I like bass to where it won't distort. It depends on the music you listen too. I'm an 80's guy so with 80's type music I listen to Sirius Satellite on ch8. I have my bass set to 4 and my treble all the way to 5. You'll notice that the mid has an effect on bass from tight too boomy. I have mine set to 3. The mid is suppose to intensify the vocals and noticed it also affected the type of bass as mentioned.
Scooter996: I posted a response to your same inquiry over at NOR. Please check it out. There is also another older thread over there on this subject. Try the search feature. I'm not sure my issue is the same as yours, but I'll share my experience. This will be long, so anyone who gets bored, I fully understand if you stop right about now!
I'm one of those folks they call "audiophiles" which means I get way too involved in trying to make my home stereo, home theatre or car sound as natural as possible. I had high expectations for the Bose system in my Armada but was instantly severely disappointed.
The way I set up a system requires a few tools. You will probably not have the equipment. It is not expensive. If you want to do your own setup, whether it is for your Armada, your home stereo or a multi-channel home theatre, the whole setup is well under a hundred bucks.
If your problem is the same as mine was, I will share with you what the tests showed and maybe this will help. It might keep you from springing for the test stuff or paying an audio shop to do the testing for you.
You have to be objective, because your ears will fool you. What you need is a test CD with a lot of different, closely spaced tones ranging from the lowest bass, about 20 hz, to the highest treble, about 20,000 hz. Each tone is a little higher in pitch than the one before it.
I use the Rives 2 test CD for that. No product plug intended. There are other good ones too. But the CD is pretty cheap. It has 31 frequency tracks. It is $21. Here is the link for anyone who wants to do their own testing:
You need an inexpensive sound level meter to measure the volume of sound coming out of the system when you play the CD. You can get one from Radio Shack for about $40 bucks. The Rives CD has a separate set of tracks calibrated just to use with the Radio Shack unit.
What my ears were telling me is that the bass was "muddy." it was making the midrange and treble distorted and unnatural. Voices in particular did not sound right. No amount of fiddling with the mid and treble controls sounded right, so out came the meter and CD.
Here is what I found on my system. The bass was horribly over emphasized. I mean bass output was too loud, totally off the scale compared to midrange and treble.
The good news is that Bose got the midrange and treble right. Very nice, flat, linear. Really quite outstanding for a car or truck. To do this testing right, you want to set your meter on a small camera tripod if you have one (it attaches just like a 35 mm camera) and set it up on the center console with the meter up at about the height of your ears.
Leaving the mid and treble controls on "0" worked best for my truck. Get ready for what worked best for the bass - turn that sucker all the way down! I mean turn it to either "-4" or "-5". In that position the bass finally got back down into a range that was not off the meter, which had been the case. So, in my truck, the bass was still every bit as strong as it should have been at "0" when turned all the way down.
With those settings, I then played a broad range of different music and found the bass to be very powerful and the midrange and treble were clear and undistorted.
In this setting the bass is STILL a little over emphasized, especially in the mid-bass, but it sounds very good.
But, this is what would be called trying for a completely flat frequency response curve. Most people have shown a liking for a little bass emphasis and a little emphasis on the top end. Sort of a curve that gradually slopes down from left to right, with a little curve back up on the far right, with deep bass volume on the far left and high treble on the far right, if that makes sense, like a shallow "U" if you drew it out on graph paper.
To get that effect, the bass goes on "-4", leave the midrange on "0" and put the treble on "+1." If your system has the same problems mine did, give that a try.
I realize that the radio head unit was subject to a TSB and if you had yours replaced or have an '05, I don't know if the equalization problem was addressed. If it was, then your meter readings (if you chose to do that) might be totally different.
BTW, for those of you who have Apple Ipods, try using the above settings, and set the Ipod's internal equalization for "Loudness Compensation." Mine works best with moving the bass to "-5" when playing through the Ipod. Give it a try and see what you think.
NOR is Nissan Off Road Forum. It is a separate site for all models of Nissan trucks more devoted to the off-road life style - rock climbing, camping, desert running, playing in the mud, etc. It's a nice little Internet community, but geared more toward its name. Here is the link:
I'm a bit of an audiophile as well, along with being a musician (pro and semi-pro over the years) and so I completely relate with you on wanting the music to be as clear and natural as possible.
My SE didn't come with the Blows system, but honestly it didn't matter. I can't ever remember having a vehicle that I didn't end up replacing the factory audio in. Even some of the higher dollar vehicles I've been in can't hang when it comes to good sound. I will say this- the Nissan systems (I've heard both the Blows and standard) are better than average (with maybe the exception of the radio reception). My factory system sounded ok, with decent clarity.
If you're into it though, I'd look for some aftermarket solutions if you want truly great sound. I am very much enjoying my MB Quart components...talk about crystal clear! Other brands to consider are Diamond Audio, Focal, Boston Acoustics, etc. When considering a sound quality system also be sure that you're adequately powered. The more power you can run the better- that way you insure you're always in "clean" signal. It's not so much about being loud as it is having more than enough power for clarity. Most speaker damage occurs because systems are underpowered, not overpowered. In my rig I'm running a Soundstream Van Gogh 800.5 amp and it's plenty. I rarely need to turn my deck up past 10 or 11 (volume indicator goes up to like 50). I run 4 component sets (6.5 and 1" tweet) and 2 12's off of the one amp.
Wow! I'm familiar with those brands. I'll bet the sound is incredible.
I was surprised that I was able to tune the Bose factory system for the acoustics of the truck and get it pretty close without having to go to aftermarket products. As you probably know, the most serious problems with most trucks and cars is that there is a "resonance" in the upper bass in these environments. The relatively small interior space (even in something as large as a full-sized SUV) tends to magnify or intensify the upper bass. You usually have to use exotic aftermarket equipment with separate amps for bass, midrange and treble, and fiddle with the cross-over points to create a notch (relatively sharp decrease in sound for a pretty narrow frequency range) at the resonance frequency to keep the upper bass in line while keeping the low stuff still kicking strong.
And, true to form, the Bose system had that same problem. Given its extra cost and reputation, I would have thought Bose and Nissan would have engineered that problem out. They did not.
The Bose system is at least bi-amplified, as there is a separate amplifier built into the subwoofer, but the equalization is way, way off. Makes me wonder if they designed it for the Titan, with its much smaller interior volume and did not realize that the Armada, with its larger interior volume would emphasize that upper bass resonance (around 90-120 hz) a lot more.
But the fix did turn out to be pretty easy, and since I already had the equipment, didn't cost anything.
Now if I decide I need more volume, that Soundstream amp will more than do the trick. I've owned their products in the past and they are great. Their electronic adjustable frequency crossovers for mobile systems are really nice. Thanks for the suggestion.
I have to give Nissan and Bose credit for nailing the midrange and treble, but they really missed the mark on the bass - thankfully, turning it to "-4" or "-5" and leaving everything else pretty much neutral is working very well. It will really go deep and loud in the bass that way and not muddy up the vocals and other midrange stuff.
I agree.. I've noticed (and had to adjust) a pretty discernable resonance at around 125 hertz. My Premier deck has 13 band EQ (which I love) so I just notched it. I have been learning a lot about delay times too and how that has a huge effect on how you hear the music. I'm not crazy about the fact that Nissan put the 6.5's so low in the doors either. I wish I could move them up about 8 inches each, but oh well. The Quarts sound really nice- the high end is "airy" without being brittle, and to my ears all of the frequencies are being represented. I've got some cd's that I use to test out the system and all sound really good. Actually I've been hearing stuff I've never heard before (particularly down low) and it makes me smile. 12's are the way to go! The quart subs I have are rated all the way down to 18 hertz, and I believe it.
The hawkins eq management on the soundstream is really sweet- it's sort of a parametric eq that allows me to boost any frequencies that aren't getting reproduced enough.
Thanks for the tip on the Rives cd. I'm going to pick it up and tweak some more with it. Were you using that with a db meter to find resonant frequencies?
My deck has an auto-eq function that works pretty well, but I lost the little microphone that I need to make it work. Essentially you plug in the mic, put it in the diagnostic mode, and it will emit pink noise and RTA the vehicle for you. Pretty nice!
Nice indeed. Yes, I was using the Rives CD and Radio Shack SPL meter to find the resonance. Now, to be truthful, I'm not sure that it was totally the cabin resonance or whether they just got the EQ that far off in the design or if it was a combination of the two.
I did notice that there is a strange labeling on the amp in the top of the subwoofer. It is labled "+3db." Depending on what cross-over frequency is involved (I did not go that deeply into the process), that emphasis could be part of the problem.
All I can say is that the strongest bass by far, way off the scale (I'm talking over 20 db above the "0" level for midrange, which I somewhat arbitrarily set at 80 db!) was encountered just where you expect to find cabin resonance in that 90-120 range, centered mostly at about 110. But it was also very, very exaggerated throughout the entire bass range. You can imagine that if I was getting an 80 db reading on the frequencies above 440 hz or so, then the resonance point was over 100 db, which was pretty close to the maximum output of the sub.
That little Rives CD was bought to tune a home theatre room and a "critical" listening "traditional stereo" system in another room, but it works great for car systems.
With apologies to all of you "regular" folks whose eyes probably glazed over some while ago, we now return you to your regular programming!