Crackhead camo, held on by dismantled speaker magnets. $3 at walmart
Fair warning, the following has caused quite a few people's eyes to glaze over when they ask "What are you doing?"
This is the part that customers don't see when they have an installer do a system in their car. Enjoy and feel free to ask questions.
As much as the Youtube Experts say you can, you can't just slap in an amp, crank the gain knob and call it done.
No, don't do it. You WILL make your sub/speakers release the magic smoke that allows them to make music.
All you need is a few test tones (sonicelectronix has a bunch on their youtube channel) and an oscilliscope. I got mine on Amazon for ~$40.
The purpose is to set the power levels on the amp to prevent "clipping" from over-amplification of the source signal. A clipped signal will have plateaus on the high/low points on the wave whereas a good signal will a beautiful sinewave.
The trick is to get it as close to clipping, without actually clipping.
Tones: I only really need two for the Soundstream, 1.5khz and 100hz. For the Kenwood amp, I used multiple frequncies to get a feel for where the amp like to boost its signal.
I didn't take any pictures of me scoping the Soundstream because, honestly, it was pretty straight-forward. Sorry. My gain set for it was:
(watt's law: Volts^2 / Ohms = Watts)
Front: 1.5khz for 16.1Vac 16.1^2 / 4= 64.8w
Rear: 100hz for 18.8Vac 18.8^2 / 4= 88.36w
I confess that i cannot find the pics for this. All I can find is that i had it set for around 33.5Vac for 561.13w to the sub...Sorry. I do have the documentation for the amp I replaced the Kenwood with, if you could scroll to post# 23
This head unit has the ability to be a (limited) Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and control the frequency split to the signal outputs:
Front: Tweeter and Midrange
Here are the screens
Each output can be modified to control the signal level (gain), cutoff frequency (low pass/high pass) and how "quickly" the signal is affected by the cutoff (6, 12, 18, 24db slopes).
This is necessary for balance.
There are 3 main styles of audio setups
SPL: sound pressure, loud
Think competition vehicles with 10 subs or the youtube videos with women's hair dancing in the window...or that Suburban that is shaking your car at stoplights
SQL: sound quality, loud
My goal. The system has the capability to get very loud, but it is still very clear with no distortion and the musical balance is maintained throughout the volume levels. Sonic purity, if you will.
SQ: sound quality
Like SQL but not loud. Usual power rating is around 50w per speaker channel and maybe 300-400w to the subwoofer. Really not a lot of power.
This is where Tuning comes into play. The DSP in my HU is very, very basic, but it allows me to balance quite well actually and has surprised a few folks who have waaaay more money invested in their systems than I do right now.
Aside from gain setting and doing a basic cutoff setup (see pics), this was where I left my system for a few months. I did play with the equalizer settings to get a feel for different settings, but that was about it