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Just got my RS9.0 2 months ago, and it's a blast to drive. It came with the Pioneer Premium head unit. I'm a mobile computer tech and basically live out my car in the daytime. I'd like to get better sound. However, I'm a noob with car audio , and am on a budget - so

Bought the xb2 bazooka subwoofer off ebay for $180 and had it installed by respected audio shop in town. (Asked them to try to install backup camera at same time, but they couldn't figure out how to do it with the head unit.)

Observations and questions:

1. Bass sounds muddy and indistinct.
2. Mids and Highs sound harsh to me.
3. All the subwoofer controls on head unit are lit, turn off and on, volume indicator goes up and down etc, but don't have any effect on the subwoofer. Is this normal?

I don't have any tools (long story) at this time to remove subwoofer and move the phase switch that I've read about up or down. Could this be why it doesn't sound good, or was it installed incorrectly, or are my expectations too high?

I just ordered a pair of Boston Acoustics SC60 speakers for front door, as recommended by AJ Gil here. I'm hoping that will improve sound. Suggestions?

Thanks,

mandomax
 

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Regarding the bass, you have to realize the xB2 Bazooka subwoofer is designed to piggyback off the front door speakers (makes it a universal solution). That means what you hear is what the HU is directing to the doors, not a subwoofer, so HU subwoofer controls will have no effect. Though, if you try to rolloff the door speaker bass and direct it to the subwoofer, then you will simply lose the bass entirely. Also, you're responsible for selecting the subwoofer phase (switch behind the sub) and likewise the level (rotary control front of the sub). From your description, sounds like the level is too high and you may also want to fiddle with the phase switch.

Regarding the mids and highs, they are a function of the HU, tweeters, door speakers, and door panel damping. My personal experience is the OE tweeters work very well, but the door speakers are lacking and the panel damping is nonexistent.

Lastly, Boston Acoustics is a good quality manufacturer -- no worries there :)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. That makes sense about the HU controls not working. I'll fiddle some more with the bass/treble on the HU and the knob on the front of the subwoofer. I should be able to get the BA speakers installed next week.
 

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Sounds good :)! Thing to remember is the sub only provides the lowest portion of the spectrum, I think of it as foundation. Real music consists of a spectrum of frequencies and so the sub level should be set to agree with the upper bass and mids. If set too high, it will be muddy because the lower frequencies are overpowering the upper. Optimum is to set the sub to work as musically as practical with the door drivers and then use your overall "tone" controls to satisfy your personal selection preferences. For me, I set the "tone" controls per source, not per selection -- gives me the overall most authentic sound. Gotta recognize though, this is very much an individual thing :)!
 

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I have same radio, and my sub level up and down def makes a difference. I usually leave it on 0, and set everything on my amps first, then depending what I am listening to, I may cut the sub level up a little. As a stock radio though, I will admit it does pretty good as long as you are not setting up an sq car. Only reason I took mine out is to replace it with my older kenwood excelon that has parametric eq and 4 volt preouts
 

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Bazooka Sub

Trevor, I know this is an old thread, but you seem to have a little knowledge of the bazooka sub I just installed in my 2013 XB, so I was curious if you know how I can make adjustments for better sound? I'm not looking to win any competitions, just want it to sound cleaner. The sub seemed almost distorted and over powered until I switched the phase switch... now better, but still seems to sound distorted or over powered on lower bass. I only have the level knob turned to about the 2 o'clock position, so barely on... and have the bass setting on the HU at 0, the treble is around 2, and on the "feel" setting. Please help if you can.

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After installing the sub, I've found that a little tweek of the bass is all I need (+1).Also, different music types produce different sounds i.e. pop vs. oldies. It depends on how each was produced.
 

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So I turned the level knob back to about the 1 o'clock position and seems slightly better. I just thought Bazooka would have designed it to be able to turn that knob up a little more before sounding overpowered. Anyway, any suggestions, besides splicing in the rca's like some have done, would be appreciated.

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i know this is not necessarily the most practical solution, but in my humble opinion the best way to improve the sound quality of a sub is to swap head units; the RCA output on the factory premium unit is more suited for RCA iPod input, and not necessarily for subs. I had a dual 8 inch JL w3 ported enclosure running from the RCAs to a 600w amp with a gain knob spliced into the factory wiring and it sounded ok but frequently muddy and inconsistent. after i swapped the deck for a single din pioneer (i know most ppl want a double din touch screen, and for the OP's application, something that will accommodate a camera) with dedicated front, rear, and SUB RCA outputs, it sounded incredible. the instant improvement even prior to tuning was outstanding. i'd recommend an aftermarket stereo as a first step to improving sub performance and sound quality...if thats out of the question, maybe a sound processor would suffice - although idk how expensive those get and if that would compromise the budget.
 
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