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-   -   SMD Distortion Detector for Setting Amp Gains (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=793769)

Houstonshark 06-06-2012 9:02 AM

SMD Distortion Detector for Setting Amp Gains
 
Has anyone seen or used this?

http://www.wccaraudio.com/smd-instal...ctor-dd-1.html

It seems like a pretty useful tool if it works well and is accurate. I'm sure it is not as accurate as using an oscilloscope but it is cheaper, more convenient and looks simpler to use.

chucktronics 06-06-2012 9:29 AM

It does work well

corerider 06-06-2012 10:01 AM

I just got finished using one to tune 3 different boats last week. It is very simple and easy to use. Turns out my ears aren't nearly as good as I thought they were at tuning. I've been trying to get ahold of a scope just to see how close it really got, but out of the 2 I've tried one didn't read the sine wave for some reason and the other scope wouldn't even power up.

I will say that if you do get one make sure you find the clipping point of all your input devices (HU, iPod, etc.) Also not every Ipod will clip at the same spot. Out of the 3 boats I tuned all 3 iPods devices clipped at different levels compared to one another. This was comparing my Classic 80GB iPod, a currect Gen Nano and Ipod Touch. Might want to keep that in mind if you change between different aux. devices. I also found that some HU's will not clip at certain signals even at max volume. After talking with SMD tech support they said some devices simply send a clean, undistorted signal all the way to the end of their output range. My XMD1 clipped at 27 with 40Hz, but didn't clip at all when testing at 1kHz. A CMD6 on another boat clipped at 25 with 1kHz, but never clipped at 40Hz. Different boat also with a CMD6 clipped at around 27 using both signals.

I reasoned this with every system being unique when you consider power supply, components used, RCA cables, noise, etc.

shawndoggy 06-06-2012 10:29 AM

That looks really interesting. Somebody should set up a rental program for the diy guys. I'd totally pay $50 to have this for a week.

Houstonshark 06-06-2012 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corerider (Post 1757806)
I just got finished using one to tune 3 different boats last week. It is very simple and easy to use. Turns out my ears aren't nearly as good as I thought they were at tuning. I've been trying to get ahold of a scope just to see how close it really got, but out of the 2 I've tried one didn't read the sine wave for some reason and the other scope wouldn't even power up.

I will say that if you do get one make sure you find the clipping point of all your input devices (HU, iPod, etc.) Also not every Ipod will clip at the same spot. Out of the 3 boats I tuned all 3 iPods devices clipped at different levels compared to one another. This was comparing my Classic 80GB iPod, a currect Gen Nano and Ipod Touch. Might want to keep that in mind if you change between different aux. devices. I also found that some HU's will not clip at certain signals even at max volume. After talking with SMD tech support they said some devices simply send a clean, undistorted signal all the way to the end of their output range. My XMD1 clipped at 27 with 40Hz, but didn't clip at all when testing at 1kHz. A CMD6 on another boat clipped at 25 with 1kHz, but never clipped at 40Hz. Different boat also with a CMD6 clipped at around 27 using both signals.

I reasoned this with every system being unique when you consider power supply, components used, RCA cables, noise, etc.

That makes sense, depending on the power going to the head unit, length of RCA's and quality (if you are one to believe that cables make a difference-which I am to a certain point) and the source.

Did you notice a difference using an iPod going through the dock connector vs the 1/8" jack? I use my iPhone primarily as the audio source, plugged into the 1/8" jack which Tige installs to the right of the dash below the Tige Touch. The USB connection is in the glove box and I hate leaving my phone there in case I get a call or text. I bought another Clarion USB extension, USB Splitter and 10' USB 2.0 cable, hoping to split the USB and install it in the dash where the factory 1/8" jack is. It wouldn't work past the splitter or just by extending the USB. It could have been the cables and splitter I tried. I haven't messed with it since then.

Anyway, back on topic. I'm using a Tru Technology SSLD6i line driver between the CMD6 and WS420 and it seemed to really help the quality and virtually eliminate the hiss from the Rev10's. I was able to turn the gains all the way down on the in boat speaker amps (2 MHD750/1 and M200/2) and the tower speaker amps (2 MHD750/1) but I think I may be overdriving the signal with the line driver (as well as wasting a really nice 6ch line driver in a boat!).

shawndoggy 06-06-2012 10:51 AM

Houstonshark, you lose usb signal strength with too much cable. USB requires a booster for long runs.

http://www.amazon.com/IOGEAR-GUE216-.../dp/B0002WPS6C

corerider 06-06-2012 11:16 AM

All the boats I did have a WS420 or equivilent, so I don't know about the difference using a dock connector.

One thing I didn't mention earlier... One of the boats I tuned used the Clarion amps Nautique installed for the in-boats speakers. (AM480/AM280 IIRC) These amps reacted differently than all the other amps I tuned that day (Kicker, WS, and Polk) in that once we figured out the clip point of the input and started to set the gains of the amps, the Clarions would light up the "signal" and "1kHz" LEDs like they should, but as the gain was turned up the 1kHz light would go out instead of the "Distortion" LED shining. Both Clarion amps did it at about the same spot (3/4 gain setting) which according to their labeling was about 4-4.5 volts. (They were labled from 0.2 - 6.0 volts on the gains)

I set the gain on those 2 amps right before the 1kHz light went out, just like if they had worked similar to the other amps where as the "Distortion" light would have lit up. Aftrer we got done tuning and listened to those speakers they sounded good with no distortion as far as I could tell.

corerider 06-06-2012 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shawndoggy (Post 1757818)
That looks really interesting. Somebody should set up a rental program for the diy guys. I'd totally pay $50 to have this for a week.

I thought about that, but eventually someone would loose it, keep it, or break it. Hopefully that would never happen though and even at $25 for each use a person could make their money back in no time at all.

bruizza 06-06-2012 1:10 PM

My brother tuned my boat with one last Friday. Made an amazing difference. Crazy thing was we could turn the HU all the way up and there was no clipping. Certainly wasn't expecting that. They also have a tool for crossover points. He used that as well on my system. Great tools.

chucktronics 06-06-2012 2:03 PM

the x over tool is also good for gain matching . so th dd-1 is used for clipping and level , but that doesn't always mean that the multiple amp are putting out the same power . Having both units is exponentially beneficial .

timmyb 06-06-2012 2:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bruizza (Post 1757877)
My brother tuned my boat with one last Friday. Made an amazing difference. Crazy thing was we could turn the HU all the way up and there was no clipping. Certainly wasn't expecting that. They also have a tool for crossover points. He used that as well on my system. Great tools.

Think my buddy Eppie with the Epic could borrow that from him? Or pay him to use it?

rasorjb 06-14-2012 7:41 PM

I just used one to tune out everything on my boat, and it made a HUGE difference! Everything is crystal clear now. After taking a little while after to set up all the crossovers correctly, it sounded like a whole new boat!

tx_foilhead 06-14-2012 7:47 PM

Want to sell it now that your done?

shawndoggy 06-14-2012 8:36 PM

$50 for a week and I'll payto ship both ways....

murphy_smith 06-15-2012 4:35 AM

I'd be interested in buying both and doing a rental program.

Your card get's charged the full price on paypal and once the unit is returned you get the amount back minus the 50 bucks. I'd pay to ship it to you and you'd pay to ship it back.

Who is interested in this and doing it the way I have described above.

shawndoggy 06-15-2012 5:54 AM

fire it up murphy... I'll happily be your first customer.

Houstonshark 06-15-2012 6:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by murphy_smith (Post 1760207)
I'd be interested in buying both and doing a rental program.

Your card get's charged the full price on paypal and once the unit is returned you get the amount back minus the 50 bucks. I'd pay to ship it to you and you'd pay to ship it back.

Who is interested in this and doing it the way I have described above.

I'll do the same program but for $49.99 and you keep it for 8 days. Every rental will include a 'special gift' that is yours to keep. It may be a Mariah Carey CD from my wife's collection, a holiday sweater that my aunt gave me for Christmas many years ago or a sweet Justin Bieber toothbrush that plays 'hit' songs that my kids have which keeps mysteriously getting misplaced.

murphy_smith 06-15-2012 7:49 AM

I will have a decision on Monday.

murphy_smith 06-15-2012 8:43 AM

Allright guys - I pulled the trigger on this.

Rental plan goes like this: You will send me $279 to my paypal account and I will ship you both units. You have 21 days from the date I ship to provide me with a tracking number documenting that you have shipped it back. At the end of 21 days, if I have no tracking number, you are the proud owner of the units at the cost of $279.

When I get it back within the above mentioned time frame - I will refund you the amount of $219 to your paypal account.

I will pay to ship it to you - you will pay to ship it back to me. We will exchange all contact info and tracking numbers during the rental time.

It looks like my first renter is Shawn Doggy. I'll let you know when I get it in.

Truekaotik 06-15-2012 9:13 AM

I have 3 sets of these for my shop and have done the confirmation they work properly.... Love the ease of use with these units and they can gain match multiple amps as well when running two amps on one DVC sub.... The rental thing is a good idea guys if you don't use them daily.. Good luck :)

hunter660 07-24-2012 11:22 AM

Have you used it yet?

hatepain 07-24-2012 12:23 PM

Murphy, I'd be very interested in the program. Try it out and let me know what you think.

bushtree 07-24-2012 12:32 PM

I just ordered one.. Once I am done using it to set my boat and my buddies I'd be happy to start renting it out as well.

hunter660 07-24-2012 5:32 PM

Looks like they are having a sale.

http://www.stevemeadedesigns.com/boa...a-rf-t25001bd/

murphy_smith 07-24-2012 6:42 PM

Yeah I used and actually sold it on ebay today for about 15 less than I paid for it.

My simple conclusion was that this unit was great a detecting distortion with a single frequency tone. But when you listen to a mixture of country, rock, and hip hop...it was clear as day that using one test one was not adequate to prevent distortion among the multiple genres of music I listen to.

I also found out that my ear is pretty damn good at being able to recognize when distortion kicks in and I was able to get even better at hearing it with this tool.

I think this tool is great for a newbie and should be used to learn what distortion sounds like...once you hear it, you should be able to tune your amps by using your ear and several different variations of music. You will laugh but Dixie Chicks, Dave Matthews Band, Nickelback and Usher are my go to tuning artists.

xstarrider 07-25-2012 12:12 AM

So just redoing a couple systems. Was wondering what songs you guys recommend to tune with?

Have been using Tomorrow Can wait by David Guetta as a buddy recommended it. I listen to everything from Miley Cyrus , Country, to dance and rap. More hip hop and pop than anything. Hey I have 2 daughter that are 5 and 7 that both board so gotta keep them smiling.


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