Can't hear rear speakers on JBL

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by web1b, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. web1b

    web1b Active Member

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    I have to set the fader mostly to the rear to hear anything in the back. Then you lose bass since the woofers are in front.
    I know other people have this problem, but that is no excuse or justification.
    Someone riding in the car asked me if the car only has front speakers.
    Seems like a defect even if "they all do it." Then they all have a defect. This cannot be they way it was intended to work. Balanced setting isn't balanced at all. It most cars I usually fade the stereo a bit to the front. Maybe 60% front, 40% rear. In this car, I need to set it about 80-90% faded to the rear just to get audible rear fill.

    What's the problem? Are the JBL amps not putting enough wattage out to the rear speakers?
    Did they forget to wire the rears to the amp?
    It reminds me of a car I had that had an aftermarket 2 channel amp installed of the front speakers and the rears were only running on deck power and then were getting overpowered by the fronts.
    It really looks like they car missed some kind of quality control testing if they checked the stereo sound off as working properly when the car was released to production.
     
  2. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    I don't hear sound from the rear speakers in this car as much as in other cars (although not as extremely as you), and my guess is it's because of it being a hatchback. In a traditional sedan the sound from the rear speakers has the rear window to bounce off, whereas in a hatchback, there's a large cargo area to absorb the sound.

    Another comment I'd make is that in general the sound when parked is pretty good, but deteriorates quite a bit when moving due to cabin and road noise--much more so than in previous cars I've owned. And the setting that's supposed to compensate for that doesn't seem to do anything.
     
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    If you're expecting the same amount of sound (loudness?) as a regular sedan, that's not gonna happen. The reason is that in a sedan, the midrange speakers are mounted on the parcel shelf behind the headrests so it's closer to your ears. In wagons, hatches and SUVs, they're mounted on the rear doors so they're by your feet.
     
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  4. web1b

    web1b Active Member

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    I have had a hatchback in the past and it didn't have this problem. Being a hatchback doesn't make it impossible to have rear speakers that can be clearly heard without setting the fader 90% to the rear.
     
  5. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Have you tried going to the dealer and having them look at the problem?????
    The conditions you describe indicate a failue somewhere, not just a balance misadjustment!

    NOBODY cranks 80-90% rear to acheive proper balance, theres a fault , let the dealer find it!!!
     
  6. web1b

    web1b Active Member

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    I have seen several previous posts describing the same problem and I noticed the same in a rental Prius. It looks like it isn't a problem with just my car, so the dealer probably can't do anything about it.
    So, it seems like it's "normal" for a Gen III Prius like the intermittent grabby brakes during reverse and and the other brake issue over bumps.
     
  7. LeadingEdgeBoomer

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    In my most humble opinion, there is little point in enhancing a sound system in even the finest vehicle that must, perforce, transmit some tire/road/engine/wind noise; the environment is unredeemable. Folks who install giant subwoofers and crank the volume way up are advertising themselves to others outside their cars, for what reason I do not know. I can understand a high-quality head unit, coupled with great headphones, but real headphones seem dangerous in any environment with traffic.

    Put your Krell MonoBlocks in your home studio, and don't try to solve an intractable high-end sound-quality problem in any vehicle.

    That said, I still wish for competent FM reception in my 2010 Model V.
     
  8. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Well I have a 08, but my swttings are 45/65 Front/Rear. Works fine, HOWEVER, I played with a 2010 V at the Prius roll out last year, I spent considerable time with the stereo, much to some others dismay, but hey I had to crank it a little, I checked the settings, pretty much 45/65 Front/Rear. It realy sounded geat, I brought my own CD!!! This could be another indication of a really CRAPPY HU! Its bad enough the FM section is as deaf as a post, why should the output levels to the Power Amp Assy be set propery???? If it were my car, I would measure the audio into the Power Amp with a scope, play a Test CD with known reference levels, and determine if the seakers suck, or the Power Amp ain't cutting it, or the levels from the HU are screwed up!!! I realise that this may be above some folk, but it's the only way to troubleshoot this kind of problem, and be sure the deaer is not yanking yer chain!!!!!!
     
  9. JB KC

    JB KC New Member

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    I recently moved from a 2005 (non JBL) to a 2010 JBL system. The difference in front / rear balance is significant.

    When the balance is equal it as if there is no sound coming from the rear. There is sound, but the front side completely overwhelms the rear. So I cranked the balance rearward and it is fine but I have to use a much higher volume level.

    Once the adjustment is done the sound is great - far better than what I had in the '05.
     
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  10. klide

    klide New Member

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    I have the same experience in my 2010.
     
  11. 2Txns

    2Txns New Member

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    Mine is set up the same way, too. The speakers truly suck in the Prius or maybe it is the stereo that sucks. I also have to fade it back just so the front center speaker does not blast me out. I am thinking about disconnecting the front one to see if that helps any. 9 speakers and I only hear 1 when left at 50-50 fade.
     
  12. 2Txns

    2Txns New Member

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    On another note, can the gps/bluetooth be moved from the driver's side speaker to the front center speaker? I another wire that can be moved or is it more involved than that?
     
  13. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    Please remember that we're talking about the Gen III Prius here, I see you have a Gen II which has a center front channel speaker. The Gen III has no more front center channel.

    If you browse around the Gen II audio forums, many people just pop up and open the front center speaker on the Gen II and disconnect it. I did when I has a 2006 and it did help a little, it's just too small and tinny sounding of a speaker.
     
  14. 2Txns

    2Txns New Member

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    Thank you for the advise on the center speaker and sorry for jumping on the Gen III area... I will stay in the Gen II forums.
     
  15. Texas911

    Texas911 Member

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    I would guess you're tall or like to sit away from the dash. It seems that if your leg doesn't muffle the front door speaker, it will over power the rears pretty good. At least that's my observation.
     
  16. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yeah I didn't read tha 90% bit. That definitely is a problem.

    Yeah I have my centre speaker disconnected (it's a mono speaker anyway).
     
  17. Jaeger

    Jaeger Noob

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    I had to go ~80% to balance too. I am tall so my seat is pushed backwards, maybe that accounts for it. I am looking for replacement speakers.
     
  18. ajc

    ajc Member

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    Set the Treble to 5, Mid to 5, Base to 4, and Fade to 4 towards the rear) & slide the passenger seat up so the back speakers are exposed to the driver. This will improve the overall sound quality. You will be able to hear the back speakers.
     
  19. Campoozmstnz

    Campoozmstnz Junior Member

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    I'm experiencing this same issue on my new 2012 Prius V. I didn't notice this until yesterday when my kid asked me to raise the volume because he couldn't hear the radio and I heard it just fine..
     
  20. priusFTW

    priusFTW Gen III JBL non Nav

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    I can chime in here with my experience and the OEM JBL system. I have a 2011 Prius Model III that HAD the premium JBL 8 speaker system. I too noticed that the rear had very little sound. I don't know this for a fact, but I surmise that the Factory JBL amp is programmed this way, to provide a front sound stage with the rear speakers, giving just a minor back fill. Here is why I feel this way:

    I made the decision that I wasn't happy with the JBL factory system, don't get me wrong, it was good, but I wanted better. So I pulled the factory JBL HU, and installed a Kenwood DDX719 to replace it. Next I pulled the JBL amp and installed a JBL MS-8. This is currently powering the JBL 8 factory speakers atm. I am going to install an additional amp, and replace the JBL speakers with 3 way fronts by CDT (CL-6E32), and eventually the rears too.

    Anyway, when I performed tuning on the MS-8 with the factory JBL speakers, there is a feature within that called "Logic 7". It basically will produce a front center soundstage. When I have Logic 7 turned on, I hear very little sound from the rear. When I turn it off, I hear major sound coming from the rear, all around the car in fact, but the front center soundstage is lost.

    Having said all that, It is my opinion that the factory JBL amp is programmed to produce more sound from the front speakers to produce a front center soundstage. In my opinion, its NOT the speakers, or HU, its the amp that is doing this.

    If you want more sound from the rears in your factory JBL system, turn your fade, to the rear to about 2. You should notice a difference.

    Hope that helps!
     
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