best sound settings for head units

  • Thread starter Thread starter Eighty2Regal
  • Start date Start date


for clarity and being able to turn up ur stereo loud how much should the bass/treble and eq settings be at and should the loudness be used?
I personally set my tone controls flat (bass 0 and treble 0) and tweak out my bass amp, high end amp, EQ, pre-amps and BBE sound processor by ear.

You have asked about the loudness button setting on many posts in the past so I will answer it again. Loudness button should only be used on low level listening or on music that doesnt have alot of bass in it. The loudness button is not made to be cranked up at higher volume because it overdrives the signal which causes distortion (I am sounding like a broken record) ;) .

Clarity starts with a clean signal from the head unit and where you set everything is up to you and your taste but your system is only as strong as your "weakest link". You want power and clarity with the equipment that you have but until you address replacing those entry level "Jensen" amps with better, cleaner and more powerful amps, you are not going to get the performance that you desire.

Plus you need to have matching subs and not mis-matched ones to get the maximum performance out of them.
I think its ok to turn it up a little. What wizzard said its true. Distortion "kill" speakers!
Isn't this like the 5th time (minimum) that you've asked this same question?!?

It just depends, every car/stereo/headunit/speaker/amp combo will be different. The best thing to do is fiddle with the settings until it sounds good to you.

Doug C.
do u think the stock tape player would sound better than the pioneer, i can turn the stock stereo up the whole way and it doesnt distort and like i dont have to fiddle with the stock stereo unit like i do with the pioneer. What sounds clearer u think???
what would a ten inch bazooka amplified sub sound like in my regal?
i have the treble at 0 and bass at 0 and eq flat with low at -1 and mid at +1 and high at +1 and it sounds darn clear and sla at +1. treble is at 2k and bass is at 100hz
The answer is no on the stock tape deck. After market deck has a better stereo seperation, more power and better features. The answer to you other question, depends on how old the Bazzoka is the older ones from in the early 90's were "AWSOME", lots of "BASS"! The newer ones is ok. Go with a seperate amp and and a single 10" sub in a good enclosure is the way to go. Do whatever settings (bass, trebble, eq. ect..) you want, but we warrned you. Have fun!
tweak n tune

Find someone with a oscillascope, attach it to your pre-amp outputs on your head unit, or I think you can attach it to your speaker power leads if you set the range accordingly so it will accept a hi-output AC signal and then play a 1KHz test tone or Pink Noise through the system and turn up the volume (all EQ settings to 0 or centered) until you see the curve on the scope start to clip or turn box shaped at its peaks, when it does, back the volume off a little until it smooths out and note the volume level.

Leave the head unit at that volume and then move the scope to the next device, like a sub amp and then set the gain of the sub amp until it starts to clip. You can perform this level setting for all devices, amps, active crossovers..etc..

After you're done doing that, all your devices will clip at the same time.

As for EQ, its only to be used to adjust for "user taste" or deficiencies in the listening environment where certain frequencies are attentuated or lacking due to the acoustic factors of your car's interior. To set the EQ properly a RTA (Real Time Analyzer) can be used, or just use your ears to get it where you want.

The Loudness switch acts as a attenuation to the bass region and high range region on most head units. You can see what kind of "Loudness" it produces to a flat signal or 1KHz sine if using either a scope or RTA. I prefer not to use it.

Again, you know what sounds best to you and what you like, so design and setup your system to achieve that. Good luck.
Not bad darkf8. There is another simple was purchase a amplified speaker from radio shack, so cables and get a test cd with test tones. I'll try to get you a copy of this procedure, its very easy and you'll get good results, you will notice louder and clearer listening levels.

Forgive me, is "pimp" a new technical term for car audio?

I know this is an open forum, but, being that many of the people on this board are professionals or have a particular knowledge or understanding of the "right" and wrong ways of doing things I thought I'd write something...

In electronics, there are pieces of equipment you can use to set up sound equipment properly so you minimize distortion, you optimize power and increase efficiency.

If you wonder what your treble and bass settings should be, without knowledge of the professional way to set them, then why would it even matter where they are set so long as the software you play sounds good?

If you want to understand the professional way of tuning a car stereo for SQ and not just for it to sound psuedo-ok, I'd suggest subscribing to the forum and asking questions. Or, purchasing a car audio and electronics book by Richard Clark and Dave Navone, Secrets for Great Car Sound from or reading into any other reputable book on acoustics or audio environment factors and design.

There are usually just as many right ways to do things as there are wrong. Fortunately, the worst that could happen if you do something wrong in car audio is either wires melt and your car catches on fire or the music sounds like its being played through a Edison phonograph :D
oh I'm pretty sure there is more ways to go wrong than

on the same note as darkfa, Car Sound used to offer the book "10 secrets for great car sound" with a subscription to their mag. But the best bet is their forums. I live there as much as I do here and the Monte SS forums and love it. :)