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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a small look at the 825w Meridian system and an attempt to fix some of its short falls. I'm not going to write anything in depth since this is the wrong audience/forum for this kind of discussion.


First we're going to diagnose the largest problems with the stereo. To me the most obvious issue is that the sound stage/system imaging isn't correct. I believe the system designers were trying to give the driver and passenger their own mini sound stage. With any of the modes that activate the center channel, your stage is basically from your closest pillar to the center. We're going to give the driver a full pillar to pillar stage...or at least attempt it. Second immediately noticeable problem is the tonal accuracy is off. It has a laid back hollow sounding midrange. Again we will attempt to correct that as well.

Now we need to figure out what we're working with. I took measurements of the system frequency response as well as the EQ controls to see what they do.


Lets start with the Bass EQ control. These pictures should give you an idea on what it does





Here is the Tweeter EQ.





Finally, here is the Sub EQ. This appears to be primarily a level adjustment.





Ok, so we need to also measure our frequency response to see what needs to be corrected. We can see that we have a big hole in our midrange and that our driver side(red) is a good 5db louder than the passenger side. We are going to do our best to get rid of that hole and even out the frequency response.





Here is our adjusted FR curve after a couple of EQ rounds. This looks a lot better. It follows a much better curve which should increase tonal accuracy. It also evens out both sides so that our imaging is more accurate. Finally, something you don't see in the picture is that we added some time delay to the left side to get our image in the center where it should be.






So what are the results? Pretty good I suppose. We now have a real sound stage with more accurate imaging and better tonality. Bass is more articulate, midrange is fuller and top end is about the same. We cut the response down a lot so we did lose overall potential volume. May or may not be noticeable depending on the user.

I'm attaching a link to .rar file that you can use to process some of your music yourself to see if you like the change. Inside the .rar file is a folder called "sox". Place this folder in your c:\ so it would be c:\sox. Inside this folder is a file called flac_conversion.bat. Drag and drop any number of .flac files on this batch file and it will process them and dump them into the "finished" folder inside the sox directory. The .flac files have to be located somewhere on your c:\ or you'll get an error. The program was acting weird with my .mp3 conversion batch file so only .flac right now. If you only have .mp3 then find some program to convert your .mp3 to .flac.

Inside your vehicle you need to set your stereo mode to Stereo, Bass EQ to 0, Tweeter 0 and Sub EQ to +3. 0 means in the middle not all the way to the left. Make sure balance is in the center and fade all the way forward for this test.

The center for the vocals should be roughly in the center of your dash or where your light sensor is. If the center image is to the left or right of this area then inside the flac_conversion.bat file is a line called "FOR %%A IN (%*) DO sox "temp/%%~nA1b.flac" "temp/%%~nA1c.flac" delay .0013". This is our basic time delay for the left channel. Going to .0012 would move the center to the left while going to .0014 would move it to the right. Right click on the batch file, hit edit and chose notepad for the program to open it. Then change that number to something appropriate for you.

FYI: The Fpace reads the encoded name off your media files, not the actual file name. I wouldn't put these converted files on the same drive as the originals. The Fpace will likely show you two files with the exact same name.

Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kj33mnqwmvk1tsb/sox.rar?dl=0
 

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Strohw,

Thanks for the extensive post and the work that went into it. I would love to tell you I understood all of it but I guess 80% is not too bad. If I understand your post correctly, your solution for better sound is to alter the music file to conform better to the car stereo's characteristics? Is this correct?
 

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Strohw, wow thanks for this a lot of info here and I would have love to be there when you gather this info to learn how you did it and what it all means. I think I do get one of the items you mentioned in that I find that any of the settings other than Stereo, to me moves the "singer" or central part of the music to much to the center for me, this is why after 2k of driving using the Meridian setting, I tried Stereo and ended up liking that better. but it seems you've taking that notion and drove down into it much more deeply using the tonal responses of the stereo itself. It seems, if I understand you right, the only way to fix this, is by ripping your music in a digitally altered way using that .rar file. I would suppose I would have to re-rip all of my music I play in the car right? I can also only do this with music I rip, there is no doing this with an Apple Music subscription, or Sirius, or FM broadcasts. Correct?
 

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This is very interesting, at least as much as this audio novice understands, thank you for this in depth work.

Short of re-ripping all my music, what would you see as optimum settings for the Meridian 825? Also, do you think ripping CD collection to internal SSD at full resolution worthwhile over using a USB based copy of my music files I've had for years?
 

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This is a small look at the 825w Meridian system and an attempt to fix some of its short falls. I'm not going to write anything in depth since this is the wrong audience/forum for this kind of discussion.
Thanks for the analysis. What type of source files did you use for your analysis? FLAC full HD or did you use compressed files like .mp3 or .wma? Just curious.
 

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Oh gosh, have no idea what any of that meant but I appreciate all the work that went into it, haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Strohw,

If I understand your post correctly, your solution for better sound is to alter the music file to conform better to the car stereo's characteristics? Is this correct?
That's correct. Generally, you are modifying the audio stream itself through hardware or software. In this case we are making changes to the source file. It's the least ideal way.


It seems, if I understand you right, the only way to fix this, is by ripping your music in a digitally altered way using that .rar file. I would suppose I would have to re-rip all of my music I play in the car right? I can also only do this with music I rip, there is no doing this with an Apple Music subscription, or Sirius, or FM broadcasts. Correct?
That would be correct. You generally alter the audio stream after the source but that requires you to send the signal somewhere first. This could be an equalizer, DSP or something software based on a computer. Since we are doing none of that and not touching any part of the system except some built in controls, we have to alter the music file itself. So if you can't edit the file you aren't going to see any changes. This means nothing on FM, XM or streaming. There may be some phone apps that can take the files I made and produce them real time but that means you'd have to use Blue Tooth. It also means those apps have to exist and work with what you're streaming

Short of re-ripping all my music, what would you see as optimum settings for the Meridian 825? Also, do you think ripping CD collection to internal SSD at full resolution worthwhile over using a USB based copy of my music files I've had for years?
That's really hard to say. I can make suggests but music is a very personal thing. The issue from a tonal stand point is that the system has very limited EQ controls. In regards to full resolution, it's nice to have digital lossless copies of your music. In regards to ripping it for a car, I don't think more than 320kps mp3 are really necessary. Very few people can actually ABX test 320k mp3 vs lossless on a consistent basis. Then you add in a moving vehicle and a so so stock system...the detail isn't there. If you had a well done aftermarket system then definitely lossless.


Thanks for the analysis. What type of source files did you use for your analysis? FLAC full HD or did you use compressed files like .mp3 or .wma? Just curious.
MLS sweeps and RTA noise are lossless or more specially just pcm/.wav . The files are small and generated through the application usually. In my case the Fpace didn't have the usual audio inputs so I just used pink noise with RTA and self generated .wav files.
 

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QUOTE=strohw;374026]

FYI: The Fpace reads the encoded name off your media files, not the actual file name. I wouldn't put these converted files on the same drive as the originals. The Fpace will likely show you two files with the exact same name.

[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the detailed explanation(s), and the supplied .rar file; will be giving it a shot this week. With respect to the above statement; what exactly is the F-Pace looking at when importing the files? The reason I ask is several albums I downloaded (FLAC files from CD's created via dBpoweramp) are duplicated in the car (shows up via search). As an example, I converted Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Original Master Recording) to FLAC, loaded it in the car, and now I have 3 albums displayed; each with their own selection of songs. Not sure if this is a shortcoming of the radio as a whole, or there is some inconsistent meta-tagging happening here.

Don't want to hijack this thread, but there seems to be some pretty sharp minds here.

Thanks!
 

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*GR* LOVES MUSIC , but knows NOTHING about what you all are talking about !!! That being said , when *GR* was 18 years old and a Senior in High School , he had a New 1987 Chevy Suburban that he took to a *Professional Aftermarket Sound System Installer* ! He "Jokingly" told the people there that he wanted bystanders to be able to HEAR the Music from *2-Blocks Away* ! And they Gladly said "Sure , how much do you want to spend" ! After I realized they were serious , and that I was about to spend some MAJOR Coin , I said "Just make it happen" ! Well , they put in a *800-Watt* System , that included three different Amplifiers mounted on the back wall , and a HUGE Carpeted Box right behind the second row seats , that housed FOUR *12-Inch Speakers* + some smaller ones , two of the 12-inchers may have been Sub-Woofers ! The third row seats had to be removed :) !
Also included was a Fancy New Radio/CD player in the Dash , that had a removable face !
The total came to $6K ! Did I get "Ripped-Off" , I have NO idea ! I didn't care !
But you could sure as heck hear that system clear as a bell , from more then *2-Blocks away* , and if you were sitting in the vehicle , you FELT IT ! >:)

My question for the knowledgeable people on this thread is , WHY is the *825-Watt* system in the F-Pace NOT heard from *2-Blocks Away* ??? Or have you already answered that question ???
Like I said already , "I don't understand a thing you all are saying" !!!
It is WAY over my head !!! :eek:
 

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This is a small look at the 825w Meridian system and an attempt to fix some of its short falls. I'm not going to write anything in depth since this is the wrong audience/forum for this kind of discussion.


First we're going to diagnose the largest problems with the stereo. To me the most obvious issue is that the sound stage/system imaging isn't correct. I believe the system designers were trying to give the driver and passenger their own mini sound stage. With any of the modes that activate the center channel, your stage is basically from your closest pillar to the center. We're going to give the driver a full pillar to pillar stage...or at least attempt it. Second immediately noticeable problem is the tonal accuracy is off. It has a laid back hollow sounding midrange. Again we will attempt to correct that as well.

Now we need to figure out what we're working with. I took measurements of the system frequency response as well as the EQ controls to see what they do.


Lets start with the Bass EQ control. These pictures should give you an idea on what it does





Here is the Tweeter EQ.





Finally, here is the Sub EQ. This appears to be primarily a level adjustment.





Ok, so we need to also measure our frequency response to see what needs to be corrected. We can see that we have a big hole in our midrange and that our driver side(red) is a good 5db louder than the passenger side. We are going to do our best to get rid of that hole and even out the frequency response.





Here is our adjusted FR curve after a couple of EQ rounds. This looks a lot better. It follows a much better curve which should increase tonal accuracy. It also evens out both sides so that our imaging is more accurate. Finally, something you don't see in the picture is that we added some time delay to the left side to get our image in the center where it should be.






So what are the results? Pretty good I suppose. We now have a real sound stage with more accurate imaging and better tonality. Bass is more articulate, midrange is fuller and top end is about the same. We cut the response down a lot so we did lose overall potential volume. May or may not be noticeable depending on the user.

I'm attaching a link to .rar file that you can use to process some of your music yourself to see if you like the change. Inside the .rar file is a folder called "sox". Place this folder in your c:\ so it would be c:\sox. Inside this folder is a file called flac_conversion.bat. Drag and drop any number of .flac files on this batch file and it will process them and dump them into the "finished" folder inside the sox directory. The .flac files have to be located somewhere on your c:\ or you'll get an error. The program was acting weird with my .mp3 conversion batch file so only .flac right now. If you only have .mp3 then find some program to convert your .mp3 to .flac.

Inside your vehicle you need to set your stereo mode to Stereo, Bass EQ to 0, Tweeter 0 and Sub EQ to +3. 0 means in the middle not all the way to the left. Make sure balance is in the center and fade all the way forward for this test.

The center for the vocals should be roughly in the center of your dash or where your light sensor is. If the center image is to the left or right of this area then inside the flac_conversion.bat file is a line called "FOR %%A IN (%*) DO sox "temp/%%~nA1b.flac" "temp/%%~nA1c.flac" delay .0013". This is our basic time delay for the left channel. Going to .0012 would move the center to the left while going to .0014 would move it to the right. Right click on the batch file, hit edit and chose notepad for the program to open it. Then change that number to something appropriate for you.

FYI: The Fpace reads the encoded name off your media files, not the actual file name. I wouldn't put these converted files on the same drive as the originals. The Fpace will likely show you two files with the exact same name.

Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kj33mnqwmvk1tsb/sox.rar?dl=0
So I am trying to make this work. I am working off a Mac with Parallels so that may be the problem. I was able to download the file sox.rar and I have my music file converted to a .flac format but when I try to drag to file and drop it onto the batch file it doesn't end up in the finished file rather it ends up as a separate file under the sox folder. There is some conversion that seems to happen but I am not sure it is correct as it does not end up in the finished folder. Also I am not really sure I am truly dropping it on the conversion file it may be just dropping into the sox folder. When I double click on the flac conversion file it goes to terminal. Should I look at something there? Also I did add my music file to the c: drive on parallels.
 

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*GR* LOVES MUSIC , but knows NOTHING about what you all are talking about !!! That being said , when *GR* was 18 years old and a Senior in High School , he had a New 1987 Chevy Suburban that he took to a *Professional Aftermarket Sound System Installer* ! He "Jokingly" told the people there that he wanted bystanders to be able to HEAR the Music from *2-Blocks Away* ! And they Gladly said "Sure , how much do you want to spend" ! After I realized they were serious , and that I was about to spend some MAJOR Coin , I said "Just make it happen" ! Well , they put in a *800-Watt* System , that included three different Amplifiers mounted on the back wall , and a HUGE Carpeted Box right behind the second row seats , that housed FOUR *12-Inch Speakers* + some smaller ones , two of the 12-inchers may have been Sub-Woofers ! The third row seats had to be removed :) !
Also included was a Fancy New Radio/CD player in the Dash , that had a removable face !
The total came to $6K ! Did I get "Ripped-Off" , I have NO idea ! I didn't care !
But you could sure as heck hear that system clear as a bell , from more then *2-Blocks away* , and if you were sitting in the vehicle , you FELT IT ! >:)

My question for the knowledgeable people on this thread is , WHY is the *825-Watt* system in the F-Pace NOT heard from *2-Blocks Away* ??? Or have you already answered that question ???
Like I said already , "I don't understand a thing you all are saying" !!!
It is WAY over my head !!! :eek:
At least now we know where things really went wrong for good ole GR. ;)>:)

On a serious note, if I am playing music off of my iPhone 7 through a USB what settings would make it sound best? @strohw
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
So I am trying to make this work. I am working off a Mac with Parallels so that may be the problem. I was able to download the file sox.rar and I have my music file converted to a .flac format but when I try to drag to file and drop it onto the batch file it doesn't end up in the finished file rather it ends up as a separate file under the sox folder. There is some conversion that seems to happen but I am not sure it is correct as it does not end up in the finished folder. Also I am not really sure I am truly dropping it on the conversion file it may be just dropping into the sox folder. When I double click on the flac conversion file it goes to terminal. Should I look at something there? Also I did add my music file to the c: drive on parallels.
It probably is related to the OS. I just downloaded the .rar file and tested it on my laptop and it works fine. I'm going to give you the commands to convert a file by hand. That way you can test it and see if it's even something you want to waste your time with. You could hate the results. If you like the results we can troubleshoot what's going on.

Drop a couple .flac files in the sox directory. Pick files you're familiar with.

- Open up command/terminal and go to the sox directory then type these commands. "song.flac" is your song name as is "newdesiredname.flac". Since the F-pace reads meta tags you could just rename the file to "a.flac" to make typing faster if you wanted.

sox song.flac song1.flac remix 1
sox song.flac song2.flac remix 2
sox song1.flac song1b.flac fir left_channel.txt
sox song2.flac song2b.flac fir right_channel.txt
sox song1b.flac song1c.flac delay .0013
sox -M song1c.flac song2b.flac newdesiredname.flac

It's basically saying, sox take this file name - give me this new file name - do this to the file
 

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Discussion Starter #15
On a serious note, if I am playing music off of my iPhone 7 through a USB what settings would make it sound best? @strohw
Your Iphone works through the USB port? My Android doesn't seem to. I was hoping the F-Pace would take digital audio through the USB port but maybe I'm missing something.

To answer your question, to get the best results you need to find an app that has an audio convolver in it that allows real time processing. :D

But a more realistic answer is to find a music app you're comfortable with using that has the most powerful EQ. Ideally you want an app that gives you separate EQ for left and right channels. If you can't find that then try to find any app that gives you 10 to 16 bands of EQ. If you find something like that then I can give you some ideas on cuts to help bring things in line.
 

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Your Iphone works through the USB port? My Android doesn't seem to. I was hoping the F-Pace would take digital audio through the USB port but maybe I'm missing something.

To answer your question, to get the best results you need to find an app that has an audio convolver in it that allows real time processing. :D

But a more realistic answer is to find a music app you're comfortable with using that has the most powerful EQ. Ideally you want an app that gives you separate EQ for left and right channels. If you can't find that then try to find any app that gives you 10 to 16 bands of EQ. If you find something like that then I can give you some ideas on cuts to help bring things in line.
Yeah I phone works through USB, it comes up on the list of options when you go to "source" and pick radio, satellite etc.

Not that I need my hand held but are you aware of any decent apps that are available that do what you are referring to? I am totally lost when it comes to stuff like this, all I know is bass makes the car vibrate haha.
 

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At least now we know where things really went wrong for good ole GR. ;)>:)
Are you kidding me ??? I was an *18-year old* with a Brand New Custom Ordered Chevy Suburban , that I put a *4-Inch Lift Kit & 35" BFGoodrich All-Terrains* on , TWO-Days after I drove it off the Dealers Lot !!! THANKS to that Suburban , that's *where things really went RIGHT* !!! >:) >:) >:)
 
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@strohw , *GR* did have a SERIOUS question ! And it mainly concerns my F-Pace ! I would like it if you could give me an explanation as to WHY an *800-Watt* system in my 1987 Suburban , sounded SOOOO much LOUDER then my *825-Watt* system in my 2017 F-Pace ??? I think the F-Pace system sounds pretty good , but it doesn't come close to what I remember the other system sounding like ! Is there more to getting LOUD Music then just Watts ??? I figured since the watts was the same or more , then it would be as LOUD ! I'm just curious ! :confused:
 

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@strohw , *GR* did have a SERIOUS question ! And it mainly concerns my F-Pace ! I would like it if you could give me an explanation as to WHY an *800-Watt* system in my 1987 Suburban , sounded SOOOO much LOUDER then my *825-Watt* system in my 2017 F-Pace ??? I think the F-Pace system sounds pretty good , but it doesn't come close to what I remember the other system sounding like ! Is there more to getting LOUD Music then just Watts ??? I figured since the watts was the same or more , then it would be as LOUD ! I'm just curious ! :confused:
Maybe because in 1987 your hearing was still in tact ;)>:) that '6000 dollar' system probably ruined any chance of you hearing good again :D>:)
 
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