit and when its at 0 theres not much bass, just a thought....

Excellent idea, I didn't think of that, but have also had that happen to me.
Don't know if it was a power thing or if someone was messing with me.
Was very embarrassing after having spent multiple hours checking everything possible and then bringing it to what I knew to be the best Audio shop in town (where I used to buy a lot of the wiring and cable supplies i needed) and the first thing the Tech did was check the setting on the radio.
It was all digital, so you had to actually go into the programming mode with remote to set the bass level output.
But that's all he did and laughed all the way back into the shop and shared it with all the other guys i know as well..
Problem solved.
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ibmoses
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PostSubject: posi lock   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 10:51 am

These:
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-eTiLtiTWiJM/p_669PP500/Posi-Products-Car-Stereo-Connector-Kit.html
seem to be a good alternative for someone who does not have access to a soldering gun/kit or the skills necessary to make a good solder joint in tight areas that are hard to access.

Try em, you'll like em.

Bert
.
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 10:57 am

The connectors Bert mentioned above work very good, I wonder if they are available locally, I have not looked for them yet. But they sound like they would offer a quick solution to help eliminate the connections as part of the potential problem in your case.
I would like to get a package and have them around. Maybe test them on some trailer wiring and see how they hold up in the extreme environment of outdoors.
I think I read that they were rated as water proof.?

There are other types as well, they look just like a solder-less connector that you crimp, except there are ones that have solder inside. So you crimp as you normally would, then heat with a heat gun and the solder flows and the outside sheath shrinks around the connection to keep it weatherproof as well.

With limited space to work and no heat gun, I try the ones Burt mentioned above and check the Head Unit's programming for lack of bass.
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ZEP
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ZEP

Name : Zach
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 1:08 pm

I solder everything myself. I just got done doing the hvac bulbs and they work great. But yeah, Best Buy put the damn thing on ~2 years ago with twist connectors, which is who I brought it to. One of these days I need to get in there and solder. I actually did recently solder the remote turn on wire (the little one) behind the head unit because it was somewhat loose. The cables are from Wal Mart... I wouldn't be surprised if they're bad. And yes, I did have my battery reset recently, but I reset my head unit it after that and I adjust settings often depending on what kind of music I have, so it's not the settings on the head unit.

Rick, that's good advice with regard to the cables too. I'll check connections first, then grounds, then perhaps order some good quality cables, and I'll go from there.
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 1:11 pm

ZEP wrote:
Best Buy put the damn thing on ~2 years ago with twist connectors

You should receive a full refund. Twist connectors should never be used in automotive wiring.
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 1:21 pm

ZEP wrote:
I solder everything myself. I just got done doing the hvac bulbs and they work great. But yeah, Best Buy put the damn thing on ~2 years ago with twist connectors, which is who I brought it to. One of these days I need to get in there and solder. I actually did recently solder the remote turn on wire (the little one) behind the head unit because it was somewhat loose. The cables are from Wal Mart... I wouldn't be surprised if they're bad. And yes, I did have my battery reset recently, but I reset my head unit it after that and I adjust settings often depending on what kind of music I have, so it's not the settings on the head unit.

Rick, that's good advice with regard to the cables too. I'll check connections first, then grounds, then perhaps order some good quality cables, and I'll go from there.
Obviously Quality cables won't hurt and that is one area i don't skimp on, in any wiring job.
But, you still may have a plain old head unit failure from the wires arcing as you said they were not making good enough connections and fiddling with brought the bass back.
But the internal circuits may just have had enough of all that low amperage arcing. Sometimes that's all it takes to fry something. You don't need to see sparks for the type of arcing you were experiencing.
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ZEP
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 1:32 pm

If that's the case and some part of the head unit is fried, then Best Buy lied to me and I'd definately be getting a refund. I've been looking at KnuKonceptz products and it looks like I'll be going with some of their stuff, provided everything else is/looks to be alright. We'll see. It's been a while since I've had to deal with audio issues! Audio issues were the first issues I experienced with the Riv.
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 1:45 pm

ZEP wrote:
If that's the case and some part of the head unit is fried, then Best Buy lied to me and I'd definately be getting a refund. I've been looking at KnuKonceptz products and it looks like I'll be going with some of their stuff, provided everything else is/looks to be alright. We'll see. It's been a while since I've had to deal with audio issues! Audio issues were the first issues I experienced with the Riv.

If you did the install yourself and did a poor job of wiring, they have every right to deny a replacement claim.
BTW, how many years is the head unit warranted for.?

Did you remove the radio when you brought it in for them to test it./

If you still have an active warranty, and you did the install of the wiring, I would bring in just the Head Unit for them to bench test and if they say it's good ask to hear it working before taking it home with you.
Then you will know more than you do now, at least.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 1:57 pm

Zach, before you start replacing stuff or taking things apart, there is an easy way to track down your problem. All you need is a portable music player (Discman or iPod) and a decent set of headphones. Borrow from a friend if you need to. The other thing you'll need is a male RCA cable to 1/8" stereo mini jack, looks like this ($3):

Bass woes C216_042p2

And a 1/8" female to female adapter ($2):

Bass woes Steren-Audio-coupler-mini-phone-stereo-3-5-mm-F-mini-phone-stereo-3-5-mm-F-black-B000E9U9GC-L

Disconnect the RCA cable feeding the bass amp. Using the cable (no adapter) plug the iPod into the amp and at low volume, start a track you are familiar with. See if the amp makes any bass. If it does, turn up the iPod's volume until you are at normal listening level. This means the amp and subs are working fine.

Do the same thing with the amp to the front speakers, if you are running one. This will confirm if the front speakers are able to produce bass.

Now, take the same RCA cable and fit the female to female adapter - this will let you plug your headphones into the head unit's RCA output jacks. Make sure to test them all. In this way, you can listen to the signal your head unit is sending to the amp(s). Make sure to turn it up to a listenable level and note if there is any bass. This should confirm if the head is putting out solid bass. If it sounds okay, remove the old RCA cables from the system and test each conductor with an ohm meter. Best of luck.

_________________
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ZEP
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 2:38 pm

Rick I thought you were referring to the wires connected with the twist connectors, which I did not do. They did all of that. All other wires except for the remote turn on were very solid connections. The turn on was a twist connector and I just recently soldered it.

AA, thanks for that! That's exactly what I was looking for... a way to test each thing.
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ZEP
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Aug 04, 2010 8:53 pm

An update:

Today, I worked on the problem listed in the first post. I purchased a brand new 4 gauge amplifier wiring kit from Knukonceptz.com and installed it all this afternoon on my one treasured day off. All of the old wires were tossed, except for the power wire, which I need to find a ring terminal for with a larger hole so I can fasten it to the battery post effectively.

Regardless, I put new ground wire in, I installed new speaker wire from the amp to the subs, and I installed new RCA cables with a turn-on wire "built into" the center of the wires, so the old remote turn on and old RCA wires are gone, everything is resoldered with heat shrink tubing applied. I tested the subs after I was all done and they sound better than ever.

All said and done, I think that a new remote turn on and new fine-quality RCA cables did the trick here. Thank you for all the help, everybody. This will be my last upgrade to the car except for a pulley. Feels good to sit back and relax!
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ibmoses
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Aug 04, 2010 9:01 pm

NAPA sells a brass replacement bolt for the side terminal battery that is perfect for attaching ring terminals.

Bert tavis
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Bass woes   Bass woes EmptyWed Aug 04, 2010 10:46 pm

RCA is an Audio Cable, correct.

And now someone is making an RCA cable with a Power Cable running down the middle of it to make someones install easier.

How Brilliant that is. I know it's low amperage, BUT it goes against the grain of everything......

Ahhhhh, I hope it all works out fine in the long run.
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