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Re: Door Speakers & Subwoofers in my Leaf

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:57 am
by Ready2plugin
Randy wrote:Here's a link to the Amazon subs that fit on the hump and clamp to the seat belt loops on the rear of the back seats...You know you want them!!!

Randy
I may want them, but for this non-electrical engineer....there is no way I'm going to take apart my LEAF to get it in. Once someone in the Bay Area knows how to do the install....then "maybe"....

Re: Door Speakers & Subwoofers in my Leaf

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:30 am
by GeekEV
Any auto installer shop should be able to do it, particularly if you bring them the instructions. All cars come apart pretty much the same way, so they should be able to figure it out. It's what they do for a living after all. :)

Re: Door Speakers & Subwoofers in my Leaf

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:27 pm
by lemketron
mwalsh wrote:
lemketron wrote:I'm planning to play TMBG whenever anyone asks me if they can take a ride in my electric car
+1. It's a great theme tune for EV'ers. The video for it is kinda cute too.
Yes it is, but I would NOT recommend driving your electric car underwater like they do in the video. :o

Re: Door Speakers & Subwoofers in my Leaf

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:28 pm
by lemketron
Ready2plugin wrote:
Randy wrote:Here's a link to the Amazon subs that fit on the hump and clamp to the seat belt loops on the rear of the back seats...You know you want them!!!

Randy
I may want them, but for this non-electrical engineer....there is no way I'm going to take apart my LEAF to get it in. Once someone in the Bay Area knows how to do the install....then "maybe"....
Yes, and as soon as someone volunteers to let someone learn on their Leaf in the Bay Area, let me know so I can be the second! :-)

Re: Door Speakers & Subwoofers in my Leaf

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:53 pm
by DaveNagy
Nice job, Randy.

I've used CDT speakers in the past, and have been happy with them. Glad to hear that they are still around.

That re-purposing of the stock speaker spacers in the front was a nice bit of work. Myself, I probably would have just cut new spacer "rings" out of MDF. :)

How is the sub-woofer volume/balance controlled? Can it be done from the driver's seat?

How's the overall volume? Sufficient? I wonder if there would be any benefit to "blocking" some of the bass frequencies that are currently going to the CDTs, thereby freeing up the tiny stock amplifier to do nothing but drive the low-mids and higher. You would then need to fiddle with the sub-woofer settings to try to get a good full-range blend back.

(I'm not actually sure that using a bass blocking capacitor would free up the amplifier to concentrate on the "easier" higher frequencies. Perhaps they just "eat" that power. That's great if you're just trying to protect bass-deficient speakers, but that's not really the case here.)

I suppose you could be a quick and dirty test of the concept just by turning down the bass on the head unit, and then cranking the sub-woofer to compensate. It probably wouldn't sound great, but it might give you an idea about whether the hopefully-increased sound levels are something worth striving for or not. Maybe they are fine as is.

Re: Door Speakers & Subwoofers in my Leaf

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:05 am
by GeekEV
Given that the subs are feeding off of speaker level outs, I don't think turning it down in the head unit would be a good test. :)

The CDTs have really started to impress now that they're breaking in. I guess that means the clarion head unit isn't so bad, though I would like more EQ options. I don't feel compelled get the subs at this point, but may anyway.

Re: Door Speakers & Subwoofers in my Leaf

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:20 am
by Randy
DaveNagy wrote:How is the sub-woofer volume/balance controlled? Can it be done from the driver's seat?

How's the overall volume? Sufficient? I wonder if there would be any benefit to "blocking" some of the bass frequencies that are currently going to the CDTs, thereby freeing up the tiny stock amplifier to do nothing but drive the low-mids and higher. You would then need to fiddle with the sub-woofer settings to try to get a good full-range blend back.
Thanks, Dave. I decided not to purchase and install the $30 (list) Bazooka remote volume control accessory. I did some overall volume adjustments with the head unit and sub, settling on a sub volume setting that is probably 75-80% of maximum. Of course, there is some bass variation in the various music source material, but that seemed like a decent average volume setting on the sub.

Interesting question about the overall volume. The head unit amp has less volume output than other head units or amps I've had in other cars. But there is also a certain element of quiet in the Leaf as compared to an ICE car that may not require music to be as loud. For serious music listening and no passengers (where talking would require lower volumes), I find that the volume control on the Leaf is running in the 50-70% of full volume range. Some older mp3s on my stick have lower average volume levels and the volume in the car might be a little higher, but I would still say 50-70% on most music gives pretty decent volume. And with my adjustments on the subwoofers, they provide a nice level of bass for that head unit volume. The head unit could use a little more power, no doubt. But given that we can't easily replace the HU and all the functions it performs, we're stuck with it.

As far as trying to limit bass frequencies from the door speakers, I've been happy with them the way they are. Like GeekEV says, it would be nice to have a little more control on the HU over the bass / treble / fader settings. There's only a few ticks in either direction.

Overall, I think I've done about as much modification to the stock system that makes sense, and I'm happy with the results. GeekEV, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you were to add a small sub in the back (Bazooka or something else). It definitely makes the music experience in the car more satisfying...The few people who have auditioned it in my car said they definitely liked the bass addition...

Randy

Re: Upgrading Speakers in my Leaf: Phase 1

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:41 am
by LEAFguy
Randy wrote:Check out the rear of the factory speaker. That has to be about a 1 ounce magnet, because the whole thing weighs about 3 ounces...Wow....I'm surprised it sounded as good as it did given the paper whizzer cone and light weight of the speaker / magnet assembly.
Nissan uses neodymium magnets for many of their speakers. They are amazingly powerful for their size, compared with an Alnico or ferrite magnet. Given the mission of the LEAF, one would expect that these magnets would be Neodymium.

Re: Door Speakers & Subwoofers in my Leaf

Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 7:31 pm
by DaveNagy
GeekEV wrote:Given that the subs are feeding off of speaker level outs, I don't think turning it down in the head unit would be a good test. :)
Like I said, one would have to compensate for the now-deficient bass by cranking up the sub, and possibly raising the crossover point. The sub-woofer amplifier likely has lots of headroom that could be exploited. By working the sub-woofer amp harder, you would be giving the (weak link) head unit amps a break. The downside is that you will be decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio of the signal that's fed to the sub. Hard to say if this would be audible or not.

It's easy and free to experiment with this, so I just thought I'd mention the possibility. I fully admit that it might sound awful! :)

Re: Door Speakers & Subwoofers in my Leaf

Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 7:59 pm
by DaveNagy
Randy wrote: Thanks, Dave. I decided not to purchase and install the $30 (list) Bazooka remote volume control accessory. I did some overall volume adjustments with the head unit and sub, settling on a sub volume setting that is probably 75-80% of maximum. Of course, there is some bass variation in the various music source material, but that seemed like a decent average volume setting on the sub.
I might have made the same decision. $30 is $30. It's kinda nice to be able to easily fiddle with the sub levels while you're still in the "dialing in" phase of a new system. But after a few days, you'd likely not have to touch that remote again.
Randy wrote:For serious music listening and no passengers (where talking would require lower volumes), I find that the volume control on the Leaf is running in the 50-70% of full volume range.
That's not bad at all. As long as you're not wishing for a bit more volume, but driving your amp into clipping instead. It sounds like that's not a problem.
Randy wrote:As far as trying to limit bass frequencies from the door speakers, I've been happy with them the way they are. Like GeekEV says, it would be nice to have a little more control on the HU over the bass / treble / fader settings. There's only a few ticks in either direction.
Limiting the bass coming out of the front speakers would definitely make those speakers sound worse. So, I wouldn't do that unless you could really benefit from more volume.

Regarding your quest for more EQ options, you could "bake" that EQ into your source material, assuming you are listening to .MP3s or CDs. In my car I noticed that I could make things sound much better by using the built-in EQ of my portable MP3 player. (Connected to the head-unit via line-in.) You could do something similar, and eventually get rid of the external player. Something like:
  • 1) Plug an iPod or what-have-you into the aux input of the Leaf.
    2) Listen to some favorite tracks, and fiddle with the iPod's EQ settings until it sounds as good as possible. Make sure the same EQ "works" with all your music.
    3) Note the EQ settings that you used.
    4) Use a software equalization utility to "apply" a similar EQ to all the music on your USB stick or CD-ROM.
    5) Profit!
I don't know the name of any utilities of the type mentioned in step 4, but surely they exist, right? ;)