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157.28db,41hz +Increasing
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First off, I want to be clear about one thing. I'm not here to hate on SMD tools. However I am here to help people utilize cheaper and sometimes better equipment suited for the job as well as other jobs.




So let's begin with the dd-1. I'm sure most of you know the main competitor to this an oscilloscope. But you might not know why.

The SMD dd-1 is 149.99
A Velleman HPS140I oscilliscope is 120$ (from Amazon)

Here are three ways that the oscope stands alone from the dd-1.

The dd-1 does not account for voltage drop. Let's say you set your gain with the dd-1 at 14.4 volts. Now you apply a real load and your voltage is in the 13s or lower. Now your top clean voltage has been lowered as the rails sag. So when you turn it all the way up to the max clean voltage you are now clipping since your voltage has dropped. An oscope can measure clipping in real time with a real load. So you will know even at lower voltages if you are or aren't clipping.

The dd-1 can only measure at two different frequencies; 40hz and 1khz. Now this might not be a big deal to some but it's fairly limited. An oscope can measure at any frequency that your audio system will reproduce. This also means you don't have to change your filters to accommodate the dd-1 and then switch them back.

The dd-1 can't account for rail sag due to impedance. In most class D amps the rails can put out a higher clean voltage at higher impedances. Hence why you see higher ohm ratings being higher than half of the power of the next lowest ohm rating. IE. An amp doing 2000 watts at 1 ohm but 1100 at 2 ohms. So if you are wiring low and you are rising to around 1 ohm then your rails are going to have their top end voltage cut vs no load on the amplifier. This however can be observed with an oscope in real time.

The dd-1 is a 1 use tool. That means that it is only suited for one thing. However an oscope can be used for many different tasks even outside of the audio industry. Plus if you ever want to try and fix your amplifier you will need an oscope.

As you can see from those reasons alone an oscope is not only better suited for gain setting, it is cheaper and is capable of handling other tasks as well.




Next the CC-1. A lot of people don't know that you can do every function the cc-1 has with a cheap DMM.

The CC-1 is again 149.99$
A DMM can be as cheap as 10$ (for this use it's not important to have a fancy DMM.)

Now basically what we have here is a device that has a voltage comparing circuit. So you set it to remember a certain voltage and then if it's reading higher than it will illuminate the corresponding led and if it's reading lower then it will illuminate the corresponding led. When you hit the right voltage the middle light will light up.

I'm not going to delve into different kinds of filters as some have the same slope but a different level at the crossover frequency itself. Some are -3db and some are -6db down. But for the purpose of this we are going to assume 3db.

So let's take a 24db slope filter for example. If you want to set a high pass filter at 80hz then you need to open the filter all the way up. Measure the output voltage with a dmm at a level you know is not clipping. Then plug your voltage into the input voltage and select -3db on the level change and solve for output voltage. This calculator is pretty nifty:

dB calculator for amplification gain and damping (loss) factor of an audio amplifier calculation decibel dB ratio - sengpielaudio Sengpiel Berlin

So at 60 volts, if you are -3db down at the crossover point you are looking for 42.47 volts. Now play the tone you want your cutoff filter to be at. A common one is 80hz for mids. Now play 80hz with your filter wide open. So then you just keep turning the filter up until you hit that voltage. Congrats your high pass filter is set.

For low pass filters you do the same thing but set it wide open in the opposite direction.

Now lets say you need to gain match two amplifiers. (you want to do this before filters). Open your filters wide open on both amps. Set the first amp's gain using a scope, dd-1, dmm or whatever. Now play 60hz and measure the voltage on the set amp. Now just turn up the voltage on the second amp until it matches the first one. (you don't need a load for this).

If you want to match the xover settings to the first amp that has the xovers already set then all you need to is grab a tone above your low pass and below your high pass. For your high pass play the tone that is below like 20hz and measure the voltage on the first amp then slowly turn up the high pass on the second amp until the voltage is the same. For the low pass play a tone like 100hz and then turn down the filter until the voltage on the second amp matches the first amp.

To confirm your amps match properly just double check by playing a tone below, one not filtered and above. The output from both amps should be the same at all three frequencies.

Sure it takes a little more math and effort to use a dmm but at the cost of over 100 bucks difference I think it's well worth it. Not to mention a quality dmm can be used for WAY more things than the cc-1 can.




Now onto the IM-SG

Honestly it's a pretty nifty tool. However if you have a laptop I recommend a woofer tester 2 instead.

IM-SG is 299.99$
WT2 is 159.95$

At 140$ cheaper it can do everything the IM-SG can do and actually is easier to pull TSPs from. The one thing that is great about the IM-SG is the portability. So again... no laptop; get the IM-SG... yes laptop; get the woofer tester 2.





And finally the AMM-1

I gotta admit on this one that it is a pretty cool tool for the casual basshead trying to learn more about his setup. The best thing it's got going for it is the hall effect sensor built in so power factor isn't an issue. But I'm going to put a AC/DC clamp, True RMS meter and Oscope up against it ;)

The AMM-1 is 359.99 on preorder right now. I believe it will be 400 ish full price
The hps140I scope is 119.99$
The Craftsmen 82369 is 59.99$
A Fluke 113 is 116.96$
Total: 297$

The one area the AMM-1 has a good clamp setup beat is that it knows the power factor and thus can determine actual watts being sent to the loudspeaker. However as of now this isn't very useful information if you consider where we are. 99% of amplifier clamps are done with a DMM and clamp meter. So when people see the lower power they are going to wonder why it's lower than what other people have clamped. Yes in a perfect world we should all be clamping for watts. But in an industry dominated by Voltamp clamps then the true watt figure is somewhat unnecessary as of now.

Another issue is that it will stop reading upon clipping in the amp dyno. Which for competing doesn't make it any more useful than a couple of clamps when you start clipping. And 99% of people competing allow a soft clip for more power. Not to mention unless everyone is using the amm-1 at the comp then the division of power won't be fair. In this situation a video camera really helps with both methods as you can record the power and go back over it to find peak power at peak spl.

Another issue is that the amm-1 can't calculate amplifier efficiency since it doesn't have a DC clamp onboard. Granted this isn't that big of a deal but amp clamps are much better with efficiency figures as well. But with a proper clamp setup you can do this as well as clamp your alternator to see if that is doing rated power.

A plus for the AMM-1 is that it does all the math for you. But it really isn't that complex of math so you be the judge how much of a plus this is.

The rest of the things the AMM-1 can do can also be done with the clamp setup I listed. So I didn't feel they needed to be mentioned.

So I guess if knowing true power is that important to you then the AMM-1 is your tool. If you are fine with the current industry standard then the clamp setup is for you.



All together now.

If you have the complete SMD toolbox that costs 960$ as of right now.

If you grab the clamp setup and the woofer tester that costs you $457

Less than half the cost and the only thing you can't do is find true power/phase angle. However you can do a lot more with the second option for less than half the cost.

The choice is yours :thumbsup:
 

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157.28db,41hz +Increasing
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Discussion Starter #4
LOL :lmao:
I figured I was better off saying that than nothing. Might let people have more on an open mind when reading my post. Or it could have done the opposite :dontknow:. Either way I meant every word!
 

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So to be clear, the tools DO actually work. And in some cases are more convenient although less flexible. Its some what of a trade off. They do cost a bit too much imo. Especially the 90 dollar rca cables..

So cost is really the downfall imo..
Much is the same elsewhere is the ca world. Nendo 2ks could be had for under 300, now its like 450. Samething with sundown and the list goes on and on..

Its just a capitalist market, if nuthuggers will eat that stuff up for 600 bux a pop how could you blame em for taking the money I guess.
 

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157.28db,41hz +Increasing
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Discussion Starter #7
So to be clear, the tools DO actually work. And in some cases are more convenient although less flexible. Its some what of a trade off. They do cost a bit too much imo. Especially the 90 dollar rca cables..

So cost is really the downfall imo..
Much is the same elsewhere is the ca world. Nendo 2ks could be had for under 300, now its like 450. Samething with sundown and the list goes on and on..

Its just a capitalist market, if nuthuggers will eat that stuff up for 600 bux a pop how could you blame em for taking the money I guess.
I can't. More power to him for making money off the tools. But I am a normal car audio guy and like saving money. I figure most people would like to save money too.
 

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'12 Focus Bangin
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Shit the DSO Nano scopes can be had for even cheaper on Amazon lol
 

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Oh I wasnt directing that to anyone rather just thinking out loud. I mean it kinda makes me mad in a way, how companys charge so much for some things. Like idgaf what anyone says no one should be paying 500 bucks for a 1500w amp. That's just rape. And imo morally wrong. But people buy it everyday of the week. Its the buyers job to understand the value of what they are paying for, its the company's job to sell the need for the extra cost.

An aq 2k vs a dd 2k. Yes the dd may have better components. 300 dollars of better components? Not likely. Not hating on dd or anyone for that matter, but if I ran a company, my customer would know that they are paying for has a fair honest price. And I know that a few extra dollars the customer can save will go a long way and they will appreciate that which in turn creates return customers.

Not 10-20% annual increases just because we said so. Or inflated prices because we have a voltmeter on the amp that no one will ever see.. there is charging more because its better or because its necessary or because your own costs when up.

And then theres being greedy.

500 dollars for a 120x4 f that
 

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Good read. Some things in here, like gain matching, I have always been curious about. Will be bookmarking this page for future reference. Thanks. :eek:ccasion14:
 

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Tinder Douchebag
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I don't see how the SMD tools are ground breaking or revolutionary. They just seem quicker and easier to use.

I mean the fact that he has his name on a volt meter that sells for $80 should speak for itself on how over priced his stuff is, and how many items can be found that do the job for 1/8 the price.

Not to mention that people were doing these things long before SMD came out with his name branded stuff.
 

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The meters are def. Over priced. Im sure they work good. no doubt ebay or stinger ones have many a failure, but 4x cost is a bit much.

As for the tools, honeslty it's this: If everyone were educated enough, im sure theres a way to break it all down and solve mathematically what everything needs to be at and verify with a dmm or less. But that takes time and a lot of genius. Hell im sure in 1860 or w.e idk Einstein could figure it out with a leaf and a twig..

But its about ease of use and knowledge needed. Smd tools = reaally easy and rocks for brains. Watch the little light do you see red or no? When you do back off.. bam done.

When someone or something does all the thinking and all the hard work for you in just about any scenario its gonna cost you a pretty penny.

Its all marketing. Yes they work, and if you wanna be lazy and not read and learn a few things like how to use a o scope and dmm etc, these tools take out all the work. Easy for the customer = money for the company.

Decent tools really, and good idea. They just cost a lil too much. If they cost 20 bux each itd be stupid not to use em.. but alas they dont.
 

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Tinder Douchebag
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Smd tools = reaally easy and rocks for brains. Watch the little light do you see red or no? When you do back off.. bam done.

When someone or something does all the thinking and all the hard work for you
I don't know if the tools are any better than common sense. I don't use any tools to set any of my gear and I've never had any problems with only a $5 ebay volt meter to monitor voltage.

I'm not saying the SMD tools aren't accurate, but are they? Can you honestly just use them to set everything and forget about it (set it and forget it)

The only reason I ask is because there has been a lot of talk about the amp dyno not being used correctly, and that thing is about $5k? If a $5k tool has the possibility of being used incorrectly, what about the $150 tools?
 

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Idk about the dyno honestly. I do own a dd1 tho. And yea it works pretty well. Compared to the scope is it exact? No.. but really close. and whos to say the screen on the scope shows 1% thd right or that I can read it perfectly. For all intents and purposes its the same. Now for me personally, its not world shattering. Its easier yes, but nothing I couldnt do before hand or that people many yeats ago couldnt do.

But for a 16 yo kid yea it is better. Better than guessing better than going by some folk legend or w.e its like training wheels or rather a bike that just rides itself.

You could learn to ride the bike without training wheels. As in setting without a dmm and just Einstein it.

You could learn with training wheels. As in using a dmm or oscope.

Or you could get the bike that rides itself practically. As in dd1 or something.

Its jusy easier. And for most people good enough. Hell youll gain 1.5db if you set the gain to have a soft clip or even the scope doesnt see the tiny clip. And by using the dd1 youd leave spl on the table maybe.

But most people... dont care or know about 1.5 db. That's who those products are for. The experienced competitors. . Not so much. Nice gadget, but necessary maybe not.
 

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Hi Ben!!! ;)

Concerning the DD-1 and rail sag.
Have you read the manual:
Disconnect all speakers connected to the
amplifier. (This has already been calculated into
the equation and provides 1-3dB more gain
overlap on unregulated power supply amplifiers
and 0dB more gain overlap on regulated power supply amplifiers).

If you don't trust that, use the DD-1 on a loaded system, its just going to be a bit louder while you're tuning...

Concerning the DD-1 and impedance, you state that somebody could "rise" to 1ohm and the readings would be off.............
Well, my impedance curve rises to 15ohms!!!(as does probably most people out there), Does that mean my voltage is skyrocket and blow everything up???

Per the AMM-1. Maybe you should check your facts before you act so smart.
It doesn't have a hall-effects sensor; it has a current transformer.
As far as "power" clamping, just because everybody is doing it, doesn't make it acceptable.
Its VA, not watts. That fact is spreading and people know about it but they still call it watts...
Ohhh, here's a list of the "other" things the AMM-1 can do which you conveniently didn't mention:

  • Measure Common DC voltages
  • Measure DC voltage drops during quick transients on cable runs or battery / charging systems
  • Measure Impedance of speakers at any power or frequency from 20Hz - 1kHz (box rise)
  • Find Tuning Frequency of subwoofer enclosures
  • Tune subwoofer enclosures for maximum power transfer
  • Measure AC Volts (amplifier output)
  • Measure AC Amps (amplifier output)
  • Measure apparent power (VA) output, Phase Angle, and Real Power (Watts) of audio amplifier, or consumption of appliances that run on AC power
  • Measure Frequency of a Sine Wave
Your reviews tend to be a bit one-sided so I just wanted to help out.
:D
 

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157.28db,41hz +Increasing
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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Ben!!! ;)

Concerning the DD-1 and rail sag.
Have you read the manual:
Disconnect all speakers connected to the
amplifier. (This has already been calculated into
the equation and provides 1-3dB more gain
overlap on unregulated power supply amplifiers
and 0dB more gain overlap on regulated power supply amplifiers).

If you don't trust that, use the DD-1 on a loaded system, its just going to be a bit louder while you're tuning...

It clearly says disconnect the speakers. If it was meant to be used with a load then it would not say disconnect the speakers...Considering the manual doesn't state this is ok then I would not recommend advising people to do this.

Concerning the DD-1 and impedance, you state that somebody could "rise" to 1ohm and the readings would be off.............
Well, my impedance curve rises to 15ohms!!!(as does probably most people out there), Does that mean my voltage is skyrocket and blow everything up???

You misunderstand my concern. Setting the gain with no load is going to allow top rail voltage. However when a real load is present the rails will start to sag. The lower your rise the more the rail sag and the quicker you start to clip.

Per the AMM-1. Maybe you should check your facts before you act so smart.

No act here :thumbsup:

It doesn't have a hall-effects sensor; it has a current transformer.

I guess you don't know what the hall effect is? Based on the Lorentz force. While he might call it a "current transformer" it is a sensor measuring the hall effect determining the amperage. This picture might help...


That's the same type of device located in the center of the AMM1

As far as "power" clamping, just because everybody is doing it, doesn't make it acceptable.

I clearly said in a perfect world everyone would be clamping real watts.. but that's not the world we live in.

Its VA, not watts. That fact is spreading and people know about it but they still call it watts...
Ohhh, here's a list of the "other" things the AMM-1 can do which you conveniently didn't mention:

  • Measure Common DC voltages
  • Measure DC voltage drops during quick transients on cable runs or battery / charging systems
  • Measure Impedance of speakers at any power or frequency from 20Hz - 1kHz (box rise)
  • Find Tuning Frequency of subwoofer enclosures
  • Tune subwoofer enclosures for maximum power transfer
  • Measure AC Volts (amplifier output)
  • Measure AC Amps (amplifier output)
  • Measure apparent power (VA) output, Phase Angle, and Real Power (Watts) of audio amplifier, or consumption of appliances that run on AC power
  • Measure Frequency of a Sine Wave

I guess I forgot to add that the clamp setup I provided can do all of those things minus the phase angle/true power. So I really didn't feel like they were worth mentioning as both can do those tasks...I will edit the OP to make it more clear.

Your reviews tend to be a bit one-sided so I just wanted to help out.
:D

Everything I put was factual. It's not one sided. You are just not open minded. I realize you love your SMD tools good for you man. But not everyone wants to spend that much for that equipment. Hence why I made this thread.
I have put my statements in red.
 

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Peel & Seal works!
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Hi Ben!!! ;)

Concerning the DD-1 and rail sag.
Have you read the manual:
Disconnect all speakers connected to the
amplifier. (This has already been calculated into
the equation and provides 1-3dB more gain
overlap on unregulated power supply amplifiers
and 0dB more gain overlap on regulated power supply amplifiers).

If you don't trust that, use the DD-1 on a loaded system, its just going to be a bit louder while you're tuning...

Concerning the DD-1 and impedance, you state that somebody could "rise" to 1ohm and the readings would be off.............
Well, my impedance curve rises to 15ohms!!!(as does probably most people out there), Does that mean my voltage is skyrocket and blow everything up???

Per the AMM-1. Maybe you should check your facts before you act so smart.
It doesn't have a hall-effects sensor; it has a current transformer.
As far as "power" clamping, just because everybody is doing it, doesn't make it acceptable.
Its VA, not watts. That fact is spreading and people know about it but they still call it watts...
Ohhh, here's a list of the "other" things the AMM-1 can do which you conveniently didn't mention:

  • Measure Common DC voltages
  • Measure DC voltage drops during quick transients on cable runs or battery / charging systems
  • Measure Impedance of speakers at any power or frequency from 20Hz - 1kHz (box rise)
  • Find Tuning Frequency of subwoofer enclosures
  • Tune subwoofer enclosures for maximum power transfer
  • Measure AC Volts (amplifier output)
  • Measure AC Amps (amplifier output)
  • Measure apparent power (VA) output, Phase Angle, and Real Power (Watts) of audio amplifier, or consumption of appliances that run on AC power
  • Measure Frequency of a Sine Wave
Your reviews tend to be a bit one-sided so I just wanted to help out.
:D
i think you have something on your lip
 
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